Jealous of the #Cubs

Editor’s Note: This isn’t exactly in the spirit of Christmas, but what the hey.

How could I not be jealous? Sure, they haven’t won a World Series since 1908.

But as a #Phillies fan, watching his favorite team slowly dip their toe in the swampy waters of Rebuilding River, it’s pretty easy to look at what the #Cubs have done and find myself becoming a Wrigley Wannabe.

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Here’s what they’ve done over the past couple years to build the should-be-contender they are today:

FRONT OFFICE

Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer leave the Red Sox (in 2011) to head up the Cubs front office, bringing their combined baseball genius.

They begin their work by drafting smarter and focusing on minor league player development. These efforts turn into big-time prospects Arismendy Alcantara, Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, C.J. Edwards, Kyle Hendricks and Jorge Soler — most of whom will be integral to the Cubs Renaissance — or as I’m calling it, the “Cubsaissance©®™.”

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MANAGER

Joe Maddon leaves Tampa Bay (in November 2014) to manage the Cubs.

Pretty much one of the best and most respected managers in the game heads to Chi-town, and why not? With a pretty tiny budget and not much of a fan base, the pride of Hazelton, Pa., managed six straight years of over .500 ball in the AL East — competing with big-spenders like the Yankees and Red Sox.

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WRIGLEY

The Friendly Confines are getting a new scoreboard with cool video functionality.

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THE BUILDING BLOCKS

So they’ve got 1B and SS covered with young talent in Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro. They have lefty pitcher Travis Wood (a 2013 All-Star) and righty Kyle Hendricks (who impressed in 13 starts last year). And Hector Rondon was a solid closer.

Then there’s the reclamation projects — fireballing Jacob Turner, reliever Pedro Strop, the big-time rebound that is Jake Arrieta, former Rangers high-level prospect Neil Ramirez, and Dan Straily (who won 10 games with Oakland in ’13). There’s even former Red Sock Felix Doubront, who throws hard and has won double-digit games twice. (And pitched in the postseason.)

And of course, the gems of the farm system. In addition to added-via-trade SS Addison Russell, there’s the great draft picks: OF Jorge Soler (power), IF Javier Baez (bat speed compared to Gary Sheffield), 3B Kris Bryant (POWER) and C/1B/OF Kyle Schwarber (moved up twice in his first year as a pro).

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2014 MOVES

Gonna bullet-point ’em for easy reading:

—Signed LHP Tsuyoshi Wada (1 yr, $4MM). He’s 33 and pitched nine years in Japan, but showed he can hang in MLB in 13 starts last year. A solid veteran option for the rotation. (More on the Cubs’ starting pitching below.)

—Traded two minor leaguers for C Miguel Montero. For the price of two not-top-prospects, they got a veteran leader behind the plate who’s solid on offense and defense. And a lefty-batting catcher, to boot.

—Signed RHP Jason Hammel (2 yrs, $18MM). Veteran righty innings-eater. Has signed with the Cubs twice as a free agent — the second time being after they traded him away last year to Oakland. So he wants to be there for sure. And his numbers were kinda awesome as a Cub in 2014. (8-5, 2.98 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 108 IP, 88H, 104K, only 23 BB.)

—Signed LHP Jon Lester (6 yrs, $155MM). Kinda surprising, but not really. The Red Sox didn’t make enough of an effort, Oakland doesn’t usually do the big signings (not very Moneyball), and I didn’t hear much of anything about the Yankees or other big spenders. OH, and ol’ Jon knows the front office guys pretty well from Boston. Which means he knows that there is winning in the future. (And $155 million is a nice incentive, too.) Here’s your #1 starter, Cubs fans.

—Signed RHP Jason Motte (1 yr, $4.5MM). And why not take a chance for that amount? This guy was a dominant reliever for the Cardinals, led the league in saves before Tommy John surgery, and has postseason experience. He’ll probably be a setup guy and serve as insurance for Rondon.

—Signed C David Ross (2 yrs, $5MM). Veteran catcher with a solid bat and hey wait, another Red Sox-connected guy who just happened to catch a whole lot of Jon Lester’s starts! Makes complete sense, and now they have a nice pair of experienced catchers who can hit, too.

