Philadelphia Phillies Are First to 40 Wins

Susan Cohen-DicklerCorrespondent IIJune 13, 2011

PHILADELPHIA - JUNE 12: Philadelphia Phillies fans cheer after the go ahead run scores during a game against the Chicago Cubs at Citizens Bank Park on June 12, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 4-3. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Hunter Martin/Getty Images

After winning three of four from the Cubs over the weekend, the Phillies became the first team in baseball to reach 40 wins.  

With a record of 40-26, they are 14 games over .500 and they sit in first place in the East. But with the Atlanta Braves hot on their heels just two games behind, it still seems like a long road ahead to make the playoffs.

And isn't that how it should be in sports? As the Dallas Mavericks recently reminded us, the best team on paper, the team filled with superstars, the favored team going in, is not always the team that wins it all.

It's the team that executes in crunch time, the team that guts it out till the end, the team that plays like a team that ultimately wins the big prize. 

Now while some may compare the Phillies and their 'Four Aces' to the Miami Heat with their 'Big Three,' I would make a case that the Phils actually have more in common with the Dallas Mavericks.  

Yes, they have their share of superstars, but they are a hard-working blue-collar bunch. Their work ethic, starting with Roy Halladay, is second-to-none and they do their talking on the field, not to the press or on Twitter.

The Phillies also have their Jason Terrys and J.J. Bareas, players who may be lesser known but are critical to a team's success. Players like Wilson Valdez, Carlos Ruiz and Michael Stutes. It takes every member of a team to win it all. (Remember Matt Stairs in 2008?)

So congratulations to the Dallas Mavericks and Dirk Nowitzki, And onward and upward for the "Fightin' Phils."  

After an off day yesterday, tonight they'll take on that other team from Florida.  

It has certainly been an interesting ride so far and there is a lot of baseball left to play before we'll see if the this Phillies team will be "taking their talents" to the playoffs.