Seriously, for all the mockery aimed at Kevin McHale for having fast-tracked his old pals in Boston with the gift of Kevin Garnett, how about the not-so-popular in Philly Ed Wade helping his former club with Houston’s dump of Brad Lidge?
Though I don’t recall many observers (and Jimmy Rollins doesn’t count) automatically awarding the NL Championship to the Phillies back in Spring Training, Lidge — flawless in the postseason, awfully close during the regular campaign — represented the biggest difference between the ’08 World Champs and the ’07 NL East title holders. Jason will have more to offer on last night’s drama and subsequent celebrations, but personal allegiances aside, I can’t be disappointed. Though I’d have loved to watch a seven game series, and there’s no sense in diminishing Tampa’s historic achievement, it’s very hard to argue the Phillies aren’t deserving. And back to those same personal allegiances, I hope Fred and Jeff Wilpon had many snacks and refreshing beverages on hand for their Game 5 2/3’rds viewing party last night. Pat Gillick and Ruben Amaro made a bold move with the Lidge acquisition during the offseason, while the recently extended Omar Minaya did zilch at the trade or waiver deadline to address bullpen deficiences that cost the Mets far more than two games in the standings.
Jason, Chuck, and all surviving members of the Sadistic Exploits, you have my sincere congratulations. Though I’m not looking forward to a winter of gloating from this guy.