Ryan Howard waves to fans at the Eagles game this past season, the Eagles faithful have continued to fill the stadium, but not the Phils fans
The Phillies were accused of holding onto players who won the 2008 World Series with the team forever in some instances. The thought that the good times would never probably end, were probably in the front of Ruben Amaro's mind as the Phillies pulled a miracle out of their hat in 2007 in clinching the NL East on the last day of the season, and then the very next year, winning it all in the World Series in 2008.
The years have slowly been going by for some, and for others, it has been a constant blur of dates and bad finishes by this Phillies team which will be now 9 seasons removed from that World Series win, and yes, the team did repeat and make it back to the WS in 2009 but since then, it's been a steady decline into the abyss.
It's almost the start of the 2017 season and for the first time in many years, we don't have a World Series championship player left on the field. We have a lot of players with talent and potential, but that's just it, this season is the one where the Phillies either start to get better or this team could be really bad for a long time to come.
No, there's no one left from what could be described as one of the best times ever for a Phillies fan, Chooch and Ryan Howard were the last to go, it's really the end of an era for a base of fans that really supported with team fully over the great years that the team had. Sellouts every night for years, it's been something that hasn't happened in Philly like that before, and we may not ever see it again. The sellouts stopped on August 6th 2012, that's some 5 years ago with this season. The Phillies attendance has dipped to #13 of 15 teams in the NL last year with 1.9M fans through the turnstiles in 81 games.
Can this core of younger and newly acquired players pull together and make something happen this year? There has been talk of acquiring a big name free agent in the offseason after this year, but even if that happened would it change anything? Look at the Los Angeles Angels? They have big name talent and go nowhere, that's not what the Phillies want to do.
So sobering is that after this season, it's going to be the 10th Anniversary next year of the Phillies win in the World Series, wow, that's amazing that it was that long ago already.