Philadelphia Phillies: The Sluggers Of South Philly

August 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Fan News

How many of you out there remember the “The Big Red Machine” of the 1970s, the so called “Lumber Company” of the early and mid-’70s, and the “Running Red Birds” of the ’80s?

Those were offensive powerhouses: in the names of the Cincinnatti Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates, and the St. Louis Cardinals, respectively.

The Red Machine was known for its ability to get on base via the walk and single.

High batting averages then gave way to clutch hits from Tony Perez, Johnny Bench, George Foster, and Dave Concepcion. 

The Machine put their bats on the ball, had few strikeouts, and produced more doubles and triples then home runs.

The Red Machine was one of the most prolific offenses in the last 35 years.

The “Lumber Company” was a team made up of 280-290 hitters who were consistent in their ability to line the ball over the field coupled with a little pop.

Al Oliver, Dave Parker, Willie Stargell, Manny Sanguillen, Richie Hebner, and Richie Zisk led this group of line-drive hitters who scored most of its runs via the single and double.

Although Parker could pop 25 and Stargell could knock 35 home runs during any year, they relied heavily on spraying the ball around the diamond.

The “Running Red Birds”, as the name implies, could score runs at will via the bunt, single, stolen base, and more of the same. 

With the likes of Vince Coleman, Willie McGee, Tom Herr, Andy Van Slyke, Jack Clarke, and Ozzie Smith, it was downright ugly.

Coleman and McGee could steal 100+ bases a season and score 130-140 runs a year. Herr, Van Slyke, and Ozzie would steal another 40 bases and consistently score 100 runs year in and year out.

Clarke added the pop in this lineup, which was as devastating a lineup as any team of the era.

This leaves us with only one; “The Sluggers of South Philly”, aka the Philadelphia Phillies.

The most potent offense of our era, the Phillies rely more heavily on the long ball.

The group of Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Raul Ibanez, Jayson Werth, Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, and Pedro Feliz leads this group of sluggers down South Broad Street.

Are they as dominating as those teams above?

They absolutely are. The dominate in slugging percentage and in runs scored via the home run yes.

On-base percentage goes to the “Running Red Birds” since they had six guys who would take walks and hit for a high average. Four of them could get on via the bunt and steal their way home.

If you are asking me who the most feared team is, I would have to say the “Sluggers of South Philly” is.

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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