No one needs to feel bad about being greedy in wanting a second title – not that I know anyone who does – because periods of extended success are so fleeting in baseball. The Phillies have given themselves an opportunity to seize the end of this decade and the beginning of the next in a choke hold, allowing their names to be mentioned in the same sentence as the mid-70s Reds, mid-90s Braves and, yes, those late-90s Yankees.
After a quarter-century of failure, of near misses and of just-not-enough, a Philadelphia team is enjoying a run of success not seen in this city in a long, long time.
Not that you needed a reminder or refresher, here are some reasons why I think just winning in 2008 isn’t enough.
- The Dynasty Factor – You may not be able to compare them in terms of talent, but the Phillies can join the Big Red Machine Reds of the mid-70s as the only National League teams to repeat as champions in the last 40 years.
- I, personally, would like to hear Chase Utley say “World F#ckin’ Champions” on TV for a second straight year.
- Beating the Yankees – Because who, outside of Yankee fans, doesn’t want this? Even Met fans have to be torn.
- Beating the Angels – They’re pretty darn good, too.
- More payroll – They’ve already gained a lot of cash this year, but another World Series title will give the Phillies the luxury of knowing that nearly every home game from now until 2013 will be sold out, and more players can be kept.
- I want Cole Hamels to make his move into the upper echelon of all-time playoff pitchers. At 25.
- The Phillies can take over the top-sport spot in Philadelphia.
- Championships are a valued part of every player’s resume, and with a second, Chase Utley (above all others) can not only solidify his Hall of Fame credentials, but begin to move into the conversation of top 10 all-time second basemen. That is, if he isn’t already there.
- I love watching live footage of the riots on city streets immediately after the clinching game. I guess that makes me deranged, in some capacity.
- I had entirely too much fun roaming right down Broad Street with two million other fans after the parade had passed.
- Hearing Kathy Romano say “and the Phillies are still the World Champs” near the beginning of every Preston and Steve show for another year.
- The comedy factor of having Eric Bruntlett win two rings.
- The heartwarming factor of getting Cliff Lee, Raul Ibanez and Chan Ho Park their first rings.
- The resolution of whatever ridiculous Governor’s bet there is between the two states this year. Or have they left that exclusively to football, mercifully?
- An explosion of additional Phillies bloggers that’s sure to come.
- The inclusion of Charlie Manuel among the pantheon of top managers. My personal opinions notwithstanding, you’d start hearing his name mentioned with the LaRussas, Torres, Scioscias and Piniellas of the baseball world.
- Another win would take the sting out of an inevitably disappointing end to the Eagles’ season in January. Wait, football season is almost halfway complete?
- Hearing the thinly veiled derision and disappointment in Joe Buck’s voice as he announces the final out.
- Watching replays of every position player run toward the mound in celebration over and over and over and…
- The Feeling – capitalized because, if you were fan last year (as 99 percent of you were), you remember what it felt like when Brad Lidge struck out Eric Hinske. You remember yelling incomprehensible, celebratory babble over the phone to the 30 friends you called and the other 30 that called you. You remember honking your horn and hanging your flag and rally towel out the window, romping like it was New Year’s Day. You remember the parade on Halloween, when the Phillies removed the ugly mask of the previous 28 years and revealed the visage of a winner. Now, in 2009, we have a chance to remember all over again.
What are your reasons? What keeps the fire burning in you?