They're not really built to be a win now team. They haven't been bad enough over the past few seasons to have promising young pieces to look ahead to a bright future. And their spring was one for the crapper.
So aside from "it's always nice to have baseball around" and "the lines at Citizens Bank Park won't be very long," what do Phillies fans have to look forward to over the next 162 games?
Admittedly, there aren't many reasons that will get you super stoked for baseball in Philadelphia this season, but it's opening day and we're trying to be optimistic here.
Without a doubt, the most redeeming quality about your favorite baseball team this season is that you can bank on Cliff Lee taking the ball every fifth day and working with incredible precision. Plus he's got that attitude many have come to love. No matter how bad the guys playing behind him are, you can count on Cliff to throw a gem every couple of weeks. That's certainly worth tuning in for.
Jimmy, Ryan, Chase, Cole
They're getting older, absolutely. But there's no denying these were the guys who gave us the greatest run in recent Phillies memory. Perhaps it's a bit foolish to hold on for so long, but we do have one last campaign with these players. There's probably something worth savoring in there.
Cody Asche and Dom Brown
From a late season call up in 2013 to your opening day starter in 2014, Asche is one of the young guys who we're just getting to know who could be around when this team ever turns back into a legit contender. You could put Dom Brown in that category as well, but obviously he's had a rockier path. We know a little bit more about what we have in Brown, but we don't know if he plateaued in 2013 or if there's room for him to turn into one of the game's greats.
Loved Charlie Manuel to death but it was time. Ryne Sandberg clearly has a different attitude in running his club. We got a taste of it last year, but this is the first time it's his club from day one. It'll be fun to watch and learn what we have in a manager all season long. Early indications point to him wanting things done the right way all the time.
Watching him run into a wall in centerfield every once in a while is pretty entertaining.
Franzke and L.A.
If anyone can make bad baseball a little more fun, it's these two.
This is going to be one of the biggest changes to the fan experience this season. I don't think we got enough out of spring from these guys to really know what we have from the new TV crew.
Maikel Franco and Jesse Biddle In Waiting
The kids could be the next studs we grow to love. Could get our first glimpse of them at CBP later in the season.
Nobody Expects a Damn Thing Out of this Bunch
Maybe Ruben Amaro Jr. does but everyone else expects very little out of the 2014 Phillies. When you expect next to nothing, they only have to play a tiny bit above expectations to surprise you. So maybe we'll all get a pleasant surprise this summer.
Hopefully it'll be fun for more than a few weeks.
First pitch today shortly after 2:00 pm.