A few days ago, Miss Delaware got stripped of her crown because she was “too old” at the advanced age of 24.
That sounds harsh but, in reality, it’s pretty much the way the Philadelphia Eagles have been doing business for years. Just substitute 30 for 24, and the picture becomes clearer. The Eagles have been reluctant to the point of being stubborn to sign guys once they reach the age of 30, and that philosophy has been implemented in their business model.
The Philadelphia Phillies have taken the opposite approach. Over the last couple of winters, the team has seemingly refused to sign anyone under 35.
That thinking has gotten the team in last place, and it doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. The Phillies cannot do anything about being in last place now, but they certainly can change their business model by acquiring young talent and keeping it through the productive years in baseball — early 20s through early 30s, but not beyond.
Hoping that a core group can still be productive at 35 is going against enormous data that suggests otherwise. Once the Phillies jettison as much over-35 talent as they can at the MLB trade deadline, the goal should be to bring back as many early-20s guys now who project into 10-year major leaguers.
Yet, fans have to wonder about the qualifications of the men in charge now to make those trades. On Tuesday, for example, the Houston Astros started three of the four players (Jared Cosart, Jon Singleton and Domingo Santana) they received in the Hunter Pence trade from the Phillies. The fourth player, Josh Zeid, is in the Astros’ bullpen. The Phillies are playing Jack Squat from that trade, which is one way of saying no one.
To avoid having further Mr. Squats on the squad, they need to change their thinking from the top, or the people who are doing the thinking.