Remember the Buddy Ryan days? Reggie White ripping quarterbacks heads off? Wes Hopkins laying out wide receivers? Buddy is still beloved in this town; mind you he never won a playoff game. He's beloved because he created one of the most ferocious defenses in NFL history. Every Eagles fan could see it. The visiting teams could defiantly feel it. The biggest unspoken reason why the Phillies are the best team in baseball is...D-FENCE!
I know 'D' in baseball is not as glamorous as in football. No one is getting carted off the field after a well executed double play. But great defense in baseball can have a devastating effect on the opposition. Who out there doesn't fell like their hearts are ripped out when the opposition robs someone of a hit? The Phillies do it to opponents all the time. They catch the ball better then any team in baseball. Why are the Fightin' Phils so good? They are strong up the middle.
Shane Victorino and Jimmy Rollins. Jimmy's detractors have always said he's not a true leadoff hitter. So what? When he gets on base the Phillies offense goes. I think he does more for the Phillies in the field then he does at the plate. His glove never slumps. The only reason Jimmy doesn't get more credit for his defense is he makes it look easy. Shane covers some ground in center. Gary Maddox did the same thing in a different way. 'The Secretary Of Defense' did it with long lopping strides, 'The Flyin' Hawaiian' does it with quick short steps. The result is the same, their gloves are where triples go to die.
What more can you say about Placido Polanco? He's been the team's best hitter. Who knew he could play 3rd at a Gold Glove level? When they signed him before last year, I was a little skeptical. I thought typical Phillies, sign a Gold Glove 2nd basemen and have him play 3rd. Wow was I ever wrong! That cat can pick it at the hot corner. If there is a better fielding 3rd basemen in the National League this year, I haven't seen him. I don't want to say anything about Ryan Howard's improved defense because I know when I do he will toss a few into left field. Howard is still a butcher with the glove. There, I refuse to mush him.
Next time you're at the ball park try starting a 'D-FENCE!...D-FENCE!...D-FENCE!' chant. Just make sure the Phils are in the field, otherwise you will look like the imbecile trying to start 'The Wave'.