Let's face it, folks. This team is simply not very good. That isn't to say that they aren't occasionally good enough to make us forget just how bad they are, but they simply aren't a very good "team". When the pitchers are great, the offense doesn't step up. When the offense provides some runs, the pitchers can't hold the opponents down consistently. When the starters and the offense do their job to get the game to the bullpen, they blow it more often than should be acceptable. In 2002, the whole thing came together, with one part of the team picking up the other parts. That's not happening this year. It hasn't happened all year, and we certainly shouldn't expect it to start next month.
Inconceivably, management took a team that won the division last year (and perhaps they shouldn't have, because they were exposed in the playoffs), spent millions upon millions of dollars, and somehow found a way to make the team worse. That's tough to do. Stoneman made one acquisition that has worked, and that's Paul Byrd. But really, who could have predicted that a 40 year old center fielder might be on the decline?
Honestly, I don't know what it is. Maybe it was Eckstein and Percival, but I just don't see the same heart, the same drive, the same will to win that they had last year and three years ago. Really, I don't want Matt's money, but I can't see any way this team can possibly make the playoffs. Feel free to convince me otherwise, but this team is just not championship caliber.