Saturday, February 28, 2009

Phillies get first win in Spring Training

Pat Burrell’s new ball girls in Tampa!

The Phillies finally got their first win of Spring training on Saturday afternoon in Clearwater, Florida. It was the first televised game of the Spring Training schedule and the victory came against the Tampa Rays. It was also a sell out of over 10,000 fans at this game.

A terrible first inning by Tampa pitcher, Mitch Talbot, who is competing for a number 5 starters spot for the Rays, gave the Phils a 5 run lead in the bottom of the first. Former Phillie, Pat Burrell, had a couple at bats against his old mates, and Burrell laced a double down the line and had a pop out for the Rays. Newly acquired left fielder for the Phillies, Raul Ibanez, went 0-3 for today’s game and has a .200 average with only 4 games played so far.

I don’t even like to think about how the team plays in Spring Training equates to the regular season. I don’t think it relates that well at all. I am watching the Cubs though, they are at 4-0 early into this Spring Training season.

Still 35 days to go till Opening night, though with a forecast of possible snow in the Philly area late Sunday night for March 1st, it seems like longer than that till the first regular season game!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Plenty of Positives in 8-2 Loss

The Phillies certainly took a few positives away from yesterday's 8-2 loss to Pittsburgh in their Spring debut. Jamie Moyer started the game, pitching two innings without surrendering a run, allowing just one hit. Joe Blanton followed, allowing one run in one inning pitched, but struck out two batters with no walks.

The Phils jumped on the board first in the third inning, as Raul Ibanez came through with an RBI single, plating Jimmy Rollins. Pittsburgh responded by blowing the game wide open, against two pitchers with little chance of making the big league squad, Joe Bisenius and Scott Nestor.

John Mayberry, a promising young outfielder with a shot at a reserve outfield spot in 2009, knocked in the Phils' only other run in the ninth inning.

The Phils were solid defensively, committing no errors, and even Ryan Howard made a nice stop at first base.

The Phillies will take the positives away from this game and build upon them, not worried about the overall outcome of the game. Today's match up with the Toronto Blue Jays could be huge, as Carlos Carrasco is scheduled to start the game. He is likely to be followed by J.A. Happ and Gary Majewski. There is plenty to keep an eye on with those three taking the hill today. Carrasco and Happ will be looking to out-duel each other, and Majewski is hoping to resurrect his career.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Financial fraud leaves Scott Eyre with $13 in pocket

The recent collapse of the financial systems in the USA seems like a far fetched notion to some. Banks failing and large credit card corporations collapsing has been to the norm of late summer into October and November 2008 to now, many companies are being taken over at a rate not seen since the last Great Depression. The government took an upprecedented move of funneling billions of dollars into these companies to prevent a total collapse of the entire financial system that the country is built on.

On top of these failures has been stories of these "wunder investors", super star financial consultants where the ultra rich go to make their money grow even larger, also becoming part of the financial mess the whole country is in lately by all of their investing being shown to be fraudulent. Many baseball players have been snared by these bad investors in the past few months, including at least one Phillies player, Scott Eyre. It was revealed to that Eyre has basically the money in his pocket to pay his bills and since all his money has been frozen in the investigation into the frauds, he may be bouncing some serious checks that were just written in the past few days. Other MLB players have suffered the same fate, names such as Nady, and Damon to name a few. There are probably a lot more affected as well, but haven't came forward to tell the world their own financial problems.

The phrase from the Great Depression, "Hey brother, can you spare a dime?" has just took on new meaning some 70 years later in 2009.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Phillies and the NL East Depth Chart: Second Base

The Phillies have one of the best second baseman in baseball. Chase Utley has redefined the words, “All Star.” He has also become famous for uttering some other words that aren’t fit for this blog, last year. Utley, seems so humble, so mild mannered on the field and in the dugout, but the events of last year at the All Star Game and then again at a Phillies celebration have caused a few to raise an eyebrow. This doesn’t take anything away from his field career but it does not make a good example for kids to follow and emulate and of course ruins any endorsement deals this great baseball player could be getting as well.

Chase Utley is a three time All Star already in his career, he has led the league in several categories in the last two years, and he is a three year recipient of the Silver Slugger award. Chase played with an injured hip for a lot of the second half of the season for the Phils last year, his injury was not revealed until after the season. He’s been hit by a pitch more than any other Phillies player in the past couple years, and played the toughest on the team as well. Chase is in a league of his own, he maybe the best all around player in all of the MLB.

