The Phillies front office recently named the organization’s All-Decade team. Headlining the team are a number of current Phillies, but more surprising are the players that made the team but are no longer with the Phils.
Catcher: Mike Lieberthal. Kind of the obvious choice, catching almost twice as many games as Carlos Ruiz and earning an All-Star appearance in 2000. Though he went on to play 38 games with the Dodgers, he’ll always be remembered as a Phillie, even signing a one day contract allowing him to retire as a Phillie.
First Base: Ryan Howard. Not necessarily a surprise to see his name here, but it is worth mentioning that he beat out the man he replaced, Jim Thome.
Second Base: Chase Utley. No real achievement here, considering that he beat out Placido Polanco and Marlon Anderson. We all know that Chase is probably the best second baseman in franchise history, but it’s good that the organization is giving him this disticntion.
Third Base: Scott Rolen. Here’s where the fun starts. Rolen came up through the Phillies minor league system, debuting in 1996 winning Rookie of the Year and a few Gold Gloves. Though Rolen left the city on bad terms, he’s definitely earned himself a place in Phillies lore.
Shortstop: Jimmy Rollins. Rollins was named the organization’s player of the decade, and no one is more deserving. Jimmy is one of the premier shortstops of the game, and the Phillies organization did the right thing in honoring him this way.
Outfield: Bobby Abreu. There is no question as to whether Bobby belongs on this list. In the last decade he had 1,131 hits, 158 home runs, and 644 RBIs with the Phillies. He also made it to two All-Star teams, won a Silver Slugger, and even a Gold Glove.
Pat Burrell: Pat the Bat is one of the great Phillies not just of the past ten years, but in recent memory. For years, he was loved, then booed, then loved again, and even when he wasn’t his best, he was still out there every day. Over the years, Pat hit 235 homers and racked up 763 RBIs. Pat is now withering away with the Rays.
Shane Victorino: Shane has been one of the most valuable Phillies of the past few years. On a team featuring obvious role players, the Gold Glove shortsop, the slugging first baseman and the soft spoken, gritty second baseman, Shane does everything pretty well. He knows how to get the team fired up, and in the clutch, he’s one of the guys I want on my All-Decade Team
Starters: Cole Hamels, Randy Wolf, Brett Myers, Jamie Moyer and…Cliff Lee. This is where it really comes out that this “All-Decade” team is a public relations move as much as it is a chance to honor deserving players. Cliff Lee won seven regular games with the Phillies. That’s forty games less than Moyer.
Bullpen: Ryan Madson was chosen for the All-Decade team over J.C. Romero and Rheal Cormier. This seems fair to me, as Madson led the team in holds over the course of the decade and remains a fixture in the Phillies bullpen.
Brad Lidge: The man who holds the distinction of having the worst single season ever by a closer is the closer of the Phillies All-Decade team. This doesn’t say as much about Brad Lidge as it says about the Phillies bullpens of the last ten years. Also, if the Phillies public relations department promotes the hell out of Lidge, maybe they build up his confidence so we don’t have another 2009 season.
These lists aren’t voted on by the press. They’re a public relations tool and anoher link on the website. On the upside, it’s another link on my website. Let me know what you think and remember, you’re just as qualified to write your own all-decade team.