At 8:37 p.o. (post-Obama) the Phillies will finally have a shot to close out the World Series in a mad three-inning dash.
The city isn’t ready to talk about the possibilities that lie on the other side of those three innings yet, so let’s talk about all the good breaks Philadelphia has gotten in the last few days (the bad breaks have been well-documented).
First of all, the full day off on Tuesday was a good thing for the city. We needed it. It gave us time to get all that anger out. Had the game been played finished last night, fans would have brought way too much venom into the park, and that’s never a good atmosphere for success.
The rainout last night allowed Philadelphia to digest the situation and realize its team is just three innings away from history. Three innings away from unburdening the city of the “World’s Biggest Loser” sash it has worn around its neck since 1983.
Second, the Philadelphia fan’s reputation has improved nationally.
In the need for a prime time game and the desire to not interrupt “House,” Philly fans were treated like trash by MLB and Fox—forced to sit and watch Cole Hamels throw fastball after fastball in a vertical tsunami.
The Phillies as a team caught a terrible break too. They lost their ace, they lost a run that should never have been scored, and they lost a significant home-field advantage for those last few innings that were played.
But there were no riots in Philadelphia. There was no looting or car-flipping. There was no battery tossing or Bud Selig threatening (well, not in front of any cameras).
Sure, the media will still talk about throwing snowballs at Santa, because it’s an easy storyline. But many national personalities saw the real Philly fans this week. Many watched as Philadelphia took one on the chin and turned the other cheek.
Maybe this city is finally growing up. I’m so proud.
Another plus for Philly: fans finally got some time to sleep. Nothing messes with your REM cycle more than playoff baseball. Pile that marathon Saturday night and that Monday night debacle on top of the regular stresses of October ball and the anxiety becomes downright unbearable.
I went to bed at 8:30 p.m. last night. It was the first time I was asleep before 2:00 a.m. since grade school. (Yea, I don’t sleep much. Let’s just all agree I “have issues” and move on.)
I’ll venture to bet I wasn’t the only one who went to bed early last night in this city. I know it was a big deal for Fox to get “House” on the air last night, but if you find me someone in Philly who was awake for Fox’s highest-rated show, he/she will be the first.
The entire city hit the hay early, and today Philly fans are back. Recharged, refocused, and ready to explode when pinch hitter (Jenkins/Coste), Jimmy Rollins, and Jayson Werth come to the plate against Grant Ball-four or perhaps J.P. Howell.
(No way David Price “starts” this game unless Maddon double switches. The pitcher’s spot is up fourth for the Rays in the top of the seventh.)
Want another advantage to this truncation? You do? Great, I got one.
If you’re of the drinking kind (and most of the Phaithful are), Aramark has decided that today’s game is a “new event” for concessions. Which means the beer cutoff will not occur until seven more innings are played.
Everything’s coming up Millhouse Philadelphia.
And of course the Phils still have all of the advantages I mentioned in yesterday’s post. They have a better bullpen than the Rays, a better lineup than the Rays, and three more outs than the Rays.
They have 50,000 insane, reenergized fans, all piling into the Bank, dying for the opportunity to witness bedlam.
They have 1 million Phanatics throughout the city, stalking Broad Street, preparing to pounce on the biggest celebration Philadelphia has ever seen.
And they have 4 million more fans gathering around television sets, sometimes three generations at a clip, all on the edge of their seats anticipating a moment 100 seasons in the making.
If this team can beat the Rays in three innings…this town will be celebrating for three years.
It’s so close we can taste it.
Will this be the game?
Will this be the day?
Will this be the team?
I had a dream last night that Broad Street had turned into Bourbon Street. That the city’s citizens overflowed the town’s center street with red and white ecstasy. That October 29 in Philadelphia put Mardi Gras in New Orleans to shame.
Was it just a dream or was it something more?
I’ll tell you in three innings.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/leerussakoff.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.