Sunday, October 24, 2010

The better team doesn't always win

And that's the case for the Philadelphia Phillies, who were clearly the best team in the National League all season but failed to play that way in the NLCS.

Ryan Howard averaged 136 RBIs over the past five
season, but he had zero in the NLDS.
This outcome doesn't bother me. I rooted for the Giants mainly because I'm picking up a Yankee-like entitlement vibe from the Philly fans, a sense that the Phillies are so good that this World Series should count as one-and-half championships for the red pinstripes.

On the other hand: This is a truly outstanding team, and its claim to greatness, like that of the Atlanta Braves of the 1990s, is at risk of being lost through October failure.

The Giants — even after their mid-season remodeling (they have turned over five regulars since the Opening Day: catcher, shortstop, left field, center field, right field) — are a clearly inferior team. The only position at which the Giants are better than the Phillies is catcher. The Giants' strength is in its starting rotation and the power arms therein — but the Phillies are at least as good  there as well.

But the Giants won four games, and they get to face Texas in the World Series. Nobody who rooted for the 1987 Twins can begrudge them that.

Still ... I said yesterday that the Texas Rangers won the ALDS more than the Yankees lost it. In this series, I think the Phillies lost more than the Giants won.


Poll stuff: Forty-eight people participated in last week's poll, in which you were asked to pick the middle infielder you most want back on the 2011 Twins.

The winner is J.J. Hardy, who had 24 votes (50 percent). Second was Alexi Casilla (12 votes, 25 percent). Orlando Hudson had 10 votes (21 percent), Nick Punto two (4 percent) and Matt Tolbert zero.

New poll up.

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