The Dip: Business is Business – Phillies Nation
Posts

The Dip: Business is Business

The Dip is back. Welcome to another edition penned by our own commenter, The Dipsy. Agree or disagree with what he says? Tell us by leaving your comments.

After a six month dance comprised of equal parts fixation, stubbornness, and incompetence, Ruben Amaro finally delivered Phillies fans Roy Halladay, gift wrapped with a bow on top, just in time for Christmas. While the front office finally seemed sated, the attendant loss of Cliff Lee – in an altogether separate trade – has left many fans with a bitter taste in their mouths because most of us believe it didn’t have to happen. Fans can view the departure of Cliff Lee in a number of ways: stupid, short sighted, panic induced, and cheap spring to my mind. I view the deal as the squandering of a once in a lifetime opportunity to become one of the great teams of its era. While the fans have been told the reasons why it had to go down this way, we’re still not sure we really understand. But maybe not understanding is better, because if we knew the real reasons, we might be that much more angry.

It’s A Baseball Decision

Giving up prospects to get a really good player does serious damage to your farm system – I get it. If we were getting blue chip prospects back from Seattle I could ALMOST understand it. From all accounts they are decent prospects. To my way of thinking, you don’t trade an underpaid Cy Young winner when you’re in the middle of a string of World Series runs just so you can add players to your farm system. If the Phillies had kept Lee, the minor league talent still would have been middle of the road. But we don’t need any players from there right now, anyway.

Worried about replenishing the pipeline? If I’m not mistaken we get compensatory picks for Lee and Blanton when they leave after next season. If the plan was always to make that second trade for prospects, it would have made a helluva lot more sense to make the Halladay trade then hang on to Lee and trade him during spring training when you can get more value. Perhaps we could have even traded Blanton instead. As a baseball decision, this was a poor one. But it was more than that.

It’s a Business Decision

David Montgomery, Wharton graduate, made a statement last week that the Phillies were “already in the red”. If you’re like me, you found these remarks to be disingenuous and insulting. There are a zillion ways in accounting to measure valuation and profits and I’m sure Dave had his pick of which one he wanted to use to back up his assertion. Just for fun though, lets assume that he’s being truthful. Operating from this premise I offer the following remarks.

Baseball teams are capital assets. The money that is made goes back into the team. That is why the Skull and Bones Society that is Phiilies ownership has turned a 30 million investment into about $500 million. This is called “capital appreciation”. Montgomery thinks we have no concept of this. I have my own business and on any given day you can ask me how my revenue stream is and I can say “it sucks”. Never mind that I’ve socked away a ton into my business over the years. Yet, because of the nature of businesses and how they are set up, I can still look a guy in the eye and tell him that, at the moment, “I’m in the red”. This is what the Phillies do.

Let’s assume that the Phillies really ARE struggling financially. Given the amount of gold bullion they rake in every year on attendance, TV, concessions, advertising, merchandising, blah blah, if they can’t turn a profit, I would suggest that they are working with a flawed business model and that they need to change it. I don’t know any business (and we are talking “business” here) that would allow the guys that run it to lose them money every year…well, except the Pirates owner. As a consumer, I implore the ownership to make the appropriate personnel changes to make the club profitable so I don’t have to see another Cliff Lee fiasco in my lifetime.

At the risk of venturing into esoterica, I would call the reader’s attention to a thing in business called “branding”. It is the concept that a business utilizes, through capital expenditure, marketing, commitment to excellence in the product space, and overall product quality, to gain an additional revenue stream that can be attributed directly to its reputation – it’s what all right-thinking businesses aspire to. This revenue stream can inure to the business during poor business cycles when other competing products are more effected. Think: McDonald’s, Clorox, Gillette, iPod. In sports, think of the Cowboys, Yankees, Dodgers, Lakers, Jeff Gordon, etc. Why do you think the Cowboys have so many fans in states not named Texas and why these same fans stuck with them after the glory days of the 70’s, and when they stunk in the 80’s. Because they did everything they could to win, had great players, and did it for a long time.

If the Phillies had kept Cliff Lee and won another Series, there would be kids growing up in Nebraska as Phillies fans. Buying Phillies stuff. Flying in for Phillies games twice a year. There’s a tangible dollar value in that. Montgomery knows it yet looks elsewhere because he and his partners won’t be around in 10 years to reap that money.

When the Phillies kissed off the chance to keep Cliff Lee for another year, they sent a message to everyone that while they’d love to be in the World Series, it would have to be on their terms. That approach inspires no one. While trading Lee saves the Phillies a few bucks in the short term, they missed the opportunity to become a money-making machine in the long run that another World Series title would bring them. The chances of that happening without Lee are considerably less. And THAT’S why trading Lee is a bad business decision, too.

134 Comments

134 Comments

  1. bruno

    December 22, 2009 at 9:22 am

    Great, now the rumors are that the Yankees are trying to trade for Lee. Nice job Amaro! Way to hold out for the best offer.

  2. Griffin

    December 22, 2009 at 9:29 am

    I agree with the Dip. The Mariners are close to trading Brandon Morrow to the Jays, not that the Phillies need major league ready relief help or anything.

  3. GWFightinsFan

    December 22, 2009 at 9:36 am

    VERY WELL SAID! My thoughts exactly! It’s great that they got Halladay, but getting there cost us nearly our entire farm system, and to top it off they were too cheap and shortsighted to see the opportunity, both on the field and business wise, they had with Lee and Halladay in the same .

  4. GWFightinsFan

    December 22, 2009 at 9:38 am

    * same rotation.

  5. Bob in Bucks

    December 22, 2009 at 9:44 am

    I am SO tired of everyone spending the Phillies money. Last summer no one would have dreamed of having both Lee and Halladay. So, if Amaro had caved and given Happ and Drabek, et al for Halladay with no contract extension in hand everyone would have been happy. But once he gets Lee he has to keep them both because we want it.
    Now we are all experts in baseball business and think we can spend another $10 million because we want to. ENOUGH.
    The glass is more than half full. Stop looking for the negative. The Phils will compete and by the way, there is no guarantee that Lee/Halladay would even win the division, less the WS.
    Stop whining!

  6. goosebumps

    December 22, 2009 at 9:47 am

    typical philadelphia sports

  7. joedad

    December 22, 2009 at 9:47 am

    1 – Capital appreciation is useless until you sell the company. Think how valuable Enron stock was one day and then how much it was worth the next day.
    2 – The Phils are doing so well that they have to share revenue to lesser teams. They could be more profitible if they received revenue share. Is that the business model they should follow?
    3 – According to Harris Interactive, The New York Yankees were the most popular baseball team followed by the Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals. Based on your assumptions, Atlanta should outspend the Phils because they have more fans in Nebraska.

  8. Keith E

    December 22, 2009 at 9:53 am

    Dipsy said: ” if they can’t turn a profit, I would suggest that they are working with a flawed business model and that they need to change it.”
    Believe it or not those were my exact words to my wife after hearing the Phillies aren’t turning a profit!
    I don’t think the trading of Lee was RAJ. I said earlier here that we let Lee go for Eaton money!!!! Sickening. If Lee had a full year of CBP energy coming at him every 5th day he would have signed an extension. No doubt!
    GO PHILS!!!

  9. BS

    December 22, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Dip, I wanted to keep Cliff Lee as much as anyone, and while I don’t think Monty was telling the full truth, I think you’re overestimating how much the Phils make and can make.

    According to the Forbes article, the Phils made $16 mil before taxes with a payroll of $128 mil. Now our payroll is up to $140 mil. Let’s just assume their profits went up by an equal amount. We keep Cliff Lee, that’s another $9 mil. We still need to get a couple more bullpen arms, so that’s another $5 mil. That alone cuts down the $16 mil to $2 mil. And also leaves us with almost no money to make any moves in season.

    A World Series isn’t a spigot for a free flow of cash. The Phillies market can only be so big. Going by the USA Today figures, last year, the only teams with a higher payroll than $140 mil were the Mets and Yankees. And obviously NYC is a much bigger market than Philly. Heck, even the Red Sox didn’t hit that mark and they’re probably the 2nd most popular team in the league. Meanwhile, our payroll went up $15 mil after winning the WS, and then now it’s going up another $27 mil after losing the WS. It’s one thing if the Phils kept the same payroll and weren’t profitable. And I hated the Bill Giles pennypinching days. But it’s obvious that they’ve put money back into the team. They aint the Pirates or Marlins no more.

    If I had the chance, I would’ve kept Cliff Lee, and tried to lop off money elsewhere. But the last thing I can do with a straight face is criticize the team for being cheap or criticizing their business model when they’ve clearly put a lot of money back into the team.

