The 2000’s: A Look Back – Phillies Nation

The 2000’s: A Look Back

We’re a couple hours away from the new year, which will put an end to the decade of the 2000’s (2000-2009).  In 2000, the Phillies finished with a record of 65-97.  My, how things have changed.  The Phillies were oh so close to the postseason in 2005 and 2006, but finally got over the hump in 2007.  They won the National League East in 2007, 2008, and 2009.  They won the National League pennant in 2008 and 2009.  In 2008, they hosted Philadelphia’s first championship parade since 1983 after beating the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series.

Also during the 2000’s, the Phillies moved from Veterans Stadium to their current home, Citizens Bank Park.  The 2000’s didn’t start off so hot for the Phillies, but the end of the decade made for the best time to be Phillies fan.

Here is the Phillies “Team of the 2000’s” Roster:

C: Mike Lieberthal (2000-2006): 719 G, .279 AVG, 83 HR, .789 OPS

Lieberthal was injured a lot during his time in Philadelphia, but that doesn’t remove the fact that he was the best Phillies catcher of the decade. Lieby was a fine defensive catcher and he had some pop.

1B: Ryan Howard (2004-2009): 732 G, .279 AVG, 222 HR, .961 OPS

Jim Thome was great, but he was only a Phillie for a few seasons. When Thome got hurt, this man filled in. Howard responded by winning the Rookie of the Year Award in 2005. A year later, he shattered Mike Schmidt’s single season home run record (Schmidt: 48, Howard: 58), and won the National League Most Valuable Player Award. Howard is known to strike out, but he is also known for his power. He won the Home Run Derby in 2006 and became the fastest player to hit 100 home runs. Howard has repeatedly carried his team in September. In 2009, he became the NLCS MVP.

2B: Chase Utley (2003-2009): 891 G, .295 AVG, 161 HR, .902 OPS

Harry Kalas said it best: “Chase Utley, you are the man!” The second baseman was blocked by Placido Polanco for the first few years of his career, but once he got the chance to play, he amazed everybody. Utley has started in four consecutive All Star Games. He has turned himself into today’s best second baseman in baseball.

SS: Jimmy Rollins (2000-2009): 1406 G, .274 AVG, 146 HR, .768 OPS

Bold predictions, three time All Star, two Gold Gloves, 2007 MVP, best shortstop in Phillies history. What else is there to say about Mr. Rolllins? He might not have a typical leadoff hitter’s on-base percentage, but he’s the Phillies spark plug.

3B: Scott Rolen (2000-2002): 434 G, .283 AVG, 82 HR, .884 OPS

*Stats include 55 games with St. Louis Cardinals in 2002.*

Third base was a weak spot for the Phillies over the past decade. David Bell, Wes Helms, and Pedro Feliz never lived up to their expectations. The Phillies had a franchise player in their hands, but they couldn’t make him happy. Losing led to the departure of Rolen, who didn’t leave on a pleasant note. Despite being here for only a couple years, Rolen put up impressive offensive numbers and played a solid third base.

LF: Pat Burrell (2000-2008): 1306 G, .257 AVG, 251 HR, .852 OPS

Philadelphia had a love-hate relationship with “Pat the Bat.” Burrell had high expectations, especially after an incredible 2002. Then, he slumped. And he was booed. But, Burrell also had his high points. And he was cheered. During the 2000’s, Burrell will remembered for his New York Met crushing.

CF: Shane Victorino (2005-2009): 607 G, .289 AVG, 44 HR, .787 OPS

The Flying Hawaiian made his first All Star team in 2009. He won two Gold Gloves. He improved his base running dramatically, jumping from four steals to 37, thanks to the help of Davy Lopes. Victorino has had his share of injuries, but like Utley, always gives 110%.

RF: Bobby Abreu (2000-2006): 1108 G, .300 AVG, 165 HR, .922 OPS

*Stats include 58 games with New York Yankees in 2006.*

Abreu was always questioned as to whether he’d “risk his body” defensively. However, he had a Gold Glove, and was a two-time All Star. Abreu won the Home Run Derby in 2005, setting a record for most home runs in the first round. Abreu hit for average, reaching at least .300 in four of the six years he was with the Phillies during the 2000’s.

SP: Brett Myers (2002-2009): 73-63, 4.40 ERA, 986 SO

Myers had his share of off the field issues, but he was arguably the best Phillies’ starter of the decade. He spent some time in the bullpen, and was even demoted to the minors.  However, Myers was always determined and could be lights out. He struck out Wily Mo Pena to end the Phillies’ playoff drought in 2007. His curveball was his go-to strikeout pitch. Myers will be remembered for his hitting in the 2008 postseason when he drew a huge walk and had a few hits.  Myers threw eight complete games in his tenure as a Phillie.

