Phillies Alumni: Five Phillies Who Could Have Shared the World Series Experience
It's been one week since the Philadelphia Phillies played the final three innings of Game Five against the Tampa Bay Rays to clinch their first World Series in 28 years.
Game Five will always be one for the memory books as a long time fan of the Phillies. As happy as I am as a fan, I can't even imagine how great the players must be feeling.
The Phillies' World Series victory brought an interesting thought to mind that I'm sure many fans and teams have pondered at some point. Whenever a major sports team wins a championship, you always wonder about the players who used to be on the team. If they hadn't left the team because of a trade or free agency, they too could have been celebrating a championship.
As much as I have enjoyed the Phillies winning the World Series over the last week, I started to wonder which players who used to be Phillies could have shared this glorious occasion. For the record Phillies fans, J.D. Drew would have been at the top of the list if he hadn't won with the Red Sox.
5. Kyle Lohse
It seems crazy to have Kyle Lohse on this list considering he barely even played half a season with the Phillies, right?
Lohse was traded to the Phillies in the middle of the 2007 season after struggling as a pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds.
Since I attend school at the University of Dayton, I'm friends with a lot of people from the Cincinnati area. Most of them were giving me a hard time when Lohse was traded to the Phillies.
Looks like I got the last laugh since he pitched well with the Phillies for those last two months of the 2007 season.
I'll be the first to admit, Lohse signing with the St. Louis Cardinals after the 2007 season was the best thing he could have done. He was demanding a bigger contract that the Phillies weren't willing to pay him. The Cardinals signed him to a one-year deal last season to see if he would be worth the investment.
After recording a 15-6 record in the 2008 season with the Cardinals, Lohse was rewarded with a four-year $41 million contract extension. Looks like he is a pretty good pitcher after all.
Still, one can't wonder if he had played one full season in Philadelphia. I may be going out on a limb here, but he could have been celebrating a World Series victory with the rest of the Phillies right now.
4. Randy Wolf
Randy Wolf may have not been the Cole Hamels of the Phillies rotation when he was on the team. However, he was a fan favorite for quite some time.
Wolf made his debut with the Phillies in 1999 and lasted with them for eight seasons. He even made the National League All-Star team in 2003, while going on to record 16 wins for the Phillies.
Wolf will always be remembered in the city of Philadelphia for his famous "Wolf Pack." A group of Phillies' fans would wear wolf masks in the upper level each game he pitched.
After the 2006 season, Wolf signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers as a free-agent. Over the last two seasons, he has played for the Dodgers, Padres, and Astros.
3. Billy Wagner
Oh Billy Wagner. Where to begin with Billy Wagner?
Billy Wagner became a favorite in the city of brotherly love in 2005 after he continued to criticize the Phillies by saying they had no chance at making the playoffs. Even a few members of the Phillies approached Wagner about his comments. So, it's no surprise Wagner left the Phillies, right?
It's a shame things never worked out with Wagner and the Phillies. Even though he only lasted two seasons in Philadelphia, Wagner can be an excellent closer that most clubs would love to have on their team. In 2005, he recorded 38 saves and had a 1.51 ERA with the Phillies.
At the end of the 2005 season, Wagner signed a four-year deal worth $43 million with the New York Mets (you can imagine how much that made the city of Philadelphia love him even more).
2. Aaron Rowand
Aaron Rowand is different than the rest of the guys on this list. Unlike everybody else that departed from Philadelphia, Rowand had a previous World Series experience with the Chicago White Sox in 2005 before he was traded to the Phillies.
However, I felt it was necessary to give Aaron Rowand the respect and love he deserves.
Out of all of the players to leave Philadelphia in free agency for more money, there will be no player I love more than Aaron Rowand.
He was a fan favorite in Philadelphia, just like he was in Chicago when he played for the White Sox. No fan will ever forget his catch against the Mets when he ran into the center-field wall and broke his nose.
Throughout the 2007 season, Rowand was playing in the last year of his contract. He knew that if he wanted to sign a big deal in the offseason, he would have to perform well in all categories.
He did just that.
Rowand finished the 2007 season with a .309 batting average, 27 home runs, and 89 RBI. He even helped the Phillies record their first National League East title in 14 seasons.
The Phillies knew they wouldn't be able to pay Rowand the type of money he wanted after the 2007 season. After the 2007 season, Rowand ended up signing a five-year deal worth $60 million with the San Francisco Giants.
It's a shame Rowand wasn't able to share the experience of winning the World Series with the Phillies last week.
On the bright side, the Aaron Rowand situation worked out for the best.
If Rowand never signed with San Francisco, Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino would never of had the amazing season he had this year.
1. Bobby Abreu
If any former Philadelphia Phillie deserved to celebrate a World Series with the team last week, Bobby Abreu would be at the top of the list.
Abreu was another fan favorite that the city of Philadelphia hated to say their good byes to. At the time, it seemed like it was for the best.
Abreu spent a little over eight seasons with the Phillies. In those eight seasons, the Phillies never made the playoffs once.
When he was traded to the Yankees in July of 2006 with pitcher Cory Lidle, players and fans saw it as the perfect situation for Abreu.
The Yankees have 26 World Championships and 39 American League Pennants. Before this past season, they played in the postseason every season since 1993.
He had played so many seasons in Philadelphia without a playoff experience and now he would be playing for a team that was well known for making the playoffs each season (before this season of course).
With all of the high-talent players on the Yankees roster, such as Rodriguez, Jeter, and Damon, one would think that the Yankees would have won the World Series at least once over the last couple of seasons.
Unfortunately, the Phillies can call themselves World Series Champions and Abreu cannot. Just think if he had stayed on just a few more years in Philadelphia. He is one former Phillie who deserves a World Series Championship more than any body else.
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