Some Philadelphia Phillies fans see a 'window of opportunity' through the core of the current team. Other fans believe that this sports cliché extends well beyond the players names on the roster.
Is one philosophy correct?
Eating well at the park
Phillies fans were tortured for years after appearing in the 1983 World Series against the Baltimore Orioles. Then, after one unexpected 1993 season where they met the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1993 World Series, the franchise went into the tank for more than a decade.
After Ed Wade hired Larry Bowa, the sun was seen on South Philadelphia's horizon. Everyone knew that the addition of 'Bo' meant that the organization had moved past the developmental stage and was prepared to make a winning push.
Breaking ground on Citizens Bank Park also coincided with the end of all misleading talk about the Phillies being a 'small market' team. Philadelphia was never a small market. But, the management of its baseball team had caused the city to go on a drastic baseball diet.
Emotions and logic
It's interesting to be in touch with fans who believe that the Phillies current window of opportunity is ending this year, or will end shortly. It's also just as fascinating to realize that other fans think that the Phillies might not continue their playoff streak this season, but are still living within a winning window that will stay open for years to come.
I believe that these viewpoints are linked to personality types.
There are fans who personally bond with players like Chase Utley, Shane Victorino and Cole Hamels. The end, or potential end, of their time in red pinstripes also signals the closing of a window for them.
There are fans who see all players as a means to an end. As long as decisions are made for the greater good and postseason access is granted in relatively frequent intervals, every piece on the diamond chess board can be changed.
People who project emotional attachments onto the field, bond with players. People who are analytical think in terms of numerical wins, playoff appearances and titles. Clearly there are those individuals who also blend these two baseball philosophies into one baseball lifestyle.
It's challenging to effectively argue that this take isn't true, or that it doesn't matter. As such, there is more than one important answer to the question of opportunity.
The Phillies window of opportunity is closing for some and remains open for others. When we understand that there is more than one way to think, more than one way to be a fan and more than one way to see the world, the game becomes much clearer.
That answer obviously extends beyond the baseball field, if you can see what I mean.
Sean O'Brien's professional writing career began in 1990, when he first began working in the Philadelphia Phillies farm system. He was a freelance sports writer for five years and is currently a Featured Contributor for Yahoo! Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @SeanyOB and read his daily Sports Blog: Insight.
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