Outta’ Right Field: Mourning the 2011 Phillies

By Laura Hancq
October 12, 2011

As much as it pains me to say this, it’s time to talk about it. The Philadelphia Phillies, otherwise known as the best team in baseball for the 2011 season, have been eliminated from the postseason by failing to beat the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS.

Dreams of repeating the euphoria of the 2008 World Series have been shattered. The 2011 National League Pennant will fly in either St. Louis or Milwaukee. Pictures have circulated on the Internet of the Phanatic’s attempts to hurl himself off the Ben Franklin Bridge. Hardcore fans have been left feeling confused and heartbroken.

Why did this happen? How does the best team in baseball, a team with over 100 wins and multiple aces, fail to advance out of the divisional playoff round?

I wish I knew. Of course, we all have our theories. Honestly though, throwing specific players or personnel under the proverbial bus, or “rally trolley,” such as the one the Phillies paraded around Philadelphia in before NLDS home games isn’t going to help.

As a devastated fan, I believe I have come full circle in my mourning and have completed the five stages of the grieving process, including denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance. I encourage you, my fellow phaithful, to do the same.

Denial was clearly evident throughout the NLDS and upon the shutout loss that ended it all. Thoughts such as, “Is this really happening?” and “Is Cliff Lee not the magical unicorn we once knew and loved?” were common. Anger shortly followed.

Bargaining was a short-lived stage as thoughts such as, “well maybe we could live without a World Series title, if we could just get that damn pennant,” passed while depression was not quick to leave. Baseball is dependable. While you might not watch it every single night, you know it’s always there. The Phillies are a teddy-bear baby-blankey combo. You might not cuddle with them every night, but you love them all the same.

Acceptance. This is where I am. Depression hasn’t fully left because I miss my Phightins terribly already. I want to be parading down Broad Street in a drunken stupor hugging complete strangers and crying at the sight of Cliff Lee hoisting the Commissioner’s Trophy. But you know what? It wasn’t in the cards. Too soon?

As the old adage says, there’s no crying in baseball. And now we know why. There’s always next season. As my good buddy Hunter Pence once said, “Good season, let’s go eat.”

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Laura Hancq

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