After weeks, nay, months of patiently waiting. Worrying. Dreaming. Agonizing. Scrolling through tweets, teases with mixed signals–many hopeful in their flirtatious and inviting nature, some maddening with dead end innuendo that only prolonged the head games and the hunt. The tension building. The yearning intensifying. Did he want us? Did he want someone else? We now have an answer:

No more, Bryce. No more Jon Heyman ambiguity. No more Bob Nightengale updates. No more. We’ve got you. Finally. And I must say, after months of frustration, of not knowing, this signing brings with it quite the release.

In the end, it turns out that John Middleton wasn’t fucking around:

This is a clear signal from the team’s owner that he wants to win, and after seven Octobers sans postseason baseball, he wants to win now. Middleton, too, it seems had some pent up feelings over the past few months, maybe years, and he just stood before his baseball brethren and unfurled his sizable, uh, bankroll for his counterparts to behold, as if to say, “Phillies baseball is back, bitches.”

Fire. Up. The. T-Shirt. Machine. 

So what does this mean for the 2019 Phillies? Let’s start with the big picture. After years of housing a substandard product, Citizens Bank Park just became the place to be this summer. It wasn’t so long ago the stadium was a nightly party playing out in the background of the Phillies’ five-year run of dominance. 

From a baseball standpoint, this should be a much different team than the one that crumbled over the 2018 season’s final months. No more wasted dominant pitching efforts. Not happening this year. Neither is the NL-worst .234 batting average of a season ago. 

With Harper as the final piece, joining the newly-acquired Andrew McCutchen, Jean Segura, and J.T. Realmuto, the Phillies lineup is deep and potent, making the team a viable contender in what figures to be a stacked National League East. I like their chances.

I think I need a Kleenex.