Utley, edited: World [Series] champions!
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com
Okay people, just move along.
PHILADELPHIA — In a scripted family movie or at Disney World, Chase Utley would have said it differently.
But this was the culmination of more than four hours of celebration on the streets of Philadelphia, on a beautiful blue-sky day in South Philly, at the loudest place on Earth, in front of fans who’d waited for a moment like this for more than two decades. His uneditable words on Friday afternoon, heard by all in real time, evoked the passion of the people who pack the sports bars and work in the city where he plays.
Vince Vaughn had a line in a film called “Old School,” one where he instructed his young son to cover his ears when the language would not be appropriate for kids. That might have come in handy on Friday. Didn’t happen. And in the spotlight of spontanaeity and the roar of an adoring audience, Utley let it fly.
The eighth player to take the microphone during the Citizens Bank Park celebration to honor the 2008 World Series champions, Utley opened with the declaration: “World champions!”
Pausing, he turned to some teammates, then, showing a sense of awe and an out-of-body cheesesteak grin, he added: “World [Phlippin’] champions!” Inserted in the middle was a term previously reserved for long-suffering Red Sox fans when they’d assign a middle name to hated Yankees Aaron Boone or Bucky Dent.
Many in the crowd gave thunderous approval, putting aside the live TV, Internet and radio challenges. It was immediately apparent that we had a toothpaste-out-of-the-tube moment. There was no rewind button. Players doubled-over in laughter and clapped their hands, knowing this was a time where cutting up might not result in detention. Jayson Werth stood and raised his arms in jubilation.
The boys were being boys. “They said they wanted short and sweet,” Utley said. “That was short and sweet.”
Well, short at least.
One of the team’s most popular players, Utley, albeit in a choice of words more fitting for National Lampoon than a world champion National Leaguer, expressed his delight to undeniable approval. What he belted out, leading to various network apologies, represented what somehow was not only OK, but mood-capturing and unforgettable. It was a season that saw this team go 24-6 in its final 30 games, including 11-3 in the postseason. They did it. They stinkin’ did it. See?
Even Jimmy Rollins, who can crystallize any situation, was at a loss for words.
“Honestly, I don’t know how to follow up Chase,” he said. “I wasn’t stunned. I didn’t expect it, not in this environment. Everybody knows Chase’s personality. Chase finds a way to steal the show.”
“He may be a man of few words, but in those few words, he has a knack for getting his point across,” Greg Dobbs said. “As brash as it seems, it was fitting. That’s how we all felt. He just kind of let that out.”
Manager Charlie Manuel played down Utley’s comment.
“Chase is good, real good,” Manuel said. “That’s a common word anymore. … That’s not that bad, is it?”
Uh, he said that knowing Utley had overstepped somewhat.
Cole Hamels acknowledged some may want some kind of apology, but he said it is what it is, a party atmosphere line. Hamels was glad for his teammate’s expression of pure emotion.
“Pardon his French,” Hamels said. “And we are world champions.”
That’s two words: world champions. (H/T Phillies.com)
And Chase shows that he’s human after all. Okay folks, a show of hands, how many of you have never used the f-word for any reason? I didn’t think so. Let just get over it please, thank you.
Phillies fans pack parade route
World Series heroes the center of attention in Philadelphia
By Kevin Horan / MLB.com
We certainly do know how to party, do we?
PHILADELPHIA — They spread like wildfire, their red-and-white Phillies gear engulfing more than three miles of city sidewalk.
When there was no more room, Phillies fans clustered onto staircases, balanced themselves on top of trash cans and even perched on tree limbs.
The youngest among them had never seen anything quite like this. The older fans had witnessed it once, but received no assurance that it would grace this town again.
Their ecstatic cheers melded with the rumbling trucks, blaring horns and clomping of horses hooves for two glorious hours on Friday afternoon. The attention of an entire city zeroed in on the 2008 Phillies, as they marched from 20th and Market Streets to the South Philadelphia Sports Complex for the second time, and the first time since 1980.
“There’s Blanton!” screamed an overjoyed young fan, pointing toward the truck that carried Phillies pitcher Joe Blanton, a July trade acquisition. “Blannnntonnnnn!”
In the middle of Passyunk Avenue, another fan squeezed a cell phone against his ear, yelling as loud as he could the name of each player he saw pass by: “Jamie Moyer, Greg Dobbs, Jimmy Rollins.”
