With the Phillies stinking pretty bad in 2012, many folks are wondering if their recent run of success is over or if this year is just a blip. (With their team getting old and 3 playes signed to huge over-market deals, I tend to think it’s not a blip.)

I’m here to tell you that in the big picture, it doesn’t matter anyway.

Check out how many games over .500 the Phillies team has finished each year in its history:

Phillies’ number of games above .500 each year. Click on the image for a larger version.

As you can see, this team has been bad more often than good and went through an abysmal stretch from 1918 through 1948 where they were under .500 (usually WAY under .500) every year except one.

The Phillies’ success over the last decade is clearly their best run ever, edging out the one from the mid 1970s through the early 1980s.

But if we look at cumulative number of games under .500, it ain’t pretty:

Phillies’ cumulative games over .500 in franchise history. Click for a larger version.

Oh…it’s bad. Once the losing started in 1918, they took a massive plunge. The “good” news is that once they reached that first trough in 1948, they’ve lost only a cumulative 200 further games since then, and actually gained most of that back in the 10 years before 2012.

Realize, though, that at more than a thousand games under .500, the team would have to go 101-61 for each of the next 25 years just to break even. Wow.

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