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Phillies are Champs! Baseball Enters New Era

The drought wasn’t long enough for curses or legends to emerge, but 25 years was enough for the Philadelphia Phillies to say, “Let’s get one already.” The city of Philadelphia was brought back to life as closer Brad Lidge rifled a swinging strike past Tampa Bay’s last hope in the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2008 World Series last night. Lidge earned World Series MVP honors, which were accompanied by a brand new 2010 Chevrolet Camaro. The last championship for Philadephia was in 1983 when the 76ers won the NBA Title. Since then it’s been an “are we there yet” journey that culminated in an improbable run into the postseason and a championship. The Phillies won the game 4-3.

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The continuation of Game 5 in the sixth inning featured the Phillies taking the lead 3-2 off of a shallow fly ball by Jayson Werth which was dropped by Rays second baseman Iwamura. Rocco Baldelli tied the game at 3 in the top of the 7 th with a solo shot into the right field seats. The Phillies took the lead for good when Pedro Feliz singled in Pat Burrell in the bottom of the seventh.

This year’s World Series match-up brought to light the reality that every team in the league has a chance. Last year’s Rockies proved that the improbable can happen, but were swept quickly in the Series by the Red Sox. This year was the over-under buster in Vegas, and perhaps Major League baseball has entered a new age—a better era. The Phillies and Rays brought back a sense of fan pride and loyalty. The city of Brotherly Love has suddenly become the party city of the league. New York and Boston shut down earlier than anticipated, and no more can anyone say that payroll wins championships. Truth is, ballplayers win championships. The pitching staff led by Cole Hamels cleared the trail for the offensive attack of Werth, Jimmy Rollins, and Ryan Howard. The best team won, and the series will be one that everyone remembers because of the suspended series-clinching Game 5. The game, in essence, took about 72 hours.




By Tim Gaffney
MLBcenter.com Staff Writer