ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – This time, the Texas Rangers’ celebration started with Josh Hamilton(notes).
Left out of the party when the club clinched the American League West title in late September, Hamilton on Tuesday night dashed into the visitors’ clubhouse and into a torrent of ginger ale after the Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL division series.
“The guys really doused me good,” he said later, having slipped out of the clubhouse when the ginger ale ran dry. “They gave me a lot of hugs and congratulations.”
He smiled and raised a green plastic bottle of soda. He’d pushed a pair of ski goggles to the top of his forehead.
“You know,” he said, “this stuff burns your eyes just like that other stuff does.”
Hamilton’s life and baseball career were nearly ruined by years of drug and alcohol abuse. Still fighting that fight, Hamilton led the Rangers to their first AL West title in 11 years, won the AL batting title and is a leading MVP candidate.
Yet when they laughed and sprayed each other with champagne after clinching the division in Oakland, Hamilton stayed dry and sober in the trainer’s room. His teammates brought him along this time, laying in wait, armed with Canada Dry bottles, and together they carried on for 10 minutes after their 5-1 victory at Tropicana Field.
Surprised at all the worry warts around here! Cmon people, we are the Philadelphia Phillies, the dynasty in the making Phillies!! MLB is scared OF US!!!!
We got to the World Series last year with Cliff Lee and a prayer. This is the best pitching staff ever assembled by this organization, and probably in baseball right now. We're built For the postseason with more recent playoff experience than anyone not named Jeter or Pettite. Clutch hitters up and down the lineup who know what it takes to get it done.
Will it be a tough series? Yes, it will not be a sweep. But with this team, experience and talent, and of course home field advantage, Phils win their third straight pennant in 6!!!!
I dunno... a little piece of me misses the days when there were no divisions and the League pennant winners met for seven intense games with only off days for travel... All day games that sent the adults and kids scrambling for ways to get off work/school to catch the games... or finding ways to sneak a transistor radio in and hide it in their clothes, running a 'earphone' wire up their sleeves and leaning on their arms to slip in the earphone to sneak the game in without the teacher/boss catching them.
... And once in a while you get the cool teacher/boss who'd play the game for you.
And of course there was the quick run home after class to catch the end of a game... hoping that it goes into extra innings to see more.
There were less teams in the running,with less teas in existence, and no playoffs... BUT to me it was even a higher high to capture the World Series -- and depriving the Yankees of winning made it even greater... One of the greatest memories was Bill Mazeroski winning it for the Pirates in the Seventh Game against the Yankees in a series were the Yanks killed the Bucs in every game they won... If the Phillies could be in it, it was great that the NL rep won as an underdog against the Bronx Bombers.
Yea, it is better that most everyone can now see the games after work... but the young kids still have to sneak around on a school night to hear or see the ends to the games... It is all Network and Sponsors money nowadays, but when the Phillies are in it it is still one of the greatest feelings possible when not laying down.
“I always wanted to know what it was like to play meaningful baseball in New York and I’m going to have the opportunity.” – Former New York Met and current Texas Rangers outfielder Jeff Francoeur will play against the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series.
I'll be there tomorrow. I sold my tickets for Sunday on stubhub for a nice little profit since I'm going to the Birds game. I've been sick as hell all week, otherwise I would have pulled the trifecta and went to all 3.