Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A Fantastic Milestone!!!!!

As a Phillies fan, I couldn’t help but blog about this happening. My beloved Phitin’s have become the first professional sports team in the United States (no, I’m not counting the Generals who play the Globetrotters), and probably the world, to lose 10,000 games – the team has basically ignored the accomplishment, although I think management probably would’ve endeared itself to the fans had it decided to do something creative – not sure what that could have been, but ignoring it was wrong, in my mind.

Here’s the thing – this ball club can’t even lose correctly. The Phils had a chance to lose their 10,000th game on Friday the 13th – would there have been anything more poetic than that? Nope, they decided to win on Friday and Saturday … and then, instead of waiting until the west-coast trip to lose, they end up getting clobbered on the last day of the homestand … ugh! I hear that ticket stubs from this game are being sold on E-bay – what a country!

Now, this current ownership isn’t responsible for all 10,000 losses – in fact, the past few years, the team has done pretty well, finishing above .500. The Phillies had their heyday of suckiness in the early 20th century, when they managed to have 30 losing seasons in 31 years – how does a professional sports franchise survive with that kind of apathy, anyway? This is the main reason why this team has so many losses.

However, this management has refused to do enough to push this team into the playoffs, whether it is offseason acquisitions, or trading deadline maneuvers to give them a better shot at the playoffs. Their minor league system is god-awful, which helps to explain why the Phils have such a horrible pitching staff, and why Jose Mesa still has a job.

The crying shame of it is that they have a really good nucleus of players – Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Aaron Rowand, Shane Victorino, and Cole Hammels to name a few. But, there are, and have always been, far too many holes that continue to be neglected. What is the normal response we get from management? “If we were healthy, it would be a different story.” Ha – every team goes through injuries every year. The Phils make a habit of using this excuse.

Their P.R. staff (run by ownership) constantly neglects the fans – David Montgomery (the mouthpiece of the organization) seems to be crying and pointing fingers more than T.O. did when he was in Philly. Management never seems to take responsibility, and that is why there is a disconnect with the fans (that and 1 championship in the 125-year history).

Our only real hope at this point is that the woeful ownership group that currently is holding the team hostage decides to sell the team, and the new owner brings in some real baseball minds who know a thing or two about running a ballclub from bottom to top. Now, I know that Jeff will defend the Phillies when he responds here, and that’s fine – they have had a lot of good prospects come up in recent years. But, the pitching staff, with the exception of Hammels and maybe Lieber, has been a joke. The catcher spot and third base haven’t been much better. Come the trade deadline, the Phils will really have nothing to offer other clubs.

But, I digress …. Congrats to the Phils for being “The Team to Beat,” and for beginning their second 10,000 losses with another clunker last night!


Superstar said...

I saw that on the news last night and JUST KNEW you would do a post!!!

So Philly, has Rocky and now the "losing" team????
~shakes head~
So many other fab things about Philly right???

snowelf said...

((Me too, Super!! How funny is that!!!?!))

Los, you should have titled this post heyday of suckiness! hehehe!!

um..so...Congrats to philly then??


Jeff said...

Hamels said the players don't care about 10,000 losses because none were alive back then. He's right.

The Phillies' biggest problem has been trying to placate the fans' desire to WIN NOW! at the expense of long-term strategy. And their best moves have been when they ignored the fans.

Which free agents should the Phillies have signed? Jason Schmidt? Out for the year. Barry Zito? Worse than Adam Eaton at over 2x Eaton's salary. Soriano? Productive but not to his salary, and then how do you pay Utley, Howard, and Hamels? How about all those overpriced relief pitchers in Baltimore? Clemens? Yeah, as if he would have come here.

Would you rather have Larry Bowa as manager or Scott Rolen at 3B? As a bonus, Bowa blew out many pitchers' arms and had the team quit on him every September.

Would you rather have Tim Hudson for 1 year or Utley's and Hamels' entire careers?

Would you rather have Jim Thome or Aaron Rowand and 1B open for Ryan Howard?

Would you rather have Kevin Millwood or Johnny Estrada (former all-star catcher)?

Would you rather have homer-prone Eric Milton (at $9M/year!) or Nick Punto (3B/IF depth) and SP/RP Carlos Silva?

Would you rather have all the old, shot veteran relief pitchers over the years or the pitching prospects that would give us bullpen help today?

Would you rather have the easiest HR park in the majors (yes, more than Coors Field!) or a pitching staff?

As far as trying to win this year goes ... A healthy Freddy Garcia wins 15 games. They'd be in first place today, even with all the other pitching problems. Too bad they didn't check his health before making the trade. And he cost 2 pitchers (Gio Gonzalez being an elite prospect).