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OVERALL

So it started at the top. New leadership with experience in building a winning franchise. They started with the draft and the minors.

When the time was right, they went and got a smart, creative and fan-friendly manager who led his teams to winning seasons despite big obstacles.

And now, the great young talent is starting to present itself. Some is already at the major league level, some will be arriving in 2015 and 2016.

Then they added a bunch of veteran leaders, a clear #1 starter and a deep pool of rotation candidates.

Boom. Contender. And if they’re smart enough (which they are), a possible dynasty. The window for the Cubs is open.

Rejoice, Northsiders. Pretty soon, you’re likely to be “Loveable Losers” no more.

And I’m freakin’ jealous.

LiveBlog: World Series Game 5 (part two)

9:07 p.m.: Done for the night. Gone celebratin’.

9:05 p.m.: Oh yeah, I forgot…first sports championship (excluding the always awesome Philadelphia Wings in indoor lacrosse and surprising Philadelphia Soul in arena football) since 1983.

9:00 p.m.: Where were you when it happened? Blogging, sitting next to my beautiful wife. And loving every minute of it.

8:59 p.m.: THE PHILLIES ARE WORLD CHAMPIONS!!!

8:58 p.m.: THAT’S IT! WHIFFS HIM ON A SLIDER! SCREW NETIQUETTE, I’M GOING ALL CAPS!!!!!!!

8:58 p.m.: Hinske tries to hold, can’t. Strike two.

8:57 p.m.: Hinske fouls off the first pitch. If it was me, I would have been taking.

8:56 p.m.: LINE OUT TO WERTH IN RIGHT – TWO OUTS!!! Zobrist did everything he could, hit a laserbeam to right.

8:55 p.m.: Hinske on deck, he hit a massive homer a few days ago against us.

8:54 p.m.: Stolen base, Perez. Tying run at 2nd. Argh. Is it normal to taste gastric juices?

8:53 p.m.: Ben Zobrist is up. Solid player, had surprisingly good offensive year.

8:53 p.m.: Pinch runner Fernando Perez is lightning fast. Very hard to get a double play now.

8:51 p.m.: Dioner Navarro is a very good-hitting catcher. Strike one. Next pitch, swing and a miss. Base hit. Dang.

8:49 p.m.: Ball two. Here comes the next pitch, fouled off again. Got him lunging! Popped up! One out!

8:48 p.m.: Longoria. Strike one. Love that slider. Fouls one off, strike two. Misses low and away, that’s fine – waste pitch.

8:44 p.m.: Full count pitch to Howard…whiffs. Oy. Here we go. Lidge Time.

8:43 p.m.: That was cool camera work – you could see Price’s eyes glance over to first base as Utley took off for a stolen base.

8:41 p.m.: Utley walks. Time for Ryan Howard to step up and be a hero.

8:41 p.m.: I don’t think Utley has had a good swing tonight. C’mon, Chase.

8:39 p.m.: Ah, the Curse of Billy Penn, as explained by Chris Myers. (Not nearly as cool as the curse of Babe Ruth or the Billy Goat that the Cubs have.)

8:39 p.m.: Werth whiffs looking. NEVER on my team! Five laps!

8:38 p.m.: Werth looks a bit overmatched, although he led the majors in HR against lefties.

8:37 p.m.: Ah, here comes the old-timey footage of “the last time a Philly team won a championship.”

8:37 p.m.: Not sure J-Roll should have been swinging on 2-0, leading off against Price. He flies out to left.

8:36 p.m.: Ah, David Price pitching for TB. He will either be awesome or horrible.

8:35 p.m.: You know what? I am most decidedly NOT a PC. After years of working professionally on Apple products, but personally (at home) on PCs, I can safely say that Apples give you less problems, don’t have stupid drivers, and are generally more fun to use. Maybe I’ll do an Unpaid Endorsement one day soon.

8:32 p.m.: Pena flies out to Bruntlett. We are three outs away. Holy crap.

