Well, there’s good news for the people in the Commissioner’s Office and bad news for the people in the people at the Commissioner’s Office. The good news is that, the way things are going, they may be able to avoid the unpleasant ordeal of sitting through another game at the Trop. The bad news is, less games, less revenue. Though, if it ends up being a short series, they can always take comfort in the fact that nobody’s watching anyway. And who could even begin to understand why? It’s the Devs and the Phils for Chrissakes. We got Hamels the Hammer on the mound tonight, Ryan Howard has finally remembered how to use his bat, and Chase Utley? Well, it doesn’t even matter what the hell he does cuz that guy is just adorable. And…
And I’m falling asleep as I write this post.
I guess there was what might you might call some dramamine last night. Some beef over a tag at third. The Devs got screwed. Maddon put the mad into Maddon. In the end, the margin of victorino was so great—10-2—that it was of little consequence. Just add it to the ever-increasing list of weird events and craptastic calls that have been hovering over this series since that non-balk call in Game 1. But strangely all of this excitement has done nothing to make the Fall Classic even remotely more interesting. In fact, I kind of feel like the word "classic" shouldn’t even be used when referring to this series. Let’s just call it the “Phall Phorreal?”
However, things did start to genuinely heat up a little bit last night when Maddon went and accused Blanton of keeping pine tar underneath the brim of his hat. According to mlb.com, “He [Blanton] flashed an impressive slider with sharp movement, striking out both Evan Longoria and Carl Crawford on the pitch. The movement, combined with a visible discoloration on the top of the bill of Blanton's cap, gave the Rays reason to try to put two-and-two together.”
Gave the Rays reason to try to put two-and-two together?
First of all, what? Second of all, seriously, mlb.com, just say the word, and I’ll send along my resume.
Blanton had this to say in his defense: "It's nothing. They rub the balls up with whatever they rub them up with, and you rub it up and get it on your hand. I'm constantly trying to get moisture, and just touch my hat. It's nothing sticky. Anybody can go touch it. It's basically just dirt from the ball that gets ... over time, over so many starts, I don't change my hat. It just gets rubbed on the hat."
OK. First of all, ew. Second of all, I get that when you’re being interviewed by the press—particularly when it’s about an accusation that you have been cheating—it’s stressful. Hard to think on your toes. But, as a rule, try to avoid all sentence structures involving the phrase “They rub the balls up with whatever they rub them up with.” I mean, seriously, Blanton. You want to talk about how you did or didn’t go all Kenny Rogers on a baseball and all you could think to say was: “They rub the balls up with whatever they rub them up with”? Nothing against, Blanton, but that guy’s got brains like tits.
Manuel jumped to Blanton’s defense saying, "But if you look at my hat, see right there, it's got the same kind of stuff he's talking about. That right there is the fact that I haven't changed hats all year."
First of all, ew. Dude. Superstition shmuperstition. That’s disgusting. Second of all, if you insist on not changing your hat all year, don’t go showing people your nasty head funk. They don’t want to see that.
Anyway, leaving aside all this “excitement” about who is rubbing their balls and where, the reality remains that Tampa Bay might be heading South for the winter on the soon side if they don’t pull it together. We all knew that the Phils were a more likely bet for this series. As I said the other day, it was pretty much just a matter of someone lighting a fire under the offense’s pujols. And it appears to have finally happened for them. Rollins and Howard have been the real offensive heroes in the last couple of games. In Game 4 alone Howard homered twice and drove in five runs and Rollins got three hits and scored three runs. Utley has also contributed to the hit parade with a couple of dingers, starting the whole thing off with a dinger during his first at-bat in the first inning of the first game of the Dance. Again, not that it matters. Cuz he’s just so darn adorable. Like David Wright. But playing for a city that less people care about. So he doesn’t get the deals with Vitamin Water.
Now, I won’t begrudge the Phils their impending win, despite the fact that I have been pulling for the Devs. The fact is that, at the moment, they’re really the team that’s earning it. And, yet, there remains a compelling reason to cheer for the Devs to overcome the odds and pull a come-from-behind victory out of their hats. It’s that I think I’ll shoot myself in the face if I have to read thirty different variations of the headline “Clock Strikes Midnight on the Rays” the morning after they have been defeated once and for all. And believe me; it’s gonna happen. That headline is like the denouement that sports columnists everywhere have been waiting for. It's like a sickness. They must know that it's the wrong thing to do, and, yet, they can't seem to help it.
However it pans out, let’s hope that, one way or another, this thing gets at least a little bit interesting. And that it lasts just a little bit longer. True, it’s boring and awful and doesn’t involve any team that I remotely care about. But it’s sort of like that bad relationship you stay in because you’d rather have a bad relationship than no relationship. All things being equal, I’d rather have this baseball than no baseball.
Beats spending the winter with Farvil.