Thursday, August 19, 2004

How to Lose a Pennant in Five Months

They lose pitchers' duels. They lose slugfests. They lose well-played games. They lose coyote-ugly games. They blow big leads. They mount comebacks that fall just short.

If there's a way for the Phillies to lose, by God, they'll find it. Just give them time. Now is the time, right?

Amazingly, it appears as if Larry Bowa will indeed hand out a lineup card in Milwaukee tomorrow night. Then again, it likely makes no difference who's managing this herd of losers at this point; a firing would only have appeased fans and media, and if there's one thing the Phils have never been accused of doing, it's caring much about their dwindling fan base. Ed Wade should have dropped the axe today -- hell, he should have dropped it last October -- but evidently he decided to let Bowa go down with the ship.

Well-chronicled are the rumblings that little internal help is on the way over the next couple of years, thanks to a farm system depleted in a bunch of moves that have left the team three games under .500 and 10 games out of first. So, yes, we were all wrong -- Wade will trade away prospects. And it's not as if he got bad players. (Well, not all of them.) But his manager fails to get the most of the talent on the field, and there is no ass-kicker in the locker room, just a bunch of laid-back nice guys who just don't get it.

In landing pretty good players, Wade somehow managed to assemble a pretty bad team. In retaining Bowa, he gave the Phillies absolutely no shot to be something more than the some of their parts. On a squad with very little heart, this was a fatal combination, a perfect storm of malaise, guaranteed contracts, and incompetence.


At August 20, 2004 at 6:30 AM, Blogger Wyatt Earp said...

These ass-clowns have the same problem as the U.S. Olympic Men's Basketball Team. The U.S. PLAYERS lost to the Puerto Rican TEAM. The Phils never "gelled" (God, I hate that word, because it sounds like a cop-out) as a team because Bowa is not a good leader/manager/baseball mind.

And you're right about the ass-kicking. Lenny Dykstra for new manager!

At August 20, 2004 at 11:45 AM, Blogger gr said...

These guys are the baseball equivalent of the Carter Administration: hapless and leaderless. Even the worst team in the league shouldn't play this poorly at home in august.

Also, I can't get to MVN.

At August 20, 2004 at 12:27 PM, Blogger Tom said...

You're not the only one who can't get to MVN, Greg, so for the time being (and maybe permanently) I'll be putting my baseball stuff here.


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