The Phillies are old! The Phillies are injured! The Phillies are ticking time bombs, about to spew incompetence and hand injuries all over the diamond! Global warming! Genocide! My parents bought the dog more birthday presents than I got! Better watch the Phillies now, because happiness is fleeting!
Jack McCaffery, an emotional gentleman armed with a keyboard, recently penned a column instructing you to enjoy your precious Phillies, because very soon, we’ll all be dead. It was clearly an attempt to capitalize on an overly grim mindset to get people clicking links (OBVIOUSLY HE FAILED, AS I DEDICATE AN ENTIRE POST TO HIM), and in that vein, McCaffery nailed it.
He comes quite across as the emo kid in class, slouching in the back row with his arms crossed and staring hopelessly into the distance, because how bleak is life and his step mom packed the wrong kind of lunch meat and Ryan Howard had a minor hand strain so game over man game over.
Sure, the Phillies are old and more injury prone. Look at Placido Polanco. You can’t, because he’s not on TV, because he’s hurt all the time. But we knew all this coming into 2011. It’s why people counted the Phillies out, and now they’re the best team in baseball. No, that’s not a sustainable status for years down the road. But they will probably be alive enough to remain competitive, right, Jack?
No? Not even a stray Wildcard berth? Just eternal darkness? Okay.
Here are my favorite passages.
“Though 25 years late for the No. 1 monopoly market in baseball, David Montgomery did approve a payroll that moved within cents of the luxury tax. And the fans recognized the effort, cramming Citizens Bank Park.
The Phillies went for broke.
But then, too many of them broke.”
This is just great writing. I pictured a pile of Phillies, miming the actions of decades-old broken toys, like a wind-up soldier twitching eerily instead of marching in a circle. God the Phillies suck.
“Jimmy Rollins so disintegrated physically that he no longer was openly encouraged to sprint on routine grounders.”
I feel kind of stupid asking this, being that I bother to update a blog dedicated to the Phillies, but shouldn’t Jimmy Rollins be dead? Did I miss that? I mean, I look away from the TV every now and again, but shit. I dropped the ball this time. Just as Jimmy would have, if he were still out on the field.
I’m not blind, like all the Phillies will be in a month or two. Obviously Jimmy’s not MVP Jimmy, but this is all part of the natural progression of the game, and when our current heroes and legends are no longer contributing amicably, we do have a front office that knows what it’s doing. With a weakened farm system, hopes aren’t going to be as high, but… again, and maybe I’m wrong here, but I don’t think anybody really believes that 2011 is the Phillies’ last chance at even just a competitive season.
“So enjoy the last month of this season and the playoffs. Accept that Howard is prone to long slumps but still an MVP candidate. Applaud Rollins in his final hours as a Phillie. Howl “Chooooch” and “Rauuuuuullll”. Appreciate that Utley has the professional dignity to play while sore. And expect that Halladay, Lee, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt and Vance Worley will be able to win often enough in October to give the Phillies organization what it deserves for its various investments in the present.”
Never mind, I think that’s how everybody views the Phillies: A gasping, sputtering, 84-win team through 130 games that can just win “often enough” to get through October.
I enjoy a “passionate list of things true fans do” as much as anybody. The sad, funereal way McCaffery suggests you do these things, however, is inadvisable. For the sake of your own fun, I can’t recommend quietly sobbing while chanting “Raauuuulll” or acknowledging that there are Phillies staffers wringing their hands and cackling as they anticipate the moment they get to throw Jimmy Rollins’ jersey into a furnace. It just doesn’t sound as enjoyable.
“Because a very different future will be here soon enough.”
“Thanks for reading, I’m Jack McCaffery. Now, it’s back to my time machine so that I may visit the future and return to you in the present to ruin everything. Good bye.”