Mid-October. These were supposed to be the glory days for Philadelphia fans. Instead, fans across the region have been left with a sour taste in their mouths, one that can only be wiped clean by the promise of spring training.
With nearly five months - five winter months - until pitchers and catchers report, there is plenty of time to vent the frustration felt by the early postseason exit of a team with the highest of expectations, the 2011 Phillies.
At the end of each season, we at Philly.com conduct an informal survey asking readers which players they would like to see back the following season. While some answers won't surprise you, there are always a few that stick out.
While voting is far from over, here's a look at some of the team's big-name players, and how you, the fans, really feel about them.
Free agents are far from free
Two of the most talked about names this offseason will be shortstop and former NL MVP Jimmy Rollins and closer Ryan Madson. One's career is nearing the tipping point (Madson), while the other's point is becoming a little dull.
Both have been integral parts of the team in recent years, including the World Series win in 2008, but soon, both players will be free agents. Ruben Amaro Jr. and the front office will have to decide if they're willing to spend the money necessary to keep both players, and judging by your votes, that's exactly what you'd like to see happen.
While 90.1% of voters want to keep Madson, the opinion is a little more divided for Rollins. 56.4% are in favor of keeping him. Let's see if Amaro is as luke-warm about giving into his request for a five-year deal.
Trio down to two?
Another interesting disparity is in the outfield, where two of the spots are occupied by arguably two of the most popular starters, and the other by Raul Ibanez.
Ibanez' inconsistency has caused him to lose favor among fans, and boy did you show it. Just 13.4% of voters want him back for another season.
It's likely that Amaro feels the same way, unless he can get the veteran outfielder at a severely reduced price.
A new fourth ace?
Is Roy Oswalt out as the fourth ace, amigo, musketeer, or whatever they're called now? According to the results, Oswalt should be sent packing, and Vance Worley should step in. In arguably the most surprising result, Worley received the most positive support, with 97.7% wanting him back in the rotation next season. That's higher than Roy Halladay (97.6%), Cole Hamels (96.8%), and Cliff Lee (95.8%).
Below is a look at the full results, and don't forget you can still vote:
|John Mayberry Jr.
|Ruben Amaro Jr.
*Vote totals as of 10/14/11 at 11 a.m.
Matt Mullin is a sports producer at philly.com. You can reach him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin