The baseball offseason torments me. While I appreciate the postseason awards — congrats to Roy Halladay on his Cy Young Award — I find my thoughts turn to the likes of Ed Delahanty, Sam Thompson, Gavvy Cravath and Grover Cleveland Alexander.
Fortunately, I have company. My friend and coworker Dan McQuade of Philadelphia Will Do is loaning me an Ed Delahanty biography! Cannot wait to read about a troubled ballplayer who died at Niagara Falls. I’m fascinated by Big Ed’s story and I love thinking about theÂ dead-ballÂ era, when baseball was a grinding game of bunts, steals and dirty pitches, to say nothing of rogue leagues and labor strife.
I also nearly joined the Society for American Baseball Research yesterday. I told you it was getting bad!
First, I want to say congratulations to our Philadelphia Phillies for once again defying the odds and finishing with the best record in baseball for the first time in club history. It’s no mean feat in any season, let alone one in which the team was simply ravaged by injuries to key players all year long.
Now our eyes shift to the Phillies next goal, their third World Series appearance in as many years. Can they do it again? I’m hoping “Doctober” is everything we’ve dreamed and more.
Helen, Charlie and I are headed to the park Friday after work for Game 2 of the NLDS. It’ll be Roy Oswalt versus Bronson Arroyo of the Cincinnati Reds. I like our chances against the MLB’s oldest squad and I’d frankly be surprised if this series went five games. Let’s hope I’m right.
Remember when I wrote this and wondered whether or not the Phillies would make the postseason? Yeah, seems pretty silly now. I’m headed to see the Phillies again tonight as they attempt to sweep the Braves, who once led the division by a healthy seven games. The Phillies have gone on a 12 game swing since and now lead by a whopping five games. The mind boggles at the accomplishment.
People are talking about the Padres’ collapse? What happened to Atlanta?
What the Phillies top three pitchers have accomplished is nothing short of remarkable. Halladay has won 20 games, Cole Hamels has bounced back after a season that tested his mettle and Roy Oswalt has been superb since joining at the deadline. Can you believe Roy Oswalt is our number three? Me neither!
Helen and I had tickets to Roy Oswalt’s debut as a Phillie. Wish it had gone better, but it was still a brilliant move for the Phillies. Few people believed that J.A. Happ could duplicate his successful rookie campaign, myself included. The Oswalt deal gives the Phillies an intimidating rotation, especially in a short series.
But can they make the playoffs? The Phils have been snakebitten yet again, losing Shane Victorino, Raul Ibanez and Ryan Howard to injury, leaving Jayson Werth as the only Phillies regular who hasn’t been hit with the injury bug. It couldn’t come at a worse time. The Phils have moved within 3 games of the Braves and seem to be putting the pieces together before the latest round of injuries hit. (Make that 1 game back. The Giants miraculously beat the Braves last night.) If they can get healthy for September, I’d say they have more than a decent shot at winning the NL East yet again.
If not, they still made the right move. Getting Oswalt for the 2011 season and beyond is still the right move. Dom Brown will have more experience. We may manage to keep Jayson Werth, though probably not. It’s still the smart thing to have done at the deadline. Now that we’re only one game behind the Braves, our rotation may be too much down the stretch.
Love Johnny Goodtimes’ letter of apology to Ruben Amaro, Jr. I guess I should sign on to that as well, huh?