Monday, October 6, 2008

So you're saying there's a chance...

1993 was the year. Bill Clinton was president.

The American economy was flourishing. Top albums of the year were: Wu-Tang Clan's "Enter The Wu-Tang", Nirvana's "In Utero" and The Smashing Pumpkin's "Siamese Dream."

"I'd Do Anything for Love (but I won't do that)" by Meatloaf and "What is Love?" by Haddaway were the top 2 singles on the radio.

"Jurassic Park," "Mrs. Doubtfire," "The Fugitive" and, ironically, "Philadelphia" were a few of the top movies of this year. Yes, my friends, it was also the last time the Philly 9 were in the NLCS. Relevantly, the Mullet was at its peak and the preferred do of the '93 Phils.

The early '90s marked one of the great years for the Phillies (there have been few). While they were unable to fill the void of Broad Street parades, they were a team that the city identified with. These were blue collar guys that worked hard, hit hard, and seemed like your average Philadelphian. As a matter of fact, the 1993 Phillies had a compulsive gambler and drinker in Lenny Dykstra, a certifiably crazy person in Darren Daulton and some fat guys you'd swore you saw inhaling steaks at Geno's and Pat's (John Kruk, Pete Incaviglia, Danny Jackson. (Ed note: Danny Jackson was fat?))

I was an impressionable 10-year-old ginger kid when the Phils beat the Atlanta Braves to move on to the World Series. In fact, aside from some of the great Buddy Ryan coached Eagles teams, the '93 Phils had one of the biggest impacts on me as a kid. The Phils catapulted from worst to first and captured the attention of Philadelphia after being basically invisible since they lost the World Series to the Orioles in '83. They made us believers. We hung on every pitch and inevitably we died with the Phillies in that oh-so-horrible game 6. I apologize for bringing up the jagged memory.

Since 1993, the Phillies organization has had very little to be proud of. Somewhere along the way the Phillies clinched the dubious milestone of being the losing-est franchise in all of sports, racking up over 10,000 losses. Although the Phils did achieve mild success last year by improbably winning the NL East, they found themselves in the way of the white-hot Colorado Rockies and were swept in three games. Granted, watching the Mets completely melt down and the Phillies seize the day was great, but it left everyone wanting more.

The 2008 Phillies are a different breed than those of '93. These Phillies are made up of all-stars and MVPs. These Phillies are younger and dare I say more promising. Most importantly, THEY HAVE A CLOSER!! We all know the Phillies need 8 more wins to become world champs, but I am reminded of one simple phrase Chase Utley uttered upon winning the NL East this year. He said, "I like our chances."

Maybe I'm setting myself up for disappointment, but I'm starting to believe him.

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