I’ve spent some time following the Phillies this preseason it’s fair to say that they’re in line for a fairytale season. That fairytale unfortunately is Humpty Dumpty. The Phillies are a fragile, bumbling, egg seemingly bound to splatter across the city and truly stink up the joint if you’re a pessimist. If you’re not so perpetually hateful of joy, then they’re a wildcard contender firmly swaying on the fence. Either way, no one is comfortable.
At this point, everyone knows the story. A young team raised through the farm system came together and built a truly great era of Phillies baseball that arguably underachieved with one championship. Now that team is old, overpaid, and not nearly as likely to contend in October.
How unlikely are they to contend? ESPN figures the Phillies to be the second worst team in the entire league placing them ahead of only the Sixers-esque Houston Astros with a projected win total of 66 games. If you’d like to go with Vegas odds, the Phillies are projected in the ballpark of 77 wins for the year. In other words, it’s a good time to check out mytopsportsbooks.com.
However, the point of all this is not to discuss the problems of this year. In fact, I’m not interested in next year all that much either. I don’t care if Humpty Dumpty can stay together, I want a different fantasy–and it won’t be soon before long.
Why? The core issue of the Phillies problem isn’t actually age. It’s sentiment. the Phillies are an organization that has supported their beloved veterans to a fault. They’re the anti-Banner Eagles causing a frustrating, yet admirable quandry.
Therefore, the only way to quash the love-fest is to have it die. In 2016, the World Series era will have died a horrible death. Jimmy Rollins will be gone, as will Cliff Lee (likely opt out), Jonathan Papelbon (expiring contract), and Chase Utley (retirement). The Phillies will be left with nothing but Carlos Ruiz, Cole Hamels, and Ryan Howard (then 38, 33, and 37 respectively) to symbolize a bygone era. Fortunately the Phillies will likely spend the rest
By removing those contracts, the Phillies will have freed up what is $64 million dollars in payroll this season. They’re currently spending $180 million total in 2014. Add in the value that management won’t spend on last ditch effort signings like AJ Burnett ($15 million) and Marlon Byrd ($8 million), they’ll have a ton of money to rebuild with a more stable foundation (and maybe a new GM?).
Also, by virtue of a low likelihood of success, the odds of the organization again hitching their cart to current players is unlikely. They won’t hold the same high-profile cache which leads to over-valuing your own players.
Am I fantasizing here? Yes. But since I can’t push Humpty Dumpty off the wall myself, I’ll dream of a clean slate.
Here’s what we’re talking about:
- A season after Washburn washed out, the Eagles’ D-Line is looking good again (0:00)
- Nick Foles and the Spread Eagle offense (13:00)
- Why the Phillies won’t be competitive again until Ruben gets fired (25:30)
Play on your Mobile Device or Right Click to Download: Around the Cooler 11-20-13
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Musical theme written by Matthew Schwalm.
- Around the Cooler 11/14/13: Back on the Right Track? (thewoodercooler.com)
Because baseball season essentially never ends, the off-season is underway for the Phillies.
The most notable news to date is that the Phills didn’t send qualifying offers to Carlos Ruiz and Doc Halladay. I honestly didn’t know if the front office had it in them, but they made the smart play and now we’ll hopefully be moving on.
Now one of the positions that the Phillies desperately need help at, which is solid in free agency, is the outfield. Jacoby Ellsbury, Nelson Cruz, Carlos Beltran and more will all be discussed as options by desperate Phillies fans.
However, I wanted to take the time to mention a piece from The Good Phight which goes into detail regarding trade options in the outfield. It’s routinely fantastic piece from them and worth the read from Phillies fans delving into offseason madness.
Make sure to check it out here:
Well there were a lot of technical issues, miscommunication, and some minor factual errors. I’ve got to put my co-hosts in a better position to succeed.
Here’s what we were talking about:
Eagles, Babin, NFL, Reid et. al. (0:00)
Is it OK to cheer against your own team? (21:00)
Carlos Ruiz suspension (46:00)
B.J. Upton signing (56:00)
Listen in here: Hump Day Podcast – November 29, 2012
What are you talking about around the water cooler this week? Leave us a comment!
The last few months have been pretty interesting for the Phills. For months they were considered an afterthought in the wildcard race. They were too banged up and lacking (to say the least) in the bullpen to play the high level of baseball that this city has come to expect over the last few years. Ryan Howard was still recovering from a torn achilles tendon, Chase Utley added another chapter to his ongoing saga of knee troubles, and Carloz Ruiz, arguably the Phillies best player this season, was dealing with plantar fasciitis and had not played for about a month and a half.
When the trade deadline approached it seemed as though even the Phillies had given up on the year. Fan favorite Shane Victorino was traded to the LA Dodgers for prospects and Hunter Pence, the major trade deadline acquisition from last year, was sent to the San Francisco Giants for outfielder Nate Schierholtz and prospects. The Phillies were officially packing it in.
Then things changed.