I'd like to take a few moments of your time on this Thanksgiving Day to reflect upon the season past before the hot stove gets cranked up in earnest. Oh, we've already talked about the best games, best pitching performances, picked over the numbers, and celebrated both curious gold gloves and our most recent Phillies Cy Young Award winner. But, as one wise scribe noted not too long ago, WHY CAN'T US? Us, that is, meaning our blog.
So today I present, with help from the Blog Lord Fellas, the Very Best of 2010 at The Good Phight. As ever, you are welcome to chime in with your own thoughts - the stories, the features, the game chatters, the fan posts - that were most memorable, thought-provoking, or funny. I consider my post today a start rather than the definitive work; they are grouped loosely, and in no particular order.
Our thanks to you, commenters and lurkers everywhere, for making this a great, shaved-knuckles kind of place to hang out and be a Phillies fan. You people out there, you're the stars!
Best of Analysis: The Good Phight Does It, Then Submits Itself to Rigorous Questioning by The Good Cops and The Bad Cops.
Cerberus Lives: Who Needs Utley, Polanco, and Ruiz?
David S. Cohen took us all down to the very Gates of Hell and back to reassure us all that the Phillies' fearsome trio of replacement-level infielders was doing just fine.
Roy Oswalt and Dan Haren: A Phillies Fan Primer
Right before the Oswalt deal, WholeCamels wrote this trade talk field guide, although the the Werth trade talk hijack in the comments wasn't quite the point.
Phillies CF Prospect Tyson Gillies arrested in Florida on felony cocaine possession charge
When the long, strange trip of Tyson Gillies met up with an ornery Boss Hogg-type in Pinellas County, Florida, TGP's top-shelf legal analysis experts came to the rescue.
Losing Four in a Row in a Pennant Chase is INEXCUSABLE
Give the Astros and Ed Wade credit for their eerie power to cast Phillies fans into the Pit of Despair for one week every year. Fortunately, David S. Cohen threw cold water on the worry warts.
In Defense of Jamie Moyer
Taco pal, as is his wont, treading in controversial waters.
The Phillies' Home: Fairest in the Land
New associate blog lord schmenkman has (so far) been too polite to sum it up this way, but I'm not: High school field, my ass!
Screaming at a Wall: A Post-NLCS Phillies Media Guide
Trev223's postseason innoculation for those of us who can't keep the talk radio kryptonite out of the lead box.
Cost Certainty: What Does It Mean?
Governator's January 2010 post merits another look-see as the Hot Stove cooks along this off-season.
Best of Game Recaps: Sometimes The Blog Wins, Sometimes the Blog Loses. And Sometimes, It FanGraphs.
April 28: Le Freak Show: Phillies 7, Giants 6
This game eerily presaged the NLCS.
June 16: Yankees 8, Phillies 3
Only at TGP do we employ Stanley Kubrick references to cheer us all up in the depths of Slumpuary.
August 12: Nachesnacht: Phillies 10, Dodgers 9
A poetic recap, augmented by a passage from The First Book of Maccabees, celebrated Jonathan Broxton's Biblical meltdown on Jewish Heritage Night. This also marked the second year we hosted a Yiddish-infused game thread to mark the occasion.
October 23: Fin: Giants 3, Phillies 2
FuquaManuel does the toughest part of a blog lord's job. Close the door...
I know I'm missing other great game recaps. Lil' help!
Best of Prophesy, TGP-Style
To Arms! Why Phillies Pitching Should Surge in 2010
Dajafi's all-around prophesy on March 7 stands the test of time.
More dajafstrodamus, as he called for the continuation of Carlos Ruiz's success back in January. Not as worthy as this, but a useful link to see how well he did, schmenkman and I appreciated Chooch later in the season from the left and right sides of the brain.
Best Record in the NL?
The Amazing Cohskin was off just a little bit in his September 7 piece. It turned out to be the best record in the major leagues.
The Curse of the Wet Luzinski: Everything That Could Possibly Go Wrong for the 2010 Phillies (Act IV: The Bullpen Chapbook)
I consider this post the birth of my own brand of hyperlink'd baseball poetry. The truth is that I was getting desperate to complete the fourth act of my preseason five-act analysis (which I never did, btw) of the 2010 Phillies, had spent the time doing research, but everything I wrote that was prose felt stale. I still refer to the shoes I wrote about in one poem as my "Chad Durbins."
