Analysis

Turning Negatives into Positives in 2012

Ryan Howard had a tough go last season. (PHOTO AP)

I’m disappointed.

Not in the fact that the Phillies weren’t able to live up to the high expectations of winning a second championship in four years. And not in the fact that Ryan Howard had a down year. Not that Cliff Lee blew a golden opportunity to seal Game 2 of the NLDS or that Ruben Amaro overpaid for Jonathan Papelbon. Actually, I’m a little disappointed in the common fan.

On countless occasions, the fun of a Top Moments list or a player review is tainted with scornful words toward the Phillies. Too often anymore, you the fan deliver a hateful message. That bothers me. (Clearly, I don’t mean every single one of you. We’re all guilty of over-analyzing and caring too much at times. But for the sake of this write-up, I’m going with the common fan-theme).

Let me take you back to 2008. You begged – prayed even – for a World Championship. Hell, it was our time. It had been 28 years and enough was enough. When you sent those little messages to a higher power, the statement usually ended with something like “I’ll never ask for another one again. Just give us this title, God.” You’re prayers were answered as the Phillies ended the city’s streak of futility. Life was good.

One year later, in 2009, expectations were high, but not so stratospheric that they would be impossible to live up to. Phillies fans enjoyed the ride of another World Series trip, and although they lost in six games to the Evil Empire up the road, there was a sense that something special had been concocted and it would be foolish to turn away. That’s when things began to change…

Before the beginning of the 2010 season, vitriol hadn’t yet found it’s way into the everyday life of a Phillies fan. We we’re still living off the high.  Sure, from 1984 up until Veterans Stadium shut down, there were some awful teams worthy of your foul-mouthed spew. I’m guilty of it. But following a championship year that was followed up with a near-miss at another hardly deserves much negative reaction. Yet, here we stand.

We stand here spoiled and teetering on the edge of becoming insufferable. They say fame can change a person when they’re no longer a nobody. Well, winning can change the way a fan sees the game. We as Phillies fans now exude a sense of entitlement.

Since the beginning of the 2010 season, our penchant for complaining has become more pronounced. Not only was Ryan Howard’s contract a bad one, it was “the worst ever.” Not only was Jonathan Papelbon overpaid, it was a “disgraceful” job by Ruben Amaro Jr. Enough is enough.

You said it yourself; you’d never complain again. Even if the Phillies had losing season after losing season, they gave you that championship, that parade, that ever-lasting memory. You basically said you would sell your soul for that ring. Now, 102 wins and a tough loss in the NLDS is not enough. Ninety-seven wins and a graceful bow-out against a tough Giants team in the NLCS is not enough. You’ve gone all or nothing. And that’s sad.

I’ve implored you before to rethink it and I’ll ask you again; stop the madness. Stop making yourself mad over a lack of four straight titles. Enjoy what you have here in Philadelphia. Enjoy what the Phillies brass (Amaro included) has given you.

I understand you are a hard-working, paying customer and can vent if you so choose. That’s what this website is here for. But with the negativity should come positivity. And for many, it has become a one way street.

Go back to loving your Phillies like it was 2008 all over again, because you never know when all this goodness will end. It’ll be gratifying and fun. You’ll be happy you did.

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