October 2008

Some more on the parade, courtesy of Phillies.com.

Fans cheer on Phillies at parade

Hundreds of thousands pack streets to celebrate Series champs

PHILADELPHIA — Those words begin the highlight video that was played on the giant screen in left field at Citizens Bank Park before each game during the Phillies’ run to a World Series title, and on Friday, the road was an unbelievable parade route through town and the perfect ending to a perfect October.

Maybe you felt it at City Hall, where the world’s loudest parade took a right turn and there was a sea of red humanity in every direction.

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Maybe it was the sign “SKIPPED SCHOOL ’08″ held by boys who were like so many other youngsters on this day, here to see their heroes and decided not to be in classrooms. It made you wonder if anyone went to school Friday.

Maybe it was at Broad and Locust streets, where you first saw how deep they went, hundreds and hundreds of rows back, filling every nook and cranny, perched on roofs and packed tightly and clinging on tree branches.

Maybe it was the chants of “Stay, Pat, Stay!” and “Pat the Bat!” every time the Clydesdales passed fans wearing “BURRELL” and No. 5 on their backs. He was up front and up high next to the reins, hair slicked back with a black sweater and jeans and showered with love every inch of the route.

Maybe it was when the route bottlenecked at Broad and Bigler, with irrepressible crowds pushing right against the vehicles, as they cheered at Cole Hamels and Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley and Ryan Howard and Shane Victorino and all those people who had just touched their lives in a way no one ever imagined.

The parade finally happened in Philadelphia. They never have to wonder when the parade will come again, even though they look forward to more. This was a cathartic moment in America’s fifth-largest city, for roughly hundreds of thousands strong, the confirmation that what they just saw really happened, that the Phillies are 2008 World Series champions.

It began at 20th and Market streets, and it carried the players and team personnel to Citizens Bank Park, as well as Lincoln Financial Center. The players stopped first at the latter facility, where the Eagles play, and players like Victorino and Jamie Moyer showed them the Commissioner’s Trophy and spoke to the adoring crowd. Then it all went back to the “Bank” — the scene of the Wednesday clincher over Tampa Bay.

They needed to fill that venue as well, because there were simply too many Phillies fans for the number of seats. When tickets went on sale Thursday afternoon at Phillies.com for the concluding events, they vanished in an hour and a half. This is what everyone waited for, many for their whole lives.

“It’s amazing — better than Christmas,” said Annette Mira of South Philly, wearing a grass skirt and a lei and waiting for Victorino, the Flyin’ Hawaiian. “I am so happy. My father [Anthony] brought me here, and I saw him cry. It was a beautiful cry.”

“It’s been 25 years of waiting, and hopefully it won’t be another 25,” said Howard Sperling of Voorhees, N.J. “My kids stayed home from school. They should have just closed the schools today. You can see that they’re all here. I want to see Cole.”

Soon after he said that, Hamels passed by. Everyone had a favorite player to see. You realized as you walked along with this parade that it was not just any parade. Each winning city has done something superlative with its celebration, and it is hard to single one out. Every city probably thinks it just threw a parade like no one else.

This one’s pretty close, if you’ve been to a lot of them. The concentration of humanity was just beyond belief. The outpouring of glee, just indescribable. It had bottled up for so long. They partly released it on Wednesday night, when they all stayed around at the ballpark or spilled out onto the streets to party. But this was the moment. No place has been like Philly in terms of always talking about the “P word” — how it was often described by long-frustrated fans who were afraid that saying it would jinx it.

It has always been about the parade in Philly.

Now they have done it. It was beautiful.

It was loud. The consistency of the noise level from start to finish eclipsed almost anything you could ever imagine, any indoor venue.

“It’s not only a dream come true, but it’s all to see this city engulfed in community,” said David Rosenzweis of Philadelphia.

Ryan Leven, 15, of Doryleston, Pa., had been waiting five hours, hoping for that first glimpse of Hamels, the World Series MVP. Then it happened.

“I’m lucky enough I’m able to be here early,” Leven said, meaning “early” as in young age. “My hockey coaches and my baseball coaches always told me how long they had to wait. I hope they do it again now.”

One fan held up a sign that read: “PATrick or Treat.” The fan, Rachel Hezlep of Philadelphia, wore No. 5 and she swooned when the Clydesdales click-clacked past carrying Burrell, his wife and an English Bulldog.

“We tried to make up a Halloween theme sign,” she said. “I love him. He’s my favorite.”

“I broke both wrists clapping for the Phillies,” said one sign, held by a man with a red cast on each arm.

The Phillies are 2008 world champions. Hundreds of thousands of fans were able to complete the picture with a parade they needed a long time. (H/T Phillies.com)

Hopefully when can do this again next, unless one of the city’s other teams finally win it all. Hear that Eagles, Flyers, Sixers. It’s your turn to win one.

I love a parade…. :)

