Posted by Michael Baumann, Fri, July 29, 2011 09:00 AM Comments: 80
I try to keep my commentary on this site rational, coherent, and dispassionate whenever possible. But the past few days have tested my patience. So what follows is spoken not from a place of reason, at least not entirely, and is permeated throughout with profanity and invective. So if you’re looking for news, this is not the place for you. If, however, you’re as fed up as I am with the rampant speculation on trades that could, if you listen to some, not only save the Phillies’ current season (!) but prevent the imminent disaster that is Domonic Brown from raining down volcanic ash and deadly plasma upon our fair city, yea, unto the seventh generation, then this is the post for you.
I think today is the day, as such a trade becomes, it seems, unavoidable, that we turn to the internet not out of fear but for catharsis, because after months of trying to discuss the situation analytically, my patience is wearing thin. I’m tired of discussing the pros and cons of Relief Pitcher A versus Relief Pitcher B, or Hunter Pence versus Carlos Quentin and Ryan Ludwick. I’m through being patient and ecumenical, because, frankly, I’m afraid. I’m afraid that Ruben Amaro is going to do something, out of a misplaced sense of panic or perhaps nothing more complicated than his own ignorance, that is so profoundly stupid as to touch on the bounds of mental illness.
Here’s the thing. The Phillies have assembled a team that is clearly the best in the National League. Coolstandings.com, which probably does not bear as much resemblance to the Holy Gospel as I make it out to, but is still an interesting way to look at the standings, has them on pace to win 99 games for the first time since the Danny Ozark era and at a 96.9 percent chance of making the playoffs. What a laughable idea it is, in light of those facts, that the Phillies need to do anything!
Even after the Carlos Beltran deal, the Phillies still match up quite well with the Giants and Braves, certainly well enough for Charlie Manuel’s bunch to like their chances in a seven-game NLCS with home-field advantage. So why is Ruben Amaro putting his young players on the market, the ones who stand to continue this era of dominance that we’ve somehow all taken for granted will continue beyond 2012 or 2013?
Now that the trade market is settling into its final week before the non-waiver deadline, do you know what the Phillies have to do to be the overwhelming favorite to represent the National League in the World Series? Not a goddamned thing.