Back to last night: Honestly, has any Phillie ever captured the fanbase this strongly and so quickly than Raul Ibanez?
After slamming the Phillies into the 13-11 lead, Ibanez ventured to the outfield, where he was greeted by not merely a standing ovation, but a full crowd display of the Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar “We’re not worthy!” gesture. Chants of “Rauuuuuul!” were mixed among the cheers. Ibanez spoke after the game about the ovation:
“I’m definitely appreciative of that. My feet barely hit the ground when I ran back to the outfield. I was floating.”
Floating. It took Pat Burrell years to feel that. It took Ibanez 18 games. Of course, when you hit a game-winning home run, provide consistent all-fields offense, make awesome plays in left field and knock a go-ahead grand slam all in your first 18 games, you too could be floating.
Many of us questioned the pickup of Raul Ibanez – he’s a lefty, he’s old, he’s an American League hitter, his home run totals will evaporate. So far (and yes, it’s very early), we doubters have pie in our faces. Ibanez has been the team’s MVP so far. And already, he’s Philadelphia’s new favorite athlete.