arteejee

A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Phirst Place Phatigue


Fans of the Philadelphia Phillies have a lot to be grateful for during the course of the last five seasons. As a life-long fan - oh hell, I was probably feeling the angst of a losing season when I was still in my mother’s womb - I can personally attest to the long-term disappointment of being a Phillies fan. I’d be willing to bet that the franchise has had far more losing than winning seasons in the course of the team’s history.

The gods of baseball - St. George (Herman Ruth), St. Joe (DiMaggio) and St. Louis (Gehrig) - have certainly showered our team with blessings during the last five seasons. In those years, the Phillies captured the league division title, won the National League pennant twice and won the World Series only for the second time in franchise history (2008). Last season the team had their best season ever with 103 wins. 
 
Ah, but that’s all in the past! The Phillies that took the field during those years were so good that many long time fans believed that they were not the real Phillies. Surely these were imposters who were winning season after season! What happened to our beloved Fightin’s who would disappoint us year after year? Yeah, they were losers, but they were our losers!

Well, we can take some consolation this season in the fact that our beloved losers are back. Unlike last season - when they started and ended the season in first place - the Phillies this year can’t seem to keep their heads above .500. The standings in the Eastern Division of the National League were most peculiar this week. The good news was that the Phillies were in third place; the bad news was since there was a three-way tie for second place, the third place still ended up in the basement. Yes, it’s an exciting, tight race in the Eastern Division this year…exciting as long as you’re not a Phillies fan.

Although this year’s Phillies are not doing so bad that the league has offered to build a sub-basement for my team, it is still a rude awakening from our last few seasons. Of course, there are all sorts of theories to consider: many of our best players of the last few years have done time on the disabled list this season; the players as a whole are aging and maybe their best years are behind them, or maybe there’s something more insidious to consider. In a world where every conceivable idea and conspiracy is worthy of attention, we should probably consider two other theories.

One theory is that perhaps the team is intentionally making this season interesting for their fans. Consider this: one of the most exciting and dramatic seasons in recent memory was when Jim Fregosi led the team from last to first and into the World Series (1993). Perhaps the team wants to relive that great season; just don’t bring back Mitch Williams. (I write his name at my peril; senior blog editor Anne Marie still hasn’t forgiven him for giving up the home run that allowed the Toronto Blue Jays to take the series.) Please don’t get me wrong; I don’t believe that my team is intentionally throwing games…just that, well, you know, they’re holding back for when their injured teammates (Howard and Utley) recover and return to day-to-day playing.

Or maybe they are suffering from first place fatigue. Look at it this way: there’s a lot of heart-stopping stress involved in being on top season after season. You’re constantly looking over your shoulder, paranoid that a combination of your losses and wins from the second place team will topple you from the first place. I’m sure this can wear a team down after awhile.

We fans weren’t immune to it either. It was truly a wonderful fulfillment of a life-long dream when we took the series in 2008, but surely I could not have been the only Phillies fan to ask myself after that season, “Where to now?”  Obviously, the first answer would be “Come back and win it again,” but surely more than a few fans would have had a “been there, done that” attitude towards two straight World Series titles. Winning the World Series two years in a row might have had the potential to be, for want of a better word, boring.  

So, maybe it is time for the Phillies to take a break from being on top. Perhaps we should give another team a chance to feel the glory of a World Series crown. Maybe….

(BLOG EDITOR”S NOTE: MAYBE THE WRITER SHOULD SHUT UP! THIS ENTRY IS BEING DISCONTINUED BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY THE WRITER HAS LOST HIS MIND. THERE IS NOTHING BORING WITH WINNING THE WORLD SERIES YEAR AFTER YEAR AFTER YEAR! JUST LOOK AT THE YANKEES…WOULD YOU ACCUSE THEM OF BORING? WE AT ARTEEJEE SHOULD HOPE NOT! PS: MITCH WILLIAMS, YOU STILL SUCK!)

(Thank you for reading.)

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your team won last night so don't give up on those guys.

Enjoy your trip to Baltimore.

Danville fan

June 9, 2012 at 2:38 PM  
Anonymous janey said...

Mix a Harry Lime, put your feet up, and relax... :-)

Love, Janey
Goddess of Relaxation Therapies

June 9, 2012 at 7:54 PM  

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