Chase Utley’s faking a throw to first and then throwing home to nail the Rays’ Jason Bartlett for the final out in the top of the seventh inning to keep Game 5 of the World Series tied has been voted the 2008 Postseason Moment of the Year by the fans in MLB.com’s annual This Year in Baseball Awards, receiving 35.6 percent of the votes, beating out fellow Phil Brad Lidge’s striking out Erik Hinske in the top of the ninth to clinch the Phillies winning of the 2008 World Series, 4 games to 1.
Congratulations on winning the fan award, Chase.
Lights Out Lidge has been voted the Closer of the Year by the fans at MLB.com’s This Year in Baseball Awards, after going 41 for 41 in save opportunities, and adding seven more saves in the post season, thus going 48 for 48 for the year, before striking out the Rays’ Eric Hinske in the ninth inning for the final out in the fifth and final game of the 2008 World Series won by the Phillies 4 games to 1. Lidge would win the award in a land slide, receiving 44 percent of the votes cast to Mariano Duncan of the Yankees 22.7 percent.
Anyway, congratulations to Brad Lidge, and the Phillies in general, on winning another award, this time by the fans.
Raul Ibanez is now officially a Phil as he passes his physical and has just officially signed his three-year deal with the Phillies for $31.5 Million dollars. With his signing, Ibanez will become the Phillies new left fielder, replacing Pat Burrell, whose lead off double in the bottom of the seventh inning in the rain suspended fifth game of the 2008 World Series would lead to the game’s winning run and the Phils winning their second World Championship in the team’s 126 years history.
Goodbye, Pat. Thanks for the nine years of helping the team become World Champs and I really do wish you luck in joining a new club. Just don’t sign with another team in the NL East, okay? 😉
Brad Lidge finishes fourth in the NL Cy Young Award Balloting, getting recognition for being perfect in save situations for the Phillies during the 2008 regular season. During the regular season, Lidge would go forty-one for forty-one in save opportunities, before adding seven more saves during the post-season, including saving the fourth and final victory in the Phillies’ 2008 World Series triumph. In the ballotting, Lidge would receive one second place ballot and seven third place ballots, giving him a total of ten votes, placing him behind Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum of the Giants (137), Brandon Webb of the Diamondbacks (73) and Johan Santana of the Mets (55).
|2008 NL Cy Young Award Voting|
|Tim Lincecum, SF||23||7||1||137|
|Brandon Webb, ARI||4||15||8||73|
|Johan Santana, NYM||4||8||11||55|
|Brad Lidge, PHI||1||7||10|
|CC Sabathia, MIL||1||1||1||9|
|Ryan Dempster, CHC||4||4|
(Ballot: H/T Phillies.com)
World Series artifacts heading to Hall
Hamels’ jersey, Upton’s spikes to be featured in Cooperstown
Fittingly, it is being commemorated for generations of fans to come at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y. Many artifacts that were used in this Fall Classic were donated by humbled players after the Phillies’ 4-3 clinching victory over Tampa Bay on Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park. Those items will go on display at the Hall of Fame in mid-November. They include:
• Cole Hamels’ No. 35 home pinstriped jersey that he wore in Game 5: Hamels was 4-0 in the postseason and was named World Series MVP.
“That’s something I never expected,” he said, wearing the jersey underneath two layers of shirts during the clubhouse celebration. “It’s a tremendous experience and an honor for them to want to take something from me. This whole fifth game will be a trivia question for the next 100 years, and I get to be a part of it.”
• Jayson Werth’s spikes: His single in the bottom of the sixth, right after play resumed, drove in pinch-hitter Geoff Jenkins to give Philadelphia a temporary 3-2 lead. He also stole three bags in the series, including one in Game 5.
“Gosh, what an honor,” Werth said on the Citizens Bank Park field, as players celebrated there with family, friends and fellow Phillies personnel. “I mean, really, step back and think about that. I come from a long line of baseball players, and I’m thankful to them. My grandfather was a ballplayer. My stepdad [Dennis Werth] played in the big leagues. We’re just baseball players, not Hall of Famers. For me to have something go there to Cooperstown, that’s unbelievable.”
• Joe Blanton’s bat that he used to hit the fabled home run in Game 4: It marked the first time since Ken Holtzman of Oakland in 1974 that a pitcher homered in the World Series.
“As a pitcher, it’s not what you expect,” Blanton said. “Very possibly the last thing you expect. But just to have a piece of your playing equipment go to the Hall of Fame is so special. Not every player can say he has something there.”
Blanton said he has not been to Cooperstown, and this will nudge him in that direction.
