Monday, July 5, 2010

A clean victory

I hope millions of other people are just as outraged as I am by the latest commercial Pizza Hutt has dished out. Two Little Leaguers are sitting in their team's dugout after a game, giddily telling the viewers that their coach rewards every loss with a trip to the famous restaurant. They all but admit that this mouth-watering gesture gives them incentive to lose. This is some of the worst marketing I've ever seen, and I curse the people that allowed it to see the light of day. Viewed another way, the commercial is a biting critique on how the Unites States educates its children. It's no secret that child obesity is reaching epidemic levels, and the amount of unhealthy food ads thrown at our youth today is appalling. No wonder they're lagging behind almost every other developed nation in the classroom. We see our unfit, uninspired preteen slumped on the couch surrounded by half-eaten snacks and lost in whatever world Playstation has dreamed up, and rather than pulling the plug and encouraging him/her to get outside and experience life, we laugh to ourselves, marvel at the child's hand-eye coordination and say, "We never had anything like that when I was growing up." Believe me, you're better off without it, and so is your kid.

It's good to see the Phillies win with Roy Halladay on the hill like they're supposed to. They only gave him three runs, but that was enough tonight against the first-place Braves. It was also good to see two of those runs supplied by Greg Dobbs' two-run shot that gave the Phils their first lead in the sixth inning. If anyone needed to come through, it was him. He was able to straighten out yesterday's monster foul ball in Pittsburgh.

More importantly, Philadelphia had its first error-free game since Halladay's last start June 30. Four straight games with at least one defensive miscue is not very Phillie-like, and nothing gets under a pitcher's skin more than the guys behind him giving the opposition an extra out. Just ask Cole Hamels about Game 2 of last year's NLCS.

Speaking of Hamels, he's on tomorrow night and he'll need to be just as sharp as Halladay. You never know how many runs the Phillies will score these days, and you can't break this momentum. The Reds are next in line and are just as determined to keep their lead in the Central.

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