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Thursday, October 16, 2008

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Has any Phillies manager besides Dallas Green ever done as fine a managing job as Charles Manuel? Manager of the year!

This brought tears to my eyes. This father, now 38, held his son who is 5 and was up way too late last night for the last out. I thought different thoughts, but one was the continuity of life and sports as a metaphor for it. My dad died in 01 from cancer. His love for baseball was passed to me, and it continues. Events like last night help solidify this. I have though of dad a lot in the past two weeks and how much he'd be enjoying this run the Phillies are providing for us.

Thanks.

Nice write up Jason.

I am truly savoring the moment.
And I am savoring why I am phan in the first place.
I am 39. Back in the mid/late 70s Friday nights in the summertime would be with Gpa, dad and brothers in the kitchen listening to the Phils on the radio. (mom and gma and sisters had the TV) Those were great times.
Gpa didnt get to see the 80s WS victory. My dad is still here and I hope he gets to see the Phils bring one back to Philadelphia one more time.
Anyway,
Thank you Phils!!

The idea is to never take happy events like this for granted, because one never knows when the next one will come along. I was born the year the Whiz Kids won the pennant, and it "only" took 30 years to get back to a WS.

Jason - Thanks for doing such a great job on this site, and for giving all of us a place to laugh, cry, argue, and (in my case) cheerlead.

Here, here. This is the best Phillies blog on the Internet, and it's a wonderful place to come to share views on our favorite baseball team. Last night was one of the great experiences of my life, and even though I'm stuck in Boston, Beerleaguer helps me feel like I'm right there in the action. Thanks, Jason, and everyone else who makes this place so special. Let's win it all so I can rent a car and be back in my hometown for the parade.

Thank you Jason, Pelle, and phanatic's bro for helping me understand how I have been feeling about this. I'm been surprised at how emotional I've been about this, but you're right, its about history, family, memory. The 1980 logo is taking me back to second grade (!) when I was given that program and have been a Phillies fan ever since.

There are other Phillies blogs? Seriously, none of them compare.

Oh from the last thread: "Both could help the Phils next season. Mathieson, I assume, will be healthy by spring training if not before, in winter ball"

There's basically a 30% chance of Mathieson ever playing proball again. He had a second TJ surgery this summer on the same elbow. He's out until 2010 most likely. Its ashame as he's a good guy from all reports.

In '77 I watched Black Friday at college w/ Yankee fans. They recalled my red eyes. I had the last laugh as senior in '80. My friends poured champagne on my head. I went to LCS Game 3 and WS game 4. I remember the WS tix were $25. I was in the Far East in '93 and had great difficulty following the games in the days before the internet. Now I know how special it is to be home when this happens. It's not over yet. We'll settle for nothing less than a massive parade.

Will McCarver and Buck be the World Series announcers? They seemed down right depressed that the Dodgers didnt win. They could barely summon any excitement as the phils wrapped it up. Hey, the fall weather in Philadelphia is usually not much different from LA....

What a great feeling I had this morning, when my 4 year old daughter recognized Ryan Howard and Chase Utley on the front page of the sports section. " Hey that's Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, they won the baseball game yesterday"

Good times.

Thank you, Phillies, and thank you, Jason! I don't comment much, but I've apparently been reading since just about the beginning. For me, yours was one of many at first, but Beerleaguer has been the only Phils blog I've read for a solid year now. Keep up the great work. It's been better all the time.

You're absolutely right about these moments. Last night my fiancée and I went down to the local bar (in our San Francisco neighborhood) and watched the Phillies advance. There were only a handful there for the game, but it was a good mix. We chatted with a couple of Dodger fans, a few Giants fans happy to see the Dodgers lose to anyone at all, and even a couple who'd just moved out here from Doylestown! (We're from Bucks, too.)

After the game we wandered back home, along the way fielding phone callls from excited friends and family back East. It was a night I'll remember.

My dad was around for the 1950 Whiz Kids. He really loved Richie Ashburn. When I was a kid, the Phillies were perennial losers finishing last or next to last. While still aged in single digits, I asked my Dad, "Why do we root for the Phillies?" Most likely in the back of my mind was my maternal greatgrandfather, living in Bloomfield, NJ, who religiously watched a winning team, the Yankees, on Channel 11 on his rabbit eared TV. Well, my Dad, born in Philly, told me, "We root for the Phillies because they are the home team." That settled it for me.

My dad is no longer with us, and I have no sons; but this morning, I received an email from one of my college student daughters who wrote: "Thanks for taking me to that game in May. I can now say that I went to a Phillies game the year they made it to the WORLD SERIES! :)" We went to the May 22nd game in Minutemaid Park in Houston. The Phils won 7-5 with homers by Howard and Burrell. We even saw Coste get a hit as a pinch hitter. Today's feelings are priceless.

My daughter will be arriving in January and has a nice pink Phils onesie waiting for her when she shows up. I just hope for her sake she's sees a great season like this sooner rather than later. If the timing of the kicks are any indication, though, she's watching and cheering along with us already.

