PHILADELPHIA — There will be aspects about it that will make you cringe.
Some may bring tears to your eyes. Others will tick you off.
It comes with the territory.
Parting ways and making changes are rarely easy.
It means putting your favorite player's shersey in the bottom of your drawer. It means cheering for some players you know little about. It means you might see a guy in the lineup you used to boo.
Bringing in talented players is a must. But adding some young, hungry guys is something that's vital to this club. Don't think manager Charlie Manuel hasn't noticed those types of changes helping the Washington Nationals.
"They've got a lot of life," Manuel said. "Those young players bring a lot of energy to their team. Not only that, it brought a lot of talent to their pitching. We played them there, they were up and they were playing good, they carried a lot of want-to and a lot of energy."
It's hard to believe this crew is as hungry as it was back in 2007. With a seven-game hole with 17 to play that season, they climbed out of it in Game 162 with Jamie Moyer on the mound, and the Phillies, coupled with a historic Mets collapse, clinched the NL East title and clawed into the postseason for the first time since 1993.
Then Rollins started hearing whispers he didn't like.
"They used that word (complacent) a couple of years ago," Rollins said in May. "After we won, we became complacent. But we found a way to win. So if complacency leads to finding a way to win, that's a good thing. I definitely never used that word when you're talking about pro athletes."
Well, the Phillies aren't in the basement because they lack that much talent. And the injuries are only part of the problem.
It took Manuel until early June, but he admitted six weeks ago that key piece is missing with the 2012 Phillies.
"We used to have a swagger and used to be cocky in a real good way and teams used to fear us," he said. "I don't see that fear anymore."
The hope would be that down the line, the personnel changes would make up for the initial frustrations fans feel when numerous changes are made to a team they've fallen in love with, and they'd get the Phils back in the playoff hunt again.
Yes, that's right. You heard me: NEXT YEAR.
Maybe they'll find themselves in contention in 2013. Could take till the year after that for things to return to what has become "the norm" in South Philadelphia. It's not happening this season.
The Phillies entered play Saturday 13 1/2 games out of first place, and it's to the point where making the postseason seems almost impossible.
Back in May when the Phillies were sputtering and manager Charlie Manuel called a team meeting, Jimmy Rollins said it was too early to talk about the 2012 season not panning out.
With the Phillies having played game No. 95 on Saturday, it's crunch time. Rollins as much as said so back in May.
"You get 100 games into it and you find yourself way back, then you say this isn't the year," Rollins said on May 9 when the Phils were just five games back.
There you have it.
And don't expect Manuel to call another meeting any time soon.
"We've had enough meetings, believe me," Manuel said.
This stat doesn't help matters: The Phillies would need to go 48-19 (.716 winning percentage) to finish with 89 wins, which according to Rob Maaddi of the Associated Press, is what the second wild card team has averaged since 2000.
And let's not forget that good teams win at home. They take advantage of knowing how a ball comes off the wall. They feed off the crowd's every cheer. And they get the pleasure of sleeping in their own beds and getting to the ball park on their terms, not when the team bus is arriving.
The Phillies at home this year are pathetic.
They are 17-29 in South Philly (.369 winning percent) and have lost six in a row at Citizens Bank Park entering Saturday. They have won only four of the 15 series played at home (nine series losses, two ties) and have yet to have a winning homestand (four losses, four splits).
Phillies pitchers own a 4.19 ERA at home, 11th in the NL, and they've been outscored 206-173 this year. Their 173 runs scored at home are 13th in the league (although 11 teams have played more home games than them).
Tickets are still selling, although the stadium isn't as packed as it used to be. But if this continues, the string of 250 consecutive, regular-season sellouts will end sooner rather than later.
Ryan Zimmerman (Washington Nationals) … The third baseman is a big reason his team is atop the NL East standings. In his last seven games, he hit .423 (11-for-26). More than half of his hits (6) have gone for extra bases (three doubles, three home runs) during that stretch. He was one of only five players in the league with three home runs in the last week. And he has five RBIs.
Bryce Harper (Washington Nationals) … The rookie, who's already become known for making a splash with his speed and hustle, hit .167 (5-foro-30) in his previous seven games. He had only one extra-base hit and one RBI over the last week.
105: Triples for Jimmy Rollins and Jose Reyes, who are tied for most career triples among active players.
CATCHING UP WITH FORMER PHILLIE … Ben Francisco. The outfielder was just traded this weekend from Toronto to Houston. In 27 games with the Blue Jays, Francisco hit .240 (12-for-50) with two RBIs, five doubles and a triple. During the 2 1/2 seasons he spent in Philadelphia from 2009-11, he batted .259 with 17 home runs and 75 RBIs in 225 games.
Did you know?
Roy Halladay, who is starting Tuesday's game, needs just four strikeouts to reach 2,000 for his career. … Is one of only two players to lead the AL and NL in stole bases (Ron LeFlore is the other). … Erik Kratz has his degree in business administration from Eastern Mennonite University. … Chase Utley needs 10 home runs for 200 in his career and Ryan Howard is 12 shy of 300. … Under Charlie Manuel (since 2005), the Phillies have the second-best, second-half record in MLB (317-200). Only the Yankees (326-198) have more post All-Star break wins during that stretch.