Phrustration – a word whose true meaning can only be described in a word that was loudly and proudly on display at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday Night. BOOOOO. While it was justly aimed at “Balking” Bob Davidson, it represented the feelings of a city that has been subjected to its worst spring in recent memory. No playoffs in winter sports and watching the baseball team was like a prolonged visit to the dentist.
In the last couple of weeks we have been forced to watch as the Phillies try to make this season relevant. The battle to get to .500 was 48 games in the making. The first couple of months of the season have been a microcosm of all the things that have frustrated us about this team in the last couple of years. The lack of patience at the plate. The inability to generate offense on the days when the pitching staff shut the other team down. The bullpen giving up runs like they were facing the Gashouse Gorillas.
We have seen the crumbling of a once great warrior in Roy Halladay and the lack of support for Cole Hamels. There have been a few bright spots, Domonic Brown has started to show the talent that was taking as long to develop as a Monday morning commute down I-95, Kyle Kendrick and Jonathan Pettibone are keeping the pitching staff above water. Cliff Lee and Jonathan Papelbon have been the only consistent All-Star quality performers this year and they are the first names out of everyone’s mouth when talking about selling off before the deadline.
We are witnessing a difficult transition for a franchise that is at the tail end of the greatest era in its history. As fans we desperately want to see sustained excellence, and with the revenue streams that are available, most think we should just be able to buy our way to success. As we have seen with the last few World Series champions…Money doesn’t equal Championships. With each day the fan base becomes increasingly agitated with Ruben Amaro and his off-season moves that have proven mediocre at best. Michael Young started out hot, but with each passing week his swings have gotten progressively weak. The bullpen sans Papelbon has been putrid. Chad Durbin became the second Chad in a row to become discarded in the middle of the year. There are others whose ticket would be happily paid for by the fans in the building if they would just pass the hat down the row. Delmon Young moves around the field like Babe Ruth in the old black and white films. And Ben Revere…well we should have known when his first shot at Philly bonding was a Chicken Cheesesteak.
Each year since the glorious 2008 World Championship has been a step backwards. Despite regular season success 2009-2011 ended in lesser playoff defeats. Each one more excruciating than the previous year. Each team that defeated the Fightins ended up champions. All the while we were left to wonder where the magic had gone.
Now in 2013, as the empire crumbles around them, the organization is left to try and figure out its next moves. They have left Charlie Manuel out to dry by not extending his contract and putting his replacement on the bench. They have aging stars who are battling time and injury to try and recapture a little of the glory they once basked in under the bright lights of Citizens Bank Park. The minor league replacements that have attempted to fill in have shown little and the win-loss record shows.
With all of these factors blended together, it seems as if the Phillies are destined to give us more and more of the feeling that all of the natives around here know all too well…PHRUSTRATION!!!Tags: Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Domonic Brown, Kyle Kendrick, Philadelphia Phillies