Dying seal photo: Newsday, (@TC_McCarthy)
Excuse me while I screed.
What the hell is going on around here? The Phillies, mostly healthy, are 2-5 to start the season. Watching Roy Halladay pitch right now is like watching an injured seal try to climb onto an iceberg. The fucking thing used to be able to do it so effortlessly. He would just hop on, hop off, hop on, hop off, over and over, because he could. And because it was merry. But not anymore. No, no. The seal has a broken flipper, and it’s horrifying to watch as he struggles to lift himself onto the icy mass. He’s rolling about, trying to twist – force – his way up. He can’t do it. Fuck. This used to be so effortless. Now… look away. Hide the women and children. This is nature’s work. It’s not pretty. He’s going into catatonic shock, flailing about. Rolling like a rudderless jet. Ar! Ar! Ar! Ar! Ar! Ar! Ar! Ar! Ar! Ar! Oh God, he’s slipping into the freezing water. Someone make this stop. His eyes are hollow. Skin, rubbery (although that may be entirely natural). This pains him. This pains me. Make it stop. MAKE IT STOP! Ar! Ar! Ar! Ar! Why? WHY? Why is this in HD?! I can see everything. Every painful, humiliating grimace. His young are watching. This is horrific. Oh! A killer whale!!!!! This is it. He can’t get away. Roll, little buddy. Roll, roll! Tumble! Electric slide! Too late. The whale is approaching. Roll! Skeet! Something. Do something. Sommmmmtttttthing. Oh no. Ar! No. Ar! Ar! Noooooo. Ar! Ar! Ar!
And that might be the least of the Phillies’ worries.
Take, for example, the middle relief– a halfway house for inherited runners. Stuck in limbo? Don’t worry! Chef Durbin, Mr. Horst and Señor Valdes will guide you around the bases one. bag. at. a. time. Their patented BABIP method uses Chef Durbin’s spicy meatballs to kick off a parade of singles. Then Mr. Horst and Señor Valdes up the ante by giving up a series of devastating doubles and triples. When it’s all said and done, you’ll find yourself back home… and the bases, empty.
That method not work for you? Fear you shant– the rest of the staff will just walk you around the bases. They’ve handed out 26 free passes in seven games. You don’t have to do anything! Just stand there. It’s great for you. Sucks for everyone else, though. Even Obama finds their work a bit too socialistic for his liking.
Staff ace Cole Hamels? He’s 0-2 with a 10-point ERA. So don’t fret about him.
And then there’s the offense. Come early for fireworks and
stay late leave early. Just leave. They put up four runs and then take the rest of the day off. Be sure not to miss their special feature on professional hitting put on by Ryan Howard and Michael Young. They’re pros at this. They’ve already struck out 16 times, creating a hole in the middle of the lineup bigger than the one…
… on Ilya Bryzgalov’s glove side! Oh yes, don’t think we forgot about the Flyers. They’re only five points out of a playoff spot (!!!). With only four teams over which to climb! And they’re only a month away from admitting one of the biggest mistakes in organization history by amnestying their $51 million goaltender. Tonight kicks off the Steve Mason era, too. He’s the newly acquired – and newly re-signed! – goaltender who lost his job to the guy the Flyers traded to his old team last summer. If he can’t get it done and help the OBs into the playoffs, the coach and GM will likely be fired. Which means, somehow, over the course of three years, the Flyers will have taken a Stanley Cup caliber club – one that lost its best player to injury – and turned them into a playoff-less team minus their captain, leading goal scorer, second most-promising youngster (all three of which were signed to long-term contracts), coach and GM. And their goaltender(s) of the future – the young, cheap Russian and the old, expensive one – well, they’ll be gone. But hey, maybe the Flyers will be able to use the cap space to sign a player…
… like that slug Andrew Bynum. It turns out, signing a loony 24-year-old center with knee problems and an eclectic mix of has-beens and chemistry-killing swag-heads isn’t a winning formula in the NBA. Their coach will willingly step down. But at least the CEO totally gets us:
Some time it is to be a Philly sports fan. That seal really needs to find its footing.