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Philadelphia fever

Phils_champWonder how all you Mets fans feel now that the Phillies are going to the World Series? Bet that one hurts. We haven't seen the Phighting Phils in the Fall Classic since Joe Carter's home run off Mitch Williams cleared the wall in 1993 but they're headed to either Tampa Bay or Boston -- probably Tampa, right? -- after Wednesday's decisive 5-1 win over the Dodgers.

As championship-starved cities go, there's Cleveland and Buffalo ahead of the crowd. But the most prominent one might be Philadelphia, which hasn't had a championship parade down Broad Street since the 76ers won the NBA crown in 1983. The Phillies lost the Series in '83 and '93, the Flyers lost the Stanley Cup finals to Detroit in 1997 and the Sixers were dropped in the NBA finals by the Lakers in 2001.

You have to be impressed with the Phils. Cole Hamels looks like 2008's answer to Josh Beckett, circa 2007. Jimmy Rollins hit another leadoff home run in a clinching game. Chase Utley and Shane Victorino are terrific players who are finally getting some national pub (Victorino, by the way, is one of just two visiting players to homer from both sides of the plate in a game at Dunn Tire Park -- doing it with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2005). Brad Lidge has been perfect and gets a chance to make up for his dreadful '05 performance with the Astros. Ryan Howard is, well, Ryan Howard but it would be nice if he started hitting again. And Charlie Manuel is a prince of a guy.

For more than a month, the Phillies have been the most consistent team in the NL. The Dodgers might have hit the NLCS as the hottest team but their starting pitching didn't hold up and their offense was too Manny-centric. Come next week, I'm looking forward to that cheesesteak.

---Mike Harrington

(AP Photo: Brad Lidge, front, and Scott Eyre pop their corks over the Phillies' title)

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ALCS | NLCS
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About Inside Pitch

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has covered the Buffalo Bisons since 1992 and Major League Baseball since 1995. A member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Harrington has reported on more than 30 MLB postseason series — including every game of the World Series in this century — and all three of the Bisons' championship runs in their modern era. He is a connoisseur of the famous Stadium Mustard at Cleveland's Progressive Field.

@BNHarrington | mharrington@buffnews.com


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered the Bisons for The Buffalo News since 2002. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | amoritz@buffnews.com

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