Judge Ryan Keefer hopes we never speak of this again.
A Philadelphia Octoberphest of the phinest kind!
My Dearest Friend Satan,
As much as I love your work, what concerns me is your level of interest in professional sports this year. First, you have the New York Giants winning the Super Bowl. As I've said in the past, I'm all for anything to make the New England Patriots feel deeply crushed and battered, but Eli freaking Manning? I know that he started talking to you before I did, so maybe he was calling in a favor or something. But why did you have to return the favor to Boston a few months later when the Celtics beat the Lakers in the NBA Finals? I mean, really, with the Giants and Celtics winning the respective NFL and NBA Championships, you'd think that the Prince of Darkness had a yearning to see things how they were back in 1986, focusing all of your efforts into the Northeast.
With all that occurred during the first half of the sports year, why, oh, why did you throw your weight behind the Philadelphia Phillies when it came to Major League Baseball's World Series? Sure, they went on a commendable late-season run which secured them the NL East Division. Then they beat a Milwaukee Brewers team that was, frankly, running on fumes and running out of quality players. Then they beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games to advance to their first World Series in 25 years, playing the upstart Tampa Bay Rays.
Allow me to plead the case of the Phillies for a second. They're not as bad as you think, Master. On one side of the infield, you have first baseman Ryan Howard, the 2006 National League MVP who hit 48 home runs this year. On the other side of the infield, shortstop Jimmy Rollins, the 2007 League MVP, proclaimed at the beginning of the year that, "There isn't a team in the National League that's better than us." Other players who performed decently included Shane Victorino, who posted career bests in homers, runs batted in and batting average in 2008. On the pitching side, you had Jamie Moyer, who recently celebrated his 46th birthday, finishing 2008 with 16 wins against 7 losses. Pitcher Cole Hamels' performance both in the League Championship Series and World Series earned him Most Valuable Player honors. Combine those with relief pitcher Brad Lidge, who was thrown on the scrap heap by the Houston Astros. He returned to success with a 41-save season, striking out 92 batters in just under 70 innings, reaching levels of production he hadn't experienced in several years.
It's a pretty strong case, wouldn't you agree, Master? Why on earth would you allow these players to show off their talents in Philadelphia? It's a nice place to go, but they boo their talented players, and get into fights with others who dare to frequent their playing fields, no matter the sport. Another thing, they had not won a major championship in a quarter century. That's it. Why would you allow them to say that they had not won a championship in 100 years? It's a uniquely Philadelphia statement to make, perhaps to romanticize the city. But let's not forget, the city still worships false idols like Rocky Balboa. Actually come to think of it, that one might just be your doing.
Why should people consider buying this set, Master? It seems like A&E has run out of ways to make this type of presentation marketable, except to the hardcore fan. A&E does smartly include alternate audio for each game. Simply put, you can listen to Fox's Joe Buck and Tim McCarver, or tune into the spanish audio if you'd like. As an additional perk, each team's broadcasters are included as separate tracks. If you're a Tampa fan, Dave Willis and Andy Freed's work is available, or you can go with Harry Kalas, Larry Anderson and others on the Phillies' audio team. From a packaging point of view, everything's the same as previous sets; each game is housed in a slimcase, with five World Series games and the last two League Championship game wins against the Dodgers. A bonus DVD with additional footage is the set's eighth and final disc. The technical specs—full frame and two-channel stereo—make it a dilemma for buyers who recorded the high definition broadcasts and hoped for something similar on video. The alternate audio and extras are nice, but you're not getting the best possible picture and sound.
This edition might appease some Phillies fans purely from a collector's point of view, as it would only be bought for the alternate audio. It's a nice touch, but hardly worth the price of having the games in HD and suffering through Buck and McCarver. I would hope, Master, that you wouldn't get involved in any future sporting events, as these three wins have been awarded to some of the more, well, "devoted" fans out there. That said, some hardcore Philadelphia fans out there might want this, but peripheral fans should probably pass.
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