Philadelphia: The Champ Is Here!

Leftover thoughts:

Tyler Kepner, New York Times: “A game that began with a deluge has washed away an epic drought.”

If another Philadelphia team lost to a Tampa Bay team in another big playoff moment, I don’t know what I would have done. The third time was the charm!

The Phils’ 6-7-8 hitters were difference-makers. It’s tough to be beat when contributions are coming from everyone in the batting order. Shane Victorino, Pedro Feliz, and Carlos Ruiz will never pay for a meal in the Delaware Valley ever again.

Carlos Ruiz might be the unsung hero of this Series. Aside from one throwing error, he was clutch, both with his glove and his bat.

I wanted Geoff Jenkins to pinch-hit for Cole Hamels to lead off the sixth inning, even though he had a down year. I wanted to save uber-pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs and NLCS hero Matt Stairs for the later innings if needed. Charlie and I agreed. And as we all saw, Jenkins hit a leadoff double, he later scored, and hey, I was dyn-o-right!

Champagne really does sting your eyes. I accidentally got some in my eye while celebrating, but who cares? Totally worth it.

Charlie Manuel is a stand-up guy. He took the slings and arrows of his early days in Philadelphia, and stood on the championship podium and saluted the fans with sincerity and joy. Good for you, Skip.

And good for you, Pat Burrell. I’ve always had mixed feelings about Burrell. He never seemed blue-collar enough for Philadelphia, but you couldn’t argue with his offensive production. It was only fitting that he got the hit that was cashed in by Feliz for the winning run, in what could be his last game as a Phillie.

Kepner again: “Hearts are light now, joy has come to Mudville.” Dry weather also came to Mudville, finally.

All this time, 25 years, 100 seasons, and I had no real plan for how to celebrate if the win happened tonight. Day off for the parade was all I could think of. Nick (a Yankee fan) had this advice: buy all the hats and shirts…after they win. Sounds like a plan to me!

My friend Patrick Berkery ran a “Win It For” list on his blog before the World Series started. So I dedicated a “Win It For” for those not-so-great Phillies that weren’t going to deliver a championship. (See comment #59.) Where have you gone, Ricky Otero?

The 2008 Phillies Are A Great Team, Reason #349: they won tonight playing small-ball when they have been a slugging, big inning team. They did whatever it took to win. And that’s all we needed and wanted.

Smiling in heaven: Tug McGraw, Richie Ashburn, and John Marzano.


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