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Phillies Still Have Potential for a Dynasty

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According to Wikipedia, one characteristic of a dynasty is a team "with multiple championships over a limited period of time, either consecutively with or without interruption." So you're probably wondering where the 2010 Philadelphia Phillies  fit into this conversation.

Although the Phillies failed to bring consecutive championships back to the city of Philadelphia in 2009, this particular era of Phillies baseball has Two of Edmonton's Five Stanley Cups came against the Flyers. Photo: http://media.canada.com/fae0b6fd-d281-4d23-840e-569bef1c674c/gretzky_cup1.jpgone title to their credit to go with their last three consecutive post season appearances. When you consider the teams in professional sports that are considered dynasties, you might think of the Edmonton Oilers of the early 80's-early 90's, the Chicago Bulls in the 1990's, the Dallas Cowboys of the early-mid 90's, the Yankees of the late 90's-early 2000's, or the New England Patriots of the early-mid 2000's (although this one is questionable). There are other teams worthy of honorable mention here, but I don't want to bore you. Moreover, there is one common denominator of these teams previously mentioned: They have at least three championships during their era of dominance (the Yankees have four, Oilers had five,the Bulls had six, and we all remember Super Bowl XXXIX). Some teams could be "considered" dynasties if they have two titles during a certain span, but let's be honest, it's just not the same.

For the record, I can't stand any of those teams listed above. However, as a sports fan, I respect what they've done and wish I could talk about my teams like that! Just to give you an example of how hard it is to win just one title as opposed to three or more: the Cubs haven't won a World Series in a century!! In addition to maintaining a level of dominance, keeping the core of any team under contract long enough to win several championships is no small feat. The 2008 Phillies  were one of those lucky teams who have been able to win with most of their players arbitration eligible for the next several years after their championship. And while most of the team will still remain intact for at least the next two years, you will eventually lose some key players along the way (we aren't the Yankees or Red Sox). If Jayson ("Jesus") Werth, Raul Ibanez, Ryan Howard, and Jimmy Rollins  are all gone before or after 2011, needless to say it changes the face of this team drastically for the future. Having their successors duplicate their quality of play will be no small task, either. In a nutshell, nothing is a Michael Jordan did this SIX times!  Photo: http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C3&Date=20091119&Category=OPINION03&ArtNo=911190331&Ref=ARguarantee. And with the dynamics of sports constantly changing, years of dominance among individual teams is now more of an oddity than ever.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize the Phillies would be in a much better position for a dynasty if they had another parade last November, but they didn't. So now it's back to square two (being that they already have one title). As with most dynasties, they are usually built through the draft, trades, or key free agents signed to fill in the gaps. This Phillies team is no exception. It can take years for a team to learn how to play together, lose together, and ultimately win together (see 2001-2008). Just winning one title these days is quite impressive. Almost everything has to go right for just one year let alone three different years. Numerous obstacles are encountered during the course of a season.To complicate matters, the rest of the National League East is improving. The Braves,Mets,Marlins and (to a lesser degree) Nationals have either stayed the same or improved, so a challenge from the NL East is not out of the question. However, if this Phillies team runs on all eight cylinders, they may be better than they were in 2009.

This Phillies team is exciting and likeable. They really have been enjoyable to watch day in and day out over the last four years. The team seems to have a bad taste in their mouth from the way last season ended. As a team they have some questions marks, but so does every team going into Spring Training. In saying that, any chances of a possible dynasty happening had better be soon. To paraphrase Sting when talking to his bandmates as the Police were selling out Shea Stadium: "This could be as good as it gets, guys." The next two years is indeed a short amount of time, and they've already been interrupted by the Yankees. So I guess there's only one thing left to do: Win back to back titles. You'll have three overall for this era, and you cement your legacy as the one the greatest National League Teams of all time.

It's as simple as that..............well not really. It's damn near impossible in sports today, but stranger things have happened.

Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

Thumbnail: Joe Vallee Sr.: josephv985@aol.com