Thursday, August 20, 2009

It's Not, Like, 9/11 or Anything...

On the train this morning, a woman got up from her seat and moved toward the exit door with her daughter, a little girl who I'd guess was about six years old, leading the way. As the train began to slow down before the stop, the brakes jerked two or three times, each one harsher than the last, realigning the center of gravity of those who were standing or, in this case, walking. The woman was thrown off balance but quickly grabbed a pole to re-gain her footing while the little girl stumbled forward and nearly fell down. The woman gasped in horror as she watched her daughter trip over her own feet but never fall, and the surrounding passengers - mostly women themselves - mimicked her shock, some of them wheezing a worrisome sigh, a deep inhalation which begins low in the stomach and rises through the chest and then becomes lodged in the throat and stays there, hollow and creaking, as if it were the last breath that they - any of them - would ever choke forth, so dismayed were they over the plight of this little girl who was actually unharmed and most likely wondering what all the fuss was about. Once the train had stopped, the woman rushed across the few feet - which must have seemed more like a million - separating her and her daughter. When she reached her, the woman grabbed the girl forcefully yet lovingly by the shoulders, looked into her eyes and asked, "Are you okay?" The girl looked confused and didn't say anything. She just nodded and revolved her eyes, looking at the people surrounding her, her head remaining motionless. And she thought to herself, "What the hell? It's not like it was 9/11 or anything". And, from now on, when something happens that is far less severe than people make it out to be, that's what I'll say. I'll say, "What the hell? It's not like it was 9/11 or anything".

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Talkin' Baseball

I haven't posted in quite a while, so I thought I'd take a moment to talk a little baseball. The Phillies currently have too many starters for their rotation, and one of them will have to be moved either to the bullpen or elsewhere. To me, it's obvious that J.A. Happ needs to stay in the rotation and they need to make a decision between Jamie Moyer and Pedro Martinez. As much as Moyer has been inconsistent and has the second highest ERA in the league, it's Pedro who should be the odd man out. The team owes him nothing. He's done nothing for them thus far. So far he's been pretty terrible in his rehab assignments. Everybody seems so impressed that he struck out 11 minor league hitters last night, but that says nothing to me. It's just one game against, again, minor league hitters. And if you step back and take a look past the eye-catching 11 Ks, you'll see that he gave up 4 runs (3 earned) in six innings. You know what that is? That's what's known as a quality start in baseball. Nothing spectacular, just average. In other words, entry level. If you want spectacular, you would do well to look at what Happ did against real major league hitters battling for a playoff spot in a real major league park last night. Here's his line: 9 innings pitched, 10 Ks, and 4 hits. If that doesn't qualify as spectacular, I don't know what does.

But back to Pedro. If he were to string together a few more of those quality minor league starts, then I'd say he might be worth the promotion. But, until then, the team owes him nothing. Having said that, my guess is they will promote him anyway and move Happ to the pen, mainly because of the difference in salaraies between all three players. And I'm sure every team in baseball - not to mention most baseball fans - will only scratch their heads at this move, as it will be a shame to see Happ - one of the team's strongest starters this season - demoted to make room for a has-been pitcher with a questionable arm that has only recently joined the team. Over time, Happ might not prove himself to be a Cy Young Award winner, but he has certainly earned his spot in the rotation this year. I mean, the point is to win games, isn't it? And this kid, so far, has done nothing less than give his team a chance to win every fifth day.