(But please don't mention that to the people who came up with the whole This-Time-It-Counts schtick that gives the extra final at-bat to the team that wins the All-Star Game, even though a small percentage of those players will actually be involved.)
A brief, unscientific poll in the clubhouse this week suggested that the Phillies' players think having the extra game - if it's even needed - at home beats the alternative.
Manager Charlie Manuel recently brought up the fact that he'd like to see his team have that fringe benefit without being asked.
That makes sense. After all, the Phillies were 8-0 at Citizens Bank Park on their wild ride to the world championship last fall but just 4-3 on the road.
And while their recent funk hasn't done them any favors in that regard, there is still some hope. Even though they started play yesterday with five fewer wins than the Cardinals and four fewer than the Dodgers, they were just a game behind St. Louis in the loss column and dead even with Los Angeles.
But Manny Ramirez is slumping and the Dodgers also have some rotation problems. Randy Wolf had to be scratched from his scheduled start tonight with irritation in his elbow. Lefthander Clayton Kershaw is out with a bruised RIGHT shoulder, an injury he suffered when he ran into the wall shagging fly balls. And Chad Billingsley is 3-6, 5.23 in his last 15 starts.
The Cardinals are an otherworldly 25-6 since Aug. 7. They almost have to cool down a little. Don't they?
So maybe the Phils haven't blown it yet, after all.
The hot corner
**Giants manager Bruce Bochy admitted after San Francisco signed righthander Brad Penny that, when Penny pitched for the Dodgers, he used to tell the scoreboard operators to subtract 5 mph from the scoreboard radar readings. "To mess with his head," Bochy conceded.
**The Brewers plan to be more aggressive in looking for pitching this offseason, meaning that they would at least consider trading first baseman Prince Fielder or prized young shortstop Alcides Escobar in the right deal, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
For Indians outfielder Grady Sizemore. He had elbow surgery Wednesday. He'll have surgery to repair a tear in his abdominal wall next week. It turns out that he's been bothered by these injuries since spring training but tried to play through pain to help the team.
"I knew going into the season it was going to be a tough year for me. I was just hoping I could go long enough to help my team win some games," he explained.
It didn't work out, but you have to give him credit for trying.
To the Pittsburgh Pirates, who have become the first North American professional sports team to suffer through 17 straight losing seasons. While current ownership rightfully washed its hands of the mess, Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez had an observation after playing for the Bucs from 1998 through 2003.
"Obviously, they haven't done a good job of anything there for a long time," he said. "They haven't signed good free agents. They haven't made good trades. They haven't developed many good players and the ones they have developed, they've traded away for nothing. The record speaks for itself."
Honorable mention to the Orioles, who also clinched their 12th straight losing season. The O's are just the 11th major league team to have a streak that long and an amazing four of them played in Philadelphia: The 1933-48 Phillies (16 years), 1953-67 Philadelphia/Kansas City Athletics (14), 1918-31 Phillies (14) and the 1934-46 Athletics.
And they wonder why Philly fans boo?
By the numbers
31: Runs allowed by Indians pitching in fewer than 24 hours this week. The Tribe was swept by Texas in a twi-night doubleheader on Tuesday, 11-9 and 10-5, then lost a noon start on Wednesday, 10-0.
37: Big-league teams since 1901 to go through an entire season without a four-game losing streak. The Angels could join that list this year.
Mike Pelfrey (10-10, 4.83) starts for the Mets against the Phillies tomorrow and hopes to use that and the rest of his opportunities this season to get a head start on next year. "I know that I haven't been what people expected, but I have higher expectations of myself than anybody else does," he said. "I know I haven't been great this year, that's the bottom line, but I'm going to be better."
Around the bases
**The Angels may have Joe Paterno to thank for the fact that Mike Scioscia has become the most successful manager in franchise history. Scioscia was a three-sport star in Springfield-Delco whose dream was to play football at Penn State before Paterno crushed his dream. "They told me I stink," he told the Los Angeles Times.
**The White Sox think they're well-positioned to make a run next season. But that doesn't make general manager Kenny Williams feel any better this year. "None of what I see ahead takes away from the beatdown I feel right now," he said with a sigh.
Quote of the week
**Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon, on being fined seven times this year for taking too long to get to the mound: "I think they're going to call my parole officer and put me away."
His last offense cost him a hefty $5,000.
Spoilsport of the week
The Cubs' first eight batters of the game got hits Tuesday night against Pittsburgh. That tied a record last accomplished by the Yankees in 1990.
Pitcher Ryan Dempster might have had a chance to break the record, but manager Lou Piniella put on the bunt sign. "I just do as I'm told," Dempster sighed. "It would have been fun to try, though."
Long memory of the week
The Mets have always insisted that they aren't haunted by late-season collapses that allowed the Phillies to knock them out of the playoffs in 2007 and 2008. Second baseman Luis Castillo admitted this week that it simply isn't true.
"Honestly, what happened to us last year and the year before, that's going to be in our heads for the rest of our lives," he said.
Soothsayer of the week
Mariners hitting machine Ichiro Suzuki got his 2,000th big-league hit on Sunday to go along with the 1,272 he had in Japan. If he stays healthy and productive until he's 40, he could reach 3,000 in the United States, but declined to speculate on his chances.
"I'm not a fortune teller, so I don't have the ability to look into the future," said Ichiro, 35. "But that's why it's fun, because the future is unknown. And also, if I set a goal for myself like that, it kind of makes a barrier and that might lower my potential."
The Baltimore Sun reported this week that four men were arrested after ripping Cal Ripken's 3 1/2-foot tall aluminum No. 8 monument from its base Tuesday night outside Camden Yards and parading it around town in the back of their pickup truck.
Said the Iron Man's mother, Vi: "Every day I hear things on the news and I think, 'Who in the world would do something like that?' I wouldn't even venture to guess what motivates people."
(Just a guess: Alcohol.)
Anyway, the paper went on to note that this isn't the first such incident in Bawlmer. Thieves broke into Babe Ruth's house and stole memorabilia. Someone once took the 300-pound brass rings from the courthouse door. Another brilliant criminal mind swiped a 75-pound lobster dressed as a chef.
In a deadpan aside, the story also pointed out that police are still looking for whoever is responsible for stealing more than 100 light poles in 2006.
Again, you just couldn't make this stuff up.