The trade deadline has now come and gone and the MLB season begins the home stretch towards the playoffs and the World Series. Teams are getting ready for that last push, trying with everything they have to win their division or put themselves in position to try for a wild card spot.
One of those teams will not be the Philadelphia Phillies.
Let’s review for those who may have stopped paying attention during this disappointing season:
- The Phillies are currently 48-61, 11.5 games out of first place in the NL East and 13 games under .500
- The team did a grand total of nothing at the trade deadline. Ruben Amaro Jr. adamant that what he was asking for his overpaid, aging core of players was fair
- David Montgomery, team president and part-owner of the Phillies, will not sign-off on a rebuild, worried that attendance will fall to unacceptable levels.
- Cliff Lee, one of the only commodities on the team worth anything, is likely out for the season, re-aggravating the elbow injury in a game Thursday night and will probably need surgery.
- Ben Revere still can’t seem to hit a home run and Jonathan Papelbon still suffers from debilitating bouts of “soreness.”
Yep, I think that about covers it.
So at this point the question becomes: what now? What can the Phillies do for the rest of the season that will give fans any hope for the future and any sign that Amaro Jr. has a clue what he is doing?
The difficult answer is not much. The Phillies can still make trades in August and word is that they are planning to do just that. But are any members of this roster really worth what Amaro Jr. is asking? Short of an injury, I don’t see any team beating down the door to get Antonio Bastardo or Marlon Byrd and paying what Amaro Jr. seems to think they merit. And as for attendance, well, fans better get ready for lots of empty seats at Citizens Bank Park. Football season kicks off in a few weeks, and once the Philadelphia Eagles begin playing, most of Philadelphia will forget that the Phillies even exist.
So right now, the best Phillies fans can do is hope for some kind of seismic change this offseason in the front office (as in Montgomery retiring and moving to Florida to play golf) that will result in the much-needed rebuild the team needs. But for now, hopefully we’ll get a look at some of the few prospects the team has at some point during the remainder of the season.
Because no matter what they say, the Phillie Phanatic is only so entertaining.