With the final game of the 2011 World Series upon us tonight, it seems like an appropriate time to end the drama. As Phillies fans, it has been a rough ride since our team took an early and unexpected exit from the playoffs.
But not just fans have been on the mend, so have the players. Some were on the mend in a very literal sense. Ryan Howard got the stitches out from his Achilles surgery. Hunter Pence, Cole Hamels and Placido Polanco are all rehabbing from hernia surgery. Hamels had elbow surgery as well.
It is simply time to move on from all these aches and pains and accept the fact that the season is over. I found something today that made me smile and even feel a little better. This is a poem written by manager Charlie Manuel back in 2000 when he was with the Indians. It was originally published on the Indians web site and can now be found in the online Baseball Almanac.
My Most Memorable Day
by Charlie Manuel
“It was a warm day in August when history was made,
And the fans in the boxes were looking for shade.
The bases were loaded, it was the last inning.
From the sound of the crowd, you knew we weren’t winning.
When out of the dugout came No. 3,
The last hope for the Twins it was sure to be.
Now legend tells of Casey at the bat,
But today it was the Killer who tipped his hat.
Cursing and swearing came from the stands,
When Harmon was waved back by Rigney’s hand.
An astonishing look came over the Brew’s face,
When Rigney said, ‘Manuel is taking your place.’
A disbelieving look as he turned around,
Placed his bat in the rack without a sound.
Then from the bench came No. 9,
Who’d been warming the pine for a long, long time.
As he stepped from the dugout came a yell from the stands,
‘You can’t hit Manuel, the Killer’s our man.’
Never before in history had they pinch hit for the Brew,
Especially with some hillbilly hitting .182.
This was a mockery, a dirty rotten shame,
To pinch hit for a man who’s a sure Hall of Fame.
But Charlie heard not a word as he strode to the plate.
He only noticed the crowd’s eyes; they were filled with hate.
‘God, help me this one time,’ kept going through his mind.
‘If I ever get a hit, let it be this time.’
Jim Palmer looked in and thought, ‘This should be a cinch,
I’ll throw three by this rider of the bench.’
Down came the ball with a little white glare,
As Manuel stood watching for he knew it was there.
‘Strike one,’ came the call from the man in blue,
And four pitches later it was 3 and 2.
Now everything rode on the very last pitch.
Would Charlie stay a poor boy or would he suddenly be rich?
The crack of the bat and a long drive to right,
The back of Blair’s uniform is the only thing in sight.
The roar from the stands gave a deafening scream…
Then Charlie fell out of bed, it was only a dream.”
Charlie….you gotta love him. :O)
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