You Just Gotta Believe!

Thursday, October 30, 2008 ·

Can you believe it? I will remember October 29th, 2008 for the rest of my life. We have a champion in Philadelphia and it was definitely worth the wait. A little over 25 years and we are finally returning to the top of one of the 4 major sports. Is Philadelphia the new title town? Did the Soul break the "curse"? The last two championships handed out have come by the way of the Arena Bowl and the World Series. The last two titles have found their home in Philadelphia.

How good does it feel? For my generation, those 25 and younger, we have finally felt how good it feels to be coined the best. We as a city finally did it. The players deserve all, or most, of the credit, but we as fans gave the home-field advantage that only increased the intensity for the opposing team. We as a city, finally got over the dirty, rotten hump. Thank you so much Phillies. You conquered your dream and all of ours. Thank you Charlie and Pat. Whenever we doubted you, you stuck by your instincts and got the job done. We're sorry.

The guarantees: Last year, Jimmy Rollins claimed the Phillies to be the team to beat in the NL East. This year, Rollins predicted that the team could win 100 games. Sorry J-Roll, you won 103! There was a guarantee that went under the radar and was rather forgotten. Two years ago, when the Phillies traded Bobby Abreu, Pat Gillick predicted that the Phillies were two years away from contending for a title. Well, his prediction held up. 4 moves that Gillick made this year paid off last night. First, Geoff Jenkins lead off the bottom of the 6th with a pinch-hit double. Later Eric Bruntlett scored his 2nd game-winning run after he pinch-ran for Pat Burrell and was knocked in by a Pedro Feliz single. Lastly, the perfectionist, Brad Lidge, closed out the World Series and sent the city in euphoria. Even if Gillick's additions at some rough times, they stepped up huge when we needed them the most. Signing great talents are always good, but with each talented player, it is character that takes you even farther.

Wow, Pat the Bat! He struggled somewhat this postseason, but when the Phillies truly need him to hit, he came through. He belted 2 home runs in the clinching game aginst the Brewers. Against the Dodgers, he completed the Phillies comeback home run in the Bottom of the 6th. Lastly, to help win our first World Series in 28 years, he lead off the bottom o the 7th with a double that only the wind kept in the park. It was his first hit in the World Series and probably the most memorable hit of his creer. Pat Burrell, you are Philadelphia.

A special thanks goes out to Ed Wade and Mike Arbuckle. Arbuckle is still with us, but Ed Wade also helped put the core of this team together. Outside of Pat Burrell and Jimmy Rollins he was part of the staff that drafted Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Cole Hamels, and Ryan Madson. He also signed Carlos Ruiz and picked up Shane Victorino in the rule 5 draft. He made plenty of questionable moves during his reign as Phillies GM, but he and Arbuckle did help build the core. Most importantly, we have to thank him for accepting Michael Borun as the main piece of the package for Brad Lidge and Eric Bruntlett.

Speaking of Brad Lidge, he was just spectacular all year long. Including the postseason, he saves 48 games in 48 opportunities. In the first game of the year, Lidge was on the DL, and Tom Gordon blew the Phillies' comeback. Many of us thought we were heading down the same road as the past. A weekend later, Lidge returned to the closer role and shut down every team he faced in the ninth. The Phillies were perfect with a lead after 8 all year. Something that cannot be said about our foes in New York. Something that can be said about the World Champions!

Throughout the coming weeks, I will be profiling each of the Phillies players that made a difference this season.

How sweet it is! We are champions of the World!


A small introduction...

We Hate to Lose began in October 2007. The initial purpose of the website was to provide news updates and commentary on all four major sports teams in Philadelphia. Because of time-constraints, in April of 2009, I decided to post only on my first-love, the Philadelphia Phillies.

My name is Justin Evans and I hope you enjoy the site.

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