On Cliff Lee, Sports Bigamy, and the End of the Civilized World – Phillies Nation

On Cliff Lee, Sports Bigamy, and the End of the Civilized World

I assume that everyone here is a Phillies fan, and has either cheered for the men in red pinstripes their entire lives or jumped on the bandwagon sometime between August 2006 and September 2008. But even though we all root for the same team, each of us has his own idiosyncratic biases about non-Phillies baseball teams. Sure, we all hate the Yankees (because everyone does), and we take special pleasure in the misfortune of Phillies rivals like the Braves, Mets, and Dodgers. But apart from that, I’d wager that our team preferences are somewhat disparate.

Now, I don’t think that having a passing interest in another team makes me a sports polygamist any more than enjoying Gemma Arterton’s brief appearance in Quantum of Solace makes me an adulterer. I enjoy baseball in all its forms, and it’s fun to have someone to cheer for when the Phillies aren’t playing.

For instance (if you’ll forgive an NFL example), I pull for the Houston Texans because their owner endowed the scholarship that paid for my college education. But if they were to play the Eagles? No doubt where my allegiances lie. My point is that we all have secondary preferences in sports for one reason or another.

With that said, I’ve started hearing rumblings. It’s mid-June, and teams are starting to figure out what their needs are, and whether they’re good enough to pursue the playoffs this year. I love trade rumors. But I heard one over the weekend, from Ken Rosenthal, Rumor Geyser, that could ruin the Phillies’ hopes at a second World Series title. Not only that, it could cause violence and lawlessness in the Phillies blogosphere and cast a black cloud over this entire half-decade of National League supremacy.

That rumor: Cliff Lee to the Yankees for prospects, possibly including 20-year-old catcher/Tokyo-wrecking radiological monster Jesus Montero.

My reaction: To become the world’s biggest Tampa Bay Rays fan.

For a city prone to sports-based mass panic, the dual trades that sent Cliff Lee to the Mariners and Roy Halladay to the Phillies occupied a special place. Like T.O. doing crunches in his driveway panic. Like Eric Lindros concussion panic. The cries of “the Phillies are too cheap to win a title” and “to hell with the prospects, I want the three-headed monster this season” seemed to blot out the sun. Even after Roy Halladay started off better than any Phillies starter in recent memory, it seemed like no number of MS Paint illustrations or French-speaking slurves from Phillippe Aumont could stem the insatiable bloodthirst of the Philly sporting public.

Now imagine the following series of newspaper lead sentences.

July 29 SEATTLE (AP)—The Mariners threw in the towel on their season this morning when GM Jack Zduriencik announced that the team had traded ace pitcher and free agent-to-be Cliff Lee to the New York Yankees for three prospects, including prize catcher Jesus Montero.

Oct. 27 NEW YORK (AP)—“It’s good to be back,” said Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard as his team arrived at Yankee Stadium for the second straight October.

Nov. 3 NEW YORK (AP)—If you can’t beat him, trade for him. Cliff Lee, the one pitcher the Yankees couldn’t solve in the 2009 World Series outdueled former teammate Cole Hamels for the second straight game to tie up the Series at 3-3. The 4-1 victory sets up a Game 7 matchup of Phil Hughes against Joe Blanton.

Let’s say Hughes beats Blanton (which he would in most cases) and the Yankees beat the Phillies in the World Series again, this time behind the one guy Philly fans wanted to keep the most. Where the Phillies were either unable or unwilling to pony up to keep Lee, the Yankees were, and were rewarded with a World Series title. The blogosphere would blow up. WIP’s switchboards would catch fire and burn down half the city. I’m imagining the scene in Mean Girls where Regina George sprinkles photocopied pages of the Burn Book down the halls of the high school, except it’s neither funny, ironic, or narrated by Lindsay Lohan.

Granted, this scenario is far from a certainty. First, the Yankees have to trade for Lee. Then, the Phillies and Yankees have to both make it back to the World Series. Then, Lee has to win two games (both against Cole Hamels, in the worst-case scenario) and the Yankees have to take the Series.

But I’d give almost anything to avoid this scenario. I wouldn’t sell my own soul, but I’d certainly sell someone else’s. Which is why I’m throwing my full karmic weight (such as it is) behind Tampa for the rest of the season, in the hope that they prevent the Yankees (either through some confluence of regular-season events or in the ALCS) from reaching the World Series. If you don’t want this to happen, you’ll do the same.



