These Are the Days, Philadelphia
OK, Charlotte, tonight’s the night, 7 p.m., Park Road Books, Tommy Tomlinson and I are going to talk about baseball and stuff. Get there early if you can, especially if you want a place to sit. I’ll try to get there early, too. On to the baseball!
Phillies 439, Diamondbacks 0 (Philadelphia leads NLCS 2-0)
I’m just assuming this is the actual final score … I turned it off at 10-0. That Phillies lineup is melting-polar-ice-caps hot, and the hyped-up energy of the Philadelphia crowd is infectious and fun. But I can only see so many of those Liberty Mutual commercials before my brain begins to fry.
I did notice in the boxscore that the blowout allowed the Diamondbacks to use a pitcher named Slade Cecconi and allowed the Phillies to use one named Orion Kerkering; the former finished third on the Pro Bowler’s Tour money list in 1978, the latter was the third-most-popular member of Britain’s third-biggest boy’s band of the 2010s. So there’s that, at least.
This seems like a good time, rather than talking more about these odd playoffs, to give you an all-time Phillies team. So I’ll do that — these are, to me, the BEST players at each position for the Phillies, not necessarily the players who put up the most WAR over the length of their career. In other words, one GREAT season at the position might trump five good years.
Here we go:
Catcher: J.T. Realmuto
He has played only five seasons for the Phillies — and one of those was the COVID year — but I think already Realmuto has a pretty strong argument as the greatest Phillies catcher ever, ahead of Darren Daulton and Carlos Ruiz. Realmuto is, I think, a slightly better hitter than Daulton (though Daulton did lead the league in RBIs one season), and he hits with more power than Ruiz. And defensively, I think he has a marked edge over both (and has won two Gold Gloves). Bob Boone would be another candidate for his great defense, but he wasn’t in Realmuto’s league as a hitter.
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