By Rick Morris
Courtesy of our syndication arrangement under the banner of The 21st Century Media Alliance, here’s our good pal Russ Cohen of Sportsology with some up-close observations (remember, he lives just outside of Philadelphia) on whether the Phillies can live up to the expectations of so many and win 100 games this year.
By Russ Cohen
I love the people that are propagating the notion that the Phillies will win 100 games this year. Mike Schmidt thinks so, many local media personalities think so, and yes, I acknowledge that their pitching staff of Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, Joe Blanton and Roy Oswalt seems superb on paper. But this franchise has only won 100 (101 in 1976 and 1977) or more games twice in their over 120-year history!
Since 2005, when I started to see major changes in major league baseball, only three teams have won 100 or more games (Cards-100-2005, Angels-100-2008, Yanks-103-2009). That’s it! Just like 20-game winners, the amount of teams that win 100 games has seriously diminished. There are so many reasons for it, but the usual ones are travel, injuries and better bullpens and those are just a few.
These days, teams are very protective and don’t want their star players to get hurt. They will go to extraordinary measures to make sure they stay healthy, such as changing up the pitching rotation and giving pitchers extra days in between starts. Even though the Phillies pitchers are all horses, injuries can occur, and the Phillies everyday lineup isn’t as strong as it once was. The closer is a bit erratic at times. All of these things can derail a 100-win season, because a few prolonged losing streaks pretty much take a team out of the running for this hard-to-obtain milestone.
I’m sure this is the #1 conversation going on in bars around Philadelphia and in other parts of the country. When you are being asked if you think the Phillies will win 100 games this year, I hope you will look at this article and respect the history of the franchise and the game as it is today. Realize that it’s one of the hardest things to do in any sport because of the wear and tear a team goes through in a modern 162-game season.