Hey, wake up! It’s midsummer and the All-Star teams are assembling! Also the humidity is unbearable and you’ve got a summer cold again. Also I broke your air conditioner by accidentally hurling empty beer bottles at it as hard as I could when the Phillies lost.
They’ve been doing that a lot this year. So much that when other teams get excited about some hot young talent or resurging vet.
“He’s such a great story!” they say, as we sit there next to them on the couch, arms folded. ”He was born in a wheat field in Nebraska! His delivery was jumpstarted when his mother got brained by a foul ball! With Double-A Barntooth he hit a personalized home run for every fan in the stadium! His sweet virgin soul is unstained by regret and defeat!”
“Yeah, and then Roy Halladay goes down with an injury, and it’s like sheesh, you know?” we respond.
“It’s like you’re not even listening,” they say. ”Like you’re so anxious for everyone to know the Phillies’ excuses for a disappointing season that you can’t even hear what I’m saying.”
“…and you know he was going to have the best season ever too, because he was throwing all those strikeouts.”
Like it or not, you’re going to be hearing about those hotshots on other teams for a long time, and it will only intensify as we near the All-Star Game in Kansas City. But hey, you knew there was going to be at least one Phillie on the NL roster, whether it was because there are in fact rare pockets of talent on this club and also because it’s a league requirement.
Why, there’s Cole Hamels, the starting pitcher who everyone is convinced will play for another team in a matter of weeks.
And then there’s Jonathan Papelbon, the guy who doesn’t play very often, but oh ho ho ho boy, does he ever make more money than you’ll ever see in your entire life.
Lastly, there’s Carlos Ruiz, the 33-year-old catcher having the best year of his life during the worst season in contemporary Phillies history. One can’t help but wander if Chooch’s monster bat could have helped had it sprung into action a year or two ago. Maybe even just for one night last October.
But hey, if we actually sat around and considered these things, nobody’s air conditioners would work! Ha ha! Summer! Am I right? Mmm? You bet I am!
Now let’s all relax on the couch, let our stupid friends talk about all the great players on their teams, and soak in July’s thick, soupy air that everyone hates.