Once Phillies fans were riding the crest of a wave they thought would never end. The Phillies had won a World Series, been to a second World Series where they lost to the Yankees and made it deep into the playoffs two more years in a row, Even with all theirand tough success there were signs the wave was about to drop out from under Phillies and tough times were on the horizon for both the team and fans.
Howard and Utley became injury prone and saw their production at the plate start to drop. Howard had more strikeout than hits. Along with Utley and Howard the rest of the team also saw their batting averages start to drop off.
Still the Philly's had good pitching. Halladay, Hamels, Lee and Oswalt kept the Phillies in a lot of games where a hit here or there would have meant the difference between a win or a loss. Then Oswalt went down, Halladay retired, Hamels and Lee went through injury problems. Over the last two years pitching has also become a problem along with the hitting.
The 2014 pitching staff resembles a patch work quilt of Hamels, Lee, Hernandez and Burnett along with any other guy they can find in the minor to throw as a fifth starter. The bull pen is a whole other problem which will take awhile to fix.
In between all the trouble on the field their was a change in managers Charlie Manuel was out and Ryan Sandberg became the manager of the team with little or no change in the play on the field.
Still GM Amaro Jr. clings to the hope that the core group of players Howard, Utley, Hamels etc. can provide enough of a spark of which the the current group of young players, free agents signings and call ups can draw from and propel the team back into the playoffs. That hasn't happened so far this year so naturally as Philly sports fans are prone to do, except in the case of the Eagles, they stop coming out for the games.
Attendance during Phillies games during 2014 season is an combined announced total ticket sales of 939, 417 which is probably a higher number than the people who are actually in the seats. Starting with the 2007 season the Philies have had a total announced attendance over 3,million with the 2010 season being their best with a total in attendance 3,777,322.
It is obvious from the empty seats the fans can sense it's time retool, trade players, go younger, do whatever it takes to rebuild the Phillies into a contender once again.