July 17, 2007
These Phillies aren't the biggest losers
By JODY VANCE -- Sun Media
Whenever you want to get down on the Blue Jays (or Leafs, Raptors, TFC or Argos for that matter) think of the Philadelphia Phillies, a franchise that knows the agony of defeat.
Imagine how fans in that town feel this week after their team hit the futility mark of 10,000 losses in franchise history.
I feel badly for the guys on that team who have to wear this tag, enduring the inevitable crush of media negativity.
Call me a softie, but these guys are no more responsible for the majority of those losses than the current Maple Leafs are for not having won a Cup since '67. There are no guys on the current Leafs who were even born in '67.
We often forget these facts when we get caught up in the hype.
Imagine, just for a moment, being the pitcher who recorded that 10,000th loss Sunday in Philadelphia.
Adam Eaton (8-6) will never forget his sixth loss of '07 -- neither will any of his family or friends.
It's so easy to forget how this "story" might impact the people behind the numbers, behind the personas and expectations.
This is truly a media distinction, something someone found in the stats book and decided it was worthy of ESPN.com's front page.
Let's face it, if you are around long enough, you are going to hit this mark. And baseball seasons feature far more games than any other sport.
The cool thing about "the losingest team in sports history" is its faithful fans -- there were 44,872 on hand for this dubious loss on Sunday and, rather than boo when it came down to the final out, they stood and cheered.
When you come right down to it, from a Phillies fan's perspective, this is nothing -- try living through a Joe Carter home run in the bottom of the ninth to clinch the World Series title as your team looked to push the series to a deciding Game 7... now that would hurt.
Jody Vance is a sportscaster with Leafs TV. Her columns appear Tuesdays and Thursdays in 24 hours.