It's nice to see all the Phillies fans sharing their thoughts and emotions on Facebook and Twitter, reflecting how we all felt, how we all feel. It helps to read others with similar emotions, and the collective sense of loss (thanks, Mike Sweeney).
Sad here too. The five stages have started. I'm still proud, and I’m already pumped for next season. It will be another long march to October, but it should end with a fifth straight division title (can't wait to see a season with less injury, and can’t wait to see who'll be in the corner outfield spots and in the bullpen).
But as for right now, I feel empty, and I'm walking around the house not knowing what to do with myself. And it's not just the watching the games that is a hole to fill; it's the day of games, and the excitement knowing that the game will be on in a few hours, what magic does Halladay have tonight, how many runs will Fat Joe give up in the first, how's Jimmy feeling, how did the Braves do, how many games up, what Phillies shirt should I wear today? All of the anticipation and excitement. And right now, I'm just lost. It’s not possible that it’s another six months until another Phils game. I'm glad I'm a Flyers fan and an Eagles fan, and college hoops are around the corner, but it's just not the Phillies. The Phillies are my team above all others, always has been, from Luis Aguayo to Pat Zachry.
Right now, it’s five stages of grief. We should all get a drink and talk about the amazing season we’ve just experienced when we're done mourning: racing back from being seven games down, second half surge, perfect game, no-hitter, Moyer's shutout, the series in Cincinnati, the loss of Robin Roberts, the comeback against Broxton, four straight division titles, not being Mets fans.
As far as I can see, no one in Philadelphia is anything but proud. Disappointed and sad, but proud. What a great season by a team that led the league in games won… and games lost to injury. We love this team of all-stars, winners, and outstanding character (as opposed to the Mets and their rapejaculating, beating up dads-in-law, and blowing off injured veterans).
There's still more to look forward to. The Eagles have a shot at the playoffs, and the defending Conference Champion Flyers can certainly make another run. The greatest sports city in America only gets greater.
We wish congrats to the Giants, especially or even despite Pat Burrell and Aaron Rowand, and it’s nice that we're guaranteed that one city will see its first ever baseball parade. Hope they enjoy it as much as we did just two seasons ago. However, I wouldn’t mind seeing overflow Cowboys fans get disappointed in an entirely different sport.
Losing is easier on a team that's not used to winning. It's how we felt in '93. Joe Carter was devastating, but we got over it faster knowing we were on a run that came from nowhere and was going nowhere. It was easier to say 'wow look what we did', and that's why that team is beloved (and even Mitch Williams is now beloved). It's how it felt in '07 when the Phils lost in the DS to the Rockies too… we knew the window was opening and there was much more to come. That's the position the Giants and the Rangers are in. When you're used to winning, you lose every sense of 'at least we got this far'. You expect more, and it's harder when you lose if you know you're capable of much more. It takes longer to get back to 'we'll get 'em next year'. The over-achievement in the long run is 'easier' than the despair of unfulfillment.
Seven games back and swept by Houston to best record in baseball and one game away from the World Series. Nothing to be ashamed about. There's a reason no NL team has gone to three straight World Series since the 1940s… because it's HARD. Hey, and the Flyers won last night. Remember what they did last June?? What a time to be a Philadelphia sports fan. As far as the current Phillies, the window is still open. And I can’t wait for the parade down Broad Street in November 2011. Book it.
Until then, I still say that the pitch to Howard was low.
Look for our full season recap this week