  10. Richie

    December 22, 2009 at 10:05 am

    I understand the frustration, and hearing Lee’s take only made it worse. There clearly is a budget though and quite frankly there should be. My main concern here is that watching a move like that happen tells me they are pressing on salaries and what does that say for the trade deadline? Or what happens next year when everyone gets increases and Werth becomes a free agent?

  11. bfo_33

    December 22, 2009 at 10:09 am

    I thought the anger would have died down by now. At least three problems with your argument:
    – CBP is nearly sold out. The stadium can’t bring in much more revenue, unless you increase ticket prices. Then it will be Yankee Stadium – a bunch of corporate stiffs indifferent to the game.
    – Boston, NY, and LA are “sexy” cities. Cubs have that lovable loser image. Phi is going to capture some true sports fans from Nebraska, but none of casual fans. Take Pujols out of Stl, and they are out of the top. It is as much about the city as the team, and Phi will never have the same perception as some of the others (I like it, but most of the country views it as a 2nd tier blue collar city).
    – The Phils are spending $140M! This isn’t the Pirates, who by the way have far more cash flow per year than the Phils due to no payroll and profit sharing.

    I would have loved to have seen Lee and Halladay on the same staff for a year. We are in for a draught after 2011, when the whole team turns over. It may take another 5 or 50 years to get back to where we are. Did they make the right move? We’ll know in a few years. With that said, accusing this team of being cheap is irresponsible and uninformed.

  12. mikemike

    December 22, 2009 at 10:13 am

    HEY GEORGE READ THIS WELL WRITTEN ARTICLE ITS WHAT I SAID AND Y MOCKED. IDIOT .STILL PEOPLE OUT THERE DONT GET IT WE GOT NOTHING FOR LEE NOTHING, LOOK AT WHAT THE YANKESS GAVE UP FOR A PITCHER. POINT IS 9 MILLION TO A TEAM JUST COMING OFF TWO WORLD SERIES SHOULD NOT MATTER. AND TO GIVE UP LEE FOR THAT JUNK IS A INSULT TO THE FANS.AND THE CITY AND THE THREE AND HALF MILLION LOYAL FANS WHO WENT AND PAID GOOD MONEY TO SEE THEM

  13. Tony G

    December 22, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Annnd the yankees get javy vazquez… So world series pitching match up?? CC Burnett Vazquez Pettite… vs…. halladay… hamels (ugh) blanton? happ? :/

    We are still no better suited to beat the yankees in the ws

  14. Geoff

    December 22, 2009 at 10:31 am

    You guys are so negative. You cant have it all, they made a good decision based on a BUDGET. Some of you people have no concept of a budget because youre still in college and your mommies and daddies pay for everything still, which I was like in college to a degree too, but when you work you come to appreciate a BUDGET. The Yankees are the spoiled rotten rich kid with unlmiited money who can piss it away.

    The Phililes cannot afford the same luxury UNLESS you want to only go to 2 or 3 games a year BECUASE THE TICKETS ARE SO EXPENSIVE YOU CANT AFFORD IT. I would like to GO TO THE GAMES STILL. That means they adhere to a budget.

    Their next TV deal will be worth MEGA money as they are the third most watched team in MLB, so they will receive a boost up neaerer to Red Sox budget territory with that, but its a ways off. Until then, they have to behave in a financially responsible manner.

    Moyer was a mistake. Polanco, Ibanez were pretty good decisions, and Ibanez will give you another good year out of this deal. The Doc will hold down the fort here, and Cole Hamels will come into ST and unveil a new pitch to everyones joy…he will bounce back – too much talent there. Blanton, Happ are solid. I hope they can land a decent 5th starter. I hope the bullpen will be shored up. The bench is better, the rotation is BETTER (slightly), the lineup is BETTER.

    GET OVER IT. I miss Cliff Lee too, Im a bit sore about it because I enjoyed his approach and his zen-like mentality so much. Can we just PLEASE start to figure out ways to improve the 5th starter spot and the bullpen? Can we please start to get EXCITED about the season.

    You guys should lsiten to yourselves some of you, you sound like SPOILED PUNK BRAT NEW YORK FANS!

    We dont do that here. Get hold of yourselves.

  15. Geoff

    December 22, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Javy Vazquez also folds up every postseason…so dotn worry about that. Itll make the division easier to win and itll mean they will grab another game in the WS next fall..now they need to shore up the rest of the staff to ensure that 4th win…

  16. shawn qwartz

    December 22, 2009 at 10:57 am

    The Phillies have always made money and that is why the silent investors choose to be silent. It is money first, winning second. The Phillies are blessed with a huge market, a stadium financed largely by taxpayers and the soul of an Enron executive. They will field a solid product and we are lucky that Ruben Amaro Jr. runs things. Remember that he has to deal with the stockholders, who are the ultimate power and decision-makers behind this team. An average product will net the stockholders a fortune. A great product will eat into profits. That is the truth, swallow it whole.

  17. The Original Chuck P

    December 22, 2009 at 11:00 am

    I’m torn…

    Dip says, “you don’t trade an underpaid Cy Young winner when you’re in the middle of a string of World Series runs just so you can add players to your farm system.” I agree with that…

    Richie says “There clearly is a budget though and quite frankly there should be.” I agree with that…

    I say – the end result is that we have the best pitcher in baseball at a bargain price for at least four years and if Rube had to trade Cliff Lee away to get that, I’m certainly ok with it.

    We would all love to speculate but the truth is no one on this forum is responsible for running a $300 million organization… no one can relate to the pressure of reporting to multiple constituents with conflicting expectations; shareholders that are concerned with the bottom line and fans/players who maintain unrealistic expectations. Everyone would love to see Halladay/Lee but someone determined that it wasn’t feasible to keep both and Rube decided that he would rather have Halladay long-term (than Lee for one year).

    Despite what Rube says, I believe that this was a business decision… if Rube had it his way, I’m pretty sure that he would sign and extend everyone but someone has to keep their hands on the reigns… someone has to set the budget. I think that the magic number is $140 million and I think that Rube probably had to do some convincing to get that number as high as it is. The economic environment isn’t exactly perfect for budgetary increases…

    Sliced into two deals, trading Lee was a bad baseball move and the deal was seemingly rushed (we probably could have gotten more)… our window of opportunity is now and we traded a cheap Cy Young winner for prospects…

    BUT the reality is that we don’t have an endless revenue stream and we don’t know what discussions were had behind closed doors.

  18. Brian Sr. of CO

    December 22, 2009 at 11:02 am

    We should have traded princess (Hamels). either way, after being COMPLETELY surprised how much money they spent on several players, to be welcomed back to typical Philadelphia sports of not keeping those pieces intact. same world series, with the 1,2 as Halladay and Lee, and we would probably be looking at another WS title. But really, I dont see how Montgomery cares at all about the fans. I really dont. I say this because despite the HORRIBLE seasons we have ALL endured, we all still say PHaithful buy merchandise and go to games. They still make money even when they are horrible, UNLIKE say the Marlins, where they were theoritcally in the middle of a pennant race the last few seasons (kind of) and yet they still cant sell out games or anything. I have been to plenty of games when the Phillies were HORRIBLE, and yet the stands were still full. Not as money I understand, but out passion and how faithsul we are can hurt us sometimes. Just my opinion.

  19. George

    December 22, 2009 at 11:10 am

    I almost didn’t read this article. Unfortunately, I did.

    I am totally sick of people with no knowledge of the actual books criticizing the financial operations of the team. They repeatedly claim the absurd $140 million payroll number, never acknowledging that this is only PLAYER PAYROLL. It doesn’t include groundskeepers, maintenance workers, ushers, security guards, ticket window operators, publicity people, etc. etc. Are these people all working for free? They criticize ownership for raising the team’s value over the years, but that’s what business is all about. Any budget has to juggle things that nobody particularly wants to juggle, must eliminate certain expenses so that others can be met.

    I agree with Geoff that some fans have become spoiled.

    And mikemike: yelling in whatever language you’re attempting is only calling more attention to your functional illiteracy. “DONT” I can figure out–you just don’t know what an apostrophe is –but what is “Y” supposed to mean, anyway?

  20. Ed R.

    December 22, 2009 at 11:16 am

    Javier Vazquez is nothing special. He is the ultimate 500 pitcher. One year he is great the next year he is awful. Last year he was great, this year he will probably stink. The Yanks can have him as far as I am concerned.