Here's to the Phils, who have wowed us this entire postseason with the heart and hustle that made the fans love them all season.

Here's to the Phils faithful, who have kept their spirits high despite the national media snub and an apparent salivation for a Manny vs. the Sox World Series.

Here's to Weitzel of Beerleaguer, who made the blog a must read before and after all of these important games.

I haven't been this excited about a sports team since I was 9 years old and tacked that 1980 World Series Champions pennant on the cheap wood paneling in my room.

Reposted from last thread:

I can't find the rule right now, but I'm 95% sure you can't switch someone from a position to the DH. You can, however, move the DH into the field (Burrell to LF) but then the DH spot is vacated and the pitcher goes into the lineup.

So if Burrell is DHing and Bruntlett, who is in LF, gets hurt, Burrell can move from DH to LF. But then the pitcher (say Hamels) then enters the lineup in Bruntlett's spot and the DH is eliminated. However, I do not think a position player can become the DH mid-game.

It's actually funny in college baseball because the pitchers still might be a superior hitter. There, you can start 9 players and have your pitcher listed DH/P. In theory, the pitcher can be replaced on the mound, but still stay in the game as the DH. So your lineup actually grows from having 9 players to 10, but obviously you are still only hitting 9 in the order.

I was at my parents home in Philly visiting with my family and I got to talking about baseball with my Dad who could regale you with 50+ years of Phillies horror stories. The coolest story I remember is this: He had tickets to the Dodgers/Phillies game in 1964 (June 4 1964 actually as he remembers the exact date). Sandy Koufax was on the mound against the Phillies. My Dad traded these tickets to tickets a week later to see Bob Gibson and the Cardinals. Koufax coincidentally no-hit the Phillies that day and he still regrets that he missed a Koufax no-hitter. I did joke with him and remind him that we were both at the Mulholland nohitter in 1993 and that was just as good, right? right?

I love old baseball stories.

Does Dobbs play left? Bruntlett for all 9 innings scares me..

It's nice to feel like a little kid again. I wish my grandfather was here to see this. I wish I was watching the game with my dad. There's something about baseball.

As a side note: my wife is due on the 26th...here's hoping for a sweep!

Dobbs can play left but he's not an improvement over Burrell and his arm is questionable...in a playoff game it could get dicey.

I went to my first Phils game at the Vet in 1975. I was eight years old and I don't even remember who they played. I still have the hat, though.

I was a freshman in high school when the Phils won it all in '80. I was living on the west coast at the time, so the only way I could listen to them on the radio was when they played the Giants. That team inspired me to play baseball myself.

The '83 series was devastating. Buoyed by the joy of '80, I had no expectation that the Phils wouldn't beat the Orioles. Eddie Murray proved me wrong. I learned pragmatism that year.

I was in the Navy in '93 and missed most of the regular season. Back in time for the playoffs, I was living in Braves country then. Man, it was fun watching those Phils take the swagger out of Braves fans. The 15-14 game 4 agains the Jays was most memorable to me for some reason even though it was loss. Along with Joe Carter's walk-off smash in Game 6, of course.

I'm not sure which of those teams reminds me most of the 2008 Phillies. None of them, really. This team has an identity and destiny of their own.

My grandfather is 87 years old, a Philly native and lifelong resident. I wasn't sure if he'd get to see the Phils make it to the World Series before his time came. '93 was such a long time ago. I remember we watched every game of that series together, and we'll now get one last chance. I can't begin to express my gratitude to the team for giving us this moment together.

Jason, I want to join everyone in thanking you for this wonderful home for Phillies fanatics. The experience of sharing the joy of the Phillies success this year is only amplified by the chance to share it with like minded managers and general managers.

On a personal note, baseball is more than any sport a family tradition passed from generation to generation. Like Harv, I was too young in 1950 to really remember that series, but my first words included Granny, Robin and Richie. Watching Jim Bunning on father's day 1964 on TV with my grandfather and dad, going as a family to Reading Indians games in the 1950's, the list of moments shared can go on and on.

And isn't it odd how family played into this entire Dodger series, the losses suffered by Charlie and Shane and the birth of Jeff Jenkins child yesterday [in the same hospital where Chase Utley was born].

The Phillies and their fans are a family and this year we're going to have one heck of a reunion on Broadstreet.

Against a left-hander, the DH has to be Coste. That still leaves him available to be the backup catcher if Ruiz got injured. But my understanding is the same as Bentz's: if Coste had to move to catcher, the pitcher would have to take the catcher's spot in the lineup from that point on. The odds of a Ruiz injury are obviously very slim and the consequences of moving Coste to catcher & the pitcher into the lineup are not nearly as dire as the consequences of not having a backup catcher at all (like if Coste were burned early as a pinch hitter). So I think it's a no-brainer that Coste has to DH against left-handers. You can't have Bruntlett or Taguchi in your starting lineup against an American League team.

