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Memo to the Phillies: You're doing it wrong

October 10, 2008|T.J. SIMERS

PHILADELPHIA -- If this keeps up, it's going to ruin must-see TV, nobody other than the mopes who live here hanging in there for another round of "Frank TV" commercials -- if it's not the Red Sox and Dodgers.

Who wants just another World Series other than boring baseball purists, knowing now the potential high jinks that Manny, J.D., Nomar, Joe and Lowe might deliver in prime time?

It's asking for a lot, of course, the two teams who don't have the home-field advantage having to win, but then it's kind of the responsibility of the Phillies and Rays to step aside in the best interests of entertaining baseball.

A whole lot more can't really be asked of the Dodgers, our heroes only losing because the Phillies insisted on taking advantage of a Rafael Furcal rushed throw and two misplaced Derek Lowe pitches to steal a win.

"I feel badly for Lowe," Furcal said, and what about everyone who wants to watch Ramirez step into the Fenway Park batter's box one more time?

TWO MORE feet and the Dodgers take a 2-0 lead on Ramirez's home run in the first inning, but instead he hit the ball to the deepest part of the park without getting credit for a bomb, the Dodgers leading only 1-0.

"I hit it to the wrong spot," Ramirez said. "I flicked my bat away; thought it was gone."

A timely hit from Russell Martin, James Loney or Matt Kemp might have still allowed Ramirez to touch the plate, but these are still the Dodgers, champions of only the National League West and for everything to go just right, it might be a good idea to save those miracles for when they are really needed.

The Dodgers were winning, 1-0, and then a star was born, Blake DeWitt taking over and making one dazzling defensive play after another before also delivering a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.

Throw in a great defensive stop in left by Ramirez to give Tim McCarver something to chew on, and the Dodgers were certainly doing their part to get America excited about what they might see when the World Series begins.

"I think we played great," said Ramirez, who knows what it's like to lose playoff games and yet still come back to win it all. "Tonight is over, and now we just have to come back and do something tomorrow. We keep playing like this, and something good should happen."

But now the Dodgers have lost, and that hasn't happened to date in the playoffs, and as loose as they have played, it will be interesting to see whether they now play tight, you know, like the Angels.

"This ballclub has come to play every day," said Manager Joe Torre, who knows what it is like to be in charge of a team that everybody wants to see play on TV as long as possible. "It's been really rewarding for me to be in that clubhouse and see how comfortable I am with their personality. I think I'll get a sense tomorrow if I feel anything different, but my sense is I won't."

Don't know about the Dodgers, but just imagine the panic that might set in if the Phillies win again and no one no longer cares who wins the World Series? Next thing you know, Tampa beats Boston.

I UNDERSTAND I missed the opening of the NHL season. And this time without even trying.

FOR THOSE trying to look on the bright side of things, the Dodgers don't figure to spend the money to bring Lowe and Furcal back next season.

RECEIVED A bunch of angry e-mail from the folks who live in Angryville. Imagine that. Most were loaded with obscenities, people so angry about what someone in L.A. might think of them, they just ran a bunch of bad words together.

A Philadelphia Daily News columnist ran the first half a dozen or so paragraphs from Page 2 in his newspaper and told a story about Buddy Ryan, who when asked about Joe Namath receiving death threats, said don't stand by him.

As you might imagine, it's not the first time I've been compared to Namath.

But it was interesting to note that a newspaper columnist, who is just writing about sports, would introduce the notion of death threats and bodily harm into the conversation. As if the thugs residing in Angryville need any more ideas.

BEFORE THE game, the scoreboard asked the fans to wave their towels and they did. Good thing they didn't ask them to jump off the Whitman Bridge.

MORE STUPIDITY from Angryville: The Phillies' mascot brought out a mini-Dodgers helmet with dreadlocks hanging from it, set it on the ground and then with the crowd howling, smashed it to bits with something akin to a sledgehammer. Later the mascot took the Dodgers cap off a fan, stomped on it and then tried to rip the Dodgers shirt off him.

It's no wonder kids around here grow up thinking violence is just part of the game.

WHEN IT came time to sing the national anthem, they brought out some choir boys. I presume they had to have the choir boys shipped in from out of state.

GARY MATTHEWS SR. threw out the first pitch along with Garry Maddox. That means Matthews Sr. made a bigger contribution this postseason than his son, who gets paid by the Angels.

TODAY'S LAST word comes in e-mail from Don DeLancey:

"You sound like the biggest homer I've ever read."

Obviously you're not from L.A.

--

T.J. Simers can be reached at t.j.simers@latimes.com. To read previous columns by Simers, go to latimes.com/simers.

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