Philadelphia Phillies Locked and Loaded: World Series Bound Again
They say around 90 percent of the things we get anxious about, are things we never have to experience. The majority of what's left of that 10 percent, doesn't kill us.
So why are we so jumpy Philly?
The reason we panic, as Phillies fans, may have to do with a lot of things. Our nerves may be jumpy from previous trauma involved with our other teams.
Take the Philadelphia Eagles, for instance. Almost every year for the past decade, really, they've been an elite team. At times, they looked like a well oiled machine. Other times, well...not so much.
More times than we could bare, it was a crucial game, against a team that we're favored to win against. Then came the colossal breakdown.
McNabb couldn't hit the broad side of the barn, linemen couldn't hold the defence, everybody dropping the football, Andy Reid won't run the ball, and when he did, the exchange from quarterback to running-back is faulty, ending in a turnover.
It's making your skin crawl isn't it?
Then, like abused dogs who receive new owners, it seems we carry that same trauma across the street to our Phillies.
What we need to remember, Philadelphia, is that our Phillies are proven and tested.
We've had a team that has moved forward for nine consecutive seasons.
In 2001, the Phillies had a winning season for the first time in eight years.
The next year, 2002, the Phils had a losing year. After 2003, however, the Phillies followed a winning trend that has, since, never regressed.
After the 2004 season, the Phillies took on Charlie Manuel as the new manager in the beautiful new venue of Citizen's Bank Park.
Each 162 game season after another, the Phillies continued to fight.
Remember in 2007, after J-Roll opened his mouth and declared us the team to beat and the Phils opened the season 4-11? I, for one, thought they would have a terrible year. Then they battled their way through the season and had a great second half of September, clinching their playoff spot in the last game of the season.
Then in anticipation of the following season, the Phil's opened up with a 1-0 loss to the lowly Nats. Followed by a June which involved a 5-11 stretch, that we panicked about also.
How about 2009? When Brad Lidge couldn't close the cap of a ketchup bottle, to save his life. Everybody doubted the Phillies with that struggling bullpen.
Well guess what folks—we're here again. Another season, another struggle, and more doubts.
The Phillies, this year, have been relatively consistent for the most part. They've had some injuries leading to hitting slumps, they've had some ups and downs as is to be expected in a season of 162 games.
Only difference now is different competition—totally different.
It's highly possible, there will be no Dodgers, no Manny, no Cardinals, no Cubs, Rockies, or Brewers.
The Braves look very solid, and they will prove to be tough, but remember the Cubs of '08 who were favored in the National League? They got swept off the planet.
Same with the St. Louis Cardinals of '09—nowhere to be found.
Not saying the Phillies can't be beat, I'm saying—calm down.
The Phillies have experience under their belt, they have confidence in their heart, but they are by no means any strangers to losing.
In 2007, they were "honored" with the privilege of being the first organization to 10,000 losses. And while that wasn't anything the current team could do anything about, just the mental aspect of losing the game, and having to answer the asinine, unproductive questions, that came with it. Not only did they lose, now they had a big number thrown on top of that.
That season ended by them being bludgeoned by the Colorado Rockies, as if they didn't belong at all.
2009, the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies fought adversity, and got everyone's attention with the Cliff Lee gem in game one of the World Series, only to eventually lose the series 4-2.
This year, equipped with the amount of knowledge it takes to win and lose, we have a completely matured championship team.
It reminds me of a man in his fifties. He's just not so jumpy about life anymore. You can't shock him so much, you can't rattle him too violently, he stay's reasonably cool. He's seen the bad, he has failed at times, he has worried, and he has prevailed. In the end, he's still here.
These are our Phillies. If you're wondering why I'm so confident, look at who's in the running for the playoffs now.
Atlanta, San Diego, Cincinnati, and San Francisco. They're all excellent teams, worthy opponents, and they certainly do all have a chance of knocking off the Phillies, but look at the experience. None of them have nearly as successful a decade as the Philadelphia Phillies have had.
Wake up Philadelphia, it's ok to be realistic, but realize, realistically you have the, seasoned, powerhouse team now.
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