Analysis

2001-2010: The Best Decade in Phillies History?

We, as Phillies fans, know we’ve had it pretty good the past few years. With four top-line starting pitchers in the rotation, top-five players at three positions and top-ten players at two more positions, the future portends more good things for La Furia Roja. But it’s also worth looking back and remembering how historically good the Phillies have been since the turn of the century. About a year ago, before coming to Phillies Nation, I wrote a piece exploring what would have happened if Scott Rolen had never left Philly. At the top of that post was a chart comparing the Phillies, from 2000-2009, to the team from 1975-84, the best consecutive 10 years of their existence at that point. Here is that chart:

Era 1975-1984 2000-2009
Record 872-693 850-769
Win pct. .557 .525
Playoff Appearances 6 3
Division Titles 5 3
Pennants 2 2
WS Titles 1 1
Winning Seasons 9 (plus an 81-81 season) 8
Major Awards* (ROY, MVP, Cy Young, Manager of the Year) 5 4
Best Record 101-61 (1976 and 1977) 93-69 (2009)
Worst Record 81-81 (1984) 65-97 (2000)

As you can see, the two eras are comparable even considering that dreadful last year of the Francona Era. Now that 2010 has come and gone with another great year, let’s redo that chart to take 2010 into account.

Era 1975-1984 2001-2010
Record 872-693 882-737
Win pct. .557 .544
Playoff Appearances 6 4
Division Titles 5 4
Pennants 2 2
WS Titles 1 1
Winning Seasons 9 (plus an 81-81 season) 9
Major Awards* (ROY, MVP, Cy Young, Manager of the Year) 5 5
Best Record 101-61 (1976 and 1977) 97-65 (2010)
Worst Record 81-81 (1984) 80-81 (2002)
Playoff Record 18-22 25-18

Okay, so maybe the past decade isn’t hands-down the best in the history of the team, but (thanks to the 1981 strike), the Phillies won more games from 2001-2010 than in any other 10-year span, never finishing a season more than a half-game under .500, to say nothing of four division titles running. If the Phillies have another playoff run in 2011, with a regular-season record better than 86-76, those numbers will only look better.

There’s not any deeper point to this post than “Wow, the Phillies have been really freaking good since 2001.” Sometimes, things like that are worth a moment of aesthetic arrest.

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