Thursday, October 30, 2008

The 25 Contributors

After allowing the fact to sink in for a day that the Philadelphia Phillies are the 2008 World Series Champions, I decided to take a look at the 25-man playoff roster and see how each contributed to the achievement.

Pitching was the key to the Phils success all season long, sporting a MLB 6th ranked 3.88 era; and the postseason was no different as the staff posted a 3.07 era. Hamels and Lidge were the highlights of the season, but many pitchers were needed to obtain the the prized World Series trophy.

Starting Rotation:
1. Cole Hamels- the staff ace had an amazing season (14-10, 3.09 era, 1.08 whip) and was both the NLCS and WS MVP. The 24 year old lefty proved he is a big game pitcher (postseason- 4-0, 1.80 era, 0.81 whip) and can stay healthy an entire season (leading the NL with 227.1 innings pitched). Thank you Cole Hamels.

2. Brett Myers- from Opening Day starter to minor league flunky to resurgent hero, he had it all this season. He began the year as a reluctant starter, because he much preferred the "rock star" image that he portrayed while being closer, and this lead to improper training and a horrific first half (3-9/5.84) of the season. Following the All-Star break he returned from exile and bounced back to help pitch the Phils into the playoffs (7-4/3.06).

3. Jamie Moyer- lovingly called "Grand Pappy", he once again won the clinching game for the NL East crown and lead the staff with 16 wins this season...not bad for a 45 year old man. Moyer loves Philadelphia and Philadelphia love Moyer. I truly do hope he pitches until he's 50, with the Phightins of course.

4. Joe Blanton- not a popular deadline pick-up, but has since become one. Hit a homerun in the World Series and has never lost a game as a Phillie (6-0); that's damn good in my book.

Brad Lidge- 100% perfection in save situations. 41-41 in the regular season and 7-7 in the playoffs, and none of his 105 strikeouts were bigger than the punchout of Eric Hinske for the final out of Game 5.

Ryan Madson- made fun of by many and constantly doubted, he finally turned into a top-notch reliever during the final couple months of the season. Mad Dog is the 8th inning set up man, and the Phils wouldn't have won the World Series without his solid postseason performance (5 holds, 2.13 era, 0.87 whip, and 1 win).

JC Romero- the hyperactive lefty that can be a bit wild at times secured his reputation as a quality reliever (24 holds, 2.75 era) this season and proved that last year's 2nd half was no fluke. He went unscored upon in the postseason and notched 2 victories.

Chad Durbin- came out of nowhere (okay, actually came from Detroit) to have a breakout season (17 holds, 2.87 era) and despite his arm nearly falling off gave the Phils a few good appearances in the playoffs.

Scott Eyre- Lou Pinella doghouse resident and Cubs castoff (7.15 era with Cubs) turned Phils 2nd lefty jackpot (1.88 era with Phils). Eyre has already expressed his desire to return to Philly next year, and with that goatee and lefthandedness I'll gladly welcome him back.

Clay Condrey- the bullpen's last man did a respectable job this season (3.26 era in mostly mop-up duty) considering his role; after all not every member of the 'pen can be a stud. I'll never forget the double he hit to begin the huge comeback victory over the Mets.

JA Happ- late season miracle worker (September- 1 win and 2.41 era over 18.2 innings). He was a miscast reliever during the playoffs, but he was out there as the longman. Look for Happ to step into the rotation sometime soon or be dangled as trade bait.

The offense was inconsistent, but consistent enough to score enough runs (tied for 8th in MLB with 799) to get into the playoffs and win three straight series and secure the first World Series Championship in Philly since 1980. It was largely the Utley & Howard Show, but there were key contributions from all members of the offense...yes, even So Taguchi.

Starting Lineup:
SS Jimmy Rollins- reigning MVP turned loudmouth, he ran the gamut of highs and lows this season. J-Roll sprained his ankle early in the season and made a visit to the DL, ran his mouth in LA calling Phans "frontrunners", was the driving force of Campaign Cheer, and yet still managed to earn back the fans' adoration...winning World Series has that effect.

