Think back to where you were ten years ago today. Maybe your life was better, maybe it was worse, but it’s almost guaranteed that as a Phillies fan, you had a much brighter outlook. The team was the five-time defending National League East champions, and although the 2011 playoffs didn’t go their way, they were fresh off a season in which they won a franchise record 102 games.
There were plenty of reasons to expect the dominance to continue. Three-fifths of their rotation consisted of aces Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels, and with the emergence of 2011 rookie sensation Vance Worley, their starting pitching was still expected to be the best in baseball.
Ryan Howard was recovering from a major injury and was expected to miss time at the beginning of the season, but the Phillies’ offense certainly wasn’t a one-man show. Thanks to established stars like Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Hunter Pence, and Shane Victorino on hand, the offense would surely be just fine until Howard returned and started mashing balls over the fence again.
This is the year the Phillies go all the way, RT if you're ready for a parade.— Omar Baseball (@FightinsFanatic) February 28, 2012
It didn’t quite turn out that way.
Almost every player on the roster disappointed to some degree. The stars didn’t play up to their standards, the role players largely tanked, and some of the players acquired to round out the roster made people start to seriously question the team’s general manager’s competency.
They were 27-25 at the end of May, and sitting just three games out of first, it felt like the other teams in the East had wasted their opportunity to take out the wounded champs. But the champs weren’t the champs anymore. Roy Halladay became mortal overnight. Due to a chronic knee injury, Chase Utley didn’t make his season until Jun 27, and when Ryan Howard debuted a week later, it soon became clear that his MVP days were behind him.
Despite the downfall of those stars, the team did give the fans some late hope that maybe the run wasn’t truly over. They went 17-12 in August, and then 17-10 in September to put themselves into the Wild Card conversation. But it was too little, too late, and after dropping the final two games of the season, the 2012 Phillies ended up with an 81-81 record. It was the first time since 2002 they had finished with a non-winning record. Sadly, it wouldn’t be the last.
The MLB: "It's a playoff appearance."— CogginToboggan (@CogginToboggan) October 1, 2021
Phillies 2012 to present: pic.twitter.com/1ceRpy2mag
Just because the 2012 Phillies turned out to be a huge disappointment doesn’t mean we shouldn’t look back at the year now that we’re ten years removed. If we only remember the “good” years, we might miss some important moments even if the overall season wasn’t a success. And as the quote says, “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.”
So please join us this week as we take a look back at the year 2012, and the Phillies team that took the field that year to middling results. If you have any 2012 memories that you’d like to share, please feel free to leave a comment, or perhaps create a FanPost!