Just got back from watching the parade, or at least watching what I could see from along 20th and Market St. over two hours ago, and I’m still reeling from all the excitement. I’m sure that some of the other Phillies’ mlbloggers will be giving better and fuller reports on the parade later on, so I’m just going to blog about it from my own perspective. Around 11:35 am, I have left Drexel University’s (which I am an alum) Hagerty Library and began to walk towards 20th and Market. As I did, I noticed several other people, all wearing various type of Phillies gear (I was only wearing the hat that I’d gotten last year when I went to see my first Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park) and they were all in various states of happiness over the Phils finally winning it. When I heard someone mention the so-call Curse of Billy Penn, I told them that it was a lame excuse to explain away why our sports team kept on crapping out towards the end after I’d first heard about it a couple of years ago, and quite frankly folks, I still do. That Curse is in my my opinion a joke. Just an lame excuse someone came up with to explain away the reasons why none of the city’s major sports team had won a major championship since 1983 and the Sixers. Sorry, I just can’t buy into it. If our boys lose to a team that was better prepared to win, just say so and be done with it. Do not make excuses. Anyway, we had a good laugh on that, and I’d continued on. By the time I’d reached 30th Street Station and the now closed 30th Street Post Office Building, the place was starting to fill up with Philly red like you would never believe, and all headed for the downtown area and the parade route. Me, I was determined to just find a place around 20th and Market so that I can get a good enough view to see the floats go by. As I continued on, and walked past even more folks in Phillies gear, I began to see the area that was blocked off to traffic (I would say about 25th and Market) as well as notice several cop vans. As I started to cross about 23rd and Market, I saw a couple of Philly cops. I stopped next to them and then congratualted them on doing a good job. One of the officers smiled and thanked me, since I’d obviously made his and his partner’s day, before I continued on. Upon about 21st Street, I’d saw the place starting to fill up and I began to do some strategic manuevering so that I could get to the corner of 19th and 20th and Market Streets. I won’t give you the details, but I soon reached where I wanted to get to around about 11:50 am. At the moment, I’d decided to take a break, and go into my green bag and get out the lunch that I’d made for myself before I’d left my apartment in West Philly: a couple of hot dogs and a bottle of water. As I’d ate, I’d noticed that across the street from where I was, there were a couple of double decker tour buses filled with people, which I was to later learn contained photographers who would be taking pictures of the parade as it went along its way up Market, around City Hall and then down Broad Street towards the Sports Complex, and behind them was what I believe to be the Budweiser Clydesdales wagon. As I was doing that, I was listening to the people around me and to say that they weren’t a very happy bunch of people is an understatement. They were, like me, very glad that one of the big local sports teams have finally won the big one. Anyway, as soon as I was done eating, and had put the wrapper inside one of the pockets of my ‘tanker’ jacket, to throw it away later, I began to move again so that I could find myself a spot in front of the Soverign Bank Building on 20th and Market from which to watch the parade. After a while, I’d finally found a spot, and began to wait for the parade to start. While waiting I struck up several short conversations with the people around me, especially one with a lady who was about my age, who, unlike me, had seen the earlier 1980 parade with her 4-years old son, and was now going to watch it with her young teenage (or close to teenage) daughter. It was quite obvious to me that she was going to enjoy herself. Before then, the confetti has began to appear, being blown forward by some big fans, and soon starting to cover the area with it. Of course, as we waited, we all noticed that it was now after 12 noon and that the parade hasn’t started yet. The lady and I were soon talking about that, with both of us joking about things never being on time here, but hey, this is Philly. We’re never on time with anything. Soon we started to hear cheering and whooping, and I’m figuring that the parade must have finally started, but we just can’t see the floats yet. Around the same time, the two double decker buses with the photographers were both starting to head for the corner of 19th and 20th and Market Sts., so that they could make the turn onto Market Street so that they could start taking photos of the route, soon followed by the Clydesdales and their wagon. After a few more minutes of waiting, what we have all been waiting to see have finally arrived, as here comes the floats, as a very loud cheer is heard from the crowd around me. On the first float, at the front, was of course, the Phanatic, being, well, the Phanatic, along with, I can assume, the folks who work for the team. Also on the float, a couple of guys were holding up a couple of the local newpapers upon which were placed banner headlines that both announced that the Phillies have just won the World Series. Shades of 1980!!! About the second or third float in, there it was, what folks out here have wanted to see again for 28 years, the World Series Trophy, with it being raised high in the air for everyone to see. That cause a very big roar to erupt from the fans, but not as big a one as when the first of the floats that contained the players and their families have finally arrived. Not only did it produced a loud roar, but there was also some loud clapping, several yells of “PHILLIES” and dozens of excited fans putting their fingers into the air in the we’re number one sign. The floats would stop several time to give everyone a chance to see the guys, and, of course, that caused even louder cheers to occur. Around about the seven or eight float, we all began to see, at the back end of the float, the 2008 flag that Ryan Howard had carried around the park in a victory lap during the middle part of this Wednesday’s celebration. I know a lot of fans were happy to see that flag, since it meant what we had all year been hoping and praying for, a new championship flag to fly over the park alongside the 1980 one. After that float went by there came one more float, upon which one of the folks standing on it was holding up a placard that displayed the symbol for this year’s World Series. A short time after that float went by, soon followed by the police in car and on horseback, the crowd began to leave. It moved slowly at first, because of the large numbers of fans trying to leave at the same time, but it would start to move a bit more quickly once the bottleneck has been gotten through. While some folks soon headed towards 15th Street, or probably to the rest of the downtown area, I’d head back here to Hagerty so that I could write this report up. :) Well, I can now say that I’d seen a victory parade, and man, this one rocked!!! :)

Update: Pat Burrell was on the Clydesdales wagon!!! Yay, Pat the Bat! I hope he stays here.

Pat Gillick is to leave as Phillies’ GM on a high note.

World Series is ‘icing’ for Gillick

If GM sticks to word and doesn’t return, he leaves Phils a winner

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Fifteen years after his Blue Jays defeated the Phillies in the 1993 World Series, he was on the other side of field, as the Phillies won the second World Series title in their 126-season history by defeating the Rays in five games on Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park.

Gillick’s contract expires on Friday, the day the big parade is planned to head up Broad Street from Center City to the Sports Complex. It will be the Phillies’ first championship parade since 1980.

“You always want to walk away as a winner,” Gillick said as a sellout crowd bellowed in collective glee around him after the Phillies defeated the Rays, 4-3, in the resumption of suspended Game 5 on Wednesday night. “You always want to win. Every time you go out there you want to win. That’s what’s important to me. Winning like this is kind of special and kind of puts the icing on everything for me.”

To their chagrin, Gillick has told the Phils he’s not coming back in 2009, and he’s holding fast to that stance.

Instead, Gillick, 71, said he’s moving back to Seattle, one of his previous general manager spots, because his wife is living there and the distance has become too great.

