I admit that the Phillies are a distant second on my list of favorite teams, trailing the Boston Red Sox for my affection. As a fan of the Beantown bunch, I rooted for the Texas Rangers to dump the New York Yankees in the ALCS, and they complied. It took them two more games than I had wanted, but the residents of the American League West nabbed their first pennant.
After the initial joy of watching Alex Rodriguez look at a called third strike to end the series, I turned my attention to what I thought would be a great recovery by the hometown nine. How fate loves to pay people back for mocking others!
Ryan Howard experienced the same fate as the three-time AL MVP, looking at a 3-2 pitch from Giants’ reliever Brian Wilson to crush the hopes of thousands. No strangers to fruitless seasons, the Phillies succumbed to a team of scrappers that lacks a bona fide slugger yet boasts an army of artful arms.
I admire a great work ethic. Blame that on my being a Republican! These Phillies displayed guts this year and fought valiantly to claim their fourth straight National League East title. In their playoff appearances under Charlie Manuel, they have won of six of nine series. For those adept at fractions, that is two victories for every three series. As Meat Loaf noted, two out of three ain’t bad.
An interesting offseason awaits. Roy Halladay should dominate the Cy Young voting, gaining some solace for coming two games short of reaching the World Series after his escape from Toronto. Jayson Werth will likely dupe people into believing that his lusty .186 average with runners in scoring position is enough to merit a huge contract. Maybe the Yankees will bite! What will free agency bring? Will Ruben Amaro, Jr. pull off a huge trade?
These are questions for the upcoming weeks. For this week, let us salute this year’s rendition. Congratulations, Phillies. You still lag behind the Red Sox for me, but you are slowly gaining ground.