It’s come to this …
With all foreseeable hope of fixing their problems through any tactical, strategic, hands-on, “we can do it” approach, the Phillies have two options:
Mike Trout or Bryce Harper.
Yo, there are worse things in life, right?
Kidding aside, the bumbling and botching by Philadelphia’s Major League Baseball organization has reached biblical proportions … pretty much dating back to when Ruben Amaro took over as GM with the champagne stains barely dry following 2008’s World Series victory.
It was that paralytic fear of moving on from an injury-ravaged star base, forever fantasizing that Turn Back the Clock Night could translate onto the field every game at some point in that timeless wasteland known as “the future,” coupled with Big Rube’s blinders-focused obsession with bolstering the pitching staff to the detriment of everything else, that set the stage for the current nightmare.
Standing at 17-34 following another midweek, football-score embarrassment Wednesday night in Miami, the Phillies stand so alone at the bottom of the barrel it’s a wonder they coax anyone into the ballpark never mind a measly third of what the place holds.
They stink right now. Check that, they blow chunks right now. Big, massive, ugly ones.
They rank among the worst in baseball in just about every statistical category. They bring no juice to any game. They show no promise that things will change. At all.
When the biggest threat to sustenance at the moment is whether or not expected standouts Odubel Herrera and Maikel Franco will get bounced to Lehigh Valley, you have to ask yourself, Philly’s sustenance or that belonging to its Triple-A affiliate?
Not for nothing, but these two juggernauts are batting non-juggernaut-like .218 and .210, respectively. Signs of turning around, or just life in general, have faded to near-black in recent weeks … pretty much symbolizing the whole helpless widow vibe surrounding the club.
Even decent efforts from Aaron Altherr, Cesar Hernandez and Freddy Galvis have done nothing to offset the drudgery.
Which brings us to Trout and Harper.
Widely recognized as the sport’s premier duo, they offer an “out” from this disaster. A rather easy one, too.
Either brings to the table cachet and ability to play unmatched by anyone else in the game, and both likely will be available in the coming off-seasons. While panic looms at the notion that Trout is locked up through 2020 with the Angels, the reality is California labor law allows him to bolt if he so chooses, well, right now … and he does have a connection with current Phillies GM Matt Klentak, a former Angels exec, and, gee, anyone else hear that he’s a South Jersey native?
Harper, meanwhile, has a contract that ends after the 2018 campaign and retains Scott Boras as an agent. That he’ll test the free-agent waters is a fait accompli.
Now, the only thing is … the Phillies gotta sign one of these two studs. Both would be a pipe dream. But one of them? Yeah, that’d be a doable … and the road to recovery would take a major leap forward.
In theory, in reality, in the box office, in every possible way.
Ain’t so bad, is it? Just stretch that patience a little bit more.