Friday, November 6, 2009

Riggs Reflection

Well the '09 WS is over and like many Phillie fans, I am disappointed. I didn't see the much sadness from friends and fellow fans however as I did disappointment. See this series the Phil's just didn't have it.

Hoy writes up his recap and makes some points that I just don't agree with. You can read his here. From my perspective, it's just a little different. And more realistic I think. Outcomes are gained by all sorts of things, and when your team loses, frustration can set in and I think you tend to see things a little differently. Blame may take the front seat and make you see things in a way that just aren't true.

Two things that Hoy wrote that I entirely disagree with. 1) The series was a blow out. 2) The Yankees were just that much better of a team.

The first one will take some explaining. The second is as easily dismissed by admitting that the Yankees played much better this series. That is true. But they are not MUCH better than the Phils. I will prove that shortly.

First, let's talk about the Yanks and give them their props. I have never been a Yankee hater. I am in the purest sense a baseball fan. Baseball will always come first for me. That is before any team. Even my Phils (who my grandfather played for way back in the 30's).
Anyone who is a fan of baseball has to appreciate the tradition and history that the Yanks have provided over the years with greats such as DiMaggio, Ruth, and Mantle.

The Mets I hate. I really hate. Their fans might be the most retarded, hateful fans in the world. Comments such as "I knew '08 was a fluke" reeks so much of stupidty and jealousy that those types should be ashamed of themselves. I digress.

All the talk about the Yankees buying a team is moot to me as well. It doesn't matter. It just doesn't. For this is the arena in which you must play, and you must adapt to the rules within that arena. Good for NY for being able to field such talent. Good for their organization for going out and getting the players they want and can to build a team that can win. Winning on less money to field a team of greats doesn't make you a better organization. It just shows you did the best with what you have. The Yanks truly earned this championship and for that they deserve it.

I will also tell you that if the Phils hadn't won last year, this one would have been really hard to take. But the bottom line is, they just didn't show up.

There was one point in this series that changed the tide. It was a defining moment, and it proved to be the moment that would award the Championship to whatever team took advantage.

That moment was when Pedro Felize hit his game tying homer off of Joba Chamberlain in the 8th inning in game 4. With 2 outs then in the 9th and 2 strikes to Damon, Lidge blew up.

IF Lidge gets Damon out to end the inning, the Phils have a huge opportunity to win that game, and imo most likely do and tie the series back at 2-2. The series from there is a whole different series. We win game 5 and go back to NY with a one run game.

The scores of each game were 3-1, 3-1, 8-5, 7-4, 8-6, and 7-3.

Game 4 (7-4) was much closer with the Phils tying it in the 8th. Lidge i mplodes and gives up 3 in the 9th. Game 5 (8-6) was much more of a blow out with the Yanks getting 4 bs runs late in the game but still not coming as close at it seems. Game 6 was a travesty with the Yankee lineup just slamming Pedro who just couldn't get passed Hideki.

Hoy made a comment that the NY pitching was much more dominant than the Phils. Again, I have to disagree. They performed better over all. But dominant? Hardly. Pedro gave up 3 runs in 6 innings of pitching in game 2. The fact is that Philadelphia left 6 runners in scoring position on in that game. In this type of series, with any pitcher facing either of these lineups, it doesn't matter how good they are. You need run support.

Lee out classed the Yankees this whole series. Burnett pitched a gem in game 2, but was his usual self in game 5. CC pitched well but not dominant. He gave up two hits in game 1 (both homeruns) but lost the game against lee. His next start (game 4) wasn't all that great. He gave up 7 hits and 3 earned runs in 6 innings. Same as Pedro in game 2. But the Yanks took advantage of Lidge's explosion in the 9th and scored 3 to make it improbable for another comeback.

You can blame Charlie for not pulling pitchers when he should have. Did he leave Pedro in to long? did he leave Blanton in to long? In hind sight, probably yes. But the most glaring thing I can point to during this whole series was the lack of Philadelphia offense. An offense that we are so accustomed to seeing. It just wasn't there. It doesn't mean they don't have it. They just didn't bring it.

Next to that, the absence of pitcher Cole Hamels' magic has to be pointed at as well. But this should be no surprise as he didn't perform at all throughout the year. Some say his arm died after last years performance. Some say hitters adjusted to his change up. Whatever the reason, the dominance he provided last year just wasn't there this year. It was one of many things lacking that turned out to be to much to overcome.

Howard was brilliant during the divisional and league champ series. He was not to be found during the world series. It's a big spot to take out of the line up when you count so much on his bat in that spot to help produce huge amounts of runs. With his bat stifled, it was going to be an uphill battle.

So yes, the Yankees played better baseball. The Phils, not so much. In my opinion, the Yanks should be disappointed that they didn't get the Phillies best. Philadelphia lost this series more so than the Yankees won it. I'm not saying this as a bitter Philly fan either. I'm saying this as a baseball fan. To think that the Yanks destroyed their opponent is to ignore what the Phils have been most of the year. That is, an offensive Giant. They lost 17 saves throughout the year yet still managed to walk through the NL. They fielded a team that played an extra month and half of baseball last year and had several surgeries in the off season, and still managed to come back to the World Series.

There's a lot to be said about this team winning last year, and getting there again this year. Not to mention what lies ahead. With the addition of some arms this year, possibly bringing Drabek up, and adding a closer, or Lidge figuring out what the hell went wrong an fixing it, (hello slider!!!), The Phils will be a beast next year. It shouldn't be above anyone's expectation to see both of these teams battling again next October.

I want to congratulate the Yankees and their fans. They are a superb team, and yes, a slightly better team than the Phils were. They deserve their props.


Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

No doubt Cliff Lee was the best pitcher on either team in this series (starter, anyways). But although you're right that most of the Phillies didn't hit so well, most of the Yankees didn't either and that's why I don't blame the offense for the loss.

When it came right down to it, this team did not have a single person to pitch to the Yankees lineup in Game 6. With Cliff Lee not in the picture, we had nobody who could get the Yankees out consistently, in any inning and in any situation. And Game 7 would have been more of the same. So while both teams had a couple of 7- or 8-run outbursts from their offense during the Series, we simply could not get the Yankees out when we needed to, and the Yanks could. That's what it comes down to.

And I don't know if "blowout" is exactly the right term, but all I'm saying is that the series didn't even come close to living up to the hype that clowns like you and me both were laying on it in the days leading up to Game 1. The Yanks outplayed the Phils across the board in the end and after Game 1 it was just never really much of a series.

You're so right though that Lidge's blown 9th inning in Game 4 changed the entire tenor of this series, of that there is no doubt. As did Manuel's decision not to pitch Lee in that game. But the fact that Lidge was even in the game in that spot when the Yankees have a guy like Rivera to go with just underscores the fact that the Yanks are clearly better than the Phils right now. Sabathia, Burnett and Teixeira completely changed that team, both on offense, defense and pitching. Huge moves for Brian Cashman.

Now we gotta see if Ruben Amaro can keep pace.

Drizztdj said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Drizztdj said...

I think the 2009 Yankees should be an MBA case study on Captialism.

How long until small market teams start to fold under the pressures of having to spend north of $100MM to stay semi-competitive enough to generate the revenue (i.e. buying star players' jerseys and tickets to the game) to even pay these players and make a profit.

You think the Twins are going to be able to hold on their two stars after the contracts are up when the Yankees/Cubs/Red Sox/Mets can/will offer Mauer or Morneau the GNP of Australia to play for them?

Sure they could adapt, but at what price? Quality of the product would suck, and the precedent of stars migrating to the largest paycheck further dilutes the game.