Saturday, October 11, 2008


The Chad Billingsley of the NLDS Game 2 fails to arrive in Philly for this second game

Ben, Brian, everyone-- Ah, baseball, it is a fickle mistress, fer sure. (Can an “it” be a mistress? Just asking that question kinda freaks me out.) And that's part of what's fun and fascinating about it, I think. (Not the freaking out part.) While I was prepping at the end of the school day on Friday, my supervising teacher and I turned on Game 2 in her room just in time to see the Dodgers go from two down (4-2) to six down (8-2). Oof. In the time it took my daughters and me to walk home, the Dodgers were back in it thanks to Manny's three-run blast. But despite two very close calls from Casey Blake and Nomar Garciaparra it was just not to be-- Blake's long center field out might have been a homer in Dodger Stadium, or if he'd it anywhere other than the deepest part of Citizen's Bank Park, and the score would have been tied; and Nomar could have tied the game in the bottom of the ninth with one of the patented dramatic knocks he comes up with every so often, but instead he whiffed. Final: 8-5 Phillies.

A three-run differential numerically accounted for, as you intimated, Ben, by Brett Myers' (I'll say it) unusual performance with the bat. On the mound he was as I expected-- solid, but vulnerable, and even Lidge allowed men on base that had Philly fans very nervous a couple of times down the stretch. But, geez, Myers gets one hit all year, and then suddenly turns into C.C. Sabbathia at the plate and gets three hits for three RBI? What the hell?! Now, that's a clutch performance. Nice job, Brett. I'll give Philadelphia all the credit in the world for making this an exciting series from a pure baseball standpoint-- two hard-fought and relatively close games so far, and though I'd prefer it were 1-1, there's little choice but to take the 2-0 disadvantage and expect better given that the teams are now on their way back to Los Angeles. The Dodgers don’t look weak-kneed, so there's no reason t think they will go quietly, if at all, on their home field. And yes, I will be there on Wednesday to cheer them on.

For the deep thinking about the series so far, it’s hard to beat Jon Weisman’s analysis—he’s a Dodger fan, but he’s not a wild-eyed homer. (I'm looking at you, Rex Hudler.) He’s willing to take the hard look while letting his passion for the team come through, and he always has excellent conversations with his readers too. No better place, I think, to stay in tune with what’s happening in the NLCS than Dodger Thoughts, if you’re a Dodger fan, that is. (Jon is taking a break after Game 2, but keep an eye on those comments—there’s only about 1,200 of them since Game 1.)

Huge game on Sunday. Hope it’s another great game of baseball, and a lot more fun than the first have been. Go, Blue!


Anonymous said...

I'm with you, Dennis, let's hope the Dodgers put together something a little better they were able to yesterday. So excruciating! (Especially given their performance in the NLDS.) And the ever phlegmatic Joe Torre just standing there with that seemingly dyspeptic look on his face! Would that he'd once--just once!--look like he has more than one demeanor. Anyway, psyched for the game and hoping that the pitching staff can put together a full nine.

Brian Doan said...

Dennis, I admire your cheer and equilibrium while watching your Dodgers-- I could never be that calm about a sports team I love, but I really admire your calm perspective. I think the Dodgers will make a series now that they are coming home to LA.

Can't wait to hear more about the classroom-- what you wrote in the previous post's comments section sounds great!

And in response to something else you said in that comments section-- if you can make it, definitely catch LOLA MONTES before it goes-- it's spectacular, esp. since I know you love Ophuls.

Sports Blogging Guy said...


You've got support from one member of red sox nation. I want to see Manny make it to the Series and stick to the sox, with big hit after big hit. They deserve it. This ownership has been trying to get Manny out of town since they bought the team. They've hated Manny from day one because they wanted him to be Tom Brady. White, clean cut, does everything by the book.

Manny's a hitting god and will get on these torrid streaks for weeks at a time. He's as hot as i have ever seen him for as long as i've ever seen it.

just gotta squeeze out game 3 and get back in this thing. Luck was just not going your way in game 1. You need to spare the rest of the world the Phillies in the world series. i think their most compelling story is that Brett Myers treated the baseball like his wife in game 2 when he was at the plate.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

SBG: Welcome! I've resisted thinking that your explanation for the Manny problem in Boston might have anything to do with, shall we say, "appearances," all the while suspecting there might be something to it anyway. This was, after all, the last MLB franchise to integrate in the wake of Jackie Robinson, and while Theo Epstein and company can't be held responsible for that, the ripples can seem to be felt up through their newly acquired transformation from "idiots" to Yankee-style business majors. And certainly their role as enablers in the escalating antics of Manny Ramirez can't be underplayed.

I certainly like Manny's chances against Jamie Moyer and am looking forward to lots of action in the bottom half of the innings, balanced by plenty of strikes and tight-and-inside pitches to get the Phillies rocking on their heels in the top halves. This could be a ton of fun!

Sports Blogging Guy said...

Yeah, it's definitely a part of it, but don't expect to get any local media confirmation on this. the Red Sox own everything. It's like communist controlled local media. Let's see, the red sox and Boston Globe have the same ownership. The sox have consistently used the Globe and certain loyal writers whenever they need to get a hatchet job written on somebody. whether it was pedro, johhny damon or manny, they have the writers ready to throw whomever they need to under the bus.

and then there's the wildly popular highest rated sports station in the world, WEEI. Not only do they broadcast the Sox games and never have a harsh word for ownership or management, but one of their primary hosts shares time broadcasting sox' games in the radio booth.

the radio in particular has been railing against manny with arrogance and derision for years, and since they traded him, it has been non-stop. even in the middle of the playoffs, it's actually quite amazing to witness in person.

if manny and the dodgers can pull off the improbable, these yahoos with their agendas will have nothing to say for months. it will truly be beautiful. this is why it must happen.

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