Just the same, the Philadelphia Flyers are almost always in Playoff Contention and besides a few seasons of missing the Stanley Cup run, have been very good since 1995. Of course, one thing that never can be said about the Eagles and Flyer's ownership and Brass, you can never say that these franchises don't spend money and try to make moves to bolster their lineups every year. Yes, the Phillies have been doing the same since their rise to the top, however many of these moves and decisions have been piss poor. The Eagles and Flyers have made many awful decisions themselves; however, they have learned from these every time. The Philadelphia Phillies Franchise can not say the same thing for themselves. Let's quickly take a look at the Phillies Spring training batting statistics and you will see a major red flag:
I am not going to sit here and bad mouth Ruben Amaro as the Phillies General Manager; I am sure he will get plenty of that this season however long he may last. But I will say that Ruben Amaro is partly responsible for the self destruction of this franchise. That 2008 Team was mostly homegrown talent. The 2014 Roster only has five players left from that year: Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Carlos Ruiz and Cole Hamels. Look at each one of those players besides Hamels, and their productivity has declined steadily. Jimmy Rollins is a shell of what he used to be. Ryan Howard is actually a liability now, especially against left handed pitching. Chase Utley has been injured more than he has played. And Ruiz (CHOOCH) has been suspended for violation of the MLB Drug Policy.
Since 2008, Amaro has lead this team to a slow death. Yes, he did make some fascinating moves at times and did get the City excited again. However, these moves were all for naught. Amaro traded for Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Hunter Pence in those years. These are some huge names. Amaro had assembled that pitching staff known as "THE FOUR ACES"...Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay, and Roy Oswalt. Injuries lead to that teams demise. And unfortunately, Roy Halladay gave us two excellent seasons and two good seasons before succumbing to a career ending injury. This was the saddest part watching this team the past few years, knowing how good Halladay was and how bad he wanted to win. Instead, Halladay is now a pitching coach, Hamels is on the shelf with an arm injury, and Oswalt is long gone. Cliff Lee has been the lone positive recently.
Do you notice something familiar about this discussion. More emphasis has been on the Pitching. The Phillies lineup, which once was feared, is now one of the worst in Baseball. Just look at this Spring for example, Ryan Howard (.243), Chase Utley (.188), Dominic Brown (.171) and Jimmy Rollins (.091). These four key hitters have combined for 2...yes only two Home Runs and 14 RBI's in 15 Games. This is a complete joke. Ruben, you have ruined this team. We have no farm system as you have traded everyone away. This offense has become what appears to be "Jerry's Kids." This lineup is old. This lineup is no longer able to get the job done. This is your fault Ruben. You have done what the Eagles did the past few years, you have only tried to focus on one side of the ball, when it takes two to compete. The Phllies Offense has slowly self destructed.
I hate to say this, but if I was the Phillies ownership, I would fire Amaro today. I would bring in a younger General Manager that has more of a grip on today's game and how to build a team. I would release Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard, or trade them and pay their remaining salary, I would trade Chase Utley either now or at the deadline, and I would trade Cliff Lee. You may be able to bring back some pieces for Utley and Lee. This team needs a culture change. The Phillies core has aged before our eyes and it is time to cut the ties. I am tired of hearing that this team has a chance to contend if this happens and that happens and this player rebounds and this and that and this and that!!!!! There are to many what ifs? There is no way that all of these players will have career years, which is basically what it would take to even have a shot at the playoffs. Why keep dying slowly, just blow this team up and start over.
I knew that this team was DONE when the Phillies signed Bobby Abreu, Marlon Byrd, and AJ Burnett in the offseason. These were three horrible moves, especially the one for Burnett. However, the Burnett move almost proves that the team is lying about Hamel's health. There is no way that this team would have signed another pitcher for over fifteen million unless they panicked. I am not a prophet and I surely cannot see the future. However, I do not see the next few months being pretty for Phillies fans. It is now time that we rise up and stop buying tickets. This team is not moving forward, they are instead still moving backwards. The sooner that this team cuts ties with Amaro, Utley, Howard, and Rollins, the sooner they will be on the path to rebuilding. Anyways, I could write a novel about this team's failures. Stay tuned as I will have my Major League Predictions and Preview for 2014. I will also supply fantasy tips and such. Ok, well now its time to go enjoy my other passion...music. Music will never let me down like the Phillies. Until next time...this is Jason Vorhees for Philly Rock Radio.