It’s become a pattern in Gillick’s tremendous career. He’s gone to a place — Toronto, Baltimore, Seattle and now Philadelphia — and brought success. And when he leaves, the sunshine of that success seems to leave with him.

This is his third World Series victory, following the ultimate success with the Blue Jays in 1992 and 1993. And the Orioles and the Mariners both made it as far as the American League Championship Series under his reign.

A PERFECT HOME RUN
Since the LCS began in 1969, nine teams have gone undefeated at home in the postseason.
Year Team Record
2008 Phillies 7-0
1999 Yankees 8-0
1989 A’s 7-0
1987 Twins 6-0
1984 Tigers 4-0
1978 Yankees 5-0
1976 Reds 3-0
1971 Pirates 5-0
1969 Mets 4-0

With the Phillies, he joined a veteran management team that includes general partner Dave Montgomery, chairman Bill Giles and Gillick’s adviser Dallas Green.

All three were with the club when it defeated the Royals in 1980 and lost to Jays in 1993. Green was the manager of the 1980 team.

Montgomery said in the din of the immediate postgame celebration that it will indeed be a sad day if Gillick follows through and leaves the team. It was Gillick, joining manager Charlie Manuel after Larry Bowa was fired in 2004 and Ed Wade was let go in 2005, who helped pull the team together.

“Well, we’re really very disappointed if that’s Pat’s decision,” Montgomery said. “But at the same time, he gave us three spectacular years. And I know we all learned a lot from him. The fact of the matter is that every move is important and that’s exactly what Pat teaches you. It’s not just the big moves, it’s every move imaginable.”

Gillick has done this all before. He left the Blue Jays after 18 years and two World Series titles in 1994. He resurfaced with the Orioles in 1996, stayed there three years through two losses in the ALCS and left in 1998.

He joined the Mariners for four years in 2000 and presided over teams that lost to the Yankees in the 2000 and 2001 ALCS. His family was in Toronto at the time, and when he left in 2003, it was supposedly for good as a full-time general manager.

But in 2006, he had to scratch the itch one more time, and he replaced Wade as GM of the Phillies to take them to the next step into the postseason, which they’ve done in consecutive years for the first time since 1980-81. The effect of Gillick’s effort has been immeasurable.

“So far, it’s almost impossible to put this in any perspective,” Montgomery said. “You can see the fan support. It’s unbelievable and we managed to get through the postseason at home undefeated [7-0]. The support is enormous.”

The key to this season was Gillick acquiring closer Brad Lidge from the Astros last offseason. Lidge saved Wednesday night’s finale and was 48-for-48 in save attempts this year, an element the Phillies just didn’t have on their 2007 team that was swept by Colorado in its NL Division Series. He added Joe Blanton to the pitching rotation at midseason and Matt Stairs to the bench.

Blanton won a pair of postseason games, including Game 4 of the World Series here on Sunday night. Stairs has been used sparingly, but his two-run, pinch-hit homer in the eighth inning of Game 4 of the NLCS helped defeat the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

“You really need 25 people in the NL to be competitive,” Gillick said. “You need a bench and you need a bullpen. There are a lot of people you have to fill in and there are a lot of people you need to put in the right slots, the right pegs in the right holes. We’ve been able to do that over the last few years and you saw the culmination of it tonight.”

Now it has come around full circle. From his Jays beating the Phillies on Joe Carter’s walk-off Game 6 homer in 1993 to his Phillies defeating the Rays in the great suspended Game 5 of 2008.

Life couldn’t be any sweeter.

“Does this cap my career? You never know,” Gillick said. “Now I’m just worrying about having a good time tonight, visiting with our players. We’ll worry about what happens down the line.” (H/T WorldSeries.com, MLB.com)

Once again, congratulation Pat. You made the right deals and decisions in the front office that give you the chance to leave here a champ. I just hope that your successor will have equal success once he takes over from you on Friday.

Cole Hamels is named the 2008 World Series MVP.

Perfect Hamels is World Series MVP

Phils lefty is fifth player to earn award in LCS, Fall Classic

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So he’ll understand the reference to his rare double-double this postseason: the World Series MVP award, presented by Chevrolet, and the MVP for his stellar performance in the National League Championship Series.

Heavy on the grilled onions, please.

“I’m definitely going to have to enjoy this moment, because there’s a lot of times you don’t have everything go your way,” said Hamels, the 24-year-old who is a World Series winner and MVP in only his third season in the Major Leagues. “I was just fortunate enough to be on the good end of these victories and winning a [few] trophies. But, truly, it was my teammates behind me who really helped me through these times. They’re the ones who scored the runs.”

Hamels, 4-0 this postseason with a 1.80 ERA, received the World Series MVP in an on-field ceremony just after the Phillies defeated the Rays, 4-3, on Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park in the back end of suspended Game 5 to win the best-of-seven series.

Along with the trophy, Hamels won a bright red 2010 Chevy Camaro. He received the car and hardware from Commissioner Bud Selig after Major League Baseball’s No. 1 official handed the World Series trophy to Dave Montgomery, the Phils’ long-time general partner, and Pat Gillick, their outgoing general manager.

TWICE AS VALUABLE
Five players have been named MVP of a League Championship Series and World Series in the same season.
Year Player Team
2008 Cole Hamels Phillies
1997 Livan Hernandez Marlins
1988 Orel Hershiser Dodgers
1982 Darrell Porter Cardinals
1979 Willie Stargell Pirates

Since the advent of the League Championship Series in 1969, Hamels is the fifth player to enjoy the double-double, joining outfielder Willie Stargell of the Pirates (1979), catcher Darrell Porter of the Cardinals (1982), and pitchers Orel Hershiser of the Dodgers (1988) and Livan Hernandez of the Marlins (1997).

Hamels is also the fourth pitcher in postseason history to win four games in as many starts. The others were Josh Beckett for Boston in 2007, David Wells for the Yankees in 1998 and Dave Stewart for Oakland in 1989.

