Phillies fans expect championships now

Roy Halladay celebrates with Carlos Ruiz after pitching a complete game shutout to clinch the NL East. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)


Ah, so this is what it is like to expect to win. Another season, another division championship for the Philadelphia Phillies. That makes four in a row, along with two World Series trips. Longtime Phillies fans aren’t used to this. But it’s like flying in first class. Let’s do it again.
The recent winning ways of the Fightin’ Phils has helped to ease the sting of 10,000 losses, the 1964 collapse, Joe Carter’s home run to win the 1993 World Series, and countless dreary nights at the Vet. Not that this season was a cakewalk. One or two fans may have even fallen off the bandwagon in July, when the Phillies appeared to be fading from contention.
Credit manager Charlie Manuel, for staying calm and keeping the team focused despite a string of injuries to nearly every star player. Credit general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., for making a key mid-season trade for pitcher Roy Oswalt, helping to ease the agita from the loss of Cliff Lee. Credit the once-maligned mystery owners, for spending what it takes to put a winning team on the field year after year. (Now, Mr. Werth, if you will just sign right here.)
But most of all, credit the players, for battling through a long, tough season. Every player stepped up at key moments. It was especially nice to see Roy Halladay, Mike Sweeney, and Brian Schneider sipping champagne for the first time. Enjoy, fellas. But don’t forget: Everyone around here knows the baseball season in Philadelphia now runs through the end of October.