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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bill Conlin, an angry American

Whenever I want to write but don't really have anything to say, I go to philly.com. More often than not, there's a little something for The Manuel to enjoy. Today was no exception.

Bill Conlin's article today begins with a history lesson about the four previous Phillies teams to reach the World Series - 1993, 1983, 1980, and 1950 - and how they failed to successfully defend the NL crown the following year (those JERKS). I don't know why he omitted the 1915 team that lost in the World Series. Perhaps the memories are too painful for him.

Look at this quote:

"Here are some numbers to link how the four modern-era pennant winners handled their crowns in '51, '81, '84 and '94: Like a bar of soap in a steam-bath shower is how. Trying to repeat, the defending NL champs went 267-271."

A) I know "modern-era" means post-WWII, but using the word "modern" to refer to the 1951 Phillies is pretty funny.

2) Since when do bars of soap have National League crowns to handle?

D) The 1981 Phillies were pretty damn good. They reached the playoffs (no easy feat in baseball), losing a five-game series in the first round to Montreal, 3 games to 2. Steve Carlton lost the deciding fifth game at Veterans Stadium, his second loss of the series.

Essentially, this is an article that's supposed to link history to present. That's great. Sometimes I write about terrorists from the '70s for no reason. But, in an article where he tries to show us why the Phillies WON'T repeat their championship, Conlin conveniently overlooks the fact that the only other World Series-defending Phillies team that made the playoffs, lost because Steve Carlton had a couple sub-par outings. In fact, he doesn't even MENTION that they made the playoffs that year. He actually states the Phillies played below .500 in the second half of the season, but he never tells his audience they made the playoffs. It's almost as if he knew what he was writing was a joke. Either way, I'm not sure it's a bad thing to follow the footsteps of a team who came within four victories of a second consecutive World Series berth.

If the 2009 Phillies, in order to reach the NLCS, have to rely on their best left-handed pitcher to win only one of his NLDS starts - then I'll take my chances.

[EDIT:] I just re-read his article, and it was worse than I remembered. Conlin literally stops his story about the teams from 15-58 years ago, takes a jab at "stat fanatics" - that's us! - and then finishes his article with four or five long, generic, unimportant quotes from Charlie Manuel. I'm sure Conlin used to be a good, efficient journalist, but I think it's time to call it quits.

On second thought, maybe he should stick around - he might not have the burden of covering a World Series champion after this season.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bill Conlin is a clown. He talks way to slow and makes many weird noises.
He is a detriment to Daily News Live.

-Steve Mix

PS Did you ever hear of "The South Bend Shovel Slayer"