Glen Mills resident Mickey Marandini, who played 11 seasons for the Phillies and was a key player in that team’s 1993 World Series run, had a lot of good things to say about the current team on Friday and predicts the future streak with the Astros could go further.

“I think it’s important that the Phillies play one of the first games in Houston. That would be huge, then for Houston, having to come to Philadelphia, losing home field advantage, I think that would be huge with the home crowd,” Marandini said. “It’s going to be a good streak, it’s going to be a long streak, six or seven games. Houston was probably the best team in baseball overall, except for the Dodgers, and the Phillies are the hottest team in baseball right now – so they’re going to face off. The Astros have four great pitchers, so we’re going to have to score some runs and put some pressure on them.”

Marandini is now a Phillies team ambassador.


The former second baseman said that for any team to reach the World Series, there has to be good chemistry between the players.

“Obviously, the chemistry is really good (with the current Phillies team), and that’s usually the case when you’re winning,” Marandini said. “We all got along very well. We reached for each other. In 1993, everybody did what they had to do to win ball games, and I think that’s what this team does. Every day it was someone else making a big play or getting a big hit, throwing a big pitch, and that’s what this team is doing in ’22.”

Marandini said the 1993 team was picked to finish last at the start of the season, while the 2022 Phillies weren’t going anywhere early with a 22-29 record and were also projected to not do much.

“Then they took it off,” he said.

He also noted that fans came to the teams for this reason.

Off the charts power.

There are differences.

“This team has more power. We hit a lot of home runs, but the power of this team is off the charts,” he said. “The pitching depth of the ’93 teams was a little better.”

Asked what Rob has changed to help the Phillies since becoming coach, Marandini saw three changes.


“He balanced the lineup and put guys in the same spots every day,” Marandini said. “The hitters don’t need to come to the park thinking about where they are going to bat in the lineup. I think it’s very important that a hitter comes to the park and knows he’s going to be at second or fifth.

“Secondly, he strengthened the bullpen by giving them roles, when Joe (Girardi) was in charge, nobody knew when they were going to pitch, what inning they were going to pitch, and Rob came in and kind of defined some roles down there.” Marandini said. “Late inning guys, middle inning guys, things like that.”

The third change that Marandini saw was that the young guys were given a chance.

“When Rob got (Bryson) Stott and (Matt) Virling, who were really struggling at the time, got a chance to play and play consistently and obviously things turned around for them. They played really well and came up with some really big hits throughout the season.”

A better park for the government

Marandini played in the spacious Veterans Stadium, which was much larger than Citizens Bank Park, which he believes helps this team.

“It helps because they have so much power,” he said. “Obviously the smaller venue will play to that strength. It also helps their defense: they don’t have to cover as much ground. Especially in that field. We know (Nick) Castellanos is not an everyday right fielder and (Kyle) Schwarber is not an everyday lefty. A smaller ball park gives them the opportunity to make routine plays.”

Marandini also acknowledged the addition of Brandon March in center field.

Brandon Marsh of the Philadelphia Phillies reacts during the ...

“He really took that spot and played great defense,” he said. “I think the smaller park helped them in both of those aspects.”

When asked if players tune out fans, he said that to some extent you have to once the game starts. But it helps in preparing for the first pitch.

“It gets everybody fired up, fired up, ready to go,” Moradini said. “I’ve played in stadiums with 5,000 fans and 55,000 fans and let me tell you, when you play in front of 55,000 fans, it definitely makes a difference. You can’t explain what it does to you, but I will say it pumps you up and gets you ready to play. Not that you’re not ready to play big league games, but there’s an added element when there’s that amount of fans.”

Philly fans make the difference

He said the fans aren’t as big a factor during the regular season, but the playoffs are a different story for opposing players.

Marandini in his playing days.  (PHOTO COURTESY)
Marandini in his playing days. (PHOTO COURTESY)

“I don’t think opposing teams, when they come to Philadelphia, have that much of an impact on the regular season, but as far as playoff baseball goes, they have no idea what they’re getting into,” he said. “It’s a huge advantage for the Phillies. I think we saw that in the playoffs. The Braves came here and we pretty much took it to their house. I don’t think anyone expected, at least nationally, that the Padres would go on a 3 game winning streak. That’s a huge advantage for the Phillies.”

Phillies fans
Phillies fans

Marandini noted that as a team ambassador, he often interacts with fans.

“People will come up and talk about the ’93 team or Harry K calling my name and things like that,” he said. “It’s always fun to be in town and talk and interact with the fans, it’s really great.”

Ambiguous rule changes

In 2023, baseball will see a number of changes to speed up the game.

Marandini is skeptical about some of the plans.

“I’m sure the clock will speed things up a bit. It doesn’t bother me,” he said. “The expansion of the base and the new selection rules, things like that, I find a little absurd for me. I don’t think you need to make the base a couple of inches bigger to steal bases. I think the Phillies have proven that this year. Their success rate was close to 80 percent, if I’m not mistaken.’

It was 81.8%.

“Can you imagine what Rickey Henderson and Vince Coleman and Lou Brock and those guys would do with an extra 2-3 inches on the bases?” he asked. “They would steal 200 bases a year.”

“I don’t think it was necessary to speed up the game. And I’m going to be honest here, I think you’ve got to put the ball in play and you’ve got to have pitchers who command the baseball better,” Marandini said. “The reason the games are so long, in my opinion, is because you have a 3-2 count every shot. If you could get a Greg Maddox-type pitcher who can drive the baseball, throw strikes, and you have hitters who put the ball in play, the game will accelerate itself.”

The bigger picture

When asked who will be the surprise in the series, Marandini said that everyone will have to step up.

“They did it in a different way with somebody different every game, Harper hitting big, Realmuto hitting big, Nola throwing a shutout, Wheeler pitching well, so they’re going to need all of them. This can’t be the kind of series Harper takes you on. They will need someone to step up every game,” he said. “I guess every game it’s going to be somebody different and that’s how they’ve won ball games and that’s how it’s got to continue.”


Are players like Harper ready to live in the city?

“It’s probably true. He can buy himself some food, but he’ll definitely have some drinks delivered to him, that’s for sure,” Marandini said. “Phillies fans are great. I was a role player on a World Series team, and I know the fans have been very good to me since I retired. You win championships here and you live here, you’re definitely the king.”

Was it hard to come up with just a short one?

“You have to turn the page. When you retire and look back on it, it eats away at you a little bit. You never know if you’ll be back. Not many teams get back to the World Series this quickly. You just have to seize the moment and do your best and hopefully you’ll come out on top,” he said. “We are still thinking about it. The players of ’93 must be thinking about what could have been.”

Marandini said it takes a lot of things to get to the World Series.

“You have to stay healthy for guys to have career years, a little bit of luck, a lot of things have to fall your way and Phillis has. “Every button that Rob Thomson has pushed since he took over has been accurate,” he said. “With two weeks left in the season, no one thought the Phillies would make the playoffs. They’ve been in that rut the last couple of weeks, especially in that first game in Washington when Milwaukee caught them.

And now we have a chance to win the World Series. It’s pretty exciting.”