When the Phillies lost to the Rockies 12-0, they fell behind 7 1/2 games to the Mets with only 17 games left. What happened since?
The Phillies have gone on a rampage... winning 10 of the next 13 and pulling within one game of the Mets with 4 to play.
They could knock the Mets clean out of the Playoffs and start a civil war between my cousins who are Mets fans and my cousins who are Phillies fans.
If their playoff push falls short (like it did in 2003, 2005 and 2006) I have a proposal.
Tear down the new Citizens Bank Ballpark and rebuild Veterans Stadium.
That's right... I am calling for the rebuilding of one of those awful cookie cutter nondescript multipurpose stadiums.
The cold, dark, ugly, urine smelling Vet.
Why would I propose such lunacy?
Because the Phillies need to be nostalgic and go back to their roots!
They need to change their uniforms back to the Mike Schmidt curly P and play in the Vet again!
I know they are wearing the same design uniform from their past. I know they hearken back to the old days... but those old days SUCKED.
Want a history lesson for the Phillies?
The franchise started in 1883 when they were called the Quakers.
The name was appropriate because they didn't put up a fight.
They finished 17-81... or a .173 winning percentage.
And thus a legacy of losing was born!
They wouldn't finish in first place until their 32nd year... where they were drubbed in 5 games by the Red Sox in the 1915 World Series.
In the Phillies first 92 years they finished in first place twice.
Read that sentence again.
And in their two World Series appearances (1950 was the other) they combined for 1 win. Not a series win... one game.
This is the past that the new uniforms are celebrating.
Then, in the smelly Vet... with their simple uniforms... they went on the single greatest run in franchise history.
In an 8 year span, they played in the post season 6 times.
The franchise that never had a 100 win season suddenly did it back to back.
The team that was the standard bearer of bad franchises (especially since the laughable St. Louis Browns became the formidable Baltimore Orioles) suddenly became a marquee franchise.
They had the best player in the National League in Mike Schmidt... the best pitcher in Steve Carlton and swiped the biggest Free Agent in Pete Rose.
In 1980 they did the unthinkable and won their only World Series.
And the winning ways continued as they won another pennant in 1983.
It was a sports renaissance in Philadelphia as the Flyers won the Stanley Cup twice, the 76ers were a fixture in the NBA finals, winning in 1983, the Eagles made the Super Bowl and Rocky Balboa won the heavyweight title from Apollo Creed and later from Clubber Lang and defended it against Ivan Drago.
Then hard times came and in 1992 they changed their uniforms and won another National League pennant. Like the Orioles dropping the smiling bird, the good fortune turned out to be a fluke.
The Phillies have yet to make the playoffs in the Wild Card format.
And I for one think they are missing the good karma of the Vet.
It was a tough place to play.
It was mean. It was dark. It was hostile.
And the players looked tough, acted tough and had names like Bake. This Phillies team would have fit right into the Vet.
Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard have a swagger that would have worked wonderfully between Schmidt, Bowa and Luzinski.
The fans in Philadelphia, who saw the Lindros era and the Iverson era come and go without a title and the McNabb era probably ending the same way too, are starving for a new era of glory.
They want titles, not beauty.
When they won titles, it was ugly... but it worked.
If it doesn't work this year, bring back the Vet.
And let the new good times roll.
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