It’s finally over.
The champagne smell still lingers in the air, the carpets in Houston needing to be replaced at some point. There will be hangovers and need candidates to do commercials for Liquid IV. Today may not matter as far as the game goes, but one thing is still crystal clear after the fact:
The Phillies have captured the final wild card spot and have ended the drought that some thought might never end.
It’s been a roller coaster of a decade (plus one). Having to endure watching the heroes of the World Series winner age, crumble and move on with their lives, the lows of the rebuild that felt like it had no end in sight, the roster manipulations of a front office that either had no clue what they were doing (Matt Klentak) or no interest in what they were doing (Andy MacPhail), no longer must we relive those nightmares.
Now, we get to watch postseason baseball with the Phillies as a participant.
Think about all of the things that the fanbase has gone through, has had to watch and endure through this drought.
- Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins and Cole Hamels getting traded
- Ryan Howard turning into a shell of his former powerful self
- Roy Halladay breaking down as a pitcher, then ultimately having an untimely death rock the fanbase
- The final decision to rebuild with the trades that netted the team almost nothing to help with said rebuild
- The violent lurching into the analytical era that helped confound members of the front office
- The torturous decision making from an inept front office
- The White Towel Game
- Rosters that were barely major league caliber
- The Charlie Manuel Wawa bag picture
- Ryne Sandberg walking out on his team because he was too much of a baby to see through tough seasons
- The Eagles winning a Super Bowl, not a bad thing, but still difficult to watch as a fanbase that follows the Phillies
- The Gabe Kapler era that had some good initial ideas, but ultimately crashed and burned into a heap of smoldering incompetence
- The near misses in multiple Septembers
- Having to come together as not only country, but as a fanbase to get through a pandemic that decimated many fans that will not be able to enjoy this day
- Joe Girardi seemingly to white knuckle every decision he made, no matter how trivial, until the tension ultimately spilled onto the roster, causing multiple sphincter clenching clubhouse issues
And now, we’re here.
Now we can enjoy the postseason tension that fills each playoff game, wondering how each decision will affect the next, how each one will have some kind of effect on the following day’s mood, how we can almost talk ourselves into the Phillies winning not just a series, but maybe even making enough noise to still be relevant come Halloween.
It’s going to be glorious.