Mediocre Play in NL East Gives Phillies Hope

Charlie Manuel, Ruben Amaro, Jr.Ruben Amaro Jr. said today he sees the Phillies taking their deadline decisions all the way to the July 31 Trade Deadline.

Thank some relatively mediocre play in the National League East for that.

“The only reason why I say that is because it’s still really dicey,” he said in the visitors’ dugout at Dodger Stadium. “No one has really stepped out and gone crazy. We’re only seven back. We had one streak where we’ve really played well and we’ve only had a fairly brief time where we’ve had our team on the field. We’ll find out. I honestly think it’s going to end up going to July 20 or 30 or somewhere around then when we’ll decide which direction we’re going to go.”

The Phillies continue a 10-game road trip tonight with their series opener against the Dodgers. The Dodgers have been playing better recently, winning five consecutive games. Following the Dodgers series, the Phillies play a three-game series in Pittsburgh. The Pirates entered the night tied with the Cardinals for the best record in baseball.

The Phillies finish their play before the All-Star break with a 10-game homestand against the Braves, Nationals and White Sox.

But since the Braves started the season 12-1, they are just 33-33. The Phillies are 32-33 in that same stretch, while the Nationals are 31-32.

“We all get spoiled,” Amaro said. “We think that winning is just going to happen. We seem to forget that people have to perform for teams to win. It doesn’t happen on paper. You can make predictions all you want. The fact of the matter is, people have to play and you have to be lucky. Some teams get unlucky and some teams don’t get performance.

“Look at Cole Hamels. I would like somebody to tell me he would be 2-11. It’s hard to imagine. Same thing with Cliff Lee last year. Baseball is an amazingly crazy game. I still think (Hamels) is one of the best lefthanders in the game. It just hasn’t happened for him this year, for whatever reason. Performance. Luck. Mojo. It’s just a crazy game. We’d be talking about how you’re going to improve this team to make this run. We’d be having totally different discussions if we had small tweaks in performance.”


Let’s say that due to the mediocre play in the NL East helps the Phillies make the playoffs. Big deal ,Do you really think they would have a chance at winning a
World Series ? No,.I don’t want to just make the playoffs. I want ti win.

At the end of the day all this comment states is that Amaro still believes that this group of players can still win and it’s just a matter of “tweaking” the performance of some players to make that happen. This guy refuses to acknowledge that the current players that comprise this team are not good enough to win period. We lose because we have mediocre to average talent offensively and simply horrific talent in the bullpen. Those players are playing at the level of their talent. Ruben needs to acknowledge that he compiled this mess, in most part, and that the elusive “winning streak” he mentions so often is not going to happen with mediocre talent. You might think we have a group of under-performing players. We don’t. They are what they are. Baseball is a great game that exposes your weaknesses.

without a doubt the core of this team could win, and did, in 08 and 09, but uin 13 they are mediocre at best. need to upgrade at every possistion, including GM and Manager. I understand that some places the team needs to sink or swim with that it has (1B, SS, CF) But they can try to upgrade the rest of inf and of

Ruin is so one dimensional. He is always addressing last years problems rather than planning for future needs. Be that as it may, it is becoming clear that the only playoff team likely to make the playoffs from the NL East is the division winner. If the Braves continue to play at the .500 level, as they have for the last 68 games, they will have 87 wins at the end. Division titles have been won with fewer wins. Do the Phillies really want to sneak into the picture if it means prolonging the stay of either Ruin or Charlie or both?

Ruben is looking at “luck and mojo.” Really? Is that what the General Manager is using to evaluate the season?
He contines to believe that this core is capable of what they did in 2007-2008. That’s a long time ago. It’s time to face the facts and stop talking about luck and mojo.

Ruben speaks wistfully of what could have been. I prefer to speak frankly about what a pathetic job he has done in the last couple of years. The team is aging and he has done a lousy job of fortifying the bench and the bullpen to support the core of that aging team.

I am wistful as well over what might have been had the Phillies signed a GM other than Ruin. And, you are too kind in limiting the Ruin debacle to “the last couple of years”. Just as it takes several years to clarify the value of traded prospects, it also takes several years to value the worth of the stars obtained. Thus far all of Ruins trades and signings have proven worthless. The benefit of obtaining Cliff Lee the first time is degraded by the circus surrounding his subsequent trade and re-signing as a free agent which cost the Phillies an additional first round draft pick. Even that turkey Raul Ibanez signed for 2009-2011 cost the Phillies a first round draft pick.

Hey Zolecki, how about actually calling Ruben out for having such a lackluster roster DESPITE having one of the biggest payrolls in baseball.

What’s with the constant softball questions and topics? Phillies are underperforming, and it’s your and other sports journalists duty to hold those responsible accountable.

Being a sports reporter isn’t always about being Mr Nice guy you know…

Not trying to slam you, just looking for some reality check.

I wish we still had that “turkey” Ibanez. He’s hitting about 19 HRs to date.

karen, comparing Ibanez to what he is doing in the AL to what he did in the NL is comparing apples to oranges. He was paid $1 million by the Yankees last year and $2.75 million by the Mariners this year and has hit 19 home runs thus far for both teams. He averaged $10 million from the Phillies for 3 years and averaged 23 HRs per year. In the AL he has had the luxury of resting his old bones. If he doesn’t play the field, he can DH.

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