Will Phils reign on a parade? Probably, not right now

Posted: October 17, 2008

THE PHILLIES were soaking themselves with champagne in the visitor's clubhouse at Dodger Stadium Wednesday night when Mayor Nutter reached out to the team about a hometown rally.

Nutter was back on the phone yesterday morning with the team, and then greeted players as they arrived home on an overnight flight. The big question: How to squeeze a rally into the team's schedule before they depart for the World Series next week?

"The cold hard reality is, they have to get ready for the World Series," Nutter said in City Hall. "We'd love to have some sort of celebration. It needs to work with their schedule."

The Phillies are scheduled to have workouts at Citizens Bank Park today and tomorrow. They are tentatively scheduled to have a day off Sunday, then fly to the American League city on Monday.

The next big question Phillies fans hope to ask: How about a parade for world champions?

The Phillies victory Wednesday over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series puts Philadelphia in an international spotlight, with enthusiasm spreading through the city and an anticipated economic boom to follow.

"They keep coming back and coming back," Nutter said. "Even if they find themselves in a deficit position, you can't count them out. That's a bit of the spirit of the city. You know, we've been knocked down a couple of times and we keep coming back."

Nutter has enjoyed a couple of parades for sports teams in the city. He was in the crowed in 1980 after the Phillies won the World Series. In 1983, he was a staffer for City Council candidate John Anderson, who was friends with 76er star Julius "Dr. J." Erving. Nutter found himself on a parade float after the 76ers won the NBA championship.

"It's important for me to say, we don't want to get out ahead of ourselves," Nutter cautioned. "As excited as we are about winning a National League title, that's not the goal. The goal is to win the World Series."

Nutter announced this month that a projected gap in the city's five-year plan could be as much as $650 million to $850 million. That won't stop a parade.

"In terms of when and cost and how - we'll figure it out," he said. *

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