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The All-Time Phillies Team

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With the All-Star break now upon us, I thought it was now time to compile "The List". This list is for the longest standing single name team in baseball, a team that for incredible stretches has shattered dreams and expectations. And, many fans never got to see this team win a pennant much less 60 games. So while having a rich history is a great thing, it is also dubious in what it reveals about the team.

This list has a lot of players from the championship teams of 1980 and 2008. And it wasn’t because I was lazy and didn’t want to do any research because I did. Some of these players on those rosters were and are so special they deserve to be together. And when a team has had as many bad seasons as the Phillies have had, it is easy to see why the list turned out the way it did. Keep in mind that the majority of these players' stats were compiled for other teams as well. Some players were acquired from other teams and finished their career in the red pinstripes.

First Base

This was probably one of the harder choices for the list, so I picked the easy route and picked two players: Pete Rose and Ryan Howard. The way I looked at this, it was a brilliant career versus a player that could be the best first basemen this team has ever had.

Rose’s stats are unreal: over 2,000 runs scored, 4,256 hits (more than anyone who has ever played the game of baseball), a career average of .303 and fielding percentage of .992 at first base. He is one of the best. I don’t care what he did off the field; Pete Rose never took a play off and always hustled.

Here's my case as to why Howard belongs on this list. While his service time is longer, his actual time measured in games played is around 5 years in the league. In that time, Howard has been busy: amassing over 300 runs, 600 hits, 500 runs batted in, close to 200 home runs, and career average of .278. To balance that out, he has a slugging percentage of .585. To put that into perspective, Howard has a higher slugging percentage then Michael Jack Schmidt, has had the same amount of 40 hr seasons, and has hit as many grand slams. And that is in only 600+ games! I’m not going to sit here and claim that Howard will equal Schmidt when his career ends, but Ryan Howard has all the potential to be a truly special player in the league for a long time. And to finish up at first, I want to put to sleep the talk that he is a butcher in the field. Howard's fielding percentage as of right now is .991, just a hair below Rose's. The weight that Howard has lost has really helped him, and I look to see him improve more in the future.

Second Base

This one was close but I had to go with Chase Utley over Juan Samuel. In his first four seasons as a Phillie, Samuel was a tremendous player with a ton of speed. 100 home runs, 249 stolen bases, 4 straight years with double figures in triples, three years with over 100 runs scored, and one 100 RBI season. Samuel was as strong in the field as he was behind the plate, but has even gone on record and admitted that Utley is the best second baseman the team has ever seen.

Now for why I picked Utley. It is hard to remember many players that played with as much passion, pride and grit as Chase Utley does. He played the second half of 2008 on a torn hip, NEVER complained, still played as hard as he could, and never put himself above the team

(a lesson that the jackass to the north should take notice of.....take the needle out of your ass, man up and stop making it all about yourself you fraud!) Finally at the end of the season, Utley admits that he was hurt and gets cut, but when the above mentioned "jackass" has the same problem, you would think it was a national crisis and such a heroic recovery to get back to play this season. THAT is what the talking heads on ESPN would have me to believe....I’d rather have 26 then 13, and yes I know they play different positions.

So far in Utley’s career he has scored about as many runs as Samuel in his Phillies career. The hit totals are close but Samuel never broke 200 hits like Utley has. The edge really comes with doubles, home runs and RBIs. The biggest stat to me is this: Utley has had only one season with under 100 RBIs when Samuel had one 100+ RBI season. I know RBIs can be a product of the team you are on, how often you have men on base and who bats behind you (Howard). At the end of the day Utley is only going to get better, and he's completely under-rated in the field as well. His fake throw home in the World Series was such a clutch game changing play and is only one example of what he brings to the table. He is a complete player and the kind of player that I think would be pissed if his uniform was still clean at the end of a game.

ShortStop

The all-time angry list would have Larry Bowa at short, but I have to give the nod to Jimmy Rollins. Both play hard and both were smart players that get to everything hit near them, the play in the field to me is a push, but where Jimmy leaves Bowa in his dust is at the plate. For the stats I will go with Bowa’s career versus what Jimmy has done so far. Rollins in half the time has scored around 100 less runs, 500 less hits, 40 more doubles, 9 less triples, 110 more homers, about 20 more RBIs. Rollins also has a higher career batting average. Also we can’t forget Jimmy’s MVP season with 38 doubles, 20 triples, 20 stolen bases and 30 hr’s, that is a feat that only 3 other players have one. Jimmy is the man.

Third Base

Michael Jack Schmidt

1,500 runs, 2,234 hits, 408 doubles, 59 triples, 548 hr’s, 7 grand slams and 1,595 RBIs.

8 time homerun champ, 10 time gold glove champ, 3 time NL MVP, WS MVP, 12 time all-star, 6 time silver slugger, 9 100 RBI seasons, 4 time RBI leader and the owner of one amazing moustache.

