With so much time in the glorious microcosm of the Phillies galaxy, we maybe haven’t had time to step back and take a solid look at the baseball universe.
The All-Star Game gives us the glimpse we may have thus far been missing, offering a cross section of the league’s best, with the addendum that every team needs a warm body out there, and also some guys were hot early and got everybody excited before plummeting back to earth, and also some guys are only out there because they are considered a fine young man, not because of any particular statistical baseball skill in 2012.
That’s exactly the kind of bullshit that the National League doesn’t need. We lost Albert Pujols, we lost Prince Fielder, and that means we’re relying–heavily–on guys having “up” years, rather than guys who are “up” guys.
Never mind that the giggling Bay Area masses had enough time to vote Buster Posey ahead of Carlos Ruiz and Pablo Sandoval over David Wright, both of which are full blown atrocities for any NL player with World Series aspirations.
ASG election of “Kung Fu Panda” shows the value of a cute nickname. Surprised Giants fans didn’t elect a “ball dude” to start at 3B.
— Sandy Alderson (@MetsGM) July 3, 2012
Combine that with the fact that these guys are being arranged by Tony La Russa; meaning that while the AL manager will be using baseball strategy, our manager will be playing some kind of weird chess game to which only he knows the rules and all of the pieces are invisible. The lineup was announced today and it was so Tony La Russa it could barely stand up.
It’s great that Michael Bourn made the team, but it’s pretty obvious that ESPN has already scripted Bryce Harper’s walkoff in-the-park grand slam, should the opportunity present itself, but the safe money is on Derek Jeter doing some minor thing that everyone jerks him off for.
“YEAH YOU KNOW MARK TRUMBO’S INFIELD TRIPLE WAS PRETTY KEY TO THE AL’S ONE RUN WIN BUT WHAT ABOUT THAT SAC BUNT DEREK JETER ATTEMPTED THREE INNINGS BEFORE. THAT WAS PRETTY NEAT, EXCEPT FOR THAT IT WAS A FOUL POP-UP THAT THE CATCHER CAUGHT ONE HANDED. JETER WAS SMILING ON HIS WAY BACK TO THE DUGOUT AND THAT’S JUST GOOD FOR BASEBALL AND STUFF YOU KNOW.”
So everybody gathered around La Russa today and demanded to know what the hell his plan was fending off the other league that now had their two best hitters. The plus side is that the NL will start Matt Cain and all of the clips of his perfect game, followed probably by R.A. Dickey, and then maybe Cole Hamels if we’re lucky enough, but probably Wade Miley or somebody that La Russa saw in a dream holding a goblet of strategy.
“La Russa didn’t commit to how he will use the pitchers after Cain, except to say that Dickey will likely pitch sometime in the middle of the game.”
BREAKING NEWS: R.A. Dickey will pitch some time in the All-Star game between the first and ninth innings.
The actual news on that is that when Dickey enters the game, Chooch will be coming with him, having taken the first four or five innings to familiarize himself with Dickey’s approach, which is to throw a pitch that is at once totally hittable and completely unhittable. It’s a tall order, but Chooch has spent the last few years learning quickly to make the game’s best pitchers get comfortable with him and well it seems to be what he’s good at.
“I’m second-guessing [the managers] every game I watch, so I don’t miss managing at all. I’m never wrong.”
–Tony La Russa
And that is why Tony La Russa won the World Series every day of his life.
Mistakes were made in the assembly of this NL roster, and it’s weaker than the AL one. Our saving grace will have to be the pitching, and with La Russa making the calls, we will probably get to see nearly each one at his disposal.
What does this mean for the Phillies? Close to nothing. They will not even come close to the World Series, so the result of this game means less to them and us than ever. The best we can hope for is a Hamels and/or Papelbon-Ruiz battery performing awesomely at some point of the game. Then also Chooch ruins some AL pitcher’s feelings with a slash down the right field line.
The important thing is to remain calm while acknowledging how neat it is that in a year soaked in such crap, we still managed more than the bare minimum of All-Star reps, and one of them is Cole Hamels and he is still wearing a Phillies uniFOR THE LOVE OF GOD THERE IS NO REASON FOR THIS JUST PUT HIS SIGNATURE ON THE PAPER THAT KEEPS HIM HERE FOREVER FOR FUCK’S SAKE THIS IS RIDICULOUS DO YOU NOT EVEN CARE THAT YOU ARE KILLING ME.