If you only view the Phillies divisional foes strength-wise and the Fightins’ shortcomings, your conclusion will be a fourth-place finish and maybe a losing record, and you already have a scapegoat: general manager Matt Klentak.
Some Philadelphia Phillies fans have already conceded the upcoming season to their main rivals in the National League East. And unless Klentak acquires a mid-rotation arm, two bullpen pieces for the back end, a third sacker and a center fielder, those locals are unlikely to change their minds. Three flawless competitors?
IN OTHER WORDS:
“The microscopes that magnified the tears, studied warts and all. Still life flows on.” – George Harrison
For ’20, again, some fans have already decided the red pinstripes’ fate, but others believe they might tie for third place with the club who doesn’t have a 2019 pennant to fly at home. But although all teams have warts, being unaware of divisional rivals’ weaknesses might comfort the pessimists among us.
Unfortunately, many Philadelphians don’t hear or read similar remarks from those other cities. For some here, they annually project failure with low expectations to ward off potential disappointment. Ergo, does anticipating also-ran status lower emotional investment and avoid risking heartache?
While organizations explore possibilities, some are dead ends of due diligence. For instance, a franchise with a hole at the hot corner doesn’t pass on a comparably priced free agent but trade prospects to achieve the same monetary outlay. No, clubs inquire and find that alternative less appealing.
Rumors will continue to float in January, but who benefits from them? Well, agents and GMs can increase contract offers, interest in their clientele and/or bidders for a player’s services. But some supporters worry a divisional foe will pick up a star and eliminate their hometown nine before spring training.
Unless an organization has just one glaring need, their front office won’t overpay for that one piece like the New York Yankees this offseason. Otherwise, Klentak and his contemporaries will propose a fair value or slightly more, but anticipating a competitor overpaying in length and/or dollars isn’t a sustainable strategy.
To some fans here, the Washington Nationals with their World Series title or the Atlanta Braves with their NL East crown already have the division. Plus one local even thinks the Fightins will battle the Miami Marlins for fourth place, and he might believe the good guys’ chances are fifty-fifty.