Thursday, May 06, 2010

Taut Wins & Tasers

The results of the last few days have nothing to do with a reverse curse; rather, they reflect how little I know. In my defense, few if any other observers of the Philliles expressed much if any confidence in Brad Lidge or Kyle Kendrick but at least for the last two nights our collective lack of real knowledge didn't matter. As for Cole Hamels, well, let's just say I am among the doubters. Fortunately, neither Cole nor his supportive manager could care less what I think.

The Phils have taken two straight from the Cardinals after dropping the opener. In neither game win did the vaunted offense explode, but last night it showed up sufficiently to stroke the only home runs the Cards' pitching staff has allowed in a very long time. The Phils won because their starters held the fort until the offense produced and the relievers came in and stifled any Cardinal comeback. Both games were fairly taught affairs, especially the 2-1 victory Tuesday evening, because the Cards have several players who can change things in one swing of the bat. King Albert has been held in check the entire series so watch out today, the reverse curse may come back to bite us.

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One night after producing both of the Phillies' runs in a dramatic 2-1 victory, Chooch Ruiz' reward was a seat on the bench. I guess Charlie felt backup Brian Schneider would be better at guiding Kendrick through the minefield that is the Cardinals' lineup. Still, it seemed a rather strange development unless there is something we don't know. Maybe Chooch was sore after the pounding he took at home plate following his walk-off homer.

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The umpiring on the base paths this series has been horrible. They have missed two plays each at third and first base. The Phils have been the beneficiaries of the majority of these blown plays. This isn't a plea for instant replay; I remain in favor of using it only for home run calls, but this crew leaves much to be desired. Tony LaRussa, manager and self-appointed genius, has a legitimate beef with these guys.

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To tase or not to tase. That was the question before the Phillies' management and they have decided to let their own security staff handle intrusions going forward unless reinforcements are necessary. No one likes bad publicity and Philadelphia once again got plenty of that following Monday and Tuesday nights' incidents.

I've written many times how easy it is for the national press to jump on Philadelphia's fans at every opportunity, but this time they should have been all over the cops who used excessive force. As I wrote yesterday, the FOP president went on TV and said the parents of the first jumper should also have been tasered and that using force would stop further intrusions in the foreseeable future. That last prediction was correct...until the next night.

As for the jerks who decide to romp on the field, trust me, you can find them in every stadium in America. Jumping on the field is dramatic and plays well on YouTube, but the boors in the stands abound and don't just call the City of Brotherly Love home.

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