It's supposed to be the season the Phillies finally breakout, with the added bonus of doing so in a new park. It's still early -- we're only seven games into the season -- but saying that the season has gotten off to a lousy start is a tremendous understatement.
In fitting fashion given the team's inglorious history, the Phillies finished a cold, dreary and wet Grand Opening at Citizen's Bank Park with a 1-6 record, the worst record in baseball. They have scored only 16 runs in those seven games -- only Montreal with its 10 runs and two wins has scored fewer. To add insult to injury -- ironically, one of the few things this team is historically good at -- that 1-6 mark has come against the same teams who last September pummeled the Phillies out of wild card contention.
Yesterday was only the third time in 15 seasons I missed the Phillies home opener, and boy am I glad I missed it.
It's far too soon to run for the panic room and start watching the 1980 and 1993 highlight DVDs, but this pratfall out of the gate is disconcerting only if you have a penchant for sugar-coating bad news. For the second year in a row, I allowed myself real optimism for the Phillies chances this year, and it feels like the Phillies are well on their way to breaking my heart again.
While I don't think Bowa is really to blame for this fiasco, I'm hoping the owners are using this stumble as an excuse for giving him the axe. Going back to the end of last season, the Phillies have won only two of their last 15. While the manager can't physically make the players perform under pressure, it is his job to keep the pressure off of them as much as possible, and Bowa is obviously doing a miserable job of it.
The sooner that albatross is lifted from the necks of the players, the quicker they can get comfortable playing on the field again.