Friday, September 12, 2008

By Monday, Both The Mets And Phillies May Be Heading For The Playoffs

  • Phillies 6-Brewers 3:
The one game the Brewers had to win was last night's; everything else for the rest of this
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series was built on that. They had Ben Sheets going; they were facing a gutty, smart, but hittable pitcher in Jamie Moyer; and the Phillies were desperate and reeling knowing that they'd just lost two straight games to the Marlins and were in danger of falling five games behind the Mets in the loss column, which, last year aside, would have likely sealed their fate. Now it's official, the Brewers are in the midst of an implosion and they're going to miss the playoffs.
Despite the obvious flaws of the Phillies, they never quit. As was proven last year, they're going to fight until every last ounce of blood and sweat is left on the field; is the same true with a Brewers team that is taking on the same tight, petrified countenance of their manager, Ned Yost? After last night's favorable pitching matchup, the rest of the weekend is probably going to have at least two games in which the scores resemble something that would be analyzed on ESPN College GameDay instead of Baseball Tonight; and with the way the Brewers bullpen has detonated so many games, they're going to be in big trouble if it's close going past the seventh inning.
If Sheets wasn't able to hold down the Phillies lineup, what chance do the likes of Manny
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Parra, Dave Bush and Jeff Suppan have in Citizens Bank Park? The Phillies pitching isn't all that much better, but with Cole Hamels going tonight, they have the advantage; and Joe Blanton and Kyle Kendrick aren't going to just give in to the Brewers bashers; plus this is a case where Phillies manager Charlie Manuel's quick hook and overuse of his bullpen will be an advantage because the Brewers won't be able to win a battle of the bullpens.
The Mets have a Braves team that doesn't have the manpower or wherewithal to be able to win more than one game this weekend; if both the Mets and Phillies take care of business, both are going to be ahead of the Brewers and both are going to be in great position to make the playoffs.
And what of the Brewers? They're going to have some tough questions to answer after the deadline deal for C.C. Sabathia; after they were rolling along and looking not only like a team that was going to make the playoffs, but a team that was primed to do serious damage in the
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playoffs. I don't know any team that would want to have to deal with the prospect of Sabathia and Sheets in a short series as both are looking to pad their resumes to make even more money in free agency this winter. At this rate, with the Phillies and Astros right behind them and closing fast, they need their back of the rotation pitchers and powerful lineup to step up and carry them home; considering the way they're playing, it doesn't look like it's going to happen and this is to the advantage of both the Mets and Phillies, for whom the road to the playoffs may not have anything to do with one another after all.
  • I got the skillz to pay the billz and Canada's Most Wanted:
I suppose I'll take it as a compliment that so many Blue Jays fans who've gotten all riled
up over my cold-blooded and accurate assessment of their team of the past and future think I'm an embittered Yankee fan. If anything's an indicator of my writing skills and an ability to stay neutral, it's that. To adjust a quote Larry David from Curb Your Enthusiasm (before it got really annoying), "I do hate myself, but it has nothing to do with being Jewish!"; I'm embittered, but it has nothing to do with being a Yankee fan; in fact, I'm a Mets fan, for which I think I have an ingrained right to be embittered. Good thing I didn't say anything about the Maple Leafs. (Be on the lookout for the man on the right, he's extremely dangerous and devastatingly good looking.)
  • Governor Sarah Palin's interview with Charles Gibson:
The interview hasn't played yet, but the main points are already out in the media. The objective truth about the interview and Gov. Palin herself is that the country is running the risk
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of electing as the Vice President for a 72-year-old man what amounts to a pretty version of George W. Bush from the year 2000. Charming, likable and ingratiating herself to the religious right with conservative values, references to God and vague populist talking points, Gov. Palin stays on message to a remarkable degree while clearly knowing very little in depth of what she's talking about.
Those main points----war with Russia is an option to protect Georgia; she was quoting Abraham Lincoln during that speech in her church about God and the Iraq war; she hadn't the faintest idea what the "Bush Doctrine" is and what it entails----are frightening to those that are in stunned disbelief of the idea that she's capable of taking over as the President of the United States on a moment's notice.
Does she really believe that a war with Russia, which was avoided during all those years of the Cold War, is an option while this country's military is trapped in the Middle East? Is she suggesting military action to protect a small republic that is, in truth, of little import to the United States? Does John McCain believe that?
Is she expecting the public to think that she was studying the speeches of Abraham Lincoln to find quotes when referencing God as she discussed the Iraq war?
The sheer look of panic as her brain was searching for a way to stickhandle (let's use a hockey term for the hockey mom) her way around the question without having a viable answer or even a passing knowledge of what the "Bush Doctrine" is was frightening and painful to watch.
The slogan for the McCain/Palin ticket is "Country First". Is it in the country's interest to put a 72-year-old man into the oval office with another version of George Bush as his VP? As
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Barack Obama says, it's enough. Enough with the bullet points; enough with the populist speeches designed to attract the masses; enough with someone who doesn't know what they're doing and tries to pass off being able to "see Russia" from the Alaskan soil as foreign policy experience. And for those that are ready to say that she has as much experience as Obama, she doesn't. Obama has been running for president for almost two years now and, with all due respect, I find it very difficult to believe that Gov. Palin is as smart and skilled as Obama. There's a very real possibility that she'll have to step in and be president very quickly and that is something that cannot be risked.
I'm very concerned that the Obama campaign is not hitting back as hard as they should against the republican campaign strategy for fear of being labeled as "sexist". If anything should awaken the voting public of the danger of having someone with no experience whatsoever as a possible commander-in-chief, it should be the anniversary of September 11th.
Amid all the remembrances should be the scene of President Bush, sitting in that school classroom for seven long minutes after being informed of the attacks and not having the faintest idea of what to do. As much as it's been spun with varying stories of the president not
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wanting to alarm the children; of deliberating what to do next; of whatever reason they give for his lack of action and look on his face of sheer confusion and panic, does this country want to run the risk of putting another person of flimsy qualifications and questionable knowledge in that position? This has to be pointed out for what it is and the democrats have to take a page from the book of the republicans and point out these hard facts that the interview Gov. Palin hammered home.
The same mistake that the Gore campaign made against Bush cannot be made again. All along, I think the Gore people looked at then-Gov. Bush and thought that the public can't be taken in by this; they can't think that the Bush name recognition, support of the republican base and his likability will mask his complete
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inadequacy and unpreparedness for the job. They were outhustled; they underestimated the message of Bush as it was presented in simple and easy to understand well-articulated bullet points that were designed to attract swing voters who were sick of the Clintons. They shook their heads, shrugged their shoulders and thought, "no one's gonna buy this crap", and they lost. The Obama campaign is still in a great position, but they can't repeat the mistakes of the past by being gentlemanly, because if Hillary Clinton were on the ticket, the republicans sure wouldn't.

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