Best of TGP Laffs
BREAKING: Phillies, Jamie Moyer agree to two-year contract extension
April Fools! There was no humor quite like grumpy old man humor. You'll be missed, Jamie Moyer, for realz.
Dear Fuqua: Concerned Wife Seeks Advice On Disinterested Husband
If you missed this post by my associate associate FuquaManuel last week, read it now. It's funny, sure, but I could just have easily put this under the analysis category. This is a great place to start if you're new to the site.
Soldier for Wins: Aaron Rowand's Burden
FuquaManuel strikes again with a snark-o-rama that also got props from the Giants' SBN site, McCovey Chronicles.
When the Washington Generals Start Winning (or, How the Phillies' Current Run Is Ruining My Identity)
David's "Washington Generals" piece, that actually got a reply from the Globetrotters!
Veteran Clubhouse Presence by Pat the Bat
My own blog Frankenstein. I linked to the last installment because it contains links to the previous ones, not because it's the best of the bunch. I'm sort of partial to weeks 1 and 2, certainly the folks at McCovey Chronicles liked the Playoff Pervue, and there's a friend-of-a-friend chance that Pat (Pat!) himself may have even seen the oeuvre.
Dispatches from the Right Brain: More than Numbers, TGP Has Arts and Letters
Some tremendous activity happened on The Good Phight in 2010 for those fans who like their commentary infused with artistry. I like to think it started in late 2009 with unveiling of the color-coded Ruben Amaro Jr. Smug Advisory System after RAJ's spinning after the Lee and Halladay deals. The system got its fair share of referrals, direct and oblique, from the cooler set of Phillies beat writers throughout the season. By Spring Training, WholeCamels followed up with his emblematic homage to Jayson Werth's beard, the Big Jaybowski.
Still, it wasn't all smiles and sunshine, as TGP, like many societies, found it necessary to deploy art to enforce order and discipline with a host of comment-thread ready joke-killer images.
On the other side of the mood swing, our very own David S. Cohen was captured in multiple media, and feted nationwide in highlight-of-the-day style, for his April 15 foul ball catch. Please note that the souvenir cap of ice cream was not disturbed in the filming of that video. Father of the Year stuff.
TGP posters found inspiration wherever we could. I still enjoy the genius of j reed's mascot homage to Taser Boy; dannijd's Minotaur'd David Wright; and andyreidswaistline's obliging of RememberthePhitans' Mr. Positive-fueled nightmare fodder. (BTW, Mr. Positive deserves that, and he and I are through. Many requests for correspondence and collaboration throughout the season went ignored.)
Yet my favorite right brain story arc grew as a collaborative effort. On September 2, after an improbable Phillies win against the Rockies, the Denver Post's talented Troy Renck referred to Brad Lidge as a "wobbly closer," which led me to wonder in the following day's links what a Brad Lidge wobblehead would look like. Well, TwistyWristy obliged, and soonafter we started using it to record Lidge outs late in the season. But then: Animation! As KreiderDesigns spiffed it up with a playoff version that was our October Surprise. (Postscript: I sent the links to Troy Renck, who appreciated them, so henceforth I will consider him "talented.")
TGP exploded in poetry in 2010. Though verse has been received well at TGP for some time, this season the bullpen chapbook also sprouted prospect poems when I covered PhillyFriar's prospect beat. It culminated in BURL, which grew from my fiddling around with a piece of Ginsberg's epic in an early-season thread after a poetic throwdown challenge in response to RememberThePhitan's April is the Cruellest Month. It tooks some time, and I tucked the idea of doing the whole thing until an August vacation, but then got 'er done. Got a profession of love from someone over at McCovey Chronicles, too.
There was also bandwagonesque's wonderful Roylysses; Trev223's H2Ozymandius (or Roy Among the Ruins); EvilBanner's He throws a pitch and batters hide in fright; and WholeCamels' The Oswalt: A Poem.
Thanks all, for a great season of reading and writing. Now go stuff yourselves. (By which I mean have a Happy Thanksgiving.)