The Frighteningly Flummoxed Philadelphia Phillies

I went all negative on the Phillies in the off-season, warning about the intelligence of spending all their free agent money to shore up the closer position when they had one of the best starting rotations in baseball…while also knowing both Chase Utley and Ryan Howard would be down for a significant period of time and assuredly unsure of their abilities to contribute meaningful minutes once activated…and also while harboring a roster full of hitters better known for all-or nothing swings as opposed to intelligent ones.  With all that, I was determined to not write of their wretched start until the weather started to warm up, the team was reassembled…and they had put together a serious winning streak.

Or, until they had played 81 games.

Hello, 36-45.

9 games below .500.  11 games out of first place.

Manager Charlie Manuel after being swept yesterday by the Marlins“I don’t know how much more I can say.”

Neither do I Charlie. 

During a recent cooking show I was reminded of the fact Blue Crabs, Stone Crabs, Dungeness Crabs, King Crabs…you pick one…Crabs have a 360 degree field of vision.  They also can see things twice as clearly as humans.

General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is acting quite crabby these days, but he certainly didn’t display any Crab-like vision or comprehension of the entire playing field for 2012 when he sent out this team to compete with really nothing more than starting pitching and a closer.

In June, with Roy Halladay sidelined…they went 9-19.  The franchise’s worst month since Jimmy Rollins’ first 30 days as a big leaguer, September of 2000.  The Phillies lost 9 of 11 games started by either Cole Hamels or Cliff Lee.  Oh, Lee is 0-5 by the way.

Ironically, just before Interleague play ended for the season and Jim Thome was immediately dispatched to the AL be a DH…some local fans had an “inspired” idea on how the Phillies could jump-start the season…at least on the road.  The thought was Jim should be retained by the club (even though his back is so bad he can’t play first for even an inning)…serve as the starting first baseman when visitors…get an at-bat in the top of the first out of the third slot…and maybe help the Phils score an early run or two before being substituted for once the team took to fielding positions in the bottom of the first.

At least some people are thinking out loud about how to make this mess work.

Things are so bad here, a radio commercial aired just this morning for a car dealership featuring the voice of the Phillies’ Jim Thome…a Baltimore Oriole now.  Apparently no one noticed.  It ran again.  It IS getting harder and harder to notice this team.  As I pointed out before, this team was in need of a full inspection and more than a couple new parts in the off-season, not just an oil change and a tune-up.

If the team has any realistic chance to sign Cole Hamels, they need to do it now.  Even if this season is a goner, the verdict is still out on Utley (who just returned a few days ago) and Howard (who should return in a few days).  Not to mention making sure Halladay is intact.

And that now overdue inspection the Phillies needed before the year started can belatedly begin with the second half of 2012…and new parts can be ordered as needed during the upcoming off-season.

Assuming those diagnostic reports are read properly…with Crab-like clarity and a complete field of vision for the components that need replaced.

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Doesn't matter who ya cheer for...connect and communicate...you can also find me at http://www.lifeattitudes.com. bruceaburns@comcast.net
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17 Responses to The Frighteningly Flummoxed Philadelphia Phillies

  1. sports’

    So they’re now moving the deck chairs on the Titanic ? What with the team /front office now said to be ” shopping “ Cole Hamels . I can’t wait to see what the fallout will be for the organization at the end of the season should they fail to make the postseason . And based on their Phillies’ divisional and wildcard standings , things are definitely not looking all that bright .

    Will you be one the fans willing to place a noose around both the necks of Reuben Amaro and Charlie Manuel ? Just asking that’s all !

    If at all interested let me know what you think ? In order to view merely click unto the links shown below .

    A Deal Is A Deal , Or Is It ? NBA piece

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    NFL ………. Patriots’ Bob Kraft wants to see an NFL franchise up and running in Europe , preferably in London (my place of birth) within the next fifteen years . What hasn’t he and Goodell learned from the monetary losses (tens of millions of dollars) made by NFL Europe and that failed experiment ? The NFL cannot compete against or alongside soccer at its height , during a regular season of scheduled games . Can someone explain that to those two butt-holes ?

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    tophatal …………..

    • Al, I think Charlie deserves to come back because he only played the hand he was dealt. Ruben is now on a very, very small plank extended out from the side of the mothership over hungry sharks below. What he does in the next few weeks will determine whether he gets some more free meals…or becomes one.