“Now, I have another good reason,” he said. “One of those things I’ve never been able to do for whatever reason. But I grew up in a baseball family and definitely will go now.”
• Ryan Howard’s bat used in Game 5: The 2008 National League MVP candidate busted out just in time during this postseason, hitting two homers in Game 4 to give him three long balls in the World Series.
“That would be cool,” he said with a big grin, shortly after Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson received his permission to take the lumber back to Cooperstown.
• Eric Bruntlett’s cap: He broke up a Game 2 shutout with a solo homer off rookie David Price in the eighth inning at Tropicana Field during the Rays’ 4-2 victory. But his most memorable moment in this Fall Classic came when he scored the winning run on Carlos Ruiz’s 30-foot walk-off chopper in Game 3, giving Philly the World Series lead for keeps. Bruntlett also scored the go-ahead run on Pedro Feliz’s RBI single in the clincher on Wednesday.
“We had a lot of good fortune that inning,” Bruntlett said that night. “It’s one of those deals where it feels like it’s in slow motion. I feel like I should be moving faster, but can’t. You want to get there so quickly. It feels like a long 90 feet.”
• Ruiz’s helmet: It’s what he was wearing when he mashed that ball into the ground to put the perfect ending to Game 3 for Phillies faithful. This was the World Series when a lot of baseball fans got to know more about the catcher from Panama.
“We were so hungry for this, we wanted this title,” Ruiz said. “I want to thank Panama for supporting me and the Phillies all year long. I want all of Panama to enjoy this with me. This was a great season and a great organization. This is for all of us.”
• The cap Brad Lidge wore in Game 5 when he saved the Series-clinching win for the Phillies.
• B.J. Upton’s spikes and Joe Maddon’s flap-cap: Upton had four steals in the World Series, including the one on the mud going into second base just before the Game 5 suspension on Monday, and the Rays wound up with a postseason-record 25 steals. Maddon managed the Rays from a 2007 last-place finish into a World Series team, and that flap-cap became a much-discussed piece of headwear in this cold, final week of the 2008 baseball season. Consider this a Cooperstown tip of the cap.
“I thought we presented ourselves really well,” Maddon said. “And I think all this country now knows who we are, as well as the world, the baseball world.” (H/T baseballhalloffame.org)
Interesting choices of some of the equipment that they plan to put on display. I wonder how many of the players will later be joining as members? Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
Correction: The writer of the article, Mr. Newman, has just informed me in the comments section that the bat that Howard gave to the Hall should be listed as from Game 4, not 5.
World Series is ‘icing’ for Gillick
If GM sticks to word and doesn’t return, he leaves Phils a winner
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
Well, look like Pat is going to leave on a high note. Congratulations. You’d made the right deals that would help get this team over the top.
PHILADELPHIA — If Phillies general manager Pat Gillick is indeed riding off into the sunset for the fourth time in his storied career, he couldn’t have picked a better way to go out.
Fifteen years after his Blue Jays defeated the Phillies in the 1993 World Series, he was on the other side of field, as the Phillies won the second World Series title in their 126-season history by defeating the Rays in five games on Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park.
Gillick’s contract expires on Friday, the day the big parade is planned to head up Broad Street from Center City to the Sports Complex. It will be the Phillies’ first championship parade since 1980.
“You always want to walk away as a winner,” Gillick said as a sellout crowd bellowed in collective glee around him after the Phillies defeated the Rays, 4-3, in the resumption of suspended Game 5 on Wednesday night. “You always want to win. Every time you go out there you want to win. That’s what’s important to me. Winning like this is kind of special and kind of puts the icing on everything for me.”
To their chagrin, Gillick has told the Phils he’s not coming back in 2009, and he’s holding fast to that stance.
Instead, Gillick, 71, said he’s moving back to Seattle, one of his previous general manager spots, because his wife is living there and the distance has become too great.
It’s become a pattern in Gillick’s tremendous career. He’s gone to a place — Toronto, Baltimore, Seattle and now Philadelphia — and brought success. And when he leaves, the sunshine of that success seems to leave with him.
This is his third World Series victory, following the ultimate success with the Blue Jays in 1992 and 1993. And the Orioles and the Mariners both made it as far as the American League Championship Series under his reign.
A PERFECT HOME RUN
|Since the LCS began in 1969, nine teams have gone undefeated at home in the postseason.|
With the Phillies, he joined a veteran management team that includes general partner Dave Montgomery, chairman Bill Giles and Gillick’s adviser Dallas Green.
All three were with the club when it defeated the Royals in 1980 and lost to Jays in 1993. Green was the manager of the 1980 team.
