Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Phillies’ All-Time Best Opponents

Oh man, oh man, enough with almighty Manny already.

With all the dread about Manny and his dreads, you’d think Ramirez will single-handedly beat the Phillies in the NLCS, or that the Phillies had never played anyone so good in their postseason history. You’d be wrong on both counts. If baseball history shows anything, it’s that pitching wins, and rarely can one man do it alone. (And what ever became of the beast from the last series, C.C. Sabathia, anyway?)

For further proof, just look at the Phillies’ own brief postseason history. The team has faced 14 opponents in 11 different postseason appearances; the Dodgers will be the 15th foe. And while Manny certainly ranks among the better players the Phillies have faced, he’s not at the top of a powerful list.

Here are the best players the Phillies have faced in the postseason, by position, listed in my order of preference at each spot. Got an opinion? Send it along!

The list certainly brings up a few questions: With so few ’08 Dodgers listed—and Maddux and Kent way past their primes—anyone else think the Phillies should take this series easily? How did the Phillies lose to the Rockies in ’07? How did the ’93 Phillies beat the 104-win Braves? And can anyone name two pitchers from the dominating 1976 Reds—who swept the Phillies and Yankees? Ahhh, I sense future blog topics….

C: Johnny Bench, ’76 Reds*
C: Yogi Berra, '50 Yankees*
C: Gary Carter, ’81 Expos*

1B: Eddie Murray, ’83 Orioles*
1B: Tony Perez, ’76 Reds*
1B: Johnny Mize, ’50 Yankees*
1B: Steve Garvey, ’77, ’78 Dodgers
1B: Todd Helton, ’07 Rockies
1B: Fred McGriff, ’93 Braves

2B: Joe Morgan, ’76 Reds, '80 Astros*
2B: Roberto Alomar, ’93 Blue Jays
2B: Jeff Kent, ’08 Dodgers

SS: Cal Ripken, ’83 Orioles*
SS: Phil Rizzuto, ’50 Yankees*
SS: Dave Concepcion, ’76 Reds

3B: George Brett, '80 Royals*
3B: Pete Rose, ’76 Reds
3B: Pedro Guerrero, ’83 Dodgers
3B: Terry Pendleton, ’93 Braves

DH: Paul Molitor, ’93 Blue Jays*

OF: Joe DiMaggio, ’50 Yankees*
OF: Tris Speaker, ’15 Red Sox*
OF: Manny Ramirez, ’08 Dodgers
OF: Rickey Henderson, ’93 Blue Jays
OF: Andre Dawson, ’81 Expos
OF: Harry Hooper, ’15 Red Sox*
OF: George Foster, ’76 Reds
OF: Tim Raines, ’81 Expos
OF: Joe Carter, ’93 Blue Jays

P: Greg Maddux, ’93 Braves, ’08 Dodgers
P: Nolan Ryan, '80 Astros*
P: Tom Glavine, ’93 Braves
P: Whitey Ford, ’50 Yankees*
P: Jim Palmer, ’83 Orioles*
P. John Smoltz, ’93 Braves
P: C.C. Sabathia, ’08 Brewers
P: Fernando Valenzuela, ’83 Dodgers
P: Don Sutton, ’77, ’78 Dodgers*
P: Vic Raschi, ’50 Yankees
P: Tommy John, ’77, ’78 Dodgers
P: Steve Rogers, ’81 Expos
P: Jeff Reardon, ’81 Expos
P: Pat Hentgen, ’93 Blue Jays

* - Hall of Famer


Anonymous said...

"Tris Speaker, ’15 Red Sox?!?!"

My heavens, John. You're older than I thought.


John Roach said...

"My heavens"? Wait a minute, who's the old guy around here???