Thursday, August 18, 2005

A Change in Approach

Obviously, due to the circumstances surrounding yesterday’s events, this blog will have to take a series of important, shall we say, itemizations- to ensure its continued relevance and complete, total loyalty.

Because, you guessed it, the Philadelphia Phillies lead the chase for the National League Wild Card. Of course, the Phillies effort requires the requisite acknowledgment- just completed- and a resolute commitment to stay informed. To that end, the information is as follows:

With a degree of humility, the Magic Number is 43

43! It almost seems do-able, as the glow washes over.

The Phillies have managed now to put together six weeks of solid starting pitching, superior relief work and kind of okay offense. They have made up about five games on Houston and a staggering nine on staggering Washington. That is more than pretty okay- and ought not to be dismissed cynically. There is still a long way to go. I still lean toward the Marlins, also finding themselves, in the end right now. But, it is to the team’s credit they have come all the way back from their tribulations.

Today they have a day-night situation with the Nationals- and are pretty substantial favorites in both games. It is a big day- a potential two game swing. If they can sweep the pair, Washington will have for the first time lost immediate contact with the play-off race. Having a two or three game lead on the Nats would insulate the Phils from the Nats at least- even if the Phils struggle a bit on this upcoming four-city road trip.

Lastly, I have little productive or useful to say about the Eagles’ exhibition game against the Steelers. To me, when you are a good team not looking to make wholesale changes to personnel or philosophy, these games are a complete success if no one gets hurt. So that blocked was checked.

Sure, the Eagles looked horrible on special teams- and McNabb’s first throw was probably the worst pass he’s thrown in three years. But who cares really? Two things you know about the Eagles. The first is they’ll cover kicks solidly all year. Second, well frankly, McNabb doesn’t force enough balls. It is almost a relief to see #5 try to do something stupid. It was nice to see the offense- after that first drive- move the ball efficiently, distribute the ball consistently to guys who need to prove they can play skill positions and score some points. Westbrook ought to be encased in bubble wrap until Atlanta- the guy is ready. The defense looked just fine.

TO is in camp. Here’s hoping both sides have realized that the best upside to both camps is for him to shut up, play- and get paid next year by the Rams.