The Fightins'
beelove’s 2009 Year In Review
Posted by beelove at 1:47 pm ET 47 Comments

With a week to let the sting of the World Series wear off — I still have a hard time accepting the World Series MVP being a goddamn designated hitter, even if that Shemp-looking dude killed us — I’d like to present to ye Fightins fans my third annual Phillies Year In Photos. If you’re into such a thing, the 2007 NL East Team To Beat is HERE, and the 2008 WFCs are HERE. This year, the 2009 National League Champs are a The Fightins Dot Com exclusive.

The reason for this is . . . well, my site, Philly Skyline Dot Com (no relation), has been put on the shelf; in less than a month, I’m trading in my Phillies season tickets for the green hills of Portland, Oregon. (Don’t worry, I’m not going to start rooting for the Padres’ AAA Beavers.) I’ll still tune into Franzke and LA on the MLB At Bat phone app and religiously read The Fightins and Beerleaguer and The 700 Level, but I’m going to really miss going to games and getting annoyed with Tom McCarthy’s nonstop chatter on TV and just generally getting wrapped up in Phillies baseball.

The 2009 season was almost the magical ending to my nine-year run of riding the Broad Street Subway to the last stop, from the early days of dollar dogs with the Wolf Pack and Padilla’s Flotilla, to the dominance of Cliff Lee that wasn’t quite enough. Que sera sera. The 2008 season and parade are one of my life’s all time great memories — we’ll always have that — and this year was pretty great too, even if it ended two games too soon, and with A-Rod getting a ring.

Coming off the city’s first sports championship in 25 years, Phillies fans were mad hyped for the season to start, straight out of the gate in spring training. Chan Ho Park and JA Happ battled for the fifth spot before they both settled in comfortably; John Mayberry Jr made a name for himself before ultimately fizzling out. The On-Deck Series featured a rematch with the Rays and Pat Burrell Recognition Night — we recognize you, Pat! — where he stole a freaking base off of Chad Durbin and took Cole Hamels yard the next night.

The regular season started on ESPN’s Sunday Night primetime game, with ridiculous hoopla and player introductions and gold trimmed unis. It could have been an omen if the Phillies weren’t so resilient and their new guy Raul Ibañez didn’t carry them on his back for the early part of the season.

Matt Stairs crushed another late-inning moon shot in Denver, providing Harry the K’s last homerun call. Harry’s death the next day in Washington shocked and saddened us all, and the Phils were quick to wear his memory on their heart for the rest of the season. We all wondered the following weekend how he would have called Raul’s walk-off homerun against the Padres (where McCarthy bumbled through it).

Yet another interleague interlude rolled around, and yet again the Phillies shit the bed. Remember that 13 inning travesty against the Red Sox? Greg Dobbs’ shot clearly went over the foul pole, which should have ended that game right then and there in the 9th with a W. Swept at home by the Blue Jays (without even facing Halladay). Swept at home by the Orioles (without even facing Eaton). At least the series in The Bronx was a success; had it not been for Brad Lidge’s 9th inning homerun offering in the second game to A-Rod, the Phils would have swept. Although I’m somewhat grateful he did; if the third game of that series had not been the rubber match — the Sunday marquee matinee, Hamels vs Sabathia — I might not have bitten the StubHub bullet and gone up there to enjoy the padded leather seats of the $1.5B Steinbrennerian Monument.

Jimmy Rollins’ June swoon was so awful, he earned himself a spot on the bench for four straight games. But he heated up in July with a slump-bustin’ 3-for-4 in the franchise record (for margin of victory) 22-1 trouncing of the Reds. Jayson Werth wrapped that game up with a grand slam, one of 36 dingers in the dude’s breakout season. The following series brought the pitiful Pirates to town, who hammered Hamels early, only to give the game back with 5 runs off of Matt Capps, including Stairs’ rally starter, a three run bomb by Ryan Howard, and Paul Bako’s walk-off single. (This game was also the only known instance of The Fightins, The 700 Level, Walkoff Walk, Philadelphia Will Do and Philly Skyline all in the same place at the same time.) That was right around the time the Phils said goodbye to the previous Bako, Chris Coste. Vaya con Dios, Costie.

After the Phils-heavy All Star Game, the team settled in and readied itself for the postseason by adding Pedro Martinez and Cliff Lee, with Ruben Amaro calling the shots and holding onto Michael Taylor, Kyle Drabek and Domonic Brown. Those three prospects each had killer seasons, solidifying their Major League futures, be it with the Phillies or as a prized bargaining chip.

