The 2011 Philadelphia Phillies have to win the World Series in order for their season to be considered successful.
Nothing less will do.
Sure, there was a time this season when the offense took an entire month off and solely relied on one of the best pitching rotations in baseball history to do it all. And yes, as veteran Philadelphia Daily News writer Bill Conlin noted yesterday the projected Opening Day starting six…the platoon to-be in right…and the usual catching rotation…missed a staggering 189 of the Phillies’ 162 games. Their versatile bench helped survive an onslaught of injuries…and not all starting position players will enter the post-season feeling anywhere close to 100%.
And they STILL won 102 games, the most in Philadelphia history.
This is their fifth straight post-season. They know the dangers of the Divisional Series. They know the pressure of the League Championship Series. They know the joy of winning the World Series.
Yet, in those prior playoff runs they were only considered a good team…with a shot.
As the time of year is known in these parts now, this Red October the Philadelphia Phillies are the clear favorite to win the World Series. Certainly rarified air for an organization known as the losingest in sports history. First one to 10,000 losses, remember?
2008 surely tasted sweet, but this championship would be even sweeter. Why? Because it would be accomplished as the hunted, not the hunter.
It always is more satisfying when you are getting everyone’s best shot each day…all year long.
When the expectation is winning it all…nothing less will do.
This year the Phillies’ post-season may best described by the titles of two songs from Motown’s Martha and the Vandellas…and who knows…perhaps Detroit’s Tigers might be the final obstacle in their way?
The bar is set so very high for the Phillies across this country there truly is “Nowhere To Run (Nowhere To Hide).”
If they perform as we all should fully expect them to there will indeed be “Dancing In The Street.”
Because the reality is…nothing less will do.