Once upon a time, in the City That Hates You Back (Philadelphia for the uninitiated), there was a sportswriter, Bob Ford, who annually looked back on his stories about the Phillies and other local teams to pinpoint errors. This fellow was quite humorous and now that he's retired, I will baldly steal his format ... minus the faux apologies of his publisher.
Today, we will look at my January Call to the Pen predictions for the Philadelphia Phillies’ 2023 regular season, and when needed, I will call myself out.
Prediction Number 1
“Philadelphia will win at least 90 regular-season games for the first time in a dozen years.”
Bingo. The Phillies, once again despite a roller coaster ride since late March, did win exactly 90 regular-season games. This moved them up to the number one NL Wild Card slot, two rungs higher on the ladder for the ’23 MLB postseason tournament than their perch last season.
Less encouraging was the fact that a new acquisition, Trea Turner, on whom this prediction was largely based, decided to imitate Nick Castellanos’ difficult adjustment to Philadelphia from 2022. This ended when, at the urging of personnel at WIP, a sports-talk radio station, fans gave the fumbling shortstop a nice round of applause for his first at-bat after a return from a road trip in August. The player then began to produce in earnest as an individual burdened with a $300 million contract.
You can not make this up.
Or this: The WIP talk show hosts are now debating whether the show producer who suggested the warm welcome deserves a World Series ring, should the Phillies need to produce any such jewelry.