Phillies depth chart: Second Base

(My number 1 of NL East 2nd basemen) Chase Utley - perhaps the best all around player in the MLB – an instant selection to one of the greatest Phillies ever to have played in the Phils uniform.

Marcus Giles - former starter for the Braves for years, signed a one year deal in San Diego and didn’t have the kind of season he was accustomed to in Atl. He is a solid backup for Chase in the infield if he makes it to the big club from the minors.

Atlanta Braves:

(My number 3 of NL 2nd basemen) Kelly Johnson - a young player who keeps getting better. 12 HR’s and 69 RBI last year.

Martin Prado - back up infielder could be a starter in his own right, perhaps he’ll get more playing time this season.

Florida Marlins:

(My number 2 of NL 2nd basemen) Dan Uggla – Uggla is a lot like Chase Utley, yes their last names begin with the letter ‘U’. Uggla also plays the game similar to Utley- very well. Uggla won his arbitration case this year and the Marlins have to pay him 5.35 million for 2009.

New York Mets:

(My number 4 of NL 2nd basemen) Luis Castillo – Luis had the worst season of his career last year – the Mets tried to deal him but had no takers. He used to be one of my players I liked to watch when he was with the Marlins, but no more. He could be a big reason the Mets fell apart last year.

Alex Cora – yet another former Marlin, gets $2 million for being a backup infielder for the Mets this year. He may steal Castillo’s spot if Luis doesn’t produce.

Washington Nationals:

(My number 5 of NL 2nd baseman) Anderson Hernandez – may be the Nats 2nd base starter this year. Good average in last year’s brief number of games. Rounds out my list, he could be this year’s surprise at 2nd base.

And finally for anyone who may have missed what Chase Utley’s injury was here is a reprinted article from a Phillies fan’s blog called from last year:

In case anyone was curious about Chase Utley's injury and possible treatment, here is some excellent info from Enjoy.
Hip arthroscopy is performed through small incisions using a camera to visualize the inside of a joint. Through several small incisions (about 1 centimeter each) your surgeon will insert a camera into one incision, and small instruments through the other incisions.

What is the benefit of hip arthroscopy compared to open surgery?
The nice part about hip arthroscopy is that it is much less invasive than traditional hip surgery. This means:

    • Early rehab
    • Accelerated rehab course
    • Outpatient procedure
    • Smaller incisions
    • Early return to sport

What conditions can be treated with hip arthroscopy?

  • Labral Tear
    The labrum of the hip is a cuff of thick tissue that surround the hip socket. The labrum helps to support the hip joint. When a labral tear of the hip occurs, a piece of this tissue can become pinched in the joint causing pain and catching sensations.
  • Loose Bodies
    Loose bodies are pieces of cartilage that form within the joint. They look like small marbles floating within the joint space. These loose bodies can become caught within the hip during movements.
  • Snapping Hip Syndrome
    Snapping hip syndrome has several causes, some of which can be treated with hip arthroscopy. If something is catching within the hip joint, hip arthroscopy can be used to relieve this snapping. Also, hip arthroscopy can be used to perform a psoas tendon release in cases of internal snapping hip syndrome.
  • Cartilage Damage
    In patients with focal cartilage damage, meaning not
    widespread arthritis, hip arthroscopy may be helpful. These patients may sustain an injury causing a piece of cartilage to break away from the surface of the bone. These patients may benefit from removal of that piece of cartilage.
  • Early Arthritis
    This is a controversial topic, as patients who have arthritis pain generally will not benefit from a hip arthroscopy. The patients who tend to benefit have specific finding of impingement (pinching) within the hip joint, and may benefit from removal of the bone spurs causing this impingement. This is only possible in the very early stages of arthritis, and even then may not offer relief of symptoms.
What are the possible complications from hip arthroscopy?
The most concerning complications of hip arthroscopy have to do with several important nerves and blood vessels that surround the joint. Nerve injury is uncommon, but can be a significant problem. The most commonly affected nerves include the sciatic nerve, the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve (sensation to the thigh), and the pudendal nerve. Injury to any of the nerves can cause pain and other problems.

Other possible complications from hip arthroscopy include potential injury to normal structures, infection, and continued pain after the surgery. The rate of these complications is low, but patients need to understand the potential prior to undergoing a hip arthroscopy.

Medical info Posted by NE Phillies Phan

Read Jeff's take on Second Base in the NL here

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Will A-Rod make the Hall of Fame or Shame?

