Monday, October 27, 2008

You Can't Spell "Phanatic" w/o "Panic"

Have Philadelphians forgotten -- and, failed to embrace -- the concept of how rainy Philly nights interacting with postseason baseball are THE kiss of death in their beloved city of brotherly love?

After all, Karen Carpenter sang something about how rainy days and Mondays always get her down ... yet, she died before we could get her reaction to rainy Mondays and World Serieses.

The postponement of Game 5 -- and the subsequent overturning of cars and shattering of storefront windows -- is exactly that and nothing more.

A postponement.

Which is why this definitely is NOT the time for a full-scale Phanatic Panic ... definitely NOT the time when we collectively piss our pants and moan about conspiracy theories which will sabotage this Series and direct it back to the Land of the Cowbell for a "phatephul" Game 6 and Game 7 which'll culminate with a Feb. trip to the White House whereupon Pres. Obama will proudly display his Stingrays shirt with the OBAMA 1 on the back).

Lest we forget, this Phillies team has gone against convention from the get-go, so there's no need to dial up that rainy Oct. Sat. night in '77 -- the day after "Black Friday" -- when Commissioner Kuhn put his Bowie-approved, smiley-face stamp on Game 4 and allowed Lefty to pitch in the downpour.

Likewise, there's no need to rewind to that cold n' drizzly n' bleak Oct. Weds. night in '93 when a 14-9 lead went down the drain.

And, there's definitely no reason to summon FOX's Chris Myers & His Cartoonish Voice as he utters, "It's always sunny in Philadelphia? I guess not ... " (add the creepy, uncomfortable, please-don't-kick-my-ass laugh ... ).

This is a unique situation and, yes ... it was shameful that Colbert was asked to get back on the mound in the top of the 6th as the infield dirt was turnin' to Malt-O-Meal.

A reasonable person could reason, quite reasonably, that if the game is to be played in conditions so miserable that Hamels cannot grip the ball for his best pitch (the cuveball), then the Stingrays should be ordered to hit while using rolled-up newspapers as bats (which some of them are, anyway).

The argument: "It was rainy and dismal for BOTH teams" doesn't (ha ha) hold water because if ya tossed a toddler into a pond with an aligator, well ... it's wet for human AND reptile, so get over it!

Look ... everybody realizes that an unusual development overseen by a spineless commissioner who still hasn't initiated vital legislation which would justifiably de-enshrine Eppa Rixey, Old Hoss Radbourn and Pud Galvin from the Hall of Fame is problematic on its face.

However, this is no time to go all Warden Norton when he finds Andy Dufresne's cell empty for the morning count.

"Let's ask that cupcake on the wall," he says, glancing over at the large photo of Raquel Welch in her famously revealing cavegirl outfit on the movie poster for "One Million Years B.C."

Warden Norton (raising his voice):"What say you, fussy britches?! (Quietly) "Oh ... don't feel like talking?" (turns to Red and the two guards) "I'll tell ya what this is ... it's a conspiracy, that's what it is!" (begins throwing the little rocks which he swiped from Andy's window sill) "And everybody's in on it!"

Now, before we go out and buy that poster of Raquel and use it to cover the hole we'd dug in the wall so that we could tunnel out of our existing lives, let's consider our options.

A) Play the blame game.
B) Continue to exhibit the same stoic nature that we did during the month of September and thru the playoff series wins over the Brew Crew and Dodjerk Blue.

If we get all impulsive and reactionary, before ya know it, we're on the telephone, leaving nasty messages on Scott Rolen's answering machine.

Or we're insta-messaging Scott Rolen and booing him and telling him that his hustle, skill and all-out play for shitty Phillie teams is why we're in this mess, et ceterea, et cetera, et cetera ...

If only Larry Bowa and Dallas Green had hugged Scott more ... and not called him a "red ass" or spouted some nonsense about he needs to focus more on the game, blah blah blah ... have another Scotch, Greenie.

