I want to believe. I want to believe that the fact that the Phillies were ten games under .500 back in 2010 means that we have some hope. But, that was earlier in that season. By July, by July things had turned around. Not this year. This year, July has them losing 11-1 to the Mets. Six game losing streak. Second of the year. I should be prepared for this sort of thing. I’ve grown up a Phillies fan. I’m used to incompetence and disappointment. Yes, there was that one magical season in 1993, but even that still ended poorly. Then, there was the decade after that. Longer even. Greg Jefferies. The days when the only pitcher worth watching was Curt Schilling, and the lone season long highlight was Scott Rolen winning rookie of the year. Which of course, according to the assholes on the radio, meant we should trade both. And…we did come to think of it. Eventually. Those were dark times. Everyone hated Bill Giles. And we never spent money, and Terry Francona. And remnants from 93, and who could forget Mickey Morandini? And the team was filled with hope, because they managed to play well enough in the second half to avoid 100 losses (they lost something like 95). And no one really believed in maybe next year. And, after so many years of being good, those terrible years all seem so distant. As the decade ran on, and Jim Thome came, and we hired Larry Bowa, the team became more competitive. I remember them being in the running into September, an awesome change. And we opened the new stadium (yeah, that came first). And I remember going to my first game there back in September of 2004. And then we finally made the playoffs in 2006. And..we got run out in the first round, by the damn Rockies, who if I recall correctly had been on some crazy winning streak just to make the playoffs. Wait, that was 2007. That was the year the Mets choked. And, it was the first playoff run in 13 years, and it was awesome, but it was still easy to remember when things were hopeless. Then in 2008, Brad Lidge threw that final out. And, it was possibly the best thing ever. And all those losing seasons seemed so far away. And then, and then this year happened. And it seems harder than it was before. Something about tasting success making failure feel all the more acute. Is this how lottery winners feel once they lose it all? And, I don’t think we are coming back this year. Utley and Howard have come back, and we’ve just played worse. Chooch can’t do it all. What worries me is that this might not be a one off. That this might be the end. It’ll definitely be the end if we get rid of Hamels. It’s just…painful to watch. Now…maybe not Greg Jefferies level painful…but still.