Hal McCoy on a comparison that is, at the very least, a bit premature:
Before I depart for Aruba Saturday and a week’s fun on the beach and at the pool as Official Bikini Observer, let me weigh in on the nonsense I’m reading and hearing about the Philadelphia Phillies as The Little Red Machine.
Pshaw and balderdash.
Just because the Phillies are only the fourth National League team in history to win back-to-back National League pennants doesn’t mean they are on a level with The Big Red Machine.
They aren’t even The Little Red Machine yet.
I don't mind "The Little Red Machine" because I adore nicknames. The 1980 Phillies were "The Cardiac Kids" and the 1983 Phillies were "The Wheeze Kids" (love that one), so why not these Phillies? They do have to win the World Series (again) for "Little Red Machine" to make real sense, but it's a fine and solid nickname if they do.
But of course McCoy is absolutely right -- there's really no comparison between the Big Machine and the Little one. McCoy goes position-by-position (and somewhat oddly, I think), but that level of analysis is hardly necessary.
In 2008 and 2009, the Phillies outscored their opponents by 230 runs. That's an impressive figure, no doubt.
In 1975 and 1976, the Reds outscored their opponents by 478 runs. That's one of the most impressive figures in the history of professional baseball, the result of one of the five or six greatest collections of talent that's ever been assembled.
Like I said: if the Phillies win the World Series again it'll be a fun little nickname.