Remember when people cared about this?
I do. Kind of.
Right now is that time that I usually start paying attention to baseball again. I mean, REALLY paying attention, not just glancing at box scores and standings. Why not, since nothing else is on. And lookie here! The Phils are dominating of late and are the favorite to get Roy Halladay and create an Arziona-circa-2001 tandem that should blow away people.
The Dodgers, whom I get to see more of than I want to, are admittedly rolling, but they don't seem built for the postseason. The Red Sox and Yankees... blah, blah, blah, infloated payroll, old guys, whatever. The Mets are a walking Stooges skit (Three, not Iggy And The). Both central divisions have yet to inspire anyone. Yes, things are looking good for the Phils, for now and for the future.
Dare I say the recent trend of success in Philly is just getting started? Could it be that the Philadelphia baseball team, which was clearly dead last on the pecking order when I moved there in summer of 2000, is now a constant contender and the class of the city? Even the Eagles can't match their success and are losing people tired of manic-depressive seasons. My lord... cats and dogs are living together. I still remember those late 90's summers where the only bright spot was Mike Piazza lifting the team - not the Phils, but the NL all-stars, and we took that only because he was local. (Was that realy the last time the NL won? Yikes.) I remember the public attack on J.D. Drew (take that as a warning, Stephen Strasburg!) and it really summing up everyone's feelings. Now they have a loaded lineup and almost enough pitching to be relaxed.
All I can say from experience is, don't be relaxed. We can always lose. We can always, always lose. Watch out for Florida. They could sneak up.... maybe....
... AHHHH! Come on! Really, is there any reason to be scared anymore? I used to hope that Atlanta would fall off the face of the Earth and the Phils could sneak into the playoffs with barely 80 wins. The Braves did, but the Phils have done more than that. They're a near lock right now. God help us all.
So I'll be watching the second half with an unbridled sense of optimism that I haven't had since, well, ever. I'm guessing now that I wrote this, Hamels will be thrown off a horse onto Howard's left leg and Rollins will crack a rib laughing and then Utley will trip over him.... but I don't really expect it anymore.... and that scares me a little.