Hamels started Game 5 on Monday night and worked soaking wet through the top of the sixth inning before heavy rain and dangerous field conditions caused Selig to suspend it with the score tied at 2. When it resumed on Wednesday night, Hamel’s spot in the batting order was the first up.

Hamel’s jokingly harbored hopes that manager Charlie Manuel might not take him out.

“Shoot, I was telling myself I was still in the game,” Hamels said. “I was hoping Charlie might put me up to hit. No, really. I thought that was the best I possibly could do. I thought that was the worst weather I’ve ever pitched in in my entire life and I really did make the best of it. That game easily could have gotten away from me and the score could have been a different magnitude.

STONE COLE LOCK
Following his NLCS MVP performance, the Phillies’ Cole Hamels continued his postseason mastery in the World Series against the Rays.
Series/Gm Opp. W-L ERA IP H R K BB
NLDS Gm 1 MIL W 0.00 8 2 0 9 1
NLCS Gm 1 LAD W 2.57 7 6 2 8 2
NLCS Gm 5 LAD W 1.29 7 5 1 5 3
WS Gm 1 TB W 2.57 7 5 2 5 2
WS Gm 5 TB ND 3.00 6 5 2 3 1
Totals 4-0 1.80 35 23 7 30 9

“And going into today it could have been a completely different game. We might have been looking at having to head down to Tampa and win it. But I feel like I succeeded, even with all the hard conditions that were thrown my way.”

Hamels pitched the first six innings — half of them in the rain — on Monday night, allowing two runs on five hits, while walking one and striking out three. In his last half-inning, the infield was as slick as a hockey rink, the ball was as wet as a sponge and the Rays scored the tying run.

When the game resumed on Wednesday night, Geoff Jenkins pinch-hit for Hamels, led off with a booming double and scored on Jayson Werth’s single.

So it worked out on both ends.

“I felt like the rain and the wetness of the ball and stuff definitely played a role in the end,” Manuel said of Hamels’ start on Monday night. “I felt like that definitely he would have gone farther in the game because he had [75] pitches. But that’s gone now and, like tonight, we bounced back and we overcame the problem the other night and won the World Series.”

All this happened on the night when Hamels’ wife was celebrating her birthday.

Heidi Strobe was once a contestant on the CBS show “Survivor: The Amazon” and a Playboy model. They married last year in her Missouri hometown, where she grew up a Cardinals fan.

“It’s my wife’s 30th birthday today,” Hamels said. “She’s just excited for this moment, this one thing she loves most. She was the one crying when St. Louis won [in 2006]. I said, ‘Why are you crying? I play for the Phillies.’ I think she won’t ever forget this. At least I won’t.”

Hamels succeeded in this postseason under all kinds of conditions.

In his Game 1 victory under the Tropicana Field dome, he kept the Rays off balance for seven innings, mixing his dancing changeup with a curve and fastball to allow two runs on five hits in the 3-2 win.

Hamels previously defeated Milwaukee in Game 1 of the Division Series and the Dodgers in Games 1 and 5 of the NLCS. Like Monday night, he also started the second-round clincher, working seven innings, allowing one run on a Manny Ramirez homer and four other Dodgers hits in a 5-1 victory.

Growing up in San Diego County, Hamels competed with a plethora of fine high school players and followed the local Major League teams with relish.

“I rooted for the Dodgers and Padres,” he said. “It depended on who was winning.”

Since Hamels was born on Dec. 27, 1983, he wasn’t yet 5 years old when the Dodgers last won the World Series in 1988. But he was a wiry 14-year-old when the Padres won their last NL pennant in 1998 and were swept by the Yankees in the World Series.

Little did he know that 10 years later he’d have his own World Series title and the double-double MVP. It was something he couldn’t even conceive back then.

“No, I couldn’t,” he said. “I just wanted to play the game. I didn’t know where I’d ever end up. And I was fortunate enough for the Phillies to draft me and knowing that they were trying to put together a really good team, and now being a member of what they were able to establish is something I can’t thank them for enough.

“Because they truly did give me the opportunity to be here in this city and to win this World Series. All they asked of me was to go out there and play this game that I enjoy and that I live and die for every day.” (H/T Phillies.com)

Hamels, you certainly do deserve this award for the way you’d pitched. And, I hope your wife is enjoying her birthday present.

