Friday, October 31, 2008

Give My Regards to Broad Street

Random Thoughts on a Championship Season

1. I am a member of the small subset of Beatles fans who preferred Paul to John. Hence the title of this post is both an homage to the Phillies famous street address and a rather awful Paul McCartney movie from 1984. Anyone remember "No More Lonely Nights?" No? It did feature a soulful Dave Gilmour lick.

2. In 1980, the Phillies' World Series victory was cathartic but not necessarily something I remember sitting back and appreciating. This is different. Clearly, baseball has a different priority in the life of a 42-year-old father of 4 than it does in the life of a 14 year old high school freshman. I didn't want this one as badly as I did way back then but the flip side is I won't be disappointed next year when some other team hoists that garish World Series trophy. I was a wreck in 1981. I stil hate that year!

3. Congratulations to the Phillies' young stars who each contributed - Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Cole Hamels. You each have earned the right to be considered true stars of the game.

4. Congratulations to the guys for whom this world title is redemption. May no one ever link Brad Lidge to Albert Puljols again. May everyone appreciate that while he never became a beastly hitting machine that earned him the nickname Pat the Bat, Pat Burrell was a justified #1 draft pick in 1998.

5. Congratulations old man Jamie Moyer. Your story would be a wonderful tale of hard work, grit and determination if you simply hailed from Minot, North Dakota. The fact that you went home to the city in which you grew up to win a championship in the twilight of your career - and you did it by leading your rotation in victories while mentoring your young mates - well my friend, that is the stuff of legend.

6. Congratulations to the the little man, the Flyin' Hawaiian - Shane Victorino! Make no mistake, this is your team Shane.

7. Congratulations to Carlos Ruiz and Pedro Feliz - your unexpected contributions with your bats were a pleasant surprise and a much needed shot in the arm to the offense when the experts kept pounding on the team's poor situational hitting.

8. Congratulations to the bullpen and the bench and the steady hand of Jason Werth. All great teams have professionals that do their jobs well.

9. Congratulations to Uncle Charlie and Stand Pat Gillick. No one is second guessing you now.

10. Congratulations to all those Phillies fans that don't swear in front of children, who do not pelt Santa with snowballs. To those who don't wear T-shirts featuring messages ryming Tony Romo's surname with a slur. Those who don't cheer E-A-G-L-E-S at Phillies games. Those who remember 1980. Those who went to the Vet time and again even when the team was going nowhere as it usually was.

11. This World Championship is for all those who fell by the wayside but certainly tried to make it happen years and years earlier. John Kruk, Mitch Williams, Jim Fregosi, Johnny Podres, Dutch and the Dude, Mike Lieberthal, Doug Glanville, Terry Mulholland, Mickey Morandini, Bobby Abreu, Larry Bowa, Von Hayes, Juan Samuel, Rico Brogna and Jim Thome. This is also for Tito. I know you ended up in a better place but what you went through here makes you worthy. You will always be a Phillie in some small way. There are others I am sure. Time takes its toll fellas.

12. This World Championship is most certainly not for a number of fellas who were too damn impatient or self absorbed to make it happen here. You know who you are. Unfortunately, you were rewarded for your petulance. No matter, you're not one of us. You're dead to me.

13. This World Championship is also for my father. Tata - I am sorry this has happened to me twice while you have watched 71 Octobers fade away empty handed. I know you are happy for me and that inside, you, like all Cubs fans, are our baseball kin. Believe me, I'd trade this one in a heartbeat just to get you one. Just one.

14. To Whitney, TJ and Rob - thanks for inviting me to this forum. Rob, I don't see what is so tough about those Rays! TJ - The Philies have more championships in this century than the Yanks! Remember the year 2000 belongs to the last century. Whitney, we caught you - 2 for the Mets, 2 for the Phils! I like carving up reality to enhance my self esteem. Seriously, I apologize for making a mockery of misery this year. I will try to do better next year.

15. No hot stove talk until after Thanksgiving, OK? I just want to do a little sun soaking.


rob said...


now i have 'no more lonely nights' in my head.

Whitney said...

Well put, Nick. Again. This is part of what makes an otherwise very bitter pill to swallow a bit more palatable.

And I was always more of a Paul guy. Reading that Sgt. Pepper's was basically all his (drug-induced) work made me appreciate him that much more. Plus, his post-Beatles work is by far the finest, "Imagine" and Caveman aside. "Maybe I'm Amazed," "Jet," "Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five," "Hope of Deliverance," and the list goes on. "No More Lonely Nights" was kind of lousy, but that's just my opinion. Long live Paul.