The Philadelphia Phillies went into the All-Star break on track to be one of the worst teams in the history of baseball. They had won 3 of their last 18 games, were projected to lose 100 games at the least and it seemed like the end of the 2015 MLB season could not get here fast enough.
Then, something changed.
Since the Phillies resumed play after the All-Star break on July 17, the team has been unstoppable. They have won 16 out of their last 23 games, have a record of 7-3 on the road, briefly climbed out of the basement in the NL East standings and now are only 6.5 games behind the Braves.
And the real kicker of all this is that this is basically the same lineup that started the season, minus Cole Hamels, Jonathan Papelbon and Ben Revere.
So I ask the question again: what changed during the All-Star break to cause this Phillies team to return to life and start winning?
Well, to answer that you may have to ask the Meisha Johnson, new traffic reporter for CBS 3.
In a strange twist of fate, word broke that Johnson would be joining the CBS 3 news team on July 16, the day before the Phillies resumed play. She arrived in Philadelphia from her home in the midwest right around the same time and, what do you know, the Phillies suddenly become the hottest team in all of baseball.
Maybe, maybe not.
But there can be no denying that since Johnson arrived in the City of Brotherly Love, your Philadelphia Phillies have been a different team.
— Meisha Johnson🙏🏻✝️🙏🏻 (@MeishaPJohnson) July 23, 2015
I asked Johnson about this via Twitter, where she has quite the loyal following, and all she would say is this:
“Coincidentally, since I left Minneapolis the MN Twins have been struggling a bit… so I’ve gotta admit, whatever they lost, the Phillies acquired… (wink wink ;).”
Hmmm… curiouser and curiouser.
I also asked Johnson about the move from her native Minnesota to Philadelphia, a city that has laid waste to many a news personality over the years.
“Making the decision to move to the East Coast as a midwest native was both exciting and intimidating. As big as this beautiful city is, however, it has a lovable, down-to-earth vibe. There’s a commanding presence, yet a quite confidence. What I find myself adoring the most, are the people within its boundaries. am far from home, but I don’t feel that way. I feel as though I’m part of an extended family I’ve been reunited with after all these years. I respect Philly’s hard work ethic, the sports community and it’s loyalty, and I’m grateful to be welcomed to the “City of Brotherly Love” with open arms – a city that, for me, has truly lived up to its name. And by the way, I can’t wait to experience my first Eagles game! Who’s buying? ;)”
So could it be as simple as that? That the Phillies got themselves a good luck charm when Meisha Johnson came to Philadelphia?
Probably not, but I’ll take it. Because watching this Phillies team is a heck of a lot more fun that that train wreck from before the break.
And if Meisha Johnson is the reason behind it, all the better.