Last night I watched a rebroadcast of Game 2 of the 1983 World Series, part of an Orioles Classic shown here in DC on MASN. The game was called by Al Michaels, Howard Cosell and Earl Weaver – an all-star broadcasting lineup save Weaver’s Orioles bias. It was nostalgic to see interim manager Paul Owens trot out during the announcements in his classic powder blue uniform. Joe Morgan, Pete Rose, Mike Schmidt, Joe Lefebvre, Gary Matthews, Gregg Gross, Bo Diaz, Ivan DeJesus followed in sequence with rookie Charlie Hudson pitching. The team was full of Phillies legends, mostly veterans of the 1981 Championship – but only 2 players were younger than 30.
It got me thinking, what will the Phillies nucleus be like a handful of years from now? By 2010, when Jimmy Rollins’ contract expires, the core group of Phils will just be hovering around 30 (Jimmy Rollins – 31, Chase Utley – 31, Ryan Howard – 30, Cole Hamels – 27, Shane Victornio – 29). In the past two years they have gained some valuable experience battling in the Wild Card race. I’d like to think these players have carved out a five to seven year window for bringing a World Series to Philly, and they’re already a couple years into it. It doesn’t seem like these guys will be a flash-in-the-pan club like the ’93 team. Ideally we’re looking at the playoffs this year, and a World Series by 2009. That’s not too far out of the realim of possibility, wouldn’t you say?
More Phillies on TV – Tonight at 10pm EST on HBO’s Real Sports, Ryan Howard sits down and discusses life and baseball with Bryant Gumbel.