Stop the Phillies bandwagon, please. Jacob Lambert would like to get off.
Being a fan, at its core, is a simple thing. Your team wins? You celebrate. They struggle? You suffer.
Being a Phillies fan takes it to a higher level. We’re loud and crude and there for the last pitch, every time. This is Citizens Bank Park, not amateur hour at Dodger Stadium. The game’s got nine innings, people. Kids are missing their bedtime. Parents have work tomorrow. The dog hasn’t been out since this morning. Oh well.
To see our success, our hard fought, home grown, skillfully managed success, and already be shrugging it off?
You’re a bad fan, Jacob Lambert. You’re a really, really bad fan.
Maybe you don’t feel this way at all. Maybe you had a deadline and looked out over the sea of Phillies blog and column topics, and saw writer after writer covering the same thing: How will Cole fare this year? Who’s getting that fifth spot in the rotation? How will Polanco fill in the hole at third?
So, like any good writer, you thought, “How can I separate myself from the pack? How can I cover the Phillies’ dominance in a fresh, new way?”
“Oh, how about I dislike it?”
“So much for things that, however “painful” they might have been, were (whisper it softly) kind of part of the fun,” Lambert writes.
2007. That was fun. Why? Because that was the turnaround from a series of years where the best reaction the Phillies could get was a yawn. That was when we got to say we were a playoff team for the first time since ’93. That was when I got home from watching Brett Myers close out the overtaking of the Mets on the last day of the season and listened to the Wallflowers’ “Heroes” on a continuous loop, because I was feeling emotional and also still pretty drunk.
18 years of watching Charlie Hayes go down on strikes? Of Mike Lieberthal being our sole rep at the All-Star game? Of David fucking Bell?!
You call that fun?!
I promised myself I wouldn’t shriek.
“But now that October baseball has become the rule, something true has been lost,” Lambert’s needless complaining continues.
Let me explain something, Lambert. Three years of October does not make it “the rule.”
Guess who it is the rule for? They’re just up the turnpike and they spent last October pointing and laughing at us. The Yankees had a single digit year gap between World Series victories and it was considered a sign of the Apocalypse in New York. They are climate change, a hole in the ozone, and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch: a constant, irreversible threat.
Sickly enough, October will only ever be “the rule” in New York. So don’t worry, Lambert. Everybody’s got expiration dates, contractually. The farm system’s been violently depleted. Raul Ibanez’s second coming is long overdue.
Some day, Lambert, you’ll get the thrill of chasing down the bandwagon once more.
The Yankees are the most consistently dominant team in baseball, and even when they’re eliminated, what’s their gut reaction? Shake it off, wait until next year, and remind everyone how many rings they already have.
Its 27, by the way. We have 2. And I might add there was almost 2o years between them.
Maybe you don’t recognize all the things that go into a World Series victory. Having a team with the magnanimous talent to do so is one thing, but there’s a thousand other factors at play: Can everyone stay healthy? Does the team have chemistry, or do they all resent each other? How does everybody handle pressure? Do the young guys lose their nerve? Do the old guys set a good example? Can we just get downright lucky on occasion?
You’re showing total disregard for the time-consuming, delicate, strenuous process of getting there.
Cole Hamels showed up for Spring Training ahead of time this year, hoping to bounce back from a terrible 2009. Hours a day, working out, making adjustments, listening to his pitching coach…
And what are you going to do, Lambert? Shrug at him and say “Meh”? Because even if his efforts, combined with the rest of the team’s, take them as far as they can go, to another World Series trophy, you won’t be satisfied? You won’t even care?
A real fan, a real Phillies fan, knows not to take this time for granted. So stop watching if you’re so bored, Lambert, sitting in your “contented ennui.”
Because the last thing we true fans want is a Yankees-philosophy wearing a Phillies cap.