Words cannot describe the utter despair we all must feel today. Only that queasiness felt in the pit of our stomachs can adequately describe the current situation the Phillies have put us in. But then, maybe, we find comfort in the familiarity of that feeling. Like a beleaguring mother-in-law who visits just once a year, we remember that this is not new. The folly that is the Philadelphia Phillies breeds it. Even Ed Wade feels it to an extent: “I’ve been around long enough to understand the frustration level. I’ve obviously been here longer than some of our guys. [The fans] want it as much as the guys in the clubhouse want it.” Well, not quite Ed. The fans have been around much longer than you or any of the guys in the clubhouse. We want it more. For some of us, we’ve lived with this frustration all our lives. Other have witnessed blips of success, but they are the exception, not the rule.
So after a roller coaster season we all knew that in the end, the ride must decend before we can off. So here we are, back on the platform of reality. Some people, amazingly some players, are able to see the past two games in context. Billy Wagner said the team has “overachieved” this season and that “the character of this team is just phenomenal.” Well for the second day in a row, I hate Billy Wagner and his stupid comments. The character of this team may be phenomenal, but it is a phenomenal failure. They are paid to be successful ballplayers, not guys you’d want to date your sister. I’d rather have a team of Ty Cobbs than a team of David Bells any day.
And besides what magnitude of character allows you fail precisely when individual success is most needed. “We had our chances,” recited Charlie Manuel, for about the 74th time this season. “We just didn’t come through.” For that, everyone deserves the Jeltzie again today and never before have I wanted so much to stick my head in that bag. But if you disagree and still hold out hope for the Wild Card, then talk to Billy Wagner who was keen to point out, “Stranger things have happened than the Astros going on a losing streak.” Go Phils!