  21. Adam

    December 22, 2009 at 11:21 am

    1. About the “in the red” comment: I’m pretty sure he said that they’re in the red, but he meant based on this season’s cost vs regular season expected revenues that they would be. They calculate that number assuming they won’t make the playoffs. I still don’t believe it him… just sayin.

    2. The Phillies are not a cheap team anymore. Cheap teams don’t blow up payroll to keep all of their homegrown talent: Howard, Utley, Rollins, Hamels, plus Rule 5ers Werth and Victorino, and then, on top of that, bring in above-replacement-level players to fill in the gaps: Ibanez, Polanco, Lidge (maybe). Still, it isn’t fair to compare any team with limited resources to the Yankees. The Yankees have spent over $418MM more than even the Red Sox over the last 6 years. Over the same time period, the Yankees have spent nearly $610MM more than the Phillies. These numbers hardly even account for the monster contracts given to CC, AJ, and Tex. The rules allow for a team to spend like that, so the Yankees will. As a result they will win more World Series. Inevitable. Every other team in the league is stuck trying to win the WS “on their own terms.” (BTW: periods go inside quotation marks, Wharton boy.)

    3. I think your view on the Lee deal is rather myopic. First of all, the notion that there would be fans cropping up all over the country based on one more WS appearance is ludicrous. Like crazy to the point of dumb. You shouldn’t have even said that. 3 championship appearances in 3 years does not make a franchise the Yankees, Cowboys, or Lakers. Those teams are what they are based on maintaining continuous success, not three years of success over a hundred-some year period. Second, do you think it would be beneficial to the Phillies’ brand to make it to the WS this year and then not make it back for another decade and a half? If we lost Lee and all we got were comp picks, those guys wouldn’t be around to help out until…2016? 2018? The prospects we got in the Lee trade are expected to help the big league club in 2-3 years. I don’t know how many times you’ve scouted Phillippe Aumont, but I have a feeling RAJ has once or twice. Third, continuing with the Phillies’ ongoing brand, do you know who the team currently has locked up beyond the next 2 seasons? It’s a short list: Utley, Halladay, Polanco with arbitration for Ruiz (who will be 33), Kendrick, Francisco, and Hamels (last arb yr for him).

    The Lee trade was made in order to sustain success. It annoys me to no end that every Phillies blogger, the people whose shitty articles I read to entertain myself every day, does not even try to see the real reason this move was made. Instead they fill the space with some rant about how cheap the Phils are or how much business acumen they possess.

    While I would have LOVED to see a Lee/Halladay/Hamels rotation, and just having Lee around in general, I understand the imperative of keeping the franchise in order. This was not just a “business decision.” We’re lucky enough to have a team whose business IS baseball (i.e. not the Pirates, Padres, Rays, or even the Tigers or Marlins); for this team, a business decision is a baseball decision. Enjoy Halladay.

  22. Pete

    December 22, 2009 at 11:36 am

    here is an excellent analysis of Halladay vs. Lee as pitchers – might make some of the angry people here a LITTLE more positive….

    http://www.reclinergm.com/head-to-head-comparison-roy-halladay-vs-cliff-lee/

  23. TODDFROMFAIRMOUNT

    December 22, 2009 at 11:37 am

    F@#k budget. They can recoup any losses in the future when we have a bunch of kids making no money and CBP is still drawing 3 million every year. The branding topic is brilliant. The sox did it, the skankees started it and those rich UK soccer teams have been doing it for years also. This ownership is always behind and toooooo conservative. That’s why it took 28 years to win another title. Nowwwww is the time. They are still in bed with comcast. Nowwww is the time to start their own tv network, get away from comcast and have their games available nationwide on the baseball package all of the time. Until this changes, we will always be the gutty little team from Philly trying to grab that carrot once every 30 years.

    Great work Dipsy.

  24. Richie

    December 22, 2009 at 11:37 am

    If you step back and look at the big picture we traded Drabek, D’arnaud, Marson and Donald for 6 million dollars a half year of Lee and 4 years (not the 1.5 years it was supposed to be) of Roy Halladay (arguably the best pitcher in baseball). This is assuming Aumont and Knapp are a wash, Gillies and Taylor and Ramirez and Carrasco. Let’s not forget that Benny Looper was there head scout in Seattle and is on our staff now. I am sure he had a lot to say about this trade. He drafted those guys. Anyone who wouldn’t make the trade above is a fool. Cliff Lee had two of his best years the last two and still wasn’t as good as Halladay while pitching to the Sox, yankees and Rays most of the time. So let’s please end this here!!!

  25. Dannie

    December 22, 2009 at 11:39 am

    George-

    You are 100% correct. There is a reason that only the Yankees had a payroll higher than $142 million last year.

    We very well might go into 2010 with the 2nd highest payroll in the league. If we had the first, uneducated Philly fans would still complain.

    There are things to complain about the Lee trade if you want (quality of prospects, etc…) – but the payroll isn’t one of them.

  26. The Dipsy

    December 22, 2009 at 11:50 am

    I’m a capitalist. I love to make money. But if your only goal in this world is to make money DON’T BUY A PROFESSIONAL SPORTS FRANCHISE! When you buy a sports franchise you hold it in a trust for that cities fans and the fans of the future. You are entitled to a reasonable profit while providing the city that you serve the best product you can. The Phillies didn’t do that last week.

    The Dipsy

  27. joedad

    December 22, 2009 at 11:57 am

    The Yankees need an outfielder and they don’t want to spend the type of money it would take to sign Bay or Halladay. They must be cheap

  28. bfo_33

    December 22, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Sounds like communism, Dipsy.

  29. Ed R.

    December 22, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    So instead the Yanks will overpay for an aging Johnny Damon.

  30. joedad

    December 22, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Great idea on the TV network while every company in the world is cutting back on advertising. Since it isn’t my money and I don’t have to worry about competition from the new MLB network or anything else, the owners should risk millions of dollars that otherwise could be spent on the team so they can launch a TV network so that we can bitch next year when they say they can’t afford to resign Werth.

  31. The Dipsy

    December 22, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    It kinda is. Thats why they are exempt from anti trust laws.

    The Dipsy

  32. joedad

    December 22, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    Great idea on the TV network while every company in the world is cutting back on advertising. Since it isn’t my money and I don’t have to worry about competition from the new MLB network or anything else, the owners should risk millions of dollars that otherwise could be spent on the team so they can launch a TV network so that we can bitch next year when they say they can’t afford to resign Werth because they are cheap. Brilliant.

  33. joedad

    December 22, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    The aging Damon beat the Phils arse last year.

  34. shawn qwartz

    December 22, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    Pete……. Thanks for the comparison between Halladay and Lee. Very interesting.

  35. Ed R.

    December 22, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    Yeah he did, but I think they could have put anyone out there last year in the playoffs and they would have beaten us. Our pitching save for Lee was just not up to par.

  36. Catch 22 f/k/a H Man

    December 22, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    To me, the most frustrating thing is that it now appears that Javier Vazquez was in play and we could have gotten him for way, way less than the package we dealt to get Halladay. I would prefer a rotation of Lee, Vazquez, Hamels, Blanton, Happ to Halladay, Hamels, Blanton, Happ and Kendrick and we’d probably still have Drabek waiting in the wings. Oh well . . . .

  37. Ben

    December 22, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    did someone really say we should trade lee to the yankees because they are looking for a starting pitcher? the braves traded for salary relief. melky is a bum, mike dunn is a bigger bum.

    this is exactly what you get for one year rentals, and the yanks are a team that can actually afford a one year rental.

    as for keeping lee, they would have had to stretch their wallets to the extent that only the yankees stretch and we would have had nothing to show for it after this year other than a one time chance to win the series.

    last year we stretched to 6 games against the yanks with a lost cole hamels and a sick pedro and a beat to shit bullpen. we don’t have to the budget to just fill holes with money, we have to be semi-organic.

    finally, did someone also say trade cole hamels? i guess that makes sense. move the guy that had an off year after a ws win (that never happens!) who is 26, has the potential to win cy youngs and be a 20 game winner, when he’s at his lowest possible value.

    the amount of negativity around this lee deal is absurd. could we have done slightly better in the deal? maybe. should we have kept him at the expense of probably being budget strapped for the next few years and having a nearly empty farm system for the chance to have one year with him? as a fan i say absolutely, but the FO made the decision that doc doesn’t come here without moving lee. if thats the case, i make this deal every-single-time.

  38. william

    December 22, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    I am so glad none of you people run this team!! Philly has a good team that will contend. leave the decisions to the pros and just enjoy the game and the team we have. you want the perfect team you will always be disappointed cause it will never happen.

