If it seems that the Philadelphia Phillies aren’t getting a lot of respect in these playoffs, there’s a good reason. Respect isn’t a right. You have to earn it.
Yes, you earn it by winning baseball games. The Phillies have won 95 games so far this year, including the postseason. The Dodgers have won 87.
All of us who were saying this was the Cubs’ year to end 100 years of misery should have applied the Philadelphia Principle to Chicago. If Philly gets no respect because of that team’s 27 championship-free seasons, the Cubs should have gotten even less.
What the hell do past seasons have to do with anything? "The Phillies 1990s outfielder Ricky Otero is clearly an inferior player who will drag down the team in the 2008 postseason."
Okay, so we got a little giddy with the Cubs.
Best record in the league, best run differential in the league. Justified.
We made a mistake and we’ve learned our lesson.
No, no you haven't.
From here on out, the Phillies, for all their accomplishments this year, are going to have to show on the field that they deserve respect before we go handing it to them.
They don't owe you anything. Their job is to win (or fail to win) baseball games. Your "respect" is as useless to them as that godawful hat you wear.
I’m going to be the first to admit this is more than a little unfair.
Your first and only accurate statement so far. Take a break! You might get exhausted.
The Dodgers, who are generating whatever buzz remains in the National League playoffs, last won the World Series in 1988, eight years after Philly. But the uneven treatment of the two teams isn’t totally baseless. The Dodgers have had success in other seasons; they’ve won other championships. The Phillies have just one, and it came a generation ago.
So the Dodgers teams of 1955, 1981, those Sandy Koufax teams in the 1960s... they mean something in 2008? And the dreadful Phillies teams of the 20s and 30s affect how you judge this Phillies team? That's not just being "unfair," it's being a goddamned moron.
If somebody says “Dodgers,” you probably think, “great franchise with a history of winning.” If somebody says “Phillies,” you probably think, “losers.”
If somebody says "Mike Celizic," you probably think "crotch-bearded nothing of a dog%#&@er."
Hey, I don’t make the rules. I just comment on them.
Much to the English-speaking world's chagrin.
You want to blame somebody, try W.C. Fields, the man who proposed as his epitaph: “On the whole, I’d rather be in Philadelphia.”
Surely Fields' impact on this 2008 Phillies team has been measurable.
Or blame the Philadelphia fans, who have never paid money to see a hero they couldn’t boo.
Lord knows, the fans have reasons for their dyspeptic view of the home team. This is the fourth straight year that the Phillies entered the season as a popular pick to make the playoffs.
Oh woe be upon us, we've had competitive baseball to watch in this city! And correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't virtually EVERY "expert" pick the Mets to win the division this year?
In 2005 and 2006, they gagged down the stretch.
The 2005 Phillies actually surged at the end but fell short. And the 2006 team led the Wild Card by a half-game before the last week. HORRENDOUS CHOKE!
Last year, they mounted a heroic stretch run that overtook the Mets, who went down in history as the biggest September chokers in history. It should go without saying that the previous holders of that distinction were the Phillies of 1964.
It should go without saying, yet you said it anyway. You're just a turd covered in bristly fur. Yes, the 1964 Phillies are going to have a direct impact over the NLCS, just like the 2007 Mets are going to have their grubby, choky fingers in the fortunes of their franchise come 2055. If I admit it will you just shut up?
But the Phillies couldn’t get out of the first round of the playoffs last year, getting steamrolled by the Colorado Rockies in three straight.
Sorta like the Dodgers in 2006? Sorta like the Dodgers, who hadn't won a postseason series SINCE 1988?!
Now it’s the fourth year of the Phillies’ resurgence.
2003 through 2008. I count six years, but what do I know, I'm just a Santa-booing butthole from Philadelphia!
They did dispatch the Brewers with relative ease in four games. And now they’re taking on the Dodgers, who are in the playoffs by virtue both of playing in the worst division in baseball and of having had the wisdom to work a deadline trade for Manny Ramirez.
