Ron Costello

Thursday, December 17, 2015


Rebuilding, not tanking.

I get it. There's a difference.

Not sure what, but let's say there is.

There's no question the  Phillies are collecting youth — youth scattered over several minor league clubs and the Show's home team.

But here's the thing. The Sixers and Flyers have been collecting youth, too. The first aforementioned is 1-26 and the latter aforementioned is 13-12 and in serious doubt of making the playoffs for the second straight season.

The 6-7 Eagles? Well, they are what they are. Let's see what they do Sunday against the Cardinals at home. They could be an aforementioned, too. But as they say in South Philly, 'Ron, who knows?'

So far Sam Bradford is still alive, we're sure. They keep slamming the guy to the turf even after the ball has long left his hands. Patched together with a thousand band-aids, Bradford looks like a ragdoll you throw around. But as they say in South Philly, 'Ron, what-a-ya-gonna-do?'

Or, as Donald Trump says, "They're  gonna love me."

The Sixers keep losing — tanking? — year after year with hopes of securing a top draft pick that will turn the club around. Four lottery picks in two seasons including a rookie of the year and nothing to show for it.

This season they took Jahlil Okafor who's had some bad boy problems. Nothing serious. Dumb-ass stuff; a 19-year-old out of Duke should know better. The year before they picked Joel Embiid out of Kansas and due to chronic foot problems he hasn't been in a game, yet. There's also the Andrew Bynum  nightmare. The Sixers paid him $16 million in 2012 and he never played a game, either.

Speaking of nightmare, former Owl coach John Chaney, the wonderful man that he is, had lot's of  sayings. One was, "be the dream." But with the Sixers it's be the nightmare. And there's not a lot of hope going forward.

Like Donald Trump  says, "Somebody's got to figure out what's going on."

Lesson number one for the Prodigy: Don't be the nightmare. Tanking or rebuilding, whatever, doesn't always work. There's no guarantee that the kids you draft and trade for today will become good ball players. No matter how much you crunch the numbers.

The Flyers have a different problem and it has to do with money. It's similar to the club payroll problems the Phillies have had since 2012. The Flyers are just beneath the salary cap and can't even bring up recent draftees.

Baseball doesn't have a salary cap like hockey, but  nonetheless the Phillies have been "spent out" since 2012, with five or six high salaried players they had to clear. Five or six players who were getting paid extraordinarily well but were producing extraordinarily unwell.

There's still one left — the big Piece who will platoon at first and collect his $35 million, $25 million in salary, and a $10 million buyout.

Nice, huh?

The Flyers are in similar do-do, with high paid stars nobody wants. Unfortunately for the Flyers, the club may have to move its young players to get some salary cap room and improve.

It appears that Phillies GM prodigy Matt Klentak is moving the club in the right direction, although it's unclear how much authority Klentak actually has, with longtime baseball executive Andy MacPhail looking over his shoulder.

Is it 'take the reins and run kid,' or on the job training?

We won't know if Klentak/MacPhail know what they're doing until the team takes the field in 2017 or 2018. The only thing the Faithful can do is be patient and watch the team grow.

One thing is  certain: The Phillies twosome can learn plenty from the mistakes of the Flyers and Sixers.


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