You know the song “Never Say Goodbye” by Bon Jovi? It seems as if Ruben Amaro Jr. has been listening to that song on repeat for last couple of years. He probably had it playing on his iPod up until today’s 4pm trade deadline concluded.
By now, every Phillies fan knows that the Phillies did not make a single move today, the final day of the non-waiver trade deadline. At this point, a lot of Phillies fans are probably feeling a little bit of confusion and anger. Does RAJ really believe that this same team will have a shot at competing next season? Has he been watching the same team us fans have been watching all season? How about the last couple of seasons? It appears not. Sadly, this current Phillies team will likely be the team we watch again next season, with potentially a couple pieces missing.
Today was the day to make a move. Today was the day to start planning for the future. Today was the right time to start saying goodbye.
I love the Phillies, and I love their players especially. I basically grew up with this core group of players. I started religiously watching Phillies baseball back in 2004 when CBP first opened. Players like Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Carlos Ruiz, Cole Hamels and Ryan Howard are all I’ve ever known (with a little Abreu, Thome, and Burrell mixed in). These guys are my heros, and helped me find my love for the game of baseball by watching them play everyday. They have broken my heart many times, but they have also given me some of the happiest memories of my life. Memories like Ryan Howard’s ridiculous 2006 where he won both the home run derby and the NL MVP award. Memories like Shane Victorino hitting that dramatic grand slam against CC Sabathia in the 2008 NLDS. Memories like watching Roy Halladay throw a no-hitter in the playoffs against the Reds while I was bedridden with an ACL injury, and of course, memories like watching the entire team dog pile on each other after winning the World Series in 2008. Those memories can never be replaced.
However, there has been a lot of bad recently. The last two and a half seasons of mediocre baseball have been painfully hard to watch, especially considering that as recent as 2009 people around the sport were talking about a potential dynasty after the Phillies made their second consecutive World Series appearance. Despite all the bad, I have stuck with this team because I love them. When a sibling or a relative makes a mistake, do you stop loving them? Of course not. I will never stop loving them, but I can be angry with them.
The fact that not a single move was made today is unacceptable. Sure they can still make a move before the August 31st waiver deadline, but the time to make a big splash was today, and now that time is over. It is time to move on from this core group of players. RAJ and the front office needs to realize that this team’s winning days are over. Every fan realizes it, so why can’t they? There is no answer right now.
When this team finally decides to move on from the past, and start planning for the future, I’ll still be a fan. I’ll always be a fan of the fightins, but it needs to happen sooner than later.
It is truly time to say goodbye.