Thursday, September 29, 2005

What's next?

Sure, there are three games remaining in Washington, but the Phillies season is over. There will be no post-season this year, either.

The Astros play tonight against the Cubs and could have a three-game lead with three to play. The best-case scenario for the Phils is they trail by two heading into Washington tomorrow.

In either case, they need to sweep the weekend and the Astros need to lose at least two out of three. Here is why that won't happen: Andy Pettitte, Roger Clemens and Roy Oswalt. Houston's big three all have ERAs under 3.00 with Clemens under 2.00 and they pitch Friday, Saturday and Sunday in that order.

All that being said, Pettitte, Clemens and Oswalt have been on the losing side in consective starts twice in the second half of this season. I just don't see any way that it happens again.

I am moving on to the off-season. The best the Phillies can do is win 88 games. That would be two more than the past two seasons under Larry Bowa. While they went much deeper in the postseason race, the results are not going to be that much different, it at all.

Over and over again, we heard on the radio and read in newspapers and the Internet that Ed Wade is the problem. It's not the manager, because in this case, the manager is solely the selection of the general manager. If Wade goes, so does Manuel. And if only Manuel goes (that won't happen), then that is a bad reflection on the GM.

Put yourself in Dave Montgomery's shoes. What do you do? Did you see enough in the young players this year to give everybody another chance? Or do you clean house now?

Post your comments and let the debate begin.


At 1:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Jim,
This season is not a failure. Heads needn't role. No season is perfect, and is always judged in relation to what the competition does. We lost a superstar and a starter who has been a great late season performer and still almost made the post season. All teams lose some bad games in a long season. Hasn't the Phils' stretch run been great? And fun? Between Boston, NY and Cleveland, is one a "loser" for not making the playoffs? Of course improvements are needed, but it shouldn't be anyone's "fault" that they weren't here for this season. Didn't we spend in the free agent market 2 years ago? If anything, the loss of Rolen and Schilling bother me more than anything that happened this year. I think patience and appreciation are required by the fans. It will also keep the stomach acid from boiling over!

At 5:28 PM, Blogger Fogboy10 said...

If you are among the few who agree that (probably) missing the playoffs again for the 12th straight year is not a reason for calling this season a failure, then you can agree with the previous comment. The only other team who has not made the playoffs in Major Leagues in the last eight years, is the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. That's terrible company. I however set my bar higher. Thome was a superstar but injuries and age have caught up to him. Wolf is an average pitcher who is injury prone and his late season performances occurred when the Phillies were already elimated from the playoffs. Overall, the Phillies were less injured than in past seasons, played in a weaker division and still managed to win the same number of games as in recent years. I do believe management is at fault because they fielded this team of overvalued players. I agree that management wants success since they have spent a lot of money but they don't know how to acheive it. They changed managers and made it a "country club" atmosphere in the club house and the number of wins stayed the same. It's been 12 years since they were in the playoffs and baseball made it even easier by adding the wild card. I don't have any more patience. If you do, then God bless you.

At 11:53 AM, Blogger Matthew Appleton said...

Actually, there are 10 teams who haven't made the postseason over the past eight years. I won't list them all, but a more pertinent list are the number of teams with a longer postseason draught: Brewers, Tigers, Pirates, Royals & Nationals/Expos. That's it.

Honestly, at this point Wade needs to be fired. Eight years as GM with no playoff appearances should not be rewarded. It's time to decide what the core of a new rebuilding project is and get prospects for those we can get maximum value for. My picks for a core: Howard, Rollins, Utley, Abreu, Myers, Madson -- everyone else should be negotiable depending on what we can get in return.

Even if, hypothetically, Montgomery decides that the team just needs minor retooling, Wade still needs to go. He's had a number of tries at retooling this team without success. Anyway you look at it, it's time to turn the reins over to someone else.

At 1:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the Phils don't make it to the postseason, and I'm going to see them on Saturday to cheer them on, it will be for one major reason -- 0-9 againt Houston. Even 3-6 would have gotten them the wild card. If you can't step up and beat your competition, then you don't deserve to go to the dance.

My long-term solution is fire Ed Wade and lure Billy Beane as GM. One of Beane's cardinal rules is that a lot of pitchers can give you one good inning, so don't overpay your closer. If the Phils allocate their scarce resources (scarce because they have committed too much money to people like like Bell, Cormier and Liberthal), they are nuts.
I think we have to say that without a significant addition, like a top notch starter or a stud hitter, the same cast of characters is probabaly destined for 86 wins again next year or maybe a stumble into the wild card and three and out in the postseason.

And when will they make Madson a starter? And would you trade Abreu, if you could get comparable worth?

At 2:44 PM, Blogger Matthew Appleton said...

I didn't realize that Cormier was still under contract for next year as well. Ugh. Jim's right, Cormier's contract is part of a bigger problem. Here are the contracts already sitting around the Phillies neck next season:

Cormier, $2.5 million
Lieberthal, $7.5 million
Bell, $4.5 million
Wolf, $9 million (nothing the Phils can do about this one)
Leiber, $7.25 million
Lidle, $3.3 million
Thome, $12.5 million (+$1.5 million of his deferred signing bonus)
Abreu, $13 million
Burrell, $9.5 million
Perez, unknown
Rollins, $4 million

You have have Padilla as arbitration eligible and Utley certainly demanding a raise. While I would love to see some radical retooling, those contracts may severely limit the Phillies' options.

We may be stuck with another year of the also-rans in 2006.


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