Phillies Are World Champs At Last!

Aaron StraussContributor IOctober 29, 2008

Philadelphia's wait is finally over. The Phillies have won the World Series, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays in game 5 by a score of 4-3. One could say that the title was literally passed along when Brad Lidge struck out Eric Hinske, who was a member of the 2007 World Champion Boston Red Sox.

The Phils were a team that many never thought of as a possible champion this year with all the talk about the Red Sox repeating, the Cubs possibly breaking their curse, the Angels impressive regular season record, and the Dodgers success after trading for Manny Ramirez. The Phils fought all season long and kept it up in the postseason. They could care less who was the favorite.

The Fightin Phils were able to do a lot of things as a team that allowed them to succeed. They had a solid pitching rotation, with Cole Hamels at the top. Hamels may be the next Josh Beckett. Beckett was a hero in the 2003 World Series and then again in 2007. Hamels won the Most Valuable Player award for both the National League Championship Series, winning 2 games, and then the World Series, winning game 1 and pitching well in game 5. He has truly shown the baseball world how good he is.

As for the lineup, everyone in the field was good with the leather. Also, their hitters were able to hit for power and they all have good speed, so they were all stolen base threats. It was a truly dangerous combination that took them far. They were especially dangerous in the second half of game 5, which had been suspended for two days due to rain.

The most impressive part of the team may have been the dominant bullpen, anchored by closer Brad Lidge. Lidge was perfect in save chances this year and topped it off by winning the DHL Delivery Man of the Year Award. Lidge is known for giving up a monster home run to Albert Pujols in 2005 when he was with the Houston Astros. The Phils traded for him in the off-season and he was an instant success. Now he is a World Champion Phillie and he can celebrate at last.

Philadelphia has been without a championship of any sort for several years now. They have had to sit back and watch their teams fall in the playoffs every year. Some teams have won multiple titles since there has been a champ in Philadelphia. Now the forgotten sports city can celebrate all winter long. Enjoy it Philadelphia, the Phillies are Champions of baseball!