Montgomery said in the din of the immediate postgame celebration that it will indeed be a sad day if Gillick follows through and leaves the team. It was Gillick, joining manager Charlie Manuel after Larry Bowa was fired in 2004 and Ed Wade was let go in 2005, who helped pull the team together.
“Well, we’re really very disappointed if that’s Pat’s decision,” Montgomery said. “But at the same time, he gave us three spectacular years. And I know we all learned a lot from him. The fact of the matter is that every move is important and that’s exactly what Pat teaches you. It’s not just the big moves, it’s every move imaginable.”
Gillick has done this all before. He left the Blue Jays after 18 years and two World Series titles in 1994. He resurfaced with the Orioles in 1996, stayed there three years through two losses in the ALCS and left in 1998.
He joined the Mariners for four years in 2000 and presided over teams that lost to the Yankees in the 2000 and 2001 ALCS. His family was in Toronto at the time, and when he left in 2003, it was supposedly for good as a full-time general manager.
But in 2006, he had to scratch the itch one more time, and he replaced Wade as GM of the Phillies to take them to the next step into the postseason, which they’ve done in consecutive years for the first time since 1980-81. The effect of Gillick’s effort has been immeasurable.
“So far, it’s almost impossible to put this in any perspective,” Montgomery said. “You can see the fan support. It’s unbelievable and we managed to get through the postseason at home undefeated [7-0]. The support is enormous.”
The key to this season was Gillick acquiring closer Brad Lidge from the Astros last offseason. Lidge saved Wednesday night’s finale and was 48-for-48 in save attempts this year, an element the Phillies just didn’t have on their 2007 team that was swept by Colorado in its NL Division Series. He added Joe Blanton to the pitching rotation at midseason and Matt Stairs to the bench.
Blanton won a pair of postseason games, including Game 4 of the World Series here on Sunday night. Stairs has been used sparingly, but his two-run, pinch-hit homer in the eighth inning of Game 4 of the NLCS helped defeat the Dodgers in Los Angeles.
“You really need 25 people in the NL to be competitive,” Gillick said. “You need a bench and you need a bullpen. There are a lot of people you have to fill in and there are a lot of people you need to put in the right slots, the right pegs in the right holes. We’ve been able to do that over the last few years and you saw the culmination of it tonight.”
Now it has come around full circle. From his Jays beating the Phillies on Joe Carter’s walk-off Game 6 homer in 1993 to his Phillies defeating the Rays in the great suspended Game 5 of 2008.
Life couldn’t be any sweeter.
“Does this cap my career? You never know,” Gillick said. “Now I’m just worrying about having a good time tonight, visiting with our players. We’ll worry about what happens down the line.” (H/T WorldSeries.com, MLB.com)
Once again, congratulation Pat. You made the right deals and decisions in the front office that give you the chance to leave here a champ. I just hope that your successor will have equal success once he takes over from you on Friday.
Perfect Hamels is World Series MVP
Phils lefty is fifth player to earn award in LCS, Fall Classic
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
And a well deserved award it is, too.
PHILADELPHIA — Phillies left-hander extraordinaire Cole Hamels hails from Southern California, home of the famous In-N-Out Burger chain with its equally famous double-double burger.
So he’ll understand the reference to his rare double-double this postseason: the World Series MVP award, presented by Chevrolet, and the MVP for his stellar performance in the National League Championship Series.
Heavy on the grilled onions, please.
“I’m definitely going to have to enjoy this moment, because there’s a lot of times you don’t have everything go your way,” said Hamels, the 24-year-old who is a World Series winner and MVP in only his third season in the Major Leagues. “I was just fortunate enough to be on the good end of these victories and winning a [few] trophies. But, truly, it was my teammates behind me who really helped me through these times. They’re the ones who scored the runs.”
Hamels, 4-0 this postseason with a 1.80 ERA, received the World Series MVP in an on-field ceremony just after the Phillies defeated the Rays, 4-3, on Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park in the back end of suspended Game 5 to win the best-of-seven series.
Along with the trophy, Hamels won a bright red 2010 Chevy Camaro. He received the car and hardware from Commissioner Bud Selig after Major League Baseball’s No. 1 official handed the World Series trophy to Dave Montgomery, the Phils’ long-time general partner, and Pat Gillick, their outgoing general manager.
TWICE AS VALUABLE
|Five players have been named MVP of a League Championship Series and World Series in the same season.|
Since the advent of the League Championship Series in 1969, Hamels is the fifth player to enjoy the double-double, joining outfielder Willie Stargell of the Pirates (1979), catcher Darrell Porter of the Cardinals (1982), and pitchers Orel Hershiser of the Dodgers (1988) and Livan Hernandez of the Marlins (1997).
