Connections Abound, but Philadelphia Has an Edge on Houston

Oct 26, 2022 · 36 comments
Counter Measures (Old Borough Park, NY)
Except for the folks in Houston and Philadelphia, this World Series will be a big yawn! Sad.
Blackmamba (IL)
Nonsense. The Phillies were the last team in the National League to have any Black African American players. And the Boston Red Sox were the last team in the American League and Major League Baseball to have any Black African American players. There are no American born Black African players on either the Astros or the Phillies. But Johnny ' Dusty' Baker is a Black African American born and bred player and manager whp is going to finally become a World Series Champion. The Astros have Jose Altuve and Justin Verlander headed to the MLB Hall of Fame with the best pitchers and patient hitters in baseball. And the Astros have given away and replaced many great players but are still on top. No current Phillies player is certainly destined for the MLB Hall of Fame. The Phillies were the worst regular season team in baseball. But for the new format they wouldn't be here. Astros sweep and seven games are not likely. Astros in 5.
Max Collodi (New Jersey)
I’m pulling for the Phillies but emotions alone won’t hit curve ball.
Steve Kennedy (Deer Park, Texas)
“ … the oddsmakers have spoken, and the Astros, who are playing in their fourth World Series in the past six years, are the early favorite at -164, according to FanDuel, so a wager of $164 would yield $100 with a Houston win. The Phillies, meanwhile, are at +138, so a $100 bet would win $138 … “ (NYTimes, 24Oct2022) Yes, people here in Houston feel pretty confident. But we also remember a football game ... "The world kept spinning. Cats still hated dogs. The rain continued to travel the direction it always has. But Sunday night, Rice beat Texas. Tomorrow, the scholars on the other end of campus take on the common cold. World peace is scheduled for Wednesday. Now, anything is possible on South Main [Houston location of the Rice campus]. Rice beat Texas. After 28 consecutive losses to the Longhorns ... " (Houston Chronicle, 17Oct1994)
Richard (Illinois)
The story also should have mentioned the one NBA postseason meeting between Philadelphia and Houston, the 1977 NBA East finals, when the 76ers of Julius Erving and George McGinnis topped the Houston Rockets in six games. Yes, in the pre-David Stern NBA, Houston (along with the San Antonio Spurs) played the Eastern Conference while the Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Bucks (and for a time the Detroit Pistons) played in the Western Conference.
GP (Long Island)
ANother connection this story didn't cover. NOLA again. His college roommate was Alex Bregman. Should be a fun series - Houston is awfully good, top to bottom. but Philly has that Je Ne Sais Quoi right now. Hoping for a 1980 repeat!
Michael C (Tucson, AZ)
No mention of Ed Wade or Sam Hinkie. Wade was Phillie GM from Houston who first signed Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Cole Hamels leading to the Phillies World Championship in 2008. Hinkie, former Houston Rocket executive, was the architect of The Process (intentionally losing games the ensure high draft picks) which brought the 76ers All Star center Joel Embiid.
Lyle Ross (Houston)
If the best you can do is to write about Pbilly owning the Astros going back 40 to 50 years, you're saying, um, we can't do analysis. Everyone who thinks that those events have any impact on this series raise your hand. No one? Personally, I don't care who wins this. Houston's roads are abysmal. Public education in the city has been hurt by the state's approach that public education should be shut down. I see a profusion of folks racing on the freeway because the city police seem uninterested in enforcing the speed limits. But we'll spend millions on this. Boy are our priorities a mess.
Jaimie (Wilmington, DE)
Astros need to win all of their home games in this WS because games in Philly could be difficult for them. It's a difficult environment for any opponent...much less one that "won" a WS by cheating.
morGan (NYC)
Refreshing to see Tyler cheering for his hometown team. We NYers hate the Astors like we hated the 1990s Braves. This Mets die-hard will be rooting for the Phillies.
michjas (Phoenix)
Phillies fans are long-suffering. And they know and love the game. But they are bitter and often ugly. Losing takes its toll. One good measure of the fan base is the 7th inning stretch. If the singing of ‘Tke Me Out to the Ballgame’ generates less enthusiasm than the wave the fan base is in need of improvement. Both Phillies and Astros fans pass muster.
vjskls (Austin, Texas)
The prompt says: “Share Your Thoughts.”Interesting. My thought is: I’m scared and nervous as heck. But, unless I missed it, this story left out what I think is the Astros biggest motivation of all: to prove to everyone (even themselves) that they can win it all without stealing signs.
Peg B (Philadelphia)
The Phillies aren't even supposed to be here, yet here we are. Hoping like crazy the Phils take it - this team - this City - deserves it! Having said that, I am a lifelong Philadelphian and know all too well the feeling of disappointment when it comes to our sports teams. Harper will be the difference. GO PHILLIES!!!!
