Confessions Of A Phillies Fan
I have a confession to make.
So I’m sitting here, on a chilly March Thursday, anxiously awaiting opening day. Sure there is a Spring Training game, and we all want to know how Luis Castillo will do. We all want to know how Chase Utley will recover from his knee issues. We all wonder if Domonic Brown really is the future. We hope that Brad Lidge and Placido Polanco get healthy in time for Opening Day, and we hope that no further injuries occur, especially to our prize four aces (and that guy named Joe). Some of you are still waiting for a Michael Young trade (hint: it won’t happen), and others are dismissive, hoping to just enjoy the ride to a 162-0 season en route to an 11-0 postseason. Eager to take a stroll down Broad Street sometime in late October or early November as the confetti rains down and chants of “Let’s go Phill-ies!” echo.
Right now I’m thinking none of that.
Here we are, just about a week away from the start of something magical, and I am just cautiously confident. In my own research, using my own formula, I calculated the Phillies to be the 6th best team this year. That was simply just using numbers to make a conclusion. The eye test, however, puts the Phillies at #2. If healthy, the Phillies rotation is poised to put up astronomical numbers never achieved by any rotation in the past. So why am I not excited today? The answer lies within my own mindset.
Ever since I can remember, great things have gotten destroyed in Philadelphia sports. Dreams were crushed, souls were broken, and it stung. Again and again. 2001, the Sixers go on a magical run and make it to the NBA Finals. Allen Iverson takes over the game and leads the Sixers to victory. We all know what happened next. The Eagles went on a magical run for 4 straight years, but never brought the Championship home. The Flyers came close a few times, most recently last year. Again, never reached the ultimate goal.
Which brings us to the Phillies. Ever since 1993, the Phillies have been a non-factor. The Braves’ stranglehold on the NL East was like a brutal dictator holding everyone else down. Then came 2007. Then 2008. With the help of Cliff Lee, we almost had it in 2009. 2010 was cut short by the Giants and their magic, in a brutal way. Now, here in 2011, the Phillies are ready to surpass every single one of those Phillies teams of the past. A stacked rotation, a veteran lineup (with huge potential), and good ol’ Cholly have one goal. World Series Champs. Anything else is a failure.
So I’m sitting here, thinking to myself: “Seven months from now, will I be feeling the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat? Will I be listening to ‘We Are The Champions’ or sitting alone in silence thinking of what could have been?”
After I think about that, I think to myself: “Screw it. We are about to go through a baseball season that will be the greatest experience as a Phillies fan that I can remember. Let’s go!”
And that, ladies and gentleman is my confession. I’m not thinking about any of the issues in Spring Training. I’m thinking of all the good times we will have this season. All the laughs we will share. All the high fives, all the great conversations. Mark my words. You will NEVER forget 2011. Get ready, Philadelphia, this is going to be a wild ride.
The Citizens Bankers