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Should the Philadelphia Phillies Hold a Fire Sale?

We've gotten used to the Fightins' fighting for first place every year for a while now. But as the All-Star break approaches, they're in dead last.

Editor's Note: This is the debut of a weekly sports column that will focus on professional sports and the four main Philadelphia teams.

If you're Ruben Amaro, July is a great month.

Usually, the general manager of the Philadelphia Phillies is sitting pretty, his team in first place and the time nearing when Amaro gets to play "Let's Make A Deal" to bolster the roster for the annual playoff run.

This season, though, Amaro should be humming The Clash song, "Should (They) Stay or Should (They) Go."

The Phils are in dead last in the NL East. And with the trading deadline coming up at the end of the month, Amaro needs to determine if the Phillies are buyers or sellers this year.

He needs to decide if this team's deep playoff run of the past few years, which has led to a World Series victory, a few pennants and numerous NL East titles, is over.

He needs to make the decision that it's time to rebuild this team and retool it for the future.

First off, the Phils have a great nucleus that will make them competitive for years to come: You've got Carlos Ruiz, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Roy Halladay and Jonathan Papelbon.

With Utley back in the lineup and Howard and Halladay returning shortly from injury, will the Phils have enough firepower to get them over the hump and maybe grab a Wild Card berth.

We'll see.

You'll know if Amaro deals ace Cole Hamels, who is a free agent at the end of the year, then you know what direction the Phillies are heading in.

To sign Hamels, with all the money already devoted to Halladay and Cliff Lee, would basically tie up $80 million of the roster each year.

We've seen how great the pitching can be. But, when you get no run support, than your record resembles one like Lee, who just won his first game of the year the other day.

But it might be time to try to unload Lee. And maybe get rid of Shane Victorino, who is also a free agent at the end of the year. If someone can make great offers for Placido Polanco and Hunter Pence, then why not shed some payroll. And Ty Wigginton would be a great addition for someone's bench.

So the Phils can make some moves.

A decision needs to be made on whether we should chalk up this season for what it is -- a bad year.

You can't win every year. And the Phillies may have suffered a bump in the road this year like the Philadelphia Eagles did last year.

So Amaro has some major decisions to make.

If Hamels is a goner, then the season is over. But with a healthy Utley and a returning Howard and Halladay, maybe there's still a little hope left.

The second season resumes right after the All-Star break. Should be an interesting one for the Phillies.

Ron Beitler July 07, 2012 at 12:42 PM
Yup.... 1-8 since the return of Chase. The Big Piece returns last night and the bullpen lets go of a Kendrick shutout. Maybe not fire sale, but we need to trade Victorino for sure. Bring up Dom Brown see what we have. I agreed with the Thome trade. Maybe see if there is a market for Pence. We SHOUD NOT trade Hamels. We have to resign him.
Dino Ciliberti (Editor) July 07, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Why not give Brown a shot in center field? Maybe that's the spot that will make him a star. Pence has just been so inconsistent, especially in the outfield. He is a gamer though!
D. Wag July 07, 2012 at 01:34 PM
With the pitiful way they've been playing...send the entire team (minus Hamels and Ruiz) back down to AAA...and bring up the Piggies to the bigs for a couple weeks!! (manager incl)
Ron Beitler July 07, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Mathematically it's time for fire sale. The latest is they need something like a 65% winning % here on our to have a crack at second wild card. . . Depressing to be this out of it before the All-Star break. We've kinda gotten spoiled.
Dino Ciliberti (Editor) July 07, 2012 at 01:46 PM
So, if they finish in last, do they pull the plug on Charlie and give Sandberg a shot?
Jim Genoe July 07, 2012 at 04:05 PM
would rather send Lee or Halladay away and keep Hamels
Kevin Huff Sr. July 07, 2012 at 04:35 PM
lets face it the Phils are getting older everyday.It is time to unload some payroll and let the younger guys come in.and play.It happens to every team and it is happening to the Phils right now. All pitchers break down,yes even Halladay,Howard was no spring chicken when he finally put it all together and strted hittin, he may never be the same player again.
anonymous July 07, 2012 at 05:58 PM
The Phillies are an awful team right now. They need serious changes made, and in a hurry. Their hitting sucks, along with their pitching. Especially last night with the Braves. They need to get rid of Bastardo. The way he pitched last night was unacceptable. He's also ineffective in other games as well. I like the Phillies. But they are truly painful to watch right now. Hopefully after the All Star break, they can turn it around.
David Happel July 08, 2012 at 11:01 AM
The team is hurting definitely. May be time to be planning for the future and not look at immediate needs in order to get back into the playoff picture. Are there players coming onto the free agent market that will be worth going for, after the Phils clean house and free up some $$$? Are there young prospects in the minors ready to come up to the big leagues?
louis kootsares July 08, 2012 at 02:42 PM
they seem complacent not hungry they should get rid of victorino go with mayberry another year try pence in left field try brown again the relief pitching maybe will put some color back in charlies hair
Chris DeFrain July 08, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Why bring Brown up? He is hitting .260 with virtually no power and is not producing runs. All of this against pitchers whose best years are behind them or will never come. We will be over matched like Galvis was.
Peter July 08, 2012 at 03:33 PM
We go down for the home Sunday games...been doing that since the 2006 season i guess, so we got to watch them get better and win the WS. i love the team, but it's time for a change. A lot of the sports people say that next year they can still be contenders and all, but how can someone think that they'll stay healthy next year? team's too old. and there's no way some of those guys are going to change the way they play ball. i hate so say it, but it is time to reorganize the team. too few people are responsible for too high share of the payroll.
Pat Musselman July 08, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Trades are what make mediocre teams, great teams. I am a fan regardless of the win-loss record. Managers will hopefully make trades to benefit the future. We have been spoiled and I'm afraid will have to suck it up and look to the future. Go Philies!
Matt Skoufalos (Editor) July 08, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Overmatched? Galvis was among the team's leading run-producers before he was suspended. And that's after jumping up past the level at which Brown would be coming up from straight to the bigs.
E July 09, 2012 at 02:46 AM
Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Roy Halladay and Jonathan Papelbon...These players are past their prime and are not a nucleus to build around. Let's remember the world series was five years ago. Ruben Amaro's lucky streak is over. It is time to look forward to the future and prepare for a few losing seasons in the meantime.
Harrison T Williamson, Jr. July 09, 2012 at 03:15 AM
who you going to build around? Hamels will be a Yankee within 6 months... cant wait for the attendance to get down to like to Veterans Stadium days where you could sit anywhere you liked....
Harrison T Williamson, Jr. July 09, 2012 at 03:16 AM
Brown has been injured for months
Harrison T Williamson, Jr. July 09, 2012 at 03:17 AM
Hamels will leave before Lee or Halladay, cant wait to see Kyle Kendrick as the number 3 starter
Harrison T Williamson, Jr. July 09, 2012 at 03:18 AM
He doesnt want to re-sign unless he is the top paid pitcher on the team, 26 million a year is not possible for hollywood, trade him for assets now or lose him for nothing around thanksgiving
WILFREDO G. SALCEDO, Sr. July 09, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Leave it be for now...Let's see what happens after the All Star break...We saw teams who came from the pit before, so let's not panic quite yet.

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