This Was a Fantasy I Went to a Lot That Year


It is 1997.

You’re sitting in your living room, confused, and angry.  Whitey’s dead.  The Phillies just got crocked by the Braves in a three game series.  Dutch isn’t between dimensions just yet, but he’s nowhere to be found.  You don’t know who the hell Midre Cummings is, but he’s batting .303 and apparently he’s on our team, so whatever.

But none of that is piquing your interest because there’s a sweat-drenched time traveler materializing in your kitchen.

His screams of cross-century traversing louden as his appearance thickens.


Now 100% in 1997, he clutches at his head in immense pain.  You allow the bucket of honey barbecue KFC to fall off your armrest without the panicked dive that usually accompanies such a disaster.

“I’m SICK OF IT!” he screams.

“Wh.. what?  Sick of what?!”

A quiet sea of boos erupts on the TV as Curt Schilling gives up another RBI to Steve Finley.  This captures your attention for a second and a young Bruce Bochy nods in approval from the Padres dugout.  In the home quarters, Terry Francona shrugs when he thinks no one is looking.  It’s only game 10, but you feel like you’ve seen him do that a lot this year.

You attention returns to your visitor.

“The Phillies?!  Are you sick of the Phillies sucking?!”

He looks at you, confused and disgusted, the stench of the interdimensional time broth casting a wave of nausea across your living room.  Fortunately, your passion for Phillies baseball has guaranteed you a lack of contact from any and all friends and family, you asshole, and no one will be stopping by to notice.

“No, man,” he replied.  “The Phillies are incredible.  Four straight years of playoff berth, all-stars aplenty, and a rotation stocked with aces.  They’ve had the best record in baseball in my time.”

You slowly turn back to the television.  Gregg Jefferies takes a mighty hack and almost falls face first out of the batter’s box.  Fans sitting behind home plate slowly stand up and start barfing on each other, but you can tell their hearts just aren’t in it.  It’s like you can’t even tell that this classless, disgusting, horrid act has been performed by Phillies fans for generations, and will undoubtedly define the team’s fanbase in the future.  Why else would someone do it?  It would make no sense.

“Really?  These Phillies?!” you ask.

“Fuck no,” he replies, a little too judgmental of a glare on his face.  “That’s Kevin Sefcik batting.”

“Hey Sefcik’s a totally solid utility–”

He pukes up time-goo all over your frayed living room carpet.  It starts sizzling a hole like the alien’s blood from Alien.

“Holy shit!” you cry.  “That’s just like in–”

Yeah, Alien,” he restates, wiping his mouth.  “We all read the narration.”

He clutches his head tightly, screaming in agony.  The pains of his travels have begun to overwhelm him and he falls to his knees, shrieking.  You realize this will probably not help convince the neighbors you aren’t a serial killer.


You shake your head.  “Come on.  You’ve got to be talking about the Phillies losing.”  The sound of Steve Finley’s fourth RBI of the night erupts in the background, emphasizing your next point.  “They’re terrible.”

In between puke-spurts, you hear him say something about “World Fucking Champions.”  You don’t know why the hallowed trophy would be profaned in such a way, but there’s a hint of bad-ass to it.

“”Preciate this…” he whispers, grabbing your hand piteously.  “Appreciate these shitty moments.  Because in a second, Dutch and Morandini will be gone and all you’ll have left of ’93 will be Curt Schilling, and eventually, even he’ll head for Arizona.”

You scoff at this notion.  “There’s no baseball team in Arizo–”

“You’ve got close to a decade of some uninteresting, slate grey, 90-loss baseball on its way.  But when redemption comes–and oh, how it comes–it tastes so good.  And it wouldn’t be so good if these years weren’t so very, very bad.”

He’s started screaming again.

“What, damn it?!” you ask, mainly just so he’ll stop.  “What the hell are you so sick of, then?!”

Jarring your weak senses, he grabs you by the tie.  You’re both embarrassed when it’s revealed to be a clip-on.  A second later, he grabs you by the collar and shouts into your face the words that left you utterly perplexed until one fateful morning, 13 years later: