Series Six-Pack: Phillies vs. Marlins

Justin Klugh of FanSided’s Philadelphia Phillies blog That Balls Outta Here and I are back with yet another riveting set of interviews as the Phillies and Marlins face once again, this time with almost absolutely nothing on the line; such is the nature of one team being completely out of contention and the other being so far in contention that it is difficult to see them. First, Justin’s questions to me:

1. So, how’s it going?

2. I’m not so bad myself. So Josh Johnson is coming back? That’s nice.

3. What are the odds of Greg Dobbs‘ foul ball finding the one seat in the stadium that somebody happened to be sitting in? I know, they weren’t in Florida, but I think the joke still resonates. Also, don’t you think Dobbs sending the kid a bat was more of a threat than an apology? Like, “Stay the hell out of the way of my foul balls, or I will find you and hit you with this?”

4. Will Ozzie Guillen be the 2012 Miami Marlins manager, and how far into the ground will he drive the team? How do you see him getting along with Hanley Ramirez? At all? Or too much?

5. What are the Marlins going to do without Randy Choate, and does it even matter?

6. Is Wes Helms‘ career over? What will NL East teams do with that open roster spot they want to waste in the future? And why did Helms’ role in Logan Morrison‘s previous demotion not receive more attention?

And here are my responses.

1. It’s pretty good. I can’t complain. It’s a little hot outside.

2. Good to hear. No, I don’t think Josh Johnson’s coming back in 2011. At this point, the Marlins should just rest him and hope for a healthy 2012, because the rotation and team are going to need it.

3. I think what he did was fine. Had he sent him a dinged-up baseball, perhaps it would have been a bit scarier. “Don’t make do this to you again!”

4. I think Ozzie Guillen is the most likely candidate for Marlins manager in 2012. All the signs have been there for some time, and it seems almost like a perfect fit, except for the whole “Loria is crazy and they’re bound to butt heads.” I would actually say that if anyone can make Ramirez “get it” (if there is such a thing to be got), it’s Guillen. Like Miguel Cabrera before hiM. Ramirez will likely get along with Ozzie pretty well.

5. It doesn’t matter. I might as well be throwing to lefties at this point. This last month is going to be one boring tailspin.

6. I guess no one really saw Helms’s release as a surprise, regardless of the reason. Sure, the release was likely related to Morrison’s recent problem with missing the team photo event, but most fans just wanted Helms out of there anyway. The truth is that when the game passes you by, no one seems to care anymore, and that is something Helms saw. It was a case of the team doing the right thing probably for the wrong reasons.

Finally, here are my questions:

1. Which one of your aces is going to win the NL Cy Young? My money’s on Halladay, but I’m sure his two teammates will be gunning for him in September!

2. Do you buy the potential “Halladay for MVP” talk that us stat nerds have been discussing in our mothers’ collective basements?

3. What about the “Victorino for MVP?” He’s having an amazing season for a tiny, firebreathing Hawaiian.

4. Has the fact that your team essentially wrapped up a playoff spot about a month ago affected your enjoyment of the team?

5. How does making the playoffs feel (you jerk)?

6. Are people in Philadelphia still happy with Ryan Howard after a second straight sub par season?

And here’s what Justin had to say:

1. I want to say I’m rooting for one of the other two, just to spice things up, but that would sound like it was coming from a spoiled, overstimulated Phillies fan who has quickly forgotten anyone talentless ever pitched for this team.

2. With all due respect for stat nerds–they are very clearly in the right almost 100% of the time–it just seems fundamentally wrong to give the MVP to a pitcher with the Cy Young set up to be awarded to the best pitcher. Yes, in this case, what I just said was “It seems fundamentally wrong to give the MVP to the best player.” See? Stat nerds. You guys are always making me look the fool. Of course, the more important question is CAN’T A GUY MASTURBATE IN HIS PARENTS’ HOUSE WITHOUT SOMEBODY BARGING IN TO ASK WHAT SHAPE THEY WANT THEIR SANDWICH CUT IN GOD DAMNIT I MEAN COME ON.

3. Look, as appealing as the idea is to all of us that every award is given to a Phillie, the thing that makes this all moot is that none of these mean anything to anybody, including the players, if they don’t end in a World Series ring. That is the only hardware that interests me, and even though I only know Roy and Shane and the gang via my television and some light stalking, I think they’d tell you the same thing.

4. There’s a little saying we have in Philly: “Fuck no.”

5. Honestly? Like being born. Every time. It is a baptism of glory. It is soothing, elating, and explosively joyous, though the process of getting there isn’t without the occasional epic pain and possible voiding of the bowels. Those threatened and irritated by our success have found themselves complaining about the past (“You’re all bandwagoners!”) or the future (“The Phillies are old and will suck tomorrow!”) in an effort to quell their own emotions, but the truth is, most of us true fans are aware that this is a special time and the longer we can feel this way, the better. They’ll say it can’t last forever, but they should see the inside of my head, where it all plays out over and over again.

6. No, the contract extension complaints are still jokes. He’s come through in the clutch, I feel, more often this year. His droughts have been less noticeable with different guys at different points picking up the slack–Shane, Polly, Hunter, etc. 2011 has been an incredible showcase of depth in a lot of our game: Worley in the rotation, Bastardo, Stutes, Madson, and even Juan freaking Perez at one point in the bullpen, and the lineup isn’t just a bunch of scrubs dancing around Ryan Howard.

But oh boy, do I not look forward to the coming years, when Ryan regresses HARD, and the complaints stop being jokes and start being flat out vicious attacks. Yikes.

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