DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOU ARE?!
Well, if you play for one of the four major sports teams in Philadelphia, you are stuck square in the middle of the proverbial jungle that is the Philadelphia sports fan base - featuring some of the most passionate fans in the world. Unfortunately, that fan base hasn't had much to cheer about in recent years, with the Eagles regressing majorly, the Flyers in the midst of a rebuild, and the 76ers taking part in a historic run of tanking... and then there's the Phillies. Perhaps the saddest story in recent memory for the Phillies fans, after dominating the NL East from 2007-2011, they have fallen from grace in a big way - mainly due to poor upper-management and a team of aging players. However, last year signaled the beginning of the future for the Phightins, with their hack of a GM being shown the door (have fun in Boston, Rube), and Cole Hamels and Chase Utley leaving the only team they've ever known for the Rangers and Dodgers, respectively. The Phillies got back a very nice return for their left-handed ace Hamels - bringing in players such as Nick Williams, Jake Thompson and Jorge Alfaro to help lead the team into the future. The team wasn't quite done there yet, as in the offseason, with new Team President Andy MacPhail and GM Matt Klentak in place, they shipped off young Closer Ken Giles for another nice package - welcoming guys like promising righty Vincent Velasquez, former #1 pick Mark Appel and lefty reliever Brett Oberholtzer to the club. The additions of those players greatly strengthen the Phillies' previously weak farm system, which only really had (SS) J.P. Crawford, (CF) Roman Quinn and (C) Andrew Knapp to look forward to as potential future stars for the team.
After an extremely rocky first-half, and pretty much completely losing the Phillies' locker room, Ryne Sandberg bowed out as Manager of the team last year - making way for Pete Mackanin to take over. Mackanin seemed to gel with the team pretty quickly out of the gate, as the team came out of the All-Star Break looking far different from the cellar dwellers they had been going into it. And while they still weren't perfect throughout the second-half, they did show enough of a marked improvement to get Mackanin an extension through 2017. The team had a quiet offseason, with their biggest acquisition being Jeremy Hellickson - a much-needed depth addition for their rotation. Now, the team heads into a fresh season of baseball in 2016. The expectations are quite low for this club, however, up-and-coming players like Maikel Franco and Aaron Nola, and remaining veterans Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz may have something to say about that. This team may not be winning a pennant this season, but they will not be looking to settle for last place in the NL East. It's been a painful few years down at Citizens Bank Park, but they will be coming to an end soon, as the team fills its appetite... for reconstruction.
System: PS3 (Temporary)
Hitting: Zone + Analog - Hall of Fame
Pitching: Analog - Hall of Fame
Fielding: Analog - All-Star
Guess Pitch: Off
Roster: OSFM v2.5
Sliders: TNK/Psychobulk v2.5