Phillies found a villain: rest of National League

Posted: October 22, 2008

1993: The Phillies had plenty of villains to motivate them. A year earlier they had been the National League's dartboard. They were hit by 51 pitches, 19 of them plunking Dave Hollins. The fact that their pitchers didn't retaliate created a schism in the clubhouse and left the '93 team to vow it wouldn't happen again. There were whispers that spring they they'd get even with a lot of pitchers and teams, including Greg Maddux, who had broken Lenny Dykstra's hand on the '92 season's second pitch. As if to reaffirm that fact, the Phils got into a major brawl with the St. Louis Cardinals in spring training. Soon, pitchers seemed more reluctant to go inside against them. Hollins' hit-by-pitch total plummeted to five as the '93 team went from last to first.

2008: If Phillies fans had one regret about the ALCS elimination of the Boston Red Sox, it was that it deprived them of another shot at perhaps their favorite villain - J.D. Drew. Philadelphians love nothing so much as a good villain to scorn. The Phillies themselves, however, seem to have their own personal enemy. Jose Reyes of the Mets is the high priest of hot-dogging. On July 24, his act really infuriated the Phillies - and their broadcasters. After hitting a three-run homer at Shea Stadium, Reyes raised his finger into the air as he rounded first and pranced around the bases. After reaching the dugout, the Mets shortstop then proceeded to high-five, chest-thump, chatter and sing with his teammates. The Phillies never retaliated directly, but "Reyes revenge" was a factor in their late-season overtaking of the Mets.

Frank Fitzpatrick was the Phillies beat writer for The Inquirer in 1993.

Remembering 1993

Average price of gallon of gas: $1.10.

Phillies' record: 97-65, first place.

Phillies' attendance: 3,137,674.

Phillies' first-round pick: Wayne Gomes, RHP.

Remember this? Rock star Prince changes his name to an incomprehensible symbol. (He chose the symbol, he said, after learning that Ugueth Urbina was taken.)

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