Three Ways to Fix the Phillies

Big and I went to the Phillies’ game yesterday, a snooze of a game versus the Washington Nationals. The Phils’ were unable to figure out the Nationals’ pitcher, Shawn Hill and his nasty sinker, and lost the game, snapping their 5 game win streak. The loss was not without suspense though as the Phillies were active in the bottom of the 9th, but in the end, unable to score more than one run thanks to Pat Burrell’s long, long, long sacrifice fly.

While at the game, three things occurred to me.

1.) Pat Burrell is the most misunderstood player on the field. In the fourth inning yesterday, when everything started falling apart for young Cole Hamels, a deep fly ball was hit to left. Burrell made a mild attempt at catching it, before letting it bounce off the wall. The crowd ran wild with boos. How could he not even try? I thought. The ball then bounced off the wall and back to a waiting Burrell, who then turned and threw what look like a Johnny Damon-like roller towards second base. The crowd at this point was a cage full of merciless grizzly bears, yelling and screaming at Burrell. That was until we realized that his throw was right on the money and nabbed the Nationals’ player, who was trying to stretch the hit into a double. It was then I realized that Burrell might be infinitely wiser than any of us could imagine. He could’ve taken a stab at catching the ball, but he would’ve missed, and then he would have had no chance at nabbing the guy at second. But Burrell was steps ahead of the rest of fools. I turned to Big and pointed at my head.

“Pat Burrell, man. He is smarter than each and every one of us,” I said.

2.) Welcome to Citizens Bank Park! The most relaxed park in America! Yesterday’s game was close, but not close in an intense way, but in a pitcher’s duel kind of way. Until of course, the three run sixth inning and then it seemed like we were all holding our breath, waiting for the Phillies’ to come back. But did any of us really believe that they could do it or were even capable of doing it? There is a severe lack of passion on that team and I sensed no urgency as the game went on. Even in the ninth, the intensity was not in comparable to the intensity Nails displays when she’s watching Everybody Loves Raymond reruns. The Phillies need a spark. At the rate they’re playing at now, there is no way they are a playoff team and sorry J Ro, not the team to beat in the NL East. If the Phillies were a sitcom, it’d be time for the special guest appearance from the Globetrotters or the addition of a new character like The Office has done with Ed Helms. I wonder what that Helms would have done instead of our Helms (Phillies’ third baseman Wes Helms) in the bottom of the ninth. He may have struck out too, but I imagine it would have been a lot more entertaining.

3.) I hate the Washington Nationals. And yes, so should you. While we were sitting there, I asked Big if he could name two players on the Nationals. He looked at me like I was asking him the exact content of a hot dog. The Nationals are annoying. They’re no good, their uniforms are boring, and the best part of their team, Frank Robinson, isn’t even around anymore. Yet there they were, getting the best of the Phillies, a team that is supposed to be ten times better than them. I hate the Nationals. I hate the Nationals in the same way I hate posers, Carlos Mencia, and parking tickets. I wondered what it would take to get other people thinking the same thing. The Nationals would be a perfect rival for the Phillies. I think it would be in everyone’s best interest if we eased up on the Mets and Braves for the next few years, and focused our energy on a team that is more on our level. And if you’re looking for reasons to hate them, I’ve started a list.

3a.) They used to be the Expos. The Expos were from Montreal, which is a French-speaking area in Canada. Yes, French. I believe there is something in the Patriot Act that states that it’s our duty as Americans to hate the French. I think if any team and it’s fans should adhere to this policy, it would be us.

3b.) The Nationals are just another example of America’s failed foreign policy. Washington commandeered the team and has since tried to Americanize them, but so far it hasn’t worked. The Nationals are like Egypt. Major League Baseball has given the money, players, etc., all with the hope of having a good new team in our nation’s capital. But so far, the only thing the Nationals have produced is Chad Cordero, and now they are trying to pawn him off on someone and asking way too much for him. The Phillies owe it to America to routinely destroy the Nationals.

3c.) I don’t like Nationals’ outfielder Ryan Church because of how he argued with the umpire and used his bat as a pointer. He looked ridiculous. I also don’t care for Ryan Zimmerman (how he wears his socks) Dimitri Young (he should be a lot better) and…well that’s it. I don’t know other…no! Rafael Beliard. I don’t like him either…but I have no reason. Sorry.

The following three reasons have been submitted by Chivalry Jay from Boston:
1.) They’re not called the Senators. If they were going to have a team in Washington again, then they should be called the Senators. Not the Nationals. It’s just stupid.
2.) They wouldn’t pay Alfonso Soriano and that’s messed up. They had one of the best players in baseball, someone to build a team around, and they let him go. It’s just wrong.
3.) They’re stealing fans and money from Baltimore, a city that could use the money ten times more than Washington. (This is actually the essence of Jay’s argument, that basically Baltimore is a far better city than Washington and any fan of baseball in the mid-Atlantic should obviously be an Orioles fan.)

While I don’t know what the future holds for this year’s Phillies, I do know that with the installation of a new nemesis (the Nationals), the glorification of a new hero (Pat Burrell) and the escalation of intensity at Citizens Bank of both the players and the fans, and things could get a lot better.
Trust me. I would never let you down.*

*Unless you happen to my devoted fan Colin, who I apparently never let up enough to eventually let down. Them’s the breaks.

1 Comment so far

  1. COLIN (unregistered) on April 28th, 2007 @ 8:41 am

    Bravo Ryan! I enjoyed reading your blog. It was great. You’re great. Sorry I went through an angry comment phase. It was a trying time in my life and I unfortunately took it out on you. I’m so over that. Keep up the good work!

    Smiles and hugs.

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