Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/4/12

Three days after the Philadelphia Phillies waved the white flag on the 2012 season, they climbed to the upper deck at Citizens Bank Park and sounded the trumpets to make that declaration all but official.

Before their series-opening game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, which resulted in a 4-2 loss, the Phillies sent right-hander Joe Blanton to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who had claimed the veteran off waivers earlier in the day.

If nothing else, the move of Blanton -- one of the few remaining pieces from the Phillies' 2008 World Series championship team -- confirmed what few in the front office or the clubhouse have said: The Phillies are focusing on 2013.

That's why, in a one-run game, left-hander Jeremy Horst and right-hander B.J. Rosenberg got the ball for critical relief stints. That's why outfielders Domonic Brown and John Mayberry Jr., guys who weren't exactly lineup fixtures early in the season, were in the starting nine. That's why third baseman Kevin Frandsen and catcher Brian Schneider rounded out a less than stellar lineup for manager Charlie Manuel.

"I think you look at it as opportunities," said Mayberry, who nearly scored the game-tying run on a controversial call in the sixth inning. "Guys are getting a look and you try to put your best foot forward and have as sound a final two months as you can."

Manuel has no choice but to field the most competitive club he can in the final two months of the season even though he has a bunch of guys who didn't open the season in Philadelphia. With the Phillies mired in last place in the National League East and seemingly stuck there for good, Manuel and Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. intend to turn loose a band of new bodies.

It's not a popular choice, either.

In years gone by, the Phillies had grown accustomed to walk-off wins. Friday, they walked off to boos. In the past, the Phillies would have been serenaded to sing-songy cheers of "High Hopes" from their faithful fans. Friday, the music director at Citizens Bank Park cued up Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow."

The fact is, that's all fans have -- tomorrow. For the 255th consecutive home game, the Phillies played in front of a capacity crowd. And for the 30th time in 51 home games this season, they headed for the clubhouse in defeat.

Only six players remain from that title team in 2008.

"I was thinking that today, after (Blanton) left," said one of the 2008 holdovers, pitcher Kyle Kendrick. "Only a handful of guys have been around since then. It's crazy. We're obviously going in a different direction, trying to get younger. That's what it looks like, obviously. You know, playing with some new guys."

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