Another Phillies loss, another list of reasons to panic. You’d think a loss would sting a bit less after being preceded by nine fairly dominant wins in a row, but I assure you, we of Phillies fandom can flop down on the couch with our arms folded and pout like assholes. “Will we ever win again?!” we cry, shaking our fists at the sky.
That’s why it’s all too common to see lists of reasons why Phillies fans, despite following the Best Team in Baseball with the largest division lead by far, should be upset. This time, we’ve got a couple of things to dread from the Inquirer’s Bob Brookover, and boy, does he ever want to ruin your week.
I know, its like “What are you, just going to haphazardly tear apart another writer’s work?” And the answer is “No, not this time. But I am going to address it.”
“Huh,” you reply. “Isn’t that kind of soulless and speak to a lack of creativity on your part?”
To which I respond, “Hey, this is blogging–the ‘being in a motorcycle gang’ of the internet.”
“That’s not really an apt comparison,” says you.
“Well,” I say with a twinge of plummeting self-esteem, “then I am going to have to make some changes on my resume.”
The first concern is complacency, or that thing that can happen when a team is so good that they begin to peacock around the rest of the league, working on getting their strut down correctly rather than concentrating on Playing the Game the Right Way. Then, the next thing you know, you’ve lost 20 games in a row and nobody cares that you finally figured out how to steal a base while cartwheeling.
I’ve seen it happen! Not to the Phillies , mind you, but that shit happens. My 8th grade team got so cocky that by the time we were playing in the championship, we didn’t even realize that we had been eliminated three weeks before. It can be pretty easy to assume Jimmy doesn’t care when he first-pitch swings a pop-up to short, or Ryan is getting lazy when he once again takes a mighty hack at a breaking ball that hits him in the back foot. But there isn’t a peacocking diva on this team, and Charlie seems to have a nose for this kind of thing, so I’m not sure how realistic this qualm is.
Next, Brookover addresses the fact that no NL team who has finished with the best record in baseball has ever won the World Series. Claiming something won’t happen because it’s never happened before smells like faulty logic–especially in baseball. Remember when the Giants won the World Series last year? It’s the same mindset Yankees fans default to, assuming that in their darkest, most humiliating hour, whimpering “…27 rings…” will save them, when really, all it does is reveal them as the ignorant, sniveling wretches that they are. Relying on the past to prove the present is the antithesis
What if Roy Halladay or Cole Hamels doesn’t win the NL Cy Young? Well hopefully they’ll be too distracted by the World Series trophy to really give a shit, but whatever. Is this something people are really worried about? Identify yourself if you are one of these people. Nobody be like that. That’s real dumb.
I’ll just throw some quotes around Bob’s last Phillies problem because I like it so much.
“With no race to follow, the time until October may pass slower than usual and the postseason anxiety may be higher than ever because this really looks like a team that should win the World Series.”
You remember the fall, don’t you? That time of year when the warmth of summer slowly dissolves into a bitter, twisted, unfunny joke. We cling to baseball as the last remnants of the season, but the truth is, we can feel the earth slipping into its yearly coma, trapping us indoors with blistering cold winds and ice daggers from the sky. Do you want to that time of year to seem extended? Well, the Phillies, by being good, are going to take the worst time of year and stretch it out just to prolong your misery.
Good luck, fucker. But you know the coming days will have you sitting at your desk, face down, as the soothing glow of a summer’s sunset becomes a brutal, barren wasteland, frozen endlessly in place.