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!