SWARTZ: Wishing the Fightin’ Phils to victory

Matilda Swartz

Dear Charlie Manuel,

Even the most heartfelt of letters cannot truly express the pride I feel due to your workmanship and that of your clubhouse. For the second consecutive year, I get to spend anywhere between four and seven nights praying, crying and irresponsibly exercising my vocal chords in hopes of another parade down Broad Street. Despite the toll these trying times take on my cuticles (which are Phillies’ Red by the sixth inning) and my nervous system, the Fall Classic is a biological need.

When I have to dedicate my daylight hours to stressing about the countless reasons why my major isn’t practical and my afternoons to the brain-sucking process of paper compositions and metabolic processes, 8:07 p.m. first pitches never come soon enough. Now do me a favor, please don’t make it all for naught. I can stand the “on-edge” feeling that most of our games cause. I can almost control my bladder until that third out of the ninth inning, which the majority of our feats seem to last through. I can even take the anxiety of pitching change after pitching change, from Chan Ho to Ryan and even to sometimes-choke-artist/sometimes-miracle-man Brad.

Perhaps one little phanatic’s plea does not count for much when it comes to the doings of already former world champions, but if winning for me and my sanity is not enough, I suppose winning it for Philadelphia would suffice. Do it because the Philadelphia Inquirer needs to publish another big win before it completely evaporates into newspaper extinction. Do it because in a world where swine flu has precipitated a state of emergency, and health care is a universal question mark, hope is still to be found in the greatest of American pastimes. Do it for that immensely sweet feeling that will result after putting the Yankee pinstripes in their rightful place.

The sincerest of apologies are extended to displaced fans of the Mets, Red Sox and Dodgers who live in the Delaware Valley region and on this Main Line campus.

As unfortunate as the presence of intruders may be, this is Phillies country: a locale teeming with camaraderie that is not to be hampered. There is an unarguable reputation held by Phillies phans: notoriously belligerent, opinionated loud mouths. Call us rash, call us irritable, call us absolutely nuts. At the end of a game though, any one of us has more passion in our sober Philadelphian hearts than there are steroids in Alex Rodriguez’s bloodstream.

Celebrate we can for reclaiming the pennant, but the truth is, Charlie, that nobody remembers No. 2. What matters is the ring. With the (final) result of the American League Conference Series, the Yankees are now the last hurdle to jump. Their twenty-six World Series victories shadow over our two, casting the Fightin’ Phils in the role they execute with utmost grace: that of the unrelenting underdog. A bite off of Steinbrenner’s golden organization is the only way to satisfy this underdog’s hunger.

The next week will be bloody. Friends and acquaintances will be divided by team loyalties. All rules of etiquette will be subject to baseball-related biases. Hopefully when it ends everyone can reunite on the same page (of the Sports section), the page that cites the Philadelphia Phillies as back-to-back champs.

See you at the parade,



Matilda Swartz is a sophomore communication

major from Longport, N.J. She can be reached at

[email protected].