Out of the Basement
My favorite baseball team, the fightin’ Phillies, is enjoying a nice road trip. They are now on a 4-game winning streak, having swept the first place (!) Atlanta Braves. The Braves are now out of first place in the very tight Eastern Division of the National League.
How tight is the division? The Phillies had been only six games back from the Braves for the last few weeks, and that put them in the basement. Two of the other teams were tied for second place at one game back. That’s tight! The division basement may mean last place to many teams, but it’s something else to us. It’s home!
The Phillies have been in last place for so many years of their franchise history that we consider it our man cave. It’s not No Man’s Land to us. It’s a place for us to take stock of our recent performances, review what we need to do better, and (most importantly) keep the Mets out of our man cave.
Seriously, the last time the Mets vacated last place, it took the Phillies weeks just to clean out the empty beer cans. As you may already know, we have an intense rivalry with New York’s National League franchise. The first major league baseball game I attended was a game between the Phillies and the Mets. It was at Connie Mack Stadium sometime in the 1960s. I’ll figure out the exact date one of these days just to satisfy my own sense of personal history.
BTW – New York won that game, 3-0. That part I definitely did not forget!
Of course, there was a time not too long ago when the Phillies were at the opposite end of the division – on top! We finished five seasons or so in first place, and even made it to the World Series a few times. From 2007 to 2011 the Eastern Division was our bitch, and boy did we have our way with it!
Ah, good times!
So we’re climbing out now, and hopefully we can make a decent showing for the rest of the season. I don’t expect another pennant this year; our team is too old and (dare I say) overpaid. We the fans will most likely experience some sort of withdrawal when the mid-season trade deadline approaches and some of our favorite players are sent to play for other teams. So be it! If we can survive the heartache of ending season after season in our man cave, then we can surely endure this annual heartbreak.
(Thank you for reading! We are [clap clap] on fire!)