Originally posted on Buzz On Broad  |  Last updated 9/30/11


For many current Philadelphia sports fans, the Phillies are the most successful sports franchise of their lifetime.

They have won over 92 games 4 years in a row, and have increased their record the past 6 seasons. They have won 5 straight NL East crowns. Been to the NLCS 3 years in a row. And they were the team that for many fans, made the only parade down Broad Street happen in 2008.

But for all of the success this team has had, the fact remains that the 2008 parade still has been the only one- which makes this postseason for all of the marbles when it comes to the legacy of this team.

If the Phillies fall short this season, and do not bring home another World Series championship, the question is fair: did the core group of this team- Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay- ultimately underachieve, and should they be remembered as such?

In 2009, they faced a tough opponent in the New York Yankees, but still had Cliff Lee and the offense to win. If it were not for a blown third base assignment- something they did to themselves- they win that game, and maybe the series.

In 2010, the bats went silent as they lost to the San Francisco Giants by the hands of none other then Cody Ross. Anyone remember the fun times and the '"H2O" shirts? No. Even the biggest Phillies fan will remember ending last season without a championship as a huge disappointment, and a choke job by the biggest names on this Phillies team- especially Ryan Howard.

Now, in 2011, the Phillies once again enter the post season as the overwhelming favorite. They return to Red October with a healthy staff of aces, a lineup re-energized by Hunter Pence, and a bull pen much better then the one they had least season. After 102 wins, this team has absolutely no excuses not to win.

Of course, the argument could also be made that the team is loved for the personalities as much as the winning. Chase Utley, Cliff Lee, Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard- every member of the Phillies is loved by the fans, and has a great personality. Their is not a bad apple in the bunch.

But when the records books are opened years from now, Ryan Howards personality will not be remembered. Will he be remembered as the best first baseman of all time, and a player who crushed the ball on the way to 2 championships? Or as a player who held his bat on strike 3, and had two bad postseason in a row- ones where the team was favored to win.

How this season turns out will have a lot to do with fans of this generation ultimately look back on this team.

Will this group of Phillies be remembered for 2 World Series titles in 4 years, 3 NL crowns, with 5 NL championships to go along with it?

Or will they be remembered as the Donovan McNabb Eagles will be remembered? All of the talent in the world, a lot of good memories, but with a trophy case that is not as full as it should be.

The pressure is on this post season to bring another parade down Broad Street.

Anything else, and this group starts to tip toe the line between a great team, and a great group of guys that ultimately underachieved.

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