Defending champs have not yet nearly had their Phil of success

Celebrations such as these have become routine in Philly

I sold the Phillies short this year mainly because I think it’s so hard to repeat in baseball. It hasn’t happened since the Torre Yankees about 10 years ago, and then before that the Blue Jays of the early ‘90s. Three separate teams repeated in the ‘70s, but that’s back in the early stages of free agency when it was far easier to hold onto a good team once you’ve built one.

But I underestimated the Phillies – anticipating their demise at the hands of the red-hot Rockies in the divisional round – and I really shouldn’t have.

Continue Reading

The SportsAngle Curse? Mauer hits bump in road

Fresh off this site proclaiming him the "Baseball LeBron" — the highest praise we can offer — Joe Mauer played on Sunday night in the Twins’ extra-inning loss to the Rangers and had the first 0-for-6 game of his career. He also lost the AL batting lead to Ichiro Suzuki (.363), dropping to a pitiful .358.

Then Monday night, Mauer had a routine night off and collected a pinch-hit single, but his team blew a 12-2 second-inning lead to the A’s and lost, 14-13, on a horrendous call at home plate in the ninth.

Now, the last thing we want to do in the early stages of SportsAngle Version II is to get a reputation like those Madden video games and Sports Illustrated have. (Is it any wonder that SI is struggling big-time right now?)

Look, let’s just consider this a huge coincidence. Mauer’s having an awesome season, and he’s still going to cash in big-time sometime in the next two years, so it’s not like we could have destroyed him like the Madden Curse does. Besides, he was on the cover of SI just a couple of weeks ago, so if he totally drops off the face of the earth, I think we can just blame them.

Of course, right after this, LeBron’s DunkGate kicked off.

So if we find there’s something to this – Lance Armstrong falls off his bike tomorrow or something like that – we may have to go back on hiatus for the greater good of today’s athletes.

Or even better, we’ll limit ourselves to coverage on guys we don’t like – like Shane Victorino.