By Jeff Glauser
The Phanatic Magazine
This is not a special team.
At no point this season did I ever get that feeling that the 2008 version of the Phillies was going to take us where no area team in the past quarter century has taken us before.
There have arguably been more talented teams, deeper teams, since then. There have certainly been clubs with more personality (try to find more than a couple players on this roster who don’t have permanent bite marks on their tongues).
Last night was obviously not the makings of a championship team.
And you wanna know something? So freaking what!
If these guys find a way to somehow pull it out, will a big-ass parade on Broad Street be any less sweet because they never reached “Team of Destiny” status?
There is no need for rags to riches, fairy tales or soap opera dramas. In fact, the first two games of the World Series were, admittedly, boring for the most part (any time Eric Bruntlet and Carlos Ruiz are your offensive heroes – at ANY point – is never encouraging).
But that’s fine, too. Like a girl who’s been dating a guy with commitment issues for 25 years, we don't need excitement - we just need a ring. And we need it now.
(Upon further review, that wasn’t the manliest of analogies there. But again, so freaking what. Now I’ll digress.)
Not to say there isn’t a storyline here: The losingest professional team of the 20th Century versus the losingest team of the 21st. One World Series victor in 125 years versus one winning season in 13.
The fact that those obnoxious chumps from Boston are sitting home versus the fact that those phonies from L.A. have long since hopped off the bandwagon again.
It’s a sad state of affairs when we live in a town where its runners-up have just as much – if not more – folklore than its champs (See: ’93 Phils, ’01 Sixers, ’04 Eagles). Perhaps it’s because we need something to hold onto. If we can’t afford a nice pair of Oakleys, it’s still somewhat reassuring to wear a nice pair of Foakleys, right?
I must confess, though: It was extremely difficult for me to come to this conclusion. It was hard for me to become emotionally invested in a squad that never provided the stereotypical image of being a true contender, one with so many maddening shortcomings. And when the stars of the team always look like they wish they were anywhere but the Delaware Valley, that’s never a good thing.
But lately, my denial has dissipated. I’m thinking big picture now. It’s the end result which matters most, not the journey. If the ’93 club was mullet-and-personality free yet a Joe Carter longball was nowhere to be found, would we think any less of them? Au contraire!
After all this time I've come to terms that we don't need a special team. We just need a team that can make it to the Promised Land for the first time since Moses took us there.
After 25 years, we don't need a Cinderella story. We just need a success story.