Philly Daily News 2/18 back cover with A-Rod

Alex Rodriguez is the player that will most likely make the Hall of Fame that is still playing. That is of course prior to last week when all the news about him and steroids made the light of day. Did he need the steroids? Some argue no, but there are still many more that say now that the very use of the steroids should make him ineligible for the Hall of Fame. No player has been banned yet in the manner that Pete Rose has been banned, for life. There are many more players involved. The list is full of names and A-Rod came clean only when Sports Illustrated was about to report that he was involved with taking steroids. A-Rod knew all about this when his teammate, Andy Pettite gave his tearful account of what he had done. Roger Clemons is apparently also guilty of using steroids as are many more players.

When Barry Bonds case seemed to have been swept under a giant rug from a couple years ago, suddenly again this issue has resurfaced. There is so much evidence against Bonds it's almost comical to think that no real penalty or ban of any type has been imposed by the MLB towards him. What will come of all the rest of the players who used steroids apparently unknown to the MLB at the time? Will records be taken down? Will personal accomplishments be struck down? I don't think you'll ever see that, but something has to be done and to date nothing has been done. I think that the MLB will just keep stalling and allowing time to go by and hope the public just forgets about it all, or learns to live with it.

When you take any substance in the Olympics and are found to be guilty, the records get erased, and you become disqualified. No one in baseball is ready to go that far it seems and why shouldn't they?

Monday, February 16, 2009

The rivalry with the Mets continues in 2009

The Phillies vs. The Mets Rivalry continues in 2009

A lot of words have been exchanged by both the Phillies and the Mets in recent years. The rivalry was always there, but rarely did members of either team say anything publicly about it. All that silence is history now and a rivalry has gone even further between the two teams to a war of words.

Jimmy Rollins boldly stated two seasons ago, “We Are The Team To Beat,” referring to the Phils being the team that would take the NL East. The Phillies made good on that promise following the utter collapse of the NY Mets in September of 2007 when they had a comfortable lead over the Phillies and the talk was how far the Mets would make it into the post season. The Phillies clinched the NL top spot on the last day of the season following the Marlins whipping up on the Mets that day, and the Phillies victory over the Washington Nationals that fateful Sunday afternoon. I was in attendance for that game, and to date I think it was the game that produced the most goosebumps that I’ve ever had before and during an MLB baseball game. The only other times I’ve felt that way was when Mike Schmidt would hit a walk off homer and win the game for the Phillies some years ago. The crowd on that last regular season game in 2007 was electric from the time Jamie Moyer walked out of the dugout and proceeded to walk towards the bullpen for his warmups prior to the start of the game until well after when the celebration continued well after the game when the Phillies were in.

The Mets became ‘the goat’ after that. Not only did the Mets collapse in 2007, but they didn’t even make the playoffs again in 2008 despite hefty payroll increases and a new manager and bold moves from Omar Minaya. The Yankees proved that you cannot buy a pennant, although they went out again prior to the start of the ‘09 season and signed yet another round of players to salaries that make you say, “hmmmm.” The start of the 2009 season starts yet another rivalry up against the Phillies and the Mets, with the Phillies now spending more than they ever have, and now with a new player in the war of words, Cole Hamels.

Cole Hamels enjoyed the waves that he rode on with being named the MVP of the World Series, he made the talk show circuit from the east to the west coast. He never was a participant in the war of words with the Mets publicly, but all of that changed just a few short weeks ago. This happened when WFAN the New York City sports talk radio station interviewed Cole for his promoting the DVD of the World Series and the Phillies win. The two sportscasters did their best to try to get Cole to say a lot more than he wanted to during the interview. One of the questions asked to Cole about Jose Reyes, “Is it fair to say that you hate Jose Reyes?” just as they were talking about Shane Victorino when he pointed to the skies after a homerun in comparison to Jose Reyes. Cole didn’t bite at that, and said, “No”. Hear the full interview here.

The sportscasters made their mark with the term “Do you think the Mets are choke artists?” So Cole finally answered them, “Yes”. So Cole enters the rivalry with a fun interview he did with the NY media.

Phillies vs. Mets 2009 schedule

Phillies Home Games vs. Mets
May 1-2-3
July 3-4-5
Sept 11-12-13

NY Mets Home Games vs. Phillies
May 6-7
June 9-10-11
August 21-22-23-24

So there you have it, 18 games this year in the regular season vs. The Mets.

