This graph, via Reddit, shows MLB divisional standings based on games over or under .500. The theory goes that good teams will slowly migrate to the north on this graph, and that bad teams will slowly migrate south (or, if you’re the Marlins, jump off a fucking cliff until you run out of room and there is literally no way to be any worse). The Phillies, however, are consistent. Consistently on the ass of mediocrity.
They’ve essentially hovered between two and four games under .500 for the entire season, once getting a game over, and a few times finding themselves five games under. To me, there’s no better indicator that this team is going nowhere. They’re just doggy-paddling their way to edge of the graph with no real purpose. Every little one- or two-game winning streak is balanced – quite rhythmically, actually – with a one- or two-game losing streak. It’s… nice, but rather unfulfilling. If this graph represented sexual intensity, the Phillies would be just meh, while the Braves would be oh baby!… and the Marlins would be oh my god please stop I’m bleeding.
The Phillies are what they are. No better, but not much worse either. There’s no indication that they have the ability to put together a long winning or losing streak. And that may be a problem: They’re handicapable enough to hover at or around .500 long enough for Ruben Amaro to make fickle and foolish moves. Signing Carlos Zambrano, a nutjob at the end of his career who might be able to squeeze a few more months of value out of his arm, was a sign that Amaro thought the season could be salvaged, because otherwise, you’d want give [insert minor leaguer] an opportunity, or get someone who might not choke out his pitching coach. But then there are the very real trade rumors surrounding Cliff Lee and Jonathan Papelbon– obvious signs of rebuilding. You can’t have it both ways– either you buy or you sell. Unfortunately, the Phillies could be just good enough, but just bad enough too, to do neither… or do both… when what they should do is fire Amaro and Charlie Manuel and go from there.
You can see all the divisions after the jump. Continue Reading…