One of the suggestions sportswriters get is to function as something other than a calendar or a standings list.
Presumably, readers are savvy enough to know what today's date is and where their favorite teams reside in the current standings. Don't duplicate effort, so goes the advice.
Well, pitch that, because the Phillies' present condition is atrocious enough to demand a taking of inventory.
The Phillies, not even a full week into August, are:
- 16.5 games out of first place in National League East
- 11 games under .500
- 10.5 games out of a wild card spot, the value of which is diluted since there are two of them
Give them this, though: Based on run differential, their record should be much, much worse than it is.
The Good Ship Phillies hung around the .500 buoy for half a season, hit a rock and sank like a stone.
Woe be to you, if you have tickets to watch this moribund, overpriced, non-achieving side for the next 51 games.
Who wants to talk possible post-deadline trades? Don't all jump up at once.
For the uninitiated, the rules governing post-deadline trades are set forth really well by Jay Jaffe of Sports Illustrated here.