Thoughts on the World Series

Today at noon there will be a parade in Philadelphia. Thousands of happy people will be there. Members of the Philadelphia Phillies organization will be cruising down Broad Street on floats. I am not able to be there (though I was seriously tempted to skip the assignment I am working on to free up the time to go), but I have many memories from the World Series.

Does Anyone Remember the Melody Line of the National Anthem? I did not like any of the five versions of the National Anthem that were sung before the World Series games. First off, there is no place for harmony and improvisation in the anthem. Bad idea. Just sing the song like it was written. In fact, they should have played the Olympic recording of the anthem before one of the games . . . that would have been a nice touch.

Speaking of Songs. It might be very unpatriotic of me, but I do not like God Bless America being sung in the middle of the 7th inning. What happens to this new “tradition” if Toronto makes the World Series? Why did MLB decide not to sing it (or at least not televise it if it was sung) in Game 5?

Tug was on the Mound. Before Game 3 Tim McGraw was on the field for a first pitch ceremony. He walked out to the mound with a child who was throwing a first pitch. While he was standing beside the mound he sprinkled some of his father’s ashes on it. So Tug was on the mound when both Phillies World Series titles were won.

Two Wins on One Day. I’m not sure if this has happened before or not, but the Phils picked up two world Series wins on the same day. Game 3 was delayed at the start, causing it to run well past midnight. So the win was secured early in the morning. That night the Phils made quick work of the Rays in Game 4. Now that’s a good day.

Two Sides to Every Hitter. It seemed the Phillies had a happy side and a sinister side at the plate. Sort of like that Southwest commercial.

All it took to bring out the sinister side was a runner on second or third base. I’ve never seen a team struggle more with runners in scoring position. Thankfully in the 6th and 7th innings of Game 5 the Phillies came up with big hits that assured the RISP woes would be forgotten.

Players that Distinguished Themselves. Several players distinguished themselves over the course of the series. Cole Hamels was named the WS MVP for good reason. He stepped up and proved he deserves to be considered an ace. With King Cole on the mound it felt like the Phillies could not lose in the postseason. Carlos Ruiz hit .375 in the series and played well. His biggest hit was a little bouncing ball in the infield in Game 3, but it was just enough to score Eric Bruntlett form third. Jamie Moyer pitched well in Game 3 (better than the boxscore indicates, for an umpire’s mistake cost him two earned runs). Jamie is from Souderton, PA. He attended the WS parade for the 1980 Phils. He’s 45 years old. He’s gritty. And he also was suffering from severe gastronomical distress the day before his start. Joe Blanton was acquired mid-season by the Phils. He pitched Game 4, and he pitched well. In addition to that he also hit a home run, which is amazing considering his history of futility at the plate. Chase Utley had a rough series. He hit a paltry .167. However, he hit a huge home run in his first at bat of the series and made several excellent defensive plays. The shining moment came in Game 5 when he threw out Jason Bartlett (the potential tying run) at home plate in the 8th inning. Brad Lidge just kept on getting outs. He saved the final game, giving him 7 saves during the postseason.

And that’s not all of the players that distinguished themselves. Almost everyone on the postseason roster contributed something during the postseason. . .

Now You See it, Now You Don’t. The umpires had a shaky World Series. There were numerous blown calls and an everchanging strikezone. It’s tough out there for an umpire. But all is forgiven in Philadelphia. . .

Wave the Flag. One of my favorite images from the World Series win is the Phanatic running out onto the field and waving a Phillies flag at the end of Game 5. I don’t have a good picture of it, but here is a low resolution shot of the green guy celebrating.

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