Somewhere the REAL Philadelphia Phillies are bound and gagged in a basement.
The team that was a consensus LOCK to win its 4th straight NL East title and the odds on favorite to win their third straight National League pennant and shoot to the top of the "All Time Greatest Philadelphia Team" list has been replaced.
I think it is an Invasion of the Body Snatchers situation.
A Phillies team devoid of emotion (and talent) has been hatched from pods and placed in the city of Brotherly Love and we have a team stumbling into the last stretch of July looking like an also ran.
Seriously, this was the team that people thought was built like an American League team, signed up Ryan Howard long term and brought Doc Halladay to Philly.
And now they sit a mere 2 games over .500, 7 games behind the Braves in the NL East and in 6th place in the Wild Card chase.
Is it ALL the injury to Chase Utley?
They are 8-12 since losing him to injury, but even on his last day, the Phillies were 3 1/2 out of first.
On May 17th, the Phillies were in first place with a 5 game lead, looking like they were about to pull away and make a mockery of the NL East race.
Since then, they are 24-32. Only the Diamondbacks, Nationals and Pirates have been worse since then.
And if they lose tomorrow afternoon to the Cardinals and the next day to Colorado (neither an outrageous possibility) then the Phillies will be at even .500 a week before the trade deadline.
If the Phillies lose the next two games and the Marlins win the next two games, then both teams would be tied for third place at an even .500.
The Marlins are supposedly going to shop Dan Uggla, Ricky Nolasco and probably a few more players.
If the two teams are tied, does that mean the Phillies should be trading veteran players? Should they be sellers?
It's tough to say. I still think the Phillies still have a good run in them. I still think that people like Jimmy Rollins (who has been grotesque this year) and Raul Ibanez and Cole Hamels have a hot streak in them.
And my friend Michael Ferraro and I think that Jayson Werth could be dealt to a team that needs a bat (San Francisco anyone) and maybe flip the young player acquired for Werth in exchange for a reliever... and start minor league phenom Domonic Brown.
Maybe a young spark is just what this team needs... that and a reliever or two
Otherwise... find the pods. YOU'RE NEXT!