RP: Ryan Madson (2003-2009): 37-26, 3.83 ERA, 15 SV, 421 SO

Madson, like Myers, was converted from starter to reliever, but was most effective in the bullpen. Madson reaches the high 90’s on the radar gun, and his changeup is deadly.

UTIL: Jason Michaels (2001-2005): 383 G, .291 AVG, 21 HR, .822 OPS

I’m not going by the next best player here; I’m going by an actual utility player. J-Mike, a proud member of the “Bench Dawgs,” provided a reliable right handed bat off the bench.

Manager: Charlie Manuel (810-447)

Manuel is one of the best managers in Phillies history. He led the team to three consecutive NL East crowns, two straight National League pennants and a World Series title.

Team: 2008 Phillies

As Charlie said, “who’s the World Champions?!”

Pitching Performance: Kevin Millwood’s no-hitter in 2003.

Millwood no-hit the reigning NL Champs, the San Francisco Giants, led by Barry Bonds. Rickey Ledee drove in the only run of the game, and made the final out in center field.

Home Run: Matt Stairs vs. Jonathan Broxton in 2008 National League Championship Series.

It still hasn’t landed yet.

Defensive Play:  Aaron Rowand’s Catch in 2006

With the bases loaded, Xavier Nady sent a deep fly ball to center field.  Rowand kept going back, and made a game-saving catch, plowing into the wall and breaking several bones in face.

Other Things To Remember:

There are things from the 2000’s that you might want to forget, such as Johnny Damon’s “heads up” base running, Utley’s foul ball home run off the foul pole, and Craig Biggio’s home run off Billy Wagner. Thankfully, there are plenty of memorable moments:

Jim Thome’s 400th career home run, Jimmy Rollins’ NLCS walk-off, Shane Victorino’s NLDS grand slam off CC Sabathia, the passing of Harry Kalas, how the Phillies helped America heal after September 11, the four game sweep of the New York Mets, walk-offs, shut outs, big trades, triple plays, as well as many other big moments.

What are your favorite Phillies’ memories of the 2000’s?  Happy New Year!



  1. joedad

    December 31, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    I’d take Hamels over Myers. Hamels was 48-34 and had a monster postseason in 2008. Not sure how you missed that one. Otherwise, good picks.

  2. Nick

    January 1, 2010 at 1:49 am

    Rollins’ double play to clinch the NL East title in 2008 was one of the greatest Phillies plays of the decade.

    I would give Lidge the reliever of the decade simply on his 2008 season, but I guess that’s not the point of this…

    My top 6:

    6. 2007 NL East clincher
    5. Matt Stairs shot
    4. Ryan Howard v. Huston Street
    3. 2008 NL East clincher
    2. J. Rollins vs. J. Broxton
    1. Brad Lidge v. Eric Hinske (I literally cry everytime I see #2 and #1. Every time).

    The years before that were really a blur to me: Mike Lieb, Randy Wolf, Brandon Duckworth, and David Bell were my favorite players… haha.

  3. Nick

    January 1, 2010 at 1:52 am

    And honestly, the 2009 NL East clincher wasn’t even fun. Up by like 8 games and Tom McCarthy just HAD to suck all of the possible fun out of it by telling us that the Braves had ALREADY lost… like THIRTY SECONDS before Lidge got the final out. Couldn’t he just wait?

    I was really rooting for the Braves to win that game so the Phils could clinch it themselves.

    It’s so much more fun winning the div by 1 game over the Mets than it is winning by 7

  4. Joel V.

    January 1, 2010 at 2:57 am

    Nick, you sir are an idiot.

  5. George

    January 1, 2010 at 8:28 am

    I’ve never seen much point or much fairness in picking “the best” of any particular decade. Someone such as Hamels, who arrived rather late but has pitched extremely well can be beaten out by a guy with a 4.40 ERA, simply because that guy had more years in which to be below expectations. Another example might be Jayson Werth, who maybe just hasn’t had the number of years yet to beat out Abreu. A player who spans two decades could be the greatest during that time, but his 5 year stats in those TWO decades might not quite reach those of a person who played his entire 10 in one decade.

    I’ll also raise another issue here. This is still 2010, so this decade isn’t really over yet. 2000 was the last year of the previous decade; this one started with 2001. (You can’t start counting with “0”; you start any count with a “1”.)

  6. Keith E

    January 1, 2010 at 9:30 am

    My #1 has to be Vic hitting a walk off homer on his “Flyin’ Hawaiian” day. It rained the whole game and he was looking lost at the plate until his last AB. Hollywood would reject such a hokie script!
    Others in no particular order:
    Howard’s 7 RBI against the Yankees
    Utley’s 2 stellar plays in WFS game 5 in 2008 (baseball genius!)
    The feeling of being ‘home’ after walking through the turnstile at CBP
    Happy New Year
    GO PHILS!!!

