I have to admit: I can't believe this is really happening. I can't believe the Phillies actually made the playoffs. I can't believe that they overcame a 7-game deficit since September 12th and actually pulled it off. I can't believe they went 13-4 in the last 17 games to beat the Mets. I can't believe they won the NL East for the first time since I was in college. I can't believe they really did it. And I don't know why.
Despite my own arguments to the contrary, the Phillies are clearly not the worst team in Major League Baseball. Perhaps they are the worst for my health -- I had approximately 15 strokes this weekend, at least 2 heart attacks, 125 apoplectic fits, and countless nightmares, plus I about wrung the skin clean off my hands -- but they are not the absolute worst team. They're not a laughingstock. They may be the losingest team ever, but they're not just the lovable losers anymore. Hell, even the lovable losers are winners sometimes: the Cubs won their division too, didn't they?
It's just so surreal, this NLDS business. I mean, I'm an Eagles fan (not to mention a devout Donovan apologist), but I can honestly say that never, not once, did the Eagles making the playoffs feel so real or so important as this win for the Phillies does. This is weird, historical, legendary, epic-movie-making territory here. Jayson Stark wrote an awesome article for ESPN about this, which is probably better than anything I could have come up with, but which I still think is lacking something.
The awe is there. The facts are definitely correct. And the quotes he uses sure seem to sum up the Phils we all know and love around here (especially the quotes from Jamie Moyer, who made me cry and whom I secretly love a whole really lot and I want to move in with him and be, I ), but it's not ... enough. Not shellshocked enough. Not dazed and confused enough. Not "oh-my-god-am-I-really-seeing-what-I-think-I'm-seeing?" enough. Not Philadelphia enough.
I do know this: the last time I felt like this after a baseball game, the Red Sox won the World Series. It was an unreal, completely bizarre, totally otherworldly experience. And damn, if I don't LOVE IT. Go Phightin' Phils!
(Video NOT used with the express written consent of MLB. Hope they understand.)