Well Jeez, there sure have been some serious highs and lows to this
season. I think that the picture to the right here is the absolute
high, but what was the biggest low? God, there were a lot! Chase
getting hurt? It’s the most recent blow so it’s understandably the at
the forefront of our choices. Was it the late arrival of Brad Lidge and
Joe Blanton? Neither one of these pitchers has given us much to cheer
for since their return, so I’m not sure we’re actually better off now
that they’re back. Was it “The Slump”? For me it was probably the
absence of Jimmy Rollins. I guess you could say that Jimmy was
probably a large factor in “The Slump” so we can tie the two of them
together… Anyhow… Let’s take comfort in saying that’s in the past.
So let’s get to it. I don’t want to make this super long
winded so we’ll skip the side dishes and just cut into the steak. It’s
hard to grade the Phillies too well or too poorly. We probably all
agree that these injuries are killing us. Let’s quickly list our
players that rode the DL Train this year. Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley,
Placido Polanco, Brian Schneider, Carlos Ruiz, Chad Durbin, J.A. Happ,
Antonio Bastardo, Ryan Madson, Brad Lidge, Joe Blanton, and J.C. Romero.
- Here it is… The Report Card
starting pitchers looked pretty awesome on paper to start the season,
but Blanton and Happ won’t have the season we expected. There is nobody
we can blame there. ****, as they say, happens. Ryan Madson is a
complete moron, what happened with him is entirely his fault and I hope
behind closed doors he was reprimanded by the Phillies. Brad Lidge’s
troubles don’t have a definitive cause either. Is he hurt? Is he mental?
He’s not 2008 Brad, and he won’t ever be 2008 Brad again. He’s got
that going against him, so the fans probably won’t ever get off his
back since they saw absolute perfection in him before. The plus side
of pitching has been Roy Halladay (10-7), Cole Hamels (7-7) and Jamie
Moyer (9-8). They have kept the Phillies in almost every game they
started. We shouldn’t leave out Kyle Kendrick. Kyle had a rough start
but has been getting better as the season is progressing. He’s now at
5-3 and unless we make a run at another starter before the trade
deadline we’ll have to hope that he can continue to make a strong
Pitching – C+
Offensively we have had some
struggles, too. Shane has struggled at the top of the lineup after
getting pushed up with Jimmy out. Jayson has been in multiple funks
after starting the season white hot. He isn’t seeing the ball very
well and is settling for strikeouts rather then working walks as he’s
done in the past. Chase had started to look better before hurting his
thumb, and his replacements hit into more double plays then i think we
ever thought humanly possible. Raul has hit less homers in the last
year then he did in the first 3 months of last season. Lastly, Greg
Dobbs, Castro and Gload have not had very much to brag about on the
bench. On the positive side Howard has kept his average close to .300
going the other way and not being afraid to punch balls into the shift trying to beat it. His power numbers are down but you can’t argue with
how many RBI he has at this point considering we don’t really get too many
The Bats – D
Should I even grade them?
The Front Office I mean… I’ve got a lot of criticism of the
ownership and of Ruben Amaro but I’m not really sure it matters what I
think of Ruben since he has a budget to work with. The budget that he
won’t mention. Guys and gals there is a real and defined budget that
this team has to work with. We’re not the Yankees, we can’t just go
into the free agent market on a shopping spree every winter and go
crazy. Ruben Amaro as the GM for this team has more then a few jobs.
The one that you know him for is the guy that manages the scouts,
player development and personnel. He works out the deals with current
and prospective players. He’s also the one that faces the media and
takes the wrap. Do you even know who the owners of the Phillies are?
Have you ever seen them? David Montgomery is probably the only one that
ever shows his face. Everyone knew who Steinbrenner was because he
didn’t hide from the media. Claire S. Betz, Tri-Play Associates
(Alexander K. Buck, J. Mahlon Buck, Jr. William C. Buck), Double Play,
Inc. (John S. Middleton), Giles Limited Partnership (Bill Giles) make
up the rest of the ownership. These guys are the ones that give Ruben
his numbers, but don’t think that’s all that they do. They have a
hand in who stays and who goes. It’s hard to see how they wouldn’t
stretch the budget a tiny but to keep Cliff Lee in town at a such a
discount of his actual worth. I know it’s not my money, but I don’t
really know where the logic was in this one. With all the
merchandising and memorabilia opportunities this team could secure with
another post-season win I don’t know why they skimped out this past
winter. It was a big risk that has already begun to backfire. I’m
happy that they got the Roy Halladay deal done and Jose Contreras has
done pretty well. He was over worked a bit with Lidge’s troubles, but
has proven to be a good addition. Danny Baez and Ross Gload cost us
and haven’t really panned out.
The Office – C (Without Halladay and locking up Howard they’d be pretty close to an F)
Your thoughts are much appreciated.
Let’s be friends, hit me up on Facebook!
I don’t know why, but I also talk **** on Twitter!