With their 11-1 victory over the Miami Marlins Tuesday night, the Atlanta Braves clinched the National League East title for the third consecutive season. How the Braves perform during their final five games will determine whether they finish with the No. 2 or No. 3 seed in the NL playoffs.
But Atlanta winning the NL East means that the Philadelphia Phillies did not. (The Phillies losing both games of a doubleheader with the Washington Nationals Tuesday helped the Braves clinch the division. Even worse, the two losses bumped Philadelphia from the eighth and final spot in the expanded NL playoff standings.)
Right before the shortened baseball season began in late July, MLB Network’s Jon Paul Morosi predicted that the Phillies would win the division. And he added some sweetener to that prediction, saying that he would run up the steps leading to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, known as the “Rocky Steps,” if his NL East pick turned out to be wrong.
Naturally, Braves fans remembered that prediction (Morosi actually picked Atlanta to finish fourth!) and reminded the veteran baseball writer of his wager. Having good fun with his incorrect pick, Morosi apparently intends to follow through on his declaration based on his tweet Tuesday night.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) September 23, 2020
Lest you think Sylvester Stallone made it look easy during that iconic scene in Rocky, keep in mind that the climb leading up to the entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art is 72 steps.
Morosi also said he would “run” those steps, which arguably holds him to the standard of taking more than a leisurely path up that incline. Will he attack the obstacle with as much vigor as Rocky Balboa did? (Let’s assume that Morosi’s climb won’t be the punctuation to a long training run through Philadelphia, as it was in the movie.)
But what an offseason (or postseason) opportunity for MLB Network this presents! Will we get a training montage of Morosi preparing for the run? If so, will the montage include work on the speed bag? How about some one-armed push-ups? Even better, put Joe Girardi at ringside during training.
Set it to that signature Rocky theme, “Gonna Fly Now” by Bill Conti, and television magic practically makes itself.
With plenty of space at the top of those steps, maybe MLB Network could also set up Dan Plesac to attempt a 75 mph pitch, something he claimed he could still throw in early August. Just make a one-hour special out of challenges made by the network’s personalities.
Dan Plesac insisted Tuesday night on @MLBNetwork that he could still throw 75 mph at 58 years old.
Did he do it? Here was his first try: pic.twitter.com/OXretw99Wy
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) August 5, 2020
Morosi does have some potential relief if he wants to follow through on his wager without a full-out sprint. He could say he’s paying tribute to the final scene in Creed, when a 72-year-old Rocky walks up those steps with his protégé.
“You get to the top,” said Rocky, “you think you can fly.”
But come on, we want The Full Rocky, right? Plenty of fans have done it, as shown during the end credits of Rocky Balboa. Let’s do it, J.P.!
That Rocky theme will now be in your head all day long, won’t it? You’re welcome.