Ron Costello

Sunday, February 25, 2018

How Sweet It Is

The streak is broken.

This afternoon the Phillies lost to the Yankees, 8-3, in Clearwater. That broke the streak.

What streak? Let's call it the Eagles streak. The Birds kick-started sports in this city, like the crank handle that used to start the old Model-T Fords; they gave Philly sports a kick in the pants it needed. The backseat part of the pants sometimes called the derriere in nice company or the freakin' ass in the Rosewood Bar in South Philly. Broad and Shunk. Okay, you're right. They don't say freakin' at the Rosewood. My apologies to the patrons.

Since the Eagles won the Super Bowl, the Sixers, Flyers, and Phillies are a combined 18-0-1. The Flyers are 9-0-1 and have won 11 in a row. The Sixers are 7-0 and last night won their seventh straight. Yesterday the Phillies beat Baltimore in their spring training opener and catching prospect Jorge Alfaro went 2 for 2 with a grand slam.

How sweet it is!

Playoff hopes for the Sixers and Flyers are real. Short of a volcanic eruption, April will be a magic month in Philly. NBA and NHL playoffs begin; plus the Phillies home opener is on April 5.

Personally I love the Sixers. A few nips and tucks and they'll be good for a long time and won't have to tank until the next millennium. I follow the Flyers, too, because of my good buddy Pete, who's had four season tickets since they opened the Spectrum doors. Back when Pete Lisk quarterbacked the Eagles and Schmitty had seven hits and one home run. The Sixers were 9-73 and tanking wasn't a word yet, short of gettin' wasted at the Rosewood.

Oh, Mama Mia! Those were the days.

And now the Phillies are younger than a Boy Scout troop at Camp Delmont. If they get any younger, Rhys Hoskins will have to show his drivers license if and when he's ever invited to do a promo at the South Philly Taproom.

But they've got some work to do, and some moves to make. Maybe, the best move they can make are the ones they don't make. Ed Wade use to say that just before he got canned. Here's the thing, I'm against signing the free agent Jake Arrieta, the bearded one from the Cubs. Not because of his beard, but why tie up 2-3 years and a slot in the rotation for a young'un, like the kid who pitched Saturday, Zach Eflin, or Jake Thompson or Ben Lively. Plus a bunch of money they could save and spend wisely on a free agent or two in 2019 when things really heat up.

Let's see, 2019 is the free agent class of Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, and Clayton Kershaw, to name a few. Throw in Daniel Murphy, while you're at it.

Lookit. The drawing card for the Phillies is youth. That's who the Faithful want to see on the field. You don't have to spend money to prove you want to win. You've already hired Gabe Kapler. Challenge the younger players. Kapler just might be the one to do it.

It's a great time to live in Philadelphia.

By the way, if you want to see my list of Philly restaurants, with particular emphasis on South Philly, just say so.

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