Sue (Philadelphia)
Let's just hope Houston can refrain from cheating - we all know they love to ignore the rules to gain undue advantage.
Harley (Houston)
Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame? Do they have like 3 or 4 in there?
Sparkle Mahn (West of Everything)
But when it comes to food....Houston and Philadelphia are tied! BBQ or cheesesteak. You win either way.
CZ (New York City)
It’s all about pitching in the post season. Plus, Altuve is due to break out. Go Stros!
Baboulas (Houston)
Seems that in the things that matter most, i.e. healthcare, wealth, cost of living, poverty, population, GDP and potential, Houston has the edge. And yes, it is a Democratic city.
Half Sour (Jersey)
“Potential.” LOL. Enjoy Houston in summer.
Dennis (Plymouth, MI)
Being of a certain age and from the Philly area, nothing has marked my baseball memories like 1964 (I still have 2 tickets to the series that never was) and then the Phils winning the 1980 pennant over the Astros on the way to the Phils' 1st WS win in their long history. Hoping that Tug McGraw is looking down - you gotta believe.
GP (Long Island)
@Dennis I'm with you on that - had WS tix. I remember being on dates in A/C, but Phillies more important - transistor radio stuck to my ear! I was at the game where Alex Johnson was thrown out trying to score from 2nd on a fly ball to CF - part of their Sept losing streak
Jose Ordonez (Texas)
Enjoy these memories of past teams Philly. It’s over. Go Astros.
Lyndsey Marie Shanley (Puget Sound WA)
As much as I dislike Harper, he may be the difference in this series, and I am rooting for him to hit a homer in each game with the bases loaded! I know, that is a big dream, but I really hate the thought of the Stros winning a World Series after the way they cheated in 2017 (even though I detest the Dodgers). Going to be a fun, exciting series. Phillies were hitting very well, and I hope these days off do not limit their momentum. Go Phillies! Bring the title home to PA.
nativetex (Houston, TX)
@Lyndsey Marie Shanley The few Astros who "cheated" in 2017 are all gone. You want the franchise to be penalized forever? Their performance this year (check their sweep of the playoffs) shows that they deserve to win. GO ASTROS!
Harley (Houston)
@Lyndsey Marie Shanley He's a one tool player, if you can call him a "player", he's a DH.
Susan Dorn (Santa Fe, NM)
It will be an interesting series. Phillies are hungry and hot; they are dangerous. But any baseball aficionado knows that good pitching beats good hitting over time. Bryce will have his moment(s) but the Astros are knee deep in great pitching. And the Astros are playing for something more than just the title; they are playing for Dusty to win a W.S. That will the difference maker.
Hey Do (Biddley)
Dig deep enough and you'll find all sorts of connections between any two cities with teams in every sport. A statistician didn't weigh in, but I don't think there's anything special going on with Houston and Philly. Teams trade all the time. It is nice to hear Moses Malone mentioned again. For all the deserved accolades Dr. J got with the Sixers, the Chairman of the Boards was the MVP of that championship season.
Brian (Pennsylvania)
What an awesome story Tyler. Thank you! Go Phillies!!
Milton Lewis (Toronto Ontario)
Bryce Harper will be the difference. This is the age of Harper. Phillies will win.
michjas (Phoenix)
Happenstance is not destiny. And no city owns any other. If any team ever owned another team, it was the Yankees who owned the Red Sox. The famed Curse of the Bambino. And then Dave Roberts stole second base. The rest was history. There is one big flaw in the theory that Philadelphia’ success against Houston will carry the day. Both the Astros and the Phillies have scored about 5 runs per game in the postseason. But the Astros pitchers are giving up about 2 runs per game while the Phillies pitchers are giving up more than three. The name of the game is outscoring the other team. The Astros do that more often and better than the Phillies do. The better team doesn’t always win. But they usually do. And the better team is Houston.
Denise (Phila)
@mitchjas Bah humbug. Here’s to a great Series!!!
Phanatic (Philly)
@michjas Nope Phils are the team of destiny baby. Hot, hungry, and not cheaters.
Dave The Magnificent (Here and there)
Go 'stros. The Phillies finished third in their division (of five teams) and won fewer than 90 games. Why are they even in the World Series?
Larry (Alexandria)
Because they were the wild card from a strong division and beat the other teams when it mattered.
Lyle Ross (Houston)
@Dave The Magnificent , past performance isn't a predictor of future performance? They won their playoff games? They're better looking... oh wait, that's getting that non-earned promotion. I live in Houston and now I think I have to root for Philly. Mainly because they shouldn't be in the WS. Don't root for the underdog, root for the team that everyone knows should not be there.
Lyndsey Marie Shanley (Puget Sound WA)
Remember when the SF Giants were a wild card, and beat the four other teams to win it all? Anything can happen and usually does. Let’s go Phillies!
See also