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Ten rules to help Phillies fans understand the rebuild

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Here are ten rules to help you get through the Phillies rebuild. Thou shalt count to ten, no more, no less. Ten shalt be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shalt be ten. Eleven shalt thou not count, nor either count thou nine, excepting that thou then proceed to ten.

Even Domonic Brown is all emo these days.
Even Domonic Brown is all emo these days.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

If you folks don't lighten up, you are going to be kicking your dog an awful lot over the next several years that the Phillies are terrible.  Sitting around and bitching through at least 400 to 600 baseball games over several seasons until the Phillies sniff the dirty laundry of a playoff series and maybe drink champagne once again sounds like a really horrible way to live, but at least I don't live near you.

In order to survive the next three or four years (or maybe more!) of horrible baseball, here are some rules to help you keep your sanity and to avoid becoming mislead by the Pollyanna crowd that believes that the Phillies may someday be above .500 in our lifetimes.

Unlike those people, you know that things will turn out badly.  Hayley Mills won't live happily ever after -- she'll be charged for engaging in pescaphila, spend time in prison, sell her body on the streets to fund a heroin habit, and finally die, destitute and alone while withdrawing from heroin. It's all on her wikipedia page, or at least it was last night when I wrote all of that on her page.

No, you know better. And while you may not have actually formally reduced the rules to writing, I have.  Remember these, and you will be perhaps a little less frustrated by the losing, the Phillies, and, ultimately, yourself:

  1. The Phillies are not dumb, they just hate you. The people that run the Phillies have real money. Part of the ownership group has billions of dollars. Like billions with a B.  They did not get (or keep) that money by being fools, and deep down, you realize this. The reason for the Phillies failures lately is more nefarious than mere stupidity.  They make bad personnel moves because they want to ruin your life. Don't accept this. Make sure that you let all of your frustrations out by bitching constantly engaging in group therapy and ignoring your work and family obligations doing it often enough to achieve catharsis. It may seem counter-intuitive, but this sort of talking therapy will actually help things. There is absolutely nothing wrong or unhealthy with wallowing in the negative over and over again. Rumination is a healthy response to stress - ask any mental health professional.
  2. The Phillies are not signing any big international free agents or regular free agents because they want to lose just to piss you off. The owners of this team really do not care about baseball or winning or losing. There is nothing that people at the very pinnacle of the 1% like more than winning unless it is purposefully tormenting those that are on the lower rungs of the world. It is not enough to win economically, you see. They must also ruin your life.  And by "you" I mean "you individually." Each and every one of you. They just want to troll everyone in the Delaware Valley because they can and because it makes them feel good.
  3. If the Phillies do not sign the currently "hot" international free agent, it will set the rebuilding process back at least another 3 years. And the Phillies will have another 3 year plan. And another. And another. Because they did not sacrifice all their other priorities in the short and long term to get the guy that is hot this week, we can infer that they are just not serious about rebuilding. I think that there have been something like 3 Bright New Shiny Things this offseason, so by my count, the Phillies are 9 years away from winning.
  4. The Phillies are just leading you on. The Phillies have no intention of getting better. The idea that they may someday be better is a necessary lie in order to lure you to the ballpark to buy $8.00 beers to numb yourself to the reality that the Phillies will never be good again in your lifetime. If you don't buy those beers, the team's owners will have to make stadium payments using their own substantial amounts of money. To lure you in, they have to offer at least a hope of success "soon" just like we will have commercial fusion reactors "soon."  You know they are lying. They know they are lying.  But you want them to tell you the lie just so you can hate them for telling it and because you enjoy the self-loathing resulting from you knowing that you want to believe it. Still, they know you are too desperate for baseball, so you will come anyway, and they will laugh at you each time Steve Jeltz Freddy Galvis makes an out or Dom Brown lets a fly ball bounce off his glove.
  5. Not only does your favorite team suck, it is run by worse owners than the Marlins. At least Jeff Loria has found a way to put together some decent young players.
  6. The Phillies Front Office is staffed by emotional vampires that feed on the tears of little children. What else can explain signings of Delmon Young and Jeff Francoeur over the last few years?
  7. Your inability to discern a plan means that the Phillies do not have one. These people running these major businesses, foundations, and managing complex generational transfers of wealth have no idea how to plan for the short, medium, or long terms. The whole concept is foreign to them, so, like an intoxicated orangutan at a keyboard, they just mash buttons and fling dung at random. I mean, Michael Young, right?  Proof!
  8. If you continue to come to CBP this year, it is increasingly likely that the Phillies will harvest your organs to make payroll. As the number of fans coming to the park plummets, the Phillies will be reduced to getting the increasingly infrequent visitors to the ballpark very drunk so that their kidneys can be sold on the black market in China to pay for doorknobs for Ryan Howard.
  9. Even after your kidneys have been harvested and you are sitting in a stall in a bathroom on the 200 level in an iced tub that had previously held cans of beer, the Phillies know that you will still stay to the end of the game and that you will still buy hats and shirseys and beer. Sweet, delicious beer.
  10. You can never stop being a fan. Rather than engaging in an activity that brings you pleasure, the Phillies know that they can continue to mistreat you, take advantage of you financially, eat your children, cuckold you, and harvest your organs and you will continue to watch games and obsess about the team. Whether it brings you any pleasure or adds to the quality of your life is not important. There is no safe word. It will never end. NEVER.

There. Now that you know the rules, you can plan accordingly.  I ordinarily advise against things like massive doses of psychoactive drugs partial lobotomies, but maybe that is the only thing you can do here.  If you can't deal with the losing and what is likely to be a long retooling process, maybe you'll be doing your friends, family, and yourself a big favor by walking away for a while and just forgetting about baseball.

Seriously, if you don't enjoy the product and it only makes you angry, what is the point of it as a recreation or entertainment?  Why so serious?