May 21, 2016
I posted this first on August 5th of last year. I still think it’s an awesome summary of WHY I believed that the Phillies were going to win last year (and why they’re continuing to play well this year?). Again – for my new readers…
The Miracle Phils of 2015?
I wrote the following, sort of as a joke, after the first Braves Game at the end of July, when the Phillies were 6 – 1 coming out of the All Star break – that was at the end of July. I e-mailed this out to selected friends on August 5, 2015. Now (August 16, 2015, the 1st of Elul, the last month of the Shemitah year 5775), I am posting it for real.
Now, I hear some of you screaming: “Hey, Nimrod! (If you did, that’s a great Biblical connection!) They just lost three straight to the next-worst team in the NL! The Phillies are ranked 29th out of 30 teams; the Milwaukee Brewers, who just beat them three straight are ranked 28th.” Yes, I know – all the better to increase the impact of the miracle! Elohim loves to stack the odds AGAINST when it’s His will that something happens.
Remember Elijah? One true prophet of Yahweh against the 450 prophets of Baal? Baal’s boys were first. They set up their altar on Mt. Carmel. Then, they were supposed to call fire down out of the heavens to ignite their sacrifice. They went at it all day – all 450 of them – and not a flicker of flame, not a spark.
Elijah had a grand time mocking them and their efforts, but especially their weak god. He skewered them from noon to the “time of the sacrifice” in the evening. Then, he built an altar, dug a trench around his sacrifice and had the people go get four large containers of water. He poured the water over the sacrifice and over the altar. He had them do this two more times, until there was so much water it completely filled the trench. Elijah prayed to Elohim, the one true God, and his prayer was answered dramatically – not only was the wet sacrifice ignited, the Scriptures tell us that the flames were so intense they even licked up the water!
It happens that way every time Elohim wants to demonstrate His power in the Word. He loved to pick the weakest, most humble individual to show that it’s HIS power, not the power of that person. Paul wrote, in First Corinthians, that Yahweh chooses the weak to shame the strong. Because He wants there to be no doubt who did it – Abba Father gets all the glory!
So, if it’s His will, even the worst team in both leagues, even in the middle of August, even after losing 5 out of 6 games – if he wills it, they will win! If it happens, it won’t be for any part of me – it’s all of Him. If the Phillies don’t win – oh, well, nobody can say that they really expected them to win. BUT – if they DO win the World Championship this year (to celebrate their Jewish General Manager, Ruben Amaro, Jr.), it can ONLY be a miracle of Yahweh. If the Phillies win in 2015, give HIM the glory!
OK, Goliath – here comes David! OK, Midianites – here comes Gideon and the 300! OK, Assyrians – here comes one angel to massacre you all because Hezekiah prayed and asked Yahweh to help him! OK, Antichrist’s army at Armageddon – here comes Yashua ha Meshiach, with the sword of His mouth, to slaughter you all when He returns at His Second Coming! Hallelujah! For the Lord omnipotent reigns!
I know everybody remembers the Miracle Braves of 1914. (Right?) For those of you who DON’T remember: the Boston Braves were in last place on the Fourth of July, 1914. Not only did they win the pennant, but they won by 10 ½ games over the New York Giants. And not only did they win the NL pennant, they beat the AL defending Champions, Connie Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics, four games to none. It was such a complete rout that Mr. Mack decided to break up his team of “fat cats” and start with a bunch of young players. It led to the A’s finishing last for seven straight seasons, only recovering when they developed stars like Jimmie Foxx, Lefty Grove, Mickey Cochrane, and Al Simmons, winning again in 1929 and 1930.
The Boston Braves of 1914 were 26 and 40 in early July, to no one’s surprise – they weren’t expected to contend after a 5th place finish in 1913. Led by three pitchers, Dick Rudolph, Bill James, and Lefty Tyler, and managed by famed martinet George Stallings, the team began to win games. They finally took over first place for good on September 8. Their record over their final 89 games was an incredible 70–19. For comparison, the best start of a season the Phillies ever had was their phenomenal 1976 celebration of the Bicentennial, setting the pace with a record of 50 wins and 20 losses.
This team looks like world-beaters! Who knows? Maybe the Phillies will have an even more remarkable comeback to celebrate the Centennial of their first World Series appearance in 1915. Whether they do or not, this team is fun to watch (right now, anyway). Stay tuned…
P.S. Sorry to insult many of you again – Imagine! Me thinking that enough of you didn’t know about the Miracle Braves of 1914 that I had to spell it out! But a “martinet” is “a person who is very strict and demands obedience from others.” A tough guy to play for, but worth the agony if you win.
P.S.S The Braves also had the great second baseman who became so well-known with the Cubs – Johnny Evers (of “Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance” fame) and Rabbit Maranville at short. Both were eventually elected to the Hall of Fame.
P.S.S.S. George Stallings also managed the Philadelphia Phillies in 1897 and 1898. That was a horrible experience for his first time managing (although managing the Phillies to a disastrous result would be the fate of many throughout baseball history). In 1897, the formerly fearsome Phillies of the 1890’s, finished in 10th place (out of 12 teams) with a terrible 55 and 77 record. The next season started 19 and 27 for the Phillies – and Gentleman George was out. At least he couldn’t be blamed for what former Phillies manager Billy Nash did in 1896: Stallings didn’t play Billy Hulen at shortstop in 73 games. Who was Billy Hulen? He was the last LEFT-HANDER to play short as a regular.