Monday, September 28, 2009

You'll Always Remember Your First Time, Part 12

They say you never forget your first time. And with October right around the corner, the vivid memories of my first time witnessing a professional Philadelphia franchise win a championship are ripe in my head. Even with football underway, I find myself wandering back to that glorious month of October. It's something I want to relive again and again. In fact, that's exactly what I'm going to do, republishing my feelings during the wild ride to becoming 2008 World Fucking Champions. View part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here, part 4 here, part 5 here, part 6 here, part 7 here, part 8 here, part 9 here, part 10 here and part 11 here.

Today is part 12, originally published Oct. 16, 2008:

Elated, but Not Done Yet

Listen, I've given this Phillies team a lot of shit during the year. I hammered Jimmy Rollins. I destroyed Pat Burrell. I questioned Charlie Manuel. I evened argued that Cole's no ace just yet. And you know what? I was wrong. Dead wrong. About all of it. And I've never been happier in my life to be wrong.

Last night, Jimmy Rollins started the game just like he did in the clincher against the Brewers—with a leadoff home run. It was glorious. And Pat, Pat. He's had a HUGE playoff run, got a clutch RBI hit last night and made an absolutely spectacular catch for a big, slow leftfielder. Then there's Charlie. Like virtually everyone, I haven't always been too kind to old Uncle Cholly. I've questioned his moves, his makeup, his leadership. Well, I question him no more. Charlie Manuel is the best manager I've seen in a Phillies uniform. And he earned this trip to the World Series, and like he said, this team isn't done.

"Also, this is for the city of Philadelphia. We've got one more step. This is the third step. We've got one more big step and then we're gonna take a Grand Parade."

And let me be the first say, Cole, I was wrong. You are an ace. Right here, right now. Last night, even without your "best stuff," according to that decrepit old windbag Tim McCarver, you buckled down, threw your third straight playoff gem, and sent this team to the World Series. You earned that NLCS MVP. You deserve it. You are an ace. You are our ace.

That was one of the most satisfying games I've ever seen. Every pitch, every at-bat was fun, nerve-wracking and exhilarating. I loved every minute of it. I will always, always remember that game. From Chase Utley's tremendous defense, turning double plays, diving for the ball like his life, our lives, depended on it to Pedro Feliz vacuuming up everything at third to Pat Burrell's catch, Ryan Howard's hits, Jimmy's home run to Werth chatting up Furcal, the man who opened the door with his 3-error inning.

I'll remember Cole dealing, Madson just pitching lights out and Shane Victorino, getting intentionally walked twice because of his penchant for huge hits, and his tremendous play in center.

And I'll remember Brad Lidge, doing his damn thing, getting a popup to end the game, as Curbball Ruiz squeezed it.

And I'll remember these images, as I went down the street, hit up the bar and drank in the win.

Take it away, Harry.

Today, I am smiling. I don't smile often, unless it is in the midst of laughing. But today, I am smiling. But the work is not done. There are still more games to be won. Four more to be exact. And you know what? I think this team has 4 more wins in them. Four more.

BallHype: hype it up!

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