We’ve gone from the promise of being “a little bit stupid” in the offseason to the very public warning by Phillies president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail that landing either Bryce Harper or Manny Machado is not the end all be all for the future success of the franchise.
What a load of steaming horse shit.
And here we are, folks. For years Phillies fans have looked at 2019 as the year. Sure, we may suck now, Citizen’s Bank Park may be less than half full for 80% of all home games and we still have to watch Maikel Franco on a nightly basis, but 2019 is going to be different. Harper and Machado are ripe for the taking. The Phillies have little to no payroll, they’ve got a ton of money in their coffers, and John Middleton and Andy MacPhail are sick and tired of the losing.
Back up the Brinks truck, because we’ve got money to burn and forget about getting just ONE of those guys, hey, we may be “a little bit stupid” and sign both. Why not? IT’S THE NEW NORMAL, FOLKS, AND WE WILL NOT BE OUTBID.
Except it seems like the rest of baseball didn’t get the memo, and now the Phillies are scrambling to create the narrative that success is not dependent on signing EITHER Harper or Machado. As reported by Todd Zelecki at MLB.com, MacPhail certainly sounds like he’s taking proactive steps to convince fans that the franchise really didn’t need Harper or Machado in the first place.
“We have flexibility and we’re still interested,” Phillies president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said on Monday at Bethesda Project’s Our Brothers’ Place, an emergency shelter for 149 homeless men in North Philadelphia, where the club served an annual holiday meal. “We’re not ruling anything out, or anybody out. It’s a nice platform to operate on, because the floor has been significantly raised. We’re still in position to improve.
“But there are a lot of different ways to improve. It’s very important that you keep an eye on the future. There’s going to be just as much pressure on us next year to improve as there is this year. And the same thing the year after that. So you’ve got to give yourself enough latitude to deal with each offseason as it comes.”
He goes on to say that the signing of Andrew McCutchen, the trade for Jean Segura, and moving Rhys Hoskins back to first base would upgrade the team’s defense significantly. Future left-handed reliever options would bolster the bullpen as well, he said.
But neither of them are Harper or Machado, and after an offseason Middleton hyping up the Phillies as the new bad boys of the league, the signing of Zach Britton isn’t going to cut it.
Especially if you’re not even going to MEET with Harper when you’re in Las Vegas in the first place.
Sources have said the Phillies prefer Machado over Harper. Thursday’s visit seems to confirm that, particularly because the Phils never met with Harper during the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas. Harper lives in Vegas, and he reportedly met with other teams there.
Awesome. Didn’t want to pay the Uber fare to meet up with one of the greatest players in baseball, Middleton? If you want to puff out your chest and swing your dick around and say the Phillies will be one of the major players in the free agent market, you need to, you know, actually back up your asinine statements and not count on the mere possibility of signing over-the-hill left handed reliever Andrew Miller.
Enjoy the season if you don’t land at least one of those premier free agents, gentlemen. When McCutcheon is hitting .250 in August and fans aren’t FLOCKING to see games at Citizens Bank Park in 90 degree weather or Jean Segura, don’t be completely surprised.
You brought this one yourself by being a little bit stupid and getting a starving fanbase all frothed up with the promise of a renewed energy and a big name for 2019.
Enjoy the slow slide back into mediocrity if you can’t land one of those big fish, gents. It should be fun to see.