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Why I want the Phillies to keep on winning

Normally, rooting for your team to win baseball games isn't a controversial thought. But it's a weird year.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Phillies are hot. There's no denying it, they're smokin', now 13-3 since the All-Star Break heading into Wednesday night's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

They are averaging 5.37 runs a game in the second half, their starters have an ERA of 3.73 that is 12th in the Majors, and their bullpen ERA is 2.03, third-best in baseball. Many of their younger players, Cesar Hernandez, Odubel Herrera, Maikel Franco and Domonic Brown, are playing exceptionally well, Aaron Nola has been impressive in his first few starts, and the combination of Luis Garcia and Ken Giles is dominating hitters in the 8th and 9th innings.

Yes, the Phils are playing well right now, and it's been a lot of fun to watch. For the last three weeks, sitting down for three hours to watch a Phillies baseball game has actually been... enjoyable.

Imagine that. Enjoyable baseball in 2015. Who'd of thunk?

But there is a segment of the population that is worried right now. As the Phillies continue to pile up the wins, their chances of locking in the No. 1 overall pick in next year's MLB Draft is slipping away. Thanks to their hot streak, the Phils are 42-65, just one game worse than the Miami Marlins, who are 43-64.

Because of all this stupid winning, the Phils are in danger of losing their hold on that top draft pick, and the valuable slot money that goes with it.

This is causing consternation for many, but not for me. Getting the top overall pick would be nice, but there are numerous reasons why I want this baseball team to win as many games as possible here in the second half.


Who wants to come home after a long day at work and the responsibilities of family and sit down and watch their favorite baseball team lose? We saw a lot of that in the first half and, honestly, it wasn't much fun.

But you can't tell me Maikel Franco's grand slam last night wasn't fun. You can't tell me sweeping the Cubs in Chicago wasn't fun.

When the Phillies win, I don't feel as if I've wasted three hours of my time.


Are Cesar Hernandez, Odubel Herrera and Freddy Galvis part of the next Phillies playoff team? I don't know, but if they are, it probably won't be in the roles they are currently in; starters. Nevertheless, the kids are getting a lot of confidence and valuable experience right now, and winning is a terrific reward for all their hard work.

Losing builds character, but winning breeds confidence, and that's a valuable part of the rebuilding process, too.


Certainly, getting the "best" player in next year's draft would give the Phils a leg up in their rebuild, and it's likely whoever is taken first will end up being a very productive Major Leaguer.

However, there is no slam-dunk, can't-miss prospect next year. There is no Bryce Harper or Stephen Strasburg. Perhaps the most valuable thing about the top overall pick is the slot money that comes with it. But the Phils appear to have done alright for themselves the last three years by picking near the top and not necessarily at the very tippy-top.


Right now, Philadelphia is not the top destination for impending free agents. There probably aren't many guys saying, "Man, I'd really love to play for the Phillies." At least, not like there was during the team's five-year playoff run.

But if the Phillies can end the second half of the season on a good run, and if the team throws enough dollars at, say, a Jason Heyward, perhaps that strong second half and the influx of prospects on the way to the Majors might be enough to convince him that the window for contention isn't as far away as it might have seemed earlier in the season.

If the team were to go back to winning 30% of their games for the rest of the season, getting free agents to come would be impossible. Winning can only help.


I grew up rooting for some really bad Phillies teams in the late '80s and virtually all of the '90s (1993 excluded). Every night I would sit down to watch the team, hoping they would win. I didn't know anything about the MLB Draft or draft position or anything else.

All I wanted is for the Phils to win that game, on that night. I got no satisfaction out of a loss.

Of course, I'm older and wiser and I see the good things that would happen if the team went into another tailspin. But I'm not going to sit here and root for it.

Baseball teams play to win baseball games. Herman Edwards made it a cliche, but it's true. And when I sit down to watch baseball games at night, I sit to watch my team win.

I don't want to get so jaded that I lose that. That's why I'm rooting for the Phils to pile up the wins here in the second half.

Baseball is supposed to be fun. And I'll have more fun watching them win, then lose.