Early on the rivalry between the two teams went back to Met player names like:

Tom Seaver
Jon Matlack
Cleon Jones
Bud Harrelson
Rusty Staub

and Phillies players:

Steve Carlton
Mike Schmidt
Bob Boone
Larry Bowa
Dave Cash

Then there is Tug McGraw who played for the Mets from 1965 to 1974 and then with the Phillies from 1975 to 1984 - a 19 year career that was topped off with a World Series victory and perhaps one of the greatest photo's ever when the Phillies won and he leaped off the mound and into the air.

The past three seasons have seen this rivalry really heat up between the Mets and the Phils here is the results of the games between the two teams in the past three seasons:

2008: Mets 11 wins Phillies 7 wins
2007: Phils 12 wins Mets 6 wins
2006: Mets 11 wins Phillies 8 wins

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Listen to the Phillies Talk Podcast - Pitchers and Catchers

The Spring Training season is underway in Clearwater, Florida and the curtain is rising on yet another major league season. Pitchers and catchers have reported to camp and the first preseason game is only 10 days away from today!

Listen to the edition of the Phillies Talk podcast here, it's the 3rd season I've been doing the independently produced podcast talking about the Phillies. You can download the show from iTunes as well all season long.

If you'd like to send me an email with a topic for an upcoming show, please send it to or you can leave an audio messege for the show at the Fightin Phillies local phone mailbox 609-829-3125

Friday, February 13, 2009

Will the Phillies have a 20 game winner this year?

20 - ?

In only a short time, pitchers and catchers will have reported to Clearwater, Florida to start yet another major league season. This is only the start of what will be a 10 month odyssey for the players in this great game of Major League baseball.

Last year the Phillies won the World Series, but they didn’t have a pitcher that won 20 games for them. Cole Hamels was the World Series MVP, he finished the regular season with 14 wins and 10 losses. He really excelled in the postseason starting 2 games in the NLCS with a 1.93 era and then the World Series with a 2.77 era.

When the Phillies made it to the World Series back in 1980, Steve Carlton had 24 wins and 9 losses for the team, and Dick Ruthven had 17 wins with 10 losses for the Phils in the regular season. In 1993 when the Phillies played the Blue Jays in the World Series, the best Phillies pitchers were Curt Schilling with 16 wins and 7 losses, and Tommy Greene who went 16 wins and 4 losses. Going all the way back to 1950 with the Philadelphia Phillie ‘Whiz Kids’ Robin Roberts had 20 wins in the the regular season for the Phils back then when the Phils lost to the Yankees in 4 straight games in the World Series that year.

The last time the Phillies had a 20 game winner was way back in 1982 when Steve Carlton won 23 for the Phils, in fact the Phillies have only had two 20 game winners from 2008 to 1979.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Phillies and the NL East position depth chart: First Base

Will Ryan Howard be the best first baseman the Phillies have ever had? Time will tell that, and if Howard can stay as a Phillie beyond the big three year contract he just signed. For the short time that he's been in the league, Howard has hit for more power than anyone else and faster. He has also struck out more than anyone else in baseball in the last two years combined. For the measuring purposes of a Hall of Fame player, Howard has taken a high road with his statistics. He is hurtling toward the mark that is generally accepted as a Hall of Famer in such a short time. This stat can be found at the baseball-reference website and if Howard continues to hit at this pace, he'll be a ringer for the Hall in only 5 more years.

That being said, I wish Howard could reduce his strikeouts and get a few more base hits. Trying to lop 50 strikeouts off his yearly total and turning them into base hits would be ideal. To do this he needs to think more like a Pete Rose at the plate. Rose was a master of the base hit, he made contact and slapped the ball through the infield at will, if Howard can adopt this into his repitore a little bit, he'll become a really great player. When teams put the shift on, take the ball down the third base line and take the base hit or when needed try to move the runners with a hit other than swinging for the fences.

The Phillies have a couple of guys that can go in as the first base backup, Coste, Dobbs, and Matt Stairs are up to the challenge should the need arise.

Phillies depth chart:
(My #1 in the NL East for First Base) Ryan Howard - Rhino is ahead of the curve and piling up the accolades early in his young career. If he can keep it up over the next few years, we are seeing a Hall of Famer.

