I’m not sad about how today’s Phillies game ended. A little bummed, sure, but not sad. I decided in the fourth inning that, regardless of the outcome, I wouldn’t be sad or angry or whatever. Or course, I was super happy at that exact moment. Why was I so happy? Because Jim Jam mashed a tater! At that point I was happy, Twitter was happy, Jim Thome was happy, Charlie Manuel was happy – it was a pretty awesome moment. So I decided that the game couldn’t possibly be all bad since something so awesome happened.
But, man, the defense was painful to watch sometimes. And it was exacerbated by the fact that I had to listen to Chris Wheeler for 12 innings. That is rough. But, in the middle of those 12 innings, I finally figured out why I hate Wheels so much: The last thing I want to hear during a baseball broadcast are my own negative thoughts and fears. It’s one thing for me to be sitting at home and worrying about the Phils’ apparent inability to score with a man on third and no outs. It’s quite another for a professional color commentator to worry about the very same thing out loud during a game. Aren’t a team’s broadcasters supposed to be optimistic during games? Not Wheels, no. He wants to fret about every stupid thing. And then, when whatever he was worrying about comes to pass, he’s like a dog with a bone. Instead of saying, “well, that sucked, but what’s done is done,” he keeps harping about it for the rest of the inning (at least). God knows I have trouble letting things go (sometimes really stupid things), but I am also not a professional baseball color commentator. I find Tom McCarthy annoying most of the time too, but I have to give him credit today because at one point he did try to get Wheels to such the hell up about the less than stellar defense. Wheels just continued whining over him, but at least T-Mac tried.
And even though it was a loss, it wasn’t all bad news. Jim Thome homered! (Did I mention that?) The Phillies held their own against a really good team. Antonio Bastardo pitched a perfect eighth. Chad Qualls pitched two (2!) clean innings, including a perfect 10th. B.J. Rosenberg pitched a perfect 11th in his major league debut, though why the hell Charlie sent him out for the 12th is beyond me. So, yeah, I’m choosing to be optomistic about this game.