Is There a Bright Side to the Phillies Skid?
With 6 straight losses, horrible defense, an anemic offense and banged up pitching staff, the 2012 Philadelphia Phillies are going nowhere fast. Unless of course the “somewhere” you are thinking of involves a deep, dark, black hole in an alternate universe.
But for those of us stuck in the reality of here and now, being a Phillies fan sucks right now. And there are no signs of relief on the way either.
I have been a Phillies fan for over 30 years and will always be a Phillies fan. I remember all the ups and downs; even the mention of the name “Joe Carter” still makes me want to vomit.
But this recent downhill spiral is harder to take than most. It is a combination of a lot of factors: Getting used to winning in the recent past; the enormous $175 million payroll; the injuries to key players; paying more for everything from parking to tickets to food at the ballpark; the utter depletion of the farm system to get all this expensive players; etc…
Before spring training even started, I predicted that the Phillies would not make the playoffs this year. I also hoped that I was wrong. But check out the trend:
2008: World Series win!
2009: NLCS Champs, World Series loss :O(
2010: NLDS Champs, NLCS loss
2011: NL East Division Champs; NLDS loss
The Phillies have literally gone down exactly 1 step on the postseason ladder every year since winning the World Series in 2008. If the trend continues, that means either a Wild Card spot or no playoffs at all.
And the off-season moves the Phillies made did not inspire confidence either. It was like Ruben Amaro Jr. tossed a coin and said, “Gee, I hope this is enough for us to scrape by with.” Hmmm…no so much.
So let’s take a few moments to review the bright side of cheering for a bad team. I worked very hard on this list so hang in there with me…
– If you can afford it, it will be a lot easier to find tickets to the games in a good spot (i.e. – not the nosebleeds).
– Games will be less crowded, therefore concession stand lines will be shorter (again, if you can afford to buy food at an overpriced stadium).
– Better parking spots!
– Less traffic!
– Lower expectations: It is easier to watch your team suck when you totally expect them to suck. Trust me…I have a lot of experience with this.
– Fewer people at games also means it should be easier to get autographs! And the players who were once too smug to sign should have a new attitude very soon.
– When someone on the street sees your Phillies gear and tells you how bad they suck, you can simply reply with, “Yes, we suck. But they are still my team.” This is WAY less work than feeling the need to defend your team to a total stranger.
So who’s with me for the next home stand?! Meet me Tony Luke’s in the 3rd inning; don’t worry, the line will be short so we won’t miss much of the game and once we return to our seats behind home plate, we will have a great time cheering despite strike-outs, pop-ups and bad plays while easily fending off haters rooting for the opposing team.
It’s a plan. Go Phils!