I'm trying to relax today, but it's really hard. I'm trying to savor it, but I'm still so pumped up that the Phillies won the pennant and are going to the World Series it is really hard to contain myself.

I think I'll have to have a bourbon in honor of Heavy B tonight, just to calm myself down.

Then, I'll probably have another in honor of JRoll, and another in honor of Cole, and another in honor of Pat and another in honor of Matt and another in honor of Mad Dog..................


Tomorrow morning is shaping up to be a rought one.

700 Level: On the XM RadioBaseball This Morning: Playoff Edition today, a caller from Delaware chimed in to share his joy for the Fightins. He may have just created the next great new catch phrase, saying, "Boston did it. The White Sox did it. Why can't us? Why can't us." 2008 Philadelphia Phillies: WHY CAN'T US!

I love it.

Stairs was a DH all season on an AL team...just sayin'. Though I'd rather have Dobbs' bat in there.

Is anyone besides me offended that the banks and post office & stock market are open today? Why isn't this a national holiday?

The national holiday is when we win the WS, BAP. This should just be a state holiday.

BAP - you are right. In my research, it happened to the Twins in 2007 (oddly with Matt Garza on the mound). It was a doubleheader against the White Sox and Mauer caught Game #1. Gardenhire wanted to give him a break and DH'd him while Mike Redmond caught. Well, Redmond got hit and knocked out of the game by a Thome backswing and Mauer had to come catch. It meant Garza had to come in and hit in Redmond's spot.

Joe Torre actually did it willingly in the 2005 Division Series against the Angels. Bernie Williams started at DH, but Torre wanted him to finish the game in CF. So he pulled the move along with a double-switch in the 9th to bring Rivera into the game, but then double-switched to get Rivera's spot deep in the order. So it has happened, though not real often.

Did you guys catch Eskin on First Take?

That guy has some nerve.

What did Eskin do now?

Thanks for making me cry sitting at my desk at work. I started with the phillies in 1980 at the age of 8, and by 83, thought your team did pretty well every year. Then the dark years... finally ended in 93 with what will always be my favorite Phillies team. Then 15 more years of nothing.

I had a son this year, and have seriously thought about not teaching him to root for a team, so he can avoid all of the pain and anxiety.

And then last night happens, and I remembered the joy of sports. I could not have said it better than you did, and hope he thinks all of the anxiety is worth the pure happiness sports can bring too.

Shows up wearing a World Series throwback satin jacket (think "Rollerball") acting as if he knew all along the Phils would make the WS.

He is such a media whore.

"Charlie and I have had our differences but I give him credit," blah, blah, blah.

I know I shouldn't let guys like him ruin what should otherwise be a great day, but all he does is slam the Phils every chance he gets and kiss Eagles butt...and it just makes my blood boil that NOW he hops on the bandwagon. Frontrunner.

BAP -- I think Kazmir is the only LH in the Rays rotation (assuming they win the ALCS) In the case of them throwing lots of RHs out there, would we start Dobbs at 3rd and DH Stairs??

"I don't know if I understand what's really taken place here," said Jamie Moyer, the only member of this team who actually attended the parade of the one World Series championship in Phillies history. "I don't know if it's really sunk in. I know we're going to the World Series, but it hasn't sunk in."

With eyes watering, Moyer began to tell the story of what it was like to be a kid in high school in October 1980, skipping school to watch the champs parade down Broad Street.
"I remember people hanging from the street lights and the trees, and toilet paper all over," Moyer said. "And everybody was your friend. A half a million people were all friends."

HH - One of the best things about winning the World Series would be to rub it in the face of the Eagles organization. They have to be steaming right now since it's well known that they don't want any other Philly team getting any attention. I would be so happy to see a team NOT named Eagles break the so-called Philly curse.

Yes, I know it makes no sense when one loves the Phillies and likes the 76ers and Flyers and intently dislikes the Eagles...

I'm the same way BENTZ...I just don't like the Eagles...and I can't make myself do it...despite being a huge fan of every other Philly team.

Bentz: I agree, but for different reasons. It's soooo much harder to make the WS than any other championship game and so to win the baseball title to me just means more.

I love the Eagles, I really do, and I would love them to win the SuperBowl...but it just doesn't mean as much to me as it does to others.

I don't like the Eagles organization much, though, same as you (I do like their green initiatives, however).

The grammar police in me prefers, "Why can't we?" But I like the sentiment no matter what.

Last night's win made me nostalgic....

My earliest memories of the Phils were the teams of the late 60s - Richie Allen (before he became Dick), Cookie Rojas (my favorite - I followed him to the KC Royals, who became my favorite American League team). Then the frustrations of the League Championship series of the mid to late 70s. My two teams - the Phils and the Royals - making it sooo close. Then both would lose to the hated Reds/Dodgers and the even more dastardly Yankees. Then 1980. Both teams made the Series. No matter who won, I'd be happy. And a bit sad. No matter. The Royals won in 85, and that took care of that.

But since then....

I thought of my grandfather, who listend to or watched EVERY Phillies game after he retired. His son (my uncle) played minor league ball in the late 1940s. I also thought of my great aunt, who had 4 TV sets so she could have the Phillies on one set, the Yankees on another, the Mets on the third, and the Orioles on the last. Her grandson was a middle reliever for the Phils during the mid 1990's dry seasons.

I wish they could've watched this team this year. They would've loved them.

I'm also glad I got to game 2 of the series against Milwaukee with my cousin. He and I suffered through the frustrations and the few triumphs all through our collective Phillies memories. We made more that night - getting Luzinski's autograph at Bull's BarBQ, watching Vic's slam, getting Bob Ueker to wave to us.... We'll be at Game 5 of the World Series together.

Life is good.

Me again. Reading through these, I am struck that while this is about the Phillies... it is also about us. Me and my family, you and yours and the memories that are created. Look at all these posts. That is what makes this special.

I remember hearing that someone was struck by how many fans were at Richie Ashburn's viewing / funeral (not sure which). Another person spoke up and responded that this was a man that was in their living room every summer night for as long as they can remember.

This team which has been in our living room all summer has already created memories for me and mine.

I took my 5 year old to Game 1 of NLCS. He stumbled upon $20 red plastic Phillies batting gloves that he had to have. I said no. Then I remembered my plastic "Franklin" batting glove that I had as a kid... the same ones as Schmitty wore. I folded fast. My son fell asleep in his bed with those batting gloves on that night.

This is cool.

The grammar police in me prefers, "Why can't we?" But I like the sentiment no matter what.

Last night's win made me nostalgic....

My earliest memories of the Phils were the teams of the late 60s - Richie Allen (before he became Dick), Cookie Rojas (my favorite - I followed him to the KC Royals, who became my favorite American League team). Then the frustrations of the League Championship series of the mid to late 70s. My two teams - the Phils and the Royals - making it sooo close. Then both would lose to the hated Reds/Dodgers and the even more dastardly Yankees. Then 1980. Both teams made the Series. No matter who won, I'd be happy. And a bit sad. No matter. The Royals won in 85, and that took care of that.

But since then....

I thought of my grandfather, who listend to or watched EVERY Phillies game after he retired. His son (my uncle) played minor league ball in the late 1940s. I also thought of my great aunt, who had 4 TV sets so she could have the Phillies on one set, the Yankees on another, the Mets on the third, and the Orioles on the last. Her grandson was a middle reliever for the Phils during the mid 1990's dry seasons.

I wish they could've watched this team this year. They would've loved them.

I'm also glad I got to game 2 of the series against Milwaukee with my cousin. He and I suffered through the frustrations and the few triumphs all through our collective Phillies memories. We made more that night - getting Luzinski's autograph at Bull's BarBQ, watching Vic's slam, getting Bob Ueker to wave to us.... We'll be at Game 5 of the World Series together.

Life is good.

One of "those" moments from last night, for me, was when Maddux was brought in. Instant flashback to game 6 of the '93 NLCS.

Couple things:
1. 2008:(T)ampa (B)ay R (ays)
1993: (T)oronto (B)lue J (ays)
Eerie. Should we root for the Red Sox?

2. Pedro Feliz is going to start game 1 of the WS. Don't waste time acting surprised or being upset by it. Save your surprise and disappointment for when Cholly DH's Burrell and plays Bruntlett in left instead of DHing Coste.

BobWalk: I know I would start Dobbs at third & Stairs at DH when we face Kazmir. But Cholly will almost certainly start Feliz at third and either Stairs or Dobbs at DH. Tampa currently has Kazmir as their second starter, which would mean that both times we face him, it would be in DH games.

Are we allowed to start talking about the Rays now?

If any of you are prepared to do whatever it takes to see a World Series game, consider this: you can still register for game 1 and 2 tickets at the Tampa Bay web site. Registration ends at midnight.

"Pedro Feliz is going to start game 1 of the WS. Don't waste time acting surprised or being upset by it."

I won't be surprised by it. I WILL be upset. And I will also be upset when he brings in Bruntlett for Burrell in a 3-2 game. After 35 years of rooting for the Phillies, I have developed the ability to pace myself when it comes to upsetedness. I've still got plenty in the tank when the late innings roll around.

I have tickets for a possible game 5. I will sporting the Mickey Morandini batting practice jersey I got 12 years ago as a high school graduation present. He was my favorite player and I was stoked to hear McCarver pronounce his name a la Harry Kalas. What a great night it was last night!

I have tickets for a possible game 5. I will sporting the Mickey Morandini batting practice jersey I got 12 years ago as a high school graduation present. He was my favorite player and I was stoked to hear McCarver pronounce his name a la Harry Kalas. What a great night it was last night!

I have tickets for a possible game 5. I will sporting the Mickey Morandini batting practice jersey I got 12 years ago as a high school graduation present. He was my favorite player and I was stoked to hear McCarver pronounce his name a la Harry Kalas. What a great night it was last night!

