Between the Marlon Byrd signing and the rumors that are flying around about the Phills entertaining offers for Dom Brown, I’m slowly losing my mind—it’s like the summer of the Flyers’ dismantling all over again. I just can’t watch anymore. I’m fed up with all of these small bandages that Ruben Amaro Jr. is trying to use to cover up the gaping wounds this team is suffering from. And, not surprisingly, I’m not alone.
A website has been created, but “not activated” yet, that threatens to boycott the Phillies. From the static homepage that currently exists:
You should fire Ruben Amaro and David Montgomery and bring in proven baseball winners to run the organization. The country club management of Maitre d’ Montgomery must end.
I know you have that big TV contract coming up so you’ll probably make money even if the team sucks. But have some pride in the product you put on the field. Stop accepting the excuses and blame shifting of failed management by old boy collegiality.
Remember the courage of Chuck LaMar, who told you the truth and quit in protest. That’s the kind of stand up leadership the Phillies need now–someone who won’t make excuses, won’t compulsively gamble away the organization’s future, then double down on failed bets.
For now this site will sit dormant. If positive change is not forthcoming, all Phillies fans will be invited to come and discuss how we can make the difference that’s needed to encourage Phillies owners to build a solid organization that will produce consistent winning baseball that fans can enjoy and support every year. You’d make even more money and be seen as community heroes once again.
That’s the growing sentiment around the team’s fanbase. Not good.
Let’s look specifically at the moves that have been made, and are rumored to be coming down, involving the Phillies outfield, which—I really hate to admit—hasn’t been the same since that bearded monster left for D.C.
Rube has this infatuation with over-the-hill, big, slow, right-handed (former)power hitters. The Delmon Young project collapsed in miserable fashion last year, so Rube thought signing a guy that played here a decade ago and had a career-best year last year at the age of 35/36. Not only did he sign Marlon Byrd, but he’s paying him $8 million a year for the next two years.
I do get the fact that Rube was looking for an upgrade over Darin Ruf, the young and still improving right field, but he hand-picked someone that is well into his decline and isn’t really that much of an upgrade. Ruf played half the amount of games that Byrd did a season ago, and look how their stats stack up:
|Darin Ruf||Marlon Byrd|
Double those numbers and you have essentially the same person—except for the age. The only one up there that might seem a little disconcerting is the strikeout total for Ruf, but all that tells me is that he’s an aggressive young player, something that he should improve on over time. The other one that ought to stand out is the last line that shows Ruf has a good 9 years on Byrd. This is a team that should be looking to get younger, not older and slower.
Which brings me to my next point about the rumors swirling around—thanks to one Howard Eskin—that the Phillies were in the process of working with the Toronto Blue Jays to swap a few power outfielders, Dom Brown for Jose Bautista. Please, God, no, no, no, no, No, NO, NO!
Those rumors have since been shut down by less loopieheaded medials, but no one is denying the idea that the Phillies are fielding trade offers for Brown. Let me reiterate the fact that this is a team that SHOULD be looking to get younger. Instead, they have a GM who’s flying by the seat of his pants, making ridiculous moves, essentially tearing apart any semblance of the core of this team in order to save his job. At this rate, the Phils won’t be starting a single person under the age of 33, with the exception of Roger Bernadina (29) and maybe Cody Asche (23) if he makes the opening day roster. (I’m not counting the 29-year-old Hamels, either.) Think about that.
And if the Bautista thing were to actually happen, the Phillies would essentially be getting a player who has ssllliiigghhtly better numbers than Brown, but who’s 7 years his elder and more injury prone. I get that Rube is trying to balance the lineup with righties and lefties, but how about dumping a guy like John Mayberry Jr. instead? Dom is the guy we’ve been waiting, praying, begging, to finally show up for the last three years, and now that he does, you want to get rid of him? Sure, let’s sell high on the only guy that makes me believe there’s some light at the end of this aging tunnel.
At some point in the next two, maybe three years, this roster is going to experience a significant amount of turnover. I’d like to have at least one All-Star caliber player around that makes watching baseball enjoyable. So please, for the love of God, Rube, stop destroying this team, and start putting a little more faith in the nonexistent stat guy that you hired—who, by the way, I’m absolutely positive is wondering what exactly the hell he got himself into by agreeing to serve in a consultancy-type position, with no real title, and who I bet you haven’t listened to at all, because there’s no way in hell any stat/sabermetrics nerd would ever be able to justify the moves you’re making.
Go to hell, Rube.