Note: Some of us spend lengthy rain delays raging against the way that Scotty Rolen was run outta town by loudmouths and boobirds ... which wasn't much different than what happened to Bobby Abreu ... because Phillie Phan doesn't always understand that productivity doesn't always have to be accompanied by a fist-pump and a scream of "fuckin'-A!" every time a guy does something ... a guy CAN be a Gold Glove third baseman or a 30/30 performer without chest-thumping ... but, then again, if he doesn't yell "fuckin'-A!" as he hits a homer, Phillie Phan will think Ballplayer X doesn't care ... but, if they wanna boo somebody who doesn't care, they need walk only as far as the Phillies broadcast booth in order to boo Larry Andersen, who, if he gave a shit about what he was doing behind the microphone, he wouldn't sound like a frickin' drunk who's been doin' that job for less than three weeks ... jeez, it's difficult to believe that such a super-doofus gets a paycheck for airwave incoherency ... )

Now, THAT was a nice rainy-night rant ...

Speaking of broadcasting mastery ("hey, just 'cuz ya got a mike in your hands, that don't make ya no broadcaster -- just as when ya have a mike in yer mitts in the karaoke bar, that don't make ya no singer ..."), there was a priceless moment when the tarp was stretched across the infield for the final time tonight when America thought it heard Joe Buck say something about how, if Tampa Bay hadn't scored the tying run in the top of the 6th against Cole Hamels, the game would've been suspended with the Phils winning, 2-1, and, if the game had been called a rainout (possibly anywhere between 2:38 a.m. EDT and 5:02 a.m. EDT), the rain-shortened victory would give the Phillies the world title.

That's an excellent example of Joe Buck when he huffs floor wax that his papa (god rest his soul) left in the cabinet under the kitchen sink.

Everybody knows that the Commissioner is a frickin' nitwit -- but he sure as hell wasn't going to allow the World Series end the way that Buck described.

While Bud did allow an All-Star Game to end in a tie ... and while he hasn't lifted a finger to de-enshrine Eppa Rixey, the guy's not a total stooge.

If it HAD worked out as Joe suggested it might, Little Billy Phillie Phan in Bryn Mawr might've gone to bed at 11:30 not knowing the fate of his beloved Phils ... and when he awoke at 7:30 on Tues. morning, Mom n' Dad (if Dad's still in the picture) could've instructed him to hurry downstairs because there was a wonderful treat in the living room -- and, to his utter delight, Billy would've rubbed his eyes to discover that Mom n' Dad had used a red Magic Marker on a white t-shirt to write: "Philadelphia Phillies 2008 World Series Champs."

"It's just until the World Series champion apparel arrives at Sports Authority in a few days, honey."

Alas, there would be no jolly St. Selig to fill Little Billy Phillie Phan's stocking with candy canes, a So Taguchi autographed batting glove and a world championship.

What this weather nonsense means is that an undecided Game 5 is takin' a little bit of a detour.

Hey, after spending Sat. and Sun. nites chainsawing through 93 years of Game 3/Game 4 bad karma (let's say it together: 0-2 in 1915 ... 0-2 in 1950 ... 0-2 in 1980 ... 0-2 in 1983 ... 0-2 in 1993 ...), a slight breather right now affords everybody the chance to over-think which storefront windows will get smashed and which cars will get tipped over.

For those of us who wear a Phillie red cap with a Detroit Red Wings sweatshirt, we can comfort everybody by re-telling how Hockeytown was less than 40 seconds from winning The Cup at home until the Penguins tied the score w/ 35 seconds to play and then forced a Game 6 back in Pittsburgh.

Rather than fall to pieces, the mighty Wings regrouped and went about their beeswax the way one might expect -- getting the game's first goal when Brian Rafalski ricocheted a shot or a pass off of Hal Gill's leg and into the net before the official "clinching" goal was scored by Henrik Zetterberg when his stoppable shot was blocked by Marc-Andre Fleury who then fell on his buttocks and pooped the puck across the goal line.

Now, THAT'S a championship recipe ... and maybe it's something the type of fun/insanity that the Phillies can cook up.

Once they resume this thing ...


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