September 29, 2005

Phillie Hate, Cont'd

With a two-and-a-half game lead, the Houston Astros appear likely to overtake the Phillies and win the NL Wild Card. And- surprise!- the Phillies fan base isn't seeing any silver lining in the excitement of the race, Jimmy Rollins' active 33-game hitting streak, last night's 16-6 victory over the Mets, or the presence of three 100-RBI men in the Phils' lineup for the first time since 1932. In fact, judging by talk radio, the fans continue to treat their team like a 20-games-below-.500 squad, and are demanding to turn Citizens' Bank Park into a "ghost town" next year, if Ed Wade and/or Charlie Manuel and/or significant numbers of players aren't sent out the door.

I'm not arguing that Wade deserves to keep his job, and if the overmatched but still not as bad everyone says Manuel were to follow him into retirement, I wouldn't object to that either. The team also clearly needs upgrades at catcher and third base. But local radio bloviator Howard Eskin has practically created an alternate reality, in which the team needs to "rebuild," and Lou Piniella is about to walk in the door as manager. Nevermind that one of Eskin's picks to replace Wade, former Mets GM Jim Duquette, made the Scott Kazmir-for-Victor Zambrano deal, which was likely more of a blunder than any move Wade has ever made. And I also don't see how a man with 120 RBIs (Pat Burrell) could possibly be "unclutch," as Eskin and his followers proclaim nearly every day.

No, I haven't been in Philly very long, and I wasn't around for all the years and years of losing. But I've become emotionally invested in this team and see a hell of a future in them. Though, that might just be because I have the fortune of being able to watch them without having "they're gonna blow it!" in the back of my mind at all times. As Rick Pitino would say, "all the negativity in this town sucks!"

Posted by Stephen Silver at September 29, 2005 06:24 AM

Scott Kazmir, post All-Star break: 7-2, 2.79 ERA, 92K in 86IP.

Victor Zambrano, post All-Star Break: 3-4, 4.60 ERA, 42K in 62.2IP.

FSM damn you, Jim Duquette!

Posted by: Tainted Bill at September 29, 2005 07:47 AM

welcome to philly. if there was no negativity, no feeling of inferiority or impending doom, 99% of the people in this town (and everyone on WIP) would have nothing to talk about.

Posted by: LilB at September 29, 2005 06:21 PM
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