Allow me to indulge in a little sports-related chatter. Today marks the end of baseball’s regular season (for most of the league, that is; depending on what happens today, some teams may live to see tomorrow). Regardless of the outcomes today, the Phillies will end this season with the best record in all of Major League Baseball for the first time in their history. Pretty much every blogger and writer in the Philadelphia area has covered these ideas to the point of beating an already-beaten dead horse, or Atlanta Brave, whichever you prefer. Additionally, the phrase “Best Phillies Team EVAR!” has been bandied about so much that I’m really not sure what it means anymore. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s an exciting time to be a Phillies fan, and that while it’s far from assured, these Phillies stand a better chance to walk away with that weird-looking World Series trophy than any other team in baseball. In fact, I think they stand a better chance than the 2008 squad.
There’s plenty to be worried about. No one except for Carlos Ruiz is having a career year (you could also make a case for Jayson “Where’s The Door” Werth). Offensively, they’re not as categorically fearsome as they once were, but they can still lay a mighty hurting on any pitcher in the league when they want to. It’s all about the pitching this year. How do you go about facing this starting rotation? Just having a Halladay on your staff is frightening enough, but when you can back him up with someone of Roy Oswalt’s caliber, and then back him up with a resurgent Cole Hamels and that devastating changeup he’s got going, it’s really kind of awe-inspiring. Right now they have the pitching that wins championships, and they’re all clicking well.
So how would they lose? Well, the offense has been at time either underwhelming or scalding hot, and it goes in long streaks. If they hit a cold streak, no amount of stellar pitching can overcome a lack of runs. That said, if I may make a bold prediction, it is this:
The Phillies will win the World Series for two reasons:
1. They last won the World Series in 2008, which happens to be the year I got married (in fact, it was less than a month after my wedding that they won). In 2010, we had our first child. Clearly, large events in my life are a motivating factor for the Phillies and they will, as such, win it for me.
2. Throughout my high school and college years it was customary for me to buy a new Phillies hat every spring for the upcoming season. I don’t know why I did this. I still have them all too, somewhere in my closet. In 2007 I bought a new hat. They won the division for the first time in 14 years. In 2008, I decided against buying a new hat, hoping to keep the mojo going. They won the World Series. I kept it in 2009 because obviously it was going well. They returned to the World Series (albeit to lose, but that’s ok). In 2010, I kept the hat in my closet because I felt the magic was running out and I was too poor to buy a new one. When the team was flagging in the middle of the season, I took the hat out of hiding and began to wear it everywhere, like I normally do. I washed it first, of course. The Phillies immediately went on a tear to beat out the Braves and catapult into the #1 position in the league. So the natural, logical thing to assume is that my Phillies hat has some serious voodoo power and is the main reason why the Phillies find themselves in this lofty place in Major League Baseball.
So the point of this babble is two-fold. First, the Phillies will win the World Series in spectacular fashion. Second, when they do, they better send me a ring.