Franco is back for only a few of the last games of the year in 2015
Yes, we get the first pick in the 2016 June MLB draft. But how did we earn that?
It's really not easy to lose 100 games in a baseball season. You have to work at it, and the Phillies start to this 2015 season and leading up to the All-Star Break have shown just how to get on a road to losing that many games.
In the first 15 games of this season, the Phillies only managed to win 5 games. In May, when the weather was starting to warm up, you would have thought this team would play better, they only played slightly better than April. On May 30, the Phils were 19-32. In the month of June, the wheels came off, the Phils started the month off with 2 wins, then proceeded to lose 19 of a total of 27 games in the month. On the last day of June, the Phils were 27-52.
The team needed some major changes, there were none forthcoming from upper management. It wasn't till a while later that Ruben Amaro Jr. would be able to make some moves with Cole Hamels and Chase Utley.
It was rumored that a new team president would soon take the reins in the press, and it was Andy MacPhail, who had a lot to do with Ryne Sandberg not being named the Cubs manager several years ago. When the news broke about MacPhail possibly being hired, Ryne lasted a few days during all of the rumor and speculation, but resigned on June 26th after a road trip to New York, where the Phillies beat the Yankees in 2 of the 3-game series. Ryne cited not wanting to lose as a primary reason for his resignation, but with MacPhail supposedly being hired was the final nail in his managerial coffin.
The resignation of Ryno came as a complete surprise to many, including the players themselves. Some unkind remarks were made by a couple players in public, Ben Revere was one of them. Seems respect for a Hall of Fame player only goes so far with some people, the Phillies went into a tailspin after the resignation, only winning 3 of their next 12 games. The Brewers swept the listless Phillies at home at CBP in 4-games straight starting on June 29th, and then the Phils embarked on a 10-game road trip that saw them win only 2 of those games.
I've always thought that this team wasn't as bad as their current record reflects, perhaps that group that played together up to the All-Star Break just couldn't gel as a team. Nothing went right, there was plenty of dissension.
The fans are still with this team, not as many as before of course, but the team has attracted 1.8M fans to the ballpark this year, and that's not as bad as it could be. It's the lowest total amount of fans through the gates to watch a whole season of games since 2002, the waning years of Veteran's Stadium, when only 1.6M fans came out to watch this team in that cavernous stadium.
Win or lose today, the Phils have been through some really nasty changes this season, they've seen a lot of veterans leave this team. Can youth and some additional components change this team around for next season? For that, we'll have to wait till next year, a long off-season of 5 months until Spring brings our hopes back again for yet another season.