Good little boys and girls got all that they wanted on Christmas day this week. But, all the bad tikes found nothing but coal in their threadbare stockings. The last statement represents an exaggerated view of the Philadelphia Phillies' inability to make a meaningful trade during this offseason.
In an ideal world a number of veterans would have been jettisoned to other clubs for younger bounty during the past few seasons. Some recognizable Phillies have been exchanged for winter, or summer, gifts since the 2008 World Series season. Few of those moves can be considered productive.
General manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. has increasingly been receiving heaping helpings of blame since he took over for the masterful Pat Gillick five years ago. Every seasoned loyalist knows that Amaro is the front man for a baseball corporation that decided to invest heavily in nostalgia, rather than parlay yesterday's winners into tomorrow's stars.
Amaro surely shares in the blame for his team's downfall. However, the man has often been open about his responsibilities and need to improve a scuffed diamond squad.
Hoping that the Phillies' fortunes improve next season isn't enough. Without a number of major moves, Ryne Sandberg's current major league group might play .500 ball heading into next fall. That scenario would set up the red pinstriped populace for another sad Christmas season at this time next year.