|PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 21: Starting pitcher Kyle Kendrick #38 of the Philadelphia Phillies tags out catcher Jesus Flores #26 of the Washington Nationals at home plate during a game at Citizens Bank Park on May 21, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)|
The Phillies lost another game last night to the Washington Nationals. It was a close game all night, but the Phils just couldn't get the job done and Kyle Kendrick fell to 0-4 on the season, and the Phillies slipped below .500 again at 21-22.
Another team that usually does well and isn't this year is the New York Yankees. Last night, they dropped a game to the Kansas City Royals to bring their record to 21-21.
Look at both divisions, the National League East and the American League East, and the comparison is similar. Both the teams either on top of each division or near the top endured some really tough times before they got a chance to draft the best players in each league because of it.
In the National League East, the story so far is about how well the Washington Nationals are doing. They've assembled a great team of younger talent with just the right amount of seasoned players thrown in. Yes, they've been on the bottom of the heap for a long time, and baseball has a way of correcting that by rewarding those type teams with the highest draft picks of the best young talent.
If we look at the Phillies and Yankees, we see a different story. The teams are full of top earning, and slightly past their prime players who can still possibly get the job done, but are at a much greater risk for injury as their age and years of play catch up to them.
The same thing applies with the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East. For the past few years, they have been horrible. The O's have finished either 4th or 5th in the 5 team division all but one year since 1998 (they finished 3rd in 2004), they too have found success with having younger players supported by a few veterans.
The Phillies don't look like they are capable of overcoming the bad play and at times, uninspiring play that they have been dogged with so far this season. It is doubtful that even Ryan Howard and Chase Utley's presence on this team will change this road that they are on.
Maybe this is the deconstruction year for the Phillies, and maybe they can wheel and deal and end up with something better than they have now. The golden age that the Phillies have had in the past 5 years may be past us, and if it was it was a great run.