2008 World Series: Game 5.5: The Phillies are the 2008 World Champions of the Baseball World.

The Phillies have won the 2008 World Series, winning the series four games to one, as they would outscore the Rays in the final three and a half innings of this past Monday’s suspended game five, 4-3. As play resumed, Rays’ manager Joe Maddon would decide to leave Grant Balfour in the game. Pinch hitter Geoff Jenkins would be the first batter to face him in the Phillies’ half of the sixth, and he would greet him with a hard hit double to center. Jimmy Rollins would follow with an excellent sacrifice bunt, that would go 5-3 for the inning’s first out, as he would move Jenkins over to third base. Then, with the Rays’ infield pulled in to prevent a run, Jayson Werth would hit a pop up into shallow center field. Ray’s second baseman Akinori Iwamura would be unable to make an over-the-shoulder basket catch of the ball, as it would drop in for a RBI single, scoring Jenkins, and giving the Phillies a 3-2 lead. Balfour is then taken out of the ballgame by Maddon and is replaced on the mound by J.P. Howell. Howell would then end the inning by first getting Utley to strike out swinging for the inning’s second out, and after Werth would steal second, he would get Ryan Howard to pop out to third for the final out of the inning. Charlie Manuel would then put out in place of Cole Hamels, who is now in line to be the game’s winning pitching, Ryan Madson. Madson would proceed to strike out Dioner Navarro looking for the inning’s first out. But then he would give up a solo home run to Rocco Baldelli to left, tying the game up at three apiece, and thus denying Hamels his chance to make World Series history by winning all five of his starts. Jason Bartlett would then follow with a single. The next batter, Howell, would sacrifice the runner over to second, 1-4, for the inning’s second out, as he put a runner in scoring position. Madson is then replaced by J.C. Romero. Iwamura would then hit a ground ball towards second base, that Utley would be able to grab, but would then have no play to make at first, as Iwamura would get an infield single. But, Utley would then throw a strike towards home plate as he would see Bartlett trying to score from second on the play. His throw would beat Bartlett to home plate and then Carlos Ruiz would tag out a sliding Bartlett to keep the game tied at three all. In the Phillies’ half of the seventh, Pat Burrell would start the inning off with a double to left center field. As he would be replaced on second base by pinch runner Eric Bruntlett, the Rays would replace Howell on the mound with Chad Bradford. Shane Victorino would then hit the ball to the right side of the infield, after being unable to put down a bunt, for the inning’s first out, 4-3, while Bruntlett would move on over to third base. This move would once again force the Rays to bring in their infield. Pedro Feliz would take advantage of this move as he would hit a RBI single to center, scoring Bruntlett and giving the Phillies’ a 4-3 lead. Ruiz would then follow Feliz by hitting into a force out, 4-6, wiping out Feliz at second for the second out. Romero would then bat for himself and proceed to hit into a force out, 4-6, for the inning’s final out. Romero would then stay in to pitch the eighth. Chris Crawford would start the inning off with a single. B.J. Upton would then hit into a 6-4-3 double play, doubling up Crawford at second base, putting no one on base with two men out. Romero would then end the inning by getting Carlos Pena to fly out to left for the final out. In the Phillies’ eighth, the Rays would send out David Price to keep the game close. Prince would proceed to get Rollins to fly out to left for the inning’s first out and then would strike out Werth for out number two. Utley would then get on base with a walk. After Utley would steal second, Howard would end the inning by striking out. In the Rays’ ninth, the Phillies would hand the ball over to Brad Lidge to end the game. Lidge would get Evan Longorio to pop out to Utley for the first out of the inning. Navarro would then get on base with a single. Navarro would be replaced at first by pinch runner Fernando Perez, while pinch hitter Ben Zobrist would come to the plate. After Perez would steal second base, Lidge would get Zobrist out as he lines out directly to the right fielder for the second out of the inning. Maddon would then send out pinch hitter Eric Hinske to try and take the lead with one swing of the bat. Instead, Lidge would strike Hinske out for the game’s final out, as he would record his forty-eighth straight save in forty-eight attempts and his seventh save of the post-season, and lead to the start of a celebration among the Phillies, as they would win their second World Championship in the team’s 126 years of existance.

Cole Hamels would get a no-decision, as he would pitch six strong innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out three. Ryan Madson would pitch two-thrids of an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits, while striking out one. J.C. Romero would get the win as he pitches a scoreless inning and a third, giving up only two hits. His series’ record is now 2-0 with an 0.00 ERA. Brad Lidge would record his second save of the series, pitching a scoreless inning, as he would give up just a hit, while striking out one, as he records his forty-eighth straight save, and his seventh in the post-season. Scott Kazmir would also get a no-decision, as he would go only four innings plus two batters, giving up two earned runs on four hits, six walks and a hit batsman, while striking out five. Grant Balfour would pitch an inning and a third, giving up an earned run on two hits. J.P. Howell would get the lost as he would pitch two-thirds of an inning plus one batter, giving up an earned run on one hit, while striking out one. His series’ record is now 0-2 with an ERA of 7.71. Chad Bradford would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up only one hit. David Price would also pitch a scoreless inning, giving up just a walk, while striking out two.

During the celebration, which would include Bud Selig giving David Montgomery, Pat Gillick and Charlie Manuel the World Series Trophy, Cole Hamels would be announced as being the 2008 World Series MVP. It would later be announced that the city of Philadelphia plans to hold its World Series parade on Friday. And it would appear that the parade wouldl be shown on at least one of the local networks. I can’t wait. :)

Now that the Phillies have won the series, I would like to first apologize for the number of times that I’ve shown a lack faith in the guys actually being able to get into the World Series. Next, I would like to laugh in the face of the so-called experts who during the post-season have never given the Phillies the chance to win the Series, including FOX. Ha-HA, in your face, experts. Lastly, I would like to congratulate the Tampa Bay Rays for doing as well as they did this season to get into the World Series as well. I am sure that they’ll be back in the series at some point during the next few years.

Next stop, the victory parade. I love a parade, etc. etc. :)

