Philly Cheesesteak Or Just Plain Philly ……….?
Last season’s World Series if anything proved to me, that the American League will “remain dominant” this upcoming season ! And as it is MLB needs both leagues AL and NL to remain omnipresent and very competitive. The Philadelphia Phillies’ effort while gallant, you simply knew that the New York Yankees were on a mission of destiny. A fully replenished star laden roster merely made the outcome against the Phillies all the more inevitable.
Well the 2010 season has started and once again in the American League the Yankees are once again the prohibitive favorites to win their 28th World Series title. And though there’s a feeling that the Seattle Mariners and the Boston Red Sox may well be ready to challenge the American League pennant holder’s dominance . It’s really felt that they won’t pose a serious challenge to the Joe Girardi coached team . Any challenge forthcoming may well be from the National League and the teams therein.
Slideshow gallery . Click arrow to direct the viewing formation.
Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports
Philadelphia (AP)—Nate Robertson was just trying to keep up with his new Florida teammates.
Robertson followed Ricky Nolasco’s complete game Saturday by pitching four-hit ball into the seventh inning Sunday, leading the Marlins to their second straight win over the Phillies, 2-0.
“Big series win but there’s some pretty good arms here. It’s just about going out there and utilizing the talent that you got,” Robertson said. “It’s hard to follow an outing like Nolasco’s.”
Dan Uggla drove in both runs with a homer off Cole Hamels and a double and had three hits. He is 16 for 42 this season, but didn’t want dwell on his early season success at the plate.
“It feels good obviously but I’m not going to get too high or think about it or get too happy about it because I know this game’s a crazy game,” he said. “I’m just going to keep it simple.”
Making his third start for the Marlins after being acquired in a trade from the Tigers before the end of spring training, Robertson (2-0) weaved in and out of trouble, striking out four and walking four in 6 1-3 innings. Florida took two out of three in Philadelphia.
He ran into trouble in the second, working around three walks before Hamels flew out to left for the final out and then escaped another jam in the fourth.
After Jayson Werth reached on an infield single, Ben Francisco followed with a ground-rule double over the center field fence that held the lead runner at third.
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The Phillies have made it their theme to make a third successive appearance in the World Series. With Cliff Lee being a part of the Phillies’ postseason heroics last season and the pitching of this team amongst the best that there is in the National League. One had to believe that with the team acquiring the Toronto Blue Jays’ Roy Halladay. You simply had to believe that they would be on the cusp of something special. But seemingly, just when you thought the impossible wouldn’t happen , it simply happens. For some inexplicable reason the Phillies jettisoned Lee , by sending him the Seattle Mariners. A one two punch of Lee and Halladay would clearly have sent a shot across the bow of the New York Yankees, as well as the rest of baseball. But somehow the front office of the Phillies and that of GM Reuben Amaro Jr. are of the thought that the pitching roster would be better with just Halladay , without the addition of Lee being part of what one could only describe as highly charged and efficient. We know that this team’s offense is amongst the very best in both leagues. And led by first baseman Ryan Howard , Chase Utley , Jimmy Rollins , Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez . It’s easy to see why the Phillies have been successful over the last few years. Phillies’ manager Charlie Manuel has the respect of not only his peers , the players the fans and front office of the organization . But there has been a deep and wide respect for a manager who has gone about doing things the right way . He has rarely courted controversy over the course of his professional career. And the Phillies as an organization merely tries to keep it simple and in some way very much like a familial environment.
This season the Phillies have got off to a fast start and are amongst the best teams in baseball. Some people are easily impressed by numbers and will go out of their way to give you their impression as to how good a team is, merely five games into the season. The San Francisco Giants having gotten off to a fast start in the abominably inept NL West . And there’s talk because of that initial 5-0 unbeaten start they were to be reckoned with. I’d like to think also that first impressions count when you see a “hot looking chic” walk into a room. Unfortunately, once they open their mouth and speak , you get the tendency to realize what a mistake it was to think she was hot to begin with. Never mind the fact that she’d yet to fill the gap between her two front teeth. Ugly eh ? So much for the Giants being impressive ! They’ve fallen back to the pack almost as quickly Obama’s showing in the polls continues to take a slide.
The NL West remains the last bastion of “mediocrity” of baseball in terms of the sheer ineptitude. I not saying the teams there are overrated but simply put, very much like the AFC West and NFC West in the NFL . What passes for a competitive form of that respective sport within those divisions borders on being comical . But yet there are who would eschew the merits of the play within the divisions in question. If that is what one is use to , can you really blame them ?
The NL East and the teams thereof , are all looking to take down the now dominant Philadelphia Phillies. The Atlanta Braves , Florida Marlins , New York Mets and Washington Nationals are all of the belief that they’re in with a chance of doing so. The Atlanta Braves are riding high on emotion , with the fact that this will be Bobby Cox’s last season as a manager. The long time manager of the Braves over the course of his career has brought about a renewed vigor to the team . His coaching staff in large part has remained intact but some have departed to fill other positions around the league. There’s the anticipation that this year could be something special for the ballclub.. That comes about the expectations being heaped on the young phenom Jason Heyward and the fact that he’s become a fan favorite at Turner Field . Never mind the fact that he can hit the hide off the baseball and is equally adept in the field . But in all probability the division will be about who finishes as runners up to the Phillies. At best, the most that the second placed team can hope for is a wildcard berth into the playoffs for the postseason , if they’re able to win at least 85 games ! Anything short of that and they may well be on the outside looking in.
For Charlie Manuel and the Philadelphia Phillies this season could give them the chance to once again to atone for their failings in the 2009 World Series. Were a return trip possible wherein they’d once again meet the New York Yankees. Can you imagine that the outcome would be the same were the Phillies to have both Lee and Halladay pitching for them in such a series ? Alas, it’s not to be and it is something that we won’t see. But the thought does come to mind as to what might’ve have been doesn’t it ? Well at least in my eyes it does !
Alan Parkins aka tophatal
Sting …………”Englishman In New York”