The 2013 Phillies, you ask. Yes! The 2013 Phillies. Now just wait a minute, before you click off this article over to Bleacher Report or immediately post a comment questioning what has become of a once-proud news media empire. Hear me out. The team has played a lot better in recent weeks under new leadership, so who knows, maybe with a little luck and a whole lot of grit, it could happen. The reasons:
10. Veteran Leadership. You can't discount just how much this means, or exactly how old some of our players are. Michael Young is thirty seven. And Ruben Amaro kept him at the trade deadline when he could have traded him away, so that must mean he's providing value somewhere, right?
9. Asche, Ruf, Brown, Bernadina and Kratz. Can you say, "YOUTH MOVEMENT?" I think you can. These young kids have all the skills, energy and, dare I say, grit we need to find our way into the wild card or, who knows, maybe even winning the whole NL East. I'll bet these kids don't even know how many games back the Phillies are. Nope, their heads are down, balling too hard to notice.
8. The second wildcard. It's just math. Practically everyone makes the playoffs nowadays, so why won't we? We will. Remember when the Carolina Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup? There, see how easy it is.
7. Chip Kelly. The guy just gets it. And he's a total straight-shooter, which is honestly an enormous breath of fresh air after 14 years of injuries and throat-clearing. The smoothies ain't bad, either.
6. The blind scrub that they just signed is on the DL, so he won't be hindering this newly-dynamic offense for the foreseeable (GET IT?!) future.
5. Philly.com commenters. Nobody wants it more than you guys. Nobody deserves it more than you guys. You can feel it. You know it's going to happen. So get those lonely fingers typing and make it happen.
4. The Sandberg Effect. The new skipper is offering some fresh perspectives (like "Ryan Howard needs to be more fit"-- which, as I recall, has already been covered) and it seems to be working. I mean, KRATZ at clean-up… brilliant!
3. Bullpen resurgence. Dude, have you seen Diekman?! Kid's killing it. And that other guy, the lefty, with the hispanic name, I think he's like number 57 or something. No, not the dude we got from Seattle; actually, I don't know where he came from I think he's new but he's not that bad at all.
2. THE SHARK.
1. Roy Halladay is BACK.
So there you go. Start prudently putting money aside for playoff tickets, because-- as I see it-- Fall baseball is in the cards.