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NL East Race: The Devil Wears Prado

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NL East Race: The Devil Wears Prado
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Things have certainly not been going well. It might be the Year of the Pitcher somewhere, but not in Philadelphia.

I’m sorry. Perhaps that wasn’t supportive. Let’s petition to focus only the positives.

I’ll start: Jimmy Rollins is the current active leader in consecutive steals, Placido Polanco is back from the DL with his team-leading batting average, and Ryan Howard leads the league in RBI.

Jayson Werth, however, has developed an unexplained aversion for touching his bat to the ball.

Someone should tell him it won’t make you blind.

Here’s another petition: stop the Tweet-volume graphs on the game recaps. There’s nothing more irrelevant to the game. It’s no secret that the volume of twits tweeting about the Phils is directly proportional to stuff happening during the game.

It’s just as circumstantial as the level of disgust rising in my house when my husband uses the john.

It’s not rocket science.

Supposedly things are so bad people are petitioning to get Pat Burrell back.

Fat chance. He feels right at home peeking over at old teammate, Aaron Rowand, in center field in San Francisco. But Pat's move to the Bay Area has people wondering about those rumors that he got married—to a girl.

Or maybe I just made that up.

Now the Phillies have three more chances to turn it around against the newly crowned NL Central kings fresh off their six game winning streak.

Perhaps under the lovely shiny arch the Phils will figure out why the early season hitting explosion had an expiration date. Like a Viagra pill for batters, maybe they’ll find something that makes a big, stout piece of wood more effective.

How ‘bout putting Marisa Miller on the mound?

Or just paint her on the center field wall?

Now, you usually only have to glance at stats to tell when a team stinks, but in this case it makes no sense. The Phillies’ lineup leads the division in runs, home runs, RBI, total bases, slugging percentage, intentional walks, extra base hits, and fielding percentage.

They also lead in stolen base percentage because they think like I do: If you don’t steal, you won’t get caught.

And Jayson Werth leads the team with 92 strikeouts—most of which he’s earned since the All-Star break.

That might seem like a rather dubious honor but other players who’ve appeared on the annual “Special K” list are: Babe Ruth, Mickie Mantle, Reggie Jackson, Michael Schmidt, Sammy Sosa, Jim Thome, Adam Dunn, and Ryan Howard—not long before he signed a bank breaking contract.

It’s also possible that those other guys led their league in another important hitting category that Jayson’s failed to conquer. I’d love to investigate this further but I have dishes to do, a cat box to clean, and re-runs of Hawaii Five-O on at three.

Besides we’re staying positive: The Phillies are a better second half team.

The only reason that’s a scary statement is because the current first place team, Atlanta, leads the division in only one stat: on-base percentage. They’re like the Rudolph Valentinos of the NL East. They could sweet talk a girl out of her pants with a timely hit, a little hustle, and enduring patience.

Matter of fact, for their next stadium giveaway they’re handing out EPTs.

Even without extraordinary stats, they’re contenders. And trading off the slacking Yunel Escobar for the slugging Alex Gonzalez is a sure indication that they know this. As long as Brian McCann is the McMan, Chipper Jones continues to take his retirement advice from Brett Favre, and the Mets find the formula to forego flunking late in the season, it’s going to be a tough semester.

So while the Phillies search for the MLB equivalent of the Bunsen burner, I looked for the magic stat that could determine who the next division champ would be. As much as I tried to sway my decision to Philadelphia, the only conclusion I’ve come to is this: The devil wears Prado.

Martin Prado is on course to having a career year. He leads Atlanta in endurance and studliness, and was one of five Braves who made Charlie Manuel’s All-Star roster even though the skipper couldn’t say his name.

Hey, five team members on one All-Star roster? Doesn’t that sound like the 2009 Phillies?

I hate to say it, but if I’ve struck stat gold, Phillies fans might have to settle for good baseball, sexy facial hair, and appealing camera angles this year. Diehards should be asking themselves if they can survive a season unadorned by pennants or trophies or even postseason TV.

Hey, if it’s any consolation, I heard Kim Kardashian has decided to just appear naked in her next season on E!. And Survivor is having a reunion—only breasts and penises are scheduled to compete.

Or maybe I just made that up.

Stay positive.

See you at the ballpark.

 

Copyright 2010 Flattish Poe all rights reserved.

 

Catch life one-liner at a time on Twitter http://twitter.com/ABabesTake

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