A week and a half into the season, the Phillies have shown that all of our preseason fears have been realized about this aging, mediocre squad. They can't hit, they're a sub-.500 ballclub that's just a half-game out of last place, and they even lost a series at home to the pathetic, bankrupt Mets.
Sure, they won on Sunday and scored eight runs. But five of them were unearned- and they weren't even able to outscore the Flyers on the same day.
Just look at the stats- the Phillies have scored the second-fewest runs of any team in the National League. No one on the team has more than one home run, and only four players are hitting over .300. They can't hit for power, and they can't really play small ball either. And it doesn't look like we'll be seeing Ryan Howard or Chase Utley anytime soon. Although if Utley had been honest about his injury, the Phillies would probably be in first place by now.
But are they making up for it with pitching? Not really. Cliff Lee hasn't won yet, and neither has Kyle Kendrick or Vance Worley, raising all sorts of questions about whether they have what it takes to win.
Cole Hamels has the third-highest ERA on the team. Jonathan Papelbon only has two saves. Roy Halladay is the only pitcher that's truly been lights out. Clearly, the era of the Four Aces is over.
Now, I know what the media apologists are going to say: "It's only been a week and half." To that I say, please. I'm going to slap the next person who says "it's only been a week and a half." And I don't want to hear any of this losers-in-their-mothers-basement crap about "small sample size." I've seen all I need to see.
Clearly, it's time to blow up this team. Trade Lee for some offense- David Wright, or maybe Kevin Youkilis. Package some spare parts- Wigginton, Nix, Domonic Brown- and get a big outfield bat. I hear the Astros are shopping Brett Myers- why not bring him back? And how about sending Ryan Howard to Germany for one of those Kobe Bryant "operations"?
We keep hearing how "aggressive" Ruben Amaro always is. But here we are, it's almost May, and the Phils are a losing ballclub. Get to work, Rube.
The Flyers Are Up 3-0, But Something is Missing
The Flyers have jumped to an improbable 3-0 first-round lead over the Penguins, in a wonderfully chippy series that has seen fight after fight and hundreds of penalty minutes. It was apropos that Hulk Hogan recorded a message for the scoreboard, although the first three games of the series likely featured more physicality than the entire last 15 years of the Hulkster's career.
But there's one downside to the series so far: Sidney Crosby is still skating upright. Thanks to selective enforcement and constant protection from the refs, the Pens' resident crybaby has managed to avoid both punishment and injury, even though his taunting and instigation was the cause of multiple fights in Game 3.
Sure, it would be awesome to sweep the Penguins. But unless Crosby gets knocked out of at least one game, the Flyers will have failed.
Other Philly sports takes:
- The Eagles announced that Brian Westbrook will announce their second round pick at next week's draft. But after Andy trades down four times and turns it into six fourth-rounders, will B-West still do the honors? I sure hope he's got a hotel room in New York through Sunday.
- Speaking of the Eagles, they should fire Andy and replace him with Bobby Petrino. Not only is Petrino available, but he'd finally get to coach Michael Vick. It'll never happen though; Lurie and Banner are way too risk-averse to ever hire a coach who rides a motorcycle.
- I'm totally in favor of turning the Inquirer building into a casino. It's about time Philadelphia lured Pete Rose back to town.