  39. Ben

    December 22, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    catch, first of all vasquez is not even close to the pitcher that doc is. second, then where are we next year when vasquez and lee walk? finally, why would the braves trade him to us without paying a premium?

    so we give up a package of a few not great prospects (maybe d’arnaud or taylor and change), just take on $12.75 million for an inferior pitcher even though we don’t have budget for that, and then he walks next year in FA. thats a good idea?

  40. william

    December 22, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    Two trips to the WS without a Lee/Hallady combo and it is still not good enough for some people.

  41. shawn qwartz

    December 22, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    Speaking about contract mistakes….Is anyone looking at Brett Myers? Is he pretty much done?

  42. bfo_33

    December 22, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    The baseball anti-trust exemption is only for relocation of teams, has very little to do with day to day operation.
    No one should be in a position to dictate what is a reasonable profit. The owners took the risk, and are weighing short and long term profitability as they see fit. If they do it poorly, no one goes to the games, in theory reducing their profitability.
    The reality is that the Phils have one of the top 5 budgets for next year. You can’t complain about them being cheap. If getting Doc well below market value means they had to dump Lee to stay in budget, I’m all for it. It is a whole lot better than going all in one year, then dumping salaries the next (Diamondbacks, Marlins), especially when it often doesn’t work out as planned (Tigers, Mets, Yanks for most of the decade). If only the Flyers and Sixers could weigh talent vs value the way the Phils and Eagles do.

  43. Joe Benigno

    December 22, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    If the revenue sharing threshold was $162 million last season, how were they “sharing revenue with other teams”?

  44. BigMiles

    December 22, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Dipsy, you are being a bit overdramatic here. You, like most everyone else, believe that Lee and Halladay would have guaranteed a WS win and you will take this to your graves.

    Making comments about kids in Nebraska wearing more Phillies gear if we would have kept Lee is one of the more laughable things I’ve ever heard. I totally understand the branding argument, but branding is built over time with core players from your organization like Utley, Howard, Rollins, etc.

    And don’t tell me that a team isn’t doing everything they can to win when they get the best pitcher in baseball. That’s a ridiculous argument. You can be upset with the trade, but don’t be over the top.

    This thing will play out with a very clear outcome as to whether or not we made the right decision. You are free to critique at that point.

    I also want everyone to come back and look at these threads when Cole is dominating next year to see who the ones suggesting that we trade him are and what the hell they were thinking.

  45. griffin

    December 22, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    I just had to chime in with this tidbit. According to fangraphs.com, the Braves received a “significantly better return for Vazquez than the Phillies received for Cliff Lee.”

    The Phillies budget should not have led to the Cliff Lee trade-there were other ways to reduce payroll (non-tendering Blanton and Durbin). If trading Cliff Lee was a baseball decision, then Amaro could have done a lot better than the 3 Seattle mediocrities.

  46. The Dipsy

    December 22, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    bfo – or whatever your name is. No. Anti trust has do with the whole structure of the game. If baseball was allowed to be regulated by the federal government like other businesses there would be no baseball. Genius.

    The Dipsy

  47. The Dipsy

    December 22, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    Hey BigMiles – When I was a kid (from South Jersey) I bought Cincinnati Reds and Minnesota Vikings stuff. I was a fan. I did not mean to suggest that Omaha would turn into Fishtown but gimme a break, you caught my drift.

    The Dipsy

  48. Ben

    December 22, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    griffin, its not significantly better. thats just a cheap shot at the lee deal. melky is league average, the prospect is equivalent to aumont, and mike dunn is a below average pitcher. they also got salary relief.

    but they just made the best team better, which hurts the deal. yes they traded out of the division, but the last thing the phillies fans should be saying is “why didn’t we trade our ace to the yankees for their 5th outfielder, a bum, and a prospect and salary relief”.

  49. rob5000

    December 22, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    I’m pretty sure if the Phillies lost the WS with a lineup like they have and a rotation fronted by Halladay and Lee, it would be one of the greatest failures of all time.

    Shoulda kept Lee for the season and let Blanton walk. You think for a second he wouldn’t have gotten at least Randy Wolf numbers?

    Let’s just say that the Phillies kept Lee… what type of apocalypse could have possibly happened? I honestly can’t even perceive how it would have hurt the Phillies in the long run, maybe that’s just because I’m a dumb college student and I don’t understand budgets… but I do know how to add and subtract!!

    Lee- 9M
    Blanton- ~7M (or more)

    9 – 7 = 2M (chump change)

  50. griffin

    December 22, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Ben, they received Melky and the Yankees 4th and 6th best prospects. I’m just quoting a very reputable website’s analysis of the two trades.

  51. Don M

    December 22, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Can we please stop crying of Cliff Lee after January 1, 2010 …

    I was pretty sure that it would only last a few days, after people realized that it was a move they had to make to keep them within their budget

    but it seems like people don’t understand, and just like to complain..

    so we have 9 days left to bitch about Cliff Lee.. and then we should maybe start being really, really, really glad that the best pitcher in baseball plays for the Phillies!

  52. Catch 22 f/k/a H Man

    December 22, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    “catch, first of all vasquez is not even close to the pitcher that doc is. second, then where are we next year when vasquez and lee walk? finally, why would the braves trade him to us without paying a premium? so we give up a package of a few not great prospects (maybe d’arnaud or taylor and change), just take on $12.75 million for an inferior pitcher even though we don’t have budget for that, and then he walks next year in FA. thats a good idea?”

    Of your points, the best is that the Braves might not have been willing to make the trade, perhaps that’s true. As for the rest, I am not saying that Vazquez is better than Halladay – of course Vazquez is better than Halladay. But if we don’t have Halladay, we have Lee (and, I think he would sign long-term) so, if you make this trade for (D’Arnaud or Taylor), you have Lee and Vazquez versus just Halladay. I’ll take the former any day of the week.

    What I’m saying is, first, that Lee, Hamels and Vazquez would have been a more formidable 1-2-3 than Halladay, Hamels and Blanton and would have allowed the team to have either Blanton or Happ (and not Moyer or Kendrick) as the 5th starter – it’s an incredibly strong and deep rotation and, I think, better than the rotation we’ll throw out there this year when we’ll also have a depleted farm system from the Halladay trade.

    Second, if we don’t acquire Halladay, we sign Lee – I think that deal would have been done and Lee’s statements since the trade support that theory (yes, it’s easy for him to talk now, but it does appear he really wanted to stay).

    Third, if Drabek is coming up, I really don’t care if Vazquez walks in 2011. That’s the year I move Drabek into the rotation and I get draft picks as compensation for Vazquez (and perhaps also Blanton and Werth, if he leaves). So, doing a Vazquez trade would also allow you to build the farm system rather than deplete it.

  53. Catch 22 f/k/a H Man

    December 22, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    I meant to say ‘OF COURSE VAZQUEZ IS NOT BETTER THAN HALLADAY”

  54. SDO

    December 22, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    The day after the deal was official, I said almost exactly the same thing as this post did, except in much less detail of course.

  55. SDO

    December 22, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Does anyone seriously think the Braves would trade Vazquez to the Phillies?

  56. Ben

    December 22, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    i didn’t realize mike dunn was that highly regarded. still, melky while league average was their 5 outfielder, then two good prospects. its probably better, but not significant (imo). also, i still say that the one aspect i definitely like about the lee deal is they dealt him to a team that we will only see in the world series, and its a team that has never been to the series (although they have a shot this year).

    again, you can’t look at the deal in a vacuum. the difference of vasquez for a year and lee for a year isn’t that huge, b/c they are both one year rentals. you’re not going to empty the tank for one year of any pitcher. also vasquez went to the yankees, a team that can afford to overpay b/c they have the pockets and lineup to do so.

    at the end of the day, and i’ve been saying this all along, is if we just look at the lee deal we can probably say “we should have gotten a little more in return”. but if i’m amaro, and the halladay deal is being held up for an upgrade from the 5th prospect to the 4th in the mariners system its not worth holding it up.

  57. The Dipsy

    December 22, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    Well Catch, we were never gonna sign Lee. He wants 5 years. It never would have happened. Thats the biggest reason we traded for Hallladay. Lee can talk all he wants about how he would have signed but if he wanted to so badly he had about 72 hours to do so from the time the Phils started the Halladay trade up. Vazquez was not coming here because the Braves wouldn’t let him in a million years. And I’ll take Halladay, Hamels, and Blanton.

    The Dipsy

  58. Chuck

    December 22, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    I have said enough already about this situation…..and….unfortunately, there are just not too many of you who are listening…all (most)of you guys want to do is bitch and complain about it….as if the Phillies are WORSE off instead of actually BETTER after these trades..

