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Breaking the glass on your Phillies double-sweep emergency kit

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Well, it happened.

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Having to play two first place teams in a row took the obvious toll on the Phillies. Now, a pair three-game sweeps at the hands of the Cubs and Nationals have left them shuddering at .500 after beginning the year as the NL East's annoying upstart.

The seventh day of a six-game losing streak is a tough one to get up for, but the Brewers are coming to town, a team the Phillies could probably beat if they hadn't spend the last week getting their confidence shellacked by two relentless lineups.

But hey, that's why we put together this double-sweep survivor kit, so that there is a contingency plan for when the Phillies can't stop getting absolutely manhandled.

Let's just... break the glass here...

Phillies 2008 World Series DVDs

dvds

Ah, yes. The only time an Eric Hinske strikeout ever started a city wide riot. I use each 2007-11 team as a bookmark in my personal history, and can obviously recall with great detail the events surrounding the events October 22 - 29, 2008. I should watch these the next time I have 15 free hours in a row.

Old Phillies hat rubbed in CBP dirt

hat

A cop was walking down the warning track during the post-World Series celebrations in the stadium, catching people's rally towels, rubbing them in the dirt, and handing them back up. My hat fell off and he gave it the same treatment. Years later, having lucked my way into a stadium tour that included walking in the infield, I rubbed some more dirt on it when I saw what I thought might be Chase Utley's footprint but was probably just one of the other visitors' footprints, like everyone said it was.

Picture of my family

fam

I guess this was to tell me that there are more important things than baseball? Nice try, mom.

Harry Kalas print

harry

Neat.

Meaningful letter from an old friend

The hell is this doing in here? [Shredded]

Ticket stubs

tix

Wow, I really only hit Hamels/Utley nights. I wonder what the frequency of each player was? Or, a better question, why did I keep all these?

Rally towel

towel

For a while in college, my roommates and I were using these as dish towels. Somebody's girlfriend indicated the cheap paint chipping off of them and onto our dishware would probably contribute to our inevitable deaths in the long term. We laughed it off because we were 22 and knew we would live forever, toxic towel particles compiling in our throats or not. It wasn't until years later that another roommate asked about the box full of white towels in the closet and I figured I probably had given them a lifespan incomprehensibly longer than any souvenir towel deserved. Also, you reach an age where spacial limitations trump... towel-having.

Well, that's all that's in here, which is disappointing. No booze, but I never felt like guzzling tiny airplane bottles of liquor helped my mood in a post double sweep-stupor anyway. But all this stuff references the past, which is nice to remember, but not exactly helpful now.

Wait a second, what's this?

A letter from myself

"Dear Justin,

I'm sure everything is fine."

I mean I accidentally took a bite out of a raw potato the other day but yeah I'm crushing it.

"If you're reading this, you've once more cracked under the weight of rapidly-piling up Phillies losses. I can only hope the hideous meltdown took place behind closed doors, and didn't make things worse for both of us in the future."

Heh. Think you're pretty smart, don't you, letter? It just so happens I hold your life in my hands...

"Wait! don't flush this down the toilet!"

Guess I didn't have a shredder back then.

"Look, these things happen. Teams lose a bunch of games in a row and people go find other things to do. What's 'Hamilton' like? I've heard incredible things."

I... wait, wh

"What I'm saying is, it's okay to follow things other than Phillies baseball. Breathe fresh air. Drink less coffee. Read a book. Eat fewer raw coffee beans."

...

...

Is this a

"That was a test, as was the picture of your family. Did you even notice it wasn't really your family?"

Of course I... did...

"Congratulations, you passed."

Was the 'meaningful letter' from my 'friend' real?

"I'm just a letter. We can't interact."

Oh.

"It's time to get serious. What time do the Phillies play tonight?"

I thought you just said--

"Probably like 7:07 or some stupid thing. You tune in and you comment on every dumb thing that happens. Don't think about how the players are just humans doing their best; demand sheer perfection in every facet of the game. Never relinquish your grasp on baseball. You know why?"

Oh, I don't know; the smell of the grass, the sizzle of dogs on the grill...

"Because then, when things are good again, you can say you were there when things weren't so good. And that's how you accrue the most 'fan points' that I assume dictate status in your future society."

Clearly, I saw the writing on the wall.

"Now put everything back where it was for the next guy."

You mean the next... me?

"Sincerely,

Justin"

Huh. Well, that was a far more introspective journey into the past than I assumed it would be. I suppose the listen here is to grab onto what you believe in and don't let go, no matter how much your family or a stock family of professional actors begs you to.