The 2014 season has not gone the way the Philadelphia Phillies or their fans have wanted. The team is six games under .500 and in last place in the NL east, but that does not mean that this is not a fun team to watch. When a team is struggling, the least that fans can ask for is an entertaining team to watch, and the Phillies have been just that this season. From personal milestones for some players, to 14 inning long games against division rivals, these Phillies are hardly boring to watch.
One of the more exciting stories in recent weeks has been Jimmy Rollins and his pursuit to become the Phillies all-time hits leader. Before the season even started it was obvious that Rollins would eventually pass all-time great Mike Schmidt, which made the question when would Rollins pass Schmidt, rather than if he would. On June 14th Rollins finally passed Schmidt against the Chicago Cubs in Philadelphia, and it was a great sight for Philly fans as Schmidt came out to congratulate J-Roll. It was quite the site, seeing Rollins getting emotional over his milestone being witnessed in front of the hometown fans. He got a standing ovation and was congratulated by his teammates before the game continued. The best part of the scene was that it showed how Philly fans truly feel about Rollins. As much as they may complain that he may not always hustle or does not seem to care, they appreciate all he has done for the Phillies in his career. He is easily one of their greatest players of all time.
Another reason to watch the Phillies this season is due to some emerging players. One such player is Reid Brignac, who before landing on the disabled list was one of the Phillies hottest players. Brignac had some key hits that lead to Phillies victories and used his height to make some key defensive plays to save the team some runs. While it would seem that losing Brignac could really hurt the team, a returning Cody Asche has picked up where Brignac left off. This is a good problem for the Phillies to have considering that third base was a big problem just a short time ago. Meanwhile in the bullpen, Ken Giles has been putting on a show with his rocket arm, with fastballs reaching 100 mph.
Besides Giles, the bullpen has surprisingly turned things around as well despite losing Mike Adams to injury again. Jonathan Papelbon has continued to be the dominant pitcher he has been since the start of the season. Jake Diekman has seem to overcome some of his previous struggles, and provides the Phillies with yet another bullpen arm capable of throwing 100 mph.
It is true that this Phillies team often takes two steps forward and then three steps back. However, they at least make it interesting, whether they win or lose. Obviously both the players and the fans want the team to win, but this is not the same team that won 102 games in 2011. They are at least competitive in games, and after the struggles of the last two seasons, that is a step in the right direction.