THE PHILLIES ARE BACK AND WE COULD ALL BE IN TROUBLE

Across the past several years in Philadelphia the second half of the season was cause for celebration. Since 2007, the dogs days of summer have been a time of joy for the Phillies – a standing-room only standing filled with fans there to see Ryan Howard’s parade of homers or gems from the likes of Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels. And of course there’s been the “sellout streak,” multiple choke jobs from the Mets, perfect games, postseason no-hitters, and on and on.

There’s been little joy in Mudville this year. To quote former major leaguer Shea Hillenbrand, this ship is sinking, and fast. The Phillies sit in last place and the first-place (not a typo) Nationals don’t seem to be going away. And there are three other teams to think about as well. To probably even sniff that second Wild Card spot, the Phillies need to play at over an 100-win pace.

I don’t want to say it’s over, but yeah, it’s probably over. If there was even an indicator of current fan sentiment, take a look at ticket prices at the Bank. People don’t want to go and are unloading tickets, for cheap, to spend time at their shore house or to save some money for the Eagles.

Tonight’s the first day of the rest of the Phillies’ 2012 life. Cliff Lee is on the mound. The Rockies are rolling out some guy who’s ERA is higher than the price he’ll be paying for Burger King when he’s back on the minor league bus in a few weeks. So the Phillies lose 4-3. Plus the Rockies are probably still doing that dumb 75-pitch thing.

We could be in for an incredibly long second half, and to make matters worse, Cole Hamels could be headed out of town. On the plus side, maybe Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino will be following him. Either way, July, August, and September will be markedly different this year, and this long ride will only easier with a little bit of excitement and a lot of beer.

P.S. – Fuck Mr. Met. And Crossing Broad.

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