By: Andy Wheeler
So this blog will go completely away from my die hard Phillies ways. I will deviate from my excitement for the season and my sincere desire for another parade to be “that guy”
Every single one of us needs to calm down. The expectation is completely out of control and is dangerous to our enjoyment of the season. We have the belief that this is the best rotation ever assembled…and it is. You can argue all you want but past performance by these guys says that it is.
But it’s the best rotation ever assembled, not the best rotation to ever perform together…at least not yet anyway. We’ll know that answer in 9 months. 9 MONTHS PEOPLE!!!!
So much can happen in 9 months. One of the starters could get hurt. We could, and probably will have bullpen problems. The entire infield could contract Ebola and we could be playing with guys from the minors. I don’t have a girlfriend right now, but I could be a few weeks away from being a father by then.
9 months is an eternity. The baseball season is a long and winding marathon. There are so many twists and turns and things that can happen. And while I understand and am completely on board with thinking that this is the best Phillies team I’ve ever seen…that doesn’t mean anything. And it doesn’t mean anything because it’s the best team I’ve ever seen on paper. And really only the starting rotation is the best I’ve ever seen…the bullpen and the hitters leave something to be desired.
Even if they win 100 games, they are still going to lose 39% of the games they play. There is literally no guarantee of anything other than that 4 out of every 5 games pitched this season will be must watch. And we know that 4 out of every 5 games pitched will have a pretty good chance of us winning because of the quality of our starters.
But what have I seen so far? People, including myself, have been trying to come up with nicknames for our 4 starters. My personal favorites, which I came up with are “The Four Aces featuring Joe Blanton” or “The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse”. But that last one leaves out Joe.
I’ve seen articles titled “Aces and Catchers Report”. I’ve seen a joint press conference reminiscent of the Beatles or the Stones arriving in the States for the first time. They haven’t even played a Spring Training game yet…and here we are collectively thinking we should save up a vacation day so we can go to the parade.
For example, today I was out getting fans to ask questions to Cliff Lee. One fan’s question to Cliff Lee…”How many no-hitters are you going to throw this year?”
Everybody needs to stop it, and stop it right now!
Here’s what we know from the history with this team. They will play really well for a while. They’ll then hit a cold streak that makes us all wonder what is wrong with them and start questioning how good they are. Then sometime around late July or August they’ll get hot and make it to the playoffs. It’s happened every year this way and I don’t think it will be any different this year.
Now is it possible that all 4 guys won’t miss a start and all win 20 games and we’ll clinch in the middle of August? Sure. But that probably won’t happen. It’s illogical to expect it. However, the way we’re all talking and the way we’re all thinking…that’s what our expectation level has risen to. And that is WAY too high.
Our attitude has changed as fans. The magic of 2008 was that we didn’t expect it. The magic behind that run and that Championship was we had gone so long without one that we’d forgotten what it was like…and appreciated it more. Now we’re cocky…and we have very little reason to be.
2009 we went to the Series and lost despite having Cliff Lee. Last year was supposed to be a rebound to win the Series because we had Roy Halladay. Both years it didn’t happen for one reason or another. So now we have them both. Truthfully what are we cocky about?
Let’s just enjoy that we have a good team that should make the playoffs…and we’ll get excited IF we do. Let’s enjoy the fact that the deep freeze of this awful winter is almost over. Let’s try to enjoy the fact that this summer is going to be great and we have a lot to look forward to. But mostly, let’s try to calm down a little…they’ve only been practicing for 2 days for crying out loud!