FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Some thoughts on baseball and the American way (with apologies to Crank)
So it’s not a great night to be a Phillies fan. The heavily favored club has come off a three-game sweep of the Reds to stumble to the Giants, a team they handled with ease in the regular season. The vaunted aces have faltered and the bats fallen silent. Odds are fourth-string pitcher and well known layabout Joe Blanton will get plastered tonight by the surging Giants. The annointed ones are suddenly the underdogs.
But what if Blanton exercises his God-given right as an American to pursue happiness?
There are certainly no guarantees that Blanton will rise to the challenge and lead his team back into this series. But then again he might–the fat mediocre guy who naps while the hawks are practicing–might just get up there and shock those Giants out of their orange complacency. Or maybe he flubs it and the Phillies go home for good tomorrow night making him the goat of the Philadelphia fans. Or maybe even worse he flubs it and the tall, handsome H20 (Halladay, Hamels and Oswalt if you don’t know) save the series in seven, thus relegating Blanton to the dustheap of Phillies history. But I hope not. I hope Blanton has the night of his life. There have been precious few opportunities for Blanton to be a hero in the past, and if he fails tonight another is unlikely to come his way again. If he can grab hold of this one an ordinary career will have an extraordinary moment, and that’s the promise of the American way.
Here’s hoping an underdog has his day.