Monday, July 02, 2007


I woke up this morning thoroughly disheartened. There is so much going wrong right now that I can’t keep up. The Sixers blow the draft. Three picks in the first round- and King can’t emerge with one player (one!) who will help in the next two years or, worse and worse, who can play for sure. The Flyers are throwing big money at multiple free agents (three now!) who either are or will be well in to their 30s for most of their contracts.

Big money to aging players- paying players into their 30's for their achievement in their late 20's- is surest road to ruin in pro-sports. Of the three, I can almost guarantee two will disappoint- simply because no one ever plays better after 32-33 years of age than before. Something like nine guys in baseball history have better average numbers after 33 than before.

But that can all wait until fall. The biggest joke in Philadelphia was the Phillies this weekend. That made me mad. I kind of have been off their case this year- as I never thought they were a serious threat to be much better than a little better than .500. And at 42-40, I guess they were I thought they would be. Can't get crazy about that.

But this was a joke. A huge four game series with the Mets- a chance to justify the season- and all the Phillies can scrape up is J.A. Happ, Kyle Kendrick, and- heck I can't even rememebr that guy's name.

That is institutional failure. Period. Someone should be fired. A major league team, with that building and their revenue, cannot throw out triple AAA slop night and night after night in that sort of spot. It cannot get to that. Ever. It was embarrassing.

I’m not talking about running J.C. Romero, Brian Sanches, Mike Zagurski and Antonio Alfonseca out to shut the door on the Mets. They’re just bad or unproven- but at least you can weave some sort of story, no matter how weak, that they can help win games. They're not good- but it isn't surrender.

But the starting pitching… you know, the Phillies have some sort of an obligation to the League to at least try to field a major league team- which is not really square-able with the rotation options the Phillies presented their fans, opponents and the Braves (who foolishly assumed the Phillies were at least trying to win games against a key divisional rival) with this weekend. They were a joke. At least at 4-10 the club was trying. The front office didn’t try this week. Gillick was not prepared; he sent out garbage and purposely tanked the weekend in front of big crowds. And not trying is the cardinal affront in pro-sports. And I’m mad about it.

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