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The Phillies aren’t in a ‘state’ and there’s no one to blame

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WIP wants to know who’s to blame for the “state” the Phillies are in, and I want to know who to yell at for posing that question in the first place.

Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

On Tuesday morning, the dawn of what could be our third straight day without Phillies baseball, the always reasonable WIP sports talk radio station asked a question on Twitter.

::talk radio scare voice:: WHO’S TO BLAME, FANS? FOR THE STATE OF THE PHILLIES? BECAUSE THEY’RE IN A STATE AND THERE ARE WORDS BEING USED THAT I DON’T UNDERSTAND AND THAT TAN SHINY GUY IS TALKING ABOUT MATH AND NONE OF IT IS GOOD. THE PHILLIES ARE IN A STATE AND SOMEONE MUST BE BLAMED. PROBABLY THE SHINY GUY.

This is where we are. Three games into the most promising season in six years and WIP is insisting that the Phillies are in some kind of “state” and someone must be blamed for it.

As if I need to say this to anyone, but here I go anyway: it’s not true. The Phillies aren’t in any kind of state, not after three games. Whatever blame there is to take for how the first three games went has been ably taken by Gabe Kapler, because it’s his job. But for anyone to think that three games could toss the Phillies into some kind of moody, funky “state” that requires the assignment of blame is the height of alarmist stupidity. Yeah, I know, it’s a sports talk radio station in Philadelphia. “Alarmist stupidity” is probably in their mission statement. But some things are so stupid that it makes you wonder how people manage to function, put pants on in the morning, and feed themselves. That’s how stupid this is.

Have the first three games been a bit of a downer? Sure. A disappointing trial? Absolutely. The opposite of enjoyable? Mostly! But it’s just three games. Here is a list of things that players should be in a state about after three games:

  • A player sleeps with another player’s wife
  • A player sleeps with another player’s wife in the clubhouse
  • A player sleeps with another player’s wife and puts the video on the internet
  • Half the team has clearly been replaced by pod people
  • A player hosts an Easter Sunday shindig that is actually an Eyes Wide Shut party

It’s not a complete list, obviously. But you get the point. Baseball players, even ones new to the majors, have been through bad games and bad series. Majors or minors, it doesn’t matter. They’ve seen managers cock up and players respond badly to manager decisions. To think that three games could toss these guys into a state radically underestimates them. And it radically underestimates Gabe Kapler. Despite his in-game foibles (that again, we’ve seen in just three games), he seems to be a good manager of men who values openness and honesty and just wants his player to feel good about themselves and what they’re doing.

There’s time for all of this to get better. If there’s blame to assign, we’ll have the opportunity to assign it. You know why?

IT’S JUST THREE GAMES.

IT’S JUST THREE GAMES.

IT’S JUST THREE GAMES.

IT’S JUST THREE GAMES.

So don’t be fooled by all that nonsense. As disappointing and frustrating the first three games have been, you know in your gut, in your heart of hearts, that there’s more to Kapler than we’ve seen. Maybe it’ll be good, maybe it’ll be bad. At this point, we don’t know. You know why? BECAUSE HE’S MANAGED THREE FREAKING GAMES.