5.5 games out of the second Wild Card spot is much, much closer to where the Phillies were expected to be at this point. We just didn’t think they’d have a weeks-long sudden burst of energy to keep us interested in mid-September.
I guess my analysis had been a bit grimmer, having been written up at work for drawing graphic, disturbing pictures of Citizens Bank Park on fire with crayons and leaving them on the break room fridge.
I was reaching out. And they didn’t understand.
The point is, not much else is going to happen to the Phillies in 2012. The towel-throwing has begun, and I don’t just mean in the Green Bay Packers locker room. I mean that we’re zeroing in on that time of year where teams that maybe weren’t so good are trying to keep fans focused on what they can salvage from the past season, in order to seamlessly transition into their orders for 2013 season ticket packages.
And the Phillies have begun by ushering their best two players to the front and gesturing toward them.
Look, we all know Chooch and Cole were the best Phillies perfomers in 2012. But now the Phillies are saying that they are, so it’s official news or whatever. Cole, with his lowest ERA and most K’s on the staff got the Steve Cartlon Award and Chooch, with his back-to-back home runs and his .300+ BA and his overall Choochiness got the Mike Schmidt Award.
It was a joy watching Chooch have a career season at the age of 33. Unfortunately, we don’t have a playoff berth to distract us from the concern of regression as a 34-year-old, but hey. Whose eyes are welling up with tears while they type out that concept? Not me, certainly.
And Cole, sadly, can be most associated with contractual questions for most of the season, until his six-year extension was announced in glorious vindication of being on Twitter at 2:00 AM on a week day.
But needless to say, those rare moments of hope and excitement in 2012 were many times sponsored by one of these two, and for that, we applaud them. Or, we put our hand and the fist-shaped cast we have from punching the refrigerator in frustration together to create a sort of soft, muffled celebratory sound.
**fff fff fff***
Other awards were given out to, but seeing as how only Phillies were eligible, it’s no real surprise that Phillies won them. Jimmy Rollins won the Special Achievement Award for getting his 2,000th hit, and the beat writers liked Juan Pierre so much they gave him the True Pro Award.
So as we trudge through these final abortions and probably get shut out by the Nats or something, we can take solace in the fact that we had some neat things happen this year and that Juan Pierre is one agreeable guy. But mostly, let us think about Chooch, and how everything he did ended in a base runner or an RBI, and how he overcame great odds to get where he is, and how his nickname is Chooch and that is great.
Now where are those 2013 season ticket packages.
I’m only doing this for Chooch.