Tagged: World Champion Phillies

And yet even more on the parade via Phillies.com.

Phillies fans pack parade route

World Series heroes the center of attention in Philadelphia

When there was no more room, Phillies fans clustered onto staircases, balanced themselves on top of trash cans and even perched on tree limbs.

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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?


Some more on the parade, courtesy of Phillies.com.

Fans cheer on Phillies at parade

Hundreds of thousands pack streets to celebrate Series champs

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.

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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.

Pat Gillick is to leave as Phillies’ GM on a high note.

World Series is ‘icing’ for Gillick

If GM sticks to word and doesn’t return, he leaves Phils a winner

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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.

Since the LCS began in 1969, nine teams have gone undefeated at home in the postseason.
Year Team Record
2008 Phillies 7-0
1999 Yankees 8-0
1989 A’s 7-0
1987 Twins 6-0
1984 Tigers 4-0
1978 Yankees 5-0
1976 Reds 3-0
1971 Pirates 5-0
1969 Mets 4-0

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.

2008 World Series: Game 5.5: The Phillies are the 2008 World Champions of the Baseball World.

The Phillies have won the 2008 World Series, winning the series four games to one, as they would outscore the Rays in the final three and a half innings of this past Monday’s suspended game five, 4-3. As play resumed, Rays’ manager Joe Maddon would decide to leave Grant Balfour in the game. Pinch hitter Geoff Jenkins would be the first batter to face him in the Phillies’ half of the sixth, and he would greet him with a hard hit double to center. Jimmy Rollins would follow with an excellent sacrifice bunt, that would go 5-3 for the inning’s first out, as he would move Jenkins over to third base. Then, with the Rays’ infield pulled in to prevent a run, Jayson Werth would hit a pop up into shallow center field. Ray’s second baseman Akinori Iwamura would be unable to make an over-the-shoulder basket catch of the ball, as it would drop in for a RBI single, scoring Jenkins, and giving the Phillies a 3-2 lead. Balfour is then taken out of the ballgame by Maddon and is replaced on the mound by J.P. Howell. Howell would then end the inning by first getting Utley to strike out swinging for the inning’s second out, and after Werth would steal second, he would get Ryan Howard to pop out to third for the final out of the inning. Charlie Manuel would then put out in place of Cole Hamels, who is now in line to be the game’s winning pitching, Ryan Madson. Madson would proceed to strike out Dioner Navarro looking for the inning’s first out. But then he would give up a solo home run to Rocco Baldelli to left, tying the game up at three apiece, and thus denying Hamels his chance to make World Series history by winning all five of his starts. Jason Bartlett would then follow with a single. The next batter, Howell, would sacrifice the runner over to second, 1-4, for the inning’s second out, as he put a runner in scoring position. Madson is then replaced by J.C. Romero. Iwamura would then hit a ground ball towards second base, that Utley would be able to grab, but would then have no play to make at first, as Iwamura would get an infield single. But, Utley would then throw a strike towards home plate as he would see Bartlett trying to score from second on the play. His throw would beat Bartlett to home plate and then Carlos Ruiz would tag out a sliding Bartlett to keep the game tied at three all. In the Phillies’ half of the seventh, Pat Burrell would start the inning off with a double to left center field. As he would be replaced on second base by pinch runner Eric Bruntlett, the Rays would replace Howell on the mound with Chad Bradford. Shane Victorino would then hit the ball to the right side of the infield, after being unable to put down a bunt, for the inning’s first out, 4-3, while Bruntlett would move on over to third base. This move would once again force the Rays to bring in their infield. Pedro Feliz would take advantage of this move as he would hit a RBI single to center, scoring Bruntlett and giving the Phillies’ a 4-3 lead. Ruiz would then follow Feliz by hitting into a force out, 4-6, wiping out Feliz at second for the second out. Romero would then bat for himself and proceed to hit into a force out, 4-6, for the inning’s final out. Romero would then stay in to pitch the eighth. Chris Crawford would start the inning off with a single. B.J. Upton would then hit into a 6-4-3 double play, doubling up Crawford at second base, putting no one on base with two men out. Romero would then end the inning by getting Carlos Pena to fly out to left for the final out. In the Phillies’ eighth, the Rays would send out David Price to keep the game close. Prince would proceed to get Rollins to fly out to left for the inning’s first out and then would strike out Werth for out number two. Utley would then get on base with a walk. After Utley would steal second, Howard would end the inning by striking out. In the Rays’ ninth, the Phillies would hand the ball over to Brad Lidge to end the game. Lidge would get Evan Longorio to pop out to Utley for the first out of the inning. Navarro would then get on base with a single. Navarro would be replaced at first by pinch runner Fernando Perez, while pinch hitter Ben Zobrist would come to the plate. After Perez would steal second base, Lidge would get Zobrist out as he lines out directly to the right fielder for the second out of the inning. Maddon would then send out pinch hitter Eric Hinske to try and take the lead with one swing of the bat. Instead, Lidge would strike Hinske out for the game’s final out, as he would record his forty-eighth straight save in forty-eight attempts and his seventh save of the post-season, and lead to the start of a celebration among the Phillies, as they would win their second World Championship in the team’s 126 years of existance.

Cole Hamels would get a no-decision, as he would pitch six strong innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out three. Ryan Madson would pitch two-thrids of an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits, while striking out one. J.C. Romero would get the win as he pitches a scoreless inning and a third, giving up only two hits. His series’ record is now 2-0 with an 0.00 ERA. Brad Lidge would record his second save of the series, pitching a scoreless inning, as he would give up just a hit, while striking out one, as he records his forty-eighth straight save, and his seventh in the post-season. Scott Kazmir would also get a no-decision, as he would go only four innings plus two batters, giving up two earned runs on four hits, six walks and a hit batsman, while striking out five. Grant Balfour would pitch an inning and a third, giving up an earned run on two hits. J.P. Howell would get the lost as he would pitch two-thirds of an inning plus one batter, giving up an earned run on one hit, while striking out one. His series’ record is now 0-2 with an ERA of 7.71. Chad Bradford would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up only one hit. David Price would also pitch a scoreless inning, giving up just a walk, while striking out two.

During the celebration, which would include Bud Selig giving David Montgomery, Pat Gillick and Charlie Manuel the World Series Trophy, Cole Hamels would be announced as being the 2008 World Series MVP. It would later be announced that the city of Philadelphia plans to hold its World Series parade on Friday. And it would appear that the parade wouldl be shown on at least one of the local networks. I can’t wait. 🙂

Now that the Phillies have won the series, I would like to first apologize for the number of times that I’ve shown a lack faith in the guys actually being able to get into the World Series. Next, I would like to laugh in the face of the so-called experts who during the post-season have never given the Phillies the chance to win the Series, including FOX. Ha-HA, in your face, experts. Lastly, I would like to congratulate the Tampa Bay Rays for doing as well as they did this season to get into the World Series as well. I am sure that they’ll be back in the series at some point during the next few years.

Next stop, the victory parade. I love a parade, etc. etc. 🙂