After the Philadelphia Phillies finished 81-81 in 2012, the signs of trouble around the team were plentiful and ominous. But there were still rationalizations and wishes lingering.
It does not take all that much, so goes the dreamer's logic, to go from 81 wins to, say, 88 wins.
Phillies fans hoped that Roy Halladay and Ryan Howard could come back healthy in 2013. They crossed their fingers on the possibility that Ben Revere could steal 40 bases and score 100 runs.
While they were ruminating on those wishes, they never could have guessed that Cole Hamels would go 8-14 or that Jimmy Rollins would hit .252 and slug .348.
There will be no such dreaming about the 2014 Phillies after this past season's group lost 89 times.
Very few 73-89 teams have lacked for roster holes. The Phillies are no exception.