Well, that’s it. It’s over. The Great Campaign of 2010, thought by many to end with a shiny Commissioner’s Trophy, is finished, wrecked by the Cinderella Giants.
It’s been over 48 hours since Ryan Howard stared at Brian Wilson’s offering that caught the outer edge of the plate, and like him, we are all still a bit catatonic, unable to comprehend what just happened. I suppose that’s why I didn’t write a recap of Game Six. There was no sense in writing about something that I didn’t grasp, and to try would have been an act of futility. It’s much different than 2009, where the season didn’t end with the looming question of Where did it all go wrong? It felt like the Phillies made it to a World Series in which they likely didn’t belong, with a less talented rotation, a questionable bullpen and an offense that had its share of problems.
It’s almost like that season it was a gift, a courtesy that was handed to the Phillies. We were fortunate that a team that had a shaky rotation and a shallow bullpen could even make it to the World Series and have a legitimate shot to win it.
It was a different story in 2010. It was their right. It was something that they not only earned, but were deserving of. With that rotation, that bullpen, and despite the offensive woes, it was theirs, all theirs. But that’s not how it goes. That’s baseball, is what we say. And now, Seven months after Roy Halladay and the Fightin’ Nine tuned up the Washington Nationals, we sit in our offices and our homes, in front of our computers in stunned silence, like Ryan Howard at home plate. It’s part of being a fan. You take the good with the bad with the disappointment with the elation.
Like Doc said, it’s bittersweet. Despite 97 wins, the likely NL Cy Young winner, and the best trio of starting pitchers in the MLB, the Phillies are just one of the 28 also-rans who are relegated to playing golf instead of playing baseball.
What’s worse is that we may never see a better Phillies team. By far, this one trumps all others that I’ve witnessed in my lifetime, and perhaps everyone else’s. That’s the maddening part of this whole thing, because with the title of “greatest ever” comes “most frustrating ever,” as their inconsistent offense that plagued them throughout the season was ultimately their October undoing.
It’s a stark reminder of just how good this team could be when they were rolling, and how bad they could be when they weren’t. But maybe there’s more to it than that. Maybe the injuries to six of the starting eight messed up their mojo and prevented them from ever getting back on track. Maybe they couldn’t keep up the pace that they forged in August and September.
In the end, they made too many errors and didn’t take advantage of any of the opportunities they were given. Maybe they were tired, injured, beat down from having to battle back from second place for most of the season. Maybe one beat writer was right in that this team didn’t have the same feel as the teams of years past. Maybe the weight of being the overdogs had some effect, or maybe it didn’t. Maybe they just got beat by a team who saw the breaks go their way.
All that is into the ether now, as we make like bad sports talk radio guys in trying to breakdown he season in a hopeless attempt to make sense of the season that never was. But now, here we are, relegated to asking what ifs and how comes and speculating on the offseason as we eagerly await 2011, where we once again pin our hopes on 25 guys who we’ve never met, will likely never meet, but somehow have such a profound impact on our lives.
All that in being a fan.
- 700 Level
- Crashburn Alley
- High Cheese
- House That Glanville Built
- Philadelphia Will Do
- Philled In
- Philly Gameday
- Philly Gossip
- Phoul Ballz
- The Good Phight
- The Insider
- The Zo Zone
- Where's Weems?
- Who Does He Play For?
- Zoo With Roy