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The Philadelphia Phillies are among the oldest baseball teams in the United States. The company is also one of the least sucessful franchises in Major League Baseball (MLB) history, having won only two World Series championships in 126 years of existence. The company actively markets baseball, captive audience and nigh on prohibitively costly parking, overly expensive and watered down beer and reprehensibly pricey food; as well as owning and operating several minor league baseball teams.
The company's strength lies in its strong and growing young hitters, which (a good amount of the time) give it a significant competitive advantage. However, the Phillies face the threat of the expected slowdown of their pitching staff and the increasing Met and Brave burden and the volatility in Florida and the rest of the National League (NL), which could affect the company's level of production and lead to decline in overall top of the divison standings.
- Expanding Market Share in Division
- Strong Win Margin
- Strong Growth Prospects
- Away Games Operational Performance
Expanding Market Share in Divison
The company's compounded annual playoff rate (CAPR) for seasons was 40% during 2004-2008. This was below the National League East sector average of 60%, but equal to or above any individual team average, which was 40% for rival company the Atlanta Braves and 20% for bitter, hated arch rival firm the New York Mets.
A higher than sector average CAPR may indicate that the company has outperformed the average sector growth and gained league share over the last four years. The company achieved this growth as a result of better competitive position players due to getting their heads out of their butts, bucking conventional wisdom and hiring the unconventional Charlie Manuel as manager, building a kick-ass new stadium and catering to the fan - with the clear knowledge that catering to the fan is always the most important component to any successful team.
Totally objective chart of 2004-2008 NL East division leaders
Year Ranking Wins Divison Winner 2008 FIRST! 92 PHILLIES * 2007 First! 89 PHILLIES 2006 second 85 Mets ** 2005 second 88 Braves 2004 second 86 Braves * Won World Series and proved they were the best team ** ##!@!##!#@!!!!
Strong Win Margin
Put simply, the Phillies won more games than the Mets did in both 2007 and 2008, and this led them to the postseason. That's all you really need to know.
Strong Growth Prospects
After winning the World Series, the Phillies allowed wily veteran Pat Burrell to walk, replacing him with the far more mobile Raul Ibanez, who is a fielding improvement, a speed upgrade and is far less prone to streaky batting performances. Even though he was a fixture in Philly, and we kinda miss Pat - but we're likin' this Ibanez guy.
Away Games Operational Performance
Who the hell can figure this out? The Phillies are freakin' 13-22 at home and 26-12 on the road. Discussions are ongoing to change the appearance of Citizens Bank Park to look more like whatever stadium it is that the Washington Nationals play in. It's also been discussed to bus in rude New York Met fans to provide the proper level of booing to ensure the Phillies do not feel at home when playing in Philadelphia. Of course, the likelihood of Arlen Specter meddling in these efforts and effing it all up is strong, so the discussions are being held in a secret location unknown to the author. Pity.
- Dropdown in Run Support
- Rise in Home Runs Surrendered
- Geographic Consternation
Dropdown in Run Support Like any smart operation, you try to strike a balance. Anyone who looked at this team from last year to this could see that the pitching was a bit suspect. But did they take any major steps to upgrade the staff? Nooooo. I mean, Cole Hamels is great and all, but what's behind him? Ahem. As I was saying, the Phillies have suffered from an inability to push runs across the plate. As is well known in baseball, you can't win if you don't score more than your opponent. You could look it up.
Rise in Home Runs Surrendered
For whatver reason, balls are flying out of the park faster than you can say "Not again!" Needless to say, this increase in home runs by opposing teams (which leads NL pitching staffs), has contributed mightily to more than a few freaking Phillies losses. It would be nice to see fewer homers surrendered, guys. Just sayin'
No. Can't say it again. It aggravates me. Please see the "Away Games Operational Performance" section under "Strengths" - you get the idea.
- Expansion into American League Markets
- Positive Outlook for Second Half of Season
- Leading In All-Star Voting
Expansion into American League Markets
This could have been a positive area for the Phillies, but noooo....they lose two of three to Boston, three to Toronto, three to Baltimore (!), two of three to Tampa Bay and then, by some too late miracle, take two of three from Toronto. Maybe this section should have been under the "Weaknesses" heading.
Positive Outlook for Second Half of Season
Holy crap! Could it get much worse? If not for the Mets injuries and their overall ability to match the Phillies crappy loss to teams they should be beating, the season would be shaping up quite differently. With any luck, the Phillies will get to the All-Star break and get things together. Then a nice 10 of 12 win streak would go nicely to help increase the division lead.
There is also talk in Pennsylvania of having the Phillies play the Nationals for the remainder of the season. Hey, it sounds good to me. The Phillies own them, after all. Oh right - like you wouldn't want that for your team. Fine - so there's no discussion like that going on. But there should be.
Leading In All-Star Voting
Chase Utley and Raul Ibanez are leading at their positions. Nice job, voters. For once, you got it right. Not that the All-Star game means anything, but go ahead and win it anyway, NL. Just in case. Nice rule, Selig, you...
- Playing the Mets
- Playing the American League
- The Pitching Staff
- Not Scoring Enough Runs
- Playing Home Games
Look, this has gone on long enough. Suffice it to say that they don't play well against the Mets; they suck ass against the American League; the Pitching Staff gives up too many homers, too many runs and needs to have more quality starts; the offense is often guilty of leaving too many frigging men on base; and they stink on ice at home. What more do you want? If you read any of this, you'd know all this already!
Note : The author should have used a wide range of research methods to gather and verify his information. These would have included sports related web sites, team websites, written reports on the teams and press releases. The author lazily contented himself with cursory checks of data on ESPN's web site.