Hi there, Fightins readers. I’m Danger Guerrero. You may know me around these parts from my Phillies High series of posts, where I draw doofy cartoons, imagine members of the Phillies as youthful caricatures of themselves, and make Carlos Ruiz say things in a delightfully stereotypical Spanish accent. Good, good times. But I come to you today with a more serious, personal message. Something has been weighing on me the last few weeks, and I need to get it off my chest. Please meet me after the jump, so I can deliver this very special public service announcement to you.
That’s pretty much the gist of it. Just shut up a little more. I’m not entirely sure when it happened, but at some point we, as a fanbase, became incredibly whiny. Nowhere is this more true than Twitter. Like a lot of you, I follow a pretty serious number of Phillies fans. It’s gotten to the point that I don’t check Twitter during the games that much anymore, lest I’m besieged with people Tweeting things about how “This team isn’t built to win!” or “Their record is a mirage,” or, my favorite, the sarcastic “Naturally (insert Phillies player) would (insert form of baseball related failure) in that spot!” I’m not going to name names, because I’m a goddamn gentleman, but let’s just say there are a lot of them, and some of the guilty parties may or may not be affiliated with certain prominent Phillies blogs that rhyme with “The Thightens.” (Shots fired! Kind of!) Of course, you could argue that if I don’t like it I could unfollow them, but that doesn’t solve the problem. Did Bruce Wayne just stop reading the crime section? No. And yes, in this analogy, I am Batman.
The following things are true:
1) The Phillies have the best record in the National League.
2) Number one is true despite prominent playing time being given to people named Pete Orr, Wilson Valdez, Brian Schneider, and Ben Francisco.
3) Chase Utley, Brad Lidge, and top prospect Dom “Aw Man” Brown have not played an inning yet. (Note: Even though he’s periodically infuriating, having Lidge back at closer creates a domino effect that pushes Madson back the 8th, and Bastardo/Romero/Contreras back to the 7th and blah blah blah less Kyle Kendrick in meaningful spots. This is a good thing.)
4) Our rotation is twelve kinds of awesome with a ten-gallon hat on.
Seriously, next time you want to whine like a toddler, go back and read that list. Can you imagine how much other fanbases despise your complaining in the face of those four facts? Hell, just imagine how much your 2001 self would hate yourself now. A short trip in the Wayback Machine shows that the Phillies’ rotation that year consisted of Robert Person, Omar Daal, Randy Wolf, Dave Coggin, Bruce Chen, and something called an “Amaury Telemaco.” Yeesh. You know that guy who complains about the sound system in his brand new Porsche? You know how much you hate that guy? Because you’ve become him. Congratulations, you’re an asshole.
At this point, allow me to address a few counterarguments:
I can say what I want!
Yes, you can. But you’re an asshole and everyone hates you.
So, what? You’re saying I can’t complain about things that suck, or players that are underperforming?
No, of course not. Here, watch this: Ibanez is playing like a putz this year. See how I did that? That’s not whining. That’s objective analysis (sort of). I’m not a SABR pro or anything, but if I was I’d tell you his DeRP Max is an astonishing negative tenfinity.5 or something. But there’s a difference between saying he’s playing terribly/streakily, and lodging passive aggressive complaints every time he pops out.
But DG! The offense! AAARRRGGHHHH
Good point. Allow me this rebuttal: So? Who cares how many runs the offense scores as long as the team is winning games? See fact number four, above. Naturally I’d love it if the team scored eight runs a game and Shane Victorino never swung at a first pitch immediately after a four-pitch walk. But this is the point of having such a good staff. Some teams win games 10-8, others win them 3-2. Just a different style of baseball. It may not be as exciting as watching red and white blurs circling the bases, but it’s a W. And, again, there’s a giant hole in the middle of the lineup that plays the game “the right way” and sounds a lot like the intro to “Kashmir.” Cool out, babies.
In conclusion, going forward, try to knock it off a little. I don’t think you realize how good we as a fanbase have it. Go look at the rosters of some other teams. Really, go. (Note: Please do not go. I’m almost done.) I understand no one likes it when their team loses games, but for the love of God, have some self respect. Look at the big picture. If you do want to lodge a complaint, make it a new, novel one. Trust me, the rest of us can do without your shocking revelation that Ryan Howard sometimes looks like a boob when he flails at an outside slider.
So, if you still feel the urge to rush to Twitter to type something like “NATURALLY! Of course Ibanez would ground into a double play here,” even after my plea/puppy threat, try this: step away from the computer, take a deep breath, and hold it until you pass out.
Thank you, and have a pleasant day.