This is gonna be fun ... although when the dust settles (and the ink dries) on this 2012 season, that 80-82 record might be another matter.
Oh well, it's like that song from 30 yrs. ago told us: " We had joy, we had fun, we lost popups in the sun ... " blah blah blah, the stars we could reach were just starfish on the beach, et cetera, et cetera, god, that song was frickin' lame ...
There was nuthin' lame, however, about five consecutive N.L. East titles, not to mention the '08 and '09 playoff punch-outs of the Dodjerks.
102 wins last year had us shaking our heads because, deep down, with the offense that struggled mightily at times, we knew that they weren't quite that good (which LaLoser and St. Loooo proved in the playoffs).
Even with the expanded wild-card playoff format, these twenty-twelve Phils ain't goin' nowhere, instead destined to slug it out w/ the Citi Field Mess for the N.L. East basement.
No biggie ... just makes the postseason less-aggravating.
That's why I've assembled my usual crew to play "Which Phillie Is Gonna Lead This Punchless Squad In Homers?"
ROLO TOMASSI sez it's gonna be Rollins with 16 ...
ARCH STANTON's pick to click is John Mayberry with 15 (same as last year, even w/ more ABs) ...
HENRY KRINKLE of 345 Hopper Ave. in Fair Lawn, New Jersey is convinced that the top gone-yard guy will be Hunter Pence w/ 22 ...
Screw all you guys! I'm goin' w/ the upset special -- Ryan Howard w/ 25 (all of 'em AFTER the All-Star Break) ...
Winner gets a new, fully-loaded Daihatsu ...
Jeez ... was it only yesterday when it was 2007/2008/2009 and everybody was talking about the offense? Reminder: In '07, the Phils were 4-41 when they scored three runs or fewer; last year, they were 31-48 when scoring less than 4 runs.
That's quite an eye-opener (and not a bad won-loss %, all things considered) ... but, it's an illustration of the contrasts in compositions of pennant-winners.
Remember back in '09 when the guys were goin' deep regularly -- Howard (45), Werth (36), Ibanez (34), Utley (31), Rollins (21) -- and all we heard was the constant chirping about how The Cit was a homer-friendly bandbox?
Isn't it funny how "THEY" won't be saying that say that about The Cit any more -- at least, they won't be in mid-Aug. when Ty Wigginton and Laynce Nix are each stuck on 9 HRs ... and leaving us breathless with which Phillie fella is gonna get to double-digits first.
Unless one (or both) is on the DL at the time and The Overrated Rube is looking to "make a move!" by signing Bubba Trammell outta retirement.
And, it's all good ... the Fightin's offense has ridden on the backs of Utley and Howard for six full seasons ('06 thru '11) w/ strong complimentary pieces acquired via farmhands from the late-'90s drafts (Rollins, Burrell) and players who were other team's rejects (Victorino, Werth).
It worked ... but, now it's over ... the glitter is gone. We saw a glimpse of that late last season when Domonic Brown -- THE "prospect" who was nuthin' more than some guy w/ Von Hayes' dimensions (lanky, good wheels), the Von Hayes uniform # (9) and the batting stance/mechanics/results of Bobby Tolan -- wasn't given a sniff of PT, yet something named "John Bowker" was signed as I was roadtrippin' to Illinois w/ the Mrs. and the SuperDawg.
Bowker's balance sheet: 13 ABs, zero (0) hits, 7 strikeouts ...
There are no blue-chippers down on the farm -- not a somewhat-reliable George Vukovich or a speedster Juan Samuel ... and that includes the young "talent" which was bartered for Halladay, Lee and Pence.
None of those guys excited me, Rolo Tomassi, Arch Stanton or Henry Krinkle of 345 Hopper Ave. in Fair Lawn, New Jersey.
Let's see how many of them "pan out."
It sez here: "none."
Now, it doesn't seem all that likely that the pitching can offset offensive woes. Halladay'll go 17-10, Lee 13-12, Hamels 12-11, Worley 9-11 ... and one of 'em is bound to see some DL time, so, hey! hey! Joey Blants ... time to show us that 6-8 / 4.78 form which we know you're capable of!
Nuthin' promising about this squad, folks -- unless you get off on watchin' Kyle Kendrick (6-6 / 4.32) starting the final game of the season w/ the 80-81 Phils lookin' to finish at exactly .500.
There's just too much bad ju-ju floatin' around this team, most-notably the COMPLETE disbanding of the 2-yr. experiment of The Gload, The Brad & The Utley.
And then there's this: With the addition of Chad Qualls to the pitching staff, the Phils have now achieved the rarest of hat tricks: Tom Qualters, Paul Quantrill, Chad Qualls ...
Fasten yer seatbelts 'cuz it probably won't spell "QUALL-ity" when all is said and done.
That's a lotta non-quality on the mound of Phillies team history.
Kinda makes ya yearn for the days of Paul Spoljaric ...
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