We did it! We all made it to the end of the baseball season. And in the process, the Phillies managed to do a little bit of everything.
- The Phillies were the worst team in baseball.
- But for three weeks in late-July and early August, they went 16-5 and were one of the best.
- They avoided 100 losses, but still managed to lock up the number one draft pick for the first time since 1998, 17 years ago. (Who did they pick that year? None other than Pat Burrell.)
- They cleaned house for the first time in ages -- there's a new manager, a new president, and a new GM (yet to come), and that's not even on the field. They traded Chase Utley, Cole Hamels, Jonathan Papelbon, Ben Revere, and Jimmy Rollins.
- Ruben Amaro, who most (wrongfully) see as one of the worst GMs in the game, managed to trade his aging/assholic veterans for actual real players with value.
- On his way out the door, Amaro managed to straight-up swindle the idiots running the Nationals into trading for Jonathan Papelbon AND paying him $11m next year, taking him off the Phillies' hands entirely.
- Cole Hamels threw a no-hitter in his final start in Phillies pinstripes, cementing him as a franchise legend and a forever-Phillie.
- The Phillies' social media presence, previously known as one of the worst in all of baseball, saw a marked improvement down the stretch, giving me hope for the future.
We'll have a lot of wrap-up content heading your way in the next few weeks. A 2015 season review, our best and worst moments of the season, end-of-season awards, individual player reviews, postseason predictions, offseason wish lists, and lots more. We'll post remembrances of Roy Halladay's postseason no-hitter and of his legendary 2010 season. This offseason, I hope to do a series on guys you forgot were Phillies players, and a recipe-by-recipe review of the new Phillies' Wives Cookbook. And I'll write an I'm sorry letter to Jeff Francoeur, my new favorite Phillies player, for pretty much hating him when the season began. (I'm sorry, Jeff! I love you now!)
I watched a video last week that got me really excited, but not for the reason you think.
I show this to you today not to discourage you or to make you angry. No, I embed this video to show you that there is hope for the future. If it can happen to the Mets, with their recent history of ineptitude and terribleness, it can happen to the Phillies. Someday soon, the Phillies will be good again. We'll have to survive another few years of terrible baseball, and then maybe a few mediocre ones, but we will get there. People will make hype-up videos about those Phillies -- our Phillies -- and we'll remember when they were so terrible. We'll remember Marlon Byrd and Brian Bogusevic and Jonathan Papelbon and Delmon Young as ghosts from the past, as demons from atrocious Phillies teams that had to be exorcised. We'll watch the highlights videos and read the articles about the rebuild and we'll be able to say "we were there" and appreciate every moment for what it is, but also for what it took to get there.
We'll watch our boys douse each other in champagne wearing silly goggles and shirts fresh off the presses. We'll watch Aaron Nola and Jerad Eickhoff and Ken Giles and Maikel Franco and Odubel Herrera and J.P. Crawford jump and shout and embrace each other with pure, unadulterated joy. They'll have created a bond that only young players on rebuilding team can, and they'll have created a bond with us, too. Bonds that will be cemented in champagne and celebration, in player dogpiles and on-field embraces, in full ballparks and deafening cheers.
When the Phillies win less, it means we get to hear a certain song less. And that's a shame, because we should all take it to heart. It's played after every Phillies home win, but we should really start listening to it after every loss. It's easy to get bogged down in the near-constant losing, the endless mocking from the internet, the sub-replacement level players, and think that it's always going to be like this. But the future is so bright. There's new leadership and exciting young players and a greatly improved farm system and an ownership group that's willing to MAKE IT RAIN to get the Phillies back to the postseason. We have every reason to have, as Harry would say, high hopes.
The offseason is finally here. The future starts now.
Thank you for staying with us through this 2015 Phillies season. On behalf of the entire TGP staff, I can say that we appreciate each and every person who has come to the site to read, to comment, or to engage. (Even you, Red Sox fans.) You make this job fun even when the team is the worst. Without you, we wouldn't be here.