So, we all know the Phils are in quite the slump. And many of the real fans know that they will hit their stride over the coming days/weeks and take over the Braves, win the NL East, and win a few playoff series.
It's been real hard watching these guys play lately. Primarily because the hitting has been nonexistent. Shane Victorino pops up all the friggin' time; Jayson Werth is the most patient guy ever, taking pitch after pitch (too bad he's not their leadoff hitter!); Ryan Howard can't hit ANYTHING right now; etc, etc, etc... Raul and Chooch. That's it, really. They're the only two consistently doing anything in the clutch. Well, Jimmy has had a few big hits, but c'mon- for a leadoff guy, his OBA is horrible and how many times does he swing at the very first pitch of the game??? Way to work the other guys, Jimmy.
We fans are fortunate that the starting pitching has been phenomenal. Who in their right mind would have predicted that Kyle Kendrick would not only still be in the rotation, but also be as reliable as his 8 wins and respectable 4-and-a-half ERA show him to be? We know about Mr. Perfect Roy Halladay. And the addition of Roy Oswalt is one of those shrewd moves that may just make people mumble "...clliff...who...?" Joe Blanton is as capable of eating innings just as he is of eating cheese steak pretzels (which are not-so-surprisingly delicious, people). But, I have to give credit where it is due, and that is to Cole Hamels. Sure, he may sound fruitier than a bag of Skittles. To the astonishment of many, however, Cole is pitching like a man whose set has finally dropped. It really sucks that the team seems to never score for him, but he is gutting out a respectable season in which he'll surely strike out 200 and likely register double-digit wins. Still, I know he walks one of those really tiny, yappy dogs on a long leash. You know, the dogs that may as well be cats. A teacup this or miniature that. Yeah, one of those. To be honest, he can walk whatever he wants, as long as it's not the batter before he serves up one of those meatballs he's notorious for. If he can maintain, the Phillies top three will be damn tough to beat in a short series come October.
So, I'm watching today's game on Fox. Since I've started typing, Victorino hit an RBI triple, and Mike Sweeney (another excellent pick up) beat out a fielder's choice to score a run then stole second base. So things are going well again against the Western Division leading Padres.
But what prompted me to begin writing this in the first place were these two observations from today's game:
First, these announcers are HORRIBLE!!! Seriously, these guys are a joke. Is that Eric Karros? Yeah EK, we're really impressed that you were one of like 4 or 5 Rookies of the Year in a row from the Dodgers back in the late 80s-early 90s. So was Mike Piazza, but you don't see him giving bad commentary and flashing that awful 'stache all over TV. He's probably in Norristown selling cars or some shit like that. Where he belongs. And he's a future Hall of Famer. Karros repeats the same inane drivel over and over again, as though it somehow becomes more insightful each time he says it. It doesn't. All it does is piss me off!!! Good thing the Phils are winning. And I have no idea who this other dude is. But he's bad, bad, bad. Josh Lewin??? What qualifies this ass as a baseball guy? And adding "expert" commentary, Ken Rosenthal. UGH!!! Forgive me, but Josh Lewin, Eric Karros, and Ken Rosenthal, piss off, eat a dick, whatever you must do. Just stop talking. Let me watch the game game in silence. Thank you Jesus, for the mute button.
My other, equally infuriating point from this game regards the umpires. What the hell was up with home plate ump Laz Diaz staring down Miguel Tejada???? Are these umps on roids now, all angry and looking for a brawl??? Seriously. That dude the other night would have gotten his head bitten off by Ryan Howard. Of all the pro ball players to fuck with, I think Big Brown would be at the bottom of the list. I'd be more apt to confront Ryan Theriot. I can surely whoop a frenchie second baseman. Well, maybe not, but I think you get my drift. And Tejada just looks angry. At least we all know Howard is a typically easy-going dude. "Miggie" looks like he's always thinking "juss gib me a reesson, mu'dafucka." Did all these umps get together and decide they were bad asses? Like anyone gives a shit that they're there? Soon enough, these guys will be obsolete, and games will be presided over by highly-sophisticated cameras and microprocessors. Perhaps they're feeling the dread of an impending economic crunch as they get phased out and simply lashing out at the players they secretly loathe. Whatever the cause, I would love the effect to be a bloody nose or torn ear as one of these players just absolutely whoops an umpire's ass after he steps out of line. For real, umps, stop being so sensitive whenever a player questions a call. We all expect the element of human error to play a factor in the game. Be big boys and take the criticism with a grain of salt. And for real, stop staring down players after bad calls. Or else convenience stores in Philly might mysteriously sell out of C and D cells. Those, by the way, are the best "throwing" batteries for your dollar. We would know. We're (past and present) Drunk Phils Fans.