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Baseball: A hit and a myth

Celebrating Griffey and the 2008 Phillies

Hooray for one of the good guys in Major League Baseball. Ken Griffey Jr. hit his landmark home run No. 600 last night, and it couldn't happen to a nicer guy -- and for once I'm not being sarcastic. Griffey in the 1990s was probably the best all-around player I've ever watched, and he seems to have done it without performance-enhancing drugs. The only thing he needs is a ring, and if he can stick around for a year or two the Reds' amazing young talent could get him there.

But he'll have to top the amazin' Phightin' Phillies. Sam Donnellon looks at the 2008 crew and demolishes some of the myths about the beloved 1993 squad that Utley & Co. are getting compared to:

This team is for real. In a way, that 1993 team never was. This team is younger, faster, more complete, with a home-grown core that has matured before your eyes and owns a bright future beyond this season. Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels, Kyle Kendrick, Carlos Ruiz, Ryan Madson - this team was planned for in a way that the 1993 team was not.
The Phillies of 1993 had precious little home-grown talent. They were a collection of castoffs, cheap pickups, and well-traveled veterans with little pedigree, and little connection to the town that now reveres them. They hung together, drank together, spit out vicious insults to each other as if they were sunflower seeds. They were their own community, like a minor league team is.

I love it when people demolish myths -- read the whole thing.