The Day After

9 Oct

Man this is hard to write, really hard.  I’ve been wracking my brain all day trying to find just the right words.  Words that could wrap  up a season and a blog.  Words that could explain what a special time this has been in my life.  But mostly I just hoped to find words  that might leave us all somehow feeling a little bit better.

But I guess I didn’t plan for this day when I started writing Girls Best Phriend so many months ago.  I mean, I knew there would be a last entry, I just didn’t think it would come so soon.

But it did; and here we are.  So I hope those of you who have so graciously made Girls Best Phriend  a part of your lives will grant me the freedom to just ‘write it as I feel it’ for this last post.

I can’t promise that it will be the most creative or articulate post I’ve ever crafted and it won’t even feature a picture of Tito the wonder dog but I can promise that it will be honest and true as I’ve always tried to be from when I first sat down to write.

I had no idea what a crazy season this would turn out to be when I started my little Phillies blog with this entry, posted way back on July 31st, 2011:

Two Weeks Till Pitchers and Catchers…

Hi and welcome to Girls Best Phriend.  But, if you are here to read about the cut, carat and clarity of that sparkly carbon gemstone you have come to the wrong place.  No, this diamond is the one at the heart of America’s favorite pastime; it’s the one that goes best with hot dogs and cold beer; and it’s the one where there’s no crying allowed.  That’s right.  It’s all about this girl’s best friend.  This blog is devoted to baseball…..

….So as I finish my first entry and look out my widow there is snow everywhere and even more in the forecast.  Sure doesn’t feel like baseball weather.  But hey, did I mention, it’s only two weeks till pitchers and catchers report???

And with that, we were off and soon after so were the Phillies.  We rejoiced together in their first win, we cheered Cliff Lee’s triumphant return, we worried over Chase’s knee, and simply marveled at the “Doc.”

Yes, we agonized over those mysterious hitting slumps that sadly foreshadowed what was to come and we joyously welcomed Hunter Pence to town, thinking we finally had the key to our  offensive woes.

In short, we cheered, groaned, rejoiced, agonized and in the end, cried (yes, there is crying in baseball) together.

Well it has now been a little over nine months and Girls Best Phriend has posted 135 entries.  (Someone could have had a baby by now!)  Today will be my 136th post, and my last, at least for now.

So how do I find the right words for the nightmare ending of this once dream season?  What can I possibly offer that might somehow make it better?  Perhaps it will help to look back once more at a post written on Feb. 11, with the start of the season still a month and a half away.  It was about enjoying the journey.  Remember?:

Don’t Miss the Journey

…I don’t know about you but I’m not ready to think about the World Series yet.

What I’m saying is that I don’t want to wish the season away.  My vow on this Friday, two days before Spring Training, is to enjoy every pitch, every strikeout, every home run .  I vow to enjoy every Mets series, every game against the World Champion Giants, every Charlie Manuel post game press conference.  I vow to sing “High Hopes” at the top of my lungs after every win even when I’m watching in my living room and to lose sleep after a bad loss.

So come on, put on your Phils cap, raise your right hand and repeat after me:

We promise not to worry about the destination right now so we can all enjoy the glorious 162 game journey that lies ahead.

OK, I’m going to hold you to that.

And despite the bitter ending, it was a glorious season.  There were electric crowds at the ballpark night after night.  There were shutouts and strike-outs and come-from-behind wins and then more shutouts and strikeouts.  It was a regular season even better than we could have imagined.  We had the privilege of watching the best team in baseball this year every single night, a team that would set a Phillies franchise record for wins on the very last day of the season.

Of course it was that same team that could not get the one run they needed to keep their postseason dreams alive.  After Halladay’s brilliant clutch performance on the hill it just didn’t seem fair.

But then I realized something that I should have learned long ago; it doesn’t have to be fair, it’s baseball.

And I realized something else, on this long day after, something even more important.  I learned that just because the story didn’t have the ending we had hoped for, that doesn’t mean it still wasn’t a damn good story with lots to be proud of and remember.

“I think I realized since I’ve been here, I’ve enjoyed the chase so much, although I really do wanna win it [the World Series] really bad, if it didn’t happen that way, I wouldn’t be crushed because I’ve had the chance to chase it.” 

Roy Halladay said that before the playoffs had even started when asked if it was World Series or bust for him this year.

