The Philadelphia Phillies have been amongst the worst teams in MLB this season. Paying their players premium dollars should result in a more productive team, or you would believe so. With David Buchanan’s most recent comments and other players speaking out about manager Ryne Sandberg, the players should just let Sandberg do his job.
In Sandberg’s first full season, the Phillies currently are 59-72 and the worst team in the NL East. While many would blame Sandberg for the struggles of the Phillies, I believe the aging players and contracts given to his players prohibit any coach from producing an above-average product.
Ryan Howard is on pace to have his worst season of his career, other than his injury plagued 2012 season. Domonic Brown’s .612 OPS as a left fielder is on pace to be the lowest of any qualifying left fielder since the 2002 season. These players are looking to blame someone when ultimately they should blame themselves.
Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Howard have all called out Sandberg this season. Other players like Brown, Kyle Kendrick and Buchanan have reason to believe they can make better managerial decisions than Sandberg as well. In the past, players were benched when they spoke critically of their coach’s decisions. Now, the players are greater than the coach.
Coaches leave teams every year and players continue to underperform while suggesting the coach is to blame. The Phillies have serious clubhouse concerns, and Sandberg needs to send a message to his team. Yesterday, Ruben Amaro Jr. said he has been pleased with his manager’s first year thus far. While the record hasn’t shown the bright side of Sandberg, he needs to change the culture of the clubhouse and keep players responsible for their actions both on and off the field.
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