The Phillies had missed the playoffs for years after I started following this team, but games were not frustrating - at least not on a day-to-day basis. If you watch every game this season, good luck finding one that doesn't frustrate you, even do just a few innings.
This is all thanks in part to the man who constructs this team and goes right down to the players. So today, after watching the Phillies take a five-game winning streak and counter it with a four-game losing streak, I am voicing my displeasure.
To Ruben Amaro Jr.: Thank you for ruining this franchise. I don't think I ever realized how good we had it when Pat Gillick was general manager and constructing a champion with all of the right moves. You didn't build a pennant winner in 2009, you inherited it. And since then you have done everything you can to dismantle it while thinking that you are actually improving this team.
You target the names, which is great for a few days. But the second they step on the field, they have to be more than just a name. After watching this for a full year, you have assembled a team of has-beens. If you are going to be sellers at the trade deadline - and all signs indicate that you will - you should be the first to go in the fire sale.
I absolutely hate the snarkiness that comes on twitter each game. I hate the grumbling that happens at Citizens Bank Park every home game because the product you have put on the field is so God-awful people find more enjoyment in voicing their displeasure and frustration with this franchise. But it is all warranted. And as the season progresses and the losses become regular, I can't help but join the crowd of people who have started to give up on the Phillies already.
You really messed up everything. You started making all the right moves too, getting the ace pitchers and locking down the players that needed to be locked up - the Ryan Howard contract was a Gillick move for what it's worth - but you really appear to have not done your homework. And it is for that reason that you are no longer selling out games, you are no longer a threat to any team - see how the Brewers treated you - and you don't scare anybody. It will be a good day in Philadelphia when they ship you off for good.
To Charlie Manuel: It is time to hang up your uniform and call it a career. You had a love affair with this city for years, and like Dallas Green, will always be loved for 2008. But it's not 2008 anymore and the moves that you make within a game - from the lineup to pitching changes - are baffling. You have a Hall-of-Fame player standing next to you in the dugout who probably understands the modern game better than you do. You live in the past. You actually think that 35-year-old players will come around. Wake up and see the light.
To the players: If you still want to be here, if losing isn't fun or if you want to even have a job, start acting like it. What you bring to the field is horrendous night in and night out. Baseball is a humbling game that is often frustrating. But it should not be this frustrating for any franchise. Even the Houston Astros have better days than this.
Don't make excuses and don't try to give us hope with your comments. We are not stupid fans. We know what is success and what isn't. To be honest, we'd take half of the mistakes that you make if they didn't cost the team valuable runs. If you could afford to allow an unearned run here or there, no one would care. But every play is so crucial, and the only way to win is to play perfect. So either give yourself the margin or error again or play like you mean it. The choice is yours.
I do still get enjoyment out of planning my day around a game. I still get enjoyment watching it. And yes, after a five-game winning streak, I had feeling that maybe all of the mediocrity - or mediocre results - would become a less frequent occurrence. But this losing streak shows who you really are, Phillies, and you can either correct it or watch everything start to slowly fade into the past.Kevin Durso is a contributor for Philliedelphia. You can follow him on twitter @KDursoPhilsNet.