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Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Record of the 2005 NY Yankees after 19 games of their 2005 95 win season: 8-11

The Phillies aren't a playoff team. They don't have the competitive edge and psychological makeup to be a winner. They play joylessly and tentatively, as if they're afraid to fail. Will they have good stretches where it seems they've turned a corner? Sure. But it won't be enough at the end. Second place or bust.

Who are the Yankees again?

Randy Johnson. Mike Mussina. Mariano Rivera. I don't see one guy with their collective competitive spirit and savvy let alone records in the Phillies 2006 starting rotation.

Rick Schu's comment is a wickedly accurate portrayal of this team over the last 5 years. The question is how do u fix it? A firebrand maanger didnt work and an idiot luvable guy didnt work. Hmmmmmm what could that mean?

Number of games the Phillies fell short of a playoff berth in 2005: 1.

Out of the pieces we lost in the offseason, who could we genuinely say exhibited the focus and strength of character that this was this team in the second half of last year? Only wagner (and even then, his character is to be questioned . . .) . Of the new pieces in the rotation and bullpen this year, who do we have serious doubts about so far? rhodes and floyd. Not much has changed in the line-up, although the bench is all new.

This april has been a kick in the teeth because of the way the phils played down the stretch last year. But I feel it is incorrect to assume that this team does not have the 'playoff attitude'. They wouldn't have played so damn hard in september if that were the case.

P.S. I should add that I don't think that character alone is going to get us winning. Sorting the pitching will do that. My hopes for Rich Dubee as a good pitching coach hang in the balance.

This team actually looks worse to me than last year's team. I'm losing Phaith faster this year. I can't imagine this club pulling it together and I happen to have a good imagination. Gonna be a long summer, I'm afraid.

This team really misses Todd Pratt, especially the pitchers. I can't believe the Phils front office did not sign him in the offseason. He was a veteran leader in the clubhouse, had a burning desire to win and called a great game behind the plate. He wasn't the greatest hitter, but he was a whole lot better than everyone's new favorite Sal Fasano.

I miss you and the Phils miss you Tank!

I wish I knew why the team plays so badly in April. Indeed, everything seemed to be in place for a hot start... especially when you consider that in the Braves series, they missed Hudson and Smoltz; in the Nats series, they missed Patterson; and in the Marlins series, they missed Dontrelle.

If you look at the differential between their runs scored and runs allowed, it's actually kind of amazing that they're only three games under .500. They've lost a bunch of blowouts and literally every win has featured either a Gordon save or a walk-off hit. Bad as it is, it could and arguably should be much worse.

Yes! That's it! The absence of Todd Pratt's the answer this year.
I sure do hope Ryan Madsen turns it back around tonight. I have a some faith that he will. Floyd I am fearing the worst, though. They need to at least give him another 5 or 10 starts to be fair about this, though. If not, they sholdn't have brought him north to begin the season.
Last night was indeed brutal to watch, the comeback and then—nothing the rest of the way. Good teams jump all over that stuff and win games like this. st

Missing Todd Pratt . . . please. I am no fan of Fasano but the backup catcher is a small problem on this team. They desperately need another starter or two besides Myers to step up.

Also, I would like to see the lineup be more productive. They will score more runs as their statistically fluky RISP average becomes more normal but a few guys including Rollins need to step it up.

Pawnking and Oisin, I think you're missing the point. Yes, they showed great life down the stretch - after it was too late. And during the one series in september that mattered the most, against the Astros, they choked. They flat-out choked, and there is no other word for it.

A championship team, even if it doesn't start out hot, at least shows a certain presence, demonstrates an ability to play with confidence even if all cylinders aren't clicking. The Phillies look and play like losers. They do not do what it takes to win ballgames. They try too hard, they feel the pressure, they don't get it done. This is the Phillies of god knows how many years in a row. Lots of talent, but no balls.

Rick, you are missing my point. It is perfectly legitimate to criticise the Phils for this or that move, play, signing, etc. However, calling this team a team of "losers" without "balls" is, in my opinion, totally inappropriate in any serious discussion. I do not use this term lightly.

What are losers? It seems that your definition is anything short of a championship. If that is true, then each year all the players on all teams but one are losers. Are losers players of teams which did not reach the playoffs last year? If so, then all teams but 8 have players full of losers.

Maybe your term of "losers" comes from the fact that your expectations were higher than the Phillies' performance? What, then were your expectations? And how far did the Phillies fall short of them? I admit that I expected at least 90 wins from last years' team, so they fell short of my expectations. However, they won 87, which is only 3 games less than my expectations in a 162 game season. I do not consider that a big enough fall to label all players, manager, coaches and ownership as "losers."

Maybe your expectations are unrealistic? Maybe you cannot tolerate anything short of the team meeting your full expectations. Maybe you consider when a team (often for reasons beyond their own control) fails to meet your expectations, they therefore have "no balls."

My apologies for the long and somewhat personal post. I strongly react when athletic performance is equated to moral character. I would get just as upset of anyone said that Barry Bonds must have balls, be a person of high character, etc, simply because he can swing a 32 ounce bat better than anyone else alive.

My previous posts merely tried to illustrate that by most reasonable definitions of the word, the Phillies' past season was a success, or at least certainly not a failure. I also attempted to illustrate that a record of 8-11 in April does not mean that a team is full of losers. If that means that I do not understand that the Phillies' players are ball-less losers, well, I suppose that is one point that I will never get.

Well said, pawnking. Maybe it's the "win or you suck" attitude that's permeated the Phillie fans. Phils don't win, fans boo, players tighten up even more, etc. It's getting to be a cyclical thing with the Phils. For those that want to say "they're pros and get paid a lot of money so they should be booed", let's try to remember that they are human beings with human emotions. Go out and try to do your job with people booing and ripping you and see how easy it is to be successful.

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