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Article:An Open Letter to the Phillies: Get Yer Heads Outta Yer Butts!

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Come on Phillies! That pretty much sums up my reaction to what my radio was telling me yesterday. A no-hitter? To Dave Bush? Who is 44-46 for his six year career? At least they had the decency to wrap it all up before I even got home from work!

No disrespect to Bush, but - come on!!! What the hell's up with the Phillies?

Here are two statements that emphasize my level of negativity toward them at this moment:

1) Ryan Howard went 0-4 last night...but at least he didn't strike out. Yay! What a consolation.

2) I am not even going to moan about their LOB numbers.

You lollygag to first! You lollygag to second! You know what that makes you? A sorely underwhelming and uninspiring team!

And Phillies fans are funny. We're conditioned to bring out all the usual cliches and reasons why it's okay that the Phillies aren't looking like defending World Series champs right now.

  • Cliche/Reason: It's April. They always start slow.
  • Retort: Not always. If I am remembering correctly, they started 17-5 in 1993 and never looked back. Last year, they posted a winning April (15-13) - barely.
  • Cliche/Reason: They're a warm weather team.
  • Retort: Who isn't? And...since when? They're not a warm weather team from a geographic perspective. And don't give me that a lot of the guys are from California. Most of the guys on the team have at least one year of playing baseball in crummy Northeast weather. And if you're not a cold weather team, how on Earth did you win the World Series??? Newsflash: Baseball is played in April, May, September and October - none of these are summer months.
  • Cliche/Reason: It's a marathon, not a sprint. There's still 148 games to go.
  • Retort: Well, you're 6-8 with six games left in April - three against the Marlins (11-4) and three against the Nationals (3-11). And before any aspersions are cast at the Nationals, let me point out that the Phils are only three games better than them right now.

I don't want to hear it. I get the impression that the Phillies fans in general are okay with how things are going. I do not necessarily agree. A saving grace is that the Mets are also struggling. But Florida ain't.

And just because the lowly Pirates just finished a sweep of the Marlins, that don't (or shouldn't) mean diddly for the Phils. After all, before that series, the Marlins were cruising along at 11-1.

Clearly, I don't expect Florida to keep up a pace like this, but, honestly, I doubt I am the only one who believes that the Phillies going into Florida playing like they are now could really turn this season on it's ear. It's very likely that the Marlins could emerge with a sweep.

Time to wake up Phillies. Time to forget about that trophy and concentrate on the 2009 season. Sadly, their pitchers have given up at least one homer in every game this season. Ryan Braun feasted on Phillies pitching, batting .800, slamming three homers and driving in six.

I'm not giving up or renouncing my Phillies fandom. I'm far too committed for that. Go Phils! But they're really pissing me off right now.

A three game sweep in Florida would go a long way to repairing my fractured confidence in them.

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