Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I Digress...Again

The most remarkable aspect of UConn's 89-game win streak is that every team playing the Huskies since the streak approached record territory has looked at the schedule and circled the date as it's championship game.

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The Eagles astonishing comeback last Sunday vs. the Giants was probably watched at home by far fewer fans than are willing to acknowledge it now. As the game wound down to its final eight minutes I'll bet a lot of people reached for the remote and said, "OK, I'd better do that last minute shopping or finally hang the lights outside or clean up the garage or walk the dog or...." Thanks to replays ad nauseum, however, everyone can claim they saw it all live.

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As much of the baseball world and all of the Delaware Valley proclaimed the Phillies' starting rotation among the best ever and started planning for the post-season parade it is worth noting the Phillies lost last year because of hitting not pitching. Nothing they have done this off-season has improved their offense; indeed, it is weaker with Jayson Werth's departure. So, let's not get too far ahead of ourselves, especially since the Phillies are counting on Raul Ibanez, Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and, yes, Chase Utley all to rebound from last year's performances. And, of course, there are the matters of Ryan Howard's power drop off and the hope that Domonic Brown is the real deal.

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Just when everyone is ready to pronounce the Sixers a vastly improved, playoff-bound team, they play a game like last night in Chicago in which they were, charitably putting it, slaughtered.

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And just when the Flyers were celebrating their number one power ranking on ESPN, they go out and lay one big fat egg vs. the lowly Florida Panthers, getting shut out at home 5-0.


Anonymous said...

Indeed their lineup seems to be a bit weaker than the lineup of the last team with 4 20 game winners, the '71 Orioles. And I would submit that team also was slightly better defensively.

Tom Goodman said...

The 1971 O's were more than "slightly better defensively". Jimmy Rollins alone among the Phillies infielders may have a slight edge over Mark Belanger though the latter was a fine fielder, too. Powell, Johnson and, of course, Brooks, were far superior to their Phillies counterparts. In the outfield, Paul Blair had few equals in any generation, Shane Victorino included. Frank Robinson was a good not great outfielder and it really doesn't matter who played left field for the O's, he was superior to Ibanez. Chooch is the only Phillies regular who is clearly better than anyone the Orioles had behind the plate.