There’s no way this can continue. And I do believe God hates Philadelphia sports fans; He’s caused us so much pain over the years that I can’t draw any other conclusion. (Or if not Him himself, the baseball gods certainly do hate Phillies fans.) As I noted over on FaceBook, the Phillies have a 3-1 lead and Cole Hamels pitching tonight. Blowing this would cause so much pain that it seems required that the lead be blown.
It’s not helping that as I walk around wearing my Phillies cap and windbreaker (as I have been through the postseason) random people on the street and at work are saying “Tonight’s the night!” or “We’re going to win!” That’s tempting fate, people! Are you begging retribution from the baseball gods?
We’ve survived this long expecting loss and failure. We’ve never been disappointed and sometimes even positively surprised. Being negative and pessimistic has gotten us this far; let’s not jinx this.
Now, I admit that I had trouble sleeping last night imagining what it would be like if the Phillies pull this off and deciding whether or not I want to go to the parade in Philly. (I’m currently leaning against.) But a little sleep brought me to my senses and cautioned me against that optimism.
For example: Over The Good Phight, we’re given 5 reasons to be optimistic about tonight, but he also raises 5 reasons to be concerned:
1. Ryan Madson is not rested. [And neither is J.C. Romero. Pitching him with a 8-run lead last night was a mistake.]
2. Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena are 0 for 29.
3. A loss tonight gives the Rays huge momentum.
4. The officials can’t continue to be this bad in our favor.
5. Joe Carter.
In addition, MLB Playoff Odds gives the Rays a 1 in 7 chance of winning, while Baseball Prospectus gives them a 1 in 10 chance. Are you so confident in the Phillies, given their history, that you don’t remember that they are more than capable of blowing something with an 85-90% chance of happening? Have you no memory of Phillies history? The only professional sports franchise with over 10,000 losses, and we’re assuming wins? The team that blew an unblowable lead in 1964?
So Phillies fan, given history, we’ve got to assume they’ll blow this. Worst case scenario: we’ll be right. Best case scenario: the victory will be even sweeter. Now get out there and be pessimistic like only a Phillies phan can!
UPDATE: 5:42 PM – Corrected an awful typo above. Also, I thought of a good analogy after posting this: The Phillies are like an expert fellatrix; they’ll always find a way to blow it.