Phillies Grieving: Putting it All in Perspective

Ryan_howard_sad
This comes from all-star reader Michael Hochman, who has his own blog, Another Freakin Sports Blog and can be followed on Twitter at (@phillyparttwo).

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 rapejaculatingbeating 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

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7 Responses

  1. Yes, it was an amazing season! But what Ryan Howard did in the NLCS was unforgivable. The Giants pitching staff made him look crazy stupid. It’s gonna take me a while to get over this one. The Giants flat out just proved that they were the better team.

  2. In full agreement, from a New York State (born and raised) Phillies fan who can’t stand the Yankees, the pitch to Howard was low.
    April can’t come fast enough, and either can the parade next year.

  3. wow this article really sums up how i feel as a fan…i threw my utley jersey on the ground the other day when i got home…just hurts…that and the uncontrolable crying

  4. Just read a Jim Salisbury column from yesterday and if Phils can’t keep Werth, best options for free agent righthanded OF bats currently are: Burrell, Rowand, Francoer, and Matt Diaz. I’m sure that isn’t giving anyone a rise in their laps.
    I think they have to go trade route and trade for RH OF bat if Werth leaves. Dom Brown isn’t ready yet and you need to “Utley-Howard Slump-proof” your lineup more. Losing Werth and trying to piece it together with platoon players doesn’t really give me much confidence there.
    THey are still going to be a playoff contender no matter what, but winning in playoffs is another story.

  5. @Michael Williams
    What’s with all the hate on Howard… look at the post season numbers (NLCS included)… he was one of the most consistent players on the roster as far as batting average goes… it just so happened that no one ever got on in front of him…
    You can’t knock in runs when no one is on base in front of you…
    I have no beef with Howard. I wish he popped a few dingers, but I have no beef with his overall performance. I can’t say the same for some of the other starting 8…

  6. They are ALL still weak against breaking balls and off-speed stuff. Utley was even made to look silly – they ALL rolled over the pitch…Against playoff caliber pitching, they are weak and need to upgrade the lineup around Utley and Howard, if they are to be the centerpieces. Ibanez needs to be upgraded, Victorino needs to be upgraded, Werth needs to be resigned, what else am I leaving out?

  7. @Mike – You have no problem with Howard’s performance? 12 (yes count them 12) strikeouts vs Giants pitching in the NLCS!!! That was a total domination.

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