8:30 p.m.: Carlos Pena is dangerous AND due for a hit. C’mon, J.C. Get ‘er done. Just one more out.

8:29 p.m.: DOUBLE PLAY – 6-4-3, Rollins-Utley-Howard. YES! Thanks, B.J. Upton.

8:28 p.m.: Dammit, I didn’t want to be right. Crawford singles. And he can fly, so a stolen base isn’t out of the question. However, stealing on a lefty is, as I recall from many years ago, not easy.

8:27 p.m.: Carl Crawford is always a very dangerous hitter. I fear him, although Romero appears to be “on” tonight.

8:26 p.m.: Bruntlett and the Best Beard of 2008 stay in the game to play left for Burrell.

8:23 p.m.: Romero grounds out. Top 8th coming up.

8:22 p.m.: Iwamura makes a crazygood defensive play to rob Ruiz of a single, getting a force at second. The second basemen today (him and Utley) have both made some amazing plays – Utley on a hard grounder up the middle, faked to first, and gunned down the runner trying to score.

8:20 p.m.: Pedro Feliz singles in a run! To all the naysayers who said he couldn’t hit when the Phillies signed him before the season – those of you who I argued with – nyah nyah nyah! Phils up, 4-3!

8:18 p.m.: Victorino grounds out to the right side, runner gets to 3rd. Solid job, fundamental baseball by Shane.

8:15 p.m.: OK, here’s what you missed (me blogging about) so far…

–Geoff Jenkins is a maniac. I love him. He doubled and scored to send the Phils up 3-2.

–Ryan Madson struggled and gave up a bomb to Rocco Baldelli, 3-3.

–Burrell led off the 7th with a double and they pinch-ran for him.

And that’s where we are so far.

LiveBlog: World Series Game 5

10:20 p.m.: Game suspended until tomorrow. That’s our luck, Phils fans. See you tomorrow.

10:09 p.m.: This is why I don’t watch the TV news. Murder, corruption, lying politicians. I prefer to get my news in blog form. (Kidding. Well, kinda.)

10:01 p.m.: Well, Dallas weatherguy says he thinks game will be cancelled, since rain should continue for several hours.

9:50 p.m.: I’ll take a break, too. Be back when the game’s back…

9:47 p.m.: Oh, they’ll go to local news. Guess that’s OK.

9:45 p.m.: Instead of more Buck and McCarver, can’t they throw on another episode of ‘Til Death starring Brad Garrett and J.B. Smoove?

9:42 p.m.: Oy vay, Rain delay. Now what?

9:40 p.m.: It would be so nice to see a different commercial than the same 12 we’ve seen between every inning of every World Series game.

9:39 p.m.: Get there, Shane! YES! Line drive caught. Three outs.

9:37 p.m.: Pena does exactly that – RBI single to left. Argh. Ulcer begins to form.

9:36 p.m.: I think in this rain, you’d have to hit a ball just perfectly to get it out of the infield.

9:35 p.m.: Upton steals second to render McCarver and Buck’s point useless. Thanks, B.J.

9:32 p.m.: Oh, McCarver, and now Buck too, you’re so dumb. “It robs a team of its talent.” So the Phillies don’t have speed? Rollins? Victorino? Werth? Utley? You’re nimrods.

9:30 p.m.: B.J. Upton would like to have that sweeping curveball back. Never mind, as he legs out a tough ground ball for a single.

9:29 p.m.: Just so you know, I loaded up my gas tank this morning for $2.23/gallon. And it actually went down to $2.21/gallon this afternoon.

9:28 p.m.: Iwamura goes down looking. I think the strike zone gets bigger as the umpire gets wetter in this heavy rain.

9:25 p.m.: OK, what can I say about this Ryan Howard/Subway commercial?

1–If I had written this, I would never admit it publicly.

2–I would never have him rhyming. SO LAME.

3–I always love how they can’t wear team logos in spots like this.

9:23 p.m.: My beautiful wife is completely asleep next to me. She’s been working long hours at her job, so I’m trying to type quietly.

9:21 p.m.: Joan Jett rocks. But you knew that. And so does HP, which is why they use her tune in their commercial.