  1. Sweet Dee

    June 14, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Tampa fan it is.

  2. Ted Bell

    June 14, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    According to John Heyman, the Yankees current policy is not to trade for someone that they can simply sign in the offseason. Sabathia, Burnett, and Hughes (with Pettitte or Vazquez as a #4) is enough to carry them far in the postseason. That being said, there’s almost no doubt that Cliff Lee will be a Yankee in 2011.

    The Phillies worry should be that someone in the NL rolls the dice on Lee as a two month rental. The Dodgers, Cardinals, and Mets have been mentioned in that scenario.

    In any event, it will be fun to compare what Seattle gets for Lee to the three guys that the Phillies recieved for him…

    I’m Ted Bell.

  3. Garo

    June 14, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    I’m with you until the rooting for the Rays part. If the Rays are doing well, wouldn’t that mean the Yankees are pushing HARDER to get Lee? Shouldn’t we root for the Yankees to dominate until the trade deadline, then have the bottom fall out?

  4. Psujoe

    June 14, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Worse if the mets get lee and phils don’t make the playoffs.

  5. Phan in the outfield

    June 14, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Forget the Mets. If he’s gettable, the Yankees will get Lee. The only thing about that is that the world at large is now acting like it’s a given. That’s seems to be exactly when the Universe loves to throw a wrench into things. Hahaha.

    As for the Phils making the playoffs, well, I just felt that wrench hit me squarely in noggin. The next couple of days could be really heinous and then maybe …. it gets better?

  6. Ed R.

    June 14, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Cliff Lee will be a Met. It is going to happen. I have resigned myself to that fact so that when it does indeed happen I won’t be blinded with unmitigated rage and hatred for the Phillies. And instead will just feel a unending feeling of betrayal and disappointment. Not in Cliff Lee, he is after all just going where he is sent but a feeling of betrayal from the Phillies. I will say it here…if RAJ wanted Doc that badly then he should have just traded for him last year at the deadline and saved us 3-4 prospects and then this city would have never feel in love with Cliff Lee to begin with. RAJ’s biggest mistake wasn’t in trading away Cliff Lee, it was in trading for him to begin with when he could have had Doc for a fraction more than what we paid to finally get him.

    That being said…two things.

    One: Please for the love of God, stop with the Cliff Lee nonsense.

    Two: It concerns me greatly Michael that you can recite a scene from Mean Girls.

  7. The Dipsy

    June 14, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Why? Why did you go here?

    The Dipsy

  8. Ed R.

    June 14, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    Because it’s an easy topic to get people talking about.

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  10. mikemike

    June 14, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    ed why would you feel that way? The phillies didnt have 9 million to pay lee, just like they didnt have the money to sign draft choice, Just read over the last five drafts, they are 4th from the bottom in spending in the draft, that means 28 teams spend more than them. two of the teams below them spend money in the international market. the phillies bugject there is less than a million. they are broke so lee going to mets or yankees. is just that after 2 world series appearance, 76 straight sell outs, we need to move lee contract , no money, but we should forget all that and go cheer them nomatter what , if they trade howard for ortiz i will still go. trade utley for shumacker its okay we are phillies fans. Remember we are a small market team.

  11. Ed R.

    June 14, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Did someone hit the sarcasm button?

  12. psujoe

    June 14, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Lee is gone and we esentially got Gillies for him. He was really doing well before he got hurt. Aumonte appears totally ruined. Never liked Ramirez. On the flip side, David Taylor is really struggling only hitting .227 with poor power.

    D’Arnaud, Dravek and Wallace are all doing pretty well.

    Marson, Donald and Knapp have done nothing.


  13. Phan in the outfield

    June 14, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Yes, fercryingoutloud, could we puhleeze stop with the Cliff Lee stuff. He’s been gone a while and we’ll never see him again. I think he honestly hates us. So even if we tried to get him back he wouldn’t do it. Everyone goes on about “it’s just business” but that guy was blindsided and in a way hurt by RAJ’s front office ‘business’ shenanigans. I think it was one of those things when a person says to themselves, ‘I’ll never let anyone do that to me again….’

  14. psujoe

    June 14, 2010 at 3:08 pm


    If they don’t Tendor Blanton they only spend an extra $1.5 Million. I like Joe B, but Lee is friggin awesome, if only for one more year.

