Several days ago, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. had a rather candid conversation with the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner. Amaro’s tone lacked the usual dosage of smugness and evidenced some inward analysis had gone on.
“You identify, and fans identify, with players like Rollins, Utley and Howard, who are arguably the best players at their positions in the history of our franchise,” Amaro said. “It’s hard to cut them loose. And yet, sometimes, you have to have that mentality like, you know what, maybe we were a little too loyal, maybe we were thinking that we could squeeze some more blood out of the stone.
“But that’s also a good learning experience for me. Maybe we’ve got to do things a little differently, and think about doing that shift a little earlier.”
While it is nice to see Amaro take the time to do a post mortem on the 2012-2014 Phillies, it’s troubling that he’s still missing the mark — and so is anyone else who exhales a sigh of relief and exclaims “he finally gets it!”
Let us pretend that at some point in 2011 or 2012 the organization had decided to begin to turn over the roster gradually. Perhaps they move on from Jimmy Rollins or Chase Utley or Shane Victorino sooner. Or perhaps in 2009-2011 they don’t make the trades to stack the deck with aces in the pitching staff. What state would the Phillies be in now if they had decided to go down one or both of those paths?
An interesting observation from Hollis Thomas this morning on WIP radio:
Hollis Thomas on @WIPMorningShow just made a great point: Dom Brown’s troubles began at plate began when he wore the Michael Irvin jersey.
— Tom G. ⛳ (@doctomg) July 7, 2014
Got me to thinking… is that really true? Certainly seemed like it.
Dom Brown posted the image of himself wearing the Michael Irvin jersey in early September of 2013. Below is Brown’s monthly OPS+, which describes his OPS in relation to the league’s for that particular month.
Brown was trending in the wrong direction by September of 2013 anyway, but it’s quite clear, by anyone using any sense of logic or rational thought that if Dom Brown were to burn that jersey, it will save his career.
One of the most interesting things about baseball is that every game counts for something. Every year, for over a hundred years, teams play at least 150 games in a season. That’s a LOT of games. Over the course of his career, Cal Ripken played in 3,001 games. The Phillies have lost over 10,000 games all by themselves.
So you would think, that with so many games –every day of every week for around half of every year for over a hundred years– we would begin to view them the same as random pennies in the pocket of your jacket or cheerios on the floor of the family SUV. Inconsequential. Discardable. So many that you don’t even notice them anymore. They’re just there. Continue reading →
The folks over at Deadspin did a great little slo-mo mashup of a group of Phillies fans facial expressions as they went from elation to dejection during last night’s loss to the Braves. It occurred to me, the video personifies quite accurately what it has been like to be a Phillies fan from 2009 to the present day.
As has been said many, many times, baseball is a game of numbers and when a team beats another team 14-10, there are going to be numerous numbers that come out of it. For those looking for some glimmer of hope, something to latch onto in regards to the new Phillies season, this was perhaps the best statistic of all: