‘Cuse Me: Um, Yankees, TBS, Can the Phillies Play Now?

October 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Fan News

I saw and heard the strangest thing early Monday morning.

At about 2 a.m. EDT Monday, I saw a stadium full of about 50,000 people strangely quiet. No, I did not wake out of a sound sleep. It was not a religious function and the preacher was giving a sermon.


It was a freakin’ baseball game.

Much of the East coast was asleep, my wife was asleep, my daughter, who didn’t have school the next day, went to bed in the fifth innning and my cat was asleep.

The quiet on TV? It was dismayed Rockies fans who watched Houston Street give up the go-head run in the top of the ninth inning.

Ryan Howard’s sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth inning, at nearly 2 a.m. EST Monday, gave the Phillies a 6-5 win over the Colorado Rockies to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-three NLDS series.

“Big sigh” my buddy texted me at 2:15 a.m. Monday, Oct. 12 after the last out of the game.

To say the least, he is not a big Brad Lidge fan anymore. Lidge followed the Phillies go-ahead run in the top of the ninth by allowing the tying and go-ahead runs to reach base before finally closing out the game.

But more disturbing than Lidge’s struggles is TBS’s coverage of this game and this series on the whole.

When I turned on TBS at 10:07 p.m. Sunday, I saw the Yankees-Twins game was not over. The crawl said to go over to TNT network.

About the third inning, the an announcer came on TNT and said that coverage would continue on TBS. Well done, nice transition.

Bud Selig and network officials did get their nose out of New York and Boston’s, em, rear posterior on Saturday afternoon to call Game Three in Colorado because of snow.

Only one inch fell, but the call was clearly about the cold, with wind chills in the upper teens.

It warmed up to the upper 20s or lower 30s and little wind on Sunday, so game on.

Now wouldn’t it make sense to put the weekend games in the afternoon, when the sun was shining and temperatures would be higher? Nope. College and NFL football are the TV kings, respectively during the weekend.

Selig’s guidance in the postseason this year is not so mind-boggling on its own. However, for Phillies’ fans, it feels a lot like when Selig suspended a rain-plagued Game Five in the 2008 World Series.

To go back briefly, he could have postponed the game when the Phillies led by a run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Nope, he had to wait until the Rays tied the game in the sixth to call the game.

So this year, Game One and Two of Phillies-Rockies were played Wednesday and Thursday afternoon, when most fans are at work, and then again Sunday night, starting when children and adults normally go to bed for the next day’s work.

Let me ask you: Who is the defending World Series champion?

I thought you knew.

What are the bigger television markets? New York, Los Angeles, and Boston.

Well, (blank) me.

I remember as a youth, running home to catch the Mets and Orioles playing in the 1969 World Series.

Baseball was pure then. Bowie Kuhn was the baseball commissioner and the game, not the television advertising dollar, was king.

If you are falling asleep reading this, so was my buddy mid-game early Monday morning.

“Happy Monday,” I wrote another buddy at 12:04 a.m. Monday.

“I fell asleep. Talk to u tomorrow night. Go Phils!” he wrote back.

I turned my texting to my other buddy, who works in the media and probably picked up the game after work.

In the top of the sixth, Carlos Ruiz hit an RBI single to put the Phillies up 5-4.

“Chooch,” I texted my buddy, recounting Ruiz’s nickname.

“He’s your boy!” received at 12:22 a.m.

Troy Tulowitzki’s sacrifice fly tied the game in the bottom of the seventh.

Since Ryan Madson pitched in the seventh inning, he was not available to save the game.

Charlie Manuel only had Lidge to close in the bottom of the ninth with the Phillies holding a 6-5 lead.

Lidge got Brad Hawpe to ground out on a 1-0 pitch for the first out.

Lidge walked Carlos Gonzalez on six pitches. With Jason Giambi at the plate, Gonzalez stole second.

Giambi popped out to third for the second out.

Manuel visited Lidge and apparently a pitch around was suggested, as Lidge walked Todd Helton on five pitches.

The strategy must have worked as Lidge got Troy Tulowitki to fly out to left field.

Ball game.

“Hell, yes,” I wrote to my friend at 2:15 a.m. Monday.

Game Four in Colorado is at 6:07 p.m. EDT. Cliff Lee faces Ubaldo Jimenez in a Game One rematch with the Phillies winning, 5-1.

The Phillies can close out the series with a win, while the Rockies have to win in Colorado and come back and win in Philadelphia.

For one time, the next two games can be played at “normal” times, because it is the final games of the division series. No one else is playing in this round.

And if the Phillies win the World Series again this year and in 2010, and the Yankees, Red Sox, and Angels are in the playoffs, who gets the prime time television spots?

I thought so.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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