Is '08 finally in the past?

The other day in the Phillies clubhouse, televisions were tuned to a replay of the fifth and deciding game of the 2008 World Series. ``Here it comes,’’ Ryan Howard said, just before Chase Utley made his incredible pump-fake play to the plate to nab Bartlett. He stopped, he watched, and then he continued on the business of preparing for that day’s game against the Mets.

At another time – hell, even a month ago – the airing of that game might have carried with it all sorts of implications. One of the pet theories of the Phillies struggles at home, after all, is that they were too eager to please, were reminded too often about the season that passed.

It might have even been taboo to air that game before an actual ’09 game.

But on this day, the feel was much, much different. Players passed by the television and barely looked. When some did, there was a sense of distance to it, like watching an old movie whose lines have long since been memorized. Or any World Series game from the past.

The Phillies may not repeat as world champions, National League Champions or even East Division winners. But at 43-37, ahead by two games after the games of July 6, they have clearly moved on.

Who knows, maybe that’s why they’ve won four straight at home.

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