      • I was under the impression Charlie would at least have some input as it relates to player personnel decisions ! Obviously not .

        Amaro reminds me of former Mets GM Omar Minaya in so many ways but for all of the wrong reasons . Both missed their vocation in life because each would be welcomed in the Hallowed Halls of Congress as a federal legislator . Show me the money and I’ll gladly spend it stupidly ………. that has been their mantra as well as that of the aforementioned front office executives .

        I’d willingly place the noose around Amaro’s neck and tighten it as well . Your thoughts ?

      • Was there a twenty-one salute for Cliff Lee after he got his first win of the season ?

        What should be determined concerning the Phillies , is how high the scaffolding should be for Reuben Amaro to be hung from . My thoughts only , on the matter , I might add !

  2. Longworth72 says:

    Jim Thome has gone to the Orioles? Wow – He seems to be on a mission to play out his career pretty much everywhere.

    The Phillies just astound me – I’ve never seen such a promising club misfire so critically across the off-season – They needed to strengthen the offence to become real contenders and instead went and spent all of the magic beans getting Papelbon. I for 1 as a Sox fan am really quite grateful but it can’t be easy being a Phillie guy right now.

    Great post. Have got sudden hankering for some sweet crab meat though.

  3. It’s almost inconceivable how far the mighty Phillies have fallen and your frustration with understandable. I heard that McNabb says he has something left in the tank…perhaps he is the missing link in the line-up? :-)

    Good to see you back.

    Cheers
    Jed

    • Good to be back Jed. My comeback will likely be more prolific than Donovan’s. Wish he’d just shut it down and shut it up so he can get his number retired…before he does more damage to what legacy he has left. That being said, perhaps he could start for the Phils…

  4. Blog Surface says:

    Like Jed said, glad to see you coming back Bruce. You’re right, the injury bug seemed to have hit the Phillies hard. The Phils’ have dominated the NL East for a couple of years, this is most likely the year they sit it out.

    • Thanks Christian. It is time for the Phils to “time out.” Won a WS, Lost a WS, Lost a LCS, Lost a LDS. The logical next step is one out of the post-season completely.

  5. sports’

    If as is being rumored Reuben Amaro is open to trading Hamels (10-4, 3.04 ERA ) and his contract then where do you see the Phillies going even if they make callups from the minors ?

    • Al, if they trade Hamels they are committing to the season being lost, period. Utley and Howard have to be vetted completely through September to ensure we have a full comprehension of what all is needed for 2013…aside from filling the Hamels void of course if he is not re-upped.

  6. Sportschump says:

    As of tonight, the Phils are 13 games back and 10 games under, with the Nats 16 games over.

    I’d like to say the Phillies have it in them to compete down the stretch but the rest of the teams in the division are pretty damn good.

    I mean, if the Phils are losing 2-out-of-3 to a struggling Rays team, you now something is seriously, seriously wrong.

  7. Steven Jeffries says:

    Hey Bruce! Thought I’d check in on you…

    This has been a lousy year to be a Phillie! The injuries took over in the spring, and basically destroyed the whole 2012 season. It has resulted in dumping a couple of big names, (and contracts), just to get by.

    Perhaps next year will be that come-back season!

    • Hey Steven! Thanks for checking in…alive and well – just busy! Phils are 20 games back now as of this writing. Still a long way to go…in reverse!

      • The frighteningly flummoxed Phillies , are just as flummoxed as the Red Sox , Marlins , Mets and Astros combined . Let me know when they’re about to remove the blades from between the shoulders of Bobby Valentine . The front office has already bestowed upon him the congratulatory ” kiss of death” by stating that they will stand by him until the end of the year . At least the captain of the Costa Concordia threw one or two of the passengers on the cruise ship a life jacket before he and his crew members abandoned them in the Mediterranean .

        Melky Cabrera has Ryan Braun’s number on speed dial as the Giants’ player may well call him to come up with a plausible excuse . If you’re said to be mixing up your B12 tablets alongside your Viagra and testosterone pills then something is definitely off don’t you think ? LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

        Tophatal ………….

      • Steven Jeffries says:

        Amen! I think the “Phils” have chills about this season, and have pulled the plug. They’ll start adjusting and rebuilding for 2013…

        God to hear from you, Bruce!

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