I was a batboy and then worked in the clubhouse with Reading in 97-00. I could NOT be more proud of Pat and Jimmy and how they got to this point. Those guys really earned it and still have their eye on the 'big' prize. Also Milt Thompson, who is a class act in every way and once of the nicest guys I have ever met in my life. Just a great dude. So happy for them.

Last night took away a lot of the pain of 1993. It seems like a new age and we can now talk about the '08 team in that light. We might not have the characters of the '93 team, but let's be honest, no team will EVER be like that team.

This team is new school. New faces and new attitudes. New leaders with a GREAT team who keeps saying they want this for the city...and I actually believe them. They know...because we let them know, and they embraced it.

So now with 4 wins to go...let's not worry for a couple days who is going to DH, Dobbs/Feliz, starting rotation order, Moyer/Blanton, or question ONE Charlie Manuel decision.

...let's just sit back, and enjoy it.

Until Game 1.

Savor the moment. Yes. This doesn't happen every year. It may start happening with some frequency in the coming years, now that the core group of Phillies seems set, and the minor leagues are next year to the year beyond starting to produce reliable talent on a consistent basis.

As I have for the past two series, I will be savoring the moment until Tuesday morning, the morning before the first game. Until then, all I want to think about is beer, hot dogs, apple pie, and how great it is to utter the words "2008 National League Champion Philadelphia Phillies."

There will be lean times again, and they will start sooner than anyone wishes. But as someone who has lived through those ups and downs in the past, the ups and downs that happen in baseball through decades of viewing, this is what I will remember. Sitting, gloating, and being proud, once again, of my Phillies.

Savor the moment. Yes. This doesn't happen every year. It may start happening with some frequency in the coming years, now that the core group of Phillies seems set, and the minor leagues are next year to the year beyond starting to produce reliable talent on a consistent basis.

As I have for the past two series, I will be savoring the moment until Tuesday morning, the morning before the first game. Until then, all I want to think about is beer, hot dogs, apple pie, and how great it is to utter the words "2008 National League Champion Philadelphia Phillies."

There will be lean times again, and they will start sooner than anyone wishes. But as someone who has lived through those ups and downs in the past, the ups and downs that happen in baseball through decades of viewing, this is what I will remember. Sitting, gloating, and being proud, once again, of my Phillies.

I was a batboy and then worked in the clubhouse with Reading in 97-00. I could NOT be more proud of Pat and Jimmy and how they got to this point. Those guys really earned it and still have their eye on the 'big' prize. Also Milt Thompson, who is a class act in every way and once of the nicest guys I have ever met in my life. Just a great dude. So happy for them.

Last night took away a lot of the pain of 1993. It seems like a new age and we can now talk about the '08 team in that light. We might not have the characters of the '93 team, but let's be honest, no team will EVER be like that team.

This team is new school. New faces and new attitudes. New leaders with a GREAT team who keeps saying they want this for the city...and I actually believe them. They know...because we let them know, and they embraced it.

So now with 4 wins to go...let's not worry for a couple days who is going to DH, Dobbs/Feliz, starting rotation order, Moyer/Blanton, or question ONE Charlie Manuel decision.

...let's just sit back, and enjoy it.

Until Game 1.

PLEASE INDULGE ME

As a kid growing up I have an unusual Phillies father son story. I grew up in Philly, however my Dad was NOT a Phillies or baseball fan. He came from Eastern Europe and had not interest in sports other than Soccer. He DID however have a son who LOVED the Phillies and he took me to a bunch of games of a sport that bored him. DId he show it? no, in fact he undulged me enough to listen to ME the child explain the game to him. He cheered WITH me when he didn't know what was going on. It is my favorite childhood memory, him making a sacrafice. Its a good lesson for me as a father to do thing with my kids that I don't necessarily want to do.

Postscript: Game 1, 10/22/08 is 10 years to the day my Dad died. What would've been a sad day will be happy now...one for the WS, the other for reminding me how lucky I was/am.

Basking in the glow. Yes. How good it feels. Again.

Hopefully things will continue to go well, and we can gloat clear through 'til the middle of February.

I have three standing room only game 5 tickets if it goes that far. So, if anyone is REALLY desperate, let me know how desperate you are. ;-)

mslhu1978@yahoo.com

This team has provided me with my first in-person playoff baseball experience. I've managed to attend these games with my father, brothers, and sister. I was there to witness the Myers Plate Appearance (non-AB), and the Vic Grand Slam, which admittedly had me choked up. At one point, three generations of my family were in attendance to see the Phils continue this wild ride. Beerleaguer is a common source of conversation between my brothers and my dad.

There is no question that our passion as fans, critics, and sometimes sworn enemies allows us to share these moments on a level that few others experience. As we've seen through these jubilant responses, it's as much about family, tradition, and nostalgia now as it is the games. Proud of the way we're being represented on the field, proud to be a member of the phan base, and I will be even prouder to be in attendance at the parade.

Matt... are you trying to sell? if so how much?

I'm 22, so this is my first serious World Series. I was 8 in '93, so I think I was more interested in Inspector Gadget and the Ninja Turtles than I was in Terry Mulholland.

But this has been unbelievable. Surprisingly, the tears didn't come last night, but the sweet knowledge that we had accomplished something truly special sure did. I cried when Myers clinched the division in 2007, but now I'm just loving the ride. I think I got so emotional then because it was the breakthrough we needed; now, I know this team belongs here. And I couldn't be happier with what it means to the city and the fans. I love all these guys (even Feliz when he's facing a righty) and I know they can do it.

I'm 22, so this is my first serious World Series. I was 8 in '93, so I think I was more interested in Inspector Gadget and the Ninja Turtles than I was in Terry Mulholland.

But this has been unbelievable. Surprisingly, the tears didn't come last night, but the sweet knowledge that we had accomplished something truly special sure did. I cried when Myers clinched the division in 2007, but now I'm just loving the ride. I think I got so emotional then because it was the breakthrough we needed; now, I know this team belongs here. And I couldn't be happier with what it means to the city and the fans. I love all these guys (even Feliz when he's facing a righty) and I know they can do it.

In Game 1 vs. RHP James Shields, this will be the Phillies lineup:

SS Rollins
LF Werth
2B Utley
1B Howard
RF Burrell
CF Victorino
DH Dobbs
3B Feliz
CA Ruiz

Here are some splits on James Sheilds in 2008

vs. LHB 255/306/429/735
vs. RHB 253/291/389/680
at home 234/277/351/628

He actually seems to be more vulnerable the first time through the order (264/311/462/773) than the second time (.247/288/361/649).

He also has a lower opponents OPS in pitches 76-100 (603) than in any of 1-25, 26-50 or 51-75. However, he's only gone over 100 pitches for 26 plate appearances in the entire season (hitters were 9-24 in those at bats).

BAP: Youll be mad if Pedro Feliz starts game one against a presumptive Scott Kazmir in game 1? Really??? Really??? Kazmir is a southpaw, you know that, right?

BAP: Youll be mad if Pedro Feliz starts game one against a presumptive Scott Kazmir in game 1? Really??? Really??? Kazmir is a southpaw, you know that, right?

Philies fans in crappy Boston - anywhere good where we could meet up for the games (don't say Sports Depot, Champions or An Tua Nua)?

Well, I'll put it this way: someone offered $550 for them today, so I guess you can go from there.

MPN: I doubt Kazmir starts game 1. Shields started Game 1 in both the LDS and the LCS.

Thanks Jason and everyone. I love this place.

In my favorite memory of my Dad, we're sitting on the porch, listening to the '75 Phils on the radio, and he's using a yellow legal tablet to explain the rules of baseball.

He died with a Phils cap on his head last summer -- a '70s vintage cap, signed by the Bull. I've got a lot of Phils caps, but that's the one I was wearing last night when Carlos squeezed that last out.

Btw, I went on StubHub out of curiosity. People want $17,500 a seat (!!!) for first row section 142 tickets. That is insanity.

From Keith Law's chat today..
Danny(Philly): How's Jason Donald looking down there?

Keith Law: (1:52 PM ET ) He's fine at third base and should hit for average and get on base, but I don't see him hitting for the power you want from a 3b.

I say have him play there in AAA next year and he'll be ready to go for us in 2010.

Well, I'll put it this way: someone offered $550 for them today. I guess you can go from there.

CJ: Shields' home/away splits favor Shields pitching at the Trop. So if he goes in game 2 that would set him up to pitch in game 6 at the Trop on normal rest.

There is no extra day of rest built into the World Series like there is in the LCSs. Games 3, 4, and 5 are scheduled for consecutive days.

Matt... thanks. i was just curiuos, standing room only is going for around $385 on stub hub. still checking my options.

Matt... thanks. i was just curiuos, standing room only is going for around $385 on stub hub. still checking my options.

Noticed that the Rays were 13th in AL in hitting this year. Only the A's were worse. And they have been beating up on the BoSox.

Is Boston's pitching that thin? Or are the Rays just that hot, or a different team? Or do the stats lie? I don't get it . . . but I know there is/are BLers who do get it. So what's the answer?

As my wife and I sat in front of the TV last night I couldn't help but think back to the 93 playoffs. My father is by no means a die hard fan, but when I sent in postcards for the playoff lottery and actually won there was no way he could not cough up the cash and take his 13 year old son to the game.

Then I get up this monring and find out that the wife and I were not alone as we celebrated the win...she's pregnant with our first child! Only hope that one day I will get to sit and watch a game with my Dad and child and tell him or her about Cole, Chase, Shane and the rest of the 2008 NL champs.

Somebody pinch me.

Now bring on the Rays / Sox!

There is but one solution

DH = Howard

He is dogmeat in the field and unable to play ANY other position, and Chollie would never pull him anyway.

