The pessimistic attitudes surrounding the Phillies have good reason and now maybe even good grounds. A recent report on ESPN links wins to cheap contracts and best individual performances to youth. In cause you forgot the Phillies have neither.
"Team A...has a payroll of 229 million... Team B... payroll of 22 million... we would not be able to predict with 95% confidence that Team A would win more games than team B this year." - Keating, ESPN the Magazine
Ok this seems to be a little overstated. The yankees had 34 more wins than the Astro's, which is the likely scenario but consider that some of the best players in the game (i.e. Mike Trout) are making very little (510K). The point of this is not that we should get Mike Trout- the point of this is that the Phillies management is extremely flawed in thinking. They are holding out hope that big dollar investments will pay out, when this just isn't the case. The Phillies have had a bad run at injuries yes, but look at the decline of a relatively healthy Jimmy Rollins.
Lets apply this theory to the Phillies to bring it a little closer to home. Which offense would produce more? One with Howard, Utley, Rollins, Byrd (58 Million) or with Ruf, Hernandez, Galvez, and Franco (3million)?
Before you answer I encourage you to check the stats - especially OPS. With the Exception of Chase Utley- there isn'tmuch difference.
The reality of the situation is that the Phillies- if they dumped some of their high priced players they would still be the same team. Not much will change one way or the next. The Phillies Management is flawed in believing that there is still a window for this team- but I applaud their effort to keep their draft picks and only go after the lesser free agents this offseason.
On the nonsense with Jimmy Rollins-
Sandberg has a right to be frustrated with Jimmy- we the fans have the right to be frustrated with an athlete in decline playing out this year solely to write his name in the record books. A right to be frustrated with a player who still opens his mouth wide but wont run out a fly ball.
I have respect for the player who in 2007-2008 lit a fire and made the team believe they could win it all- and then went out and played like it. I have no respect or tolerance for a guy who opens his mouth and says things like who cares- when his performance is lacking. I have no respect for selfish players like Jimmy Rollins.