For the Phillies, 2012, 2013 and 2014 have been much of a step back. The five straight division championships that included two National League pennants are long gone. Now, after three years of stepping back, the Phillies have an admission from management: the Phillies may need a step back before they can contend again.
Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. appeared on Angelo Cataldi's radio show today on 94 WIP, as transcribed here on CBS Philly.com:
“We may have to step backwards to step forwards and that’s also part of the plan here, is to understand that—listen, we may not be a contender in ’15 and ’16,” Amaro told Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show. “And to try to get back to where we need to be in ’17 or ’18. It may just be a one year, you know, glitch. It may be two years, but we are open and really understand that the fact that listen, we have not played well. We have not done what is necessary to be a contender this year. We’re going to have to make changes to get better.”
This is really the first time that Phillies management suggested that they do worse before they might do better, having stated before that fans would "not accept" a rebuild.
The fans do not accept what they see on the field right now. The reason that it may take two years is that the team will have to wait until these contracts expire. So, expect more of the same while the team takes a "step back".