RF Jayson Werth- became a member of the 20-20 club (24 hr/20 sb) and a full-time player this season. Werth supplied many memories this season, winning NL player of the week and going Yahtzee! for 3 homeruns in the same game. He may have one ugly-ass swing and look like the Wolfman, but he's a reliable starter now and had himself a helluva postseason (.309 average, 2 hr, 4 sb, .969 OPS).

2B Chase Utley- 1st half MVP (68 r, 68 rbi, 25 hr, .954 OPS) went cold after the Homerun Derby and All-Star game (45 r, 35 rbi, 8 hr, .855 OPS), but came back strong in the postseason (10 r, 9 rbi, 3 hr in 14 games). He's an all-around talent that's hard to come by in today's game, and he's now my favorite Phillie of all-time (sorry Michael Jack Schmidt). After a long season of getting beaned at the plate (27 plunks) and upturned turning double plays (102 DP's...and that's not double penetration), Chase can go back to saving kittens.

1B Ryan Howard- started the season Kelvin Scale cold (April- .168 average, 5 hr, 12 rbi, .645 OPS) and finished it MVP hot (September- .352 average, 11 hr, 32 rbi, 1.274 OPS). Was king of the mountain in MLB in homeruns (48) and rbi (146) and missed striking out 200 times by one measly whiff. He even will have a stat named after him next season, The Howard, which is when a player strikes out, makes an error, and hits a homerun all in the same game.

LF Pat Burrell- the man, the pimp, the machine. Pat Burrell should have been an All-Star this season as he hit many of his 33 homeruns in clutch spots. He had a rough time in the World Series (1-14), but he got a game-changing double in his final at bat of the series and possibly his Phillies career. You're my boy Burrell, you're my boy!

CF Shane Victorino- the Flyin' Hawaiian is a sparkplug, as his rowdy spirit is infectious (sort of like syphilis). Vic filled the void of Fence-Face Rowand admirably, leading the Phils during the regular season with a .293 batting average and spectacular defense (likely earning himself a Gold Glove). In the postseason he hit his first career grand slam off of CC Sabathia and collected 13 rbi in all.

3B Pedro Feliz- Corey and I had mixed reactions to this signing, but in the end he came just as advertised; an out-making machine with occasional pop and great defense. No matter how many double plays he grounds into next season, I'll never forget his game-winning rbi single in Game 5. Pete Happy!

C Carlos Ruiz- Chooch, or as TBS wants him to be known "Cooch", had a great World Series (.375 average/1.188 OPS). He handled the pitching staff with poise and assertiveness which lead to great results (11-3 record and 3.07 era in the postseason). His bat left much to be desired during the regular season, but he did have a small 2nd half return to form (1st half- .202 average/.573 OPS, 2nd half- .244 average/.691 OPS).

Greg Dobbs- pinch hitting extraordinaire (MLB leading and Phillies club record 22 pinch hits) and spot starter at 3rd base against righties (.296 average/.836 OPS when playing 3rd). The owner of a killer set of sideburns, Dobbs did well in the postseason with a .500 average and 1.134 OPS. He'll likely never be a full-time player, but he's a great asset off the bench and to plug into the linup sparingly. He'll go down as one of GM Pat Gillick's best dumpster diving treasures.

Matt Stairs- lovable because he's chubby and Canadian, he only spent a short time with the Phils, but managed to make magic happen with majestic moon shoot off of Jonathan Broxton and the Dodgers in Game 4 of the NLCS.

Eric Bruntlett- this bearded bastard was a playoff hero, scoring the winning run of both games 3 and 5. During the season he hit like Bud Light, but his versatility earned him a lot of playing time and he did come through with some nice plays and timely hits.

Geoff Jenkins- Brett Favre and Jenkins both switched towns this past offseason. Favre went to New Jersey and Jenkins went to nearby Philly, both coming from way of Wisconsin. Connection? I'm not sure, but really I don't have much positives to write about Geoff other than the fact that he came up big with that pinch hit double in Game 5.5 of the World Series. Hopefully he can produce more next season.

