It's easy to root for a winning team, but what makes it even easier is when that winning team is made up of a bunch of likable guys.
The Phillies have a roster full of character players who truly enjoy the game. They play hard and they like each other. And as proven by their appearance in the previous two World Series, this team is good.
Here's a look at my 10 favorite Phillies on a squad with a lot of guys to like.
The best player on the team also happens to be the dreamiest...wait, did I say that out loud? Chase goes out and plays hard each and every game, each and every inning, each and every pitch.
The guy just doesn't take a play off. I'm not sure that I've ever seen him jog down the first-base line, even on the most routine of ground balls. A real joy to watch.
Ballyhooed beard aside, Jayson is quickly becoming (or has he already become?) one of the top outfielders (or top players?) in the game.
What I enjoy is the rawness I still see in his game along with the progression that he's shown each year as he's turned into quite a pickup for Pat Gillick and the Phils.
Not bad for a cheap right-handed bat off the bench.
CCCCCHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOCH. The silent assassin. Until he hits walkoff bombs--and then he talks.
Ruiz is solid behind the plate (that would be catching) and beside it (when he's attempting to bat the ball).
Honestly, I can't exactly put my finger on what makes Chooch so great, and that's OK. He just is (Or maybe it's his .472 OBP this year).
The good doctor has been as advertised, and perhaps even a bit better. He's not looking to waste time on the mound as Doc works fast and throws strikes, which makes him a pleasure to watch.
Though the guy is a machine, I'm hoping Charlie eases up a bit on his pitch count. The Phils need him firing on all cylinders come playoff time.
I predict Halladay will be the first pitcher ever to win 11 games in a single postseason (that's 3 in the NLDS + 4 in the NLCS + 4 in the World Series for those counting at home).
You're grown on me, J-Roll. I've known you the longest and we've definitely gone through some highs and some lows. I used to moan and complain that you were the anti-prototypical leadoff hitter.
Hit the ball on the ground! Ever hear of a bunt? Try one! Use your speed!
But you remained true to yourself. And when Charlie stubbornly stuck with you at the top of the lineup last year, it paid off. Can't wait to see you back, old buddy!
Ours is a hot and cold relationship. At times, I'm his biggest fan...at others I'm his loudest detractor. The contract extension he just received only knocks him further down in my eyes as I see rocky times ahead in our future.
I'm hoping to be proven wrong, and when the big guy is locked in there is no better power hitter in the game.
Ryan, if you pick up your batting average against LHP's to a meager .250 (which would be quite a jump from his current clip of .196) I'll buy you a $5 foot long AND give you a hug.
Earlier in the year, I was terrified that Raul was done. He looked horrible in spring training and just as bad once the real games started. His bat was slow, he was chasing balls and taking strikes.
It appeared as though Father Time had caught up with Ibanez quickly, and to be fair the guy is 37.
Of course, he's snapped out of his early season funk, and if he keeps it up, the $11.5 million the Phils are on the hook for next season won't look so bad.
Raul is a pro and he's earned the right to play his way out of a slump.
Unheralded and unspectacular, C-Durbz just gets the job done. This guy goes about his business quietly, takes the ball whenever it's given to him (which is often), and produces.
I don't know much about him, but I like his goatee and his 2.16 ERA so far this year.
Because the Phils appear to have some more depth in the bullpen this year (seems a bit more of a quantity over quality 'pen), I'm hoping they don't wear out Durbin for the playoffs like they may have done in years past.
Like Howard, I'm hot and cold with Sugar Shane. The guy can be maddening at times with his long looping swing. He'll pop out 14 straight at-bats and then get on a roll where all he does is smash the ball.
And when Shane gets on base, good things happen. One of my favorite Phillies memories will forever be Victorino's grand slam off of Sabathia in the CEEEEEEE CEEEEEEEEEEEEE Game.
As a bonus note, my mom once thought his name was either Vic Torino or Victor Ino.
Like Doc, he'd probably be higher on my list if I weren't still getting a feel for him in his second time around with the Phils. As Larry Brown would say, this guy "plays the right way" and that's fun to watch.
Doesn't have all the talent in the world but maximizes the skills he does possess. He's adjusted nicely to third base after a rocky start, and if you need contact, Polly is your man.
Now If only he'd take a few walks!