Was this the worst Phillies offseason of all time?

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Betrayal, deceit, sabotage, conspiracy, disease; these are not the nouns you want attached to your baseball team.

There's been some talk that this offseason may have turned out all right for the Phillies. Today, we aim to squash that notion by saying the things that have happened.

Team tries to run beloved franchise player out of town

Whatever is going on with the Phillies and Jimmy Rollins, they are relying on the fans to turn on him. Fortunately for Jimmy, this isn't a town that just turns on you for no reason. We need a good reason to do so, like failing to live up to made-up blue collar standards that don't matter, or not being caucasian.

It started with Bowa's comments, then Sandberg's comments, and now they're behaving as if this Rollins guy has been trouble from the start, and isn't it just about time that they cut him loose? I mean, enough is enough! And how about all these hot young infield stars Rollins is blocking by refusing to be traded!

THAT SON OF A BITCH; HE KILLED MAIKEL FRANCO.

Ratted out college player to the NCAA

Not sure how they planned to spin this one, but however it was, they failed. Immediately. Like, they call the NCAA, performed the betrayal, put the phone down, turned around, and face planted after tripping over the 2008 World Series trophy, which is now being used as a toilet.

Mike Schmidt has cancer

Mike Schmidt has cancer.

Fuck cancer.

Roy Halladay breaks down, retires

Roy Halladay, the nicest man in the world if you're not holding a bat and standing 60 ½ feet away from him, went to another team to retire, too, because he couldn't spend one more press conference in a Phillies uniform.

Wait, no. He retired as a Blue Jay because he spent most of his career with them. Whew. Sorry. You get on this pain train sometimes and don't realize it's the express and you're missing some of the stops.

Regardless, has a man ever become so treasured a franchise icon so quickly, and then faltered, broken, and disappeared just as quickly? We're at a point that this is technically good news, because the Phillies couldn't find a way to  somehow betray Roy Halladay in time before he retired. And you know they tried.

Team's TV rights purchased by League of Shadows

Comcast poured $5 billion into the Phillies, and immediately cleaned house in the broadcast booth, removing long time fixtures and replacing them with their guys.

This was a move that is somewhat more subjective given your personal feelings on Wheels/Sarge and Stairs/Moyer, but one that overall sent a message: Comcast does what it wants, when it wants, to whoever it wants, as many times as it wants, rubbing its nipples as hard as it wants.

Also, CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR 18TH MONTH AS A COMCAST CUSTOMER. TO CELEBRATE, WE ARE ADDING AN $18 FEE TO YOUR BILL. HERE IS A NUMBER YOU CAN CALL TO FEEL LIKE YOUR COMPLAINTS HAVE BEEN HEARD. CALLING THIS NUMBER WILL ADD AN ADDITIONAL $35 TO YOUR MONTHLY BILL.

Team finally makes move on international market; signee can't pitch, gets hurt

When was your first raising of the eyebrows during the negotiation-announced signing-renegotiation-less expensive signing process between the Phillies and Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez? Mine was when he said he could throw every pitch, even a knuckleball. The Phillies shrouded him in mystery until he showed up at spring training, where beat writers took turns being amazed at how bad he was. Now his shoulder doesn't work.

It reminded me of that episode of Freaks and Geeks when Jason Segel tries out for a big time band and he tells them he has like a 47-piece drum set at home. At first they're impressed, and then it turns out he is a piece of shit drummer and they all chuckle to each other until he leaves.

Probably, the Phillies are not chuckling.

Ruben Amaro acquires representative of recent PED crackdown to start in right

Marlon Byrd is 37 years old and can't hit a cutoff man. His bonus season in which he is a surprisingly integral veteran presence on a playoff team has already been used. He received a multi-year contract.

Last place performance in the Grapefruit League

Holy shit, this is the worst preseason performance since the 1911 Phillies all got cholera, and that didn't even happen. The Phillies are hitting .211/.294/.320 right now, and that's what's known in baseball as a "vast improvement" over their .194/.298/.269 line seven games in.

"These games don't matter," is the logical response to the Phillies' god awful Grapefruit League performance. And the logical response to that is "Well, good, because if these games mattered in any way to any person, they'd have likely abandoned their homes and went to go live in the mountains."

Cole Hamels "delayed" by parasites living in throwing arm, probably

Every spring training since Utley's chronic knee rot has been played under suspicion. Which player will get hurt? Which wound will be torn open after weeks of reassurance? Who is hiding what terrible secret?

Far behind us are the days of getting a straight answer from this team, so while at the moment Cole Hamels' bicep tendinitis seems to be in remission, you never know if a condescending brush-off is hiding a far more complex problem with any of the Phillies' bodies.

...

Whatever happens, just remember: baseball is just a game, and the Phillies are just a team. And we are all specks of dust, using both as a distraction from the horrors of our meaningless lives.

There now. Isn't that better?

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