  15. Ed R.

    June 14, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    I agree with you Phan but I also think his agent may have screwed him more than the Phillies did. Assuming you believe the Phillies when they say they tried to negotiate with Lee and his agent but were told he wanted to go to Free Agency no matter what. But that of course contradicts what the Agent said which was that Lee loved Philly and wanted and was willing to stay for less than full market value.

  16. Don M

    June 14, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    The Mets are stuck with a bunch of crappy contracts… and they have no prospects to trade. They can bid for Cliff Lee next season, I can’t see them trading for him..

    Aumonte is like 22 years old, and in the past year has been bounced from Starter, to Closer, to Starter again… and had the Phillies try to change his arm angle … there was ZERO chance he was going to an effective starting pitcher at any level of organized baseball this year. But in the future, they think that a guy with a Major League body, and a Major League fastball can learn to pitch effectively. Aumonte is far from “ruined”

    I’m routing for Tampa Bay for the reason that i’m sick of Yankees-Red Sox, the Rays are the 3rd prettiest girl, just as the Phillies were for so long behind the Braves and Mets

    I think the real team to watch out for around the deadline is Texas .. if they can add a legit Starting Pitcher, they will be a dangerous matchup in the playoffs

  17. big pelf

    June 14, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    you should stop worrying about the yankees getting cliff lee and be more worried about getting out of third place. plus the mets are also rumored to be interested in lee which would seal the deal for the division and a summer of pissing and moaning from the citizens bank faithful.

  18. Don M

    June 14, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    I think what we heard with Lee was the Phillies offered him a contract extension, which he didn’t sign ….. and “before they could counter the phillies offer” … we traded him to Seattle, got Roy Halladay, and Roy Halladay signed an extension to stay with the Phillies for 4 years total

  19. Ed R.

    June 14, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    I also think the Nationals might be big time players at the deadline.

  20. Bart Shart

    June 14, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Let Lee land where he may. He is a good pitcher but on the decline. Maybe our own Cole Hamels will indeed surpass him and Jamie Moyer will develop a knuckleball and pitch for us until he is 55 or 60. It is great to anticipate, but since we have committed soooooo much money to BIG BROWN and Ibanez and others, our team’s wallets are sewn into the back pockets of their trousers. We need to focus on the farm team. And try to win with what we have. It is that simple.


    Bart Shart

  21. Georgie

    June 14, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    He went there because we all knew that our starting rotation was questionable, and we all know that pitching wins championships. C’mon, we knew Roy would be ok, but after that, Hamels was a questionmark after last season, Blanton obviously is not a sure thing, and then there’s Moyer. Happ goes down with an injury, so all we have is KK to plug in his spot. I don’t understand, when RAJ KNOWS you can never have enough good pitching, and they had Cliff Lee here (and he was REALLY happy to be here), why couldn’t they just shell out the 9M? I know…..prospects, prospects, prospects. Blah, blah, blah.

    As long 3 out of 5 of the starting pitchers are stinking it up half the time, I’m going to wish we still had Cliff Lee….so there!

  22. Woody

    June 14, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    We should really scout the Japanese and Koreans. Offer them low contracts and exploit the crap out of them.

    I AM …………………………DA WOOOOOOODY

  23. bfo_33

    June 14, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Playoffs? PLAYOFFS? You’re talking about the PLAYOFFS? Funnier when you hear Jim Mora saying it in your head.

    Quite honestly, Cliff Lee going to the Yanks is the least of my worries – even below the All Star roster. If they Yanks are willing to make a desperation move like that, they’re really in trouble. With Tampa still looking strong, and Boston coming on, the Yanks may not even make the playoffs, with or without Lee.

    It would worry me more if the Mets got Lee – he’s perfect for that park. I don’t think their offense and bullpen are good enough to really make a run close enough to give up their very limited prospects for a rental.

    Dodgers getting Lee would be scary – Fortunately, they have no money.


    June 14, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Lee will go to the Braves or Yankees. The Braves smell postseason. The Yankees want to set records on spending and ruining the integrity of the sport.

  25. Adrian

    June 14, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Considering how hard it is for even the best teams to make it to the World Series, it would be a great accomplishment to get there three years in a row. That being said, I couldn’t take two straight losses the Yankees, the team I despise far more than any other.