2008 World Series: Game 5: The Phillies have….what the…a suspended game??? Selig, you are a bum!!!!

The fifth game of the 2008 World Series has now entered the history books as the first game in World Series history to be suspended, as Bud ‘I’m a moron’ Selig suspends the game before the start of the Phillies’ sixth, after B.J. Upton of the Rays scored the tying run on a Carlos Pena single, tying the game at 2-2. After Cole Hamels would pitch a quick 1-2-3 first, the Phillies’ bat would go after Rays’ starter Scott Kazmir. After Jimmy Rollins would fly out for the inning’s first out, Jayson Werth would get on base with a walk. Chase Utley would then be hit by the pitch, sending Werth over to second base. After Kazmir strikes out Ryan Howard swinging for the second out, Pat Burrell would take a walk to load the bases, moving up both Werth and Utley to third and second respectively. Shane Victorino would follow with a two-run single, giving the Phillies a 2-0 lead, scoring both Werth and Utley, while sending Burrell over to second. Pedro Feliz would follow up with a single of his own, reloading the bases, as third base coach Steve Smith would stop Burrell at third base, so that he wouldn’t possibily being thrown out at home plate, while Victorino would stop at second. Carlos Ruiz would then end the inning by flying out. Neither team would be able to do anything in either the second or third innings as the mist that the two teams were playing in started to come down as rain. The Rays would cut the Phillies’ lead to 2-1 as, with a runner on second and one out, Evan Longorio would hit a RBI single, scoring Carlos Pena, who has earlier doubled. The Phillies would then get out of the inning as Dioner Navarro would hit into a 6-4-3 double play, wiping out Longorio at second. In the Phils half of the fourth, they would threaten to score. After Feliz would stike out for the inning’s first out, Ruiz would reach base with a single. Hamels would then attempt to bunt him over to second. Kazmir would have other ideas as he would grab the bunt and fires to second, forcing out Ruiz easily for the second out, as Hamels would reach first safely. Rollins would follow with a walk, sending Hamels to second. Werth would then follow with a walk, loading the bases, as Hamels and Rollins would both move on to second and third. But the threat would end as Utley would ground out, 4-3 for the final out. During the time, the ground crew would try to work on the field as the rains proceed to come down even harder, but the umpires would refuse to call a rain delay at this point. In the fifth, Rocco Baldelli would reach first base as Rollins would be unable to catch a high pop up because of the rain and the winds, which would be called an error. But the Phillies would bite the bullet as Jason Bartlett would hit into a 4-3 double play, as Utley would make a spectacular play, tagging Baldelli on the foot as he ran pass him and would then throw to first to beat out Bartlett. In the Phillies half of the fifth, as the field was getting worse, the first two Phillies’ batters (Howard and Burrell) would both get on base via walks. This would be the end for Kazmir, as he would be taken out of the game by Rays’ manager Joe Maddon and be replaced on a getting bad mound by Grant Balfour. Balfour would then proceed to get the next three Phillies’ batter, all looking to be a bit too eager to swing, to either fly out or pop out. Victorino would start by flying out to left for out number one. Then Feliz would hit a high pop that would barely be caught by first baseman Pena for the second out, although the Infield Fly Rule should’ve been evoked by the umpires before then. Ruiz would then follow by also poping out to Pena for the inning’s final out. In the top of the sixth, with things only getting worst, and with Hamels forced to throw only mostly fastballs as he couldn’t get a frim enough grip on the slippery ball so that he can throw his curveball, he would start the inning off by striking out Akinori Iwamura for out number one. He would then get Carl Crawford to ground out to Howard for out number two. The next batter, B.J. Upton would then hit a ground ball to Jimmy Rollins, who would be unable to make the play, as Upton is given a single. Upton would then, after four straight throws to first, steal second base, as Ruiz is unable to throw him out. Pena would then hit a single to left, as Upton would score the tying run as he beat out the throw from Burrell. A pass ball by Ruiz would then allow Pena to reach second base. But the inning would finally end as Longorio would fly out to center. Then the umpires ordered the field to be covered. After a rain delay, Bud Selig would finally suspend the game at 2-2, calling for it to be continued on Tuesday night after 8 pm Eastern. But, after 1 pm today, it has been announced that the game, because of the continuing rain and the possibility of heavy winds, it will instead be continued after 8 pm Wednesday, with the Phillies up in the bottom of the sixth.

Folks, I’m pissed. This game should never have been played in the first place, since MLB knew that the weather was going to get worst as it progressed and that the rain would have not ended until sometimes Wednesday. Bud Selig, MLB and their FOX overlords (let’s be frank people, FOX was the real ones calling the shots here) decided to try to sneak this one in, believing in the optimistic reports from the three weather bureaus that MLB uses, because of their greed for money and whatever ratings they thought they could get from this series. So, tell me Bud, how did that work out for? I’m just saying. GGGRRRR!!! And then, when he finally does call for it to be suspended, he waited until after the Rays had scored a run in the sixth, in foul weather that only a duck would love and say that he did this for the health of the players. Hello!!! Bud Homer, would that include B.J. Upton, who stole second in that slop? What would MLB has done if he’d slide the wrong way, or slip and fall flat on his face trying to steal second. Continue to play the game or finally called for it to be put in a rain delay? I call BS on your worrying about the players’ health, you tool. If you did care, you should’ve called it in the fourth, or the fifth at the latest. JERK! I’m starting to have more respect for Bowie Kuhn at this point, and that’s saying a lot as far as I’m concerned.

Anyway, the game is suppose to continue tomorrow with the Phillies’ batting. The Phillies has a chance to win this. They have at the least nine or at the most twelve outs to get just one run across and do it against a Rays’ bullpen that they have been able to score runs on since game two. The Rays, on the other hand, have nine outs within which to plate one run, and they have to do it against a Phillies’ bullpen that has been almost spotless during the post-season, and they start it off with the bottom of their lineup while the Phillies will start their inning with almost the top half of their lineup. Come on people, the Phillies still have a chance to do this. They just need to suck it up, get over the feeling that someone is trying to rob them of a championship, and just go about their business. If they’re going to be the World Champs, they should be able to overcome this just as they have overcome everything else that has been thrown at them this year. As the Tugger once said, “You Gotta Believe!!” and I believe that this team can get past this and WIN. GO PHILLIES!!!

Oh, and Charlie Manuel, I think you did the right thing by not having a postgame conference when there was really no reason for it. I salute you on doing that, ‘Uncle’ Charlie.

2008 World Series: Game 5: Hours away from a possible clinching party as the Phillies send ‘Young King’ Cole Homels to the mound to end the World Series.

The 2008 World Series will continue, and hopefully end, tonight in Philadelphia with game number five. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 8:22 pm Eastern time. The Phillies will send to the mound their ace Cole Hamels (1-0, 2.57), who is coming off a brilliant win against the Rays in Game 1 on October 22, as he would pitch seven very strong innings, giving up only two earned runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out five, in the Phillies’ 3-2 win. Hamels will be trying to clinch the World Series crown for the Phillies while trying to set a new post-season record by going 5-0 as a starter in post-season starts. The Rays will counter with Scott Kazmir (0-1, 4.50), who is coming off a lost against the Phillies in Game 1 on October 22, as he would pitch six innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits and four walks, while striking out four, in the Rays’ 3-2 lost. Kazmir will be trying to win game five to send the series back to Tampa Bay, as he hopes to be able to put the reawaken Phillies’ offense back to sleep.

