Saturday, October 14, 2006

Is That For Or Against?

Unless the Phillies are in the playoffs, and before them the Orioles, much of my post-season rooting is of the “against” rather than “for” nature, as in “I don’t care who wins but I sure don’t want (fill in the player or team) ______ to win” or “The city of Detroit could use some good news and, anyway, I don’t like the A’s”.

So, without further ado, let’s see how some of my least favorite people are doing lately.

Ah, there’s Tony La Russa over there in the corner, wearing dark glasses at 12PM EDT. Tony’s chewing out the media…again…for giving his star player Albert Pujols a hard time over the latter’s statement that Tom Glavine, winner of the first game of the series, “wasn’t very good.” Seems Tony thinks the media boys took that one out of context and consequently is threatening to make King Albert’s locker off limits going forward. Tony’s always bitter about something. I’m rooting against him this season as usual, but I have to admit, just once I’d love to see how he would act if he actually won something. Naaaahhhhh.

Speaking of old sour puss, who’s that glum looking dude in the warm-up jacket hanging over the Cards’ dugout railing? Why, it’s our old buddy Scott Rolen. Why isn’t he starting tonight? Seems his manager didn’t like the way he was swinging the bat, even though Scott said his ailing shoulder is fine. What La Russa probably meant is that he has never liked the way Scott swings when the season is on the line. He’s something like 1 for his entire career in the post-season. OK, that might be a slight exaggeration, but don’t tell that to Tony.

Hey, is that the old alpaca-breeder himself running in to the mound at Shea Stadium in the bottom of the ninth with the game knotted at 6? Darned if it isn’t. Well, you gotta’ hand it to Billy, he said he wanted to play for a winner instead of those perennial losers in Philadelphia and here he is, on the national stage and with the game on the line. Oops! Did Billy just throw a home run ball to a guy with exactly two round-trippers to his credit in 316 at bats this season? Sure enough. Wait. Billy isn’t finished. Here come two more runs across the plate. Good thing his old buddy Craig Biggio isn’t due up next.

Speaking of pitchers with less than stellar post-season credentials up to now, how ‘bout that 42-year old hot head in Detroit, eh?! And Rogers hasn’t even taken a swing at a cameraman. Just goes to show how even-tempered a guy can be when he’s on a winning team.

Finally, old pal Todd Jones got his second save of the post-season for the Tigers in yesterday’s game.. Mind you, as previously noted, I want Detroit to win it all, not just the AL pennant, but I wouldn’t mind if Jones stumbled along the way. You may recall Mr. Jones had a few less than flattering things to say about Philadelphia upon his departure last year. Never mind that he absolutely stunk up the place during his brief tenure in the City of Brotherly Love; Mr. Jones thought it was the worst place he’d ever played in…or hung a breaking ball for that none. In fact, he thought so little of our little metropolis that he was still talking about it a year later in his very own blog. I wonder if we’ll get a mention in the locker room celebration if the Tigers win? Jonesy doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy who lets things go easily.


RickSchuBlues said...

If Wagner and Joner reach the World Series, we'll be hearing about how bad Philadelphia is from both ends! "Boy, this sure is exciting. Of course, if we were in Philadelphia, they'd boo the Goodyear Blimp." "It was hard blowing that game last night. But in Philly, they'd definitely have booed louder." What is with this fixation? Let it go, guys. Maybe there were some deep-seated insecurities unearthed by the lack of acceptance in Philadelphia that some people just never get over. Oh well, at least Scott Rolen doesn't have a blog...

I love LaRussa's dark glasses, too. I also love how he takes them of for the dugout interviews between innings. I guess he thinks he's playing poker and can't show the other manager his eyes - but when TV time comes around, he has no problem unveiling that cherubic face for the masses.

How did you come to change allegiences in mid-life, Tom? I've moved around all over but I know I'm fated to always be a Phillies fan. What prompted your conversion from the Orioles?

Tom Goodman said...

I remained loyal to the Orioles through many peregrinations: college in CT, grad school in NM, residency in MA, TX, and PA, but when Peter Angelos began to destroy the franchise I loved I could not take it any longer. People today forget that the Orioles were not only one of the most successful franchises in all of baseball from roughly 1960 to 1990, they were also an admired franchise. Players loved to play there. The entire organization from the lowest minor leagues to the big club had a system everyone learned. Ownership, especially the Hoffberger era, was highly thought of. Then, along came Angelos, a meddler with no baseball experience but plenty of ego, and he started going through managers and general managers at an astonishing rate. When I decided to root for the Phillies, beginning in about 1996, I had already been living here for nearly 18 years and was still loyal to the O's, but I no longer recognized them as the franchise of my youth and no longer felt committed to them. I'm sure some of my discontent had something to do with the changing nature of the game itself, but the Orioles had changed dramatically and I simply didn't like who they had become.

Maria said...

I love watching Billy Wagner fail...that being said I hate the Mets way more than the Cardinals. Therefore the Cards should go to the World Series and get swept by the Tigers. & somehow Tom Jones breaks his leg and arm...leaving him to never pitch again. Yup that's what's going to happen.

RickSchuBlues said...

And yet since 1996, the Phillies have been nearly as sad-sack an organization...I'm sure you're aware of the parallel with what happened when the Carpenter family sold to Bill Giles. Baseball in Philadelphia has yet to recover. The Phillies, for a briefer period of time than the O's, were also a vaunted organization and their fall from grace has far outdated what's taken place in Bal'mer. You went from bad to...bad. Very sad in both cases.