So the Osama Bin Laden thing happened. That was pretty cool. Text message alerts turning into fan's whispers turning into a bipartisan roar of U-S-A is much more listenable than Bobby Valentine and Orel Hershieser. Hacksaw Jim Duggan would be proud! Personally, I had all but forgotten about Bin Laden and figured he was destined to die in a cave somewhere in the Afghani mountains, but the breaking news last night (which subsequently took over Twitter and Facebook for about 12 hours) was pretty sweet (not to mention an assured reelection for any democrat up in 2012).
But this isn't a political blog. I don't care where they buried the body and I don't need to see DNA evidence. What I do need to see is RAUL IBANEZ HIT A FREAKING BASEBALL!?!?
His current 0-34 streak puts Raul just two away from the title of "All-Time Phillies Slump Master." The Phillies have lost more games than any other professional franchise for a reason. Consider for a second some of the all time bums and slump artists that have come through this town. Pat Burrell seemingly went for half seasons without getting a base hit, yet he doesn't even appear on the top 5 of this list. Danny Murtaugh (36), Len Matuszek (36), Desi Relaford (36), Denny Doyle (35), and Joe Morgan (35) are your leaders in the clubhouse. I don't think any of them would have let Chris Young's 85MPH fastball blow them away with such ease.
The major league record for 0'Fors is 46 ABs and I suspect that Ibanez will disappoint us with that record too by falling somewhere in the 42-45 game streak before he finally legs out an infield single on a ball that probably could have been called an error if the scorers didn't feel sympathy for Raul. The real fact of the matter is that Raul Ibanez, despite his best efforts, isn't a capable major league player anymore. We paid a lot of money for two half seasons of great play, but it's time to call a spade a spade here and cut your losses. Domonic Brown has officially been recalled from the DL and optioned to AAA so you have to assume that he'll be back with the Phillies within a few weeks. I've reached the point where I'm ready to give him the Old Yeller treatment behind grandpa's shed. I expect this kind of performance from Wilson Valdez! It's off to the glue factory for you, Ibanez!
Not so fast, Kyle Kendrick. Don't think you can just sneak away without any blame too! The Phillies have 9 losses and two of them are on your shoulders. You can point to your 2.08 ERA and your career low in WHIP all you want, but you're striking out absolutely no one and you can't get the job done in anything other than mop up duty. 3 innings against the last place Mets at home? is that really too much to ask for?
The rest of the bats didn't exactly hold up their end of the bargain either. I full expected a Placido Polanco double to the gap or a Ben Francisco moon shot would be the end of the night, but it wasn't to be. Still, with a NL Best 18 wins, a few injured guys with promising news, Blanton finally out of the rotation, and a pitching staff that is hitting their stride, things are still looking good. Forgive me if I've come to expect perfection!