Ron Costello

Friday, November 7, 2014

Sixers Go Young While the Phillies...Who Knows?

The Sixers are off to an 0-6 start and are happier than a pig in slop.They had some nice draft picks and they want more — and the only way to get more is to lose.

The Sixers don't take the court seeking to lose basketball games, no, I'm not saying that. But their philosophy right now is not to win. And it's smart.

Here's the thing. The Sixers are going nowhere this season. If they lose 'em all — or lose most of them — they again have a shot at the number one pick. So why, as owner Joshua Harris says,  "go 41-41 — running on a playoff treadmill, going nowhere."

Like the Phillies.

The Phillies have been on that treadmill — losing 89 games each of the past two seasons. It's not that the Phillies are trying to lose, it's that their payroll is so bloated, they can't try to win.

Stay with me on this.

Over the next four months, or until spring training starts, we'll know if the Phillies are following the Sixers way, or the Phillies way. That's The Phillies Way of running the treadmill and going nowhere.

What? Three straight seasons?

As you know — because you read this blog — the Phillies have to shed salary in order to get better. Now, you may think, "Why would they shed salary in order to get better? Doesn't winning mean taking on more salary — you know, by getting expensive players?

Uh uh. The opposite. Especially with this team — the Phillies, not the Sixers.

The Phillies have to get younger, just like the Sixers. And, just like the Sixers, they are going nowhere next season, no matter what Junior and company tell you.

But here's the difference between the Phillies and the Sixers: the Sixers are already young, so young they are losing, which is good. If they keep losing they will get even younger in the next draft. Once they have a core of talented young players — built around last season's rookie of the year, Michael Carter Williams — they will fill in and whamo — guess who's on top of the Eastern Conference in the NBA?

It's not going to happen overnight, but the Sixers are moving in the right direction.

The Phillies are moving in the opposite direction. Here are two hints: Signing Sizemore and Williams. Get younger doesn't include signing two 30-somethings. That's treadmill stuff.

Get younger doesn't include putting Rollins and Utley back into the starting infield. Get  younger doesn't include Papelbon and Ryan  Howard. Get younger, unfortunately, means trading Cole Hamels. And get younger means Franco, Galvis, Hernandez, and Ruf — the starting infield.

Junior and company will say they want to get younger, then come back with the same team that lost 89 games two years in a row.

Like we're stupid.

The Phillies don't want you to read this. They want you to watch the captivating videos the techies produce for the ball park's big screen. They want you to believe the hero's of yesterday still have gas in the tank.

 Well get this: We're not buying it. They're a team that can't afford to win because of over paying aged players.

Perhaps it will take an owner like Josh Harris — a Stanford graduate and a private equity executive —  to show the Phillies "the way."

Because Harris gets it and the Phillies don't.

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