SportsProf

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Monday, September 02, 2013

The Phillies are Worse Than the Mets

"You are what your record says you are."

Is there hope for the future?

Of course.

When will that hope manifest itself into another championship run?

Uncertain?

Why?

Because there is no harmonic convergence of a bullpen, starting pitching and position players who are playing for contracts.  In 2008, you had an ancient leader (Jamie Moyer), a good mix in the bullpen, a closer having a career and Hall of Fame-like year (even if he won't come close to the Hall), and a great mix of position players who could get on base, all of whom were playing for contracts.

Today, your bullpen is bereft.  Your everyday lineup is an odd cocktail of youth and age.  Your starting pitching staff is the same.  Will your vets in the field and on the mound last long enough until some promising minor-league position players mature?  Doubtful.  When will a solid bullpen emerge?  It's anyone's guess.  So, there isn't as much cause for optimism as the brass would like a loyal fan base to believe.

Let's face it -- when will they stop inking position players who are "five tool" guys but who don't know the game and don't evolve into good players let alone stars?  It's getting a bit silly when you hear that the likes of Jeff Jackson through Tyson Gillies have all the tools when they cannot get out of AA ball.  It's been a long and futile list.  Even the vaunted farm system that yielded some good trades proved to be an illusion -- outside Gio Gonzalez and Gavin Floyd (both pitchers), how many guys turned into anything at the Major League level?

The answer is not many.  Sure, there is hope for Anthony Gose, Jonathan Singleton and Travis d'Arnaud, all playing elsewhere, but almost everyone who was traded did not succeed.  And that doesn't bode well for the future, either.  Sure, we can get excited about Jesse Biddle and Mikel Franco, but the local nine cannot bet its future on those guys.

Right now, with a month to play, there isn't much to root for.  Sure, we'll see the prospects, but as one-time Phillies' manager Jim Fregosi once said, "you really cannot judge a guy by what he does in September."  Why?  Because mostly it's AAAA players playing against each other or veterans mailing it in, worrying about their off-season plans unless, of course, they are on a contender.  So, what Darrin Ruf and others do in September might not tell us a whole lot.    Hopefully, though, it will.

But lower in the stands than the Mets?

What possibly can happen next?

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