The main keys for tonight’s game will be for Cole Hamels to just continue pitching the way he has been pitching in his previous four starts in the post-season while the offense will just need to continue what they did to the Rays in last night’s ballgame, and the Phillies should have won their second World Championship in the oganization’s 126 years of existance. At the same time, the team will need to keep an eye out for any tricks that the Rays might try to pull to help get the series back to Tampa Bay for games six and seven. Right now, Tampa Bay’s offense has been handcupped by both Phillies’ pitching and by the way that Carlos Ruiz has been handling the staff, with the heart of their lineup being given the collar. As long as the Phillies can continue to keep them in particular quiet, liked they did with the middle of the Dodgers’ lineup around Manny Ramirez in the NLCS, the Rays are going to go down quickly.

GO PHILLIES!!! WIN!!!!

And the Awards just keep on coming: Brad Lidge is named Delivery Man of the Year.

Lidge named Delivery Man of the Year

Phillies closer set a team record for consecutive saves in 2008

“‘You’re our closer,’” Lidge recalls being told by manager Charlie Manuel, general manager Pat Gillick and assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. “‘You’re going to get out there, and we’re going to give you the ball, and if it doesn’t go good on the first game of the season, you’re still going to get the ball the next game, because you’re our closer.’”

None of the parties involved has had to worry, however, about the “if it doesn’t go good” part. As the Phillies’ closer in 2008, Lidge has been better than good.

He’s been perfect.

The most reliable closer in Phillies history has been recognized with Major League Baseball’s Delivery Man of the Year Award, presented by DHL.

The Phillies won 92 games during the regular season to win their second consecutive National League East title and now stand one win away from their first World Series title since 1980, thanks in large part to Lidge’s consistency in the ninth inning.

Lidge saved 41 games in 41 chances during the regular season, setting a team record for consecutive saves. He finished the regular season with a 2-0 record and 1.95 ERA in 69 1/3 innings pitched.

“He’s just that type of guy,” fellow reliever Chad Durbin said. “He wants to be out there, and we’ll give him the ball, let him go do his thing.”

That string of success has continued in the postseason, as Lidge has saved six games to bring his streak to 47. The Phillies are an astounding 85-0 when leading after eight innings in 2008.

But don’t expect Lidge to revel in the accolades just yet. His team has a few more items on its agenda.

“I try, honestly, not to pay attention to the amount of saves or where the streak is at,” Lidge said. “We’re in the postseason, and you [have to] go out there every single time and get it done.” (H/T Phillies.com)

Let’s face it. Without Lidge the Phillies wouldn’t be knocking on the door to a World Series win. Congrats, Lidge. You so deserve this reward for being ever so perfect this year.

2008 World Series: Game 4: A 10-runs offensive barrage and six plus strong innings from Joe Blanton would lead the Phillies to a 10-2 rout of the Rays. The Phillies now have a commanding three games to one lead and are ready to clinch on Monday night.

Supporting Joe Blanton’s six plus strong innings of work, the Phillies’ offense would finally wake up to score ten runs as the Phillies would rout the Rays, 10-2. The win would give the Phillies a very commanding three games to one lead in the series, and a chance to clinch the World Series crown at home behind their ace Cole Hamels. The Phillies would score first in the first inning once again as, with the bases loaded, and one out, Pat Burrell would take a walk, forcing in Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier doubled, would move up to third base on Jayson Werth’s fly out to right, and would be safe on a fielder’s choice ground ball hit by Ryan Howard to the pitcher, as Rays’ starter Andy Sonnanstine would catch Rollins between third and home as he tried to score and would try to throw him out as he headed back to third, but the third base umpire Tim Welke would call Rollins safe, although the instant replay would show that Rays’ third baseman Evan Longoria had actually tagged Rollins out on his *** before he has gotten back to the base, giving the Phillies a 1-0 lead. The Phillies would make it 2-0 in the third, as, with runners on second and third and two men out, Pedro Feliz would single in Chase Utley, who has reached first base earlier on an Akinori Iwamura fielding error and would move on to third on Howard’s single, while Howard would move on to second. After a Carlos Ruiz single would load the bases, moving both Howard and Feliz up a base, Joe Blanton would end the inning by poping up to the first baseman in foul territory.The Rays would cut the lead in half in the fourth as, with no one on base and two outs, Carl Crawford would hit a solo home run, his second home run of the series, to make it a 2-1 Phillies’ lead. The Phillies would get the run back, with interest, in their half of the fourth, as, with two men on, and one out, Howard woud hit a three-run blast to left, his second home run of the series, scoring Rollins, who would reach base on a second Iwamura’s fielding error and would move on up to second on Werth’s walk, to make it 5-1 Phillies. The Rays would then get one of the runs back in the fifth as, with no one on and two men outs, Blanton would give up a solo home run to pitch hitter Eric Hinske, to make it 5-2 Phillies. In the Phillies’ half of the inning, with no one on and two men outs, Blanton would hit a solo home run of his own, his first career home run, to give the Phils a 6-2 lead. The Rays would try to come back in the sixth as they would put runners on second and first via a walk (Carlos Pena) and a hit batter (Crawford) with two men out. Blanton would end the threat by striking out Dioner Navarro swinging. The Ray would try again in the seventh. They would start the inning off with Bob Zobrist getting on base with a walk. That would be it for Blanton, as Charlie Manuel would take him out of the game to a standing ovation and replace him with Chad Durbin. Durbin would proceed to get Jason Bartlett to fly out to center for the inning’s first out. He would then give up a single to pinch hitter Willy Aybar, which would send Zobrist up to second base. Manuel would then come back out, and replace Durbin with Scott Eyre. Eyre would get Iwamura to line out to left for the inning’s second out. Manuel would then replace Eyre with Ryan Madson. Madson would strike out B.J. Upton swinging for the inning’s final out. After Madson pitches a 1-2-3 eighth inning, the Phillies would proceed to bust the game wide open in their half of the inning. After pinch hitter Matt Stairs would strike out for the inning’s first out, Rollins would get on base with a double that would just miss being a home run by a few inches. Jayson Werth would then follow with a two-run home run, that would score Rollins and give the Phillies an 8-2 lead. Two batters later, Howard would hit a two-run shot of his own, his third home run of the series, scoring Utley, who was earlier intentionally walked to get to Howard, a move which would this time backfire on the Rays, to make it a 10-2 Phillies’ lead. The inning would then end as Eric Bruntlett would ground out, 6-3, and Shane Victorino would fly out to center. J.C. Romero would then be sent out to end the game. Navarro would start the inning off by getting on base on a Romero’s fielding error as he made a bad throw to Howard on a ground ball hit to him. Zobrist would then follow by hitting into a force out, 4-6, being safe on first as Navarro is wiped out at second. Madson would then end the game by striking out first Bartlett on a call third strike and then striking out pinch hitter Rocco Baldelli for the final out.