What would trade would you have them do? Trade an everyday player for a reliever who might pitch 25 more innings this year? Trade for somebody's unwanted, overpaid slop 5th pitcher in this stadium? Gag. Trade Burrell? Who would take him and how would it help?

If Pat Gillick, two-time world champion GM, isn't a "real baseball mind," then who is? And exactly how many "real baseball minds" would have predicted 3 SPs being injured in one year?

The Phils are 1st in runs scored, so who cares if Helms and Barajas stink? Combined they're paid about half of Lieberthal last year. Saving the money to address pitching -- last in runs allowed -- is the right approach.

That's not to excuse Phillies management. Player drafting and development have been atrocious even with Utley, Howard, Rollins, Myers, and Hamels. No top prospects, team depth, or trading chips. Not checking Garcia's arm was irresponsible. Adam Eaton was a waste of money. Tom Gordon's injuries were predictable.

As far as next year goes, here is the list of 2007 free agents: http://www.mlb4u.com/freeagency.php

The best pitchers on the list are Livan Hernandez, a 40-year-old Curt Schilling, and Randy Wolf. Good luck.

Los said...

Bullpen help? Jeff - our bullpen stinks.

Also, our minor league system is embarrassing - they woefully underspend in the minors, and that's why we have nothing when our pitchers or players get hurt - Hendrickson has been the exception to the rule so far.

I agree that some of those moves would've hurt the Phils, however, not giving Garcia a medical exam was ridiculous. That's not what you do to a a player that will earn $10 million for your team - and one who had noticably lost velocity at the end of last season.

The only offseason pickup that has been helpful to the Phils has been Greg Dobbs - that's it. I'm not saying that Gillick isn't a baseball mind, BUT he has to do better than this. I was really talking about the owners.

El Padrino said...

congrats buddy!


-B- said...


One of your best posts ever... but the key to being a Philly sports fan is to not care too much! Care more about having a good time with friends than if the home team is winning today. If they go out there and take a dump on the field, then think about how funny it was when that jackass tripped over his pants going for a foul ball in your section and had to pull them up in front of those old ladies, or the wonderful sound of a stadium of "Boo"s when Bonds walks up to the plate, or the Phanatic taunting the visiting team, or that group of hot girls who sat in front of you - and the way Los got slapped by one when he was just reaching for the hot dog he dropped in her seat. Man, good times brothers!!

Ink and Stone said...

-b-: "but the key to being a Philly sports fan is to not care too much!"

Or just take my approach: not care at all!

Jeff said...

Almost forgot: would you rather have Placido Polanco at 3B or Ugueth Urbina in a Venezuelan prison for 14 years?

Yeah, bullpen stinks, and adding Myers and Gordon would solve more than any trade.

Kendrick is a poor man's Paul Byrd. Too many hits, too few strikeouts. What happens when teams face him the 2nd time?

The bigger problems in the minors: (1) poor (any?) Latin America outreach; (2) bad drafts; (3) bad player development. Money impacts only the first (though that's a big one). Philosophy and coaching drive the other 2.

We agree that Garcia was indefensible. Gillick sounds like he's taking the heat for a really bad scouting report. Still ...

Dobbs was a nice find, and I'm disappointed that they didn't do more for the bullpen. But this past offseason many horrid players got long contracts for superstar money. And the Phils blew their trade chips on Garcia. Maybe they could've dealt Lieber before his injury, but they needed him in the rotation more. And there's not much left to trade -- maybe Rowand, but then Burrell is the only RH bat. We're asking them to squeeze blood from a stone.

Exactly which owners in ANY sport are smart about their sports ops? John Henry (Boston Red Sox) is the only exception I know of. Is Steinbrenner the brains behind the Yankees? (Motivator, clearly.) Robert Kraft (Patriots?) Lurie (Eagles)? Ted Turner (when he owned the Braves)? Mark Cuban for marketing, but for basketball ops?

Really, all you can reasonably expect is the owner hiring a smart GM and getting out of the way. The Phillies basically have that now.

Or we could have an activist owner like Peter Angelos or Tom Hicks. Mr. Hankey thinks the Orioles and Rangers are crappy.

Jeff said...

By the way, Atlanta has Pacman Jones AND Michael Vick. San Francisco has Barry Bonds. Dallas has TO and Jerry Jones. I'd rather have 10,000 losses.

Christina_the_wench said...

Just saying 'Hi' ~waves~

I don't do baseball.

Eric said...

What I don't get is that in the first half of last century there were two teams in Philly, how could the God awful Phillies stay afloat when the Athletics were so good. Anyway, congrats on the historical ineptitude, they only need a 1,200 game winning streak to get to .500. Stranger things have happened. Um, wait, no they haven't.