A lot of newsprint has been wasted about how dangerous the Angels' Figgins and Aybar and the Phillies' Rollins and Victorino are for stealing bases, but last night Johnny Damon scored a hat trick and shook up the series by pulling off a single with two out and two strikes in the ninth and then stealing two bases in one play, setting the stage for Texeira, A-Rod and Posada to lock up the game. Of all the geniuses, and I am sincere, Damon's brilliant base stealing will go down in history for clinching the title for New York.
This is a memorable World Series, not just for the fantastic pitching on both sides and the Yankees' blazing hickory, but also for all the goofy things that make baseball such an unpredictable and unique sport. Like A-Rod being used as a pincushion for Phillies pitchers. Instead of Pin the Tail on the Donkey, Phillies pitchers have been playing target practice with A-Rod's body like a pitching machine gone berserk. Maybe after the series A-Rod can remove the "kick me" sign that Philadelphia has taped to his back. You can't tell me that those shots don't smart!
What about the goofy umpires? It's like a Nearsighted Mr. Magoo cartoon, with umpires calling balls foul that landed fair, calling fly balls caught when they actually bounced, calling runners out when they were safe, missing calls at the plate. "Hey, we're only human!" they cry. Yeah, right, another missed call. These umpires are not human, they're cartoon characters. I'm taking up a collection to buy them thick glasses, white canes and seeing-eye dogs!
What about A-Rod's freakin fly ball bouncing off the television camera in right field during Game 3, when the umpires had to march downstairs and watch on television as the ball smashed into the screen like a commercial for the "2012" disaster movie? No other country has got a wacky sport like that!
The best thing about having the games played in Philadelphia is that you get to see a fat lady in a Halloween costume sitting behind the dugout instead of having to look at Rudolph Giuliani's ugly, stoopid mug in the first row behind the dugout in Yankee Stadium. Since it was Halloween, he probably would have shown up wearing his dress. Yuck!
There's an old joke that goes, "I'd rather be in Philadelphia", which comes from things being so bad that even being in Philadelphia would be preferable. When President Reagan got shot, and they asked him how he felt, that's what he answered. Nothing goes right there, even the freakin bell is cracked. Now, I guarantee you this - even the Phillies are California Dreamin'. They wish they could be playing the Angels out in Disneyland, anywhere but having to face the Yankees' Murderers Row of batters and AJ Burnett, like they have to do tonight. Different batters have better luck off different pitchers, and Sabathia was a little bit of a soft touch for the Phillies, notably Chase Utley, who Chase-d Sabathia off the mound twice, with three homeruns in this series. Utley just seems to feed off of Sabathia's pitching, but Burnett is a little more problematic for them, having wiped the Phils out in Game 2. Phillies fans might end up having to use those dopey little towels for wiping away their tears during the seventh inning stretch when, instead of the Marine Band singing God Bless America, they are reduced to following along the karaoke version of "Cry Me A River" on the big screen.
On the other hand, it could still go the other way. The Yankees have to face Cliff Lee, who shook them around like a dog shakes around a rag doll in Game 1. You never know. If Ryan Howard awakes from his current beauty sleep and Jayson Werth goes back to his previous sterling performances, things could still end up terribly wrong for the Yanks. Remember, they have been ahead by three games before and ended up losing big to the Red Sox. When New York teams clutch they really clutch big-time.
Which is why the sportswriters should moderate their insulting, triumphalist tone. They are like a midget standing at the sidelines screaming, "Let's you and him fight!" They remind me of Giuliani, who was a Vietnam draft dodger, taking a hard line on Iraq. Talk is cheap. If something untoward happens for the Yanks in this series, these pencilneck drips will be standing in line eight-deep to blame the very players that they are fulsomely idolizing in today's editions.