Michael/Male/26-30. Lives in United States/Pennsylvania/Wexford/Christopher Wren, speaks English. Spends 20% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection. And likes baseball /politics.
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United States, Pennsylvania, Wexford, Christopher Wren, English, Michael, Male, 26-30, baseball , politics.

Monday, October 02, 2006

It Was Fun While It Lasted 

The Phillies season came to an end officially on Saturday, though it really finished Thursday night when the Phillies dropped their second game in three days to the Washington Nationals. The Phillies had been playing such good baseball going into that final week, having won ten of their previous twelve games, that this makes their ultimate collapse down the stretch that much more disappointing. This team should have made the playoffs. The Dodgers and Padres played good solid baseball down the stretch and played with consistency when it counted: the Phillies simply choked against an easy foe, the Nats, the team with the third-worst record in the N.L. Now the Dodgers and Padres join the Mets in the playoffs, and the Phillies get to clean out their lockers today.

Am I pessimistic about the future? Well, I count the Phillies 2006 campaign to be a rousing success actually. Few people gave them much of a shot at making the playoffs anyway, and after the Phillies dealt Cory Lidle, David Bell and Bobby Abreu, even I, the cautious optimist and proud contrarian, agreed with the conventional wisdom and figured that they were finished for the season. What did the Phillies do? They posted the best record in the N.L. after the All-Star Break (45-30, .600) and played some pretty darn good baseball. To make the wildcard, the Phillies needed to vault over nine teams and they very nearly did.

The 2006 season saw the emergence of Ryan Howard as the team’s superstar. The Phillies also got to see players like Shane Victorino and Cole Hamels, two future stars, play and make significant contributions. Chris Coste, Chris Roberson, Carlos Ruiz and Michael Bourn played significant time as well. These are all players who are going to factor into the Phillies plans for 2007 and 2008. I am heartily encouraged that the team gave the fans a look at the future and they ended up playing so well. Dealing Bobby Abreu (and probably Pat Burrell in the off-season, if they can find any takers) has freed up money from the team’s payroll and enabled the Phillies to get younger while still playing good baseball.

I see this team’s future as being very bright. Pat Gillick stated that he had an eye on competing for 2008. This team will contend in 2007 instead.

Tomorrow I will preview the playoffs a little and offer my thoughts on how I think they will unfold. Never fear, however, just because the Phillies are out of the playoffs this doesn’t mean we won’t talk about the Phillies. I have a couple of thoughts on issues facing the Phillies going into the 2007 season, and I have a big project on the Phillies past that I plan to unveil next week. Big project. Huge.

‘Til tomorrow!

For over 30 days all I could access on your blog was your "August 21" comments and facts about the improved Phillies pitching. I dismissed the position. But, you were very correct. The improved pitching, along with Howard, Utley, etc., enabled the Phillies to compete for the playoffs. I look forward to 2007.

a 50-year fan.
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