The Phillies are down to their last game of the season. They can't finish below .500, and the team is solidly looking forward to next year. Charlie Manuel has been quoted in the press as saying he can't wait till Spring Training, and 'things are going to be different next year.' Makes you wonder what he means by 'going to be different' next year. What did kind of camp did Charlie run last year, a sort of country club for overpaid and underachieving ball players?
The off-season this year is likely to be very interesting, the moves that the Phillies already made were to say the least interesting. How do you trade away a player like Hunter Pence, who at the time was the main piece of the Phillies offense when Howard and Utley weren't ready to pick up some of the slack that was going on with the offense this season? Pence is a very valuable player, yet the Phillies sent him packing for next to nothing.
Another player the Phillies had to at least the end of the season was Shane Victorino, but he was traded out to the LA Dodgers at a critical time that could have made the difference in this team making the playoffs. The tandem of Victorino and Pence where an important part of the team before they were traded away for players who were not the same caliber as them. Pence had 15 HR and 59 RBI at the break, he has 105 RBI now combining his Phillies and Giants season in 2012.
Ruben Amaro says that 'everyone' is going to be evaluated after the season. Perhaps he should start with himself, and try to realize if the trades that he made at the All Star break, was the reason this team couldn't recover with enough wins to make the playoffs.
This team was a better team than their record shows, with a few more victories this year, we could have seen them try to do more in the playoffs. But, it's only one more game in this season, one of the bright spots have been a guy that some have dubbed 'Babe Ruf'.
Darin Ruf had two home runs in the Phillies loss last night against the Nationals, he has shown that his power is legitimate in the MLB, and if this season was just beginning, it could be said that Ruf was well on his way to being Rookie of the Year with the way he has been hitting.