Ron Costello

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Kid, You Are Our Future

It's so bad, kid, the basketball team is TRYING TO LOSE — for the third straight season.

The Eagles and Flyers failed to make the playoffs, with the football coach moving players in and out of town so fast, come September, we're not sure who will be on the field. And your new team might set a club record for losses in a single season.

Aaron Nola, welcome to Lose-adelphia!

We know you will be taking the ball Tuesday in your first major league game against the Tampa Bay Rays. The city of Philadelphia and all Phillies' fans wish you well, but here are a few things you should be warned about.

Number one, the Phillies are on track to lose over 100 games, the most since 1961, and there was a Ruben Amaro on that team, too. Not Junior, but Ruben Amaro, Sr., Junior's daddy — the shortstop on that 107 loss team. He hit .257. — a hell of a lot higher than Junior is hitting this season.

On Tuesday you might hear some boos now and then. Ignore them, not anything to do with you — unless you get hammered in the first, or grab your crotch walking to the dugout. Trust me, kid, don't do that.

The faithful are frustrated, is all. Junior inherited the team in 2008, just after a World Series win and parade, then slowly but surely ran it into the ground.

Most folks will tell you he stayed too long with a few over the hill veterans, giving them long term deals with salaries higher than the gross national product of Bangladesh. He made some poor trades — trades that sent promising kids like you packing for veterans who are long gone. Thus, a good team slowly became a bad team.

Right before our eyes. You see, kid, we're hurtin,' so give us some space. Better yet, get us some wins.

You may notice some veteran leaders on the team cleaning out their lockers, anticipating getting traded — or given away — by the July 31st deadline. That list includes Cole Hamels, Jonathan Papelbon, Aaron Harang, Jeff Francoeur, and, if we're really lucky, Ryan Howard.

When you take the mound Tuesday, look around at the ball park. Then imagine 257 straight sellouts, a sea of red, waving white towels, roaring on every pitch. Imagine a Ryan Howard rocket to the upper deck in right field, or Chase Utley diving to knock down a ball hit up the middle, spinning on his knees and gunning out the runner. Jimmy Rollins legging out a triple.

We had a relief pitcher named Brad Lidge who was lights out in 2008, even through the post season. Lines stretched for a city block for game day and standing room only tickets. It was a wonderful time for Phillies' fans, kid, a wonderful time.

You will like playing for the fans in Philadelphia; you won't find better baseball fans in the world. We don't like players who won't hustle or make excuses. When Utley comes off the DL and gets in a game, watch him play. That's what Philadelphia fans like.

I wish you could have seen Chase in 2008, he had the sweetest left handed swing, ever. He'll get a standing ovation walking down Market Street.

If you learn anything from this, know that you have a short window of youth to excel. Take advantage of it, give it your best shot, and NEVER take it for granted. About a million people in Philly, including yours truly, would trade places with you in a flash.

We're counting on you, kid. You're the future for us, for all Phillies' fans. Get us back to 2008 and we'll love you for ever!

Go to work Tuesday night, we're behind you on every pitch.

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