Jonathan Papelbon picked up the final out in the National League's 8-0 win in the 2012 All-Star Game last night. (Philliedelphia/Kevin Durso)
The Phillies had three All-Stars in yesterday's All-Star Game. For some fans, it meant being glued to the television to see them. For others, this All-Star Game probably had no meaning.
The Phillies have an uphill climb ahead of them. After posting their worst first-half record in 10 years, 37-50 at the break, the Phillies have quite a bit of ground to make up to even become noisemakers in the playoff race. And they also have less than a month to convince their general manager to not sell the farm. In their final 75 games, figure at least a 50-25 record is necessary to be in the thick of the wildcard race. Odds are the Phillies five-year reign as NL East Champions is over.
Odds are so is their five-year playoff streak, even in a year when baseball expanded to a five-team playoff system. But, some Phillies aren't giving up just yet. All three Phillies posted positive results in the All-Star Game last night. Among them, Jonathan Papelbon, who recorded the final out of the game.
It is no secret that Carlos Ruiz' teammates were more than thrilled to see the catcher in the All-Star Game, an honor he deserved. But being on the national stage let fans see exactly where the mind of the Phillies' closer was immediately after the final out, and how honored he was to pitch to Chooch following the final out.
Phillies fans aren't usually fans of the nationally televised games on FOX. I'll admit, most of us could do without Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. Most of us could do without the usual shunning and bad-mouthing the network does on Philadelphia sports. But, one thing they do have that local broadcasts don't is very powerful on-field microphones.
Those microphones picked up the brief conversation Papelbon and Ruiz had after the final out. The video is above, but for those of you who may hear it, a transcript is below.
"Attaway, Chooch! That was some fun stuff, huh? Hey, man, it was a pleasure throwing to you. Let's get back on track in the second half."
This comes just moments after the final out of a, for all intents and purposes, meaningless game. Papelbon is already thinking about the second half. He clearly knows the task ahead.
Even if the Phillies don't fail to make an effort, that once and for all proves that the effort is being put forward by certain players. Unfortunately the results haven't been there. Still, this is something to remember should the Phillies start to improve in the near future and make a run.