So the Phillies go to the Series. Their one worry, heading into the post-season, was the bullpen. And now, Brad Lidge seems to remember that he's Brad Lidge. That is: Brad Lidge of the non-Pujols pitching, non-11-save-blowing variety. So: Now we have Lidge, and a lineup of Howard, Rollins, Utley, Victorrino. This team doesn't suck.
I've never thought this about another player, but: does Jorge Posada have some life issues going on, something we don't know about? If so, it's actually completely understandable. In two innings last night, Jorge made three horrendous blunders, three brutal ghastly goofs that, in ordinary circumstances, he might spread out over an entire season. God knows Posada has earned the benefit of the doubt: both at the plate and behind the plate, he's come through too many times to be labeled a choker or lunkhead. So what gives?
The greatest officials in all of sports are Major League Baseball umpires. Let us all say, "My God, have they had a terrible two weeks," and go from there. For now.
CC Sabathia. The Yankees have not had such a calming shut-down stopper like this since Ron Guidry, circa 1977-78. Gator. Now CC.
CC Sabathia. I now know how important it was for the Mets to beat the Astros in Game Six in 1986, just to avoid Mike Scott in Game Seven. How important Randy Johnson was to the D-Backs in 2001. CC not only assumes the role of stopper, he embraces it, and in doing so makes himself a part of the team the way no pitcher has done since David Cone in '96. Coney, with Paul O'Neill and Tino Martinez at his back (with Rock Raines available as enforcer), laid down the law for the younger players. Never complain. Stand up and face the press, whether you hit the game-winning homer or strike out with the bases loaded, whether you get the save or surrender the game-winning dinger. Never walk when you can run. Remember all things are possible if you share the credit.
You look at CC, he gets it, gets it all the way back to Allie Reynolds and Eddie Lopat, gets it all the way to Waite Hoyt and Herb Pennock. CC is the real deal.