Wednesday, July 26, 2006
-The Phillies sit in tenth place for the wildcard.
-The Phillies are just a game and a half ahead of the fifth-place Nats.
-The Phillies have fallen behind the Marlins, a team in the beginning of a rebuilding process.
Just to go .500 this season the Phillies are going to have to play some pretty good ball: they’d need to go 37-28 (.567) down the stretch to go .500. They haven’t shown me that they can play with enough consistency to finish with a winning record, let alone make the playoffs.
So that’s it. I am essentially declaring the Phillies season over. There is little to play for at this point beyond improving the team for a run in 2007. That is what Pat Gillick and his crew must do, and past history suggests that Gillick took Polonius’ advice to his son in Hamlet too seriously: “Neither a borrower nor a lender be.” Now is the time to be a seller: the Tigers are desperate to make the playoffs and would probably pay any price, the Mets want to win badly, the White Sox are in the fight of their lives, there are nasty races in the Western divisions of the NL and AL. This is the time to sell.
This team needs to be blown up and rebuilt. They really only have five players who I’d deem untouchable: Cole Hamels, Jon Lieber, Chase Utley, Bobby Abreu and Ryan Howard. Everyone else, and I mean everyone, is expendable. If Gillick doesn’t deal Rheal Cormier, Arthur Rhodes and Tom Gordon on this pitching-starved market for prospects then he is a fool.
If Gillick can unload Aaron Rowand, I say take it. Rowand has been killing the Phillies offense with his free-swinging style and his much-ballyhooed defensive prowess is utterly undeserved based on his performance this season. Rowand is not the answer in centerfield.
I am loathe to see Pat Burrell leave town, but I am a realist. If dealing Burrell can get major help for the starting rotation, then I’d support such a move.
So that’s it, Phillies fans. Get ready for the firesale. Wait ‘til Next Year.
I'd still keep rollins myself - his defense is good, and I'm convinced his hitting wouldn't be an issue if its further down the lineup. At this point, with Jon Lieber only getting older and not trying hard to keep himself fit, certainly not being good for longer than 5 innings, I'd happily sell him now.
But it does feel that Pat gillick is in a strong position - as you say, the market is starved for pitching, and if his method (as stated publicly) is to gather a large number of pitchers and see who will stick, then now is the time to start. Especially if they're young.
I agree about Utley, Hamels, and Howard - keep them. If Myers didn't beat his wife, I'd say keep him too.
My guess is one or two small trades are made involving Phillies, but nothing significant. At this point nobody seems willing to give the Phillies anything of significance. And honestly, who on this team (besides the aforementioned untouchables and Abreu or Gordon) can really get you a whole lot in return?
Waiting until the contracts of Lieberthal, Wolf, Bell, et al to come off the books at the end of the season is where we're at.