Dobbs AND Coste AND Bruntlett AND Stairs AND EVEN Utley can play 1B, and can subsequently be subbed out or switched around in the field without losing the DH.

Where is the downside, other then to Ryno's feelings?

I'd like to take a parting shot at a certain Dodger.

Russell Martin has entered my top 5 least favorite players in baseball after this series. He is a whiny little punk and maybe the worst cleanup hitter in NLCS history. I've never seen someone act like such a total punk for a prolonged period of time the way he did during game 3. And it made his stupid arguments over called strikes that much more sweet.

@ Hope SE,

One theory about the Rays that I'm tempted to buy into is that they're finally all healthy at the same time. Watching that team hit, there's no doubt they have the ability. But a handful of their big guys (Longoria and Crawford at the top) each just came off a DL stint where they were able to rest up for the post season.

Add the fact that they're ridiculously hot right now and this should be a fantastic World Series.

PS, the Red Sox pitching has been shoddy, as well.

Man what a feeling. I still can't wrap my head around it. Anybody catch Stark's article over on ESPN.com? Its a good one:

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/playoffs2008/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&id=3645889

@ Hope SE,

One theory about the Rays that I'm tempted to buy into is that they're finally all healthy at the same time. Watching that team hit, there's no doubt they have the ability. But a handful of their big guys (Longoria and Crawford at the top) each just came off a DL stint where they were able to rest up for the post season.

Add the fact that they're ridiculously hot right now and this should be a fantastic World Series.

PS, the Red Sox pitching has been shoddy, as well.

MPN: The only way Shields does NOT pitch Game 1 is if the Rays lose tonight and Shields goes in Game 6 on Saturday.

Also, Kazmir has been much more hittable in the postseason. Against the White Sox, he gave up 2 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks in 5.1 innings. Against the Red Sox, he gave up 5 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks in 4.1 innings. That's 7 runs on 14 hits and 5 walks in 9.2 innings. There's a lot of talk about his slider being very flat... and whispers about another injury. I guess we'll see tonight!

Matt: Did you win your tickets via the lottery? If so it's a pretty greedy move to try to profit off that, especially from other Phillies fans. Just my opinion.

More on Scott Kazmir from Buster Olney...

In Game 2 vs. the Red Sox, Kazmir threw 98 pitches and the Sox swung and missed just 7 times. In the regular season, hitters missed 12.4% of the the time, in that game, just 7.1%.

Olney writes:
"His velocity is down two to three mph, and his changeup is inconsistent; that might be OK if his slider was right. But scouts have noticed that Kazmir barely uses his slider any more, and that it is flat when he does use it. They suspect that he is pitching with elbow discomfort, having seen him shake his hand repeatedly in the way that you would if you got dinged on the funny bone."

I pray the Rays open the series with Kazmir. I think he's exactly the kind of pitcher we'll jump all over.

CJ: Shields' ERA is 2.30 HIGHER on the road. This isn't astrophysics. There is a reason why they flipped him and Kazmir for tonight's start.

Kazmir is one of my favorite young pitchers, but he's really flattened out this year.

(from Baseball Reference)
May 5-1, ERA 1.22, 37 IP
June 2-2, ERA 3.60, 30 IP
July 1-2, ERA 4.18, 28 IP
Aug. 2-1, ERA 4.02, 31.1 IP
Sep/Oct. 2-2, ERA 5.19, 26 IP

Save for that little tick in August, it's been pretty much a downhill year for Kazmir. And as the Rays only starting lefty, I'm liking our chances.

Now watch him throw a gem tonight...

MPN: Yes I am well aware that Kazmir is a left-hander (I've said it in about 10 posts today). But, as CJ says, the Rays will probably start Shields in Game 1. If they start Kazmir, of course I think Feliz should start.

Actually, MPN may be right about the Rays' pitching plans. I note that Kazmir is the scheduled starter for tonight, even though it's actually Shields' turn in the rotation. This tells me that Joe Maddon has noticed Shields' dramatic home-away splits & is trying to set up his rotation so Shields pitches only at home. If Maddon does the same in the World Series, then Kazmir WOULD probably be the Game 1 starter, since the Game 1 starter will have to come back in Game 5, in Philly. Shields would then pitch Games 2 and 6, both in Tampa.

The other thing is that, if the Rays lose tonight, Shields will presumably start Game 6 on Saturday. That would leave him only 3 days rest for Wednesday's opener. So if the Rays lose tonight, I think we'll definitely see Kazmir in Game 1. If the Rays win, Maddon could go either way but, if he follows the strategy he has used in the ALCS, he would use Kazmir. As far as I'm concerned, that's a good thing, as it means we can use Stairs or Dobbs as DH in 3 or the 4 road games, instead of just 2.

MPN: You are right about Shields' higher road ERA. I think its clear cut that they start him in Game 1 or Game 2 if the Rays make it. (Lets not count out the Red Sox though - remember, the 2 times they won the WS, they were down 3-0 and 3-1 in the LCS.)

