Monday, October 01, 2007

Son of a gun, they did it

Throughout the entire baseball season, I doubted the Phillies. Who wouldn't? Each of the past two years they were good enough to be in contention in the final days of September, only to be eliminated from the postseason with mere hours remaining in the season.

In June, when they were playing well: "Don't worry, they'll find a way to piss it like they always do."
In September: "Seven games back? With this team and those pitchers? Are you out of your damn mind?"
Last Sunday: "Don't worry. The Nationals will find God in that final series and become the reincarnation of the Big Red Machine."
Well, it's Monday morning, and I was wrong on all counts. The Phillies are NL East champions and going to the playoffs.
The only thing I'm really rooting for now is a Phillies-Cubs NLCS - a battle of the sorriest franchises for the right to go to the World Series. Wouldn't that be a great story? You have the 'woe is us' Cubs fans and the 'woe is us, and we'll kick your ass' Phillies fans.
But I do tread lightly on the subject; I know longtime readers Matt and Donna are both huge, huge Mets fans, and they have my greatest sympathies.
You invest your faith for six straight months, and just when it seems you've got a tangible reward in hand, the rug is ripped from under you. That's a shitty, shitty feeling, and I hate that it's two of my good friends that are dealing with that this morning. Keep the faith, guys. You've got a damn good team up there, and you'll be back next year - there can be no question about that.
As for the Phils, they'll find out their NLDS opponent this afternoon, when San Diego and Colorado have a one-game playoff to determine the wild card winner. Obviously, the way the Phils are constructed, I'd think they'll be pulling for the Rockies.
The Phillies aren't going to win 1-0, 2-0, 2-1; they have to score - usually a lot - to have a chance. Now look at the two teams that play today: The Padres play in Petco Field, where offense goes to die. The Rockies play in Coors Field, which is along the lines of MLB's own pinball machine.
Even if San Diego does win, the Phillies dodge a bullet. Ace (and NL Cy Young candidate) Jake Peavy will go for the Padres today, meaning the Phils get the rest of a staff that, aside from Peavy, has stumbled down the stretch.
All we can do now is wait.
Which ought to give me plenty of time to realize just how wrong I was - not that I really mind.


Mark said...
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Mark said...

Well, since the Mariners aren't in it this year, I will be rooting for the Phillies. I even know 2 players on that team! Pretty good for a Mariners fan from Idaho!

P.S. Do they still have the fanatic?

P.J. said...

I am the eternal optimist. Even I had given up on the division (although I was swearing they'd get the wild card).

This is a fine day. I have copies of the NY Post and Daily News today. Classic stuff.

And to answer the guy above me, yes, they have the Phanatic still.

Brian said...

Yeah, Mark, it's the PHanatic.

What, did you grow up on the west coast or something?! :)