The Phillies season ended today in the same fashion they played throughout the year. There was no offense to be found and lackluster effort. The Phillies were 1 run away from a win with the 2-1 loss to the Braves; pitcher Cole Hamels was 1 win away from double-digit wins for the season; and Ben Revere ended the season 1 base short of 50 stolen bases on the year. Jimmy Rollins spoke before the game, telling fans, “Before we’re done this year, we’d like to say thank you for showing up. We know it was rough, but hopefully we made you guys smile.” Etch that on a tombstone and you have the Phillies 2014 eulogy.
As is tradition for the last home game of the year, today was dubbed “Fan Appreciation Day.” Players signed autographs and jested with fans cheerfully and prizes were given away.
But I’ll tell you when I will feel truly appreciated; when the tickets prices go down to a level worthy of watching a last place team. Don’t worry; I won’t hold my breath.
After all the happy exchanges, the game began and it was more of the same. Poor Cole Hamels did not get even 10 wins this year thanks to an absent offense. Adding insult to injury, Hamels had a team-leading 2 hits in the game but no one could drive him in. He even got whacked on the face with a batted ball and suffered a minor bloody lip. That about summed up his season.
The offense was so bad, players were literally throwing their bats away. Chase Utley, Maikel Franco and Braves pitcher James Russell all tossed their bats mid-swing at different points in the game. I guess they weren’t really using them anyway.
And so ends a dreary Phillies season with little hope for quick recovery. Oh sure, they fired Assistant GM Marti Wolever. But all that really means in Ruben Amaro Jr. keeps his job. And I guess more heads are going to roll, which is appropriate. But how much difference will it make and when? I hope to take a guess at answering some of those questions in the weeks to come. In the meantime, here is my final 2014 Photo Album. Here hoping for a happy off-season!
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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography