The Phils Have Arrived in Florida

The Phillies pitchers and catchers have reported for spring training and it is truly exciting. I wouldn’t lie to the fans who read the articles on this website by faking an interest in a decidedly less than mediocre team. The excitement I’ve got for spring training will only last for a week or so because then it’ll hit me that the biggest expectation that the Phillies have this season is to not finish last in the NL East. The Phillies undoubtedly have their issues and fans will certainly need something to follow during this year’s Spring Training. Luckily, there are some interesting stories to follow for fans.

1. The Cole Hamels Trade Rumor Mill

This one is the biggest fish to fry and could turn the baseball world on its ear. It has been well documented that teams are interested. In fact, GM Ruben Amaro (by the way he needs to be fired) said that 8 teams nibbled at trying to acquire Hamels but 4 of the teams made legitimate offers for the top pitcher. Although the trade rumors were flowing as Spring Training came closer, Hamels finally said what he was thinking all this time the day before pitchers and catchers reported. Hamels said, “I want to win. That’s all. That’s all any competitor wants And I know it’s not going to happen here.” Everyone knows that quote is as true as gets, but the timing is a little odd because pitchers and catchers were on the verge of reporting. Time will only tell if Hamels gets dealt and if he does, hopefully the Phillies get some players for the future in return.

2. Get Rid of Ruben Amaro

This is Ruben’s contract year and he has yet to sign an extension (thank god). Amaro does get credit for bringing in talent to keep the Phillies a World Series contender but the last time I checked it is not 2011 anymore, its 2015! Amaro finally said that the Phillies need to ‘retool’ but it’s more like blow the whole team up, top to bottom. Amaro tried to bring in aging veterans while the Phillies still had a ‘chance’ at the postseason, which is a huge reason why fans want him gone. To be plain and simple, fire this awful so-called GM. Also follow the Twitter account @FireRubenNow to show that you want change in the Phillies front office.

3. Ryan Howard’s Last Straw?

It is no secret that Phillies fans want to see Ryan Howard play elsewhere. Also, we know it is not as easy as it sounds. There was an interesting comment made about Howard’s position by manager Ryne Sandberg as he said, “Right now, unless he’s unseated, he’s the first baseman.” This is one of the first times that it sounds like Howard’s playing time is legitimately in trouble. Do not get your hopes if you want him gone because no one wants to take on his contract and the Phillies won’t want to pay him even if they do release him, which doesn’t seem likely.

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Follow Justin on Twitter @JDiVirgilio4