    Don M is right….PLEASE…as of Jan 1 can we PLEASE turn the corner….and talk about the upcoming season…and be excited about it…BECAUSE WE SHOULD BE!!!!

  59. Ben

    December 22, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    catch, we still would have had to somehow pay a premium for him, and take on his salary. i agree i like lee, vasquez, hamels over halladay, hamels, blanton, but you’d have to convince the braves to do the deal and you’d have to somehow absorb the cost.

    finally, lee would not have signed for 3 years $20 mil, so we would maybe be able to lock up lee, but not at the “bargain” of halladay. will be interesting what he fetches though (and how many years).

  60. bfo_33

    December 22, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Dipsy, name calling is the last resort of a weak argument. Read into the details of the anti-trust exemption.

    In the majors, the anti-trust exemption primarily involves control over the location of the franchise, as well as discretion of the league over buyers if the team is sold. Football, Hockey, and Basketball do not have it, which is why the Whalers, Super Sonics, Cardinals, Colts, Browns, could pack up and leave to the highest bidder, but the Expos got stuck in limbo until a “suitable” location was found. It’s also why Mark Cuban doesn’t own the Cubs, but owns the Mavs. All the factors which govern player-owner interactions (from arbitration to free agent eligibility) are from the CBA. Like other forms of entertainment, ticket prices, parking, and concessions are based on the market. Taxes,…., are based on city, state, and federal laws, just like Football, Hockey, and Basketball.

    The other impact involves minor league affiliations (which is not day to day unless you are a minor leaguer, then it controls you).

  61. Catch 22 f/k/a H Man

    December 22, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    I agree that Lee would not have accepted a 3 year deal almost at any price. But maybe he would have taken a 4-year deal with an option year (or even two option years) and that might have been something the Phils would have done. The thing that this trade also does, however, is that it nearly forces them to sign Jayson Werth to a humongous contract next year or risk having a much weaker line-up in 2011. Of all of the Phils players, due to the presence of Taylor, Werth was likely the easiest to replace. Now that replacement is gone and it’s going to create a problem because Brown is not ready this year and probably won’t be ready next year either.

  62. Adam

    December 22, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    I think bfo got it right– what would you rather have? The Diamondbacks who won in 2001 and have won 2 division titles since, or Reuben’s Phillies who look like they’re going to win 5 straight division titles plus who knows how many after that considering he KEEPS REPLENISHING THE SYSTEM? Good teams stay good through the farm system.

  63. Adam

    December 22, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    This is a stupid discussion, everyone knows Lee is coming back here as a free agent!

    crosses fingers

  64. Jonathan

    December 22, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    amen. hit the nail on the head with this post.

  65. The Dipsy

    December 22, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    You don’t like being called a genius?

    The Dipsy

  66. psujoe

    December 22, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    The is a different between profit for a corp and the investers/owners making money. they are making gobs and gobs of money desite not turning a profit. Is the balance sheet a matter of public record?

    I can’t comment on Lee being traded because my Figgins+Lee-Blanton-Victorino+two first round picks > Polanco+two supplemental picks was my last comment. Would’ve saved 3 million as well and gotten similar prospects.

  67. The Dipsy

    December 22, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    bfo- The anti trust exemption in baseball, among other things, gives something called “the reserve clause” which allowed teams to hold a players rights in perpetuity. The clause was challenged by Curt Flood back in the 60’s and eventually led MLB and the developing players union to agree to something called “free agency”. Free Agency was created as a compromise so that the the reserve clause did not have to come under further scrutiny from Supreme Court or Congress. If the anti trust exemption were repealed by Congress, the reserve clause would be eliminated, which would lead to the teams having no control whatsoever to negotiate with their own players. In short, it would be hell on earth. Always happy to help.

    The Dipsy

  68. NEPA

    December 22, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Adam..Since we are raising the payroll next year and Cliff lee is coming back as a free agent.
    Why is everybody so mad at this deal?

  69. griffin

    December 22, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Adam, how exactly is Amaro replenishing the farm system? He traded two top 25 prospects and one top 75 prospect for Halladay (which is defensible) and received zero top 100 prospects for Lee.

  70. Memphis

    December 22, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    I’m not convinced this team runs on a strict budget. If so, you don’t bid against yourself for Moyer, Ibanez, and Polanco (the former inexcusable, the latter 2 early in the FA process before the market is defined). You don’t go and sign $20M pitchers no matter how good they are. You certainly don’t — as a contender — trade away a guy like Lee, slated to make a ridiculously cheap $9M (and forgo 2 compensation draft picks should Lee sign elsewhere). None of that is consistent with being budget-conscious.

  71. mikemike

    December 22, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    George I love people like you, go to college and think they know everything. So the first thing they attack is grammar, if you can’t see this move of lee as a salary dump,then you are a idiot, the purpose of my anger is if the phillies would have spent less than a million dollars in previous drafts, joe saunders a starting pitcher for the angels would be here, joe nathan a reliver, and others i mention. they have shown they dont care by this lee trade. If they would have move lee for better prospect maybe i could live with it, but the trash they took is a disgrace.I really hope they lose 100 games a year from now on, in my 58 years of watching this games , this is the first time we had a chance for a dynasty for at least two or three more years, to be like the lakers and boston with all there basketball championships or pat, or yankees, dodgers a real chance for immortal greatness, and we are letting this owners off easy. so i am frustrated by there actions. And when ruben says he needs to restock the system he had his chance last draft and choose to let four top prospect walk. spent less than even the marlins in the draft, so sellout every game means nothing to these owners, loyalty means nothing to these weasels. nine million dollars ,think of it 5 owners putting up 1.64 million about to have the kind of team we deserve. and the 550 million dollars profit for owning the team means nothing either i guess. 30 million now worth all that money, so who would it hurt to keep lee one season and go for it again.

  72. griffin

    December 22, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Memphis, well said. I agree completely and am shocked that so many people are giving Amaro a complete pass.

  73. beta sigma shag

    December 22, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    First most fans understand why Lee was traded, might not like it but, knew that Lee Haladay would not be here together. Unless you are the Marlins and play to win on world series every so often then dump all your talent because you do not want to pay them, You have to look at the big picture, the Phillies could not afford to give up what they gave up for Doc and field a decent team in two years.
    Second you can not just let Blanton walk they would still have to pay him this year, even if he signs somewhere, and what makes you think you would get anything for him, when every one knew they had to dump payroll.
    Third you are not very bright if you do not think RAJ did not shop Lee around to other teams, none of you know what other teams were offering, and like I said before can we at least see these guys play one game before we decide that they are junk.
    You can take all your minor league ratings and smoke them, they change every year every week some times every day. And some of the top rated prospects suck in the big time.
    And as usually Dipsy, you align yourself up with the vocal minority on how the team is run. Most of you were saying what a terrible deal Raul was last year then love him. Want to trade Happ saying he is not that good and he is one of the m ost consistant pitchers they had last year.
    So get off the pipe and realize this is a better team now then it was 3 months ago.

  74. The Dipsy

    December 22, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    Beta – Huh? So, are you telling me that you completely understand and believe the “budget” that the ownership has given Ruben to work with is reflective of how much they can afford when taking into account their desire to make a reasonable profit and not be “in the red”?? C’mon dude. You’re better than that.

    The Dipsy

  75. bfo_33

    December 22, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Dipsy, I’d agree…. if it was 1974 (from Wikipedia):
    Removing the reserve clause from player contracts became the primary goal of negotiations between the Major League Baseball Players Association and the owners. The reserve clause was struck down in 1975 when arbitrator Peter Seitz ruled that since pitchers Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally played for one season without a contract, they could become free agents. This decision essentially dismantled the reserve clause and opened the door to widespread free agency.

    Now terms are dictated from the Collective Bargaining Agreement. An interesting diversion from the Lee discussion.

    …Genius…

  76. BS

    December 22, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    mikemike, 100 loss seasons? because we didn’t keep cliff lee and instead got the best pitcher in the league to replace him? gtfo. That’s just ridiculous.

  77. Geoff

    December 22, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    They do operate on a fairly strict budget, its not about bidding against themselves. They messed up on Moyer, no doubt about it. However, when they see someone they like at the price they like, they waste NO time and go hard after them.

  78. Chris.I

    December 22, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    I’m tired of hearing about Lee/Halladay situtaion too. But you can’t help but to understand how all the fans feel.

    Yes we traded Lee away for a bag of peanuts (without the bag). I’m mad, your mad, we’re all mad at this point.

