The 2015 Phillies season is going to be a bad one. It’s going to be a long one. It’s going to be a depressing one. But, what if it’s not? I mean, it 100% will be, but Fox Sports suggests that maybe it won’t be.
Just to illustrate how far we’ve fallen, Jeff Sullivan’s Fox Sports piece about teams outperforming expectations is titled “Every Single Team Has a Chance … Yes, Even the Phillies.” It burns. Sullivan used a bunch of methods to grab projections for every team, and then, he found the actual win totals for teams in history projected to win that many games. It’s fairly simple. And what false hope does he have to feed?
No one’s projected for a worse record than the Phillies. But, our sample includes 300 team-seasons. In eight of those, a team exceeded its projected win total by at least 16. That’s just about 3 percent. Another 9 percent have exceeded projected win totals by 11-15. We shouldn’t overstate these magnitudes; most of the time, teams still fall much closer to their projections. But optimism isn’t always balanced and rational. The key to optimism is legitimate hope, and there’s enough for even Phillies fans to grasp onto, if they so desire.
You know what? I don’t desire. This season is going to be long and bad and depressing (I think I said that already) and the last thing I need is any false sense of hope that if they just string like 15 wins or so together right after the All-Star break, they’ll be right back in it. Get outta here. And really, if you need any evidence that this is all smoke and mirrors, check how Sullivan closes his piece:
And if it can be said the Phillies have a chance, it can be said that everyone has a chance, because no one looks worse than the Phillies. Not the Braves, not the Twins, not the Diamondbacks, not anybody else. Jonathan Papelbon might be the most optimistic player in the Philadelphia clubhouse at the moment, but there’s at least some support, beyond it just being forgivable to have a sunny attitude in February.
Bullshit. Papelbon isn’t even the most optimistic player in the room when he’s the only player in the room.