I guess when you throw a perfect game and then follow it up with a no-hitter in the playoffs, as well as a Cy Young Award, you get an open ticket to just about anything you want in the City of Brotherly Love.
If Roy Halladay walked around Independence Hall, there might be quite an attention battle between him and Ben Franklin. OK, just kidding. Ol’ Ben can’t stick with Doc in the popularity department these days.
So when #34 takes the mound later this afternoon, Phillies fans will have one thing in mind… getting a win to start what they hope will be a magical run to their second world championship in the last four years. And nothing else matters.
Sure, the road won’t be easy. First off, the Atlanta Braves look like they are ready to make a strong claim once again to the NL East crown, not to mention the always-dangerous Florida Marlins. And then you have the other suspects in the Senior Circuit… Dodgers, Giants, Cardinals and Reds. But let’s not forget about the potential American League juggernauts in the way… Red Sox, Yankees, Rays, Twins and Rangers.
But when Phillies G.M. Ruben Amaro, Jr. went cloak-and-dagger into the dark night and stole Cliff Lee right out of the grasp of the Rangers and Yanees, Fightins fans have had one thought and one thought alone… win the World Series.
Nothing else matters.
Maybe that is a little unfair, especially with Chase Utley and Brad Lidge laid up for at least the first month of the season. But remember the slogan…
Nothing else matters
People are worried that this Phillies team might struggle to win the division because of those injuries, the loss of Jayson Werth, the struggles and injuries of Jimmy Rollins.
“Adversity introduces a man to himself.” – Author Unknown
So maybe all of the questions will make this group of men a better unit in the end.
“Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.”- Josephine Hart
And it doesn’t hurt to have Halladay, Hamels, Lee and Oswalt backing you up.
I spent 13 years in Minor League Baseball and their is no better day than Opening Day. You wake up with an anticipation that you have had since Christmas morning. The difference is that your gift this day is a three-hour visit to one of your favorite shrines.
I always remembered getting to the ballpark earlier on Opening Day. I would get there around 1:00 PM for a 7:00 PM game… to smell the grass… watch the workers get the stadium ready… place the bunting around the stadium… get their early to see that first lineup of the season get posted on the clubhouse wall.
And then the first pitch. And it all starts anew.
Baseball is a grind… 162 games, long road trips and late night (early morning) arrivals. But we love it because it is ours.
And by September or October, when we grow tired, we find that little bit extra to carry us through those last few games.
Legendary Detroit Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell once said… “Baseball… it’s a game for men. But you have to have a lot of little boy in you as well.”
Nothing Else Matters!!!
See you at the ballpark… The Voice of Summer