Will Philly’s next championship canvas really be a Mo’ne?

 The Taney Dragons celebrate a 4-0 win at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa., August 2014. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

The Taney Dragons celebrate a 4-0 win at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa., August 2014. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

In Mo’ne we trust.

In Chip, Ruben, Ron and Sam, not so much. 


Before a mayoral forum I attended last week, the organizers decided to have a little fun with a mock poll. The question was: Which Philadelphia team do you expect will be the next to win a championship?

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Eagles? Phillies? Flyers? Sixers? Nah, losers all in this election.

Garnering the most votes were Mo’ne Davis’ Taney Dragons, darlings of the last Little League World Series.

And a child shall lead them. Because the adults are not exactly doing a bang-up job.

The Sixers and Flyers just concluded dreary seasons, failing to make the playoffs. At least Sam Hinkie’s Sixers can say they really were trying to fail, in a bid to snare high draft picks. Ron Hextall is just the latest in a line of iconic Flyers to stumble as general manager.

I feel confident in predicting Ruben Amaro’s boys in red pinstripes will not make the baseball playoffs, leaving Chip Kelly’s Eagles as our only chance to avoid the first total playoff shutout year since 1994.

Wasn’t it just yesterday that Charlie Manuel was waving to cheering throngs from a truckbed on Broad, on the way to Chase Utley dropping the most famous F-bomb in the city’s history?

On one level, it seems silly to suggest a sports team’s performance should reflect or affect the status of a city of 1.5 million souls. Even if Ryan Howard can’t hit anymore, that doesn’t make the doctors at Fox Chase any less amazing, the Barnes any less glimmering, or Fishtown any less of a hipster haven.

But this is Philadelphia; our spirits do rise and fall in tandem with how the boys in midnight green or orange and black perform.

The Phils’ World Series win was part of the wave of good feeling that accompanied the opening of Michael Nutter’s mayoral tenure. Their current sad-sack ways tend to reinforce the gloomy vibe emanating from City Hall.

My vote on that poll might surprise. I think we’re a long way from paradise – three-four years at least.

But I suspect those tanking Sixers are the ones who will next take us there. Turning around a basketball team takes less time than a baseball rebuild, and the Sixers have stockpiled the needed chips. All the Phils’ have stockpiled is sore joints and killer contracts. The Flyers’ futility is deeply ingrained, and I’m bearish on Chip Kelly’s alleged genius.

Here’s a question: How many more years until Mo’ne is eligible for the baseball draft?

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