Beerleaguer hates Mondays, but loves the Phillies and the rest of his teams. Here are six thoughts to chase away your Monday morning blues.
No. 1: No sport is seeing a greater boost from the Internet and technology than Major League Baseball.
The Web sites associated with Major League Baseball, including Phillies.com, are very well done, organized and accessible. Buying tickets is a snap, especially using the e-ticket feature which allows users purchase and print tickets from their home computer.
Besides the company sites, ESPN.com has done a remarkable job baiting readers to subscribe to their pay product, getting the largest push (I’m sure) from exclusive trade rumors and the hot stove. With a staff that includes some of the best writers in the business, baseball is ESPN’s forte (excluding Joe Morgan) and has certainly helped revive the game.
In addition, baseball has capitalized on the satellite radio boom, selling exclusive rights to XM Radio for $650 million.
Here’s the dilemma: For all this exposure and renewed interest, including the explosion of sites like this one, I don’t see any evidence to indicate it’s driving more people to fill seats down at the ballpark.
In this information age, does a capacity crowd matter as much as we think it should when the baseball experience is being achieved through other avenues?
No. 2: Close your eyes and think: Which area of the Phillies roster scares you the most? If you said "bullpen," you’re not alone.
The latest rumor should calm your anxiety. According the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Phils are discussing a deal that would send David Bell to the Dodgers for 26-year-old reliever Duaner Sanchez. Happy Holidays if it happens; Sanchez is exactly what the bullpen needs. (Trivia: Name the last Phillies player who wore glasses.)
No. 3: If Philadelphia is a football town, it sure doesn’t feel like it this morning after the Eagles’ 26-23 overtime loss to New York. Suddenly, tonight’s game between the Timberwolves and Sixers (7 p.m. at the Wachovia Center) could blaze a new trail where sports interest is headed.
No. 4: Now that Washington has traded for Alfonso Soriano, where does he play? The displaced second-baseman said he refuses to play in the outfield. Standing in his way is veteran Expo/National Jose Vidro, who could be on the market.
Soriano is an awful second baseman, always has been, always will be. The best move for Alfonso would be to move to the outfield while he’s still relatively young.
Don’t be such a pouty-face, Alfonso. Grab your glove and trot out to right, and while you're at it, try working those big hacks into nice, level line drives to the gaps of vast RFK.
No. 5: Phillies radio broadcaster Tom McCarthy has a new gig calling games for New York Mets. T-Mac will be missed for his modern approach, enthusiasm and knowledge of the rest of teams in baseball. He was a refreshing change because he thought outside the Phillies broadcast box. A little peppier, too.
No. 6: Last but not least, congratulations to Penn State linebacker Paul Posluszny for winning the Butkus Award for top linebacker in the country. The honor gives "Linebacker U" its second Butkus Award in six years. LaVar Arrington won it in 1999.