Post originally appeared on Pro Sports Notes
July 15, 2019
Image: Grudnick via Flickr
Did Andy MacPhail close the door on the Phillies 2019 season?
Posted on July 15, 2019
Comments made by President, Andy MacPhail, leave a bad taste in Phillies fans’ mouths
The Philadelphia Phillies started the second half of their season in a less than thrilling way on and off the field. Phillies president Andy MacPhail made some comments that aren’t sitting well with Phillies fans.
After losing their first game back to the Washington Nationals, they led through the majority of game two. Unfortunately, the underwhelming bullpen struck once more, blowing the lead and giving up a go-ahead 2-run homer in the 9th inning with the bottom of the lineup due for the Phils. Suddenly, the fate of this game rested in the bat of Andrew Knapp. Not exactly the way they wanted things to be.
Although they won on Sunday, the most pressing matter of the weekend has been the comments from MacPhail.
The specific comments made by MacPhail
Before the second half of the season started, MacPhail met with the media to discuss the trajectory of his team going forward. He was asked several questions about the job safety of his coaching staff and front office and if any moves are imminent.
MacPhail’s main responses consisted of reminding media members that “we’re in the postseason today if the season was over.” However, the season isn’t over, and there is still a lot of baseball to be played. He also added that he doesn’t think the Phillies, as constructed, are one move away from the World Series, so shipping off prospects in potential trade deals isn’t likely.
At this point, the Phillies are not good enough to keep that wildcard spot. The starting pitching is not performing outside of Nola, the bullpen is beyond shaky, and the bats are inconsistent. Our superstars aren’t performing as expected. Injuries have crippled the bullpen and outfield. Rhys Hoskins is 91st in the MLB in hits when runners are in scoring position. Bryce Harper isn’t hitting home runs in a ballpark where he used to consistently crush baseballs. Those are just a few examples.
Why is this a problem?
From an analytical and baseball standpoint, I get what MacPhail is saying. The Phillies clearly are NOT one move away from a World Series. They need starting pitchers, they need bullpen arms. It’s a few moves necessary to compete with other NL teams.
Unfortunately, in addition to analyzing the Phillies, I’m also a Phillies fan. And as a fan, I feel disrespected by the lack of effort from the president of my franchise. I feel insulted that the man in charge of this team is essentially closing the door on this season. After a dramatic offseason of trades and free agent acquisitions, quitting halfway through the season is unacceptable. I’m extremely disappointed in the leadership of this franchise since the season started.
Do the Phillies still have a chance?
The Phillies absolutely still have a chance for a wildcard spot. However, I’m concerned about the domino effect of these comments. If the team president is closing the door and quitting on the season, what will stop the front office, the coaching staff, and players from doing the same?
I am a Philadelphia Phillies fan through thick and thin, watching games in good times and in bad. Sometimes teams are bad. It happens. It’s terrible but it happens. However, with Philly teams, there is pride in the hustle. That’s no secret in this city. We completely chastise players for NOT hustling. For this Phillies season, fans have called for the benching of Jean Segura for not hustling. It’s why we love a player like Harper because that’s NEVER an issue with him. But, when these are the thoughts by the PRESIDENT? That’s an issue for me and I know I’m not the only one.
Did MacPhail intend to close the door on the season?
I don’t think MacPhail intended to sound like he was giving up on the Phillies this season. I think he had every intention of trying to be realistic with the fanbase and support his current players/coaches/staff. The Phillies are rumored to have interest in Diamondbacks pitcher, Robbie Ray, but nothing is imminent at this point. As fans, we got overly excited for this season based on the offseason, myself included. Let downs happen, but it’s unusual for a president to quit on the rest of the season.
Let’s hope that the Phillies go on a strong run, starting with the Dodgers series tonight. This team still has potential, it’s time that they showed that.