Chris Coste- for a backup catcher he's good, and guess what, he's a backup catcher, so according to that reasoning he's good. He may have slumped horribly at the end of the season (September: 3-28 for a .107 average) losing significant playing time to the defensively superior Ruiz, but there was a time during the season where Coste was the starter and carrying the offense (April/May: 31-93 for a .333 average with 8 doubles, 5 hr, 12 r, and 16 rbi).

So Taguchi- isn't liked by WSBGM's, and being brutally honest shouldn't be. However, Gooch, the other one, did come up with a clutch pinch hit against St. Louis; but other than that he was more worthless than TJ Bohn.

Fallen Members:
Pitchers- Rudy Seanez, Adam Eaton, Kyle Kendrick, Les Walrond, Tom Gordon, Andrew Carpenter, and RJ Swindle.
Bats- TJ Bohn, Chris Snelling, Lou Marson, Tadahito Iguchi, Brad Harmon, Mike Cervenak, Andy Tracy, and Greg Golson.



GM-Carson said...

"...We play in a tough-ass town to play in," Pat Burrell, the longest-tenured Phillie, said. "I'm proud of that. I don't think anybody in here knows this city and the way they think the way that I do. To be able to hand this over to them, this is as good as it gets..."

*I'm going to miss you Pat!

GM-Carson said...

Great quote from someone on Deadspin- "Last Night... Joe Carter flied out... Joe Jurevicius was tackled... Robert Horry clanked a last second shot... Scott Stevens was checked by Eric Lindros... Donavon McNabb didn’t throw up. Last Night the Phillies made up for 25 years of broken hearts."

ripjgarcia said...

Sad story of my day.

At 3:00 I logged on to get into the queue for tickets for the celebrations at CBP and the Linc.

At 3:40 I had about given up.
I went to the bathroom and heated up some leftovers.

At 3:43 I came back and was up for Linc tickets. I clicked to continue but they only gave you 2 1/2 minutes to complete the registration. So I lost the tickets.

And my damn toilet is stopped up.


GM-Carson said...

Garcia- well that's just shitty.

furiousBall said...

I'm traveling to see my kids tomorrow for the weekend, this has been a damn fine week.

Maria said...

I'm sure Shane loves being compared to syphilis.

GM-Carson said...

I'm sure Shane reads this blog...

Chris Neary said...

What about Taguchi's double against the Mets in that 9th inning comeback? I only remember that because I was absolutely convinced he was an automatic out.

GM-Carson said...

That's what you the readers are for, remember what I can't. Thanks Chris.

Maria said...

I would not put it past Shane.

Who's going to the parade?

Maria said...

And who else is excited for the 2008 video yearbook?

BenJah said...

wow! what a great season, and an even better post-season. leaving all those men on base but still winning...well, nothing comes easy in philly.

i think i'm going to try and go to the parade tomorrow. i mean, who knows where i'll be if they wait another 28 years to win it all!!

GM-Carson said...

Oh my God, it's a Benjah sighting. I just got really excited reading a comment from Benjah, it's been months, many, many months.

SirAlden said...

Great Post!

Tom Gordon helped with 14 Holds early in the season to add to his spectacular 2007 September before his arm fell off.

benjah rocks!

JMS said...

24 hours later and it still hasn't hit me.

Aaron said...

Joe Carter doesn't hurt anymore

Mike said...

Six wins and a postseason homer sure make that Joe the Lumber trade look a lot better these days.

Awesome post!

GM-Carson said...

How many of you are going to the parade today? I unfortunately have professional duties that I am unable to "get out of" so I'll be stuck watch the recorded version from my DVD player.

GM-Carson said...

Today was a great day in Phillies history; back in 1983 Joe "Selfrighteousbastard" Morgan was released.

GM-Carson said...

Cole on Letterman last night.

Read the Top 10-
10. "Maybe I'll get to be on 'Dancing With The Stars.'"

9. "Can I wear my cup in the offseason?" (Letterman: "Well, sure, you know I'm wearing one right now.")

8. "The Rays collapsed faster than my 401(k)." Hamels then improvised with an expressive "hi-yo" -- clearly making sure Evan Longoria et al know he's joking.

7. "How cool a name is Cole Hamels?"

6. "This must be how the Yankees used to feel." (Letterman: "Hey, wait a minute ...")

