The Phillies Are Dead and Now I can Love Them
Winning the 2008 World Series was an inescapable cloud for the Phillies. Many fans said their expectations were low in recent years but their hearts said otherwise. It was like believing a loved one will snap out of dementia.
Consider the case of Ryan Howard. He goes from home run mashing MVP darling to a haggard mess dodging beer bottles. 99.9% of people wouldn’t throw the bottle, but I bet they understand where the frustration came from.
This year no member of the 2008 World Series team reporting to Clearwater. Rollins, Utley, Howard and Hamels are replaced by Franco, Herrera, Nola and Joseph.
There is no history for the 2017 Phillies. There is no looming shadow. The organization is free to build their own identity again and for the first time in nearly 10 years fans can experience puppy love. Perhaps me more than most.
I never related to the recent greats much because the Phillies lost my interest when I was a very young. The departures of guys like Scott Rolen and Curt Schilling ruined my fandom. I was completely uncaring. So much so that I didn’t celebrate the ’08 World Series. Not a high five, a cheer, a smile. Nothing. As a result, talking about the Phillies had felt like watching the last 20 minutes of a movie. I appreciated the action, but had no connection to the characters.
Today I have a chance to truly embrace the Phillies for the first time in 17 years. I can watch the new era grow. I can love again.