Robert Grant, a 21-year-old college student, leaned up against a tree to get a better view as the parade neared his spot at the corner of Broad and Wharton Streets. A student at Philadelphia University, Grant was scheduled to be in Japanese class Friday afternoon.
So much for that. Class was canceled.
“That was all the motivation I needed,” he said. “I don’t think anybody was going to show up today. So I said, ‘Forget it.’ I might as well be down here. It’s 28 years since this happened. Might as well come on down.”
Police officers manned metal barricades, turning around with bright smiles and misty eyes when the parade neared their respective spots. Some even pulled out cameras to capture the occasion.
Mike Kean, a Delaware County resident, ducked out of work early as a 23-year-old to see the Phillies’ World Series championship parade in 1980. Now 51, Kean did the exact same thing on Friday afternoon to attend this year’s parade with his wife.
“This is better,” Kean said, standing on a staircase on Broad Street. “It’s more crowded, for one thing. It’s just amazing. It’s an amazing outpouring of love by the city.”
Perfect strangers exchanged high-fives, hugs and excited cheers. Fans sprayed miles of silly string into the air, while others shot champagne off balconies.
No one seemed to mind.
“It’s all right here,” said Matthew Schuh, a fan who lives on Broad Street. “All morning, it’s been great — ever since they started playing in the playoffs, Broad Street has been a fun place to be.”
Many fans thought of creative ways to show their support — there was a homemade World Series trophy, a gigantic cardboard Phillies “P,” colorful wigs, face-paint and capes.
Standing in front of a funeral home owned by her brother, Annamarie Stolfo pointed toward a sign in the window that read: “R.I.P Rays.” In front of her was a bouquet of red and white flowers that she intended to present to manager Charlie Manuel and the rest of the team.
“Red and white is for the Phillies,” Stolfo explained. “And Charlie is the man!”
Even a non-Phillies fan, 26-year-old Jason Solinsky, was able to appreciate the scene.
Solinsky grew up in Connecticut, then Vermont, and donned a Buffalo Bills cap as he stood perched on top of a railing, watching the parade.
When Solinsky saw the players pass by and heard the symphony of blaring horns, clomping hooves and cheering Phillies fans, however, he cracked a wide smile.
“It’s cool to see so many people united over one thing,” he said. “They needed something to appreciate.” (H/T Phillies.com)
Don’t you just wish that this would never end?
Phillies ‘amazed’ by scene at parade
Free-agent-to-be Burrell leads spirited ride down Broad Street
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com
Yo, idiot owners, keep Pat the Bat here. Period!!! End of story!!!
PHILADELPHIA — Eight Clydesdales pulled the Budweiser carriage in 32-legged precision, stopping and starting frequently down an overflowing Broad Street decked in red and white.
The cargo, Pat Burrell, his wife Michelle and Elvis, the 125-pound English bulldog, who has become the team’s unofficial mascot (Sorry, Phanatic), rumbled through a red sea of euphoric Phillies fans.
With hair slicked back and dressed in jeans, black shoes, a black coat and sunglasses, Burrell appeared as cool as his on-field persona.
Except for his constant state of smile.
“We did it! We finally did it, didn’t we?” Burrell told an appreciative Citizens Bank Park crowd. “None of this would have been possible without you guys, and I want to thank you guys so much for the support over the years. You made this whole thing possible. I think you guys know how important this was for me, being here as long as I have.”
Fans who lined the streets chanted “Stay, Pat, Stay!”, “Re-Sign Pat!” and “Pat the Bat!” every chance they got. Up front and up high next to the reins, he must have stood up to acknowledge the crowd at least 200 times during the four-mile parade route that took nearly 3 1/2 hours to complete.
Symbolically, Burrell’s appearance at the front of the processional meant plenty to Burrell, the team’s longest-tenured player. He arrived during the 2000 season.
“I’m sure he was elated by the way the Phillies, the way the city handled everything,” starter Brett Myers said. “That was unbelievable. [But he was up front] because of his dog. Somebody said he was going to ride with Elvis because he was at every home game, and we didn’t lose at home in the playoffs. A lot of credit goes to Elvis for slobbering on us. He was our good-luck charm.”
While it’s possible that Burrell has played his final game with the Phillies — meaning the free-agent-to-be’s last hit was a seventh-inning double that set up the winning run in Game 5 — Burrell didn’t speak after the celebration, leaving Friday to be about the party.
And it was quite a party, from the moment Burrell’s carriage rolled from City Hall.
