Cru­cial week­end for Phillies’ fu­ture

The Times Herald (Norristown, PA) - - SPORTS - Jack McCaf­fery Colum­nist

Af­ter the 102-game rain-de­lay and af­ter the in­juries, af­ter the goof-ball rules changes and af­ter so many ir­ra­tional post­pone­ments, af­ter play­ing games be­fore man­nequins and sim­i­larly mind­less mi­nor-league um­pires, the Phillies are about to re­ceive their an­swer.

By Sun­day night, they will know if they have been able to make good on their ini­tial prom­ise to Bryce Harper.

By then, at the latest, they will be a play­off team and an or­ga­ni­za­tion headed in a rea­son­able di­rec­tion, or they will have been re-branded as an in­ept oper­a­tion un­able to reach a post­sea­son for nearly a full decade.

By then, they will know if they are in a po­si­tion to ben­e­fit from their 13-year, $330,000,000 in­vest­ment in Harper, or if the whole scheme was a quick pub­lic­ity stunt.

By then, they will be win­ners, or they will be losers. Over-re­ac­tion? Over-state­ment of a sit­u­a­tion in a once-ever sea­son?

Over-sell of the im­por­tance of the week­end the Phillies are about to spend in Tampa?

Harper doesn’t think so. He doesn’t think so at all.

“I’m very ex­cited to hope

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