They lost again to the Pirates on Saturday, 3-2.
They still have a pulse. Barely.
Some of the players still have life. Dom Brown will bust out in the second half. Utley will climb out of his slump, the Piece will have a better second half, Ruf will hit 25 second half home runs, Lee will return to form, Cole will continue lights out and the young guns of the bullpen will hold court after the sixth.
Sure, and South Philly will shut down the Mummers Parade.
Still, there is a lot of baseball left. The newspapers say that Junior will sell. If you believe that, you’re more gullible than me. Only a select few know what Junior will do and the newspapers aren’t in that circle.
He’s got to buy, and here’s why.
Two of the sellables have no trade clauses, and besides, neither — Utley or Rollins — is hitting worth a damn.
And the rest? Maybe Papelbon would draw a prospect or two; Lee definitely would if he was healthy. Byrd? Yea, maybe a low-mid level prospect. Marlon will be 37 next month.
Revere? Maybe, if he had an arm and could judge line shots hit in the gaps or over his head.
Burnett? Okay, the Pirates might give up a stiff or two to get him back.
Howard, DH to the American League? Get real. The Phillies would have to cover at least half of his $25 million annual salary, and they don’t do that.
Besides, if you don’t hit, you don’t hit — doesn’t matter if you’re the DH or the first baseman.
Now, ask yourself. Why would they trade Hamels?
If Junior sells, like the papers say he will, I say, sell what?
Short of Hamels, which wouldn’t make sense, he’s got nothing to sell — okay, maybe Papelbon and Byrd — that will bring what this club needs: Young and hungry players.
No, Junior has got to stay the course. He’s left with an old and injury prone team. Over the next several weeks, discount players will be popping up like Yuppies at an Amish corn sale at the Reading Terminal.
If he’s smart — and you don’t get through Stanford in the biology program being stupid — he’ll add a little here and add a little there, cross his fingers, and start anew in the second half.
But sell? He waited too long; he won’t get cheap hamburger back.
He stayed with yesterday’s stars, aged and injury prone, now he’ll die with them.
The ’83 club came back from the dead by mixing things up and then got hot in September. They were old, too, and the team was patched together late in the season with trades and call-ups.
But in ’83 it wasn’t the Big Red Machine refugees — Rose, Morgan, Perez — that pushed the Phillies over the top. No, sir. It was some of the late call-up young guys like Len Matuszek, Bob Dernier, journeymen Joe Lefebvre, Greg Gross and a young second baseman they called Sammy.
And a change in manager early in the season — Pat Corrales, a good man axed early with the team in first place, replaced with Paul Owens.
In first place, mind you!
With the way this team is under performing, a change in dugout leadership could make a difference. Give Bowa the reins in the second half — he’ll breath some fire into the slackers. Call up some youth and make a few deadline trades. Put a team together for the second half run.
Because to sell, you’ve got to have something to sell.
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