Charlie Manuel: Y’all know me. Know how I manage. I’ll catch these Nats for you, but it ain’t gonna be easy. Good team. Not like going down to Miami and beating up on some Marlins. This team, sweep you whole. Little Bryce, Little Strasburg, an’ down you go. And we gotta get better quick, that’ll bring back our fans, put all your careers back on track. But it’s not gonna be pleasant. I value my neck a lot more than three million bucks, Chase. I’ll catch this team for three, but I’ll catch them, and kill them for, ten. But you’ve gotta make up your minds. If you want to stay contending, then ante up. If you want to play it loose, be home on you couch in October. I don’t want no free agents. I don’t want no trades, there’s just too many good guys already here in this clubhouse. Let’s go get the Nats. Their heads, their tails, the whole damn team.
It has been a long winter. Any Phillies fan can easily admit this.
We walked into the cold with dreams of Josh Hamilton, Michael Bourn or one of the Upton brothers, and instead netted Twitter-addict speedster Ben Revere, $6 million worth of Michael Young and the most expensive last two innings of bullpen baseball the world can find north of 32 years old.
That’s like me throwing my Golden Retriever a brand new tennis ball and him coming back with a pine cone.
I had visions of the 2013 Phillies being triumphant, but then I ran out of whiskey.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not being pessimistic. Cult Phillies bloggers like Michael Baumann and Bill Baer of Crashburn Alley will have you believe the Phillies are far worst than the almighty Nationals and Upton-led Braves.
I’m here to tell you that is not the case—hopefully before the whiskey completely wears off. I would hate to fib to you completely sober.
Are the Phillies the third best team in their division? Sure. But what did people say about us in 2008 or the Giants in 2010 or 2012 before the season started? Or the even Nationals in 2012? A lot of baseball people in the “know” had those teams finishing third in their respective divisions.
The point is, the general public—and even experts—are often terrible at predicting who will have special seasons. That’s why they’re special.
For instance, things that could easily happen this year but no one is really talking about:
- Ryan Howard hits 40 homeruns.
- Chase Utley takes back his mantle as the NL’s best second basemen.
- Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and Roy Halladay all receive Cy Young votes.
- Mike Adams and Jonathan Papelbon go 2008 Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge.
- Ben Revere hits .300 and steals 60 bases.
- Domonic Brown meets Domonic Brown.
- Delmon Young goes 2012 ACLS for a lot of the 2013 regular season.
- Darin Ruf confuses the majors for the minors.
- Erik Kratz creates a catcher controversy by leading all National League catchers in home runs after the first 25 games (when Chooch returns).
- Michael Young thinks 2011 is much closer to who he is than 2012.
Wait! Hold on! Come back!!!
Before you go throw a hundred dollars on the Phillies to win the World Series in Vegas, keep in mind, I once wrote an article giving 47 reasons the Eagles would win this Sunday’s upcoming Super Bowl and am still in love with a girl left me for a scuba diver.
So, I tend to see the best in things that torture me.
But what is wrong with this approach? Why should I be tortured before the season starts if everyone is saying I’m going to be tortured when the season actually begins?
February, March, April. These are the months to dream. In fact, I encourage all three Miami Marlins fans to go play poker around a picnic table, smoke cigars, drink booze and talk about how Placido Polanco and Juan Pierre will both hit .330.
It’s that time of year. We’ll get to the bad stuff later. For now?