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What they’re saying about the Phillies’ first round exit

Oct 8, 2011, 8:59 AM EDT

St Louis Cardinals v Philadelphia Phillies - Game 5 Getty Images

We did this with the Yankees yesterday, so it’s only appropriate that we check out some of the reaction to the Phillies’ surprising first round exit. Here’s a quick sampling:

Charlie Manuel: “Right now, I’ve just got some anger. I just feel very empty.”

Roy Halladay: “The hard part is, you think about all the work you put in, and then you have two days to get excited about the game. All of a sudden, it disappears. It’s hard to have it end like that.”

Ryan Howard: “It sucks. It sucks. Being in this situation, having it come down and making the last out and having it happen the way that it happened, it sucks. You don’t want to be a part of that. We came up short. The only thing we can do is try to focus on next year and, for me, try to get healthy.”

Sam Donnellon: The Cardinals advanced not just because they hit, but because their overlooked staff matched the Phillies famous staff, made the Phillies lineup so dormant that the two loudest innings of the game began with a hit batsmen and a dropped third strike.

David Murphy: It is a question that re-inforces the fickle nature of baseball’s postseason, when an entire season of accomplishment boils down to five games of performance. Once again, the Phillies were narrowly out-performed. And now they must spend an offseason reflecting on the emptiness of 102 wins, staring blankly at the present like last night’s sell-out crowd.

Jim Salisbury: Long after the stadium had emptied, and after most of the players had dressed and left the clubhouse, Shane Victorino reached into his locker and pulled out a sheet of World Series tickets marked for games in Philadelphia. He looked at them wistfully then tore them in pieces and dropped them into the trash bin as he headed for the door and another cold winter. This is all happened Friday night. The new Black Friday.

Todd Zolecki: This will be considered one of the greatest disappointments in Philadelphia sports history. Everything had gone according to plan during the season. The rotation lived up to the hype. The bats struggled early, but the team acquired Hunter Pence at the Trade Deadline to bolster the offense. The Phillies cruised to their fifth consecutive NL East championship, but this was a team that was supposed to win it all, and it won’t.

Paul Hagen: But what will 2012 look like? That’s the question that general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. will have to answer. Does he just need to make a few tweaks here and there and hope for fewer injuries and better timing a year from now? Or will he decide that this team is a little too old and a little too stale and feel the need to make significant changes to alter the chemistry? And how much will his hands be tied by financial considerations?

Phil Sheridan: Another year passes, then, without a ring for Halladay and Lee, who came here to win. For the first time, you have to wonder whether they picked the wrong place.

Cliff Lee: “It’s disappointing because we had higher expectations. I don’t know (if this was the best opportunity. I don’t think management is going to give up on everything. We’re still going to have good pitching. We’re still going to have a good team. I expect to come in here next year and make another run at it.”

  1. El Bravo - Oct 8, 2011 at 2:17 PM

    I’m glad the cocky Phillies fans are here showing their blue faces with mouths full of crow. What’s great…and oh so many things are great about this…..is that this makes me feel totally cool with the Braves collapsing and having the Cards get in. What a sweet and fine day this is! Oh baseball gods, I do love that you hate the Phillies.

    • halladaysbiceps - Oct 8, 2011 at 4:48 PM

      El Bravo,

      Hating the Phillies is fine and your right. I’m ok with that. But to say another teams failure makes you cool with your own teams collapse is pretty stupid. One has nothing to do with the other. If I were you I would be pretty pissed with the meltdown of the Braves and would still be pissing up a storm.

      I really don’t get some of you people. Get a clue.

      • jamaicanjasta - Oct 8, 2011 at 6:21 PM

        Not to condone the trolling by my fellow Braves fan, El Bravo, but biceps, the two things ARE related. By sweeping the Braves in that last series, the Phillies ensured the Cardinals would make the playoffs. So it is a bit… ironic that in Charlie Manuel’s words the Phillies ‘protected the integrity of the game’ and lost to the very team they allowed into the playoffs.

        I know the issue is more complex than that, he wanted to get his team prepared for the playoffs etc, but it seems like a Shakespearean event to lose to a team but for your actions, would have been at home this week.

      • El Bravo - Oct 8, 2011 at 7:09 PM

        hey, cepts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIrhVo1WA78

  2. royalsfaninfargo - Oct 8, 2011 at 2:29 PM

    The Phils are slowly turning into the Braves of the 90’s. They have a great team and huge expectations but cant win in the playoffs. And before I get some Philly love remember the Braves only won 1 WS!

  3. buddaley - Oct 8, 2011 at 6:57 PM

    I think we can all use a bit of perspective here. Even if the Phillies are an all-time great team, a point that can be argued both ways, or if their rotation ranks among the best ever, also an interesting question, their loss in the post-season is neither unprecedented nor even unusual.

    In my own lifetime, the following remarkable upsets and events occurred.
    1954: Indians (111 wins) swept in 4 games

    1956: Game 5: Barely journeyman pitcher Larsen throws perfect game in critical game 5. Should we say Campanella, Hodges, Jackie Robinson, Reese, Snider et al choked? The same crew that beat the Yankees in 7 the year before and now lost in 7.

    1962: NYY beat SF (103 wins) in game 7 by a 1-0 score. The heart of the Giants batting order was Mays, McCovey and Cepeda. They went 2 for 11 in that game against Ralph Terry, a notorious gopher ball pitcher.

    1969: A great Orioles team (109 wins) lost to the Mets. I doubt that the Orioles would have switched any starting position player with any Met. And the Orioles had a top rotation too as well as a brilliant defensive team. Batting 3-5 were Cleon, Clendenon and Swoboda for the Mets; Frank Robinson, Boog and Brooks for the Orioles

    1988: A’s (104 wins) lose to Dodgers

    1990: A’s (103 wins) lose to Reds

    1995: This is interesting. The Braves, who arguably had a rotation at least as good as Philly has, won their only World Series despite 14 straight division titles. But they won 10 fewer games than the Indians in the regular season (90-100).

    In other words, there is nothing epic about the Phillies loss. It is disappointing to Philly fans and unexpected to many of us, but that’s all. I am sure people can argue that each case I have presented is not analogous in some way to this year, but however you review the issue, the Phillies loss simply means a good Cardinals team managed to win one more game than Philly did in a 5 game series.

    If Philly had played Houston, it is possible that Wandy and Norris each shut down the Phillies and win the series. Not epic. Just baseball.

    • jwbiii - Oct 9, 2011 at 1:59 AM

      “The heart of the Giants batting order was Mays, McCovey and Cepeda.”

      And if McCovey had hit that liner a few feet higher, it would have been a walk off series winning hit instead of the last out.

      • buddaley - Oct 9, 2011 at 8:24 AM

        Yes, just as if Ibanez had hit the ball perhaps a millimeter closer to the sweet spot, it might have been a 3-1 game Phillies.

        The point is that losing a 5 game series, especially by 1 game, is not monumental or epic or anything close. Getting shut out in the deciding game is not a monumental or epic failure either, especially when facing an excellent pitcher. Such words may describe the depth of feeling fans have, but they do not describe the events.

        Perhaps my harping on this is pedantry or semantics, but I think the failure to make the distinction is what leads many to think some Philly fans consider themselves entitled to win. By exaggerating their team’s superiority and turning every loss into an Armageddon, they lose touch with the realities of the game and demean the value of other teams.

        I also think that is why many fans are reveling in the Phillies loss-to respond to a question raised earlier.

  4. hcf95688 - Oct 14, 2011 at 9:47 AM

    Hmmmmmm. It’s interesting to read what “they” are saying. I say the Phillies and their horrible fans are losers.

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