My morning started with a spit-take.
“After almost a decade in which democracy ruled in the NL, Philadelphia is becoming the Yankees of its league: the king who wants more.”
I just… I…
First of all, the Yankees fans out there have got to love that comparison about as much I did. “Yeah, okay. Those heavy-breathing, middle finger-giving, weird insult-screaming bunch of too-drunk-by-the-2nd-inning jackasses are to be compared with the stoic, historical kings of all baseball, the New York Yankees?”
“Oh please,” said Yankees fans, showing off their “27” t-shirts they proudly purchased after not watching baseball at all in 2008.
I honestly feel violated.
So, today’s the day. I realize we’re not seen as heroes to a lot of teams. I realize we are consistently voted the worst fans in sports. But today is the day that the media is taking its paint brush, dipping it in feces, and spreading a few coats over the Phillies organization. And why? Because we finally got to the World Series, and then finally (for an NL team) did it again.
Look at this picture of Ruben Amaro from the Sports Illustrated article I quoted from:
Being the GM, the offseason has seen the focus of Phillies fans shift from the team to this guy. Ruben Amaro. Articles about trades and arbitration and free agents all have pictures of him and I have never seen one like this. Look at him. The suit. The stare. The shades. Are you kidding me? They’re trying to make Amaro look like a shark who’d pay off a homeless guy to break somebody’s legs; like he’s this slick, Ocean’s Eleven player, who’s going to get what he wants, no matter who it hurts.
Now here’s a photo from an article about Amaro being hired as the GM:
Are you… are you kidding? He’s actually smiling in this picture, wearing an Under Armor shirt, clearly standing how the photographer him to stand… this looks like my dad’s senior yearbook picture, not a stone cold assassin.
OH THE PHILLIES HAVE BEEN GOOD LATELY THEY ARE SO LIKE THE YANKEES (of the NL).
No. No, no, no, no, no.
Okay, the Mets and Cubs both had higher payrolls than us in 2009, and not only that, but they were both flirting with $135 million, while the MIGHTY PHILLIES threw in about $113 million. Not to even mention the Yankees, who shot up into the stratosphere with the only payroll over $200 million. Like I’m surprising anyone.
The SI article goes on to compliment the Phillies’ fertile farm system and Ruben Amaro’s aggressiveness in dealing… which is to say, the immediacy with which he conducts offseason activities.
Yeah, our farm system rules. It brought us Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Cole Hamels, Jimmy Rollins, Carlos Ruiz, Pat Burrell (RIP), and J.A. Happ. Then, when Burrell left, Amaro brought in an almost-40 ex-Mariner to fill his spot who was even slower than Pat was. Our bullpen has been a revolving door of good-bad-good-bad pitchers; of guys expected to rip it up who didn’t and guys who were expected to trainwreck into oblivion who saved the day. And the bench. The bench is the best part! Who thought Greg Dobbs would be an offensive powerhouse in ’07, or Matt Stairs, who at 40+ and after playing for like, every team in baseball, saved the effing day in L.A. in ’08.
The Phillies aren’t piecing together a team based on the names they read in the headlines. They consider who is going to fit based on their skill set and attitude, and as the team gets better, they attract better players. I just posted about them winning the “Organization of the Year,” which they won because Ruben Amaro takes chances on players and thinks about what would work in combination with what he’s already got. HE LISTENED TO A BUSBOY’S THOUGHTS ON WHO THEY SHOULD ACQUIRE, JUST BECAUSE THE KID ASKED. I’m not saying he took his advice, but he listened to him.
I guess I’m just sickened because SI is equating the Yankees with a team that “wants more.”
Who doesn’t want more? Everybody wants more. You think the Orioles, Royals, and Nationals, teams who have suffered for years, don’t want more? It’s a sport. We’re all competing. We all want more.
The Yankees just happen to have the most of what gets you more: $$$
So don’t watch us succeed and call us the Yankees. And worse yet, as the media, don’t manipulate our success into villainization (nope, not a word). We’ve got 10,000 losses and waited 28 years (The Yankees waiting a gutwrenching 9) between World Series titles. Is that very Yankees of us, Sports Illustrated?
We’re good. We like being good, and we earned being good.
Now, let’s sign Roy Halla–uh, never mind.