NLCS: How the Phillies Decided to Travel Home Early
The Phillies are about to travel 1,922 miles on the road this season, which means they will have to travel nearly 1,000 miles for each game.
They went on that 1,922-mile trip last year as well. The reason they decided to return so early was a change in the way the Phillies organization does business.
It starts with the ownership, who made the decision in the offseason that the organization would move more in the offseason, and not just once a year. The Phillies will travel to every team’s facility, visit with front-office personnel and coaches, attend team meetings and, for a big game, they will visit with owners and general managers. And the owners will not travel to just one team in a single year.
The Phillies have done this in the past, with the exception of in 2000 when they were on the road for three games in five days.
“We did that after a while — ‘Boy, it’s tough to stay at the ballpark and not go to all the other parks,’” team president David Montgomery said. “Then there are others, like the Oakland A’s, who do that. [That] gave us a chance to go to different places. As it has gotten closer to the season, we have found it to be more important to come here.”
Here are the differences between doing business then, and doing so now.
First, the players. At the time of the 2000 home-and-home series with the A’s, the players didn’t know the route the team would take that year. The players were told they would be in Philadelphia, but there was no guarantee they would ever see the team again.
“We didn’t know what the schedule was [then] and we didn’t know until a couple of days before the game when you drive in the morning to an airport and the team tells you which team you’re going to see,” pitcher Tom Gordon said. “It was a shock to us. We thought, ‘Well, we’re going to the ballpark, we’re going to walk onto the field and we’re going to be there for a game