I’m sure, in fact I’m damn near certain, that sports columns are currently being prepared for various local and national papers about the humiliating achievement that the Philadelphia Phillies baseball club reached this past evening. Their 10-2 loss to the Saint Louis Cardinals was the 10,000th in their existence. The sky is falling, the sky is falling!
Look, the Philadelphia Phillies have been around since 1883. They sucked for a lot of years, and lost a lot of games. They’ve won 5 pennants and 1 World Series in 124 years. Their history is lacking hall-of-famers, lacking dyansty-like teams, and lacking wins compared to other teams that have been around for just as long.
And so what? What bearing does that have on anything today? How does any of the above affect today’s fans or today’s team? Fact: it doesn’t. It just doesn’t. It doesn’t matter. There are facts and historical footnotes, and then there is history. Footnotes are numbers, are statistics, are dates. They mean little to today’s world. Then there is history…things recorded in the past, a tapestry of the past and blueprint for the future. What happened in the 1900s and 1930s and 1960s and so on only serve as a lesson, nothing more. Teams need good players to win games and the owners must spend enough money and enough money wisely in order to field a team which the fans will accept.
What more can be ‘learned’ besides the above? There is no other lesson. It has no bearing on today’s team of 85, 88, 86, 86, 80 and 86 wins. The team has kept the footnotes in the past. No, they haven’t made the playoffs much of late…but they made 3 World Series and 9 playoff appearances in the past 31 years. That’s not great, but that’s a marked improvement over the 2 playoff appearances (and 2 World Series losses) during the previous 93 years. Yesterday’s footnotes are just that, footnotes. They have no bearing on today’s team, or even the history that is currently being played out.
In conclusion, don’t sweat the small stuff. Get beyond the number and press the reset button. This century has started off fairly well for this franchise…especially in comparison to how it began. Let the 10,000 number die a quiet death.