Long before the start of the first game of the National League Championship Series, Philadelphia Phillies managing partner John Middleton could be found wandering the media dining room at Citizens Bank Park. When asked what an owner does four hours before a playoff game, he said: "Pace."
And after his team won the first two games only to shockingly blow the series lead and lose in seven games to the Arizona Diamondbacks, you have to imagine there has been a lot of pacing in the Phillies' front office since then.
An offense that had dominated the beginning of the postseason with seven wins in eight games suddenly went cold, hitting .197 over the final five games and scoring just three runs in the final two defeats at home.
It was a disappointing ending to a successful season. After all, the club has now reached the World Series and the NLCS in back-to-back seasons, falling short of a championship both times. Getting that close only increases the desire to win it all -- especially for an owner like Middleton, who has shown the willingness to spend money, and an executive like Dave Dombrowski, who is always in win-now mode.
The Phillies just haven't been quite good enough. Even though they defeated the Atlanta Braves in each of the past two playoffs, they also finished 14 games behind their division rivals both seasons. They need to get better in the regular season and a little better in the postseason.
And here's a wild idea on how to do that: Trade for Mike Trout. Bring him home.