So what do we do now?  Well, we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, put away those empty vodka bottles and go on.  If the “Doc” can do it, so can we.

Perhaps this isn’t the message you were hoping for today.  Maybe you’re still feeling angry and wanted a little more fire and brimstone.  And if you did, you’re certainly entitled.

As for me?  Though I still remain sad that my Phillies lost, I am truly grateful for something unexpected that I have gained.  And that is all of you, my readers who by reading my words have kept me going all season long.  What started as a small loyal (and much appreciated) group of family and close friends has grown to include friends of friends and their friends and even readers who just stumbled upon Girls Best Phriend and stayed on for the ride.

You have all made this quite a special season for me, one that I will never forget.  For that you all will always have my thanks.

And  while I’m still not quite ready yet, I plan to slowly begin to find my way back to baseball, to my team, my Phillies.

And I hope you will, too.

Let’s see, we still have 126 days before Spring Training to get there!

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23 Responses to “The Day After”

  1. Natalie October 9, 2011 at 1:26 am #

    Thanks Susan-You helped make the season a special one

    • girlsbestphriend October 10, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

      As did all of you who were kind enough to read my words. Without you, there would be no Girls Best Phriend! It ended far too soon but it was great fun to have friends like you to share it with. So thanks, Natalie. And now the long wait begins.

  2. Ray October 9, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

    As one of your ‘just stumbled upon Girls Best Phriend’ readers, I have to say it’s going to be a long …. 125 days now ( but who is counting) until we see your posts again. Thanks for the ride and I’m already looking forward to jumping back in with you for next years.

    • girlsbestphriend October 10, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

      Hi Ray,
      I’m so glad you found GBP and became such a loyal reader. I always looked forward to your comments so we’re even. I’m not sure if it’s correct blog etiquette but I feel like I already know you so, Do you live here in Phila? Have you always been such a big fan? Feel free not to answer but either way, thank you so much for all your support!

      • Ray October 10, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

        Susan,

        Who needs correct blog etiquette anyways…….
        I live in Upper Bucks County ( yes up here in them sticks….)
        I’ve been a ‘fan’ for a while now, but this year…this year, I crossed that line from fan to….. What’s a good explanation….junkie.
        I now have more Philles shirts then I could possibly wear in a two week period, the car is festooned with Philles (and the farm teams magnets). This is the year I started reading blogs, and in the case of GBP, becoming interactive, by posting comments back (and GBP is the only place I post comments…). You always seemed to say exactly what I and my Phillies heart was thinking. You make the experience truly interactive by posting comments back.

        It’s going to be a long 3 or so months without GBP, no blog to read, no running commentary of comments between us -Sigh- now I have both Phillies withdrawal and GBP withdrawal………sigh……

        Ray

      • girlsbestphriend October 10, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

        Sigh…right back at ya!

      • Ray October 10, 2011 at 5:50 pm #

        What am I to do for the next three months………..

  3. Paula Freilich October 9, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

    I will miss your almost daily briefing. It was the closest I have evr been to the mystique of baseball and I enjoyed the blog immensely. Thanks, Paula

    • girlsbestphriend October 10, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

      Having a non-fan read (and enjoy) my blog is the best compliment I could get. Thanks, Paula! Maybe you can find a football blog you like 🙂

  4. Carol Sue October 9, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

    Thanks for the great Blog about our favorite TEAM. I will miss watching them nightly. Watching other teams is not the same. So sorry to hear about all the injuries that will need surgery, some we didn’t even know about. It will be a long winter, but I look forward to hearing from you whenever you feel like writing about THE PHILLIES, OUR GREAT TEAM AND PLAYERS. Thanks, Carol Sue

    • girlsbestphriend October 10, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

      Hi Carol Sue,
      I’m so glad you found GBP but only sorry that it had to end so soon. I’m considering making a compilation book of all the blogs and a season re-cap. Maybe you’d be interested in something like that. Either way, I’m glad you found it and I, like you, will be waiting through the long cold winter ahead looking forward to those first hints of Spring. Stay warm!

  5. Chuck Forer October 9, 2011 at 3:26 pm #

    Enjoyed your blog. Looking forward to meeeting you — again. (Met you at Sophie’s bat mitzvah and even recorded the sisters’s song to Sophie.)

