It's time to begin the rebuilding process.
There, I said it, and with great difficulty. But the Philadelphia Phillies do not have a fighting chance of having a successful season.
Not when your team has lost eight of their last nine games, are 10 games under .500 and have now compiled the second worst record in Major League Baseball (MLB) behind only the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. was in a tough spot. How could he possibly break up the core of the 2008 World Championship team, knowing that the best bet is to go into rebuilding mode? I mean, who wants to be the person responsible for getting rid of Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Carlos Ruiz and Cole Hamels.
Now, though, is the time to part ways, no matter how painful the process will be for the team and its fans.
It was difficult seeing Charlie Manuel go, but Ryne Sandberg is the manager of the future. Just what kind of future though will this team have? It won't be much unless the core is broken up. Throw in Cliff Lee, Marlon Byrd and Jonathan Papelbon and the Phillies may have some players to shop around during next month's trade deadline.
How could anyone not want Utley? The man is probably the hardest working athlete in Philly and one of the franchise's most popular players of all time.
Jimmy Rollins might even want to go once he breaks Mike Schmidt's hit record. But maybe J-Roll will want to play out his remaining years here.
Chooch could help a team since he is such a great defensive catcher and Byrd is a great guy to have to make a playoff run. Papelbon has had an impressive year so maybe someone will bite on his contract. It may be hard to move Howard.
But it's time to try.
The Philadelphia Phillies of 2014 are history. So it's time to focus on the future and forget about the past.
Dino Ciliberti is a lifelong Philadelphia sports fan, journalist of 30 years and award-winning sports writer who lives in Upper Dublin Township in Montgomery County. With Philly Sports Chatter he shares his thoughts about the professional sports in the Greater Philadelphia region.
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