    Yes Amaro should have explored all venues, and went with the best deal he could get…And YES I believe he could of WAY more out of it. Look what it took to pry Halladay from Toronto-Basically our whole entire farm system. In my oppinion Lees value is and should of been close enough to Halladays asking price.

    I’t would have been more wise in my oppinion to have given Lee the contract we gave to Halladay, because it would have left us with our farm still in place, and I love to believe Amaro tried to take that venue. If not than I would lose a lot of respect for the man. But for whatever reason, we DID give up the farm, and we did trade Lee for Peanuts, and we got ”quote” the best pitcher in baseball. Lets just leave it at that and talk about these results 2 years from now. Everyone needs to forget it and move on.

  79. rob

    December 22, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    This is all ridiculous. So far phillies get an F for the ofseason. With all the money the fans gave the organization this past year and all we get is a slight upgrade from Lee to Halladay, and from Feliz to Polanco all while giving up Taylor and Drabek. What a slap in the face. I’m done going to games.

  80. shag beta sigma delta

    December 22, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Lee was not taking 3 years with two option years, if you do not think they put a similar deal on the table for Lee you are being ignorant. Maybe not the exact deal, but Doc is by far the more consistent pitcher over the last 3 years and is worth more money. Lee did not want to sign an extension, or maybe it was his agent. Again with we got a bag of peanuts, I would wager none of you has any idea or these guys are, they are young prospects, I have more faith in the scouting team the phillies have over anyone on here who thinks they know how to evaluate talent.
    Truly look at Lee’s numbers over the last four years compared to Doc’s it is no contest. What did Lee do in Cleveland last year, and what did Doc do pitching in arguably the hardest division in baseball, this is a no brainer

  81. shag beta sigma delta

    December 22, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    One other thing what makes you people think that RAJ did not seek other venues for both Blanton and Lee. Do you really believe he called the Mariners and said I’ll give you Lee what do you want to give me.
    I know this is going to sound like sour grapes, but maybe just maybe we are over valuing the guy for a three week stretch, not saying we are, he was clutch. But he did lose focus after his first 3 or 4 starts, and did lose focus in Cleveland. I think Doc is by far the better pitcher, and if Lee gets 25 million a year next year then we got a steal for 20 million with Doc.

  82. NickFromGermantown

    December 22, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    Here’s a scenario to think about. It’s essentially a short sale (sell high and buy back low later and profit). Hope the Mariners are out of playoff contention by the deadline so we can trade to get Lee back. This way they pay much of his salary and to get him back we only need to trade prospects worth half of a season’s value for Lee. We’d make out like bandits! Brilliant!

  83. The Dipsy

    December 22, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    One more time. The reserve clause is still included in player contracts, but since there is collective bargaining which created arbitration and limited free agency, it doesn’t have nearly the force that it did prior to ’75. If the anti-trust exemption were removed, then so would the reserve clause. That would mean that once the CBA expired, any player who’s contract expires, minor leaguer, rookies, whoever, could negotiate with any other team. No more minor league control, no more arbitration.

    The Dipsy

  84. Catch 22 f/k/a H Man

    December 22, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    Rob – that’s how I felt when this went down too – I’m going to miss the idea of seeing Taylor and Drabek develop and I’m a little concerned that Ruben has begun to get into the old George Steinbrenner mode of trading all of his top prospects. If Halladay delivers and Aumont, Gillies and/or Ramirez live up to their potential, it might not be nearly as bad as everyone makes this out to be. But watching Michael Taylor hit .320 and make all-star games would be painful, to say the least.

  85. shag beta sigma delta

    December 22, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    I got a better scenario, Lee pitches for Seattle all year, and the Phillies already have a contract waiting for him to sign next off season.
    Then after they resign Wreth and Howard and JRoll and Shane and Hamels then we can all pay $150 a ticket to sit in section 417

  86. NickFromGermantown

    December 22, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    I understand everyone wants to make what they are worth, but when is it enough? I think the Phils’ top-paid players should have offered a small paycut to keep Lee here. When you are making millions upon millions and the owners are red-lining their budget to win another championship, I don’t think that is so unreasonable.

  87. NickFromGermantown

    December 22, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    By the way, I think this article is over the top in the negativity department. The poster makes assumptions that don’t account for an organization’s operating expenses.

  88. Catch 22 f/k/a H Man

    December 22, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    Baseball players don’t take haircuts and they don’t give refunds – it’s against their religion.

  89. GWFightinsFan

    December 22, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    I think people are drinking too much of the ownership’s Kool Aid here. Yes it has been a great past few seasons, and thats mostly due to the great drafting of Mike Arbuckle (Utley, Rollins, Howard, Hamels) But remember drafting players and giving signing bonuses costs relatively little, and of course the owners are willing to shell that out because its necessary to field a competitive product. But it also does not necessarily show a commitment to winning on the part of the ownership. My belief is, and I think Dipsy hit it on the head, that the ownership is willing to spend what it has to in order to be competitive, and expand the value of the team. BUT, and I may catch some flack for saying this, we just happened to get lucky in ’08, and the chips fell so that we ended up as the best team at the end. It was not because the team owners did all the could to win. But now, when presented with a chance to field possibly one of the best rotations of all time, giving them an excellent shot at a 2nd parade in 3 years, they balked. This was not about replenishing the farm system and anyone looking at it with a clear head knows it. They got questionable talent, who has never played above Single A, which amounts to a lottery ticket. I’m guessing none of them will amount to a hill of beans for this team, and odds are I will be right.

  90. GWFightinsFan

    December 22, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    Along with winning, they had a chance to really establish the Phillies as a brand-name team with a national fan base. People say that no one outside of Philly could like the Phils because they view the city as a second rate blue collar town. To that I say, look at the Pittsburgh Steelers! That town is an absolute toilet, yet the Steelers have a huuuge fan base from all over. That’s because the team has a reputation for excellence and a commitment to winning. The Phillies could have had a shot at that, but balked, over 9 million bucks. Now the Phillies could very well do great this season, and I hope they do. They definitely improved their team by getting Halladay, but they certainly did NOT improve their team by trading Lee, and thats the point everyone is trying to make.

  91. GWFightinsFan

    December 22, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    Ohh and as far as operating expenses such as paying the front office staff, scouts, groundcrew, etc. In total, i’d bet that only amouts to 3-4 million at most, which is peanuts. And let’s not forget, the state and city paid for their beautiful cash-cow of a stadiun, which means they have a special responsibility to us that a normal business does not.

  92. joedad

    December 22, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    You whiny little bitch. The owners put up half the cost of the stadium which is more than most teams do. I believe the Eagles do the same. The other option would be to move out of town. Get your facts straight before you cry yourself to sleep.

  93. GWFightinsFan

    December 22, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    You think paying for half the cost of a business’s facility doesn’t mean the public should hold that business to a different standard? And do you really think those owners paid one DIME out of their own pockets? Citizens Bank paid the Phillies share, buddy. Get YOUR facts straight.

  94. GWFightinsFan

    December 22, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    And joedad, I wonder if you’re not actually Dave Montgtomery hiding behind some screen name, trying to do some damage control for your short sighted salary dump. Either that or you’re too stupid and blind to see what really went on.

  95. joedad

    December 22, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    Citizens Bank pays $2.3 million per year for the naming rights. They didn’t pay anything for the stadium bucko. After tax, the Phils have enough to pay JA Happ and some of Kyle Kendrick’s salary each year.

  96. GWFightinsFan

    December 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Ok Dave Montgomery, you’re right. The ownership is completely committed to winning. Cliff Lee sucked anyhow, i’m sure three A ball players will more than make up for his production. That absolutely was the right “baseball” move.

  97. joedad

    December 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    I am sick of little bitches spending other people’s money when they have none of the facts. This is the best ownership group we have in town. 3 straight NL East pennants, 2 straight NL pennants, one World Series win and took the game’s best team to the 6th game of the World Series. You pissy little k untz act as if they haven’t accomplished anything.

  98. Don M

    December 22, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    Anyone with bad things to say about the Phillies ownership is retarded… look at this team they’ve given us!!!

    Some people just like to cry and complain, and too many of those people post on this website lately!!

    We added Polanco and Halladay to the team that has made back-to-back World Series appearance… be thankful people!!!!

  99. GWFightinsFan

    December 22, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    You’re exactly the kind of sucker they love. You’ll gladly keep forking over money, without questioning their commitment. Meanwhile, they’ll do just enough to be competitive, keep you interested, but not enough to really take hold and be the premier franchise in the game. It’s quite likely this core of players won’t win another World Series, and it’ll be another 28 years or so until they stumble onto another one.