He was one of the best players in major league baseball history, and the best Phillies player by far. PERIOD. This was the easiest pick of the entire roster. He was and is the Phillies, and everything that was great with the team and game.

Catcher

This was another tough choice. If you look at just the numbers you would have to go with Andy Seminick or Mike Lieberthal. And since this is my article I can ignore the fact that up to this point I have used the strength of a players stats to justify being on the list, screw being consistent. To me a catchers main job is to handle a pitching staff and manage the game on the field. So to me the player that belongs on the list is Bob Boone. And yes, I know that old bastard McCarver caught for lefty most of the time, but I hate him and I don’t care.

Another reason I picked Boone is because, simply put: he WON. Two years after the "California I couldn’t care if I won or lost kid" was gone, we win the division and then the following year we win the World Series, so that is one of the big strikes against Mike.

Boone wasn’t just given the spot because he happened to win a championship in 1980. Overall, he was a 4 time all-star and 7 time gold glove winner. During his career he amassed 679 runs, 1838 hits, 303 doubles, 105 home runs, and 826 RBIs. And when he wasn’t busy being a gold glove catcher, Boone stepped up in the playoffs with a .311 career post season average, 33 post season hits and when it really counted in the World Series he only hit .412 to help the team take the title. Mike’s career batting average in the postseason would be a huge .000 because he never made the post season. Granted, a lot of that was because he played on some garbage teams, BUT again in the two seasons after he left, the team won the division twice and and won one world title.

Pitcher

This had to be broken up a couple ways: starters and closers and to further expand on left handed and right handed pitchers, and speaking of lefties.....................

Steve Carlton- the best Phillies pitcher ever. Maybe if those morons spent less time drinking bad beer and more time looking at what they had, they wouldn’t have traded of the best pitchers ever to play. Super trade St. Louis!! He was so good in one season he won almost half of the total games the Phils won as a team (27). 329 wins, 3.22 ERA, less the a walk per inning pitched (5217 innings 1,833 walks) 4,136 strikeouts, 10 time all-star, 4 time Cy-young winner and a 5 time strike out champion. Oh, and he managed to win two World Series titles.

Robin Roberts- another great pitcher and one of a small handful of Phillies pitching greats. With 286 wins, 3.41 ERA, less than a walk per inning pitched (4688 innings 902 walks) 2,357 strikeouts, 7 time all-star and a 2 time strike-out champion.

The two closers are no-brainers, Tug McGraw and Brad Lidge. Both closed the only two titles the Phils have won. Tugger had 1,109 strikeouts, 180 saves and was a 2 time all-star.

Lidge got over being rocked by Pujols, was traded to the Phils, and allowed two generations of Phillies fans to die in peace. With a league record 12.98 strike outs per 9 innings pitched, 653 strikeouts, 172 saves and a slider that even if you know its coming, Lidge can still make you look like a fool with it.

Outfield

This was a difficult part of the list. While two of the players were easy choices in Richie Ashburn and Garry Maddox, the last player was hard to pick. You had Ed Delahanty, Sam Thompson , Billy Hamilton and Chuck Klein. Klein was the most prolific hitter of the group, but I had to factor in his stats playing in the Baker Bowl. I know it isn’t fair to to punish a player for the stadium he plays in, but Klein's numbers did fall back some after that, so I went with Delahanty because to me, he was the complete player.

Richie Ashburn- Richie could fly in the outfield and had a .981% fielding percentage. He was a spray hitter and got on base and scored runs rather then hitting the ball out of the park. With 1,322 runs, 2,574 hits, 317 doubles, 109 triples, 586 rbi’s and a career .308 average. He led the National League twice in batting average, led the league in fielding percentage, and was a 5 time all-star.

Garry Maddox- Two-thirds of the earth is covered by water, the other one-third is covered by Garry Maddox. Maddox was an 8-time Gold Glove Winner and if the ball was in the air, it landed in his glove. Garry had 777 runs, 1,802 hits, 337 doubles, 62 triples, 117 hr’s, 4 grand slams, .285 batting average, 754 rbi’s. 8 20+ stolen base seasons with 248 total bags, .983% fielding percentage in his career, which started in San Fransisco.

Ed Delahanty- This is a player that you have to read about to know what he did when he played for the Phils. I was first tempted to limit the list to the 50’s and up, but I wanted to not leave anyone out that did deserve to be on the list. The three players the Phillies had in that outfield were all amazing, and I went with Delahanty. With 1,599 runs, 2,596 hits, 522 doubles, 185 triples, 101 hr’s, 1,464 RBIs, a career .346 batting average, Delahanty twice led the league in batting average and led the league in RBIs three times. He was a good outfielder but would be considered the third best of the players on the list, but nonetheless a great player.