Passing the Crown

I just arrived at Nationals Park, where the Nationals could be popping champagne to celebrate their first National League East championship later tonight.

If it happens — a Nationals victory or Braves loss clinches Washington the title — the Phillies will get to watch the on-field celebration for a few moments before they return to a quiet clubhouse, eat their postgame meals, change into street clothes and return to the team hotel to prepare for a meaningless final two games.

It is strange to see the Phillies playing out the string entering the final series of the year. Obviously, they won five consecutive National League East championships dating to 2007, so even if they clinched early they were still preparing for a postseason. But they were eliminated from the NL Wild Card race with two games to play in 2006, and on the final day of the 2005 season. So not since Larry Bowa managed the Phillies in 2004 — Gary Varsho managed the final two games after Ed Wade fired Bowa — has there been a meaningless finish like this. I guess the Phillies could play spoiler — the Braves are three back with three to play — but it seems highly unlikely. The Phillies are going to have a bullpen game tomorrow night because Tyler Cloyd is injured. Nope, the Phillies will play three more games, head back to Philly, clean out their lockers at Citizens Bank Park and head home for the winter.

And the Nationals, who truly seem to have enjoyed knocking off the Phillies, will get to play on.

Quite odd.

Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels finished their seasons over the weekend. Ryan Howard finished his season after breaking his right big toe. The Phillies are expected to use a relief pitcher to start Tuesday’s game because Tyler Cloyd cannot pitch because of soreness in his left arm. It’s

11 Comments

Out of all the pics you had to put werthless in there? Are you a phils fan or a closet nats fan? Twisting the knife a little Todd?

I like Jason Werth. He helped make that parade happen… that parade ruled.

Truly weird/odd indeed. It would be kinda nice if the Phils could play the spoiler, but I guess that’s asking too much with combination of 1 W/L between the Nats and the Braves.

Also let’s hope it’s only a temporary passing of the crown.

I live in the DC Metro area. What’s odd is how little the fans in this area appreciate what is happening. A radio poll this morning asked fans to choose between watching the Nationals in the playoffs or Redskins in the regular season. Most respondents chose the Redskins. And a championship parade here would likely be a bust, possibly not even allowed, given the epic traffic problems we already have. At any rate, I’m ambivalent about Werth. He chose money, which is good for him. (He’s probably feeling just a little lucky that Boston didn’t outbid Washington. Who knows where he would be right now?) What’s interesting is that Rizzo and his ilk talk so easily and arrogantly about dominating this division for so many years to come. Maybe they will, but I doubt they’ve seen the last of this Phillies team, even when the latter is “reloading.”

“The Phillies are expected to use a relief pitcher to start Tuesday’s game because Tyler Cloyd cannot pitch because of soreness in his left arm. It’s” It’s what, Zolecki? It’s a damn shame? It’s typical of this season?

The Phillies home record are what really cost them any appearance in the postseason. This team was horrible at home, if they just converted 10 of their 41 losses at home into wins, they probably would have been in the playoffs this year. Why all of the losses at home this year?

Perhaps the constant changing of lineups was the reason, this team never had a chance to be ‘a team’ with all of the lineup changes going on. There was a new team on the field constantly for the Phillies this year, and it all added up to this.

I thought it was pretty funny that the Nats took a loss and then had to wait until the victorious Phillies gave them the field for their celebration. Awkward.

phan52: Agreed, it was odd (I only watched the celebration very briefly). In some ways maybe we did play the spoiler if only for a brief period of time.

Todd……Did you REALLY have to use Werth’s pic??? Bleh.

“passing the crown”? Really the crown is not passed when the team you passed had almost every starting player on the DL at some point this year, and started almost half the season without their #3 and #4 hitter. They won fair and square and I’ll be rooting for them all the way, but they need to win again next year before the crown is truly “passed”.

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