Atlanta Braves

(My #3 in the NL East for First Base) Casey Kotchman - looked very good for the Braves last year. He has above average power, and collected 74 RBI's with only 39 strikeouts for the Braves. He has potential and is in the middle of my picks for best first baseman in the NL East.

Martin Prado- signed by the Braves as an amateur free agent in 2006 a solid backup for the Braves also platooning with Greg Norton at first backing up at first base for the Braves.

Florida Marlins

(My # 4 in the NL East for First Base) Jorge Cantu - 29 HR's and 95 RBI's last year, he could be my # 3 pick in this round up but I've got to go with the younger Kotchman as my #3. Cantu though is 'can do' for the Marlins- the fish finished above .500 last year. Cantu could play a bigger role this year for them.

A familiar name, Wes Helms will be back with the Marlins this year, he'll give Cantu a run for his money at first to start, or be a good backup as he was with the Phillies.

New York Mets

(My #2 in the NL East for First Base) Carlos Delgado - Delgado will make you pay when you let a pitch go up in the zone, he seems to hit well at Citizen's Bank Park. He had 38 homeruns last year and 115 RBI's for the Mets. He finally showed fans he's the real deal- what will he do this year? He's my number 2 pick for first basemen in the NL East in 2009.

Delgado stayed healthy all of last year, there was only a few times when there was someone else at first: Marlin Anderson is an ex-Phillie and good all around player. Anderson had 26 innings at first last year and Daman Easley had 30 innings. Both are competent back ups.

Washington Nationals

(My #5 in the NL East for First Base) Nick Johnson - Nick bottoms out my list for first baseman. His average is in the low 200's last year he's coming back from injury and again it may be a long year for the Nats. Every good player they get, they seem to trade away.

Ronnie Belliard is the backup for the Nats, he's ok and a seasoned veteran. Perhaps the Nats are going places this year with adding Adam Dunn.

That's my list for first baseman, stay tuned to the blog for next week's second base preview of the NL East. Don't forget to read Jeff's picks for his best position players on his own blog here!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Phillies pack up bats and head South!

The Phillies know how to play baseball that is for sure, but what does it take to allow the Phillies to start playing baseball? Bats, balls, shirts, shoes, socks, bases, you name it, the Phillies pack all of this up and head south to their Florida home.

Here is a cool video that explains it all and shows you what it takes to field a team.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Big Man in Town

Ryan Howard and the Phillies came to terms on a three year, $54 million contract today. The three years will cover Howard's arbitration eligible time in Philadelphia, and now he can focus on baseball and not worry about another arbitration hearing.

The $54 million averages $18 million each season, which is exactly what Howard was looking for in 2009. It is a solid deal for both sides, as Howard doesn't have to worry about how much money he will be making and has financial security, and the Phillies don't have to worry about his pay increasing over the next three years.

Enjoy these three years while you can, because this is likely the last contract Howard will ever sign with the Phillies. In 2011, he will receive some monster offers, and he will follow the money. Good to have him locked up for the next three years though, with his salary not being an issue.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Philly Daily News Paul Hagen breaks down the Phils: Catcher

Just read a great article by Paul Hagen of the Philly Daily News on the Phillies catchers.

Read the article here

Countdown to 2009 continues:

See this countdown all winter long at my Phillies only blog at the bottom of the site,

Time left...

61 days till opening day

Monday, February 02, 2009

The Phillies and the NL East position depth chart: Catcher

The Phillies season is quickly coming up upon us with just over 60 days to go and the other day, Jeff Wittwer, who writes here on and his own blog for the Phils called Voice of A Die-Hard Phillies Fan, suggested we have some fun by posting each position in a break down each position for each week left till the season starts.

Read Jeff’s post here for his breakdown on the catcher’s position and below is my breakdown.

The Phillies have had some problems in the past couple years in the catcher’s position with offense production. Carlos Ruiz has done the job for the past two seasons as he has displayed the best defensive skills of all the candidates for catcher the Phillies have had in the past two years. The battle between him and Chris Coste for the number one spot for catcher was quickly won by Ruiz early on into the 2007 season. Coste though has done a wonderful job for what the Phillies needed from him in ‘07 and again in 2008. He has come up very clutch at times and delivered when the Phillies most needed it. Coste’s story of just making it to the bigs is a great one, it’s a story that a lot of ballplayers never get to tell, that is getting to the big leagues.

