For Phillies Fans, the Parallels Are Astounding
1979. The Philadelphia Phillies were coming off three straight trips to the post season. They needed their missing ingredient to get over the hump. They got him in the person of Pete Rose. They even upgraded at second base by obtaining Manny Trillo. Their ticket to the World Series was punched, right? Wrong.
Manny Trillo did not disappoint. And Pete Rose more than lived up to the hype. But the rest of the team? Well, injuries and sub par seasons left the Phillies finishing a distant fourth to the eventual World Champion Pittsburgh “We Are Family” Pirates. Slugger Greg Luzinski’s rapid decline and an unsteady bullpen led to not only their lackluster season but the firing of longtime manager Danny Ozark. The Phillies would have to wait until 1980 to fulfill their destiny. It just wasn’t in the cards.
Fast Forward to 2010. The Phillies trade for arguably the best pitcher on the planet in Roy Halladay. They also add perhaps the best two hole hitter in the game in Placido Polanco. They get off to a hot start. Halladay exceeds the hype and Polanco plays brilliantly. Then there’s the rest of the team. Injuries to Jimmy Rollins, Brad Lidge, J.A. Happ, Joe Blanton, and J.C. Romero don’t help. And the usual June Swoon begins in early May as the team goes into an unprecedented offensive slump. Even the defense suffers.
The parallels are incredible.
1979. Coming off three straight post season trips, a superstar is signed to seal the deal. A complimentary player is added to the mix. The Phillies finish fourth.
2010. Coming off three straight post season trips, a superstar is signed to seal the deal. A complimentary player is added to the mix. The Phillies finish…where?
Only the baseball gods know for sure. But history very eerily has a way of repeating itself. And that’s something the City of Brotherly Love doesn’t want to think about.