World Series Mysteries And Questions The winning performances of Phillies pitchers Jamie Moyer and Joe Blanton were marked by some off-the-field oddness. And while the Philadelphia fans have plenty to celebrate, they shouldn't be too proud of their creativity in devising taunts to chant at the opposition.
NPR logo World Series Mysteries And Questions

World Series Mysteries And Questions

Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria making what appeared to be an in-time tag on Philadelphia's Jimmy Rollins in Sunday night's game. The Phillies are sliding past the Rays for the World Series title. Doug Pensinger/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria making what appeared to be an in-time tag on Philadelphia's Jimmy Rollins in Sunday night's game. The Phillies are sliding past the Rays for the World Series title.

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

A Series Switcheroo

We Were Excited For Hall:

From an official MLB press release: Singer and songwriter Daryl Hall will perform the U.S. National Anthem prior to Game Five of the 2008 World Series at Citizens Bank Park. Petty Officer Dorcus Whigham of the United States Navy will perform God Bless America in the seventh inning.

We Got Oates:

PHILADELPHIA — Daryl Hall was scheduled to perform the national anthem prior to Game 5 of the World Series Monday night, but after he came down with the flu, he turned to his longtime friend and bandmate John Oates for a pinch-hit appearance, so to speak.

When they promise you Hall, but give you Oates — well, I can't go for that (no can do).

Spotted in Jamie Moyer's locker after he battled a stomach virus to pitch a gutsy, and an almost "spill your guts" Game 3: a half-consumed bottle of Pepto. Immodium was also mentioned in coverage of his triumph over adversity.

Endorsement opportunities abound.

The Not-So-Mysterious Mystery Tag

I don't know how the umps thought Evan Longoria missed tagging Jimmy Rollins in Game 3. Frankly, it looked as if Longoria was searching Rollins for well-smuggled contraband, that's how pronounced the tag was.

There is a lot of discussion about instituting replay. It is odd that the main argument against is that replay will slow the game down. This, in a sport that tolerates every batter, OCD style, adjusting his body armor in between swings.

Here's my suggestion: In the NFL, when a team challenges a correct call, it loses a timeout. Since most of baseball is like a long timeout, they should say that if a team challenges and loses, its own pitchers should be put on a clock like in Olympics softball.

So even a missed challenge actually speeds up the game.

Step Up The Name Game

You know the guy named Kermit? And everyone asks him "Oh, like the frog"? Or a guy named Luke, and everyone intones, "You are my father." That guy doesn't like it; he may fake a smile, or just say, "Real original." When that guy is Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, he can expect a clever person to say "Hey EVA!" once a day. Longoria has mentioned it's annoying, but I took his comments to mean, essentially, "real original."

So when the Phillies fans chant "Eva, Eva!" it's not anything he hasn't heard. But Longoria is still having a terrible Series. Here are the stats: At home, with no "Eva!" chants, he's 0-8 with four strikeouts. On the road, being loudly compared to the star of Desperate Housewives, he's 0-8 with five strikeouts.

You've got to wonder how fans will treat hot Marlins prospect Felicito Huffman.

Looking Away From 'Desperate' Future

By the way, these chants officially make Eva Longoria, who is married to San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker, a two-sport actress. Like the greats, she seems to show up biggest when the championship is on the line.

Oh, and one annoying thing about Desperate Housewives.

The show began this season by jumping five years into the future, so all the kids aged, and the desperate housewives' problems have changed, but no care was given to define the era. It raises the question: Did the 2007 season take place in 2002?

If so, I didn't hear a reference to the passing of the Queen Mum.

Or does the current season take place in the future?

If so, where are the flying cars? Or at least can you give me some guidance on how this whole bank bailout plays out?

That, along with the plot lines, dialogue and narration, prevent me from watching the show.

The Spot: Just A Spot?

Joe Blanton acted confused and a little annoyed when the spot on his hat was questioned as nefarious. Just a dirty hat, was his answer. But that was some spot, and the game hat was not in clear view of his locker after the game.

In fact, one could argue that it was such a spot that it couldn't be trying to fool anyone. Barring DNA testing on his hat, we'll never know the truth of the smudge, except to say that sports fans seem to need these little seeds of doubt to sustain themselves and blame losses on cheating or external circumstance.

Philly, Don't Riot

I hope the city of Philadelphia can handle victory. Subways shut down by the time post-game press conferences end, so I have to take a bus to my hotel up Broad Street each night. Last night at the corner of Broad and Snyder, there were Phillies fans dancing around a downed traffic light; the entire light — red, yellow, green — attached to wires was lying broken on the side of the street.