This is also the first Phillies front office in years to find a team weakness and attack it. By trading for star closer Billy Wagner and signing set-up man Tim Worrell, Wade sent the message that contending isn't good enough anymore. The Phils may well have the deepest bullpen in team history, which will go a long way toward erasing memories of the horrible denouement of the '93 Series.
The improvement in the bullpen should make the Phils at least 5-6 games better than last year's 86-76. They might even win 100 games for the first time since the fans were searching for reasons to heckle Mike Schmidt, which would give them the NL East and home-field advantage in the playoffs in their beautiful new home.
Phillies fans, it is said, would boo cancer patients, but that's because rooting for the Phillies has so often seemed like rooting against cancer. I don't know how far a new stadium and a winning team can go toward relieving a 100-year inferiority complex, but this century is sure starting off better than the last one.
TODAY IN SLATE
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