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Derek Jeter done, Nationals collapse, St. Louis Cardinals performing miracles again, and more


As of this writing, only one game has been played of the second round of the MLB Playoffs. However, Game One of the ALCS continued the theme of what has been an absolutely thrilling postseason. Despite the fact that the Phillies are home, I haven’t missed much of any game. Truth be told, I can actually enjoy these games more knowing I have no real vested interest in it.


Here are my thoughts on things so far.  


While everyone knows of my undying hatred for the Evil Empire (aka the New York Yankees), I have the following two points to make: Raul Ibanez photo: usatoday.com


1. Raul Ibanez is one of the nicest, most genuine athletes I’ve ever met. If somebody had to get those three home runs with the game on the line, I’m glad it was him. His performances have been nothing short of amazing. While I don’t think he would play full time if the Phillies resigned him, I still feel that the Phillies should have brought him back. $1.1 million is a bargain these days.


2. I don’t like to see any player get injured, and the fact that Derek Jeter fractured his ankle and will miss the rest of the postseason just made the Yankees’ series with the Tigers a lot less interesting. All of this despite the fact that Jose Valverde insists on offering his best impersonation of Mitch Williams on what seems like a nightly basis...........


But don’t worry:  I still despise the Yankees........


-I’ve always admired Davey Johnson as a manager, yet I despise most of his teams. Despite talk that Johnson mismanaged his pitchers, Washington’s middle relief was a precursor to their downfall, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that we would all be talking about the Nats in the NLCS if Stephen Strasburg pitched. Instead, the Nationals and their 98 wins will be watching the Cardinals versus the Giants at home like most of us. I know it’s not my money, but that decision was horrendous. I thought that when they shelved him, and I still feel that way.


I just hope Jayson Werth can get past this. You know he really wanted to stick it to Philly..........


-The St. Louis Cardinals are proving once again that mediocre teams can move mountains in postseason play. This team was down to their last strike TWICE in last year’s World Series and pulled off a miracle. What happened on Friday night in Game 5 of the NLDS defies logic. The Cardinals’ comeback skills are almost superhuman. I know it’s baseball heaven, but come on!  This team won 90 games in 2011 and 88 this year.  Last season, Adam Wainwright was injured. This year, they lost Lance Berkman, Rafael Furcal, and Chris Carpenter has pitched in three regular season games all year. So naturally, Carpenter wins his first game of the year in the postseason, and guys like David Descalo and Pete Kozma end up as heroes. Can you imagine Domonic Brown and Laynce Nix doing what they did?.....Hello?....Any takers?..................Cardinals photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters


Seriously, enough already. The fact that this team could be the first back to back World Champion since the Big Red Machine in ‘75 and ‘76 doesn’t say much for the rest of the NL- and that includes the Phillies. And no, this isn’t just because the Cards knocked the Phightins out of the playoffs last year. The redbirds are like a less arrogant version of the Yankees, only they play in the NL. It’s nauseating. I know, I know, they never boo. Well let me tell you something: if my team has won 11 World Championships, I wouldn’t boo either.


Like I said, enough already.


-In saying that, it would really stink if the San Francisco Giants made it back to the Word Series. Simply because of their fan base. While most of them are loyal, their arrogance truly supersedes anything Phillies fans can muster. Yes, that’s right. I’ve lived in the Tri-State area my whole life, and Giants fans’ sheer brashness combined with their sense of entitlement during the 2010 postseason almost made me buy a Texas Rangers hat. Say what you what about Philly fans, but it’s a real stretch to find anything that we think we’re entitled to.


Final thoughts: 

Tom Selleckphoto: midwestsports.com

-If I had my way, neither the Cardinals or Giants would advance to the World Series. But then again, you probably picked up on that already. I do however, find it interesting that those two teams are baseball’s last two World Champions and are squaring off against each other. This has never happened in LCS history.


- If Triple Crown Winner Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder wake up and they win the games Justin Verlander starts, the Tigers will beat the Evil Empire to advance to the World Series. Only thing is, they HAVE to win at home. The only team that was better at home than Detroit in 2012 was the Yankees. Losing Jeter really hurts, but don’t count out the Yankees just yet.


Somewhere, Thomas Magnum is wearing his Tigers hat.



Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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Ibanez photo: usatoday.com

Cardinals photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Magnum photo: midwestsportsfans.com