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Saturday, July 7, 2007

"Milestone" Being Overblown

Negadelphia has reared its ugly head once again. The Philadelphia Inquirer has decided to countdown to the 10,000th loss by the Philadelphia Phillies with big, bold red numbers on the front of the Sports section every day. I don’t get the Daily News, but the top story of their online Sports section on Friday covers the same subject.

Yes, it’s news because the Phillies will be the first franchise to hit this unsavory milestone. It should absolutely be reported, and . . . well, that’s about it. It’s not worth two weeks of coverage, special features, or one more ridiculous countdown meant to paint our own town as a bunch of losers.

According to, they’re not exactly leaving other equally historic (ok, old) franchises in the dust. The mighty Braves are only a few hundred back, with the Cubs, Pirates, and Reds, in the ballpark. And, yes, when the records go back to the 1880s, it is only a few hundred. By the way, Mets’ winning percentage is only .010 better than the Phillies.

No, I’m not some apologist for the team. Rip the Phillies for not hiring a better manager. Rip them for being totally unprepared for injuries to the bullpen. Rip them for blowing every April in recent memory, and then saying they “just missed” the playoffs as if they accomplished something.

But I’m so sick of the whining that merely feeds the idiots that call talk radio as if they’ve been mortally wounded by the franchises of this city. The worst part is that the same idiots are put in a frenzy if they sweep a team.

The 2007 Phillies give us plenty to bitch about. Enough with the 1880s.

· "We're not totally satisfied coming out of here without a sweep," Mets closer Billy Wagner said according to after the Phils dropped 3 out of 4 to them. What a punk!

· Even in the this age of everything and anything being called a sport, the ridiculous amount of coverage Joey Chestnut got for “dethroning” Takeru Kobayashi at the Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest in New York illustrates that we’ve crossed a line somewhere that we’ll never find again.

· I know this is old news, but watching the Phillies in Houston this week made it irresistible to bring up. Minute Maid Park not only has a hill in center field, it has a freakin’ flag pole — that’s in play! I know baseball loves its lore, and harkening back to kids playing stickball where a Buick might be first base and a telephone pole might be in play, but this is just stupid. Can’t wait until a World Series is altered because someone thought a flag pole on the field was a good idea.

· It’s that time of year for the most absurd of all award shows, the ESPYs. I still can’t believe athletes actually show up to this pathetic attempt at programming by ESPN. I believe they actually have a Team of the Year Award. Call me old fashioned, but isn’t that settled on the field each year in each sport? In fact, isn’t the entire concept of crowning winners off the field counter to why people love sports?

· Speaking of pathetic attempts at programming by ESPN, the network is using All-Star Monday as a lead-in to its latest jaunt into entertainment (as if they haven’t relegated SportsCenter to the same category), The Bronx is Burning. Apparently they’ve run out of Yankee / Red Sox games to air. Having stomached their movies on Pete Rose and Bobby Knight, I only wish I could somehow bet on how bad this will be. But it’s another chance for ESPN to kneel at the alter that is New York. You know, the place Bobby Abreu escaped to so he could finally be appreciated?

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