1993 was such a magical year for the Phillies. Granted I was only five, I still knew who these players were, idolizing Pete Incaviglia. A year removed from a terrible year, they tore through the Spring Training schedule. Riding off of that momentum, the band of thieves, gypsies, and rejects started the 1993 season 7-1. The 7-1 2010 Phillies are off to the same start and are scoring in bunches. In fact, the Phillies have scored at least four runs in an inning five times this year and have averaged eight runs a game.
17 years later the Phillies have a new cast of super stars that are hardly comparable to the bearded and mullet-ed Phillies such has John Kruk, Incaviglia, Darren Daulton, and Lenny Dykstra (though Jayson Werth is one scruffy dude). Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Jimmy Rollins are clean-cut and are regarded as the top players at their positions. Roy Halladay is the best while Curt Schilling in 1993 wasn’t proven just yet. This team has experience and they have class.
But there is one thing both of those teams have in common that made them the most dangerous: chemistry. No Krukker, not the class you slept through in high school. Both teams mesh together brilliantly. Never have I seen such a team work so well together and feed off of each other. This team can be down five, six, seven runs late in a game and pull together to win. Yes that speaks volumes on their offensive fire power but it also speaks on behalf of how they pick each other up.
Larry Bowa was a great manager but his coaching style didn’t fly well with the Phillies. He was tough and not considered a players manager. Charlie Manuel was brought in just for that. Many didn’t like the hiring of Manuel because he was deemed too friendly and came off as a complete moron. But Charlie is an evil genius on the inside. He’s got a brain for baseball and the heart to lead this team. He’s the goofy uncle of over 40 athletes that wear the red pinstripes every season. He is what holds the team together.
One thing makes the 2010 Phillies’ bond stronger than 1993’s. It’s the taste of winning. The 1993 team didn’t know what that tasted like. Dykstra won a World Series with the Mets and that seemed about it. This year’s cast of Phillies feature both kinds. The corps of Rollins, Howard, Utley, Werth, Shane Victorino, Cole Hamels, Carlos Ruiz, and half of the bull pen were on the 2008 championship team. Placido Polanco and Raul Ibanez have been to the World Series before. Halladay wants his ring. He’s won 150 games and has never made the playoffs, only coming close once with Toronto. He knows the caliber team he is on and he is ready to lead this team to a second ring in three years.
Granted the eight-game start was against Washington and Houston but the fact that the Phillies are doing what they should be doing, winning games and scoring in bunches, will lead anyone to believe that this team is poised for a three-peat in the NL and another shot at the World Series.