Philadelphia Phillies: Why Finishing Miracle Run Could Actually Be a Bad Thing
No this isn't a joke, or an anti-Philadelphia Phillies article.
Rather, it's an analysis of the actual serious possibility that the Phillies would be better off missing the postseason this year, even after their recent surge into contention.
If the Phillies make the playoffs, then the front office can look at this team and say, "Clearly, we have a playoff team here," which could mean any potential for an offseason overhaul would diminish. The Phillies need to get better this offseason, and if they make the playoffs, they may not make the necessary moves to return to being perennial World Series contenders.
The first move that would be jeopardized by making the playoffs is the future of Charlie Manuel. If the Phillies make the playoffs this year, it will not be because of Manuel. But you can't fire a manager who is in charge of a team that just pulled off a miracle playoff run.
Charlie Manuel is a great player's coach, but when it comes to managing the game, Manuel frequently makes poor decisions with his pitchers and relies too heavily on the long ball instead of playing small ball.
Manuel also shows too much loyalty towards Jimmy Rollins, who, despite his recent hot streak, has no business being the leadoff hitter on a team that has Juan Pierre.
It's time for a new manager in Philadelphia, but don't expect that to happen this year.
As it currently stands, the Phillies have talent on their roster—and a lot of it—but there is always room for improvement. Making the playoffs could mask that need for improvement.
The outfield is the first spot in which the Phillies are in need of some offseason retooling.
Juan Pierre could be re-signed in the offseason, and Domonic Brown may have earned himself a starting spot in right field for next season, but John Mayberry Jr. is not a major league starting outfielder.
The Phillies need to bring in somebody like Michael Bourn or B.J. Upton to take over center field this offseason; that is a must.
Next, despite Kevin Frandsen's stellar hitting in his time at third base, he isn't a viable option to start in the hot corner next year. Philadelphia needs to make a move for a third basemen or move Chase Utley to third and have Freddy Galvis play second base.
The last flaw on the roster that could be hidden by a postseason run is the bullpen, which has been hot of late. A mix of young guns and veteran arms could give the Phillies one of baseball's better bullpens if they can add some talent in the offseason. The young guys have been strong this year, but not all of them will be on the Opening Day roster in 2013.
Maybe Phillies fans need this team to miss the playoffs.
Yes, it will hurt for a while, but part of what makes Phillies fans so great is that they follow their team year-round. I'm beginning to become fearful that Phillies fans are turning into Yankees fans, and we don't want that, Philadelphia.
We don't want to be spoiled.
We don't want to only pay attention to the postseason; we want to know the outcome of all 162 games in the regular season, because we know how important each one of those games is.
Don't get me wrong: If the Phillies make the postseason, I'll be the first one jumping and screaming for joy.
But, somewhere deep in my mind, hidden behind the pure joy that a miracle playoff run would bring, would be the thought that maybe, just maybe, making the playoffs was a bad idea.
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