So you're saying that the Dodgers, despite playing in weak division and being fortunate enough to have a disgruntled Manny Ramirez dumped on your team by a desperate Theo Epstein, are somehow imbued with a "winner's aura"?
A strict comparison of the lineups should favor Philadelphia in NLCS. Nobody left in the playoffs can match the top of Philly’s batting order: Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell. Rollins and Victorino have 83 stolen bases between them. Howard, Utley and Burrell have combined for 114 home runs and 336 RBIs. Howard Utley and Victorino have scored a combined 320 runs.
Their pitching isn’t quite at that level, putting up a staff ERA of 3.89, but that was good for fourth in the National League, and closer Brad Lidge was a perfect 41-for-41 in saves during the regular season and went two-for-two against the Brewers in the NLDS.
Not too bad here, Mikey, but it should be noted that having the 4th best staff ERA in the league is a pretty substantial accomplishment playing half your games in a hitter's park.
Maybe none of Philly’s starters are yet among the elite of the league, but young Cole Hamels is getting there.
Cole Hamels: 1st in the league in WHIP, 5th in ERA, 4th in ERA+. Nope, not quite elite yet. Try again!
But even if they’re not, that should be more than good enough when paired with the league’s second-best offense. (Actually, they tied for second with the Mets; the Cubs were first.)
Getting somewhere, are we? See, facts are fun!
But what a team should be doesn’t count. What it is does. And what the Phillies have been from their birth in 1883 until now is an outfit that has rarely found it difficult to live down to the expectations of the most determined pessimist. It took them 22 seasons to finally finish first in the National League, an achievement they celebrated by losing the World Series in five games to none other than the Boston Red Sox. (The Red Sox drew 42,000 fans per game in that series; the Phillies half that.)
OMFG. He's using 1915 attendance numbers to take a swipe at the Phillies. 1915. In 1915, chances were the best excuses for not going to a game probably included the following:
- Cholera outbreak
- Mustard gas
- Grizzly bears
- You're six years old and you had to put in a solid 15 hours at the mill before you can get your buffalo head nickel wage and cup of broth, which you took home to your mother (your father was killed two years prior after being kicked in the head by a horse he was trying to shoe) and your 28 brothers and sisters.
- Aggression by the Kaiser and the Jerries in the Great War, which America had not yet entered.
- Arm severed in electrified trolley; you still went to work.
- You're absorbed by Dubliners, which had just been published the previous year.
After the passage of a mere 35 years and two World Wars, the Phillies were back in the World Series. The year was 1950, the opponents the Yankees, the result a sweep. Slow forward another 30 years and the Phillies won their sole championship, beating the Royals in six games.
OKAY, WE GET IT, the Phillies really used to suck! Thank God the 2008 Phillies don't! And they really don't!
Those of us who were alive back then remember it was a glorious triumph. But we also remember that Philly had had a great team since 1976 anchored by the likes of Steve Carlton, Bob Boone, Greg Luzinski, Larry Bowa and Mike Schmidt. They had won their division three times in four years before 1980, yet never made it to the World Series. And after winning the series, they again lost in the playoffs in 1981 and lost the 1983 World Series in five games to the Orioles. In the 25 years since, they’ve been back to the World Series once, in 1993, when they lost in six to Toronto, and the playoffs three times, the last two coming in the last two years. And last year, they didn’t win a single playoff game.
Abbreviated: A number of teams make the postseason every year. Not every one wins the World Series. Think Zombie Celizic is going to write articles like this about the Braves one day?
So if there’s no respect for the Phillies, there’s good historical reasons for it. If you’d spent the last 88 years predicting that the Yankees would win the World Series, you’d have been right 26 times. If you’d done the same with the Phillies, you’d have been right once.
If they want respect, they’ve gotta do better than that.
You're right. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard really have a lot to answer for for failing to win the pennant for 35 years in the first half of the 20th century. Cole Hamels is a big pile of suck for being such a dud on the 1998 Phillies staff. Brad Lidge can eat a bag of dicks for screwing up the 1964 pennant race. Losers, all of them!