At 9:58PM last night, the Philadelphia Phillies clinched their World Series championship- sending the city into a frenzy of joy and excitement. “Everything comes to the waiting heart,” Chris DeBurgh teaches us. That outpouring emotion extended to my living room in Manhattan as well. After pouring most of a bottle of Veuve Clicquot "Yellow Label" I learned a key lesson: Champagne in your eyes hurts bad. My first moment of Series joy were spent calling for a towel to get it off! get it out!
From the slightly opened window- I’m still experimenting with the thermostat this season- a not insignificant amount of cheers floated up from the street. Third Avenue has a lot of bars!
For the seven years I’ve been writing Frank Helps You Think It Out I’ve never had a championship to opine on. The game was thrilling; the decision to start it dumb. Other than that, I have no desire to rehash the events- better done elsewhere. Do take a moment to visit my Phillies links on the right for celebratory news and views. My favorites are Phillies Nation and We Should Be GMs.
I guess I have two things to say. First, it is satisfying to win mostly with guys you’ve seen grow up together in the organization. Hamels, Meyers, Howard, Utley, Rollins, Burrell and Madson are key players. Coste and Kendrick had their moments. Romero was plucked off the waiver wire. I’m not saying that if A-Rod showed up I wouldn’t hand him a glove and show him third base. But it is no band of outside mercenaries; we grew these guys mostly in town, in front of us. It is great fun to watch them come full circle- particularly since Pat the Bat will probably move on.
Second, Cole Hamels deserves his car and trophy as the proverbial MVP. But my vote would have been split between Jamie Moyer and Joe Blanton. It is a little sentimental— sure. But the Rays were favored here because both Moyer and Blanton were huge question marks- and both turned in gutty performances in the biggest of spots. As a deserved underdog, the Phillies needed someone from the bottom half of the roster to step up and make a giant contribution. Those two guys did- they won a pair of games that the Phillies figured to lose on paper. And that, to me, is the most valuable contribution to the Series.