Phillies owner John Middleton wants to win more than one World Series.
Last fall, the Philadelphia Phillies were just two wins shy of their franchise's third-ever World Series championship, falling to the Dusty Baker-led Houston Astros in six games. The Phillies entered the 2022 season with expectations to just snap their decade-long postseason drought, but they went much further than that — eliminating the St. Louis Cardinals, division-rival Atlanta Braves, and San Diego Padres in the Wild Card Series, NLDS and NLCS, respectively.
The deep postseason run meant a shorter-than-normal offseason, yet Phillies President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski was still able to make significant upgrades across almost every aspect of the projected 26-man roster for the 2023 season. Among their most notable moves was signing perhaps the game's best shortstop in Trea Turner, as well as bolstering their starting rotation with the addition of former New York Mets right-hander Taijuan Walker.
In a recent interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia's John Clark, Senior Advisor to the GM Larry Bowa revealed that manager Rob Thomson asked owner John Middleton to give a speech to the new-look team. He was not shy to "raise the bar" to significant levels:
""[John Middleton] said, 'I don't want to win one championship. I want to win one, two, three, or four.' And you could see how energized John was. And that energized our entire team before we even took the field.""- Larry Bowa
Bowa continued that the Phillies' offseason moves and Middleton's spring training speech "removed any doubts" about the organization's desire to spend and ultimately win:
""You have no idea what that means to the whole clubhouse when your owner comes out and makes a statement like that. There's no doubt in anybody's mind about what John Middleton wants. These guys want it just as bad, believe me.""- Larry Bowa
There has been just about nothing but positive news so far for the Phillies down in Clearwater, albeit recent reports about their top prospect, Andrew Painter, undergoing tests on a "tender" elbow — just days after his spring debut.
Hopefully, Painter is okay and the rest of the team stays healthy as the season nears.