If The Athletics Stayed: Philly would love the Bash Brothers
Updated: July 8, 2009

By , PhillyGameday.com

Introducing a new feature called If The Athletics Stayed, that will likely appear whenever one of our cherished teams does something precious like lose to a team they just historically reamed the night before. In said feature, we will take a quick look into what life would be like as a Philly baseball fan had the Athletics stayed in town instead of moving to Kansas City in 1955 (and eventually to Oakland in 1968).

For this edition, we’ll take a look at the “Bash Brothers” of Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire and how this town would likely still hold a spot in their hearts for the two poster children of the steroid era had they played for the Philadelphia Athletics.

Would Philly be any different than any other love-struck town like LA, San Francisco and New York if we had a couple of star athletes that were later found to be dirty? I’d like to think so, but the obvious answer would be “no, we’d be no different.”

After Mike Schmidt (who fell off after 1987, coincidentally when the Bash Brothers were just heating up), the Phillies had a major power outage for the next 15 or so years until Pat Burrell and Jim Thome came to town.  Can you imagine how popular the A’s would have been in this town over the lowly Phils teams of the late 80′s and through the 90′s (1993 aside) if we were able to see Canseco and McGwire “across town?”

Now of course, this assumes that we didn’t know anything about steroids back then, and I think the bulk of fans didn’t have a clue (myself included, since I was in high school at the height of the steroid era in 2001). Contrary to what Mike Missanelli would mislead you to believe, the big talk was about a “juiced ball”, smaller ballparks and diluted pitching due to expansion, not about steroids.

I say this because we would have probably accepted the “Bash Brothers” like we do Ryno and Utley today, and even when the news broke that McGwire was catching whatever Jose “The Candyman” Canseco was pitching (take that however you want), we would probably forgive and embrace them just like Oakland did. Sports fans are like naive, abused girlfriends: You can cheat your ass off, but as long as you throw in a couple “please baby, baby, baby please’s”, they’ll take you right back.

If the A’s stayed in town, you know Philly would have gone nuts for the “Broad Street Bash Brothers” or some other corny 90′s nickname. Don’t deny it.

Zaki is the Chief Rocka and senior writer for PhillyGameday.com and thinks you should hurry up and follow the site on Twitter and Facebook before it's too late.

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