Thursday, October 16, 2008
We at the Clarion have to give the Phillies their due respect. Congratulations to the Phillies and their fans in the city of brotherly love!
Clearly, we were rooting for the Dodgers, but not out of any animosity for the Phils, rather we just wanted to see old Joe Torre make it to the World Series. We wanted Torre and Manny to give the jerks running the Yankees brain trust (Brian Cashman excepted) their comeuppance for so callously and arrogantly dismissing Torre's efforts. (Yes, we mean you, boot-licker, Randy Levine.)
But today is not the day to talk about the Dodgers or the Yanks. How about them Phillies!?! The Clarion loves and respects that they built from within, count'em three different N.L. MVPs have come up through their farm system to win the MVP with the big club, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. That is impressive. Moreover, several other Phillies players came from within, too, including starting pitchers Cole Hamels, (the N.L.C.S. MVP) and Brett Myers, as well as catcher Carlos Ruiz and outfielder Pat Burrell. It takes terrific scouting and tremendous patience to win this way, the Phils deserve credit. They built slowly and incrementally, the team has won 80 or more games for seven straight seasons. Last year they finally made the playoffs only to get swept by the scorching Colorado Rockies. This year they came back even more determined.
The guy who carried the series from their side, in the Clarion's view, was the flyin' Hawaiian, Shane Victorino. He made pivotal catches in game 2 and game 4 with runners on base to preserve the lead. In game 2 he added four RBIs. He had two more nice catches in center in game 5. He did not back down with the Dodgers threw one over his head in game 3, but he also wisely did not escalate so much as to get ejected or suspended. And finally he snuffed Dodger dreams with a huge game tying homer in game 4 without which the well traveled Matt Stairs never would have seen the plate to hit his dinger.
Good luck to the Phils and their fans in the World Series.
Philadelphia is starved for a championship. It has been 25 long years since Moses proclaimed, "Fo', fo' and fo'." And then led the Sixers to the promise land along side, Hall of Famer, the Doctor, Julius Erving and the underrated backcourt tandem of Mo Cheeks and Andrew Toney.