What we are witnessing right now is, without question, the greatest run in franchise history. The Phillies have never gotten to back-to-back World Series. Correction, the Phillies had never gotten to back-to-back World Series, past tense. Because now they have.
We are watching the greatest shortstop, greatest second baseman and greatest first baseman the Phillies have ever fielded. And without question, it's the best collection of talent, 1-8, starters to bullpen, this city has ever seen. It's the golden age of Phillies baseball. This is history. Time to really put a stamp out it with four more wins.
World Series links …
-You want stats? WSBGM's got stats.
-As per usual, go to The Fightins, who I'm sure will be updating all day with outstanding work and videos for me to steal. Like this:
And Brett Myers getting denied, which I saw and thought was hilarious:
First Charlie, then his own wife. Must be rough. Don't hit her, Brett.
-Of course, go to The700Level too for all their awesome stuff, like this:
Joe Torre is a classy, classy guy. Russell Martin and Andre Ethier are scumbags who deserve nothing but the worst. Oh, and how does Russell Martin have a gold glove? Chooch would have blocked at least half those wild pitches he let get away. What I'm trying to say is, Russull Martin sucks. And I hate him. Enjoy the offseason, you slimy bastard. Shane will be playing the World Fucking Series.
-Yep, even jerk Red Sox fans are on our side:
On a positive note, I can say with a straight face and in all sincerity that I am really happy for Ryan Howard who proved that quitting steroids doesn’t mean you have to become a shell of your former self like Manny did. Just look at Alex Rodriguez. I would also like to congratulate Cliff Lee for once again looking like a Cy Young winner simply by moving down to the minor league level of professional baseball.
I guess that's a compliment. Still bitter from the Red Sox sucking balls in the playoffs, but yeah, the minor league level of professional baseball has produced the World Fucking Champions. Keep hating, we'll keep winning.
-If you haven't been reading Jayson Stark, you better start. The guy is a god damn poet:
And then, on a gorgeous Wednesday night in the third week of October, the 2009 Phillies arrived at a place where no Phillies team before them had ever been.
Just 12 months after winning one World Series, they are heading for another World Series. No Phillies team before them had ever done that. Not a one.
Before last October, this team had won only four postseason series in the history of the franchise. And now it's won five series in a row.
It wasn't so long ago that this franchise had played in two World Series in its first 100 seasons of existence. And now it's about to play in its second World Series in 12 months.
"It's been pretty cool to see the staying power of these guys," said injured pitcher Jamie Moyer. "It would have been really easy, after winning the World Series, to come in this spring and set the cruise control and say, 'Hey, we've already won. So we'll go play and whatever happens, happens.' But this team never did that. You always go through ups and downs in any year. But with this team, the attitude was always, 'We're going to win. And whatever happens, we're going to find a way to win.'"
For years, for decades, the Phillies teams that came before them never thought that way. For years, for decades, the fans that had to watch those teams had zero faith they would ever again see a group of players who ever felt that way.
But now, whether they win another World Series or not, these men have changed everything -- everything -- about baseball in the town they play in.
"We've gone from being doubters to being contenders, on both sides of the ball -- fans and team," said Werth, nontendered by the Dodgers less than three years ago, and now the No. 5 hitter on the best team in the National League. "It's been awesome to be a part of."
But the journey of the 2009 Phillies isn't over. And these men are well aware of that, too. Just because the mission may have been successful doesn't mean it's been accomplished.
"It's hard to say where that mission ends," Werth said. "Maybe when my career is over, I might be able to answer that. Or maybe, when I'm not a Phillie any more, I might be able to answer that. But not right now.
"Right now," said Jayson Werth, "we've still got four more games to win."
-Yes, ladies and gentlemen, We're looking at the best Philadelphia team of all time.
They are going to the World Series. Again. They earned the right with a five-game domination of a very talented Los Angeles Dodgers team. Again. They have won by first-inning pounce and by last-inning gut check, by laugher and by squeaker, by flashy long ball and by gritty small ball.
10-4. Over and out.
-Bill Lyon sets the scene last night.
-Ryan Howard is a beast:
We all know what kind of player he has been in September during his career. But this October, especially, has been the official taking of the next step. Last night's game was the first of the postseason in which Howard did not have an RBI
(although he did walk twice and score a run), but that isn't it. For the record, his 2009 postseason numbers so far, through nine games: .355, with two homers and
-The Phillies are hitting. A lot. And they're beating the opposition doing it:
Before this series began, Dodgers manager Joe Torre said his team was better equipped to play the Phillies because of a deep bench, better bullpen and starters he thought he could depend on.
"We gave them a fight," Torre said. "They just wouldn't back down. Certainly, they're a better team now. I think just the experience they went through, the confidence that came from that, and the presence they had through all their ups and downs this season."
-David Murphy has an outstanding game story:
"When I woke up this morning, I felt like we were going to win,'' Werth said as he stood on the playing field late last night, an empty bottle of champagne in his right hand and a National League Champions hat on his head. "I didn't say that I was going to have a big game or do anything special, I was just saying that we were going to win. That was my mind-set all day. Driving to the park, when I got here, on my way in, walking down the ramp into the clubhouse, the vibe was good, and everybody was on the same page.''
One year and 6 days ago, the story was the newness of it all, the aforementioned split second of realization - Holy hell, we're going to the World Series - carrying well into the next morning.
Last night? Last night was something different. Last night was a prize fighter who already had withstood the best his opponent had to offer, already had endured the 35-degree chill of Denver and the 90-degree heat of Los Angeles and the three-run rally by the Rockies in Game 4 of the NLDS and the flame-throwing closer protecting a two-out lead in Game 4 of the NLCS.
-You don't have to be from Philadelphia to appreciate this team:
Finally, here's a big hand for ol' Charlie Manuel, Ruben Amaro Jr. and Pat Gillick, the trio who put the whole thing together, not just for championship-starved Philly fans, but for every baseball fan who enjoys watching a team that's as easy to root for and like.
The World Series, of course, is up next and the four required victories will be the hardest of the whole title defense. But for a few moments, let's appreciate what a big deal it is for the Phillies to even reach that opportunity. These types of chances don't come along every day and Philadelphia has some sort of special team to get the job done.
-Another non-Phillies fan giving them their propers.
-Some observations and thoughts from last night. My favorite? This one:
I wonder if Albert Pujols is going to complain about Ryan Howard being named NLCS MVP.
-Yet another non-Phillies fan, Ed the Sports Fan, stating the obvious: The Phillies Are Off The Chain.
-Clearly, TBL has not watched the Phillies once all year. I really don't know why I check out that site anymore.
-Ruben Amaro done good.
Raul, Cliff, Pedro. Well done, sir. Well done.
-Oh, and not Phillies-related, but Omar Gaither is out for the year. Good thing the Eagles got Will Witherspoon, huh? Like anyone cares right now.
Four more wins, fellas. Four more.
LET'S GO PHILS!!!!!