Carlos and Chris have been almost identical in stats from last year. Ruiz has the most games started with 92 but Coste was right there at 69, sometimes Coste would be inserted into the lineup for a pinch hit or with a change of pitchers. The fun stops there, quite simply the offense put up by both of them has been very little. Last season combined they both had 13 total homeruns and only 66 rbi’s. Grumblings from fans and sportswriters pointed at Ruiz’s anemic offense last season prior to the Phillies making the playoffs. Ruiz started to become an ‘endangered species’ of a player, then came the playoffs and the World Series. For my money Carlos Ruiz was very close to being an MVP of the playoffs and World Series. He emerged as some sort of superman, who got the job done under enormous pressure. Ruiz even prompted me to call for him to be considered for “Mr October” for the Phillies playoff and World Series games here.

Ruiz will probably be the Phillies everyday catcher in 2009, top prospect Lou Marson will be getting more playing time only into the middle of the season when there may be a time to call him up. An injury to either Ruiz or Coste will dictate that, of course that is if Coste is going to get on the big club after Spring Training. If Marson can have a great Spring Training, Marson may compete for the top Phillies catching job himself. Only time and his play will tell that. Marson only played in one game last season and you can call that a cup of coffee for the moment. The trouble with Marson is really in the minors he hasn’t hit all that many homeruns or had many rbi’s so the Phillies could possibly opt to go for a free agent to fill the position should it become necessary.

Phillies depth chart: catcher

(My #2 of NL East Catchers) Carlos Ruiz -possibly ‘Mr October’ last year for the Phillies

Carlos has proved his worth in the playoffs and his steady defense.

Chris Coste – Aging catcher, a 33 year old ‘rookie’ read here

Lou Marson- young Phillies prospect, may get the call this year for the Phillies for more than just the 1 game he appeared last year

Here’s my preview and depth of the rest of the NL for catcher and my picks for top starting catchers in the NL East with the teams in alphabetical order:

Atlanta Braves

(My # 1 NL East Catcher) Brian McCann - .301 avg with 23 HR and 87 RBI in ‘08

McCann maybe the best catcher in the game today, he’s only 25 years old and anchors the Braves very well

David Ross – a steady backup was just given a 2 year extension by the Braves in Dec ‘08

Florida Marlins

(My #5 NL East Catchers) John Baker - .299 avg in 61 games last year for the Marlins – should be Marlins catcher after Spring Training but don’t count on it.

Mike Rabelo- last year’s backup in Marlinville, Rabelo is not expected to be the Marlins Opening Day catcher, he will be a backup if anything.

New York Mets

(My #3 NL East Catchers) Brian Schneider – Makes $5 mill a year for an average return. This is his 10th season in the bigs

Schneider came to the Mets from Washington in Nov. of 2007 with Ryan Church for Lastings Milledge. He gets the job done and is a good defensive catcher.

Ramon Castro – May be getting the call in 2009 as a starting catcher for the Mets if Schneider falters. His offense was better last year when needed. He may catch much more this year for the Mets.

Washington Nationals

(My #4 of NL East Catchers) Jesus Flores – Jesus is expected to be very good this season in 2009, he is near the bottom of my list preseason until he proves to be better, my #3 pick this year and Flores could be easily swapped but I give the edge to the veteran Schneider.

Will Nieves – a backup to Flores last year, he’ll remain in that roll and be called upon for some more of what he did last year very well.

Stay tuned to the blog here next week for the First Base depth chart of the National League here and on Jeff's own blog at Voice of a Die-Hard Phillies Fan

Rich Baxter - Fightin Phillies Blog

Sunday, February 01, 2009

On Super Bowl Sunday, remember the road through Tampa

The Super Bowl is being played in Tampa later today. The same city that the Phillies went through to earn their World Series victory only a couple months ago. I just happened to be on vacation in Tampa for the start of World Series in a trip that was planned months prior. It was really cool being down there hearing all of the hype down in Florida just prior to the series starting. The Rays had to go to a Game 7 against Boston who came back to life in the ALCS to force the young Rays team to have to win to advance into the World Series. The Phillies had to wait till the last minute to see who their opponent would be.

My wife and I made the short drive to St. Petersburg which is where the Rays play, just the day after the Rays made it into the World Series with this Game 7 victory. Here's a couple photos of what we saw:

Around the area, we are still celebrating the Phillies World Series win, the World Series trophy has traveled hundreds of miles to visit fans in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware along with the players that have traveled with it. I will always remember the road through Tampa that the Phillies have to go thorough to win it though.

Rich Baxter - Fightin Phillies blog