While there was plenty to make us cringe — JC Romero’s eyebrows bullshit suspension, Brad Lidge’s post-perfection meltdown, Cole Hamels’ endless, emasculating ads (Comcast, ESPN The Magazine, MLB Merchandise — “who are you?” — D’Ambrosio Chevrolet, Peanut Chews, Two Liberty Place), there were far more moments that will find themselves on the ’09 highlight reel. Werth’s steal of home against the Dodgers . . . Eric Bruntlett’s game-ending unassisted triple play against the Mets . . . Pedro’s outdueling of Tim Lincecum . . . Happ’s complete game shutouts of the Blue Jays and Rockies . . . Jamie Moyer’s 250th win and his bullpen demotion . . . Werth’s 13th inning walk-off HR against the Cubs after Chan Ho’s bullpen mastery . . . Tyler Walker’s sweatiness . . . Sergio Escalona’s and Antonio Bastardo’s ups and downs between South Philly and Allentown/Reading . . . Utley’s Corner at CitiField . . . the little girl who threw her daddy’s foul ball over the railing . . . RyHo’s continued Ruth-like power numbers . . . the best fans in baseball.

The postseason highlight reel was no slouch, either. “Fuck yeah, Jimmy.” Cliff Lee. “Get me to the plate, boys.” Lidge 2, Tulowitzki 0. Later, Rockies.

Pedro-Padilla. 11-0, game 3. Cliff Lee. Stairs-Broxton, the rematch. Jimmy’s unbelievable walk-off double and Franzke’s inspired radio call of it. Ryan Howard, meet Lou Gehrig. Werth and Feliz, yard. Later, Dodgers.

And though the World Series ended better for the other pinstripes, it was still a good one for baseball, clearly the two best teams in the game, the first to go 6 games in six years. Cliff Lee’s hohum catch and behind the back play, Chase Utley’s Reggie-matching homeruns, Chooch’s Señor Octubre performance . . . but also A-Rod’s camera-homerun, Johnny Damon’s double-steal, Matsui’s 6 RBIs . . . can’t win em all, I suppose.

All told, though, 2009 was a fantastic season for the Phillies, one that will without question whet the appetites for a 2010 run. Who will play third — Figgins? Feliz? Who will boost Lee in the rotation — Halladay? Lackey? Who will come off the bench — DeRosa? Stairs? Taylor? We shall see.

That’s all what’s next. Once more for 2009, though, here are exactly 100 photos for you. They’re all saved at 300 dpi for 4×6 printing, so if that’s something you’re interested in, just click on the photo in question to open the Flickr page and help yourself.

Thanks for the memories Phillies, and you too Fightins. I’ll see you next year from the west coast.

For B Love’s previous Phillies Year in Photos, see the 2007 NL East champs HERE and the 2008 WFCs HERE.


47 Responses to “beelove’s 2009 Year In Review”

  1. Jon in SoCal says:

    Booyah! Let me know when your down in SoCal!

  2. mrs. dobbs says:

    If anyone wants to meet the man behind the microphone, Chris Wheeler is going to be in my bookstore, the Barnes and Noble in Plymouth Meeting, this Friday @ 7pm. He’ll be signing his book, etc.

  3. stinkbug says:

    everybody had such short hair in the spring!
    awesome photos, thanks.

  4. Jon says:

    Enjoy stump town! I got back into the Phils in 07 using gameday audio when I was living in the SW hills of Portland, up Tillwilliger Dr.

    Scott and LA are the best way to enjoy the Phils!

  5. Matt p says:

    Whoa whoa… Who is Portland sending over to Philly? We’re getting hosed!

    Good luck, B. Can’t wait to see your pics from Portland.

  6. Tim says:

    Go ahead and root for the Beavers while you’re over there. They were our affiliate for a few years.

  7. Tap the Tab says:

    That shot of Howard smiling as he hits the bomb, and Victorino watching it go from third is classic.

  8. Gonzo says:

    Didn’t Schmidt, Bowa, Moreland, Luzinski, Et al, play for Portland back in the 70s?

  9. Luis A. says:

    CBP looks breathtaking in that photo

  10. Nick says:

    Wow this made me already miss the summer and the Phillies. Bring on 2010 already!

  11. Luis A. says:

    MLB Network needs to stop playing the Cole Hamels “who are you?” New Era commercials

  12. Luis A. says:

    Pedro outdueling Lincecum in early September surprised me

  13. Minty Fresh says:

    Victorino/Rollins gold gloves. Sweet.

