Very soon, people, baseball will be upon us, like a slow-moving predator haunted by the soothing voices of local broadcasters in its head. As usual around here, escape is useless. It is far more exciting and less painful to just accept your fate lie there while baseball does its thing to you for the next chunk of months.
So, to prepare for what’s about to happen, we at TBOH asked each other a bunch of questions, and then gave each other a bunch of answers, and then put those answers in text form and displayed them on a web site. These are those questions. This is that web site.
Over the next week, at seemingly sporadic dates and times, we will be slowly revealing all of them, and you can laugh and cry and become enraged at them right along with us. Enjoy! And remember, in the end, we’re all fans, even if it seems like we truly hate the Phillies and/or each other.
Have we left the obelisk of this golden Phillies age and entered the mere shadow?
John Ricco: In some capacity, yeah. We’re probably not going win 102 games again for a long time, and it’s pretty safe to say that most of our star players are entering the second half of their careers. We’re not exactly headed for Mets-esque failure, but keeping up the pace we have set over the last 5 years will be incredibly difficult.
Justin Klugh: I believe we’re still on the obelisk, mainly because of all the primitive apes in this division about to discover the weapons at their disposal and attack us with thunderous shrieks of war.
This is a 2001: Space Odyssey parallel, just so everyone knows. And also just so everyone knows, it’s a good one.
John Stolnis: I don’t think the Phillies will ever leave the obelisk of this era ever again. By that I mean, the Phils will likely always be competitive moving forward. Why? Money.
The Phils are due to negotiate a new cable contract with Comcast in the next few years that will net them billions of dollars, meaning their payroll should be ridiculously high for a long time. When you can buy players, the window of opportunity never really closes. The hope is that some of the minor league talent, particularly the young starters in Clearwater and Reading, will be ready to go, and the Phils won’t have to completely sell out to be competitive.
But this franchise has reached a place they never have before. They are now a mega-team. And while there will certainly be a down year or two here and there, with all the TV cash coming their way, I don’t think the window will ever fully close.
Ethan Seidel: Our season-ending disappointments have some silver linings. Each team won the division (5 and counting), and they all lost to the eventual World Series Champ. You may not take any solace in this fact, but the best team beat each year.
Were the Cardinals more talented than the Phillies? No. Did the Giants lineup strike fear in the hearts of opposing pitchers? No. Did the Yankees have any solid starters behind CC? No. All of these teams won not because they were better, but because they got hot at the right time.
Was the Phillies 2008 team more talented than the Rays, Dodgers, and Brewers? No. What they were was hot. All it takes is a little momentum and a little luck to get back that Holy Grail. The Phillies have as good a chance to make it back to the playoffs as anyone in the NL, especially with the expanded format. As long you can say that the Golden Age will continue on.