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Philadelphia Phillies will meet fan demands to dismantle team

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General manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. stated that he wouldn't be rebuilding his team because it wouldn't be fair to the players, or the fans. Despite understandable public statements, that play to marketing concerns, red pinstriped loyalists and the men who wear those uniforms know that the roster seems likely to undergo major changes starting this month. The fans, in particular, are actually demanding it through steadily declining attendance figures, lower television ratings and diminished merchandise sales.

Sure, the Phillies might not deal Carlos Ruiz, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee by the end of the summer, or before the start of next season. But, some of those icons from this second Golden Age are highly-likely to be playing elsewhere by 2015.

In consideration of the Phillies' massive payroll and upside down results since the 2012 season began, or one could argue since the 2010 and 2011 playoff seasons ended, Amaro has little choice but to make numerous forced choices. If he's allowed to keep his job, which remains questionable, Philadelphia's top front office boss knows that he has to move forward because his team's glory days are indisputably over.

It's questionable how long Amaro will survive the coming baseball bloodbath because his contract ends after the 2015 season. If his employment status isn't extended before the start of next season, it seems hard to imagine that his supervisors would allow him to front the franchise through what seems likely to be another rough campaign next season. Of course, that begs the question: Will Amaro keep his job past this fall?

It would seem very unusual to allow a general manager to make major deals this summer if it had already been decided that he was going to be pink slipped after the regular season ends. So, whatever trades Amaro makes this month, or next, should telegraph the Phillies' short- and long-term organizational mindset. Major moves could indicate that Amaro keeps his job, while minor moves would lead to strong speculation that this season will be his last.

In consideration of some players who are currently on the roster and the Phillies' financial ability to buy future free agents, it might be possible to create a legitimate playoff contender by the start of the 2016 season. All hardcore fans, or even the diminishing set of casually disappointed Citizens Bank Park observers, know that this run is done and that the future can't be built on yesterday.

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