Saturday, August 27, 2016
Eight Years Later
I get a lot of people down where I live telling me how the Phillies have fallen so far from their Championship year. The only remaining player left on the roster from the 2008 team is Ryan Howard, and he'll likely be done by the end of the season. The only other guy, Carlos Ruiz, was just recently dealt to the Dodgers to further their potential playoff endeavors.
However, you look to the team the Phillies played in the 2008 World Series, and you see the same thing, the same futility. The Rays are 5th place in the AL East and can't do a damned thing this year. The only guy who's stuck around from the 2008 squad is Evan Longoria, who, unlike Howard, is still the absolute best player on that team.
The Rays, like the Phillies, have tried to regroup the team with a huge, sweeping youth movement, but theirs hasn't gone 100% according to plan. Desmond Jennings, who was brought on as the potential savior outfielder, was just released after 6 seasons. Tim Beckham, the former 1st draft pick, is still behind Logan Forsythe, not even starting this year. Matt Moore, the guy who was fantastic for them in 2013, is now doing pretty damn well...in San Francisco.
Yes, there are people like Kevin Kiermaier, Logan Forsythe and Chris Archer who are doing well, but for the most part the team is scattered, muddied and disappointing. There's some definite promise in trade compensations like Brad Miller and Matt Duffy, but I don't think it's enough for immediate success.
Plus, the division won't let up for a little bit. The youth movements in Baltimore, New York and Boston will probably have a hold on the division for a little while (the Jays aren't as young), making it kind of tricky for the Rays to make a jump in the foreseeable future.
For now...they can just rest on what they have, even if it isn't much- they're not where they were in 2008, but they're not entirely lost, either.
Coming Tomorrow- A journeyman shortstop who landed on a...not as great Mets squad.