The Phillies were not going to be denied tonight. Every time the Rays tied it, the Phils grabbed the lead right back, and fittingly, Lidge clinched the championship with a strikeout. Then the fireworks started, the champagne flowed, and the streets flooded with Philadelphians in a massive party that is probably still going strong as I write this. I’ve never seen anything like those crowds in the streets. It was like Times Square on New Year’s Eve.
What an incredible postseason the Phillies put together. The so-called experts picked them to lose every single series, and all they did in response was rack up an 11-3 record and go undefeated at home. Everybody on this team contributed at some point in the playoffs; there were no weak links. And Manuel, who I’ve never been the biggest fan of, deserves a lot of credit as well. He pushed all the right buttons and got this team to play like champions.
By the way, it turns out the Tampa fans were right after all when they sang “na na hey hey goodbye” . . . that was indeed the last time they were going to see the Phillies 🙂
I was 12 years old the last time a Philadelphia team won a championship (and 9 when the Phillies did it). Although I have memories of those moments, they are somewhat fleeting. This championship, after 25 years of close calls and heartbreaks, is the first one that really belongs to my generation. How sweet it is!
The parade to celebrate the Phillies’ heroic slaying of the city’s 25-year-old demons will appropriately take place on Halloween. I plan on attending . . . hope to see some of you there!