5. "Is the Phillie Phanatic hitting on my wife?" Hamels was referring to another former CBS personality, the former Heidi Strobel, who was a contestant on "Survivor: The Amazon."

4. "Seriously, how cool a name is Cole Hamels?"

3. "How can I celebrate when the nation's economic output is the weakest it's been since the third quarter of 2001?"

2. "I hope John McCain will start calling me 'Cole the pitcher.'"

1. "Now maybe I'll get to appear on Leno."

GM-Carson said...

A sweet looking profane t-shirt.

Aaron said...


If you wanna get chills try watching some videos on you tube from fans at the Bank for the final out.

GM-Carson said...

From the Phillies Insider-
Congratulatory E-mails
"Congratulations to the Phillies for their hard work and dedication; the fans for their loyalty and patience and the owners and front office for building a world class organization. I've never been prouder to be a Phillie," Steve Carlton.

"Congratulations to Charlie, the coaches and players. The Philly fans were fantastic. When a team wins the World Series, everyone contributes, including the fans. When does spring training start?," Robin Roberts.

"I would like to congratulate the Phillies on winning the 2008 World Series. It was very exciting to see my ex-teammates celebrating a championship victory. The Phillies were a courageous team during the entire season and they certainly deserve this title. Please express my joy to all the players, the organization and most specially the fans for waiting faithfully for so many years to celebrate this well deserved triumph," Bobby Abreu.


"The Phighting Phillies are the World Champions, the team of my childhood and my entire life. The names and numbers on the uniforms change but somehow that name on the front of the uniform stirs our very soul," Joe Bonsall / Oak Ridge Boys. (Born and raised in Kensington!!)

GM-Carson said...

Burrell reportedly turned down a 2-year, $22 million offer. If an American League team looking for a righthanded slugger who could be at least a part-time designated hitter, makes a huge offer it seems unlikely that the Phillies would match it.

If he does leave, though, the Phillies would probably have to go shopping for a replacement.

The other two free agents are lefthanders Jamie Moyer and Scott Eyre. Both have indicated an interest in returning, so those deals could be done relatively quickly.

Ten players are eligible for salary arbitration, a process that often results in large raises: first baseman Ryan Howard ($10 million in 2008), lefthanded starter Cole Hamels ($500,000), centerfielder Shane Victorino ($480,000), rightfielder Jayson Werth ($1.7 million), righthanded starter Joe Blanton ($3.7 million), righthanded reliever Ryan Madson ($1.4 million), third baseman Greg Dobbs ($440,000), righthanded reliever Chad Durbin ($900,000), righthanded reliever Clay Condrey ($420,000) and infielder Eric Bruntlett ($600,000).

Bob D said...

The Burrell rumor is false. The Phils haven't and won't talk contracts until next week at the earliest.

It would be nice to resign Eyre and Moyer.

And why leave Kendrick in the scrap pile? I know he faultered down the streatch but he still was solid during the first half and won 11 games.

GM-Carson said...

Corey and I will be getting into offseason plans next week, but I must say I have ZERO faith in Kendrick. I'd trade him for a 4th outfielder or solid utility infielder if possible. I'd much rather have Happ given a shot next year instead of Kendrick, unless he develops another pitch that keeps hitters off of his fastball.

I expect Moyer and Eyre to re-sign within the next 2 weeks.

GM-Carson said...

Got this in an email from someone who works for Crown Royal-
"World Series MVP Cole Hamels of the Philadelphia Phillies is still rejoicing in the team’s victory and will share one of his favorite rare luxuries, Crown Royal XR, with teammates to commemorate their success. Hamels has arranged for his fellow teammates to have their bottles wrapped in a personalized embroidered maroon suede version of the famed Crown Royal bag, containing their name and 2008 World Series Champions.

Hamels will personally distribute the bottles of Crown Royal XR at a team reception at the stadium this evening – just one day after the Phillies broke its 28-year title drought."

Kevin & Bridget said...

Nice blog, but I wish you could give Kendrick some easily we forget that he was a legit pitcher when Myers was throwing beach balls. 11 wins w/ the Phils this year. Go Phils!