The Phillies finally beat the rest of the major leagues at something. That it’s losing shouldn’t be taken lightly. The Phillies aren’t just good at losing, they have perfected it and done everything in their might to ensure no one else in no other sport can match them in ineptitude. The statistics have been repeated over and over again, so I won’t rehash them.
The scope of a failure so grand cannot be limited to just the players. What has ailed the Phillies for 124 years is horrible owners, which hire poor management, who then selects under-talented players. Even more so, there is an unwillingness to change and the lack of vision to identify what is wrong and then to adjust and recover quickly. But Phillies’ fans all know this.
It his a hallmark of this club to be bad, and just accept it in silence. They never react. Year after miserable year, the owners sit silently, and silence is acceptance. What is needed now is change. Even if there is no plan, even if there is no reason, they need to change. The people that should be hired are people who have a history of success. If you have been working for years with nothing to show for it, then you need to go (yes this means Dave Montgomery, Pat Gillick, Charlie Manuel, Ruben Amaro Jr., and Mike Arbuckle). Take for instance Arbuckle. I’m sure if you ask he’d be quick to tell you that he is responsible for the selections of current Phillies Jimmy Rollins, Brett Myers, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Cole Hamels in that order. He’s also responsible for former Phillies such as Scott Rolen, Mike Lieberthal, and Randy Wolf. All together those players have helped win the Phillies zero National League pennants. Rolen is the only one to even play in a playoff game and that was with the St. Louis Cardinals. He has developed a minor league system that is generally rated the worst in all of baseball. And what has that history gotten Arbuckle? 15 years and a promotion.
The Phillies accept failure as readily as the New York Yankees demand greatness. So how do the Phillies change? Simple. It starts with changing their mission. Their mission isn’t to win this year or next. No, their mission should be to win the National League East every year. They should build a team that can win year in and out. You do that by developing your own talent and signing players that have their best years ahead of them. This means that if you’re offered an middle aged, but accomplished starter, for two young talented arms, you don’t do it. Every deal you make should be made to make your team better for the long haul – and by long haul I don’t mean the next season. People call the Braves a underachieving team for only winning one World Series but if your goal is to win the World Series then the best strategy to play in as many as possible.
10,000 losses and the owners and management had nothing to say. What should they have said? Well here’s my attempt at a Phillies statement:
We are not proud of the fact that are the first major league team to lose 10,000 games. While it shows that this organization has been committed to playing baseball for a long time, it also shows that there has been little success to accompany that commitment.
The Phillies organization is proud of the fans that continue to show up and support us year after year. While we all yearn for a championship, true fans are shown in their resiliency; as such, the Phillies fans are the best any team can have and it is our intent to match their loyalty with results on the field.
The Phillies organization remains committed to becoming the best team in baseball. It’s what we owe the game, the organization, this city and fans. We remain committed to making sure it takes significantly longer to reach 20,000 losses than it did to reach 10,000.
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