    Here are my questions for next year:

    1. Is Polanco washed up offensively — or can the sports-hernia repair repair him to his offensive prowess.

    2. Will the Phillies be able to get more than 80 RBIs from left field next year, after Raoul departs.

    3. Can Utley be more than a .265 hitter with little power?

    4. Who will be the closer after Madson departs (and I assume he will not be re0-signed.).

    5.

    • girlsbestphriend October 10, 2011 at 1:29 pm #

      Hey Chuck,
      First of all, thanks so much for reading GBP. Your astute questions and comments were always ‘on the money’ as are these. I sure don’t have any of the answers but here are my thoughts. We just have to see how Polanco recovers. He’s already 35 I think so we may need to find someone else at third but not sure who that is. Domonic gets another chance in left? That seems to be the plan. Maybe he’s got the rookie jitters out of his system. I’m not objective about Utley becasue he is the epitome of a baseball player in my book so I can only hope. And I think they have to find a way to keep Madson. He proved at the end that he was really the only reliable closer. But that’s what’s great about our game. We’ll have months to debate this and that.

      And by the way, I do remember meeting you at Soph’s Bat Mitzvah and I hope I will have a chance to see you again soon. Take care.

  6. geetie cohen October 9, 2011 at 4:14 pm #

    A haiku for a last tribute.

    Bye bye blog for now
    I’ll wait till you do your thing
    Seems so long till Spring.

    • girlsbestphriend October 10, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

      My turn:

      At least now we’re calm
      As a fan you are the bomb
      so glad you’re my Mom

      xo

  7. Fern Zeigler October 9, 2011 at 10:45 pm #

    I haven’t been keeping up, but had to read this last one. You are so entertaining and write with so much heart! Every year at the end of the season I say, “maybe I’ll get into baseball next season!”. Well, if not baseball, atleast your blog. xo Fern

    • girlsbestphriend October 10, 2011 at 1:41 pm #

      Thanks, Fernie. I so appreciated all of your kind comments. For a non-basbeall fan you did yourself (and me) proud!

  8. Hal Rosenbluth October 9, 2011 at 11:40 pm #

    Susan, thank you so much for making this season even more special than it was. Frankly, I couldn’t even watch the final game (I put on my ear plugs and listened to some AM talk show while Renee, a huge Girlsbestphriend fan, watched on TV) because I’m too old for this stuff. While I love the Phils as much as anybody, I simply couldn’t take the stress or witness what my gut told me would be the outcome. As Howard came to the plate in the ninth, she elbowed me awake, thus my last memory of the season turned out to be sixteen feet closer to first base than I thought. We’ve come a long way since a decade, or so, ago, when after the first pitch thrown by a Phillie was a ball and some totally conditioned fan unfurled a sign in center field of the Vet that read, “There’s Always Next Year.” Thanks for the memories, you gave me something to look forward to reading each morning other than how much the Dow sunk the day before, Europe was going bust, unemployment was not dropping, the deficit was rising, etc. etc. Put it this way, the Phillies won 102 games, during that time Congress and the White House haven’t won one.

    • girlsbestphriend October 10, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

      Perfectly said, Hal. I love the fan story. And it is good to think about how far we’ve come. I’m not one of those who thought the season was a bust since we didn’t win it all. (I did think we’d get out of the first round, though 🙂 And thanks for all of your blog support. I loved our Rauuul wars and all your comments on and off the blog. Tell Renee I appreciate all her support as well.

      It was fun while it lasted. Onward and upward. Don’t yet know what’s next but you can be sure I will NOT be writing an Eagles blog.

  9. Nat October 10, 2011 at 1:19 pm #

    Thanks SCD! Single tear.

    • girlsbestphriend October 10, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

      I must admit I may have shed a few more. Thanks for staying with me for the ride!!!

  10. Neil T October 10, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

    Thought about you Friday night, thinking you were feeling as I was feeling when my Sox closed their 2011 campaign. A brilliant season ending so suddenly leaves a strange little void in the day-to-day, doesn’t it? Now we wait “under the brown fog of a winter dawn” until pitchers & catchers start to toss, when the green grass is newly cut.

    • girlsbestphriend October 10, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

      That’s so funny, Neil because I thought of you as well when the Sox met their fate but didn’t want to seem like I was gloating. Now I literally share your pain. What do they say? Misery loves company. Well, it’s great to hear from you. I love your poetic references and I really appreciate that even a Sox fan sometimes checked out my blog. Hope all is well!

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