Thursday, September 25, 2003

Triumphant Marlins
Florida dusted off the Phillies last night, ending any realistic hopes of the Phillies heading to the playoffs. And aside from my hometown feelings, you have to admit that the Marlins are a pretty nice story. Almost contracted, they lose their ace (AJ Burnett), and pay Mike Hampton $10 million to pitch for someone else, trade a legit 5-tooler (Preston Wilson) for a singles hitter with speed (Juan Pierre) and spend another $10 million on Pudge Rodriguez, who couldn't find a job to save his life. And they're headed to 90 wins and a playoff berth.

Meanwhile in Philadelphia, the sharks should start circling around Larry Bowa soon. He should be fired within days of the end of the season, unless Ed Wade wants stability heading into the new ballpark. The initial news reports after the devastating Marlins series suggest that Bowa will live to fight another day. Kevin Millwood will walk, and I suspect the Phils won't try to keep him. He's nobody's ace -- how many times has he taken the mound in crucial games and lost? The Phils will close the Vet not in style but in meaningless games against an Atlanta Braves team that has owned them now for 10 years. Phil Sheridan has a great send-off to the maddening 2003 Phillies and their final, pointless series at the Vet. He writes:

And isn't that fitting? Thanks to the Phillies, Veterans Stadium has hosted much more than its share of meaningless baseball games. There's something to be said for dying as you lived.

Couldn't have said it better myself.


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