Brief Phillies Review

Duffy asked me how the Phillies did. I don’t know if he was really asking for my review of their performance, or just getting revenge for all my anti-Yankee comments on this blog, but I figured I should give at least a quick summary of how they performed.

Every year since at least 2000, even the years they were supposed to be good, I’ve picked someone other than the Phils to win the division. Past experience has taught me to expect the worst from them. So, even as the playoff drive mounted and the Mets were choking, I fully expected the Phils to fall just short as they have so many years in the past. The only time I really expected them to win was going into the final Saturday of the regular season when they had the lead over the Mets. They reminded me the folly of getting my hopes up by falling back into a tie.

So, I was happy, almost gloriously so, to see them win on the final Sunday of the season, especially with the Mets clearly having lost the game before they even had gotten a second Marlin out. Anything beyond that was gravy in my eyes. This was especially true when the red-hot Rockies won the playoff game. Even ignoring their hot streaks, I thought the Phils matched up better with the Padres than they did with the Rockies.

I missed game three of the playoffs due to sheer exhaustion; I just couldn’t stay awake for it and had to get up early the next morning to head to a wedding on Long Island with my girlfriend. (Not our wedding, FYI.) The other two games, the Phillies didn’t impress me. I don’t know if the comeback against the Mets had exhausted them or if they were just outclassed by the Rockies. (Ryan Howard and Chase Utley looked particularly clueless and lost in Game 1.)

But overall, I’m happy with the season and think they have a good base to build on for next year, especially when compared to the Mets or Braves. The Braves aren’t quite division winning caliber and the Mets just don’t seem to care enough, even using the excuse that they’re just too good, so they may not feel the need to try as hard. That’s the mark of a team that’s going to lose. Meanwhile, the Phils need to learn to win in April so they don’t need to play catch-up all season long. I don’t why they take so long to heat up, maybe they need to be worked harder in spring training, but they dig themselves a hole in April they spend the rest of the season climbing their way out of.

While the season ended earlier than we hoped, it was still a fun ride. Thanks for the memories, Phillies, and only 174 days until Opening Day!

Quote-a-palooza

“There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily.” – George Washington

“The man who knows the truth and has the opportunity to tell it, but who nonetheless refuses to, is among the most shameful of all creatures. God forbid that we should ever become so lax as that.” – Theodore Roosevelt

“I’ve come around to the view that the culture war can best be understood as a conflict between two different kinds of patriotism. On the one hand, there are people who believe being an American is all about dissent and change, that the American idea is inseparable from ‘progress.’ America is certainly an idea, but it is not merely an idea. It is also a nation with a culture as real as France’s or Mexico’s. That’s where the other patriots come in; they think patriotism is about preserving Americanness. Yet the strangest and most ironic aspect of our national culture is that we have an aversion to talking about a national culture. Samuel Huntington, one of the country’s premier social scientists, has become something of a pariah for constantly reminding people… that America is a nation, not just a government and a bunch of interest groups. Many liberals hear talk of national culture and shout ‘Nativist!’ first and ask questions later, if at all. They believe it is a sign of their patriotism that they hold fast to the idea that we are a ‘nation of immigrants’ – forgetting that we are also a nation of immigrants who became Americans.” – Jonah Goldberg

“A year ago, I wrote that ‘the story of the Western world since 1945 is that, invited to choose between freedom and government ‘security,’ large numbers of people vote to dump freedom- the freedom to make your own decisions about health care, education, property rights, seat belts and a ton of other stuff.’ Last week freedom took another hit. Hillary Rodham Clinton unveiled her new health care plan. Unlike her old health care plan, which took longer to read than most cancers take to kill you, this one’s instant and painless- just a spoonful of government sugar to help the medicine go down. From now on, everyone in America will have to have health insurance. Hooray! And, if you don’t, it will be illegal for you to hold a job. Er, hang on, where’s that in the Constitution? It’s perfectly fine to employ legions of the undocumented from Mexico, but if you employ a fit 26-year-old American with no health insurance either you or he or both of you will be breaking the law?” – Mark Steyn

“[The State Children’s Heath Insurance Program (SCHIP)] without a doubt makes it easier for illegal aliens to get taxpayer-funded healthcare. The legislation wipes away the current requirement for multiple sources of identification and requires merely a name and a Social Security number to apply for benefits. The only safeguard is a single statement that says no illegal aliens can get benefits. That’s like opening the door to the chicken coop, but saying its okay because we put up a sign that says ‘No Foxes Allowed’.” – Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO)

“As over 150 heads of state and government gather[ed] at UN headquarters in New York to discuss climate change, former Vice President Al Gore, the most prominent proponent of the theory of the human-induced, catastrophic global warming, continues to refuse repeated challenges to debate the issue. Czech President Vaclav Klaus, who addressed the General Assembly on climate change September 24, is but the latest global warming skeptic to receive the cold shoulder from Gore. In ads appearing in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Washington Times, Klaus has called on Gore to face him in a one-on-one debate on the proposition: ‘Global Warming Is Not a Crisis.’ Earlier in the year, similar challenges to Gore were issued by Dennis Avery, director of the Center for Global Food Issues and senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, and Lord Monckton of Brenchley, a former adviser to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. All calls on the former vice president to face his critics have fallen on deaf ears.” – Bonner Cohen

Quote of the Day

“I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground that ‘all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people.’ To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, not longer susceptible of any definition.”

— Thomas Jefferson (Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank, 15 February 1791)