Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Phillies--Then and Now

On the Wall Street Journal's sports page today there is a worth-reading story on the Philadelphia Phillies written by Matthew Futterman. His angle is that this Phillies team, the defending world champions, is not only the city's best baseball team ever but also its finest sports team in history.
Futterman puts this Phillies club ahead of the Eagles, 76ers and Flyers championship-winning teams because it is on the verge of becoming a dynasty, something the city's other modern sports franchises never were.
With the Phils about to oust the Dodgers out of the National League Championship Series, it's hard to argue Futterman's point. He compares them to the New York Yankees because, like the Bronx Bombers, the Phillies are a mix of quality players from their minor league system and those added either by trades or free agency.
This Phillies team, overall, is much stronger than the 1980 World Series champions who beat the Kansas City Royals for the title. That team had a solid starting nine that included Mike Schmidt, Pete Rose, Gary Matthews, Greg Luzinski and Steve Carlton. But it didn't have the depth that Manager Charlie Manuel's club has.
If form plays out, a Phillies-Yankees World Series might be the best in many seasons.

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