Thursday, September 25, 2008

Baseball Break: Bullpens Make the Difference, Bomb Threats And The Phanatic

Jayson Stark has a nice piece of commentary over at ESPN this week about how the race between the Phillies and Mets this fall is being decided by bullpens. The Phillies amped up their bullpen support in the off-season by signing primo closer Brad Lidge, who has been lights-out all season long. Meanwhile, the Mets have struggled with injuries and inconsistency out of their own bullpen.

His article give evidence to support what I could already observe in the couple of Mets fans, Kim and Carolyn specifically, who I know. We went to a game at Shea where Johann Santana pitched 7 great innings, leaving with a 5-run lead, only to have the Phillies rally back in the 9th against Mets relief and take a victory. This pattern has repeated so many times this season that I can see my friends cringe even with late-game leads, knowing they're never safe until 27 outs have been recorded and the lights are turned out on a Mets game. The Phillies have given their fans reason to feel this way many times, but this year we have reason to believe.

Still funnier, yesterday there was a bomb threat at Citizens Bank park. "Funny?!?!!?!?," you might ask. Yeah. Funny when you know the back story. Turns out they were filming a commercial with the Philly Phanatic, the Phillies classic and bombastic mascot outside the stadium. Said commercial involved the fanatic shooting foil-wrapped hot dogs out of this air gun, and lord only knows what else. When they wrapped, they left a couple foil-wrapped dogs behind, and later someone spotted them and followed the post-9/11 "See Something/Say Something" credo. The police evacuated fans from the stadium and called in the bomb squad to detonate the packages... only to learn very quickly that they were blowing up all-beef franks.

Isn't a little fall baseball just what we need to release a little of the bailout/financial crisis pressure?


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