Joe Blanton would get the win as he would pitch a strong six innings plus one batter, as he would give up only two earned runs on four hits, two walks and a hit batter, while striking out seven Rays. His series’ record is now 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA. Chad Durbin would pitch one-third of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Scott Eyre would pitch a third of an inning, getting out the only batter he would face. Ryan Madson would pitch an inning and a third of scoreless ball, giving up no hits, while striking out three. J.C. Romero would pitch a scoreless ninth, giving up no hits, while striking out two. Andy Sonnanstine would pitch only four innings, giving up five runs, three of which were earned, on six hits and three walks, while striking out only two. His series record is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA. Edwin Jackson would pitch two innings, giving up an earned run on two hits and a walk, while striking out one. Dan Wheeler would pitch an inning and a third, giving up two earned runs on three hits while striking out one. Trever Miller would pitch two-thirds of an inning, all giving up two earned runs on one hit and a walk.

Joe Blanton would proceed to dominate the young Rays, being able to mix his pitches so that they would be unable to do much damage against him. While Blanton was keeping the Rays quiet, the Phillies’ bats would finally wake up as they would knock in 10 runs, with eight of them coming via the long ball, which would include the surprising home run by starter Blanton. The offense would not only knock out the Rays’ starter, but they would this time hit the killer blow against the Rays’ bullpen in the eighth inning.

The 2008 World Series will continue later tonight in Philadelphia. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 8:22 pm Eastern time. The Phillies will be sending to the mound their ace Cole Hamels (1-0, 2.57), who is coming off a brilliant win in Game 1 of the series against the Rays on October 22, as he would pitch seven strong innings, giving up only two earned runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out five, in the Phillies’ 3-2 win. Hamels will be trying to clinch the World Series crown for the Phillies while trying to set a new post-season record by going 5-0 as a starter. The Rays will counter with Scott Kazmir (0-1, 4.50), who is coming off a lost against the Phillies on October 22, as he was the losing pitcher of Game 1, as he would pitch six innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits and four walks, while striking out four, in the Rays’ 3-2 lost. Kazmir will be trying to win game five to send the series back to Tampa Bay as he hope to put the Phillies’ offense back to sleep.

The keys to the game will be for Cole Hamels to just continue pitching the way he has been pitching in his previous four starts while the offense will just need to continue what they did in last night’s game, and the Phillies should win their second World Championship in the oganization’s 126 years of existance. At the same time, they will need to keep an eye out for any tricks that the Rays might try to pull to help get the series back to Tampa Bay for games six and seven.

2008 World Series: Game 4: Phillies hoping to take a 3 games to 1 lead over the Rays behind Joe Blanton while waiting for the offense to finally break out.

The 2008 World Series will continued tonight with the fourth game of the seven games series from Philadelphia. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 8:29 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Joe Blanton (0-0, -.–), who is coming off a no-decision against the Dodgers in the NLCS on October 13, as he would go five innings, giving up only three earned runs on seven hits and four walks, while striking out four, in the Phillies’ 7-5 win. In the post-season, his record is 1-0, with a no-decision, with an ERA of 3.27, as he would pitch eleven innings, giving up four earned runs on twelve hits and four walks, while striking out eleven. His regular season record is 9-12 (4-0) with a 4.69 (4.20) ERA in thirty-three starts, where he would give up 110 runs, 103 of which were earned, on 211 hits and 66 walks, while striking out 111 batters in 197 and two-thirds innings. He will be trying for his second post-season win and to put the Phillies in position for clinching the World Series crown at home. The Rays’ will counter with Andy Sonnanstine (0-0, -.–), who is coming off a win against the Red Sox in the ALCS on October 14, as he would pitch seven and one-third innings, giving up four runs, three of which were earned, on six hits and a walk, while striking out two, in the Rays’ 13-4 win. His post-season record is 2-0 with a 3.46 ERA, as he would pitch thirteen innings, giving up six runs, five of which were earned, on nine hits and two walks, while striking out six. His regular season record is 13-9 with a 4.28 ERA in thirty-two starts, where he would give up 105 runs, 94 of which would be earned, on 212 hits and 37 walks, while striking out 124 in 193 and one-third innings of work. He will be trying for his third post-season win while trying to even the series up at two games apiece.

The keys in this game will be for the Phillies to find some way to get to Sonnanstine with their bats, especially since he seems to give up very few walks. This may require that the batters not only work the count on him, but also go full bore small ball against him to produce runs any way they can. At the same time, Joe Blanton will need to go onto the mound and pitch a better game then he normally would against the Rays. Hopefully Carlos Ruiz will be able to help with that in his pitch selection. The Phillies have a chance to take a commanding three games to one lead in the series and give the ball back to Cole Hamels to possibily clinch the World Series crown on Monday with a win tonight.

The Flyers have won last night, the Eagles have just won this afternoon, and the Phillies won last night. Come on guys, lets make it a weekend victory sweep.

GO PHILLIES!!! BEAT THE RAYS!!!

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