It is unofficially “award season” in baseball. The end of the playing days signals the start of the individual honors. For the Phillies, Jimmy Rollins took home his 4th career Gold Glove award with a .978 fielding percentage.
But the award is little comfort after a very disappointing Phillies season that ended without a playoff bid. And in a strange twist of fate, one player who was shipped out of town once the team fell out of the race wound up with the biggest award of all…a World Series ring.
Despite the short time he spent here, Hunter Pence was a fan favorite in Philly. Many were saddened to see him go in a mid-season trade to the Giants. But it could not have worked out any better for Pence. He will celebrate with the San Francisco Giants today in a World Series victory parade on the opposite coast.
The New York Times said that Pence was “the human defibrillator that shocked the World Series-bound Giants back to life…” And although he struggled offensively in the post-season, Pence’s clubhouse motivational speeches are credited for propelling his new team to victory. I know another team that could have used that kind of mid-season jolt…the Phillies.
So where were those magic speeches when he was with the Phillies? Perhaps Pence’s personality was simply dampened under the heavy weight of other Philly players like Rollins, Roy Halladay or Ryan Howard. So now Pence has a ring, the Giants have 2 championships in the last 3 years and the Phillies have only regret.
I am happy for Pence; he is a nice guy who deserved to play on a winning team. Congrats to him and to the Giants. As for the Phils, better luck next year…we hope.
For now, here is some Halloween fun for you featuring Halladay, Howard and Kyle Kendrick:
Happy Halloween, everyone!
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Photoshopping by Jenn Zambri Photography