Monday, October 13, 2008

Couching, Wawaing, stewing, dancing, shouting, beering

So I didn't blog about Game 3. Well, there really wasn't much to say, and I really didn't watch much of it because it went so bad so fast, but here's a couple of things:
  • Shane Victorino was absolutely right to flip out about getting the ball at his head. And guess what? So would have been Manny Ramirez in Game 2, even if you do believe Myers did it by accident. Any time a ball comes near your head (and in Manny's case it was suspicious because there were two outs and nobody on base, which is prime hit-a-slugger-in-the-noggin time), you should be upset. But if Manny didn't make a big deal about it at the time, and if Billingsley didn't retaliate that game, then it should have ended there. But no, the Dodgers waited to retaliate until they were safely back in LA, and then you had Manny Ramirez pretending he was going to fight somebody, when he'd rather shave his head instead. It's just intellectually dishonest to pretend that Victorino was overreacting -- or "wailing and whining," as the cartoonishly partisan LA Times columnists put it. Because HERE'S the point: If having someone throw at your head isn't a big deal, then WHY ARE YOU RETALIATING? What grievance are you trying to avenge? What else had we done to you besides throwing near Ramirez's head, which apparently is something you just shake off? If you're pissed off at Billingsley for ducking his responsibility, it's pathetic and transparently convenient to transfer that anger to the opposing team.
  • If anyone would react well to being yanked from a scheduled Game 7 playoff start, it's Jamie Moyer. He's a pro, and he'll understand. If the series gets to a Game 7, they simply can't throw him against this lineup. It has to be Blanton. Of course, at this point, if it DOES get that far, I'll have a nervous breakdown.
Anyway, Game 4. I got home from work in time to watch the final inning of the Rays' blowout of the Red Sox (hahahahaha) and then I switched to Fox for 22 minutes of pregame coverage. I had to mute it within 30 seconds. All the discussion was about the Dodgers "manning up" and Victorino and Hiroki Kuroda and the confrontation. Of course, as a news man I realize it's a story, but as a fan I always prefer game analysis to the extracurricular stuff. The first pitch couldn't arrive fast enough.

And woohoo! Three straight hits and a ground out put two on the board for Philly. Then it was 7 1/2 innings of bleeding out at various speeds, excepting Ryan Howard huffing and puffing home on a wild pitch to briefly tie the game. I drove to Wawa in the brutal sixth inning, and I became the first person in history to get the new toasted Cuban sandwich. They started offering it about an hour before. It was delicious, but I was afraid it would be the highlight of my night.

Nope. Shane Victorino slashed a tying home run into the Phillies bullpen, then pinch hitter Matt Stairs, a heavy 40-year-old journeyman lefthanded hitter whose specialty is trying to crush balls off righthanded relievers, crushed a ball off LA's best righthanded reliever. After Brad Lidge's first multi-inning appearance of the year, the Phillies had won. For the final two innings, I paced around the tiny Ocean City living room, swigging a Yuengling bottle with my right hand and holding the phone in my left. The calls and texts kept coming. I hollered a lot, and I'm glad no one else lives on this block anymore. (There are five houses on either side, and they're empty for the offseason. Across the street, one, maybe two are still occupied. Sorry, sparse neighbors.)

So unless the Dodgers win three straight games, and that is far from impossible, the Phillies will go to the World Series and I will lose my shit. I have to work Wednesday night, talking with a panel of newspaper readers after that night's presidential debate. Hopefully, I'll be able to watch the end of the game, for better or worse.

1 comment:

  1. I had a Cuban sandwich from Cheesecake Factory last week. I bet the Wawa one was just as, if not more so, delicious, and about a third as expensive, too.