So far the season of the Philadelphia Phillies has been an unmitigated disaster, but what might be more surprising is how the players are handling it.
Losing two of three to the Texas Rangers in the first week and following that up by being swept by the Milwaukee Brewers in the second week is bad enough, but stir in the postgame comments by Phillies like Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard and that’s a hard stew to swallow for the fans. It might be better if a buffet table was overturned or a water cooler pummeled.
Rollins said a 3-3 week “wasn’t a bad week” after six games, and Howard said after the second loss to the Brewers that the team was “playing well.” Ugh. Jimmy, 3-3 is a bad week because if you have enough weeks like that, it gets you to 81-81 which is a bad year. It’s one thing to lose, but to hear comments like that only fuels the belief that some of these guys are here to collect a paycheck and do not live and die by wins and losses, like the fans do.
The reality of the situation is this: The team was not expected to be good coming into the season, and all spring long players like Howard and Rollins were telling the fans that they were going to be better than all the naysayers said. The fans took a wait-and-see attitude.
So far, they don’t like what they see.
Now that reliever Jonathan Papelbon has imploded (as expected), Howard looks fat and slow (as expected) and Rollins swings for the fences all day and gets .233 results (as expected), it looks like the experts were right and the Phillies themselves were wrong. Two weeks is a small sample, but this team needed to get off to a fast start if they wanted the fans to believe what they said. They are now 3-6.
Whatever they say now has to fall on both deaf and burning ears.