Phils Are An Anxious, Tired Team

rollins sunglasses Phils Are An Anxious, Tired TeamThese aren’t exactly desperate times for the Phillies, but they’re getting there. While everyone has their own theories on what ails this flagging team, there are some who watch Major League Baseball for a living and evaluate tendencies of players and teams that have their own ideas.

“What I see is a tired, anxious team at the plate that is pressing and trying to live up to all the lofty expectations that were placed on them before the season,” one Major League Baseball insider recently told me. “This used to be a team that was considered very good, and well-respected throughout the league, and it still is. The big difference I see is that the Phillies came into this season expected to win the World Series, not just contend, as they have the last three years. They’re playing under a different set of rules now, against teams that are a lot better than what they went up against to win the last three years. I have news for you, the Atlanta Braves are not going away.

“You have a bunch of character guys in that Phillies’ clubhouse, but a bunch of guys who are pressing from the pressure. They’re in a big ditch and the more they seem to push, the deeper the ditch gets. They’re not the same at the plate. A lot of these guys aren’t as patient as they were in past years. You saw that Sunday with a lot of guys swinging at the first pitch.  This is also a group that’s played more games than anyone, and because of their success, they’ve been stretched like never before in the off-season. That’s time usually committed to working out. Their past success and magazine covers haven’t exactly translated well on the field this year, has it? Maybe this will all change when [Jimmy] Rollins comes back. I don’t know.”

Currently residing in third place in the National League East, the Phils are 5.5 games out of first place, which matches the largest difference from first they were in since April of last year. The latest the Phillies were 5.5 games out of first place prior to this season came in 1997, when they trailed the New York Mets by 5.5 on September 14, 1997. We all know what happened that year, when the advent of this magical course began with the Phils nabbing their first postseason berth since 1993 (thanks also in part to a historic Mets’ collapse).

Can this ship be steered in a different direction?

“Yea, I think so, there’s too much talent on this team for this to be happening,” the MLB insider told me. “I watch this team constantly, and they haven’t changed too much. They’re still the same even-keeled group that doesn’t get too high or too low about anything. But I really don’t remember this group having many player-only meetings as they’ve had this year. Then when I saw them really poop the bed against Minnesota after the game they blew in the ninth, I really don’t know what to think. This team is going against a better group of teams, and the book is out on these guys. They’re in a division with better players and better pitchers that can execute those game plans. The Phils haven’t shown an ability to adjust. They’ve looked tired.”

The Phils still have first-place Atlanta nine more times this season and the second-place Mets 12 more times. But they also have the much-improved Washington Nationals when the sensational Stephen Strasburg is on the mound–far from an easy task. What ails the Phillies may not be curable. What it may take is a bad season for the front office to wake up and realize Brad Lidge, Raul Ibanez, Greg Dobbs, Danys Baez, J.A. Happ and Joe Blanton aren’t exactly the players they thought they would be.

Maybe the Phils are a tired, anxious team.

  • David

    Another suggestion about gettimg Cliff Lee, Kyle and maybe give the pitcher we got from Seattle and another player in the farm except Domonic. And if you have to give Domonic, the phillies should get one player in farm or a very good bull-pen pitcher which is on their squad now.

  • David

    The Phillies need to go and make the trade for a CLiff Lee, because that would relive the pressure and then they can relax more especially the mentally aspect of it. The general manager talks about building the farm. I don’t buy that because you get draft picks every year and you can get players from the draft every year no matter what picks you have. Remembers the best player in the game today Albert were pick in the 13 round and don’t buy money about the budget because the phillies is making plenty, plenty and plenty of money. stop pulling our chain. Stop!!!! David

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    • David

      To make this trade possible for Cliff Lee, you don’t need a brain surgery. I think you can make this trade with young talent and it only take three players in your farm system to make this happen. I give any three players in the farm except if you can D. Brown and if they want except that then you give a player in their farm like D.Brown and last result you give him up, because you have to get Lee. With the star playes you have at least 4 more years with them. Enought time to build your farm again.

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