Monday, June 11, 2007

Royals take 2 of 3 from Phillies in KC... sound familiar?

The Phillies had just made it 6-5 in the 5th on a Ryan Howard home run, prompting one of the RSTN announcers to say, "How many is it going to take to win this ballgame today?" when I dozed off on the futon. In the next hour and a half, I drifted in and out from the land of Nod without the slightest clue whither my mind wandered, and sometime in this stretch I imagined that I woke, raised up and saw on my window that the Royals had won 11-8 on a John Buck walk-off. A few minutes later, I think I imagined that the Royals actually lost, by five, and around this time I must've figured I had been asleep through the entire game, because I began doubting that the score was ever 6-5 to begin with, having dreamt up a new score.

So you can understand why it took me five minutes, after waking for real, to believe my eyes: in my still semi-unconscious state, the 17-5 score looked chimerical, or the product of a clerical mistake. But then I checked the box score, and it was true: the Royals, in addition to 17 runs, rung up 14 hits, equal to the number of runs plus hits the Phillies managed.

In the 1980 Fall Classic, the Royals also took two of three from the Phillies in KC, though they went 0-3 in Philadelphia, the city of "brotherly" "love" and a river that's impossible to pronounce. It was Philadelphia's first (and only) World Series title, which proves that if your fans throw snowballs at Santa Claus, you deserve to suffer... especially if, instead of fessing up, you write a book. For shame. What is there to like about Philadelphia? "I don't know, there's so many things to love!" according to the deluded one of my roommates. She was thinking about the Tyra Banks show when she said this though, so that might explain it.

The excellent Philadelphia blog The 700 Level explains the weekend series thusly:

I liked's headline of "The Phillies were splashed by Royals in series finale." Splashed. That's certainly one way to put it.

And as the Phillies always do, they'll get our hopes up again, just to bring us crashing back down.

Just your typical Phillies baseball. I'm sure you're used to it by now.

Their reaction compared to ours -- here, here and here -- reminds me of a passage from Roger Angell's The Summer Game, in which Mr. Angell explains the carefree joy of rooting for an awful team -- the Mets, in his case:

Another revelation came to me by degrees, from various Giant fans who were sitting near me in the upper deck. Their team had just gone into first place in the standings; on this day, with Mays, McCovey, Felipe Alou, and Cepeda ripping off extra-base hits in all directions, it seemed capable of winning the pennant by the middle of August. Yet the Giant loyalists were burdened and irritable. “Look at that McCovey,” one of them said bitterly, as Stretch fielded a Met single in left. “He just won’t run. He’s no goddam outfielder. I tell you, Dark oughtta nail him onna goddam bench, save him for pinch-hitting.” He was not watching the game before us; his mind was weeks and months away, groping through the mists of September, and he saw his team losing. The Giants’ pennant of last year, the Giants’ power of today had made a miser of him, nad he was afraid. I had nothing to lose, though; I clapped my hands and shouted, “Lets go, Mets!

So let's enjoy these days while we have them, before the pressure of winning crushes our spirit and we turn into Philadelphia. God forbid.

POSTSCRIPT: David DeJesus got hit by a pitch twice yesterday, pushing the team total to 37. That nudges the Royals ahead of the Indians, at 36, for the Major League lead. Again, I don't know what to make of this.

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