Phillies Have “High Hopes” for New Season

Phillies+pitching+staff+stretches+during+spring+training+in+Clearwater%2C+FL

Phillies pitching staff stretches during spring training in Clearwater, FL

Pat Ferraiolo

As the days get longer, and the temperature rises, America’s National Pastime will be back in the world again in just a few weeks.  The wait is finally over!  Order will be restored in the world once the umpires say ‘play ball’.

But, recently, in the past few years, watching a Phillies game has been anything but baseball. At one point, they were not a team, just 9 people running around a field.  Not living up to their expectations in the last few seasons, it as seemed as if the city has given up on team that they cheered only three years ago.  With this year being an important one, lets take a look back at what the Phillies have done to prepare for the next 162 games.

While the field was covered by snow in the offseason, the front office had an excellent opportunity to really improve the team.  But this year, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. and his staff completely wiffed in free agent signings.  With numerous amounts of possible free agents to offer a contract to, all the Phillies could muster are two battered, old, and worn out veterans to an already aging team.  I didn’t know that Ruben mostly scouted at Nursing Homes for Old Men.  The two ‘baseball players’ are Marlon Byrd and Bobby Abreu.  Neither of these players have had a decent year since President Bush was in office.  With all the talented free agents the Phillies could have attempted to pick up, all they could accomplish were two barely functionable veterans.  Also, this team is already the Nursing Home of Baseball, having one of the oldest rosters in the league.  This line up includes shortstop Jimmy Rollins, catcher Carlos Ruiz, First Baseman Ryan Howard, and lets not forget the ageless wonder, second baseman Chase Utley.

 

Despite all of this, the Phillies still have ‘High Hopes’ for this upcoming season. When asked about this seasons expectations, manager Ryne Sandberg stated, “We have a great team of veteran players who have certainly been around the game for quite some time.  With this team, I believe that we can make a run and make the playoffs.”

Now, the Phillies aren’t the worst team in the world, but you might have spent too much time at the bar if you say that the Phillies are postseason potential.  I think Ryne Sandberg is wishful thinking.  In my opinion, I believe that they will barely have a winning record and miss the playoffs but 12-20 games.  Anything more than 85 wins is a miracle.  But, come April, who knows what will happen.  They have been underdogs before.  For example, the 1993 Phil’s were projected to only win 58 games, and they went all the way to the World Series that year.

Even though it is tough to watch Phillies game these days, I think we can all agree that baseball brings people together.  No matter what is going on in the world, whether it be war, a bad economy, National Debt, terrorism, or any other national disaster that no one should go through, people always find their way to the ballpark to watch baseball.  There’s a reason why baseball is called America’s National Pastime.

So when your watching Ryan Howard strike out, or Jimmy Rollins make a bad throw, just be glad you’re watching the game.  It could be a lot worse.