The Wait is Over

Thursday, October 16, 2008 ·

When you're five, you don't know much about your surroundings. You feel like your purpose in life is to wake up, eat your Trix, watch Bugs Bunny cartoons all morning, and do whatever your mom tells you. Sure that was the case for me, but I also was aware of something else in my life: baseball.

I knew who the Phillies were and that's about it. I knew the names of those players inside and out: Inky, Dutch, Dude and Kruker. Micky Morandini and Mariano Duncan and Kevin Stocker. I knew who that big green fur ball was. I loved the Phillies.

The one thing I did not know though was how magical that team really was. They were a team of cast offs and nobodies. I did not know that they not only won their division but beat the Braves and went to the World Series, losing to Joe Carter and the Blue Jays in game 6. I didn't quite understand or grasp the heartbreak. That little kid in Atlantic City just loved his Phillies.

14 years later and an enormous trend of heartbreak and even questioning of faith (I considered being a Cardinals fan after they traded Scott Rolen, my favorite player), the Phillies were out of the division race as the Mets held onto an insurmountable lead in the East. It was looking like another heartbreaking season for the Phillies. But the heartbreak went to New York fans as they watched their Mets crumble and the hated Phillies sneak in. I was at that last game of the season and I will never forget seeing them break a 14 year post season drought.

After they got swept by Colarado, I was hurt again. The high of making the playoffs wasn't good enough. I immediatley felt like this team was going to be a competitor. Then Jimmy Rollins spoke up: "We are going to win 100 games this year." Hearing those words come from the same guy saying the Phillies were the team to beat the year prior, I knew this season was going to be magical.

All year my faith was tested. Rollins was awful, Ryan Howard was worse, and the Phillies were struggling to score. They were lucky that the rest of the division was weak, keeping them in it. The race truly started in August as the Phils and Mets traded the division lead. It wasn't until they swept the Brewers in that 4 game series that the feeling I had for this team arose.

They had a fire in them. I also started to get this strange feeling in the pit of my stomach. Is wasn't anything big, but it was there. After I watched Rollins make the diving stop, the flip to Chase Utley, and the throw to Howard to clinch the division, that feeling rose back up.

When the Phillies handled the Brewers in 4 games, it grew stronger, and as soon as they took a 3-1 lead on the Dodgers, I started to notice it and pay attention to it. When Brad Lidge forced Nomar Garciaparra to hit a pop up to Carlos Ruiz, that feeling hit me hard. Emotions I have never felt exploded through me as I sat on the couch in my apartment. A few tears were squeezed out and I knew right there that no matter if it's Boston or Tampa Bay (likely the latter), that this team that Pat Gillick assembled will win the World Series.

I sit here, wearing my Cole Hamels tee shirt, looking at my Phillies hat and newly bought NL Championship shirt, I begin to count the days until game 1. Bring on the American League! Let's Go Phillies!



A small introduction...

We Hate to Lose began in October 2007. The initial purpose of the website was to provide news updates and commentary on all four major sports teams in Philadelphia. Because of time-constraints, in April of 2009, I decided to post only on my first-love, the Philadelphia Phillies.

My name is Justin Evans and I hope you enjoy the site.

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