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What a Difference A Title Makes

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Chase Utley

A year ago the Phillies, aside from Chase “Boo? F-U” Utley, were largely ignored in the All Star voting. This season is a completely different story. A World Series title later and the Phillies are not only the hottest ticket in town, they're also making a dent in the National League All-Star voting.

Now the Phillies have a player at every position having a shot of making the all-star team, or at least having some recognition for the great season they are having.

Starting at catcher you have Carlos Ruiz in 4th place in the voting. I would love to know how can Jason Kendall even be in the top 10 in voting let alone in third place? Oh that’s right, he is from Milwaukee and you really have to be kinda dumb to like the Brewers or live in Milwaukee. So that explains everything you need to know (Seriously, with a .227 average and 17 RBI's, you should be ashamed for voting for him). Brian McCann SHOULD be the starting catcher, and Chooch should be second in voting and the alternate to start. This is what happens when you give the fans that much control, but we'll talk later about that.

Ryan Howard is in 2nd in voting and having another great season. I hope that he gets the call to be a reserve player. Howard has really dedicated himself in the off-season. This is noticed by his newly found defensive abilities at first. The talk of Howard this year is that he hasn’t gotten hot yet. This is true, but at this less then “hot” pace, he is projected to hit 50 homers and rack up about 135 RBI's. Those numbers could increase if Howard puts it in another gear. Which he has just about every season when the Phils have needed a push.

At second base will be Chase Utley, who is having another monster year. Utley is leading the league in votes, which means not just OUR fans have taken note of him but the league has. He is truly a special player and someone to look forward to watching play the game. To look at how he took over the votes, all you have to do is look at what he has done in the last stretch of games against division leading teams (including our bitter rivals). He has batted .299 in the last 10 games with 2 homers, 8 RBI’s, and all around great defense.

At short, Jimmy Rollins is in a dogfight with Hanley Ramirez for the starting spot. While I love what Rollins has done for this team defensively, he is really having an off season and shouldn’t be in the mix. With that being said, Rollins has shown that he is figuring out what has been wrong with his swing and is starting to really put the bat on the ball. This is evidenced by some big hits in the last few games.

Pedro Feliz is in the Top 5 for 3rd base voting and is having another really good season for the Phils. The problem with Feliz is that the NL East alone has some really good players at third base. So it is really hard for him to move up in the voting regardless to how well he is playing.Pedro

The Phillies have all three outfielders in the Top 10 in voting. Leading the charge for the Phils is Raul Ibanez, who is first in overall voting and having a dominant season. The blogger that threw his name in the mud with nothing more then unfounded speculation can die in a fire for all I care. He failed to mention that Ibanez historically has a nasty habit of absolutely catching fire, playing like a man possessed, then coming back down to earth slightly. If you factor in what he has done in the past, what he is doing now isn’t out of the ordinary for him. Ibanez is a product of playing in a smaller park on a better team, and facing pitchers that don’t know much about him from first hand experience.

And speaking of the outfield, the biggest problem that I have is that the idiots in LA have still been voting for that fraud Manny. The fact that Bud Selig doesn’t have the spine to say he was suspended and doesn’t deserve to be on the ballot or in the game is mind boggling.

All in all, the Phillies winning the World Series last year has really put this team into the minds of fans across the country. It's great to see the team get the respect that they deserve. The position players have shown that there is no championship hangover and that they are hungry to win another title.

And with the way they are playing, they just might do that.