The World According to Keitho

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At last…the MLB playoffs!

Posted by keithosaunders on October 6, 2010

As we turn the page on another disappointing Mets season it’s time to focus on the playoffs.  The divisional series I’m most intrigued by is Phillies vs Reds — two classic teams which date back to before the turn of the 19th century. 

The Reds won the Black Sox Series of 1919 — there probably should be an asterisk after that one – and they appeared in back to back Series in 1939 and ’40, winning in 7 games against the Tigers in 1940.  They then endured a 21 year Series drought before losing to the Yankees in 5 games in 1961.  They lost to the Orioles in 1970 and the As in ’72, but by 1975 the Big Red Machine was in full bloom and they won a classic 7 game Series against the Boston Redsox.  Next year they would go on to sweep the Yankees.  Throw in a sweep of the steroidally-infused Oakland As of 1990 and you are up to date with Reds Series history.

It’s a much simpler endeavor to chronicle the Philadelphia Phillies World Series appearances.  In fact, until I was 20 years of age they had yet to win one.  They first appeared in the Series in 1915, losing to the Redsox in 5 games.  If you had been born in November of that year you would have had to wait until your 35th birthday to see them play post-season ball.  That’s 1950, for those of you scoring at home, when the team known as the Whiz kids finally returned to the Series.  They were the youngest National League champs in history with an average age of 26.  Youth was not served, however, as they were swept by the Yankees, who were in the midst of winning 5 consecutive championships.

In the 70s the Phillies got good again.  (note:  I am magnanimously skipping over the great pennant race collapse of 1964.)  With a nucleus of Mike Schmidt, Bake McBride, Larry Bowa, Steve Carlton, and Tug McGraw they appeared in 3 straight playoffs — from 1976 to ’78 — losing all of them.  Just when it appeared they would never get over the hump, they beat the Houston Astros in the 1980 NLCS, a series in which 4 out of the 5 games went to extra innings!  The Phillies would go on to win their first World Series ever, beating the Kansas City Royals in 6 games.

In 1983 the Phillies lost to the Orioles in 5 games, and in 1993 their Lenny Dykstra/John Kruk/Mitch Williams version lost to the Toronto Bluejays in 6 games.  (I’ll thank you not to mention Joe Carter)  That takes us into the current millennium in which the Phillies won their second Series, a 5 gamer against the upstart Tampa Bay Rays.  Throw in last year’s loss to the Yankees in 6 games and you are up to date.

Now let the games begin!

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5 Responses to “At last…the MLB playoffs!”

  1. I see no reason why the Phillies shouldn’t win the World Series this year. Deep, talented team with way too much starting pitching.
    Halladay’s no-hitter today is an ominous sign to the rest of the playoff teams.
    BTW, do you think the Mets should try to sign Adam Dunn in the off-season? I’d like to see it, now that he’s a free agent.
    Good post, Bill

    • Hi William,

      I like Ike. I’m against the Mets signing anyone but triples hitters and front line starting pitching. I realize that the ballpark hasn’t been built that can contain Dunn, but at this point I think the Mets are better served with speedsters that can get on base. God these are hard times to be a Mets fan, aren’t they? Year after year I have to relive my annual nightmare of watching the Yankees stormtroop through the playoffs while the Mets go into rebuilding mode.

      The Phillies are a good team but they’re just another free-agent win-now bunch. (I can’t stand all their trash talking) It would be nice if the Twins could get through but they can’t measure up. Jason Kubel? Give me a break. Liriano showed me nothing tonight. All that remains is for the Crankees to tee off on Pavano.

  2. jbiii said

    Halladay treated us today—his first playoff game, and he did all of baseball proud, not merely himself.

    I love the now ancient film, used by ESPN to reference the last post-season no-hitter, of Yogi rushing out to hug Larsen in ’56.

    Priceless continuity.

    • He had some of the best stuff I’ve ever seen. By the 8th inning you knew there was no chance anyone would touch him. Philly is looking scary now. It’s important that the Reds score early off of Oswalt. The key for them is to keep the score close enough where if they’re not ahead, they at least face Lidge in the 9th.

  3. zapple100 said

    One good thing I like about baseball now is that they went back to the old type of uniforms. The belt around the waist and the baggie uniform. Some of those uniforms in the 70’s and 80’s were real ugly. I keep on having nightmares of Hank Aaron breaking Ruth’s record in that ugly Brave uniform. It don’t bother me that Aaron broke Ruth’s record cause Aaron was a classy guy. It was just an ugly uniform. I don’t even want to talk about the original Padres uniform.

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