I don’t know who saw the Phillies win on Saturday, but anyone who did knows that it was the kind of win that just never happens to the Phils. While the Phil’s phailures have been phrequently phound on this website, Johnny Goodtimes was ecstatic as the Florida Marlins completely melted down in a 10-2 win by our beloved Phils. As the Marlins committed error after error in the 10 run ninth inning, I leapt higher and higher into the air, celebrating the improbable win. It was the Phils seventh win in their last nine games, and I was becoming a believer. I wanted to talk about our big win with fellow sports fans, celebrate what may have been the biggest win for the Phils since ’93 (which is really kind of sad indictment of how bad we’ve been since ’93). So I turned on WIP and gave them a call. Mistake.
I had cracked open a celebratory beer, and was ready to talk smack about the hated Marlins, and how this was the kind of win that could really put the city in “We Believe” mode. But as I waited (and waited. and waited. Despite only having like four or five callers in front of me, it was literally a half hour before I got on b/c of so many commercials) I heard caller after miserable caller call in. “What was Charlie Manuel thinking when he replaced Abreu with a pinch runner in the 9th?” “It doesn’t matter, we’re gonna blow it against Atlanta next week,” said another. The guys hosting the show, Rob Cherry and Mike Kern, were essentially agreeing with these guys, and then were playing the clip of a distraught Harry the K after the stupid Houston loss a week and a half ago! Then, in typical WIP fashion, thye blasted the home team, angry b/c their little feelings got hurt when Billy Wagner said he couldn’t understand why the fans weren’t supporting them in the middle of a pennant chase. By the time I finally got on, I was halfway through celebratory beer #2 (hey, this was a big win), and I was fired up. (I’m paraphrasing the following, btw, but you get the gist)
Me: You know, Mike Schmidt once said that Philadelphia is the only town where you can experience the thrill of victory one day and the agony of reading about it the next. And I’ve been listening to the show, and all I’m hearing is people crying after one fo the biggest wins for the Phils in years. This was an amazing win today, and all I hear is people whining.
WIP: Yeah, but what have they won? They’re on track to win 87 games this year, what’s so amazing about that?
Me: Guys, it’s the journey that’s so much fun about sports. 31 out of 32 teams won’t finish the season happy. It would have been easy to be a Red Sox fan after Game Four of the World Series last year.
WIP: Hey, but Boston has good fans. They have loyal fans.
Me: I’m not cracking on their fans, I’m cracking on ours. This has been an incredible season. Every time the Phils had their backs against the wall, they responded. Yeah, I thought it was over after they blew the Houston game, but they came back. This is an amazing team.
WIP: This is a team that is on track to win 87 games. That is far from amazing. And they’ve still got two more weeks to choke. (They hang up on me).
This is our home town station! They have been cracking on the Phillies all year long. Yeah, our GM is a knucklehead, our 3rd baseman is garbage, and our starting pitching is suspect at best. But that’s what’s been so fun about this season. Somehow, with all the chips stacked against them, the Phils are still clawing and scratching for a playoff spot. It’s been a hell of a ride. It’s sad that the hometown station is rooting so hard against them.