On the same point, I wonder if we shoudl wait until Game 3 to start Myers. He's been a lot better at home than on the road as well. I'd feel great if Cole can win game 1 on the road and we have the comfort of Myers in game 3.

@Dizzle - congratulations on the new phillies fan!

@king myno - An Tua Nua -- I checked out the Eagles game there, wow what a dump. Considering it's the World Series, I'd think we could go anywhere, like Deep Ellum, Common Ground, Sunset, etc. I'm way out in Acton, but don't mind driving in for a few games.

BAP, I read somewhere that Kazmir is starting tonight because of the off day tomorrow. He's been shaky of late and it might be a long night for the bullpen. Although I'm sure Shields' home/away splits played into the decision as well Either way, lets hope this series goes 7 games and these teams just beat the crap out of each other.

Here's the thing...

Let's say Kazmir gets hammered again tonight but the Rays still manage a win. Are you really sending him out for Game 1 against the Phillies? I hear all this talk about the Rays pitching advantage, but Kazmir is NOT the same pitcher he was.

MPN: I think you're missing the forest for the trees. He wasn't switched for his road ERA... this move was made because of each pitcher's performance in Fenway specifically. Sheilds has been TERRIBLE in Fenway and Kazmir has been really solid there.

Shields at Fenway
3 G, 10.12 ERA, 12 ER in 10.2 innings

Kazmir at Fenway
11 G, 3.02 ERA, 21 ER in 62.2 innings

Don't get caught up in the road/home splits. It's all about the Fenway splits.

I've loved baseball since I was a kid, but for my 7th birthday('90), my dad took me and about a half dozen of my friends to the Vet for a Phillies game. We were literally sitting by ourselves in the old 700 level on a randon weekday game. My dad would bring in boiled hotdogs in a thermos and stash as many bags of buns, peanuts, candy as possible into the game. It was one of the earliest and best memories I have and I have associated that type of excitement and joy with the Philadelphia Phillies ever since.

I remember being grounded for a month by my mom for completely trashing my room after Joe Carter hit that homerun, searching out ever Toronto baseball card (and mitch williams card) i could find and tearing them to shreds.

I remember demanding my dad get off work early so we could get into the ballpark as soon as it opened to get player signatures all the way through the late 90s and then years later getting there early to underage drink in the parking lot.

I spent college using every Phillies win as a reason to throw a party. And now, I sit in my office at work and rely on the Phillies to divert any stress, whether its reading recaps, boxscores, predictions, blogs, etc.

Every phase of my life, i've used the Phillies as an outlet of enjoyment and happiness and now they are four wins away from giving me an enjoyment and happiness so great that I can always return to in the future as well - and most importantly, finally have that signature moment where I can always tie it back to that reigns over all others.

Four More Wins!!

As a 25 year old born 2 months after the Sixers won the last Philadelphia championship, I've known nothing but disappointment my entire life. My first true Philadelphia sports disappointment was that '93 World Series team. I was 10 years old, and while I don't remember an awful lot about that season, I do remember exactly where I was and when Joe Carter hit that home run. It's a memory that's stayed with me until this day, over 15 years of near-misses from the Phillies, Flyers, Eagles and Sixers, and once again, I have hope that this team will be the one to break it.

Unfortunately, I live in Chicago now, but I've used every legal and illegal method to watch as many games the past couple seasons as I could, even while at work (boss is a baseball fan). While I wish I could be in Philadelphia right now, I will have to watch from afar at the Mad River Bar and Grill here in Chicago.

What a team we have here, let's get it done. Go Phils!!

Matt: That is a pretty scummy move. Trying to start a bidding war the day after we clinch on a phils blog? Take that crap to ebay.

On another note: Thanks Phils... I was born in 81 and this is one of the greatest times in my life. Getting married in a month and watching the phils in the Series, I couln't be happier.

Poll on ESPN.com -- Who will win the World Series? 1) Phillies 24% 2) Rays 63% 3) BoSox 14% -- getting no respect from anyone in the country! Go Phils! 4 more wins!

Long time lurker but never felt compelled to post since I don't watch the games near a computer. But the sentiments on this thread have driven me to it. Like most here my dad is the reason I live and die by the Phillies. He would spin many a yarn about the abuse he took from his friends in that doomed '64 season. To the point that having met Cookie Rojas once he nearly accosted him about a non-catch that my dad to this day swears was a catch. Cookie agreed and the 2 were in gyrations they were so adamant. In '93 I was a sophomore in high school and can vividly recall pretty much every game of that year. Where I was, what I was doing, etc. It was my life at that point. I'm older now so I don't have nearly as much time to obsess over this team but make no mistake my passion still flows. I've been lucky enough to be in attendance for 3 games during this still unfinished run through the postseason. And I just know that it is the Phillies time. Raise a glass of your drink of choice to the Phils wherever you are this weekend. Come this time in 2 weeks all of our lives may be much better.

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