“The greatest thing I ever seen in my life, and I’ll always remember it,” said manager Charlie Manuel, who was dressed in a navy blue, pinstripe suit.
Earlier, he hoisted the World Series trophy, and later he waved to fans from one of the team’s eight flatbed trucks. The city’s first sports title parade in 25 years — 28 years for the Phillies — was a constant wall of sound.
Harry Kalas’ call of the final out could be heard throughout, as well as Queen’s “We Are the Champions,” Elton John’s “Philadelphia Freedom,” and Bobby Burnett’s “Goin’ Back to Philadelphia, PA.”
People were everywhere, in windows, trees and rooftops, and no one got tired of yelling, screaming or waving. Center fielder Shane Victorino tossed soft pretzels to the crowd while shortstop Jimmy Rollins turned his hand-held video camera on the crowd.
“I was amazed,” Rollins said. “There were people on [Route] 76 just hanging out, I’m like, ‘This is dangerous.’ People acting like Spider-Man climbing on light pole. I saw a guy stretched on the side of the building, with a beer in his hand. They’ve been wanting this for a long time. You know when your ears start hurting because you’re trying to think about what to do, but you can’t think because your ears hurt? That’s what it was like. I wasn’t even yelling, I was just barely talking [to teammates on the float] and my voice is gone.”
When his voice got hoarse, Rollins’ mother, Gigi Rollins, suggested simply waving, but Rollins said his “shoulders were tired. It was great. It was an ocean of people and there was never a dull moment. People just kept giving you energy, so you couldn’t stop smiling and you couldn’t stop waving.”
Rollins didn’t and neither did any of his teammates.
World Series MVP Cole Hamels tried to fist-bump a fan dressed like Philly’s favorite fictional boxer, Rocky Balboa, but authorities intervened before they finished. Victorino enjoyed “encouraging” fans to climb poles. The surging crowds flooded the streets at some points, leaving barely enough room for trucks and their police escorts.
“Everybody is celebrating for the right cause and that’s good that a city can do that together,” said veteran pitcher Jamie Moyer, who attended the 1980 World Series parade as a fan. “This time, I took it all in. Seeing this parade from start to finish brought tears to my eyes.” (Phillies.com)
Thanks for the parade, guys, and glad to hear that you’d enjoyed it as much as we, the fans, did. And Pat, do everything you can to stay here.
Fans cheer on Phillies at parade
Hundreds of thousands pack streets to celebrate Series champs
By Mark Newman / MLB.com
Hmm, can’t wait to see the rebroadcast of this on CW 57 on Sunday. It’s going to be worth it while waiting for the Eagles-Seahawks game to start. 🙂
It is the rough road that leads to the height of greatness.
PHILADELPHIA — Those words begin the highlight video that was played on the giant screen in left field at Citizens Bank Park before each game during the Phillies’ run to a World Series title, and on Friday, the road was an unbelievable parade route through town and the perfect ending to a perfect October.
Maybe you felt it at City Hall, where the world’s loudest parade took a right turn and there was a sea of red humanity in every direction.
Maybe it was the sign “SKIPPED SCHOOL ’08” held by boys who were like so many other youngsters on this day, here to see their heroes and decided not to be in classrooms. It made you wonder if anyone went to school Friday.
Maybe it was at Broad and Locust streets, where you first saw how deep they went, hundreds and hundreds of rows back, filling every nook and cranny, perched on roofs and packed tightly and clinging on tree branches.
Maybe it was the chants of “Stay, Pat, Stay!” and “Pat the Bat!” every time the Clydesdales passed fans wearing “BURRELL” and No. 5 on their backs. He was up front and up high next to the reins, hair slicked back with a black sweater and jeans and showered with love every inch of the route.
Maybe it was when the route bottlenecked at Broad and Bigler, with irrepressible crowds pushing right against the vehicles, as they cheered at Cole Hamels and Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley and Ryan Howard and Shane Victorino and all those people who had just touched their lives in a way no one ever imagined.
The parade finally happened in Philadelphia. They never have to wonder when the parade will come again, even though they look forward to more. This was a cathartic moment in America’s fifth-largest city, for roughly hundreds of thousands strong, the confirmation that what they just saw really happened, that the Phillies are 2008 World Series champions.
