Well, I can’t leave the press box before giving you a little color and some information on a bog night for the Phillies, though I won’t be long. The 24-ounce beer shower I just endured courtesy of a Mr. Jayson Werth has my teeth chattering; after spending 10 soaked, frigid minutes on the field, I’ll likely be dead by the playoffs. Thanks, Jayson.
Anyways, first the scenic stuff. It was a lot of spraying and jumping and whooping, but the emotions were real—men enjoying a true accomplishment. More in tomorrow’s game story, but here’s a sample of what they said:
Brad Lidge, while friend Chad Durbin snuck up behind to pour a cold bottle of champagne on the closer’s head: “It’s really weird right now. For some reason, it feels like the whole year has been going well, even though it hasn’t.”
Jimmy Rollins: “It has been rougher this year. Just the fact that everyone was gunning for us. We stood up to the test in the regular season, and we’ll stand up to the test in the postseason.”
The aforementioned Jayson “Thanks for smudging my entire notebook” Werth, cigar hanging from his mouth and goggles covering his eyes, walked toward the home dugout. Fans responded with a roar, and one tossed Werth an oversized boxing glove with a Phillies insignia on it; Werth slipped his hand in the glove and raised it in the air.
“I want to say you get used to this, but every one is different and special,” when I told him he owed me a damn good quote after giving me pneumonia. “We are going to enjoy this moment, but know where we still have to go.”
Lidge, for one, believes that he will yet experience success this season. “We’re about to get on a roll,” he said. “I’m about to do what I do best.”
His fellow relievers, who form a close and supportive group, gathered in the bullpen for a toast.
Charlie Manuel, the man who sent Lidge to the mound for his reassuring moment, was absent during the celebration. Standing in front of the desk in his office while younger men jumped and yelled and hugged in the other room, Manuel said quietly:
“This celebration is for them. They are the ones who got it done….I’ll celebrate when we win the big one.”
Many Phillies poured champagne on the sign in left field honored Harry Kalas, the broadcaster who died of a heart attack in the broadcast booth at Washington, DC’s Nationals Park on April 15.
And some information related to the playoffs came out amid the bubbly. Ruben Amaro Jr. was impressed by Kyle Kendrick tonight and did not rule him out as a member of the postseason roster. The GM also said for the first time that Pedro Martinez-obviously less impressive this week than J.A. Happ, might not start in the playoffs---though nothing had been decided.
And that’s it for now.