Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Eagles Overshadow the Phillies in a Playoff Race, the View From Baltimore
Welcome to Philadelphia, where it is all T.O. all the time. And where baseball has become an annoying timeout in between Eagles seasons.

The back page of yesterday's Philadelphia Daily News was a picture of Owens with the caption "T-DAY -- Is T.O. in or is he out? Today may tell."

The Philadelphia Inquirer had two Owens stories and a picture above the fold on the sports front. The Phillies were pushed to the bottom of the page -- while legitimately in a pennant race.

"It's a football town. We hear Eagles chants when we're playing," said Phillies reserve catcher Todd Pratt. "It's a football town, which is understandable because they've won. They've been in the playoffs the past four years; we haven't since 1993."

As a fan of many sports and of baseball primarily, I find the Eagles obsession annoying. But Todd Pratt gets it. The Phillies have stunk more than any other team in sports history. They have been mediocre or bad since 1983 with one exception, 1993. The Phils recently lost their 10,000th game. I was at a Giants game recently when they celebrated their 10,000th win. Disheartening.
Billy Wagner, the Phillies' All-Atar closer, has been here for just 1 1/2 seasons, but he already has got the fans figured out.

"They don't even know what they are booing at most of the time," he said. "They yell and boo and they don't know what they are paying attention to or yelling at. They're spelling 'Eagles' the whole game."

You get used to it, Wagner said.

Does Wagner understand that when they boo when he doesn't pitch a 100mph pitch, they aren't booing him and it is in good fun? He either doesn't understand it, which is sad, or he is entirely too sensitive.
It doesn't bother him that during one of the biggest series of the year, the papers, radio and television stations and many of the city's fans are focused primarily on Owens and his squabbles with Eagles management and players.

There's even some irony here.

Owens' disruptions may cost the Eagles a chance at a fifth straight NFC title game. But, Wagner said, smiling, Owens might actually help the Phillies play in October.

"We love it," Wagner said. "If T.O. wants to take all the pressure off our division race, go right ahead."

Does Wagner understand what he just said?

He just said that the Phillies don't do well under pressure. So even if they make the playoffs, they will fold like a cheap suit.

And the national media wonders why Philadelphia isn't overly excited about a playoff race?

Good call...i think Billy Wagner just doesn't get it. Todd pratt does because he's been here a lot longer and was on the team in '93. It is a football town, but that's just because the phillies have been so bad for so long. Reverse the fortunes of the teams and people may be calling this a baseball town. It's just a good sports town all around. WHichever team is winning gets the most attention. My brother says that Houston doesn't come close to what Philly does for sports...

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