It began at 20th and Market streets, and it carried the players and team personnel to Citizens Bank Park, as well as Lincoln Financial Center. The players stopped first at the latter facility, where the Eagles play, and players like Victorino and Jamie Moyer showed them the Commissioner’s Trophy and spoke to the adoring crowd. Then it all went back to the “Bank” — the scene of the Wednesday clincher over Tampa Bay.
They needed to fill that venue as well, because there were simply too many Phillies fans for the number of seats. When tickets went on sale Thursday afternoon at Phillies.com for the concluding events, they vanished in an hour and a half. This is what everyone waited for, many for their whole lives.
“It’s amazing — better than Christmas,” said Annette Mira of South Philly, wearing a grass skirt and a lei and waiting for Victorino, the Flyin’ Hawaiian. “I am so happy. My father [Anthony] brought me here, and I saw him cry. It was a beautiful cry.”
“It’s been 25 years of waiting, and hopefully it won’t be another 25,” said Howard Sperling of Voorhees, N.J. “My kids stayed home from school. They should have just closed the schools today. You can see that they’re all here. I want to see Cole.”
Soon after he said that, Hamels passed by. Everyone had a favorite player to see. You realized as you walked along with this parade that it was not just any parade. Each winning city has done something superlative with its celebration, and it is hard to single one out. Every city probably thinks it just threw a parade like no one else.
This one’s pretty close, if you’ve been to a lot of them. The concentration of humanity was just beyond belief. The outpouring of glee, just indescribable. It had bottled up for so long. They partly released it on Wednesday night, when they all stayed around at the ballpark or spilled out onto the streets to party. But this was the moment. No place has been like Philly in terms of always talking about the “P word” — how it was often described by long-frustrated fans who were afraid that saying it would jinx it.
It has always been about the parade in Philly.
Now they have done it. It was beautiful.
It was loud. The consistency of the noise level from start to finish eclipsed almost anything you could ever imagine, any indoor venue.
“It’s not only a dream come true, but it’s all to see this city engulfed in community,” said David Rosenzweis of Philadelphia.
Ryan Leven, 15, of Doryleston, Pa., had been waiting five hours, hoping for that first glimpse of Hamels, the World Series MVP. Then it happened.
“I’m lucky enough I’m able to be here early,” Leven said, meaning “early” as in young age. “My hockey coaches and my baseball coaches always told me how long they had to wait. I hope they do it again now.”
One fan held up a sign that read: “PATrick or Treat.” The fan, Rachel Hezlep of Philadelphia, wore No. 5 and she swooned when the Clydesdales click-clacked past carrying Burrell, his wife and an English Bulldog.
“We tried to make up a Halloween theme sign,” she said. “I love him. He’s my favorite.”
“I broke both wrists clapping for the Phillies,” said one sign, held by a man with a red cast on each arm.
The Phillies are 2008 world champions. Hundreds of thousands of fans were able to complete the picture with a parade they needed a long time. (H/T Phillies.com)
Hopefully when can do this again next, unless one of the city’s other teams finally win it all. Hear that Eagles, Flyers, Sixers. It’s your turn to win one.
Just got back from watching the parade, or at least watching what I could see from along 20th and Market St. over two hours ago, and I’m still reeling from all the excitement. I’m sure that some of the other Phillies’ mlbloggers will be giving better and fuller reports on the parade later on, so I’m just going to blog about it from my own perspective. Around 11:35 am, I have left Drexel University’s (which I am an alum) Hagerty Library and began to walk towards 20th and Market. As I did, I noticed several other people, all wearing various type of Phillies gear (I was only wearing the hat that I’d gotten last year when I went to see my first Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park) and they were all in various states of happiness over the Phils finally winning it. When I heard someone mention the so-call Curse of Billy Penn, I told them that it was a lame excuse to explain away why our sports team kept on crapping out towards the end after I’d first heard about it a couple of years ago, and quite frankly folks, I still do. That Curse is in my my opinion a joke. Just an lame excuse someone came up with to explain away the reasons why none of the city’s major sports team had won a major championship since 1983 and the Sixers. Sorry, I just can’t buy into it. If our boys lose to a team that was better prepared to win, just say so and be done with it. Do not make excuses. Anyway, we had a good laugh on that, and I’d continued on. By the time I’d reached 30th Street Station and the now closed 30th Street Post Office Building, the place was starting to fill up with Philly red like you would never believe, and all headed for the downtown area and the parade route. Me, I was determined to just find a place around 20th and Market so that I can get a good enough view to see the floats go by. As I continued on, and walked past even more folks in Phillies gear, I began to see the area that was blocked off to traffic (I would say about 25th