BLOG: Baseball’s Second Season

Written By: Paul Jolovitz – Every sport has a postseason. In our four professional majors, there are different keys to winning. In hockey, the goalie must be great. In the NBA, you gotta play the halfcourt game, and defense is the largest key. In the NFL, qb’s + defense = Lombardi.

In baseball, however, it is different, much different. Why? Pitching is still pitching, right? Well, no.

In football, the starters play in the regular season, and nothing changes in the playoffs. Ditto in basketball and hockey. Benches may shorten at key times, but all of the healthy contributors usually play.

October baseball is like a space liftoff, however. As a team exits the regular season atmosphere and enters the rarefied air of the postseason, the fifth starter is dropped like a used fuel cell, and the fourth hangs on to be used when needed. A marathon of 162 gives way to sprints of 5 and hopefully 7 games. Give me three aces, and I’ll give you a seat at the final table of the World Series of Poker, baseball style. Add an effective bullpen and a closer, and you might be showing me the money, baby.

There are teams built for the regular season, and teams built for the postseason. The Phillies are the latter. Joe Blanton is a solid fourth starter. Kyle Kendrick has been up and down all season. Jamie Moyer was effective prior to being injured.

Winning the World Series should be the only goal of any baseball franchise. In 2010, Ruben Amaro has proven it to be the case in Philadelphia in how he has built our Phillies, in spades (Roy Halladay),and hearts (Cole Hamels), and diamonds (Roy Oswalt). Three starters, a bullpen, and clutch hitting. If a rejuvenated Brad Lidge can team up with Ryan Madson to close games, then the Phillies are, by far, the best team in the majors as October awaits.

The Yankees? CC Sabathia is great. Andy Pettitte must be healthy. AJ Burnett has not been in 2010 what he was last year. And the bridge to Mariano Rivera has teetered as well.

Tampa? After David Price, there are many Robins, but no Batman. The same goes for Texas and Minnesota.

Wait, Jolly, what about the National League?

Atlanta has Tim Hudson, Cincinnati has no true ace, and San Diego’s Mat Latos has been awful this month. Colorado has Ubaldo Jimenez, and little else.

The San Francisco Giants are the other team that is built for the postseason. With Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain, as well as a good closer in Brian Wilson, they can scare a team in a short series.

The Phillies are well built for the regular season, and the addition of Roy Oswalt has made them nearly perfectly built for October. Cole Hamels has shined in the postseason. Roy Halladay awaits his turn.

If they can clinch an invite to the dance, the final episode may be on Broad Street, with the best fans in America.


One Comment

  1. Mike says:

    Can you over react to things any more than you do? Roethlisberger is better than Brady now and Tramon Williams is the second best player on the Packers defense? What are you a friggin moron? Stop over reacting and making ridiculous statements

  2. Mike says:

    Jim, Paul is probably the biggest homer in the history of sports radio when it comes to the Eagles. He’s a rah-rah guy waving the pom-poms. Everyone knows that.

  3. Nick says:

    And to educate some of these uneducated fools who call into the station who may read this, those stats aren’t even top 10 in baseball among 1st baseman. He is far and away the 3rd best hitter in the lineup. if I hear another person say he’s more valuable than Utley or Werth then they should be locked up in an insane asylum of some sort. I’d also encourage them to learn how to speak proper english. I had to get that off of my chest. Thanks.

  4. Nick says:

    Anyone who knows anything baseball statistics or sabermetrics knows that Ryan Howard has been an average baseball player this season. He has had the worst year of his career offensively and defensively. He’s not even worth 10 million dollars a year, let alone 25 million. He has a .350 on base percentage and 31 home runs. Yet I listen to these braindead morons call in and proclaim that he’s one of the best players in baseball. Please set them straight Paul.

  5. Matthew says:

    Paul, Derek Jeter was a coward for pretending to get hit by that pitch. He did it because he’s cooked and can’t hit anymore. It’s as simple as that.

  6. Rick says:

    I like how you shave a point off of every NFL bet you make on the air. The Eagles are -3, not -2.5. The Dolphins are -2.5, not -1. It must be nice to create your own line for your picks and then lie about having a million winning seasons in a row

  7. Jim says:

    you have been blindly optimistic about the Eagles for as long as I can remember so it’s good to see you coming around on the Phillies. Id like to hear you say something like “Season’s over! Theyre done!” about the Eagles like we heard about the Phils all summer. Remember last year when you said they were the easiest out in the playoffs? How’d that work out? The real team that was the easiest out in the playoffs was the Eagles but you still thought they’d beat dallas in the playoffs. Hey Paul, newsflash – the Eagles are absolute garbage. That’s why they’ve never won a Super Bowl and never will in your lifetime.

  8. joe says:

    avoid san francisco at all costs! The people who say they don’t hit fail to realize that when they literally hold teams to 2 runs or less every night, all you need most nights is 1 or 2 runs….could be trouble if the Phils have to play them

  9. John says:

    Paul – So now the Phillies are the best team in baseball? Yes, I agree with that. However, it is reprehensible to make that statement after you verbally destroyed them for most of the summer. That’s what some people would label a frontrunner, but not me since I enjoy your show. I didn’t quite enjoy being mocked when I called in a couple months ago saying that the Phillies would still easily win the division, though. Well, it feels great to be right. Baseball is the greatest because no matter how many years some petulant people watch the game, they still never realize that EVERY team goes through a significant slump in the season and they never learn not to jump off the team’s bandwagon only to crawl back on in a few weeks. It’s by far the greatest sport in the world and this city has the best team in it. It’s a wonderful thing.

Comments are closed.

More From CBS Philly

Getaway Guide: Best Of The Jersey Cape Clams

Watch & Listen LIVE