Maybe this will be the year. Could the Philadelphia Phillies come out of nowhere with a cast of veterans past their prime and gel with some young upcoming faces and take the division by surprise, and perhaps even make a run in October? This is what this time of year is all about. In just a few more days the 2014 Phillies will begin a schedule of 162 games with a clean slate. Put aside that disappointing spring training and let your imagination run wild. It could happen. Why not?
Of course, the reality is the expectations for this Phillies team are far from great. Nobody sees them as a World Series contender, let alone a National League championship favorite or even a pennant winner in the NL East. Instead, the Phillies are expected to be looking up at the Atlanta Braves, the defending division champions, and the Washington Nationals, who slipped from their 2012 form but have a solid roster heading in to the new year.
If you give a franchise a five-year grace period after winning a championship, then the Phillies have seen their’s expire after winning the 2008 World Series. Sure, they got back to another the following year, were eliminated in game six of the 2010 NLCS and were ousted by the eventual world champs in the 2011 NLDS, but that further demonstrates the downward slide this franchise has been following. This is nothing new to you, as you have likely heard the same from one talk show host or sports radio caller or columnist or fan on Twitter 100 times and counting. Sports Illustrated ranked the Phillies 13th overall in the National League, ahead of only the Miami Marlins and Chicago Cubs. So why would you have any faith in this team now? Why should you believe the Phillies could do the perceived impossible this season?
I am not here to tell you this Phillies team is going to make the playoffs. I am not here to break down the statistics and go next level with sabremetrics. There are other great sites and resources for that, some of which I will recommend later. I am simply here to enjoy the ride the next 162 games will give us, win or lose, and share my reactions and opinions. I know my opinions will not always be the right ones, and sometimes I will admit I may be short-sighted or biased or misguided, but they are my opinions and I am a fan, just like you.
So welcome to the new and improved Macho Row. My name is Kevin. I am a Phillies fan, and I look forward to following the 2014 Phillies on an improved website infrastructure that will make sharing my thoughts, comments and opinions on the team easier to produce and manage. This is the third official season of coverage for the Phillies since re-launching in 2012, but I expect this season to be the best from the perspective of the website. The folks at Bloguin have been working to give authors a better publishing platform and we have received it just in time for the new season. I have been holding back on some things with this site while awaiting the upgrade, so I missed out on spring training, but the new platform is here just in time for the On-Deck Series, which will lead us in to the new season next week.
Some things are still being worked on with the site, so please do not hesitate to contact me if you come across anything strange or any problems. As a reminder, you can follow Macho Row on Twitter and Like Macho Row on Facebook.