Almost every year, one team is crowned the ‘kings of the offseason’. A success-hungry owner gets sick of mediocrity and opens up their wallets to try to finally put together a winner (See the 2011 Marlins, 2012 Angels, the 2014 Padres, and the 2015 Red Sox as prime examples to what usually happens to these winter meetings heroes).
This past winter, a new champion emerged.
The Philadelphia Phillies, after a long and ugly rebuild, finally started to look good in 2018. The young core of Rhys Hoskins, Mikael Franco, and Odubel Herrera were beginning to look like a serious group to build around. The team collapsed down the stretch in August, losing a 4 game division lead and finishing the year with a sub .500 record, but things looked to be on the up and up. They headed into the 2018 offseason with a bright future, aspirations to win, and, most importantly, a shit load of coin to throw around.
It started with trading for Mariner’s all-star shortstop Jean Segura, quickly followed by signing former NL MVP Andrew McCutchen less than a week later. They later signed reliever David Robertson to shore up a very shaky bullpen. Things are looking good here. The Phillies then pulled off a blockbuster by trading for All-Star catcher JT Realmuto from the Marlins. They might be the favorites in the National League right now. Then… the big one happened. The Philadelphia Phillies former NL MVP Bryce Harper to a 13 (!!!) year, $330 million contracts.
THE PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES ARE YOUR 2019 WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS.
The internet was set ablaze. How could anyone compete with this team? Is there a single weak spot on the roster? How soon do you think they’ll beat the wins record? Everyone was drinking the Kool-aid with the 2019 Phillies, myself included. I, just like many people, thought that the Phills would ROLL through the NL East and the rest of the National League, and march to the World Series.
Well, shit has most definitely changed since March.
Odubel Herrera got suspended, David Robertson got hurt, Pat Neshek got hurt, Andrew McCutchen got hurt, Tommy Hunter got hurt, Seranthony Dominguez got hurt, JT Realmuto hasn’t performed, Jean Segura hasn’t performed, Mikael Franco stinks, Jake Arietta stinks, Nick Pivetta stinks, EVERYBODY STINKS.
When you are a Phillies fan who just learned that the $500 million spending binge is looking like it will yield a 4th place finish pic.twitter.com/qD8dNLBLm6
— Did the Phillies lose? (@DidthePhilslose) August 12, 2019
On May 29th, The Phillies were 33-23. They had a three-game lead over the Braves in the NL East standings and were absolutely grooving. Since May 29th, the Phillies are 27-36. They are 9 games out of first place in the NL East and sit in 4th place. The New York Mets, THE METS, have jumped them in the standings. Their odds to make the playoffs have shrunk almost 20% in the last week alone, and have dwindled down to an 8.4% chance of just reaching the postseason. They have been, undeniably, one of the worst teams in the game over the past month.
— Baseball Reference (@baseball_ref) August 12, 2019
What the hell happened to the Phillies? This team has gone from sure as shit to make the playoffs literally a month ago to being in the same position as the Red Sox, an underperforming mess of a team that is on the outside looking in.
Well, it’s pretty simple; they didn’t perform.
The lineup is in the bottom third of the league in every major statistical category, and even the Orioles have a higher team batting average (THAT’S ALWAYS A GREAT LOOK). The pitching staff has been equally as shitty. Aaron Nola is the only pitcher on the roster whose even worth looking at at this point. The position player depth is shit, the bullpen is shit, the 2 through 5 starters are shit, Gabe Kapler is shit, everything’s shit.
Phillies seeing they are in 4th place and 2 games back for second wildcard behind Cards, Brewers, and METS 🤦🏼♂️ pic.twitter.com/ut6GcifVza
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) August 12, 2019
The Mets, THE METS, have shown better organizational control than the Phillies have in 2019. The Phillies, who we all thought were going to be a juggernaut and would run roughshod over the National League, have been OUTCLASSED by the Goddamn New York Mets.
Oh, and Bryce Harper is around for another 12 years and has a full no-trade clause. Have fun with that Super Bowl, Philly! Go fuck yourselves.
Photo: Matt Rourke/ AP Photo