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Inside the Standings: Make It Stop

Jul 13, 2012, 3:31 PM EDT

The Phillies can still make the playoffs if they post a ridiculous winning percentage the rest of the way, but we don't want to hear it.

You probably don’t need me to tell you, but it’s grim, folks. I’m not going to paint the scene today. There are the up-to-date standings on the right, and we can all see for ourselves how far out of the race the Phillies are.

So this is my latest proposal: a moratorium on all playoff talk. Stop it, Marcus Hayes. I don’t want to hear about their slim chances right now, or how many games they have to win over the next two-and-a-half months. Even if they sweep the Rockies over the weekend, then take two of three from the Dodgers, just leave it alone. They’re still way out.

Everybody is so obsessed with the Phillies making the playoffs, but in terms of a turnaround, why don’t we try focusing on something a little bit smaller to start with. The team is 13 games below .500. I would like to see them at least get back to that mark before the season is over.

Enough of this 50-25 nonsense. If the Phils suddenly start winning at .667 clip for the rest of the month, we’ll lift the ban, and entertain the notion they can pull off the impossible.

Frankly, I’ll take 44-31 at this point. That puts them at 81-81 once everything is said and done, and more to the point, a .587 winning percentage falls more in line with a realistic projection over a full season. If they did that in 162 games next season, they would win 95.

Do it the rest of the way, and that should be enough to keep them from finishing in the cellar in the NL East. Maybe they can even jump as high as third.

And, no, this is not a call to give up on this season. If they can do better, that’s great, and if they somehow wind up in the postseason, even better. Continuously setting the bar higher and higher is madness though. Next they’ll tell us the Phillies can still make the playoffs… if they win out… the entire month of September.

Not to mention all of this playoff talk makes nothing of the fact that the front office could sell off important pieces of the clubhouse over the next couple of weeks.

At this point, I’d simply like to see some signs of life. There are problems with the current makeup of the roster, but a few of them can be fixed in the offseason. If the guys who are still going to be around next year can get healthy and start producing, that actually might be a sign of things to come — if only for 2013.