The Phillies are no doubt a better team than the one that collapsed down the stretch a season ago, but even after the J.T. Realmuto trade that brought one of the game’s best catchers to Philadelphia, I still feel a void that I can’t seem to shake. Every night, just as I close my eyes and prepare to go to my dream world, I find myself longing not of days gone by, but of days yet to come. Warm, sunny days. Ones when I adoringly watch Bryce Harper with amazement and wonder from the seats of Citizens Bank Park do that magic that he does. In one hand a cell phone that captures his latest right field second-deck blast, in the other a gently melted Phillies mini-helmet ice cream sundae. That would be a great treat for me.
Those days seem so close, yet so far. For now, we continue to wait with unease and angst as the Harper (and Manny Machado, I guess) drama plays out. Indeed, it’s been a tough winter as we first endured the early agent/front office posturing that manifested in ambiguous thirst-tweets from baseball reporters like this one:
Given the opportunity to shoot down rumors they could go for both Harper and Machado, a Philly person did not do it. Everything’s on the table it seems. They clearly aim to win. #phillies
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 6, 2018
What were initially welcomed tasty morsels of goodness turned bitter and stale by Christmas, but the recent lack of Phillies/Harper speculation has me now longing for a nibble of those agenda-driven crumbs. I didn’t know it then, but I need them for sustenance.
It’s been tough sitting back, just feeling absolutely helpless as I aggressively swipe my right thumb down on my cell phone, refreshing my Twitter feed in search of a Harper update to no avail. Yet I feel hopeful this morning. I needed something new. Something proactive. Something to believe in. As it turns out, I needed #HarperLent, the brainchild of 94WIP Evening Show producer/High Hopes Podcast co-host Jack Fritz. I’ll let him explain after the jump:
— Jack Fritz (@JackFritzWIP) February 8, 2019
Fritz is urging Phillies fans everywhere to give up something they enjoy, in his case beer, until Harper signs with the Phillies. I asked Fritz about where he came up with the idea:
I just always thought the idea of sacrificing something to get a guy was funny. I was just sitting on my couch and it hit me and (WIP Host/Producer) James Seltzer was all in. I also have been sending weather updates to Bryce Harper all week. So it was kind of an evolution from that.
It’s so stupid, so weird, and so desperate that it’s…perfect. I’m 100% in. It’s time to stop sitting on the sidelines. We need to take matters into our own hands here. Now, I’m not going to give up beer because that’s borderline psychotic shit, but I think I’ve got something. I know this is hard to believe considering my svelte yet chiseled build, but among the things I’ve ingested since Monday include:
- A Wendy’s Frosty
- A Chik-fil-A Milkshake
- A Snickers Bar (x2)
- At least 10 bite size Milky Way bars (there’s a fun bag in my desk at work)
- A pack of Skittles
- A pack of Swedish Fish
- A pack of those circular caramels with the white icing. Love those things.
That’s not great and it looks even more repulsive when I write it out. True story: I ran 30 miles this week and put on one pound because I eat like a human dumpster. But not anymore–no candy, no sweets, no ice cream, and, perhaps, no more self-loathing and body image issues starting right now. #HarperLent