and Market) as well as notice several cop vans. As I started to cross about 23rd and Market, I saw a couple of Philly cops. I stopped next to them and then congratualted them on doing a good job. One of the officers smiled and thanked me, since I’d obviously made his and his partner’s day, before I continued on. Upon about 21st Street, I’d saw the place starting to fill up and I began to do some strategic manuevering so that I could get to the corner of 19th and 20th and Market Streets. I won’t give you the details, but I soon reached where I wanted to get to around about 11:50 am. At the moment, I’d decided to take a break, and go into my green bag and get out the lunch that I’d made for myself before I’d left my apartment in West Philly: a couple of hot dogs and a bottle of water. As I’d ate, I’d noticed that across the street from where I was, there were a couple of double decker tour buses filled with people, which I was to later learn contained photographers who would be taking pictures of the parade as it went along its way up Market, around City Hall and then down Broad Street towards the Sports Complex, and behind them was what I believe to be the Budweiser Clydesdales wagon. As I was doing that, I was listening to the people around me and to say that they weren’t a very happy bunch of people is an understatement. They were, like me, very glad that one of the big local sports teams have finally won the big one. Anyway, as soon as I was done eating, and had put the wrapper inside one of the pockets of my ‘tanker’ jacket, to throw it away later, I began to move again so that I could find myself a spot in front of the Soverign Bank Building on 20th and Market from which to watch the parade. After a while, I’d finally found a spot, and began to wait for the parade to start. While waiting I struck up several short conversations with the people around me, especially one with a lady who was about my age, who, unlike me, had seen the earlier 1980 parade with her 4-years old son, and was now going to watch it with her young teenage (or close to teenage) daughter. It was quite obvious to me that she was going to enjoy herself. Before then, the confetti has began to appear, being blown forward by some big fans, and soon starting to cover the area with it. Of course, as we waited, we all noticed that it was now after 12 noon and that the parade hasn’t started yet. The lady and I were soon talking about that, with both of us joking about things never being on time here, but hey, this is Philly. We’re never on time with anything. Soon we started to hear cheering and whooping, and I’m figuring that the parade must have finally started, but we just can’t see the floats yet. Around the same time, the two double decker buses with the photographers were both starting to head for the corner of 19th and 20th and Market Sts., so that they could make the turn onto Market Street so that they could start taking photos of the route, soon followed by the Clydesdales and their wagon. After a few more minutes of waiting, what we have all been waiting to see have finally arrived, as here comes the floats, as a very loud cheer is heard from the crowd around me. On the first float, at the front, was of course, the Phanatic, being, well, the Phanatic, along with, I can assume, the folks who work for the team. Also on the float, a couple of guys were holding up a couple of the local newpapers upon which were placed banner headlines that both announced that the Phillies have just won the World Series. Shades of 1980!!! About the second or third float in, there it was, what folks out here have wanted to see again for 28 years, the World Series Trophy, with it being raised high in the air for everyone to see. That cause a very big roar to erupt from the fans, but not as big a one as when the first of the floats that contained the players and their families have finally arrived. Not only did it produced a loud roar, but there was also some loud clapping, several yells of “PHILLIES” and dozens of excited fans putting their fingers into the air in the we’re number one sign. The floats would stop several time to give everyone a chance to see the guys, and, of course, that caused even louder cheers to occur. Around about the seven or eight float, we all began to see, at the back end of the float, the 2008 flag that Ryan Howard had carried around the park in a victory lap during the middle part of this Wednesday’s celebration. I know a lot of fans were happy to see that flag, since it meant what we had all year been hoping and praying for, a new championship flag to fly over the park alongside the 1980 one. After that float went by there came one more float, upon which one of the folks standing on it was holding up a placard that displayed the symbol for this year’s World Series. A short time after that float went by, soon followed by the police in car and on horseback, the crowd began to leave. It moved slowly at first, because of the large numbers of fans trying to leave at the same time, but it would start to move a bit more quickly once the bottleneck has been gotten through. While some folks soon headed towards 15th Street, or probably to the rest of the downtown area, I’d head back here to Hagerty so that I could write this report up. 🙂 Well, I can now say that I’d seen a victory parade, and man, this one rocked!!! 🙂
Update: Pat Burrell was on the Clydesdales wagon!!! Yay, Pat the Bat! I hope he stays here.