In the early 2000s, the Phillies were bad. Real bad. Except for 2001 and 2005, they finished behind the division leader by at least ten games in every year from 2000 to 2006.
Five seasons they were bad, three in succession. They hadn’t made the playoffs since 1993. Things were not looking good for those Phillies. The future of their franchise was in jeopardy.
But then they turned it around.
As the 2007 season was nearing its end, it looked like the Phillies were going to end another season without going to the playoffs. They were down by seven games in the division with just seventeen to play. And then it happened.
It was as if the Phillies got a sudden boost. They came back to take the division, tying the record for the biggest comeback in the last month of the season. Although they lost to the Rockies in the first round of the playoffs, that was all the boost they needed.
The next season they came back to win the division again, and, to the delight of the fans, won the World Series for the second time ever, their other title being in 1980.
The next season they started out on a high note and continued on a high note, winning the division by six games. Then they did what no Phillies fans from the early 2000s would have thought possible. They made it to the World Series again.
In the 2010 season, they started out leading the division, but then they went into a slump. They ended up being behind the division leader by seven and a half games. Most fans thought that their season was over, and decided to spend their time doing other things then following the Phillies.
But not all fans. Not all. And those few fans who hung on to those Phillies, those few fans who believed in the Phillies were rewarded greatly when the Phils made a huge comeback.
They are now only two and a half games behind the division leading Braves, and they have a one game lead over the Giants for the Wild Card. We will see what happens in the rest of the season, but keep one thing in mind:
The Phillies season is never over until it's over. We have seen them accomplish amazing feats, and hopefully we will see more in the future. But no matter how many times they end up in last place, the next season will be a new season, and their chances of winning their division are as good as anyone else’s.
I don't want to repeat myself, but I think this situation calls for repetition. So here it is again:
That’s what I call Fightin Phillies.