Just like Marty McFly had the DeLorean, suffering Phillies fans have Twitter to take them back in time.
The 2008 Phillies account or @2008Philz is that vehicle, tweeting game updates and stats as if it were Deja vu all over again.
It all started in the beginning of the 2015 season. A summer where fans knew well in advanced that they were doomed to witness horrid baseball all summer. The manager of the 2008 Phillies account, John (his last name will be left anonymous for personal reasons) decided to have some fun by creating a Twitter page dedicated to bringing people back in time. The account not only caught this writer’s attention but many like-mind Phillies faithful.
“[It all] started in April of 2015, basically on a whim,” said John. “That 2015 team was so terrible. I am a fan through good times and bad, but they were just no fun to watch and it really left a hole in the summer. I thought it would be fun to get daily updates on the 2008 team, and assumed something like that would already exist on Twitter because everything already exists on Twitter. Turned out I needed to make it myself”.
The account took off, as tweeters found it a novelty to see posts from that special season and reminisce on a time where baseball was fun again (Bryce Harper is laughing somewhere). Many of the tweets consist of “live” game updates, transactions, or interesting player stats. Some of the better tweets are ones talking about how players from the 2016 Phillies are doing in 2008.
Surprisingly enough John never had much of an issue digging up old tweets from seven years ago to retweet or finding old stats and game updates to post. In fact, it has become part of his morning routine.
“It’s actually really easy”, he explained. “2008 is the perfect year for this, because it’s long enough ago that the team didn’t have a Twitter account, but recent enough that game recaps/photos/box scores are all over the internet. And digging through 2008 tweets has become like a little morning ritual. Sip coffee and see what was going on 8 years ago”.
As of now the account has 3,273 followers. Besides tweeting out as if it were 2008 again, John likes to interact with his fan base or the few ‘haters’ of the account.
“Feedback has been all over the map. Some people like it, some people hate it, some people completely don’t understand what it is. But it keeps growing, so at least a few thousand of us are on the same page”.
The current team has now lost seven games in a row and is in dire need of the offensive spark the 2008 Phillies possessed. Despite the losing streak there have been signs that the organization is inching closer to becoming a legitimate contender again. Even when they do become a contender, John will still tweet away.
“Absolutely! Will either keep it going myself or turn it over to someone else”, he said. “The account is actually much more fun this year, with the 2016 team playing [better] ball, than it was last year”.
Being a fan, John hopes to see a contender sooner rather than later and gave his thoughts on when he thinks there will be a parade for the city of brotherly love: “Oh man, as a typical Philadelphian, my first instinct is to say never. But there’s a ton of young talent on this year’s club and even more in the pipeline. It’s great to watch these homegrown guys develop together, sort of like the core players for the ’08 team. There’s a chance that they’re building something special. I’ll say they get back to the playoffs next year and make a real run in 2018. Like a 10-year anniversary”.
If you have not already, give @2008Philz account a follow today. The tweets from the past will hopefully brighten your day and provide entertainment in both good times and bad during the rollercoaster ride that is the current Phillies season.
Note: While you are on Twitter, don’t forget to follow the Phillies Nation account (@philliesnation) as well as my account (@maddogmurph55), for all of the latest news on your Philadelphia Phillies!