  7. Vernon Dozier

    January 1, 2010 at 10:33 am

    Scott Rolen played 844 games as a Phillie…how does that translate into “only being here for a couple of years”?

  8. Denny Dennehey

    January 1, 2010 at 10:55 am

    It takes dedication to write a column like this late on New Year’s Eve. And I am one Phils Fan who appreciates the hard work, dedication, talent and baseball knowledge that Amanda brings to blog. Great work and thanks. Happy New Year. You are a winner and I look forward to reading your work in 2010.

  9. Duffie_D

    January 1, 2010 at 11:39 am

    My favorite moment was the final game of the 2007 season. I remember going particularly nuts when J-Roll hit his 20th triple of the season and virtually locking up the MVP, and obviously will never forget Brett Myers shutting the door to finish an impossible comeback in the division standings. That was the start of this wonderful run of Phillies baseball we’re on.

  10. Amanda Orr

    January 1, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    I tried not to say “this decade” a lot because of the 2001 debate. I was just breaking it up how we break years up: the 80s, 90s, now 00s and 10s..

    Like the one commenter said, tenure sometimes changes the best of the decade. That’s what happened with Myers/ Hamels. Myers, hamels, and Wolf were my top 3. The phillies never really had a #1 starter until later in the decade.

    The Rolen being here a few years meant a few years in the 2000s. 2000-2002 wasn’t very long.

    Happy new year everyone.

  11. Matt Kwasiborski

    January 1, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    What about the best trades or FA signings of the decade?:

    1. Bobby Abreu and Cory Lidle (RIP) to the Yanks for 5 minor leaguers- we didn’t get any impact prospects back (but watch out for a converted C we got down there) but the Yanks took all of Abreu’s contract and changed the clubhouse chemistry from a poisioned one to a championship one.

    2. Cliff Lee- enough said about this but we wouldn’t have gotten to the WS without him.

    3. Trading for Brad Lidge: the impact of the Lidge trade can be compared to the Lee one but it lasted the entire season. Sadly, his 2009 season puts him behind the Lee trade

    4. Trading Thome for Aaron Rowand: You can say we traded Thome for Rowand and Ryan Howard in this one. Rowand bought a style of play that showed the young nucleus what it took to win a championship, had a great year at the plate, and will forever last in Phillie lore with the catch. And the impact of Howard will also be felt for decades.

    5. Selecting Victorino in the Rule 5 draft- allowed the Phils to let Rowand walk and saved us $60M in the process

    These are my Top 5 moves of the decade by our front office.

    I also have a problem with Madson as the best reliever of the decade. To me, he was a few blown saves and holds from being exiled from here. I have to nominate Jose Mesa. All he did was become the all-time Phillies saves leader this decade. Hate him all you want but he did this in a relatively short stint as our closer.

  12. WFC010

    January 1, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Jose Mesa did to Rolaids what sad drama films did to Kleenex…then again, the same could be said about about Mitch Williams, and 2009 Brad Lidge…and both have become beloved in their own ways, so why not a little more respect for Mesa too?

  13. johnkrukslovechild

    January 1, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    The four game sweep against the Mets in 2007 is definitely at the top of my list, I was at Game 4 and it was mind-blowing. Played hookey from work too, all the better !

    That last game was so back and forth, we put 5 on the board, then they came back and answered with 5, followed by a huge inning when we tacked on 3 more. Seemed like a lock until the 8th when the rug got yanked out from under our feet. The whole crowd was so dejected, it was like getting punched in the gut. And when it finally ended with Chase getting a run, ESPECIALLY off Wagner, it was such an unbelievable moment. Not only because the Phils polished off the sweep, and won a crazy game, but also because at that moment, you knew they really had a shot at taking the division and could go all the way.

    I’ve never been so pumped or seen a crowd so worked up into a frenzy as after that game. My hand was sore from high fiving so many random people, it just so goddamn exciting. That is what baseball is all about !

  14. Tyler

    January 1, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    What about Bruntlett’s triple play?

  15. Al in Seattle

    January 1, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    I think my favorite moment was Lidge striking out Hinske swinging for the final out of the world series. That was absolutely insane. Honorable mention to game three of the world series when Bruntlett scored the winning run on Chooch’s infield single and Longoria threw the ball over the catcher’s head so Bruntlett could score.

  16. philsphan

    January 1, 2010 at 4:33 pm


    I was at that game too but wasn’t it Werth that got the run? I thought that was the game he stole 2nd and 3rd in the 9th there.

