The Phillies still have to play, like, 25 games in a half an hour or something before they get to the post season and have the games mean something again. At this point we’re only playing to determine the NL Cy Young.
After being a terrible team in 2008, the IronPigs were informed that their one-season leeway to become spectacular was up. From now on, nothing short of miraculous gameplay would be acceptable. So then we were forced to accept 2009 and 2010, because what the hell does it even mean to threaten a baseball team in that way.
So eventually, through sheer luck and Ryne Sandberg’s institution as manager and probably some stuff the players did, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs became more than the last stop for a Phillies player to recover an injury. They are the 2011 International League Wildcard Champs. And all it took was one more win. Or a Gwinnett Braves loss. Or a rain out. Whatever events unfolded in a 24-hour period, they seemed destined to end in the IronPigs getting a playoff spot. The point is, they could have done anything. And they did it. They just needed a ragtag bunch of grizzled veterans and hopeful young folk to rile up some emotions strong enough to make a difference.
Thanks to Brandon Moss hitting the go-ahead RBI and pulling off baseball’s most high-intensity ‘meh,’ the bases loaded walk, the ‘Pigs will be playing for the Governor’s Cup starting tomorrow against the Pawtucket Red Sox behind Dave Bush, proving once and for all that the Phillies have no talent in their minor league system.
Also proving that are the Reading Phillies, who also clinched a wild card spot, and will also play Wednesday in New England. The difference maker, as usual, was Matt Rizzotti, who went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI, thus solidifying his future as a starting Double-A legend or a third string something on some other Major League team, and–oh.
Look, it’s Anthony Gose, one of those guys we sent away to become better. Now he plays for a team called the ‘Fisher Cats.’ Who would be easy to make fun of if they weren’t the Eastern Division champions and first in line for the Reading Phillies 2011 playoff run. At least we can take comfort in all of our success on almost every level of baseball. And it’s not even fleeting success, as if the R-Phils dropped six in a row and were a below .500 team just a few weeks ago.
Look, the point is, our horrible, elderly high level minor league teams with no players on them both made the playoffs.