  100. joedad

    December 22, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    What amazes me is someone who is probably still getting an allowance from daddy acts as if $9 million salary (not including fringes) is a drop in the bucket to the owners. Payroll is $140 million. $9 million is 6.5% of the total payroll (without fringes). I dare anyone go to their employer (or daddy for allowance) and demand that they spend 6.5% more because it isn;t that much. Seriously, get a friggin clue you pouting crybabies.

  101. psujoe

    December 22, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    Don M.

    Why not wait to trae Lee when the Phils could’ve landed better prospects. I really find it hard to believe the Angels would fork up at least one major league ready player plues prospects better than Ramirez.

  102. joedad

    December 22, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    OK, if “they’ll do just enough to be competitive” means 3 straight NL East pennants, 2 straight NL pennants, one World Series win and another World Series appearance and a damn good chance at repeating the same success for the next few years, well that’s just fine by me.

    Or, we can just admit that you don’t have a clue and wipe away your tears and send you on your way. THERE’S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL!!!

  103. GWFightinsFan

    December 22, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    For a chance at immortality, and the long term “branding” potential that Dipsy talked about, yes, 9 million isnt all that much. It was a short-sighted, money decision, and was a terrible baseball move and a bad long term business move. Oh and by the way, I fought in two wars, and paid my own way through college, bubba, so I know exactly what it means to budget.

  104. joedad

    December 22, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    psujoe, if you recall, they were shopping Lee during the winter meetings. It could be that there wasn’t enough interest in him to wait around for a slightly better package. My guess is that he didn’t want to wait to trade him because fans would be so excited to have Lee and Halladay as a 1-2. If he was traded in spring training, consider the temper tantrums by some of the people who are wetting their pants now. There would be a diaper AND binky shortage. We can’t have that.

  105. j reed

    December 22, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    OH YEAH DIPSY – So I am not alone in thinking blue blood and silent partner are words you never want to see in the same sentence. To me the ownership showed their true intentions with the Lee Fiasco. I always laugh when people talk of the “business” since this isn’t run like a business but treated as an investment. How can a business minded operation trade in their gold bullion for 3 magic beans? When they low ball their GM with a budget chasity belt is how. We set the ceiling when we gave 2 top tiers for Halladay (same 1 year left til free agency as Lee) and walk away with a magic beans? Well whose gonna give us anything when in a uncapped system we let it known that we have a budget to adhere to….now you have to unload Lee and he’s essentially worthless. It was like Ruben came to the poker table with mirrored sungalasses on. In that respect those beans are actually not bad….their like pity beans….We used our Seattle connections to call in some favors, otherwise I think we would would have gotten Crash Davis and Bobo the Elephant. As others have said why would you not take this chance with Lee for 1 year….with the potenial return why not. It’s a no brainer. The entire league just let out the collective fart they were holding in while that Halladay deal went down….”jesus, they can’t be that dumb or that tight with a buck.” is what the fly on the wall reported as said behind closed doors during the GM talks. We were talking 1929-30 A’s greatness….baseball f-ing history. If the Blackwater Ownership Quintet, many of whom were probably around to have seen the A’s, can’t grasp that, they don’t deserve the PRIVILEDGE of owning our beloved Fightin’s. And they obviously weren’t paying attention to the accolades and support we received during the WS. We were the darlings of the league! Oh yeah I forgot, they showed their budget saavy last year when the refused to cough up some clams for a measly mid reliever for the MASH unit BP that ran out of miracles against the line-up from hell. I am happy with Halladay who was first on the X-Mas list and would be even happier to roast the owners like chesnuts on an open fire.

  106. j reed

    December 22, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    I think Phillies fans are just another Randolph and Mortimer Duke experiment….

  107. shag beta sigma delta

    December 22, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    Long term branding comes from winning over a period of time. You keep Lee and then in a year or two you go back to the Phillies in the 90’s and early 2000’s, and lose all the good brand you created by winning the NL championship I hope three times in a row, and then have a competitive team every year for a long time.
    That is why they need to have a good farm system. I would risk my house GW that you have no clue how good these prospects are, except for the pessimistic fans say about them on here.
    To have a brand you need to win over a period of time with different talent, that means once this core is gone, you still put a team on the field that has a chance to win every year. How good is Baltimore’s brand name now, they had a good run forever ago, and now they suck.
    So if they do not keep their budget in place they will suck in two or three years.
    This ownership and FO is looking long term, they want to be competitive for the entire decade if not longer.

  108. shag beta sigma delta

    December 22, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    I really think some of you have to think back to the times when this team spent no money, and people did not even want to play here. Now players want to play here for less then they could have gotten else were. Even Smoltz, who I really do not like as a starter, is willing to come here even though he has stated in the past his displeasure with The Bank. So get a grip and get ready for spring training, and another run at the WFS. Especially if Planico can play defense at third and Cole pitches like he is capable of doing, this team is better then last year. So quit you whining about how you want to spend other people’s money and enjoy the dam ride.

  109. GWFightinsFan

    December 22, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    You really think Aumont, Gilles and Ramirez are the key to our future?? Just like Tyler Green, right? I have done research on these prospects, shag, and know that they’re certainly not of the calibur that should fetch a Cy Young award winner.

  110. Jesus

    December 22, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    GW, you have to be joking when you said operating expense is only 3-4million. Have you never traveled? They spend close to that on travel alone. Then add Charlie’s and other coaches pay, trainers and medical, insurance and don’t forget pension costs. I think people are being unfair with the budget talk. The Lee deal is one thing but to say the Phils are cheap is just not based on facts. How many teams increased their payroll as much as we did last year, and we are doing it again.

  111. psujoe

    December 22, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    joedada, I thought they shopped Blanton at the winter meetings? If that was the best (excluding the Yankees) they could get for Lee and he had to go so be it. Mayne Lee’s inconsitancy scares teams off because the Indians shopped him for a month or so and got less than we did.

  112. shag beta sigma delta

    December 22, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    A Cy Young award winner who went down to the minors three years ago, and was what a.500 pitcher in what could be argued as the worst division in baseball. To get a guy who has been consistently better in what could be argued as the best division in baseball, and despite hatting it in Toronto put up more consistent numbers then Lee. I said it before, and I really like Lee, but he should signs of losing interest even in the short time he was here. Even game 5 he was not shut down like he was before that game. I am not saying he is not a great pitcher, but IMO he is not in the same league as Halladay, and would not get the same price.

  113. shag beta sigma delta

    December 22, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    And I think Aumont, Gilles and Ramirez will be above average for this organization. Gilles though has little power, can be a above average hitter and possible a gold glove outfielder. I too have done research, but not just reading this blog or looking at their ratings. I have two uncles who are scouts for major league teams, and even though they do see Aumont as a true shut down reliever type, the both agree that Giles is the real deal. So yes if they resign Wreth I do see an outfield that has Brown and Gilles being key parts to the future of the Phillies. So get out of your basement and enjoy the view of the real world, and I hope you come back on here when this team is on it’s way to a threepeat NL champs, and tell us how bad this decision was and that the ownership and RAJ is a bum

  114. NickFromGermantown

    December 22, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Someone brought up a good point. You know what a major cost is? TAX!

  115. shag beta sigma delta

    December 22, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    are bums

  116. GWFightinsFan

    December 22, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    I’m not saying we shouldnt have gotten Halladay, i’m glad we did. All i’m saying is we’re not a significantly better team since we also traded Lee AND shipped off half our farm system. And i’m almost positive, none of those guys they got from Seattle will equal even one season of Lee, plus the two draft picks we’d get for him after he signed somewhere else. If you belive Montgomery’s spin about it being a baseball move and that the team is “in the red” i’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn…

  117. Just Crushed

    December 22, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    This article was right on the money. Well written. I for one, having supported this team for 45 years through the best and mostly worst of times was insulted by Amaro and Montgomery. I may never get over this…it is so sad.

  118. j reed

    December 22, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Ask yourselves this: how many loved ones get buried with a Mircosoft hat, or a Mobil shirt on….how many with phillies hat or lapel pin, or Flyers pennat, their favorite Eagle jersey….its more than just the owners money….they are stewards of a collective memory of an entire city over 100 years. That’s the part of baseball these a-hole owners don’t get.

  119. The Dipsy

    December 22, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    If anybody takes anything from this entry I would hope that it would be a greater awareness that when a baseball team tells you how much they are making…I mean really making…not the numbers they release to Forbes or Barrons, but what actually goes on a tax return, they are flat out lying. What else will they tell you? “Yeah, uh, the ownership as a group last year netted $110 million dollars”. Right. You will never hear the real number because you would be appalled. Players would want more money. We would scream at them to spend more money and to lower ticket prices. They need that like they need a hole in the head. The next MLB team that goes bankrupt will be the first one. Thats why the only thing standing between us a Cliff Lee is 9 million dollars and it makes me sick. And yes, its NOT my money. I just GIVE them my money.

