Ever since it became readily apparent that this Philadelphia Phillies team was going nowhere this season, fans have been asking who would the team let go at the trade deadline. Most thought that the franchise was headed toward a total rebuild and that Ruben Amaro Jr. would put everything and the kitchen sink up for sale to the highest bidder.
Then everyone learned the difference between “rebuilding” and “retooling.”
“Rebuilding” means that you realistically look at your organization from top to bottom and begin replacing all the parts that are worn out or too old to perform the way you expect them to. This is what the Phillies desperately need and what everyone thought was going to happen as we approached the end of July.
But then Amaro Jr. told everyone about “retooling,” which means you just replace a part here or there, but you still stubbornly think that everything is still working just fine for the most part. You make excuses that the fans don’t deserve to have to deal with a rebuilding Phillies team and then watch as the organization you’re the GM of slowly spirals down the drain.
The end result is that the Phillies are more than likely going to do nothing at the trade deadline. No salary unloaded, no aging players sent to other pastures, no closer who deals with “soreness” issues told to take a hike. The team will look exactly the same on Aug. 1 as it did on July 31 and they will continue to underperform and tarnish the memory of that 2008 World Series victory.
Not all of this is Amaro Jr.’s fault. Most of it is, don’t misunderstand, but not all. Watching Cliff Lee, Antonio Bastardo, Jonathan Papelbon and any other player the Phillies had any hope of trading implode over the last two weeks did plenty of damage. It left the Phillies precious few commodities to work with.
It’s the reason why a possible deal sending Cole Hamels to the Los Angeles Dodgers will happen if the Dodgers are willing to pay the ridiculous asking price Amaro Jr. is asking. Then at least he can tell everyone, “See? I did something. I got the Phillies three great prospects. Don’t I get credit for that?”
Yes, you would. As well as the credit for every bad decision you have made since you became GM that put the Phillies in this situation in the first place.
But other than that, everyone should get used to seeing the same players play the same mediocre baseball right up until the end of the season. Because until Amaro Jr. learns that “rebuilding” and “retooling” aren’t the same thing, nothing is going to change in Philadelphia.