So as 2009 winds down, so does the rest of this past decade. So how about we look at the best Phillies of the last 10 years. And this won’t be just your regular team, it will be a full 25 man roster with a starting line up, batting order, and starting pitcher. I will then fill out the roster with four more starting pitchers and 13 bench players and bull pen arms.
Here is your 2000-2009 All Decade Team:
Manager – Charlie Manuel (2005-present): This was obvious. He became the second manager in Phillies history to win three straight divisions and is the only manager to lead his team to back to back World Series appearances. Oh and he also earned a ring in 2008. He’s a players coach but knows how to keep the team disciplined and together.
SS – Jimmy Rollins (2000-2009): He is the only player to play the whole decade with the Phillies. He is the team’s captain and is a sports figure in this city as a player and as a role model. He won the NL MVP in 2007 and was a key contributor to their World Series win in 2008. He was also the player who wanted Harry Kalas’ jacket and shoes to be brought with the team for every game this past season, a classy tribute. He averaged about 15 homers a year, which is a lot for a lead off hitter, and has a career average of .273.
CF – Shane Victorino (2005-2009): The Flyin’ Hawaiian has given the Phillies a lot of character. After earning himself a starting spot in 2006, playing right field, he switched to center when Aaron Rowand left for San Francisco and was one of the key parts of all three division winning seasons. He was picked up by the Phillies in the Rule 5 draft in 2005, practically a steal. As a Phillie, he’s batted .289 and has led the league in triples in 2009 with 13. He has won a couple gold gloves in center and made his first all star appearance in 2009 as a starter.
2B – Chase Utley (2003-2009): Harry Kalas couldn’t have said it any better: Utley certainly is the man. His career .295 is due to his injury plagued last two seasons but he has still been the best second baseman of the past decade. If he continues to be the player he is, he could potentially be a hall of famer and the greatest second baseman of all time.
1B – Ryan Howard (2004-2009): He’s been another incredible player and is possibly on his path to Phillies greatness and a hall of fame career as well. Howard has led the league in home runs twice and RBI’s three times. He also shattered Mike Schmidt’s home run record in 2006 with 58, his NL MVP year. Rollins dubbed him the “Big Piece” and he has shown it, especially when he had his power outage in the World Series versus New York. He batted .278 and averaged almost 50 homers and 143 RBI’s a year the last four years.
LF – Pat Burrell (2000-2008): Pat the Bat had an up and down career in Philly. After exploding with his monster year in 2002 with a .282 with 37 homers and 116 RBI’s, he fell off, dropping his career average with the Phillies to .257 but still averaged 28 homers and 92 RBI’s a year. In fitting fashion, he led the parade down Broad St. in 2008 on top the Budweiser Clydesdale carriage. He will truly be remembered as one of the best Phillies ever.
RF – Bobby Abreu (2000-2006): Abreu was with the Phillies since 1998 and has been their most consistent player of the decade. Though he was never known for his glove in the outfield, he made that up with his bat. Heading into the decade, he had seven straight years of at least 20 homers and led the league in doubles with 50 in 2002. He batted .298 in his tenure during the decade. He was traded to the Yankees in 2006 for a bunch of players that never amounted to anything.
3B - Scott Rolen (2000-2002): Though Rolen’s run in Philly ended with an ugly divorce, he was still their best third baseman this past decade. He started his career here in 1996 and won the NL ROY in 1997. He won three Gold Gloves and made an All Star appearence and won the Silver Slugger in 2002. He batted .284 and hit 68 homers during his 2 1/2 years in the decade. He was ranked 11 in ESPN’s Top 100 players of the decade seeing as most of his success came with St. Louis where he won his only World Series.
C – Mike Lieberthal (2000-2006): He started his career here in 1994 and played all but one season in Philly. Definately a Philly favorite and captain of the team until his departure, Lieby posted some good years as a catcher like his All Star year in 2000 and career best .313 average year in 2003.
P – Cole Hamels (2006-2009): Though he’s only played four years so far, he’s turned into one of their best pitchers. He had a rocky 2009 but his 2008 season and post season earned him World Series MVP and a ring. He’s 48-34 with a 3.67 ERA. He’s young and with a veteran pitcher like Roy Halladay to assume the ace role, he can focus more on being a dominant pitcher than having the stress of being an ace.
Rest of the rotation:
SP – Brett Myers (2002-2009)
SP – Randy Wolf (2000-2006)
SP – Vicente Padilla (2000-2005)
SP – Jamie Moyer (2006-2009)
C – Carlos Ruiz (2006-2009)
1B - Jim Thome (2003-2005)
2B - Placido Polanco (2002-2005)
CF – Aaron Rowand (2006-2007)
RF – Jayson Werth (2007-2009)
RP – Ryan Madson (2003-2009)
RP – Rheal Cormier (2001-2006)
RP – J.C. Romero (2007-2009)
RP – Aaron Fultz (2005-2006)
RP – Clay Condrey (2006-2009)
RP – Billy Wagner (2004-2005)
RP – Jose Mesa (2001-2003, 2007)
CL – Brad Lidge (2008-2009)