    The Dipsy

  120. j reed

    December 22, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    I don’t think they pay taxes on the park cause the city owns it. I know the city owns it , just not sure about the property tax.

  121. j reed

    December 22, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    I wonder before these good times if we recived any of the revenue sharing…anyone know?

  122. j reed

    December 22, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Wonder how much revenue sharing we pay now? Sure that goes on the Monty “in the red” column. Nice work Dipsy. Write something for SBNation…I think that’s what it’s called….open forum for anyone to write about sports.

  123. Jeff

    December 22, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    Shut up DIP SH_T……I dont come to this site anymore because you are all babies. Stop rooting for this team you dont deserve it. We have the greatest pitcher in baseball for 60 million. You got a problem with that. Lee is a waste of space. Yea so he pitched well in the series. You wanted to kill him when he was giving up 7 runs against the Brew Crew. Those five in a row against good hitting teams that he got killed against. He is also a hunter. I hope he shoots himself. Killing animals. You dont own this team so shut up already. Now I know why everyone hates Phillies fans. You should be Mets fans. This team just went to the big show two years in a row. SO SHUT UP BOY

  124. blic

    December 22, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    when a company projects say 20% profits and only make 19% they consider themselves “in the red.” that’s the problem here, corporate double talk. we couldda’ had both lee and doc only that would mean the execs’ couldn’t upgrade the bmw’s ect. this year. i guess the world series isn’t much of a money maker anymore.

    geeeez, phools!

  125. Pat Gallen

    December 22, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Fernando Rodney thread is now up if anyone wants to talk about free agency over there.

  126. Jesus

    December 22, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    Dipsy, if owners always make so much money why would anyone ever sell a team or sell pieces of the team for cash flow, why would there have to be revenue sharing? I’m not saying that the Phils are losing money but the Phils have INCREASED payroll 5 years in a row! How many teams can say that? It drives me crazy when people make statements that just aren’t factual. Everyone keeps saying payroll, but everytime payroll goes up so do other costs not to mention we aren’t exactly in a booming economy right now and the Phils are still raising payroll. People who keep claiming that the Phils owners’ are cheap need to back it up with some facts. It’s really starting to get ridiculous.

  127. Aaron

    December 23, 2009 at 3:09 am

    People are being nuts on this site. Phils made an excellent trade here that will allow the team to remain the dominant team in the NL next year. Lee wanted a 6 yr deal next year which the Phillies would not entertain regardless of performance and I respect that decision. Lee for Halladay is an equal trade worst case and probably an upgrade in the long run. Not commiting to a pitcher for more than 3 yrs is the smartest thing Philly has done and abandoning that strategy is silly.

  128. Don M

    December 23, 2009 at 11:11 am

    GW… the guys that we got back “are certainly not of the calibur that should fetch a Cy Young award winner.”


    What about the old-news players we gave up for Lee in the first place..

    Carrasco is garbage at the higher levels
    Lou Marson probably won’t be an everyday Catcher
    Jason Donald hits for average, with no set defensive position to play
    and Jason Knapp has arm problems, but a high ceiling of talent

    ..
    CLIFF LEE didn’t have a high trade-value because he has already stated (I this is probably the 200th time I’ve posted this).. that he will be seeking AT LEAST 5 YEARS .. and/or a “C.C. SABATHIA type contract”

    that scares off every single team except the Yankees.. and they weren’t going to trade us Hughes, Chamberlain, or anyone TOP PROSPECTS because they know that if they really want to land him, they will just offer him the biggest contract next year in the offseason.. and be able to keep their propsects!!

    It blows my mind that “baseball fans” can’t understand this stuff

  129. Memphis

    December 23, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    To argue that Lee has limited trade value (which is correct) is to argue that Lee should not have been traded — unless you’re desperate. He’s worth more to a contending team for one year at $9M than three decent prospects. Seattle seems to understand this. The Phillies do not.

    To argue that Rube did this for budget reasons or to backfill the farm is to argue that Rube painted himself in a corner because of the Moyer-Ibanez-Lee (from Clev)-Polanco-Halladay moves and he was ‘forced’ to make a bad baseball move that hurts our team in 2011.

    IF he simply doesn’t sign Moyer (due $6.5M in 2010?) and signs Ibanez for $25.5M/3 instead of $31.5M/3, Lee still fits into the ‘budget’, with Halladay and Polanco. Rube has made some questionable signings (not the players, but the amounts) and it’s bit him in this situation.

    Budget-conscious contenders (Seattle being one) understand Lee’s ridiculous value at $9M (and the 2 compensation picks if he signs elsewhere). So trading him only makes sense if we were desperate to do so.

    Look, Rube/Gillick have done a terrific job building the WFC and a championship contending team, but they aren’t perfect, and this just isn’t the best move they’ve made. They aren’t above criticism, and if Lee pitches well in 2010 and we’re one starter short in the playoffs (again), this move will be remembered and not well.

  130. GWFightinsFan

    December 23, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Exactly, which is why its better to just suck up the 9 mil, hold on to Lee, have a GREAT shot at another parade, then let him go at the end of the season and collect two draft picks which we can hopefully turn into solid prospects due to our great scouting.

  131. Don M

    December 23, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    THEY DONT HAVE THE BUDGET FOR BOTH PITCHERS AND HALLADAY SIGNED A TEAM FRIENDLY EXTENSION……

    we could only have ONE of Cliff Lee or Roy Halladay…

    we got the better of the two, and signed him to an extension…

    If we kept Lee, he walks and the two draft picks probably don’t turn into as valuable a package as what we got back from Seattle

    Aumont, Gillies, and Ramirez might not be the greatest prospects in the world, but they all look like guys with a decent shot at making the major leagues at some point … which can’t be said of MOST draft picks, even 1st round draft picks!

  132. GWFightinsFan

    December 23, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    Right it’s not in their “budget” They certainly have the money, just chose not to spend it in order to significantly improve the team. And like Memphis said, if we’re one starter away from winning the WS, that Lee trade will look awfully bad.

  133. Chris.I

    December 24, 2009 at 3:20 am

    Don,
    As much as I agree with what your saying…Lee wanting 5 years, and a Sabathia type of contract- True, absolutely true! But why trade Lee (for prospects who probably wont even last 2 years in MLB). Lee was already a lock on the roster for 2010. Why be cheap and not spend a few extra dollars to be favorites to go back and do it all? Just doesn’t make sense. I agree with letting him go after next season, but come on…Just one more year?

  134. philsgirl

    December 26, 2009 at 4:27 am

    Dipsy, great post.
    It’s obvious most Phils fan feel more than a little blindsided by this deal, which is why we have so many posters who are either bitterly complaining or rationalizing yet not seeming quite convinced themselves.
    As you and others on this thread have expressed, from neither a baseball nor financial perspective does the Lee trade at this time seem a sensible decision, but especially not from another one – the psychological. I’m sorry, but it would not have been *impossible* for us to have both Halladay and Lee in 2010, just for one year. A year when, for a brief time, we still have the rest of our championship-caliber core. Unfortunately, what I think it is soo difficult for so many grown people to wrap their minds around, harder even than swallowing missing consecutive WS wins by only 2 games of almost 180 played (which is still pretty hard), is that unless we *do* become champs next year, we will all be suffering from “what if” syndrome. What if we had had Halladay/Lee? At least if we wound up losing in 2010, we’d know we did it with our best possible shot in – honestly now – the forseable future. ‘Cause it’s one thing to accept what you did with what you had. But another to wonder what you could have done with what you could have had. This is starting out as a strange year because psychologically there’s a sense of disappointment before it starts and anything’s tangibly been lost, because in a sense something has been.
    So $9 mil for that kind of psychological peace of mind (not to mention monster rotation), if you will? Hey, how many turned out for that little parade in 2008? How many do you think would be willing, if asked now, to donate, oh, $10-15 for a Halladay/Lee/Hamels year? I’d volunteer to carry the collection box, but oops, too late.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Phillies Nation has been bringing Phillies fans together since 2004 with non-stop news, analysis, trade rumors, trips, t-shirts, and other fun stuff!

Browse the Archives

Browse by Category

Copyright Phillies Nation, LLC 2004-2016
Not Affiliated with Major League Baseball or the Philadelphia Phillies

To Top