The big news is still a couple days away when the New York Mets come to town for four games in three days.
It really is hard to believe that even though the Phillies’ pitching staff has been decimated and the bullpen sometimes works with smoke and mirrors, the team very well could alone in first place by the end of the weekend.
How does that happen?
Not to punch a dead horse in the mouth as Larry Bowa used to say, but the truly amazing part is that the Phillies are challenging for the lead in the NL East even though the team has just one right-handed hitting threat in Aaron Rowand and Pat Burrell could be the worst player in the National League right now.
Anyway, here’s my little rip job on the much-maligned left fielder.
Certainly anything can happen between now and the end of the season, or even until the end of Burrell’s deal following the 2008 season, but as it stands now it’s fair to say that Burrell is nothing more than wasted talent.
He is wasted talent that isn’t in the lineup again tonight for the third game in a row.
Tonight’s starting pitcher Jamie Moyer is one of just seven 40-something pitchers taking the mound, which is the first time that has ever happened in baseball history. Greg Maddux, Roger Clemens, Kenny Rogers, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine and Woody Williams are the other 40-year old hurlers working tonight.
More impressively, Moyer was named the softest-throwing pitcher in the Majors in an anonymous poll conducted by Sports Illustrated.
The other soft-tossers? Try Maddux, Glavine, Rogers, etc.
Not bad company.
Speaking of Sports Illustrated, expect writer Austin Murphy to make a little bit of news with his latest story in which Lance Armstrong is, once again, implicated in doping news.
Here’s the thing about cycling that I don’t think many people understand… USADA, WADA, UCI and the brass of the Tour de France are just as corrupt and power hungry as any other group of bureaucrats or politicians.
Do you think there is a reason why the commissioners and union presidents of MLB, the NBA and the NFL don’t want those groups anywhere near their sports? Sure, the leagues all have their problems with performance-enhancing drugs, but to call in corrupt, money and power-hungry egomaniacs from the alphabet-soup groups of regulators isn’t going to help.
Still, it’s pretty explosive stuff from Austin Murphy and it will be interesting to see how Lance Armstrong snuffs out another fire. Plus, we never knew SI was in the business of hyping agenda-driven, insinuation-laden tawdry books that read like bad talk radio... good for them for branching out, I guess.
Excuse me while I go take a shower.