9:20 p.m.: Just so you know, if you and I were sitting at the game together, you could be getting this scintillating commentary for free and live in person. (OK, it’s free here anyway.)

9:19 p.m.: Ruiz pops out. Triple D’oh!

9:18 p.m.: Apparently, Grant Balfour touches 124 MPH on the radar gun.

9:17 p.m.: Feliz is swinging at everything. That’s not going to get it done. And he pops out to first. Double D’oh!

9:16 p.m.: I wouldn’t mind a double down the line by Pedro Feliz. Just saying.

9:15 p.m.: Shane Victorino pops out to left. One out. D’oh!

9:11 p.m.: They’re fixing the dirt on the mound. And they wonder why TV ratings for this Series have been some of the worst ever.

9:07 p.m.: That’s what’s weird about Burrell. He’ll hit for a decent average, pop 30 homers, knock in 100 runs, strike out 120 times and walk like 90 times, so his on-base percentage is usually quite good. But is he worth the $15 million/year or so that he’ll want in a new long-term contract? I guess somebody will pay it – I just wonder if it’ll be Philly.

9:06 p.m.: Burrell walks. Still 0 for 13, but we’ll let it slide.

9:05 p.m.: Pat’s 0 for 13 in the Series. Even the announcers are trying to reverse jinx him into getting a hit.

9:04 p.m.: The 3-2 to Burrell…fouled off. I’d like to take this moment to announce my deep and abiding love for Dos Equis beer.

9:01 p.m.: This is it. This is Pat Burrell’s moment. If he wants a big free-agent contract, he needs to do something special right here, right now.

9:00 p.m.: Does Kazmir dare throw a fastball to Howard? Well, if that was a heater, it was nowhere near the plate.

8:59 p.m.: The music that FOX uses during the “bumpers” sounds like it was composed for an awards show. I half-expect them to say “Welcome back to the 54th Annual People’s Globe Awards.”

8:57 p.m.: I would also REALLY appreciate another run or five, so I could breathe.

8:55 p.m.: As a former second baseman, I REALLY appreciate the amazing play Chase Utley just made.

8:54 p.m.: Top of the 5th. NICE pitch by Hamels to go ahead 0-2 on Bartlett.

8:53 p.m.: Oh Jimmy…couldn’t get that popup? At least you tried it with two hands…fundamentals!

8:51 p.m.: It’s 2-1, and it’s not nearly a big enough lead. Just hope Cole Hamels can keep it going.

8:49 p.m.: Chase Utley with the bases loaded, full count…grounded out. Darn!

LiveBlog: World Series Game 4

10:40 p.m.: I guess I really don’t remember much about the 1980 win. I don’t even know if I was watching, for Pete Rose’s sake. But thanks to the magic of the InterWebs, my views on this World Series will last for generations…until Keanu Reeves and the robot aliens destroy our planet.

10:39 p.m.: 2-2 again, Romero chews his gum…Baldelli whiffs! A 3-1 lead in the freaking World Series!

10:38 p.m.: 2-2 pitch…kids waving towels…Romero’s pitch…fouled off.

10:37 p.m.: Rocco Baldelli, huh. Not “Rocky” Baldelli. Some kind of weird irony that Rocco Baldelli could be the last out in the town where Rocky Balboa rules (fictionally).

10:36 p.m.: Bartlett goes down looking. Run a lap, son. Two outs, one to go.

10:35 p.m.: Bartlett – he’s a scrappy young infielder. Kind of like a young me. (Hold your laughter.)

10:34 p.m.: Ah, fielder’s choice. One out.

10:33 p.m.: Jeez, crappy error by Romero. Oh well, Philadelphians know nothing comes easy.

10:30 p.m.: 10-2 Phillies. What? No Lidge? Saving him, I guess. J.C. Romero is out there for the 9th. Guess it makes sense.

10:27 p.m.: We’re three outs from a 3-1 World Series lead. This is unbelievable.

10:25 p.m.: Ryan Howard. HUGE homer. Holy crap. Guess there won’t be too many more “choke”-related comments about him.