Hamels is also the fourth pitcher in postseason history to win four games in as many starts. The others were Josh Beckett for Boston in 2007, David Wells for the Yankees in 1998 and Dave Stewart for Oakland in 1989.
Hamels started Game 5 on Monday night and worked soaking wet through the top of the sixth inning before heavy rain and dangerous field conditions caused Selig to suspend it with the score tied at 2. When it resumed on Wednesday night, Hamel’s spot in the batting order was the first up.
Hamel’s jokingly harbored hopes that manager Charlie Manuel might not take him out.
“Shoot, I was telling myself I was still in the game,” Hamels said. “I was hoping Charlie might put me up to hit. No, really. I thought that was the best I possibly could do. I thought that was the worst weather I’ve ever pitched in in my entire life and I really did make the best of it. That game easily could have gotten away from me and the score could have been a different magnitude.
STONE COLE LOCK
|Following his NLCS MVP performance, the Phillies’ Cole Hamels continued his postseason mastery in the World Series against the Rays.|
|NLDS Gm 1||MIL||W||0.00||8||2||0||9||1|
|NLCS Gm 1||LAD||W||2.57||7||6||2||8||2|
|NLCS Gm 5||LAD||W||1.29||7||5||1||5||3|
|WS Gm 1||TB||W||2.57||7||5||2||5||2|
|WS Gm 5||TB||ND||3.00||6||5||2||3||1|
“And going into today it could have been a completely different game. We might have been looking at having to head down to Tampa and win it. But I feel like I succeeded, even with all the hard conditions that were thrown my way.”
Hamels pitched the first six innings — half of them in the rain — on Monday night, allowing two runs on five hits, while walking one and striking out three. In his last half-inning, the infield was as slick as a hockey rink, the ball was as wet as a sponge and the Rays scored the tying run.
When the game resumed on Wednesday night, Geoff Jenkins pinch-hit for Hamels, led off with a booming double and scored on Jayson Werth’s single.
So it worked out on both ends.
“I felt like the rain and the wetness of the ball and stuff definitely played a role in the end,” Manuel said of Hamels’ start on Monday night. “I felt like that definitely he would have gone farther in the game because he had  pitches. But that’s gone now and, like tonight, we bounced back and we overcame the problem the other night and won the World Series.”
All this happened on the night when Hamels’ wife was celebrating her birthday.
Heidi Strobe was once a contestant on the CBS show “Survivor: The Amazon” and a Playboy model. They married last year in her Missouri hometown, where she grew up a Cardinals fan.
“It’s my wife’s 30th birthday today,” Hamels said. “She’s just excited for this moment, this one thing she loves most. She was the one crying when St. Louis won [in 2006]. I said, ‘Why are you crying? I play for the Phillies.’ I think she won’t ever forget this. At least I won’t.”
Hamels succeeded in this postseason under all kinds of conditions.
In his Game 1 victory under the Tropicana Field dome, he kept the Rays off balance for seven innings, mixing his dancing changeup with a curve and fastball to allow two runs on five hits in the 3-2 win.
Hamels previously defeated Milwaukee in Game 1 of the Division Series and the Dodgers in Games 1 and 5 of the NLCS. Like Monday night, he also started the second-round clincher, working seven innings, allowing one run on a Manny Ramirez homer and four other Dodgers hits in a 5-1 victory.
Growing up in San Diego County, Hamels competed with a plethora of fine high school players and followed the local Major League teams with relish.
“I rooted for the Dodgers and Padres,” he said. “It depended on who was winning.”
Since Hamels was born on Dec. 27, 1983, he wasn’t yet 5 years old when the Dodgers last won the World Series in 1988. But he was a wiry 14-year-old when the Padres won their last NL pennant in 1998 and were swept by the Yankees in the World Series.
Little did he know that 10 years later he’d have his own World Series title and the double-double MVP. It was something he couldn’t even conceive back then.
“No, I couldn’t,” he said. “I just wanted to play the game. I didn’t know where I’d ever end up. And I was fortunate enough for the Phillies to draft me and knowing that they were trying to put together a really good team, and now being a member of what they were able to establish is something I can’t thank them for enough.
“Because they truly did give me the opportunity to be here in this city and to win this World Series. All they asked of me was to go out there and play this game that I enjoy and that I live and die for every day.” (H/T Phillies.com)
Hamels, you certainly do deserve this award for the way you’d pitched. And, I hope your wife is enjoying her birthday present.