  14. Jdashdog says:

    2009 was a great year. Thanks for the mammaries…

    Maybe NSFW

  15. BD Phils says:

    Great photos, thanks for posting.

  16. Saint says:

    I’m pretty sure Beelove is related to Jesus

  17. Luis A. says:

    big ups to mr. no questions asked on another gold glove

  18. Phylan says:

    Utley got robbed by Orlando Hudson on the gold glove front.

  19. Luis A. says:

    Utley’s ten times better than O-Dog

  20. Jdashdog says:

    Rollins 3 straight GGs. I think Chooch might be good for one one of these days.

  21. Luis A. says:

    Chooch is getting one for sure. No questions asked.

  22. Tommy says:

    I always knew Beelove was a Phraud! Get out of town loser!

  23. Wrecked Em says:

    I PHUCKING love the PHILLES, jus say’n.

  24. Evan says:

    in the words of bill walton, LUSCIOUS

  25. beelove says:

    thanks everyone (even you, tommy!).

    i had forgotten that the beavers were the phillies’ AAA team from 1983-86. how could i forget when such phillies legends as juan samuel, steve jeltz, rick schu, charles hudson, marty bystrom, mike maddux, jeff stone, don carman, greg legg, darren daulton and milt thompson passed through the doors of pge park? i think the greatest beaver of them all, though, has to be the pacific northwest’s native son, larry andersen. dude played three stints with portland – one each for the indians, pirates and phillies’ affiliates.

    gonzo, i believe those phillies you mentioned played for oklahoma city.

    how the hell did orlando hudson win a gold glove? dude was usurped by ronnie belliard midseason! usurper!

  26. Lynniemac says:

    I had been doing so well staving off the inevitable withdrawal, and then came this post. Awesome pictures and a great write up.

    And now I miss baseball. :-(

  27. the budda says:

    baseball can be played in the winter as well

  28. Lynniemac says:

    Yeah. Not so much at Citizens Bank Park, though.

  29. the budda says:

    that needs changed

  30. scrapplegargle says:

    WOW. Very very nice. Thanks so much for that. Can’t wait for 2010 already…..a mere 90 days or so away….

    @Gonzo: they were all in Eugene.

  31. greenman! says:

    Can someone help me get over the World Series? I can’t stand how much they did!!!! but managed to come up short. This was by far the best season of baseball I have ever seen from the Phils. Can the Eagles just hurry up and let me down so we can start spring training? ;)

  32. KP says:

    Lol don’t worry I’m sure the Eagles will do just that.

  33. Tap the Tab says:

    I need some more posts by our staff. I need something to read that gets me excited for baseball again.

  34. Harry Kalas Murder Conspiracy Theory says:

    I need something to get me excited period. I haven’t been able to sustain a decent erection in about 5 months.

  35. bigmyc says:

    HKMCT, you are a twisted sort.

    Might you consider an attractive lady? That seems to help me.

  36. bigmyc says:

    If that is not the issue, perhaps you could look into Cialis. Consult with your doctor to see if Cialis is right for you. Ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex. If you experience an erection lasting for four or more hours, seek medical attention immediately.

  37. Scott Erye deserves a cold beer says:

    Always bitching Chris Coste getting cut over Bako surprised me

  38. Tap the Tab says:

    If you experience an erection lasting for four or more hours, seek a females attention immediately.

  39. bigmyc says:

    Yesth, and if you exthperience an erection lastin’ for fo’ hours or mo’, call mo’ ladies.

  40. Joe D says:

    Great photos. I miss these guys so much but I know that spring training will be here quick.

  41. Tom Merchen's Wooden Spoon says:

    Joe D Says- Congratulations for the gayest comment post of 2009

  42. Fran says:

    Beelove you are the best photographer I know. Good luck out west. I’ll miss your pictures of Philly

  43. PD says:

    werth got robbed a silver slugger by that loser ethier…not that it really matters

  44. Griswold says:

    Goodbye Eyre Force One

  45. Pete D says:

    R B M god bless man and good luck

  46. r. weir says:

    I read your column the philly skyline everyday, now what.. philly can be slow in construction as you already know and the people do complain about building buildings but it is a city and tall buildings in my opinion belong and brings jobs and people.. really miss your work, hopefully you will be back. hopefully, construction will begin again. your work esp. photography was unbelievable. your messages sometimes wordy or lengthy but that is you. that is what i liked about you. you just being you thanks for the memories.

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