    Either way, it was an awesome way to finish that sweep.

  17. ray

    January 1, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    George, when 1989 went to 1990 I think it was seemed right to say the decade of the 80’s were over. You’re technically right but who cares, when Dick Clark declares the decade over it’s over. When 1999 rolled over to 2000 I celebrated the Newmanian. HAPPY FESTIVUS FOR THE REST OF US!!!!

  18. George

    January 1, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    To Matt Kwasiborski: best trades/signings for a decade are way too difficult to evaluate. A player may be obtained in a trade–particularly, prospects–and not completely prove his mettle until the following decade. An example could be Poalnco; signed in 2009, but won’t play until 2010. Or maybe Aumont (though I hesitate to even mention anyone from that trade, because I’m sick of the whining), who won’t arrive in the majors for at least two years. Again, he was obtained in this decade, but we won’t know his true abilities in this decade.

    Your choices are good for the most part (I’m not convinced the Abreu deal ranks in the top five) but transactions made toward the end of this first ten years could still prove to be better.


    January 1, 2010 at 7:27 pm


  20. johnkrukslovechild

    January 1, 2010 at 11:10 pm


    Werth stole 2nd and 3rd, and Iguchi drove him in. Then Iguchi was on 2nd when Chase drove him in for the winning run. Incredible ending to an incredible game !

  21. Joe

    January 2, 2010 at 12:14 am

    Let’s not forget Joe Blanton’s HR in game 4

  22. WFC010

    January 2, 2010 at 5:43 am

    Or the complete Game 3 of the 2009 NCS, when the Phillies MASSACRED the Dodgers by 11 to zilch, including Lee getting a run scored.

  23. Bdunf

    January 2, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    I think Harry going into the hall and the players giving him an ovation after he sung take me out to the ball game at Wrigley the day or 2 before he was inducted has to be on the list of memorable events of the decade.

  24. keng

    January 2, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    for me – most exciting part of the decade was the run against and capture of the mets in august and september of 2007 – unf—ingbelievable!!! – i think thats when the phils really became the championship phils of the last 2 years!!!

  25. Brooks

    January 2, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    I would agree with Keith E. mostly because I was sitting next to him at 2 of the 3 games (we did go to the second part or best part of the WS game 5 actually).

    Most memorable though would have to be the passing of the great one, Harry Kalas. Every game I go to, I cannot leave without singing along to my new favorite song.

    I too feel at home when I pass through the turnstiles!

    Go Phils!

  26. Brian Sr. of CO

    January 2, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    Im not sure how to put this to not sound ignorrant, but Im not sure I would classify the passing of Harry the K as a moment to remember. Meaning, I dont want to remember it, because I wish it didnt happen. Make sense? Of course I will always remember it, always wondering if I was weird for shedding some tears for a man I had never met in person, until I spoke with my cousin and logged on here to see I was not alone. It was an extremely depressing moment that I wish didnt happen, but all great things must come to an end, just as the great life, and great career of Harry the K had to come to end. RIP Harry, lets got for a 3-peat of the NL, and get another WFC!

  27. WFC010

    January 2, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    Harry passing was the most depressing part of the whole Phillies season for me. You grow up listening , always hearing his voice during Phillies games, and then one day…that voice is just gone. While it’s true that nobody lives forever, Harry’s voice remains immortal and irreplaceable.

  28. Amanda Orr

    January 2, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    It’s remembering harry’s legacy, not his passing..

  29. Smokey

    January 3, 2010 at 3:20 am

    Understood Amanda, but the fact remains that you did call “the passing of Harry Kalas” a memorable moment. I’m sure the readers understand the message you are trying to convey, but it still comes across as being poorly worded. Perhaps “the celebration of Harry’s career with the Phillies” instead?

  30. George

    January 3, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Harry Kalas’s passing was indeed a memorable moment, and is not a “poorly worded” statement. Too many times we remember a man’s legacy only slightly while they’re alive. Unfortunately, it takes death to truly show us what that person brought out in us all.

    I doubt we’d even be discussing Harry Kalas, or would only mention a few of his calls in passing, had he not moved on. That, as pathetic as it may seem, is why his death was memorable–because it presented us all with his legacy.

  31. Brooks

    January 3, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Smokey, I said that not Amanda.
    Defining moments can be measure by how much your heart flitters when you think about that time or occasion or that person.
    There will always be games and great moments that linger in your memory and make you smile. Harry will forever be fondly in my memory and the thought of him will always bring a smile to my heart.

  32. Dave

    January 3, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    My favorite moment was the game against the Rockies a few years ago when the phils were helping the grounds crew with the tarps during the rain delay.

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