All week at NBC Sports Philadelphia, we're debating the biggest villains in Philly sports history. Today, we look at the Phillies.
Talk to any of the core members of the 2007-11 Phillies and they'll tell you those teams should have won more than one World Series. Many of them think they should have won more than two.
And they're right. The 2009 and 2010 Phillies were every bit as good as the 2008 Phillies. On paper, they were more complete. They just didn't have quite the same magic.
The '09 Phillies had Cliff Lee and the 2010 Phillies had Roy Halladay at his very best, plus a dominant post-deadline stretch from Roy Oswalt.
That 2010 team looked destined for greatness. It was the year of Halladay's perfect game and playoff no-hitter. The Phillies won 97 regular-season games and swept the Reds in the NLDS.
What followed was a series loss few expected. A series loss in which the Phillies pretty much shut down every Giant except one. Cody Ross. Better known in Philly by his full name: Cody F'n Ross.
He didn't have a moment as memorable as Joe Carter, he didn't dominate the Phillies for two decades like Chipper Jones and he didn't spurn the city like J.D. Drew, but Ross provided some of the most painful memories in recent Phillies history.
And he wasn't even a focal point of the Giants' offense headed into the 2010 playoffs, when they downed the Phillies in six games in the NLCS en route to their first of three World Series titles over a five-year span.
Let's go back to the summer of 2010. Ross was in the midst of his fifth season with the Marlins, with whom he had become a starter and a slightly above-average offensive player from 2007-09, a role player many teams could use in the six-spot in the lineup.
In late August of 2010, the Giants were chasing the Padres. They were six games behind San Diego on Aug. 22, the day they absorbed Ross' contract from the Marlins via waivers. The main reason the Giants even placed the claim was to block San Diego.
The Giants went on a roll from there and won the NL West by two games.
Ross was solid but unspectacular for the Giants down the stretch, typically batting eighth. That's where he hit in Game 1 of the 2010 NLCS, when he homered twice off of Halladay, that year's NL Cy Young winner.
Ross broke the hearts of Phillies fans in that series.
• He homered twice in a one-run win in Game 1.
• He homered again in Game 2 off of Oswalt.
• In Game 3, he drove in the Giants' first run in a 3-0 win.
• In Game 4, he doubled to start a late-game rally that put the Giants ahead.
In all, Ross hit .350 in the series, going 7 for 20 with three doubles, three homers and five RBI.
His Giants teammates hit one home run in 181 at-bats. Ross slugged .950 in that series. His teammates slugged .282.
Some Phillies villains were great players. Chipper is a Hall of Famer. Carter hit 396 home runs. Vladimir Guerrero killed the Phillies, but he also killed every other team. Fergie Jenkins and Tom Seaver had remarkable success against the Phils, but they too are Hall of Famers.
Ross is in a different category. He's in the category of "pesky player who stepped up in the playoffs to spark his fanbase and crush another."
In Boston, for decades they said Bucky F'n Dent.
In Philly, they say Cody F'n Ross.