10:24 p.m.: It’s a magical night. And yet, I’m over at ESPN.com, reading their live blog, and I see Joe Maddon’s comments about Phillies fans:

Maddon’s only concern was with the treatment of his family members by the locals at Citizens Bank Park.

“If we could do something about that, throwing mustard packs at my granddaughter is not very cool. The other part about it I’m good with.”

And you wonder why I don’t always feel great when I claim to be a Philadelphia fan.

10:19 p.m.: Werth. Smack. Gone. There’s your insurance runs. 8-2, son.

10:17 p.m.: Rollins smokes a double. An insurance run or two would be nice…

10:02 p.m.: Not much has happened. Nice defensive play by Tampa Bay.

9:32 p.m.: Pat Burrell is slow, and he stinks. I will be glad to see him out of a Phillies uniform next year.

9:26 p.m.: Wow, McCarver just said something that was immediately proven true. Someone alert the Guinness people.

9:24 p.m.: 6-2 lead in the bottom of the 6th. Jayson Werth SMOKES a liner off the left-field wall for a double. YES!

9:21 p.m.: Joe Blanton f&*king rules. Great pitching and even the first homer by a pitcher since Jewish ace lefthander Ken Holtzman in 1974.

As we watch World Series Game 4…

…I’m reminded of how smart I am.

Just remember, fans, what I said about the Phillies’ starting pitching a few days back in my “Subjective Analysis”:

“STARTING PITCHER

PHI: Cole Hamels/Brett Myers/Jamie Moyer/Joe Blanton

TB: Scott Kazmir/Jamie Shields/Matt Garza/Andy Sonnanstine

ANALYSIS: The “experts” say Hamels is the best pitcher in the Series, and I agree. But I don’t agree with their assessments of the rest of these guys. They’re all over the Phils, saying they really have no depth beyond Hamels and that the Rays kids are flat-out awesome. Not taking anything away from them, they’re good and they faced tough competition all year in the AL East. I just think this matchup is closer than many might think – that there’s something to be said for Moyer’s experience and smarts, and Blanton’s ability to keep the ball down.

All that being said, I do have to give the Slight Edge to the RAYS.”

LiveBlog: World Series Game 3

12:48: I’m going to bed. It’s been a long night. But a good night!

12:47: Little chopper, going to be tough, Longoria can’t get it, Phils win!!! PHILS WIN!!!

12:47: Good eye, Ruiz takes outside. Count is 2-2.

12:45: Wow, that 96 MPH heater just blew by Ruiz.

12:44: Here we go, mi amigo Carlos. Bases loaded, no outs, bottom of the ninth. A run wins it.

12:42: So they’re going to walk Dobbs and have bases loaded with five infielders. If this works, Maddon is a genius. If it doesn’t, he’s a wackjob. Life is risk.

12:40: They intentionally walk Victorino. Maybe Maddon’ll do something weird here. Ah, maybe another intentional walk and a five-man infield. Sounds fun.

12:38: Holy Crap! Victorino tries to bunt, the pitch is wild, Bruntlett goes to second, bad throw to second gets away, Bruntlett gets to third with nobody out. He’s the winning run! LET’S GO!!!

12:37: I was kind of hoping that Maddon would make some really odd managerial move.

12:35: This Sprint “You want everything” romantic-movie-spoof is just horrible. It’s everything that’s wrong with television advertising. A bad, corny, cheesy premise and a big budget.

12:34: Bruntlett takes one for the team. Good job, son.

12:33: You know it’s a.m., so I’m not typing it any more.

12:32 a.m.: By the Beard of Bruntlett! C’mon, Eric!

12:31 a.m.: J.P. Howell still in there for Tampa? Not sure I like this move either.

12:29 a.m.: We need a hero. We could also use Bonnie Tyler singing “I Need A Hero.” Bottom of the 9th coming up.

12:28 a.m.: Buck messing with McCarver about his previous mistake (country of origin for Carlos Ruiz).

12:27 a.m.: Fans active now, waving those white towels (reminding me of surrender).

12:26 a.m.: Two down as Gross grounds out weakly to second.

12:24 a.m.: Heh heh. He just said “lefty on lefty.”

