The upcoming series between the Philadelphia Phillies at the Atlanta Braves (July 21 to 24) is a case study of longevity. It’s the difference between the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
In recent decades the former has enjoyed blips of success followed by black holes of ineptitude, while the latter embraces stability when it’s either making a run for championships or rebuilding during off years.
The same dynamic exists for these NL East teams with Philadelphia spending a handful of years in relevance that included being the 2008 World Series champs. However, the last few seasons have been dismal, including the current campaign, which – despite a massive payroll – could see the Phillies winning 70 or so games.
Then there are the Braves, which since emerging in the early ‘90s has consistently been in the playoffs with one World Series ring to boot. Sure, in the scope of its success the Braves may be viewed as being unable to dominate in October, but given the chance Phillies fans would jump at such a shot.
As for the upcoming series, the last place Phillies have to be careful not to become the catalyst for the Braves pushing past the Nationals to take a decisive NL East lead. Or, for Phillies fans, it’s just a typical series with the Braves.