Philadelphia Phillies: The “Dog Days” Are Over in Philadelphia

December 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

Consider this piece more of a memoir than anything else.  My childhood with the Phillies was always adventurous but often ugly.  The Phillies were constantly a losing team and never broke the bank to go out and sign any big-name free agents.  At the time, we knew they weren’t the New York Yankees, nor were we asking them to be.  We just wanted to know that they had a desire to someday win.

This all changed in 2003 when they signed Jim Thome and closed out the Vet.  Then, in the following off-season, they added Billy Wagner to fill the void of closer and open Citizens Bank Park.  This told the fans that the Phillies wanted to win and apparently now had the funds to do so.  

A lot has changed since those “dog days.”  Philadelphia is now the place to play and you can somewhat thank Thome for helping put Philly on the map.  During the Phillies’ period of misery while at the Vet, you’d be lucky to see 20,000 people down at the ballpark.  My father and I would venture out to the 700 level of rightfield with our $7.00 General Admission tickets.  Those days were enjoyable but also bitter and painful.  Someday though, we knew that the Phillies would turn it around. 

Well, today that period of misery is long gone.  The Phillies are now a marquee team in baseball and have made the playoffs four years running.  They sell out just about every game as tickets are nearly impossible to come by.

They now have (on paper) one of the best rotations of all time.  Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels will be a formidable foursome for the Fightin’ Phils in 2011.  

Through their minor league system, they were able to develop loads of young talent.  This is a pool that includes Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Hamels, Jimmy Rollins and Dominic Brown among others.

Those sad days weren’t that long ago, but are now in the rear-view mirror.  Misery has been turned into all positives for the Phillies.  They bumped the Yankees off of a “Cliff” and are now looking to return to the World Series in 2011.  Ruben Amaro Jr. deserves a bulk of the praise for such moves as this may be the deepest Phils team ever.

For 14 years, Philadelphia suffered without a playoff appearance.  Now, they’re aiming for a fifth straight playoff appearance and third World Series berth.  What a turnaround for a team that was in the basement for so long.  

In four seasons, they’ve doubled the payroll of this team.  During that time, look at the success that they’ve enjoyed.  

They can actually compete financially with the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.  That’s something I never thought we could say.     

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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