I'm Sick of the 1993 Phillies

Sincere congratulations, John. But can we please stop now? (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

I know this is going to be thought of as blasphemy, and I'll be virtually run out of town for saying it, but I'm going to say it loud and clear right here at the start of this post anyway:  I'm completely sick of the 1993 Phillies.

And if that wasn't clear enough, there's more: I don't care what John Kruk thinks of Philadelphia and the current team; I don't want to sit through another inning with Darren Daulton in the broadcast booth; I couldn't care less about Lenny Dykstra's legal issues; I don't want to hear another story about the intensity of Dave Hollins; if I never had to hear Curt Schilling talk again, I would be in bliss; and I could go on and on.

Of course, if you've read this blog long enough, you know this is not coming from a Jonny-come-lately fan.  I've been living and dying by this team since at least 1980.  The 1993 team, in particular, holds a special place in my fan history.  In the spring of 1993, I was recovering at home from a sudden grave illness that required major surgery and me taking a semester off of college.  That the Phillies suddenly came alive that spring helped make a difficult time much better for me.  I loved watching them and of course followed the team's successes through the season and into the playoffs.  I drove 7 hours from college to Philadelphia to watch Curt Schilling shutout the Blue Jays in Game 5.  I drove another 7 hours back to college half a day after Joe Carter shattered our hearts.

But I'm done with them now.  Every time the team honors them, as they did yet again this past weekend, I do whatever I can to find some other way to consume my addiction.  If the TV broadcast is featuring the team, I'll switch to the radio broadcast.  If both are, I'll follow online.  I'll skip the articles in the paper about the 1993 team.  I'm just done.

Why?  It's simple.  At this point, the repetitive nostalgia for that team strikes me as small time.  It's for a franchise that doesn't have much to celebrate.  Yeah, between 1994 and 2006, I understood it.  The Phillies generally sucked, and we had the World Series winners of 1980 to celebrate (which kind of includes the World Series losers of 1983 because of the overlap) and the World Series losers of 1993.  That's it for recent memory.  It made sense to celebrate that team, even though, as we all know, it ultimately lost.

Now, though?  The franchise needs to understand that the 1993 team takes a big back seat to what's going on now.  This current team is a dynasty in the making.  We all know its track record - it actually won the World Series in 2008; it went back in 2009; barring catastrophe, it's probably going to win the NL East 5 years in a row; and the accolades will just grow.  Celebrating a team that lost the World Series (and did nothing else any other year) seems incredibly irrelevant now that we are in the midst of the greatest Phillies era ever.

And there are more reasons.  I'm sick of these guys, especially in light of the current crop.  For 18 years now, I've been beaten over the head with the personalities of the 1993 team.  Frankly, I'm sick of them at this point.  Mitch Williams and John Kruk are deadening on TV.  Darren Daulton is an absurdity.  Curt Schilling is someone I only care about on the mound and scares me a bit off.  Dave Hollins was always a nut job.  Larry Andersen's musings on the radio without invoking the 1993 team are more than enough L.A. for me.  Only Jim Eisenreich interests me anymore, but that has nothing to do with baseball and everything to do with his general life story.

I just like the players on the current team better.  And even if I didn't, I care more about them because they are the team that I'm one day going to be telling my grandchildren about.  The 1993 team?  Well, I'm sure it'll come up when I tell them about why I have a huge scar on my abdomen and the Joe Carter thing will probably arise in conversation some day because they'll want to know why I'm cursing their TiVo for capturing Game 6 on the Baseball History channel, but probably not much beyond that.

Finally, there's one other thing that just grows increasingly disturbing about the 1993 team.  It smacks of an era when the Phillies weren't yet over their race issues.  I know there are people who are going to get upset about me bringing this up because the mere mention of race and injustice is absurd to some people in 2011, but how can you not notice this when you look at the 1993 team and then look at the 2011 team?  The Phillies have definitely gotten over their race issues of the past, but it hasn't been so long for them.  The 1993 team is a stark reminder of that.

Maybe I'm alone here.  In fact, I'm completely fine if I am.  I wish those guys on the 1993 team all the best in their personal lives, but I hope their professional lives never cross my path again.  Or, at least, in a completely diminished capacity in the future.

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