The baseball team that you love is rebuilding, with a plan to contend in 2017.
The 2011 season of 100+ wins is a distant memory, and there is no good news to be had in the offseason. The team’s first baseman’s bat is no longer powerful and his plate discipline has declined with it. The team’s shortstop of 15+ years has just left for greener pastures. The team’s best pitcher started spring training by openly talking of his desire for a trade. Another of the team’s best pitchers has a torn tendon in his throwing elbow. The team is pasted together with one year deals and pitchers best known as “innings eaters” when “aces” is so much more musical to the ears of the baseball fan.
Welcome to life as a fan of the Philadelphia Phillies.
There is hope though: it’s called Opening Day.
Opening Day is about possibility. Yes, there are 162 games, and your team will probably lose 90 of them. Yes, there will be injuries and trades and horrible defensive miscues. Your team will lose to good teams and bad teams and mediocre teams. My point is there will be a lot of losing.
Opening Day isn’t about that losing though. It isn’t about what will happen, but what could. Your team could be the Kansas City Royals, whose prospects could be even better than Keith Law says they are. Cole Hamels could pitch a perfect game, or Cole Hamels could be traded for a great crop of young prospects. It’s not the most exciting way to get through the season but thinking about the future is a reality for you.
The exception is Opening Day.
The possibilities are endless on Opening Day.
The thing you know though, is this: no matter what team you are a fan of, and no matter how many games that team loses, there will be beauty this baseball season. Vin Scully will call Clayton Kershaw. The AL West will be fun to watch. There will be great catches. Jose Fernandez will return to the mound. There will be rally towels and four-hour rain delays and the smell of sunshine as you sit in the stands.
A losing season is almost guaranteed for Phillies fans, but Opening Day is about all of the beautiful things that baseball will give us.
Baseball is the best. Let’s enjoy it for the next seven months.