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Friday, October 23, 2009

Philly Looking for Repeat

The Phillies are returning to the World Series to defend their championship.

It’s such a simple statement, yet so very unfamiliar in my lifetime as a Philadelphia sports fan. I’ve seen it happen in other cities. I’ve even seen the Sixers go to back-to-back NBA Finals, but not as defending champions.

The “D” word, as in “dynasty,” is already beginning to creep it’s way into the Philadelphia lexicon. It’s premature, but talk of such things usually is. Debating whether or not a team is a dynasty is much less fun when the results are in.

Don’t criticize fans using the “D” word too harshly. I’m not sure any of us know how to react right now. I remember part of my emotion as a fan after the Phillies won it all . . . man, it’s still fun just to say it . . . was a sense of relief that this core of players would not be remembered as just one more team we thought was great but just never got over the hump to win the elusive title. So many have fallen into that category.

That would be a core of Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Cole Hamels, and Jimmy Rollins. None of them are in the twilight of their careers, and Howard is being discussed in the same breath as Babe Ruth at times. Getting carried away about this team is an excusable offense.

Now they are poised to do something I don’t know if any team in Philadelphia has ever done – repeat as champions. So, while the Yankees take their time putting away the Angels, Philadelphia has time to adjust to the idea of being part of baseball’s elite.

Let’s hope it becomes a familiar feeling.

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