The Excruciating Wait For Significance


I don’t like being a party pooper.

I’m a guy who wants to keep the party going. If the folks are having a good time, with their boxes of wine, their pinatas filled with nachos and their Kenny Rogers records spinnin’, who am I to rain on the parade?

It’s easy to understand why everyone has been so wee-wee’d up by Wednesday’s exhibition contest between the Phillies and the Florida State Seminoles. Ever since watching Ryan Howard’s Achilles tendon explode in Game 5 of the NLDS last October, Phils fans have been champing at the bit to get back to real games. And, most have been pointing to today’s game against FSU as the first “real game” of the 2012 season.

Friends, let us all take a moment and just relax. This does not count as “real” baseball.

Sure, there will be pitchers pitching to hitters and hitters hitting those pitches and fielders catching those batted balls and throwing those batted balls to bases where fielders are standing to apply tags or touch said bases. It’s the riveting ballet of baseball that everyone has missed for the last four months.

But please don’t mistake it for “real” baseball.

The Phillies are a professional baseball team, a team that won 102 games in 2011, playing against a collection of college kids, most of whom will probably be attending a mixer at the quad after the ballgame (and by mixer, I mean a rave, where many of them will dye their hair blue and ingest enough Ecstacy to make Roseanne Barr seem appealing).

Now, if this were the 1988 Phillies, perhaps you could realistically call this an actual ballgame. I’m not so sure the young Seminoles wouldn’t be able to tag Don Carman for five quick runs in two innings. But for this team, for the five-time defending NL East champions, playing college kids is not real baseball.

The good news is that the Phillies will be playing against real Major League competition soon. The Yankees are first up on the docket Saturday and Sunday, with Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay set to start on those days. Granted, it’s still not “real” baseball, but it’s real enough that Phils fans should be paying attention.

As for Wednesday’s game against the ‘Noles, unless you’re REALLY into college baseball, I’m not sure why you’d be salivating at today’s contest.

Unless of course you just ate a 14 pound bag of potato chips.