Sports Scene: Already NL East champs, Phillies hungry for more

By Nick Pitts
October 2, 2008

So many times in my life-long career as a professional Philadelphia sports fan have I found myself watching recaps of the great moments of yesteryear.

So many times have I wondered what it would have been like if I were alive when the Flyers won back-to-back Stanley Cups, or when the Phillies won the World Series.

I have been around for a lot of great moments for every Philly team, but every time they fall just a bit short of a championship.

It seems as though everything great in Philadelphia sports history has come and gone and after 25 years of “maybe next year,” you really start to wonder just when the hell next year may be.

When will we finally allow Fred Shero’s cup-winning Flyers of the ’70s to walk into the sunset and Mike Schmidt’s Fightin’ Phils to rest?

Thanks to Jimmy Rollins’ heroic game-ending National League East-winning double play, next year might not be next year afterall.

For the second time in two years, the Phillies will be playing October ball and for the first time since 1980, this may finally be the year the World Series belongs to Philadelphia.

The Phillies looked merely unbeatable coming into the final month of play in the season, where Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard finally got their acts together.

When the team fires on all cylinders like they have in September, they’re flat out fun to watch.

Still, many fans, reminiscing or not so much, about last year’s quick expulsion from October ball, don’t have much faith that the Phils will even make it out of the first round.

Put your ulcer medicine away Philadelphia, this isn’t even close to last year’s post season Phillies.

There was no monumental collapse of the New York Mets allowing the Phillies to slip into the post season; they did it on their own steam.

Although it was great to see the Mets choke so badly last year, the Phils limped into that pennant win only to meet a superior Colorado Rockies team with all of the momentum in the world.

Heading into October this year, Philly boasts a strong starting rotation and a stellar defense, both around the diamond and outfield.

With a bullpen not too far away from the literal meaning of the term, they actually put themselves into a position where it didn’t have to come down to the final day of the season this time around.

This time, it seems like the Phillies are coming in with that momentum and their first victim, the Milwaukee Brewers, are a mere one-pitcher team with no closer quite like Philly’s Brad Lidge.

The highlight clips that I am going to watch over and over again this week aren’t going to be in that fuzzy ’70s glare.

Instead, I’m going to enjoy the magical plays created just last week. That is, until they’re replaced with some more firework-producing magic.

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Nick Pitts

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