There's nothing better in a lost season of any sport than the utter humiliation of your team's rival squad. This is something I was taught at a young age, when my father told me that all the Eagles needed to do to have a successful year was to win two games: the first one against the Cowboys and the second one against the Cowboys.
At that point, though, I did not know the Atlanta Braves as I do now.
I know that, in 2011, we were supposed to get over our hatred of the Braves, when, after knocking them out of the playoffs with their second string "resting up" squad, the Phillies got bounced by the St. Louis Cardinals, who they'd let in the dance in the first place. This strikes me as unheroic thinking, though -- I wouldn't change that sweep for the world.
Similarly, if the Phillies could win today and sweep the Braves, I wouldn't mind if they lost out on a protected pick by one win, even if the sweep did nothing to dampen the Bravos playoff hopes. Sports is, for better or for worse, predicated on visceral highs and lows, and much of that visceral appeal is about, as Conan would say, crushing your enemies, seeing them driven before you, and hearing the lamentations of their fans.
So come on Buchanan: give us one more thing to cheer for.
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