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“I live on a one-way street that’s also a dead end. I’m not quite sure how I got there.” – Steven Wright, Comedian
Sounds about right.
It should be obvious to most that Ruben Amaro Jr.’s ego has been waging war against his own rational sense of decision-making and his ability to consider the future of this Phillies franchise since he was handed the keys to the palace back in November 2008.
A speckled and spotty track-record ripe with big-splash acquisitions along with several transactions banking on a player’s abilities of yesteryear–each of which left the cupboard mostly bare down on the farm–is all he has to show during his tenure as the big boss man.
Even the most optimistic of Philadelphia fans (including myself) now envision the Phillies ship as a tired, rudderless old vessel drifting through uncharted waters without a compass. How did it ever come to this?
Ryan Howards Injury 2011 NLDS
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Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
The Phillies are top-heavy for their payroll in 2013. I talked a lot about this in Part 1 of this series (The Franchise). What they really need is for Domonic Brown, John Mayberry and Ben Revere to improve in their role with the club and get as much production as they can out of their superstars. 2013 looks a lot better than the years after. Roy Halladay must return to form in 2013.
I am predicting the team will win at least 90 games in this year with the Starting Pitching having a bounce back season. The fans should all come in droves to the park while this club is competitive. The Phillies will age really fast after 2013, so there will undoubtedly be some rougher times ahead, as Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard all fade into the back half of their careers.
The New York Yankees are facing a similar dilemma. You might even see a Yanks/Phillies World Series rematch in 2013. I am sure the Dodgers, Angels, Tigers and Nationals will try to have their say about that as well.
The smaller market teams might fight for another ring as well. You are starting to see some distances set forth from the high-priced salaried teams to the lower payroll clubs with both Los Angeles teams and Detroit nearing or going over the Luxury Tax Threshold of 178 Million Dollars in Player Salaries.
Again, I am thinking that MLB Baseball might have to realign soon-to make the divisions stack up for payroll and geography reasons. I wrote an article about this some time ago here. The Phillies have led the MLB in attendance for the last 3 years, so they will be able to keep the payroll at a high mark as long as the baseball revenue is able to match it. It is the long-term contracts that won’t garner them much value at the end of these deals, that will ultimately set the Franchise back awhile.
Ryan Howard highlights are below. He must return to his 40 HR self next year otherwise the Phillies will have a tough time competing.
For Part 1 of the Phillies Article Series: The Franchise click here:
For Part 2 of the Phillies Article Series: The Hitters click here:
For Part 3 of the Phillies Article Series: The Pitcher click here
For the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals Franchise 5 Part Series: click here