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The Phillies, it seems to a man, talk about the special chemistry in their clubhouse. All the key guys talk about how they would like Jayson Werth to return. Werth is one of the top free agents this off season and will command a boat load of cabbage. Ruben Amaro has said he would like Werth back in the fold as well. But most observers believe the Phillies, who have committed a sum equivalent to the GNP of a small nation to a handful of players, will be hard pressed to resign the popular right fielder. Here’s an idea. Let’s test that chemistry. Let’s see what the Phillies number is and then where Werth is. If they can’t get together, how about some of the big earners offer to restructure their deals in an effort to keep Werth in town. I know this is asking a lot. But the working stiffs who fill the ball park night in and night out sure would appreciate a move like that. We’re not asking for a share of the earnings. Is Ryan Howard really worth that much more money than Werth? Is Chase Utley? Brad Lidge? Come on Fellas. Figure out a way to get it done. Be a shining example of that special team chemistry. Do something different and truly special.
After watching the Phillies fall to San Francisco in game 6 of the NLCS, I believe it is obvious why their pursuit of a third straight World Series appearance has failed. Someone obviously put a hex on them. ”Ha! That’s rich!” I hear you say out there in the land of aging dead heads. But not only did the Phillies get hexed, Cody Ross was given some kind of magic potion to drink by his inner circle which includes, but is not limited to:13 witches, 9 gypsy elders, and one very powerful Pennsylvania Dutch Braucher with an ax to grind (her grandson,drafted in the 47th round by the Phillies a few years ago, was cut unceremoniously after one season of rookie ball) . How else to explain the feeble offensive display by a Phillies team which ranked second in the National League in run production this season? Shut down pitching by the Giants staff? Surely you’re not suggesting that the Giants actually beat the Phillies fair and square on the field of play? That is too ludicrous for even the most avid of Giants fan to consider. The stories of Ross’s inner circle have been circulating in hushed conversations ever since taking Doc deep twice in game 1. It’s common knowledge that Ross travels in the same circles Bucky Dent (who drank the same potion in 1978) favored. I’m not saying the Giants cheated. I’m simply suggesting the Phillies find some occult firepower of their own as part of their off season strategy.
The marquee pitching match up has arrived in the 2010 National League Championship Series. It does not involve former or current Cy Young Award winners. There won’t be any former post season MVP on the hill. Nor will there be any # 3s who would be considered the ace on many other staffs. This series will hinge on the efforts of a 6 year veteran who is 12 games over .500 with a career 4.30 ERA and a promising rookie pitching his 20th game. Joe Blanton for the Phillies. Madison Bumgarner for the Giants. Conventional thinking would seem to indicate hitters on both teams should be able to relax after the assignments given them in the first three games. But Blanton has been very good in the post season with the Phillies, and above average lefties like Bumgarner tend to give the Phillies lefty leaning line up fits.
If the Giants win this game they still have to go through Halladay,Oswalt and Hamels. If the Phillies win they get Lincecum, Sanchez and Cain. The important game is #4.
The tweeters are at it again. Giants fans tweeters are speculating who their World Series opponents will be. Phillies fans tweeters “feel like crying.” People! One game has been played in the 2010 NLCS! Over in the American League the Yankees stole Game 1 in Texas. The Rangers evened the series by thumping the Yanks next game. As a youngster I watched the Pirates fall behind the Orioles, 3-1 before coming back to take the 1971 World Series. Not too long ago Boston was down 3-0 before rallying to send the Yankees home for the season. What part of “Anything can happen in a seven game series” don’t you understand?
If you follow the Phils like I do, you’re worried about your team struggling against premier lefties. Jonathan Sanchez,who goes for San Fran in Game 2 is such a lefty. I don’t like the match-up. But I’ve counted the Phils out too many times over the last few years to believe this is over due to the results of one game. Get some sleep. Take your vitamins. This thing has just begun.
If club house chemistry is as important as some pundits say (and I believe), for teams to have success, the Texas Rangers proved they are real contenders. Because Josh Hamilton has had drug and alcohol abuse problems serious enough to almost end his career, his teammates elected to celebrate their AL Division Series victory by spraying him with ginger ale. Hamilton had avoided the celebration when the Rangers clinched their division. This is exactly the kind of thing that creates an atmosphere where players will leave everything they have out on the field for the benefit of their friends in the club house. Beware Yankees, beware.
It’s mid October and The Phillies are, for the third season in a row, in the National League Championship Series. This is remarkable for any franchise. But for long suffering Phillies fans, witnessing this achievement is astonishing. There are many fans who do not understand this. I refer to the generation who enjoys tweeting during the game. Don’t get me wrong. I have enjoyed listening to some of the comments my wife reads as they appear on the computer screen much more than the commentary by the so called professionals who infest the national networks.
But not all of them. I shake my head when, for instance, someone tweets: “What’s wrong with Halladay? 2 walks in a row!” The youngster who tweeted this almost certainly never heard of Mitch Williams. There have been two eras of sustained success in Phillies history. This is one of them. Please, young fans. You are not entitled to Phillies success. It was close to 100 years before fans experienced that first era of sustained winning. You must learn to enjoy every moment of what you are witnessing right now.