Pat Gillick has never been a wide-eyed optimist, but the interim president’s announcement last week that the Phillies will not contend before 2017 was an unwelcome message for fans and players. At a time when two wild-card teams are in the World Series, why remove all hope?
Ryan Howard will not be back next season, and Cole Hamels is probably gone, too. Those are the two most obvious conclusions to draw from Pat Gillick’s dour prediction. Howard, 34, and Hamels , 30, will be worth much more to a contender in 2015 than to the Phillies in 2017.
Some other idle thoughts from the mind of Angelo Cataldi:
- Sixers GM Sam Hinkie was the biggest winner when the NBA voted down anti-tanking reforms last week. Before you celebrate, however, brace yourself for a historically awful season. And in the long run, embrace this victory. It will be a rare one in Hinkie’s ill-fated reign.
- Despite their recent success, the Flyers are rebuilding every bit as much as the Phillies and Sixers. The fact that Sam Morin (19) and Shayne Gostisbehere (21) are on the roster already is a clear sign that the only immediate goal is improvement. Anyone who dreams of a Stanley-Cup run this season must have an upper-body injury.
- The biggest upset of the NFL weekend was the impressive debut of Donovan McNabb as a Fox game analyst. McNabb restrained himself from hype for his old pal Andy Reid, even though Kansas City won the game easily. In a TV world filled with buffoons like Jon Gruden and Tony Siragusa, McNabb might have finally found a post-playing career job he’s good at. Go figure.