Hard Facts: Freshen up with a little potpourri

By Paul Harder, The Observer October 24, 2008 03:42 pm

Can the Rays out National League the Phillies?

It wasn’t a matter of if the Rays would win at home, but when.

It looks like nobody beats Cole Hamels in the postseason.

The Rays bounced back with a 4-2 win Thursday. However, the way they did it was more surprising. It looked like a straight-up National League game.

Tampa Bay doesn’t lose much when it travels to Philadelphia for Saturday’s Game 3.

The Rays are built like a great NL team — pitching, defense and speed.

Spectators saw that when Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon called back-to-back squeeze plays.

Sure, it was designated hitter Cliff Floyd who scored on the play, but so far that spot in the order hasn’t paid off for the Rays — 1-of-6 in the two games.

All the power for Tampa Bay stays in the line-up at the NL park.

The fielding doesn’t take a hit. It actually helps Maddon keep more bat on the bench for the later innings.

Saturday’s intriguing match-up is Jamie Moyer against Matt Garza. Moyer broke into the major leagues the year Garza was born.

The Phillies lefty has looked awful in the postseason.

My guess: Evan Longoria breaks out of his two-game slump with a home run or two against the soft-throwing Moyer.

Watch out, Philadelpha, this is going to be over quickly.

If only Hamels could pitch every game.

 

Beware of Dawgs? Beware of staph!

Anyone headed to Paul Brown Stadium better wear some protective covering. It appears staph infection is like the common cold.

To make matters worse, Cleveland suspended the only person looking out for its players — Kellen Winslow Jr.

He disclosed his three-day stay in the hospital to reporters, and was also apparently upset General Manager Phil Savage didn’t send any flowers.

Savage returned the favor by docking Winslow a paycheck and relegating him to the sideline.

How does one team have five players in three years get staph?

Cleanliness is how you stop it. Showers. Maybe a Band-Aid and Neosporin.

You would think with million-dollar athletes it wouldn’t be a problem. 

At least there’s a new reason to fear the "Dawg Pound.”


Not game over for Pac-man

Common Americans get three strikes and they’re out. But the average cornerback in the NFL has more lives than a cat.

Only six weeks after being reinstated from a 17-month probation, Adam Jones is back on the sidelines. Ok, so he’s actually in an alcohol treatment program.

Still, NFL commissioner Roger Goodel hasn’t written him off yet.

Why?

Jones doesn’t even want to be saved. That’s why he got into a fight with his appointed bodyguard. Plus, who fights in the bathroom?

His rap sheet is already longer than his statistical game log.

Cut the cord, Goodell. You can’t save everyone.


Game of the week

Pilot Rock will host Elgin at 7 tonight. On the line is second place in the Blue Mountain Conference. Maybe more important, though, is the ticket to stay at home for the first round of the state playoffs.

The match-up will be Clint Predmore versus the strength of the Rockets’ defense — the linebackers.

Elgin will have to find a way to soften up the defense to allow Predmore room to run.


Paul Harder is the sports editor for The Observer. Reach him by e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it