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PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
2008 World Series Collector's Edition

Review by Jose Roldan

Audio:  Dolby Digital Stereo
Video:  Full Frame 1.33:1
Studio:  A&E
Features:  See Review
Length:  1117 Minutes
Release Date:  December 9, 2008

Film ****

The 2009 MLB season is quickly approaching us, but let us step back a minute and reflect on what a great season 2008 was for baseball and especially the Philadelphia Phillies!  2008 for us Philly fans was one for the ages.  After trailing the Mets, and battling the Marlins for the most of the season, the Fightin’ Phillies hit their collective stride in late August and carried that momentum into the playoffs leaving behind the choking Mets and the upstart Marlins.  A second consecutive NL East division pennant was logged for Charlie Manuel and his ball players, and winning the ultimate prize in baseball THE WORLD F#$%& SERIES! (as told to us by Mr. Chase Ultely) bringing a Championship to the city of Brotherly Love for the first time since 1983.

 

The start of the season Charlie Manuel elected to go with Bret Myers as his opening day starter, and as a life long Phillies fan, I was quick to jump on the skipper’s decision and most of his decisions throughout the season as us Philly fans do.  As it seemed he was loosing his team, Manuel battle through, with Jimmy Rollins making disparaging comments about Philly fans, Bret Myers’ blow up (and sub sequential stint in the minor leagues), the removal of Burrell from the game in late innings, and many other questionable roster moves in games, Philly fan thought 2008 was going down the tubes. 

 

The return of Bret Myers from the minors seemed to have an effect on the Phillies.  Myers returned to the starting rotation with a fury and the rest of the pitching staff followed suit.  To say Brad Lidge was outstanding is an understatement.  The closer was perfect in save opportunities.  The set up men in the rotation shut opponents down in late innings, and the bats came around with the “Big Fella” Ryan Howard leading the league in home runs and runs batted in.  Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins provided a lethal combo in the line-up, while Jason Worth, Pat Burrell, and the “Flyin’ Hawaiian” Shane Victorino provided the spark the team needed. 

 

Watching this DVD set you can relive all the great moment from the season in their original broadcast.   A must have for any Philly Fan!

Video ***

I watched the games on a standard Polaroid DVD player hooked to a 60 inch Mitsubishi 1080p DLP television set, then watched bits of them on a Memorex DVD player with up-conversion to 1080p on a 42 inch LCD Visio.  I will have to say the picture quality was a tad bit better with the up-conversion but the difference was not stunning.  The really only complaint I had on the video was the MLB logo plastered on the screen.  We get it Major League Baseball, it’s your original product, but please take the water mark down.  Other than that, the video is a crisp clear picture, a standard brilliant FOX Sports video broadcast.

Audio ****

A wonderful feature of this set, the viewer is able to watch the games with audio from a choice of broadcast crews.  You can watch and listen with the Rays telecast crew, choose the Fox broadcast crew, the Phillies Radio Network crew with Hall of Famer Harry Kalas, and even listen in to the Fox en Espanol announcer.  A wonderful feature, as all I heard was the Fox crew when the games originally aired.  Being able to listen in with the different perspectives (and from a Phillies Fan) that is wonderful.  From the opening pitch of Game 4 of the NLCS to the final out of the World Series, hearing the call from a legend like Kalas is a priceless timepiece.

Features ****

As mentioned, the greatest feature on the DVD for me was the ability to listen in on the Phillies broadcast team.  A special treat for me, as I grew up listening to Harry Kalas and crew, but as a transplant now living in Florida, I do not get to hear them much.  Listening to the Rays telecast was also a bit of Philly fan indulgence, as I was cheering the disappointment in the crew, and listening when they got excited already knowing they will be let down. That is the sadistic ways of a Philly fan! 

 

On to the bonus DVD, which, aside from the audio, is the second best thing of this set.  Jam-packed with highlights from throughout the year, the playoffs, and the series are wonderful.  To go along with that, they include the locker-room celebrations with interviews, the trophy and M.V.P. presentations, and parade footage.  I must say, I have played this DVD to the point the wife is threatening separation.  

Summary: 

For the die-hard Phillies fan this is a must have.  For the rabid baseball fan, this is one for the collection, and for the Tampa Bay Rays fan, better luck next year.  This box set was a wonderfully pleasant surprise from the people at A&E Television Networks. 

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