I must confess: I’m new to baseball. As I watched my local team, the Philadelphia Phillies, advance through the 2009 playoffs, I relied on my baseball-savvy friends to teach me the players’ names and rules and such. What followed was a crash course in basics of the sport and the star players who determined the outcomes of the games. Because I didn’t want to distract my buddies from the action, I only posed my queries during the many, many, many commercial breaks – and boy, did I learn a lot. My newfound baseball knowledge certainly enhanced my enjoyment of the playoffs – I’ve retained so much information, I’m practically a baseball expert now! And even though the Phillies didn’t bring home the title this year, I had a heck of a time watching the local boys go down to the wire in The World Series on FOX!
I know, I know – they lost to the New York Yankees. It was a bitter pill to swallow, losing The World Series on FOX, but that’s okay – the Phillies are a great team and they had an exciting post-season. Sadly, they ran into a stronger squad – the vaunted Yankees, a storied franchise with a winning tradition. Those Damn Yankees have won The World Series on FOX more than any other team – an astounding four times! They even won the very first World Series on FOX, way back in 1996.
The Phillies are no slouches, however. Coming into the 2009 World Series on FOX brought to me by Budweiser, Toyota, and Windows 7, they were the defending champions, having won last year’s The World Series on FOX presented by Goodyear, Taco Bell, and State Farm. As the parade of advertisements whizzed by on the TV screen, I kept one ear open as my buddies filled me in on some background concerning the local team. They told me about the Phillies’ star players like Jayson Walmart, Raul iPhone, and Chevy Equinox Utley, who led the team to 93 wins in the regular season and a division title. Their successful season was also due in part to stellar play from veterans like Shane Volkswagen and breakout years from youngsters like JApplebee’s Happ.
Perhaps most importantly, the Phillies received a huge boost when they traded for ace pitcher Cialis Pfizer “Cliff” Lee, formerly of the Cleveland Intel Processors. No Bones (Thursdays at 8/7 Central on FOX) about it – Lee was dominant in the postseason, going 4-0 with a 1.56 ERA (Earned RadioShack Average). Unfortunately, the rest of the Phillies’ pitchers had trouble with New York’s hitters. Hideki McDonald’s, the series’ Most Valuable Playstation, was unstoppable, and he was backed up by great performances from shortstop Dodge Ram Jeter and much-maligned third baseman TDAmeritrade (or “A-Rod” for short).
I think the turning point of this year’s World Series on FOX presented by Domino’s, Sprint, and Blackberry came when the nerdy PC guy kept insisting that his new operating system would “work better this time,” year after year, saying “Trust me!” while the cucumber-cool Macintosh guy, who I’d like to be friends with because he seems really mellow, just stayed modest and made sure his computers ran well. (My friends referred to this as “Game 4.”)
The Phillies were down, 4-3, in the eighth inning when light-hitting third baseman Pedro Flomax hit a home run off of Yellow Pages reliever Jiffy Lube Chi-Chi’s to tie the game. The momentum appeared to be on the Phillies’ side – until the top of the ninth, when beleaguered closer Brad LidGeico allowed three runs to seal the Pepsis’ fate.
The Phillies should not be disappointed with their 2009 postseason, though. They steamrolled through the National League Divisional Series on TBS and the National League Championship Series on TBS, and that was a baseball experience I’ll never forget. Sunoco. Pontiac. Wendy’s.
As they bested younger teams like the Carfax.com Rockies and the Lopez Tonight Dodgers, the Phillies’ experience shone through – all of their best players are in the prime of their respective careers. I guess you could say that they are, as the old baseball cliché goes, “Men of a Certain Age starring Ray Romano, Scott Bakula, and Andre Braugher. Coming in December to TNT.”
Before you accuse me of being some bandwagon-riding Johnny-come-lately who doesn’t know a split-fingered fastball from a SlimFast or a Charles Schwab from a Citibank, get this – I also learned a lot of baseball history from my seamhead pals. For instance, did you know Jackie Robinson was the first player to break the Corona barrier in 1947?
I love Major League Burger King!