We no longer need to wait for the Phillies' alleged brain trust to decide if they are buyers or sellers at the looming July trade deadline. The players on the field have made the decision for them.
The Phils burst out of the blocks following the All Star break with a resounding triumph in their first of nine games on a three city road trip. From that point on they found every conceivable way to stumble and bumble into one defeat after another. Mostly lousy pitching. Terrible defense. No hitting. Injuries. A 1-8 record leaving them hopelessly below .500 for the year.
So, whether or not they admit it, the alleged brain trust is looking into a deep chasm that promises to revive those many years of mediocrity that preceded the Golden Years just past.
Managers will be fired. Players will be traded. Some fabulously rich and under-performing players will present a continuous drag on team finances. Oh, and the Phillies, long absent from the international scene, signed a Cuban pitcher for $48 million and scouts are seriously divided on his value. Translation: the alleged brain trust finally takes the plunge and they fork over a boatload of money to a 26-year old defector currently pitching in the Mexican League.
Did we mention that the closer they signed two seasons ago for the ridiculous and ridiculed sum of $52 million says he wants out of here?
And finally, did we mention the GM, who inherited a very good team and decimated its farm system and coffers (seriously though, let's not really feel sorry for ownership) in a desperate attempt to win one more time, should be the first official firing of the post-season?