Thursday, April 06, 2006

Oprah vs. The Phillies

Maybe I should have watched Oprah.

At least I could have become engrossed, open-jawed and drooling, with various “secret diets,” which were a lot less mysterious than the 25-year track record of Phillies’ ownership, a ship navigated by jesters and fools on a mission to nowhere.

I promised the Old Lady never again will I saunter creakily down the stairs and demand the remote for something as inane and predictable as a Phillies game, where the bad ending is to be expected, not the least bit an act of surprise.

Oprah doesn't like surprises, in case you haven't noticed. Just ask James Frey, the fake writer, after she publicly undressed him for his trickery. No, this lady doesn't like to lose -- she's not used to it, either.

However, our heroes are a different breed altogether.

The team had a great spring training record and expectations were somewhat high, tempered by the usual “we’ve been there before” sense of impending doom. That in the end, one is never disappointed if nothing is requested. After all, we all know that Franz Kafka writes the Phillies schedule, and John-Paul Sartre prints it: Groove on the nothingness, don’t knock nihilism…can three million Philadelphians be wrong if you build it and they come for no reason?

But even for someone like me who wallows in this culture of misery, I'm starting to wonder how bad it's gonna get this year.

The devil is in the details, so here: A chilly day game was lost this April 6 by a team that will be quickly forgotten and disassembled by a 67-year-old general manager with nothing to lose if they keep up with this pathetic bullshit. That is, unless the owners invite him to join their circle jerk and insist he become their shill for mediocrity (or just plain awfulness), and that is an interesting thought. Will he tell them to shove it and go hang it up in Canada to finger paint with his artist wife? Or will he shuffle the deck and maybe discard a few of the weaker cards, especially the ones who collect millions to entertain us with the art of grounding into a double play? Yes, that's you, David Fucking Bell.

Today’s final score was 4-2 and it was a dreadful bore replete with nothing but a big, empty feeling, a veritable bacchanal for us misery-loving masochists, who wear garish red caps with a “P” on the forehead. That stands for “pecker” if you’d like.

Jimmy Rollins hitting streak is history at 38, and Rookie-of-Last-Year Ryan Howard went humbly down to the bench when it mattered the most. They were not alone. Cardinals relievers held the Phils hitless for the final 3 2/3 innings

If only time travel were available this century.

“Don’t get heavy with a menopausal woman,” the Old Lady warned after the remote had been removed from her hand and Oprah got clicked into oblivion.

“And don’t you abuse a corpse of a team…that’s against the law, you know,” I giggled, settling in to watch the final installment of a three-game set that would leave us 0-for-the-season and starting the long campaign stuck in the usual pothole.

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