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Phillies Phinish

October 30, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

I spent only 3 nights in New York, but those were the very nights of World Series games 3, 4, and 5. Between my having other things to do in the evenings and the absurd lateness of games in the eastern time zone, I saw neither the early nor the late innings of games 3 and 4. Game 5 was another matter. When I finally tuned in to see what was happening, I found myself watching local channel 5 news. It took a couple of minutes for me to learn that there was a rain delay (and another couple of hours to be awakened by the arrival in New York of the same heavy rains that led to what would be a 46 hour delay). I nearly missed the end, turning on the TV last night here at home with the Rays at bat in the top of the ninth. It took me a few moments to sort out the situation — one out, runner on first, Rays down 4-3, possibility of the game and series ending with a double play on the next pitch.

It didn’t end that way, but it did end quickly, with Zobrist lining out and Hinkse striking out. This led to a great celebratory scene. There’s much I dislike about Fox’s broadcasting of baseball, but they did a superb job of capturing the moment. Lidge kneeling at the mound, arms raised, Ruiz charging in from home plate, arms out, mouth open, bending down to meet Lidge at knee level for a hug, and then the best part, baby giant Ryan Howard rushing from first and flattening the embracing pair. What a hit! Fox was on top of it. They did two great things — they muted the broadcasters, allowing us to take in the celebration without commentary, and they had cameras directed at different players and the manager, so we could watch one by one as Lidge kneeled, Ruiz ran out, Howard tackled them, and then there was Victorino from center, Utley from 2nd, Rollins from short, Manuel in the dugout, with players and coaches in the dugout scattering in different directions, the Phillie Phanatic working his way around them to get to the field. Very sweet.

The only sour note was seeing staff handing out the souvenir caps and t-shirts to the players in the middle of the diamond, in mid-celebration. It was a distraction whose only urgency, as best I could determine, was the need to display to us viewers the very souvenirs that were offered in a TV ad about 15 minutes later. I’m happy with the Phillies hat I got during our 2003 visit to Veterans Stadium.

My Phillies cap

My Phillies cap

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