I wrote a post earlier today titled “Phillies Fans Overwhelmingly Hate the “Participation Trophy” NL Champion Rings.

Some people had a problem with the headline and others didn’t even actually read it before commenting, but that’s usually how it goes. The gist of the blog was that the vast majority of comments I’VE SEEN relating to Sunday’s NL ring ceremony viewed the exercise negatively because it amounted to celebrating a second-place finish.

Let’s clear some things up:

  1. Winning the pennant is an achievement and should be celebrated (clearly stated in the original story)
  2. Handing out gaudy non-World Series rings in a public ceremony is corny.
  3. People replying with “baseball has always done this” are making a totally invalid point. That reply is a non sequitur. It is ultimately irrelevant that teams have been doing pennant ring ceremonies for years, because the ceremonies were just as stupid then as they were on Sunday afternoon.
  4. Do you think a competitor like Bryce Harper gives a flying fuck about a National League champions ring? If I was a player, I’d be embarrassed to have to put that on in front of the fans. The proper thing to do, if the rings absolutely MUST be made, is to hand them out in a private ceremony, then the players can put them on the mantle or in the closet, or in the trash or on Ebay.
  5. Hang the 2022 National League champions banner. Big roar from the crowd, rah rah. That’s all you need to celebrate the pennant. Hang that shit, then move on.
  6. It doesn’t matter if you won the national league/conference/whatever, it’s the same god damn thing. You won your half of the playoff bracket, but didn’t win it all. Baseball traditionalists trying to explain this as unique to the sport are weird.
  7. If the Eagles did something like this after losing the Super Bowl, they’d be booed off the field. Think of how ridiculous it would be to line these guys up and celebrate beating Daniel Jones and Brock Purdy in the playoffs. Again, hang the NFC Champions banner and move on.

So yeah, more than one thing can be true. Something can be both traditional and corny. What the Phillies did last year was fantastic, a memorable run to the World Series. But we don’t need to hand out ridiculous rings at a public pre-game ceremony. Is this fan base getting soft? Have we been soft? What the fuck is actually going on?

Jesus Christ, I sound like a WIP caller.

EDIT – I would say that people give much less of a shit about the pennant now that they did 10, 20, 30 years ago. We’ve had interleague play for two decades now, it’s not some new concept.