Baseball needs the Phillies to win tonight!

Wet down your hair and WIN this thing!

Or at least, you know, I do.

As y’all may know, this is the only time of the year that I care about sports, so it’s pretty essential. And who could possibly care about a World Series between… the Texas Rangers (and not the Texas Rangers we used to cheer for in the old Westerns) and… I dunno, some team named for a type of rattlesnake?

Whereas the Phillies — well, they’re like, maybe, my third or fourth favorite team in baseball. When I was a kid I used to cheer for the St. Louis Cardinals, featuring Lou Brock, Curt Flood, Joe Torre, Bob Gibson and Tim McCarver, who — unknown to me at the time — would later be my cousin-in-law. But then, after I married his first cousin, Tim played for the Phillies. So, you know, they’re right up there.

Aside from that, they’ve been around since 1883. They’re a real professional baseball team. If anything in our troubled country is about tradition, it’s baseball. It really brings out my Tory sensibilities. I mean, when you’re talking baseball, I’m practically a Jacobite.

Of course, if you want to get all philosophical, in a fair and just universe, the Phillies wouldn’t be in it, either. In fact, there would be no “it” to be in. It’s obvious that the Braves are the rightful owners of the National League pennant (and the Orioles of the AL’s). I mean, consult the standings. There should BE no playoffs, unless two teams have tied records in the regular season. And nobody was even close to the Braves.

But there are playoffs. And now, since in a degraded America there is no baseball on any station I get on my TV until October, I confess that I’m a bit invested in them.

And the Phillies need to be in the World Series.

Hey, don’t listen to me. Check this piece from The Washington Post this morning: “The Phillies are what makes October baseball great. Can they win Game 7?

Consider some wisdom from that piece:

Here’s the thing: the 84-win Diamondbacks may be a nice team with some nice players. That’s cute. The Phillies? They have stars. They have thump. They make noise…

And therefore, the Phillies must not miss this opportunity:

It’s an opportunity that is important for Major League Baseball. Officials there can’t and won’t and shouldn’t say this, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true: It’s better for baseball if the Phillies win Tuesday. It’s better for baseball if the Phillies are in the World Series.

This is nothing against these Diamondbacks. “That’s a good team across the way,” Schwarber was quick to acknowledge. Corbin Carroll is the presumptive NL rookie of the year. Merrill Kelly, who shook off a shaky two-walk first inning to allow only one run in five frames, forms a nice tandem with Zac Gallen atop the rotation. Marte, who followed his triple off Nola with an RBI single in the seventh, is a dangerous switch hitter with, as Nola said, “lightning-fast hands.” They’re not bad….

This is about these Phillies and this time for their sport. The Phillies have Bryce Harper. The Phillies have Schwarber. Those two alone have combined for 10 bombs this postseason, several of the you’re-kidding-me variety. They did next to nothing Monday night. Their at-bats are must-watch….

For a sport that spends too much time having to prove or justify its popularity — or stave off the overblown narrative that it is “dying,” something that supposedly has been happening most of this century — it would be best served by having the best, most recognizable players playing the games deepest in October. In the National League, that’s unquestionably the Phillies….

I’d quote more, but the Post‘s lawyers are probably pounding on my door as you read this, crying out “Intellectual property! Intellectual property!”

Well, I’ve got your intellectual property right here… and I’m trying to share it with my readers. (Who knows? Maybe they’ll become subscribers.)

They, too, need to know what is at stake. They need to understand that the Phillies must win tonight. For the game. For baseball. For tradition. For America…

Got it?

6 thoughts on “Baseball needs the Phillies to win tonight!

  1. DougT

    I hate the Phillies…and Eagles. I hate Bryce Harper, Greg Luzinski, Lenny Dykstra. Well, I did like Johnny Callison and Richie Ashburn and Dick Allen. I always pulled for the Yankees and NY Giants so I had to hate Philly teams. Though my Irish great grandparents came over and settled in 1860’s Philadelphia, I hate their sports teams.

    So there’s that.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Sort of the way I am about the Astros.

      Good thing you weren’t with us at Fenway that one glorious night last summer. You wouldn’t have enjoyed watching the Sox beat the Yankees the way I did… 🙂

      But I don’t have any pronounced hostility toward the Yanks. I save that for the Astros.

      Which gives me a slightly warm feeling toward the Rangers. I maybe build on that in the coming days, and cheer for them to beat the rattlesnake guys…

  2. Brad Warthen Post author

    Well, so much for that!

    So America’s game takes another step toward irrelevance.

    For my own part, well, it serves me right for allowing myself to be lured away from the main point, which is that we shouldn’t have playoffs. And if we’re going to have playoffs anyway, there certainly should be no opportunity for “wild cards” to go to the World Series.

    The Atlanta Braves earned the National League pennant this year — and had it taken from them by the playoff system.

    Baseball is supposed to be about earning it, day after day, over the course of a season. It’s about showing up and doing the job, day after day, month after month. If everything can depend on this game, or that game, or even four out of seven games, then it might as well just join football in the spectacle-obsessed campaign of eroding American character.

    So much for the Big Picture, and Right and Wrong in the Great Scheme of Things.

    Personally, I’m now faced with the issue of whether I’m going to watch the World Series. Which isn’t the real World Series, of course (see what I said earlier), but at least it’s baseball. And as you’ve heard me whine before, my TV doesn’t pick up any baseball until this time of year.

    So I suppose I’ll give it a try. And see if I can take any interest in it…

  3. Bryan Caskey

    The Diamondbacks may not have the star power of the Phillies, but they do play a fun brand of baseball. Both the D-Backs and the Rangers have some great young players.

    There’s also a Gamecock connection: both teams have a Gamecock baseball alumnus on their team. Jordan Montgomery has been pitching well for the Rangers lately, and Christian Walker has been a solid power hitter for the D-Backs all year. No matter what, one Gamecock will be bringing home a World Series ring.

    Yeah, the Braves were dominant all year. I also like the old fashioned idea of having the two teams with the best record play in the World Series, but the baseball playoffs are now a little more “democratic” and give more teams a chance to play in the post-season. Also, I can’t complain too much. The Braves had a chance just like everyone else, and they weren’t playing their best baseball when it came time for a playoff run.


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