Baseball is like a placebo effect. When the fans believe in the players and think they can win, the players believe in themselves and think they can win. And that is how they win.
And we have to face it. Many fans have given up on the Phillies. It's just the truth. But there are reasons why we shouldn't give up on them. And I'm going to tell you about them.
First of all, if the season ended today, the Phillies would make it to the playoffs. No, they wouldn't win the division, but they would still win the Wild Card, and that's good enough for any team. I mean, just think about it. Teams like the Pirates would be overjoyed if they won the Wild Card. But for some reason, some people think "not the Phillies, they're too good for the Wild Card."
Well I have something to say to those people. No, they are NOT. To get the Wild Card would be great.
And the other argument against getting the Wild Card is that they would probably be the worst playoff team, and they wouldn't get home field, blah blah blah. I mean, no offense to the people who think that, but seriously.
The Wild Card team can win a World Series. It's happened before.
In 2004, when the Red Sox played in one of the most remembered World Series, when they broke the famous curse of the Bambino after years and years of defeat, did they win their division? No. They were the American League Wild Card team.
Second of all, these are the Phillies. They have been down before, and they have won. Although they don't have to win the division, there's a good chance they will. On September 3, 2008, they were behind the New York Mets by three games, just how they are now behind the Braves, and they ended up winning the division and the World Series.
The year before that, they tied the record for the largest comeback in September. And the key to all of that: the players and the fans did not give up hope.
In 2007, when the Phillies were down by seven games with seventeen games to go, they did not give up hope. In 2008, the Phillies did not give up hope. Earlier in 2010, the Phillies did not give up hope. So why should they now, when they are closer to a playoff berth than in any of those situations?
For the last reason, I am going to state a concept that I have repeated throughout this article. The Phillies are already there. There are so many teams that actually have to make a big comeback to make the playoffs. The Phillies are not one of those teams. They are better off than the Mets, than the Marlins, than the Cubs, then the Astros, than lots of other teams, even than the Giants.
They are first in the Wild Card. They don't need a comeback. All they need is to keep their lead, and they can make a fourth consecutive playoff berth. So what if they don't win the division. The Wild Card is enough for me. And it would be enough for most any team. So why should the Phillies be different?
They can do this. They've done it before, and they can do it again. Where there's a will, there's a way.