Mets fans still flying the Met Flag despite being 41-50 at the All-Star Break
The season is already more than half over for the Philadelphia Phillies, historically though, the measurement for the 'half season' is by the All-Star break. It's a nice break for the players who have been on a constant cycle of playing and travelling.
What we've seen from the Phils so far has been somewhat ordinary, they haven't been on those extended win streaks and running into a bunch of good luck on or off the field. The Phillies have their top two players ranked by salary, in the sick bay on the DL.
The Phillies and the Mets kick off what is a race to the finish line now, it's still a long race but the teams are all on the down slope of the very long season. What starts to make things a lot more interesting is the July 31st trade deadline, that is the point in the season that anyone who is traded by that date is also eligible for postseason play (players don't have to clear waivers), so the big names usually are moved at this time in the season. A player can be traded later than this date, but the player must clear waivers, that means he would be offered to all of the teams in the particular league by a ranking of worst to first before such a trade would become official, if the player is claimed by no other team while he is on waivers, the trade can continue.
Here's a look at what wikipedia says about the MLB trade deadline:
The Major League Baseball (MLB) non-waiver deadline is July 31. After the All-Star break, teams will determine whether or not they are in position to contend for the post-season. Because of free agency and the lack of a salary cap in baseball, players in the final year of their contract are often put on the "trading block" by many of the non-playoff contending teams. Smaller market teams will not — or cannot afford to — pay their better veteran players high salaries, so they will attempt to trade them to a post-season contender, in exchange for some minor-league prospects or other players who might be able to help them in the future.
The MLB waiver deadline is August 31. There is much less activity between July 31 and August 31 because players must clear waivers. Players may be acquired after the August 31 deadline; however, while they can contribute to a team's push for the playoffs, they are ineligible for postseason play.
The trade deadline was instituted by MLB in response to various attempts by two New York City-based ballclubs, the Giants and Yankees, to use its financial advantages to tilt its respective leagues' competitive balance in their favor from 1917 through 1922. In the Yankees' case, most of its dealings were with the Boston Red Sox. The American League (AL) established MLB's first-ever such rule in 1920 as an indirect result of the Red Sox's sale of Babe Ruth to the Yankees. It prohibited the trading and selling of ballplayers between August 1 and the conclusion of the World Series. A uniform rule serving both major leagues, which was adopted prior to the 1923 season, set the deadline at June 15. The date, chosen by MLB Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis based on a suggestion from Pittsburgh Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss, remained in effect through the 1985 season. The rule in its current form originated with the 1986 Basic Agreement which resulted from the resolution of the 1985 MLB strike.
What does this trade deadline mean for the Phillies? The team can either be bullish or pull back and again drop some of the veterans of the team, like it did last year with Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence. Both players were doing somewhat good for the team, but the decision was made to shed the salary and try to rebuild in some fashion. I am not too sure the Phillies were all that successful in accomplishing that with those two players.
The talk will now be centered more than ever on the Phillies players and who will stay and who will go.
Kyle Kendrick (8-6 / 3.68 ERA) kicks off the second-half of the season tonight at Citi Field against the Mets and Jeremy Heffner (4-6 / 3.33 ERA).