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Cherish the Moments

Philadelphia Phillies' Ryan Howard, right, greets Cliff Lee, left, after Lee scored on Shane Victorino's three-run home run in the eighth inning of Game 3 of the National League Championship baseball series against the Los Angeles Dodgers Sunday, Oct. 18, 2009, in Philadelphia. The Phillies beat Los Angeles 11-0 to take a 2-1 series lead. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)Honestly, I hate to sound like a Hallmark commercial or a Kay Jewelers ad, but consider me euphoric.  After last nights 11-0 drubbing of the Los Angeles Dodgers, my fandom skyrocketed into a stratosphere that had previously been unreachable.

Last season, they breezed through Milwaukee, Los Angeles, and Tampa Bay to a World Series title, and all the while my negativity led me there.  With but a speck of hope in 2008, I constantly assumed the worst would happen – didn’t we all?  How could I not think this way?  It had been years since the Phillies concocted such a winning formula, and it was blossoming before our very eyes.  Yet, I couldn’t let my guard down due to Philadelphia’s penchant for the worst.

This year has different feel to it.  Just knowing that a World Series banner is whipping wildly in the breeze along Ashburn Alley, my focus has centered on the good in this team.  I no longer plunge into the depths of fandom, cautiously anticipating another breakdown.  Now, I’m along for the ride and it feels good.

After Game 2, one that the Phillies certainly should have closed out, the usual panic that ensues was absent.  The Phaitful understand that this cast of characters cares not about yesterday, but is focused on today.  They proved that point in the NLDS against the Rockies after losing home field advantage in Game 2.  They traveled to Denver for games three and four, braved the wintry conditions, and ended the series in pulse-pumping fashion.

After Game 2 of the NLCS on Friday, all hope could have been lost; if this were any other year, the masses surely would have been digging a colossal Phillies-sized grave.  “They blew it,” “How could we lose to Padilla,” and “The Dodgers have all the momentum now” are quotes taken from years prior.  However, there was a positive 48-hour window leading up to Game 3, proving that what we have here is special.

I’m glad we no longer have to worry about the response time of this team.  It pains me to see Pedro Feliz ground into double-plays, and for Jimmy Rollins to swing at the first or second pitch, or even for Cole Hamels to publicly display his frustrations.  But it’s nice to know that someone on this team is there for the pick-me-up.  They have short-term memory loss, which serves them well at this stage.

It’s also exciting to see Phillies fans out in droves for all games.  And even if you’re not celebrating with hundreds of people at the local watering hole, it’s still just as enjoyable to sit comfortably in front of the big screen at home.

The Phillies are in the drivers seat right now, and although we do not yet know what Game 4 holds, we can sleep well at night. No more tossing and turning, wondering what if, because this club won’t let that happen.  They are constantly prepared for whatever lies ahead.  Enjoy this while it lasts, because, win or lose, we are witnessing something magical.

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