Last year at this time, Jimmy Rollins was refusing to give the Nationals credit for winning the NL East.
“Ha ha, yeah,” we replied, sort of believing that. “Injuries, and such. We’re good and the Nationals suck.” Then we all high-fived and played Sega.
This year, Jimmy started talking like a sad dad at his youngest child’s graduation, knowing it’s just going to be him and his hate-fueled wife at home now, along with that cat that also hates him, but won’t get in any trouble if it murdered him, unlike that wife.
“They’re good, young players. Big eyed. A lot of hopes and wishes, it’s our part to make sure they come true. It’s fun seeing the energy and excitement every single day. The world is still theirs and it’s at hand. They can change it. I was that guy. Now it’s up to me, Chase (Utley) and Ryan (Howard) to make sure they do change it.”
Jimmy kind of ruined the message he’d be writing in all of the rookies’ yearbooks, but okay. The point is, I think, that we all need to feel bad.
“Is how bad I feel right now bad enough?”
Absolutely not. The Phillies need you to have your eyes glazed over, your hopes pulverized. See that sad-looking tree in the distance, backed by a bleak, grey scale horizon? Just stare at that.
Jimmy Rollins thinks the Phillies’ young help – Darin Ruf (27), Cody Asche, Jonathan Pettibone, Ethan Martin, Cesar Hernandez, etc. – can change the world. Are Jimmy’s hopes fruitful? Does Cody Asche hold within his brain the key to an alternative fuel source? Does Darin Ruf have a Kickstarter to fund his plan for cleaning the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? Is Jonathan Pettibone taking part of the offseason to shoot a documentary in Syria?
Hey, you never know. But we’d settle for some solid defense in the hot corner or a right-handed power source in the five or six hole. Maybe if we can disguise that sort of output as ‘disappointment,’ it will actually happen.
Last year’s Jimmy-quote at the end would have been a lot more meaningful near the beginning. Following the punchless finale, it just seemed pithy and desperate. Nice to hear, certainly, but there’s not a lot of fire behind a “Well, we were better anyway” comment when there are no games left to prove it.
No more call-outs or sharpened barbs this time. Just ambiguous thoughts on a nervous future.
So, if these Phillies are going to start forcing us to acknowledge reality, instead of hurling scraps into our pit, then, well, damn it.