Should I get behind it? Invest in it so to speak. Think they’re going to do it. Watch them come close to doing it…
Only to ultimately see them fall short?
I’m going to try to not write about two things with any consistency on this blog: The Philadelphia Phillies and random pleas to Ryan that consist of: “man, where are you AT..Shawn is showing me PAINTBALL DVDs right now. Get over here and play some damn cards. Seriously, Shawn just said ‘literally, right here is the best shit ever…hands down. Look at this shit. Hang on, I need to rewind it, but look at this.'” Because, really, the readership likely isn’t going to care as much about the Phillies as I do and NO ONE is going to want to hear me talk about Shawn putting on paintball DVDs. (Seriously, Ryan, Shawn just went from paintball DVDs to complaining about picking up “Brandon” Lidge and finally realizing they demoted him from closer right before he picked him up).
This one will be about the Phillies and the wild card, likely no more paintball talk, but at this point there are no guarantees. Click the Read More button if you want, but bitter venting about my favorite team in sports might follow. Not quite sure what’s to come with this one.
The wild card was made for the Philadelphia Phillies. What? I hear you asking already. As the team has never won the damn thing, how can it be made for them? Surely, it was made for the Florida Marlins or other teams actually good enough to make it to the play-offs.
See, the Phillies set out on this re-building effort a few years back, right when Bobby Abreu was hitting his peak and they thought they had Scott Rolen to rely on. This team was going to do something. Probably not be solid or competitive for an entire decade like someone claimed the Detroit Tigers would be (see, there’s another joke just for Ryan. I promise I won’t do this sort of stuff often, but really, the cat is out of the bag and when your friends make proclaimations like the Tigers being a contender for a decade…guaranteed, you HAVE to write about it somewhere.), but making it to the playoffs on occasion.
One season they traded for Kevin Millwood. Thought he was going to do great. Signed Jim Thome, he’s awesome. David Bell? Hits in the clutch. Right? Good things were going to happen…right? Well, the division hopes quickly went out the window and the collective thought process among Phillies fans at that point quickly goes to “why the fuck did we EVER get behind this team…of course they are not going to win it.”
Phillies fans are REALLY good at raw bitterness. When the Phillies pulled this crap last season, the fans let loose on the team night after night and Billy Wagner ripped into them fairly harshly. Kenny Lofton ripped them as well at one point and when he was there Rolen would pack it in Vince Carter style on a nightly basis when the fans got on him.
But, yet, they consistently find a way to hang around, hang around with the alligator blood…not quite successful, but not PIRATES bad. Usually they finished about 6 games back of the Wild Card. Nothing REALLY fun, but again, not Pirates bad. August is always a fun month for Phillies fans…close to the wild card…then September hits and they find a way to get swept in a huge series against either the Astros or the Marlins.
Just when folks thought they were out last season, with Wagner and Lofton ripping the fans, they get beat bad in a Series by…this time…the Astros. Done…right? Nope. Somehow they manage to keep interest until they finally miss out by a game.
It’s probably like this for a lot of teams, I don’t know who else is consistently in the 3 or 4 teams for the card, but the Phillies are constantly there. The thing is, they’ve never really been a legit contender. Most wild-card teams, you know they’re going to be wild-card teams from like June on, or earlier. The Phillies are done, but then suddenly emerge within like 3 or 4 games of the card.
And that’s what always hurts the most. Because as a fan, even though you will always support the team, you get into a comfort zone. A frustrated, and with Phillies fans bitter, comfort zone, but a comfort zone nonetheless. And then they play games with that comfort zone. They wake you from it and put you in a faux pennant race.
It’d be one thing if occasionally they won a wild card berth. They don’t.
But, maybe this year?
You have to, right? As a fan. I mean, I’m never going to NOT support the Phillies, but there is a difference in being wildly passionate about the team and getting behind a playoff run. You can support the team when they lose, but not wonder about certain “what if’s” and you don’t live and die by each result. Just the other day, I started thinking about how the Phillies match up with each of the teams in the NL. I know the NL is horrible, and that is certainly not helping things in the long run, but they match up fairly well with all the teams in the hunt, I’d say.
So, I kind of have to get aboard…but it never really was a doubt. Clearly I’m already invested in this…and am just bracing for the inevitable.
But, hey, maybe.