12:24 a.m.: OK, one out. Good job so far by Romero.

12:23 a.m.: I don’t like the way I feel about this game right now. And why are the fans not screaming? Is it too cold?

12:19 a.m.: Ryan Howard GOES DOWN LOOKING! Don’t these guys remember the FUNDAMENTALS??? Two strikes on you, and you SWING AT ANYTHING CLOSE! I can’t believe I’ve been reduced to using all caps. I’m tired and frustrated.

12:17 a.m.: Ryan Howard down in the count 0-2. Doesn’t look good.

12:16 a.m.: Some kind of crazy move, and Werth is picked off. Craptastic.

12:15 a.m.: Utley whiffs. Darnit! That pitch dropped off the table.

12:13 a.m.: Werth can fly for a tall dude. Steals second base, gets in scoring position with 0 outs.

12:09 a.m.: Utley Time. C’mon, Chase. Need a knock here.

12:08 a.m.: I have never stayed at a Holiday Inn Express. Guess I’m a dummy.

12:05 a.m.: Werth walks! Werth walks! Werth walks!

12:05 a.m.: I like Jayson Werth. He has the potential to go 25HR/25SB next year.

12:02 a.m.: Another re-make. The Day The Earth Stood Still. Keanu plays another alien or quietly weird character. More importantly, are there no new ideas in Hollywood?

12:01 a.m.: Ah, good work, J.C. Romero. Crawford Danger averted.

11:59 p.m.: Coming up on 1:00 a.m. for my Eastern time zone family/friends. Wonder how many are hanging in there.

11:56 p.m.: WHY OH WHY did Ruiz bother throwing? Upton was going to beat that. Oy freakin’ vay. Error, tie game.

11:56 p.m.: Not sure if “Eva” is a super-insulting chant, Phils fans.

11:55 p.m.: Upton steals, Longoria needs a single to tie. Ugh.

11:55 p.m.: You went, Pena! Strikeout!

11:51 p.m.: And Upton’s younger brother Justin is supposed to be as talented or more talented. Yikes.

11:50 p.m.: Wow, Upton can fly. C’mon, Mad Dog, roll two (that’s “induce a double play” for you non-infielders).

11:48 p.m.: Madson has a tough job here. Let’s go, Mad Dog!

11:46 p.m.: “There’s one thing…we’re nudists.” And the guy lets them in the car. Did he put down a blanket or something? And why the heck doesn’t he just say “Oh, never mind” and leave the dumbass naked balloonists to find their own way home?

11:45 p.m.: Jimmy Rollins. Why don’t you bunt, Jimmy? Lay one down, get on base again.

11:44 p.m.: Geoff can’t get ‘er done. Oh well.

11:41 p.m.: Geoff Jenkins! I like this move.

11:40 p.m.: Will you be leaving work for a break to get your free Taco Bell taco?

11:39 p.m.: I guess I should be grateful they haven’t shown the Rocky statue or Art Museum steps. However, I’ll retract that statement if I could see McCarver tripping and falling all the way down the steps.

11:38 p.m.: One more shot of the Liberty Bell, and I will vomit. Y’know, there are other things in Philly besides the Liberty Bell and the corner where Geno’s and Pat’s Steaks are.

11:36 p.m.: Not that there’s anything wrong with all these armed forces folks singing “God Bless America,” but didn’t this job used to belong to professionals?

11:35 p.m.: YES! K’d him! Great job, Scott.

11:34 p.m.: OK, Scott, put him away here. More outs, faster game, less McCarver.

11:33 p.m.: I appreciate Scott’s “underbeard,” as I like to call it.

11:32 p.m.: C’mon, Scott. Good pitch to start. Excellent.

11:30 p.m.: The difference is Drinkability? No, there really isn’t much of a difference, and some made-up word isn’t helping.

11:29 p.m.: Oy, a walk. I hate walks. Go get ‘im, Cholly.

11:28 p.m.: OK, groundout RBI makes it 4-3. Darnit, another one-run lead. It’s not enough. (It’s never enough.)

11:26 p.m.:This Christie Brinkley DirecTV spot has run approximately 475 times tonight. Luckily, I will always love the “This is crazy, this is crazy, this is crazy” line.

11:24 p.m.: Take a bow, Jamie…great job. Bullpen time.

11:24 p.m.: Fantastic play by Howard there.

11:23 p.m.: If Gabe Gross hits a 3-run bomb off Moyer, I’m driving to DFW, flying to Philly, and taking over as Phillies manager for the rest of the Series.

11:22 p.m.: And now the Rays are proving me right, as they’re knocking Moyer around a bit.

11:21 p.m.: Getting back to Moyer being allowed to pitch the 7th…I think that’s one of those Charlie Manuel moves. He sticks with his guy, and I get it. But the Phils’ bullpen is awesome.

11:19 p.m.: It’s so weird, how hittable Moyer’s pitches look. I mean, I’ve hit in a batting cage with 80 MPH pitches coming at me. And I got as high as D-III ball.

11:17 p.m.: CRAWFORD WAS OUT AT FIRST! ANOTHER UMPIRING MISTAKE! BRING ON THE ROBOT UMPIRES!!!

11:16 p.m.: Whoa – Moyer comes back out for the 7th? Not sure I’d do that.

11:15 p.m.: He IS the most interesting man in the world. (I love the Dos Equis spots.)

11:12 p.m.: Me gusto Carlos Ruiz.

11:10 p.m.: They just showed submarine-style pitcher Chad Bradford warming up for Tampa Bay. I get that that particular motion is much easier on the arm – then why don’t starting pitchers ever use it? It’s always relievers – Kent Tekulve, Dan Quisenberry, etc.

11:09 p.m.: A shout-out to Jamie Moyer for some awesome pitching tonight. He did his job beautifully, holding the Rays to just one run in six innings. Not bad for an almost-46-year-old.

11:08 p.m.: Ryan Howard…BOMB! (Guess he WILL hit again.)

11:07 p.m.: On the replay, Utley’s bomb looked like it went to the seats that my friend Marty and I used to have.

11:06 p.m.: Oy, Ryan Howard. Will you ever hit again?

11:05 p.m.: Chase Utley…BOMB! 3-1.

Pheelin’ Kinda Down: Game 2 Thoughts

–The Phillies REALLY need to get a hit with men in scoring position. This is ridiculous.

–The umpires have shown (and that Fox Trax or Trak or whatever has shown) that they are frequently wrong and totally replaceable. Weirdly enough, I think the Rays could have won Game 1 if the calls had been correct, while the Phillies had a shot at Game 2.

–I still hate Tim McCarver as an announcer. He may be a good guy or a decent family man or a soup kitchen volunteer, but he brings me no information or entertainment as a broadcaster.

–Didn’t Jimmy Rollins learn to bunt a couple years ago or so? How about being a sparkplug and getting on base?

–Pat Burrell’s next/last big contract is getting smaller with every at-bat.

–Maybe a sports psychologist needs to talk to the hitters.

–Brett Myers wasn’t good, but he wasn’t horrible.

–I really hope the home-field advantage works for us. If you’re reading this and going to one of the games, scream your head off. It’s your duty.

–I’d love to see Charlie Manuel do something crazy like Rays manager Joe Maddon does. Like bat Ryan Howard leadoff to get him more at-bats.

–I have a hard time believing that NL players who have “played” DH in the past few World Series have batted less than .100. What is up with that?

–I really like Joe Maddon’s postgame press conferences. He always has something interesting to say. I couldn’t believe he admitted he really didn’t know what the Phillies team was all about. Did he not watch any SportsCenter or Baseball Tonight ever? No game films after winning the ALCS? No scouting reports? And yet, he’s perfectly calm and cool about it.

–I think that if the Phils are to win this Series, they have to sweep all three at home. And I’m not sure they can do that.

–Jamie Moyer needs to step it up in what could be the biggest game of his career.

–People are still sleepin’ on Joe Blanton. I have faith in Big Joe.

–Philadelphia is getting a nor’easter this Saturday. (Here in Texas, we’re getting 80 and sunny. Just so you know.)