There were many disgusted faces made yesterday, as New York, Boston, and the Dominican Republic combined for a tag team, daylong beatdown of the city of Philadelphia.
In the early afternoon, it was the Phillies who set the tone. Their staff ace, Cole Hamels, was making his third start of the spring, had yet to allow an earned run, and had notched more strikeouts than he'd thrown innings. At this point, he just needed a challenge.
And he got one, in the form of the Dominican Republic national team.
On their way to the World Baseball Classic, the DR sported such names as Jose Reyes, Robinson Cano, Edwin Encarnacion, and Hanley Ramirez. Together, they showed the power of unity and national pride by teeing off on Hamels for eight runs and leaving the park with a 15-2 feel-good story.
The Phillies have been eliminated from the World Baseball Classic.
— Matt Gelb (@magelb) March 5, 2013
The Phillies countered by trying to use the power of Laynce Nix. But as they had to learn, apparently, Laynce Nix can't do it all by himself.
The silver lining of this particular massacre is that the Phillies' games don't technically count, unless you're talking about the emotional toll (Darin Ruf, the new, hot, young slugger in town, had a three-strikeout day at the plate).
The other two match-ups were very, very real.
DIFFERENT WOULD BE BETTER
The Boston Celtics lost a key member of their squad in Rajon Rondo this year, the man most skilled at getting the ball in the right hands and facilitating a play. Yet somehow, they have healed over this wound, and continued to be successful in his absence.
The Sixers' biggest absence is their $16 million cheerleader, Andrew Bynum, whose efforts to raise morale from the bench or by potentially having season-ending arthroscopic knee surgery have gone almost completely unappreciated.
Yeah, we've noticed. MT @celticstownDoc Rivers on Andrew Bynum's injuries: "It cripples your franchise"
— Liberty Ballers (@Philly76ersBlog) March 5, 2013
The Sixers, down by 15 in the fourth quarter, attempted to build on a 7-0 run, only to have a strange-looking Dorell Wright pass turn into a Paul Pierce three-pointer, followed by a Jason Terry three-pointer, and then they all blacked out for awhile, and when they woke up the game was over and everybody was mad.
The 109-101 loss was punctuated by Doug Collins' description of the Celtics as "different," but not "better."
You tell 'um, Doug.
Here is a baby lamb learning to walk, to remind you that good things can happen in the world.
That lamb was the last nice thing you're going to see.
MADISON SQUARED GARDEN
Madison Square Garden lit up with Rangers goals last night, including two during faulty Flyers line changes. Up 2-1, courtesy of two power play goals by Jakob Voracek and Wayne Simmonds, the Flyers watched their lead disappear and their score get squared by New York, as they tumbled into the halfway point of the season with an 11-12 record. For their efforts, they were awarded two one-night trips to Pittsburgh and Boston in the coming week.
Do not watch this video.
WHY DID YOU DO THAT.