    And this may just be for Phillies fans outside of Pennsylvania, but did anyone else root whole-heartedly for the Orioles in 1996-97 when the Phillies were busy making a home in last place with a glorified AAA club?

  26. south jersey guy

    June 14, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    this post despite the disclaimer of it in all probability is ridiculous.

    why would anyone be thinking about C. Lee to the yankees when the phils aer sitting in third place and would not make the playoffs if the season ended today?

    This type of arogance leads to september collapses (see 07 Mets)

  27. Ryan H.

    June 14, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    there is absolutely no way in the world blanton vs. hughes would be game 7. it would be halladay vs. sabathia. obviously

  28. mikemike

    June 14, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Lee not signing didnt mean we had to trade him. We could have gave him his 9 million and took the two draft choices, but they didnt want the two draft choice, cost too much, posted a article about the draft showing how little they spend 28th for the last 5 years in spending and near the bottom in international market. any one who reads scouting reports knows aumont, gillies were not top prospect, aumont was so inconsisent it wasnt funny. gillies scouting reports told that he would have trouble moving into better compeittion. three prospect that werent really any better than the kids you had.I will never understand how a team coming off a world series lost. and who clearly was outpitched by the yankees starters. could let lee go. 76 straight sell outs. where is the loyalty on there part? But what gets me is people defend them how? can anyone who knows baseball and watched the series not see. that we couldnt match up with the yankees starters. would it have been different if lee is pitching the second game instead of hamels last year. guess not

  29. BS

    June 14, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    I don’t really care where Lee ends up, but I will be pissed if the Mariners get better prospects for 2 months of Lee than we did for a full year for him.

  30. Scotch Man

    June 14, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    I backed trading Cliff Lee at the time and in hindsight, it was a really bad move and Amaro is about to learn that the hard way.

    Halladay and Hamels is a great 1-2 punch. Blanton-Moyer-Kendrick scares the crap out of me. All 3 are more than capable of having great outings. All 3 are also more than capable of getting whiplash on a regular basis as well. Happ, while a good arm, is pretty much the same story. There’s all of a sudden a hole which we now have to live with.

    The prospects that we got for Lee appear to be busts and the fact that the Yankees (or dare I say the Mets) may cough up better prospects is a horrifying scenario.

    The thing that really was disheartening about this trade was that I think it took something out of the team that we are now starting to see. Rollins and Werth both publicly had their own views about it and I think it might have sucked some of the heart out of this team.

    So yeah, it’s pretty pointless to complain about it now but there was a huge case against this trade made at the time it happend. The skeptics were right. I was wrong.

  31. psujoe

    June 14, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    The prospect stuff is a total crap shoot which is why you keep Lee. almot all the prospects I thought reasonable for Lee last year have bombed so far. The one that’s doing well is CF Bourjos for the Angels. I wanted him and a couple of pitchers who are struggling.

    Don, I thought Amount was under 90 mph now?

  32. Phan in the outfield

    June 14, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Ed R – Yep, I gotcha. I mean it seems there’s always more to think about this situation. I felt bad for the guy. He got messed around by someone. I used to work at The Big arena in NYC and was around sports agents several yrs. Wow, just…sigh wow. And sadly I have acted & also done film PR for yrs. I’ve met a lot of famous & non-famous actors. Hear me now, agents of any kind tend to be essentially the dreggs of humanity. I know there must be exceptions, but I’ve never seen them. Lee’s agent could’ve been bad. But Cliffy didn’t fire him. So either he believes the guy or he sadly feels as though he doesn’t have a choice and has to use him. With my experience I am far less inclined to believe the party line out of the Phillies front office. Team offices are always out to make the player look greedy & stupid. It’s as though they see it as their job, if for no other reason but that it deflects fan attention from the office. And the truth is almost every fan can envision wanting the big bucks. But it’s generally not that simple.

    It’s odd but I’ve been saying to my co-worker/friend (and godawful Mets fan) since I heard about Strasburg (and the other rookies who suddenly came up) that I thought this division was going to be much worse than previously thought. I was hoping I was wrong, but it looks like that will happen. Nothing will be easy for the next few months.

  33. The Dipsy

    June 14, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Amaro wanted Halladay. The “ownership group” told him he couldn’t have both Halladay and Lee. So Ruben chose Doc. And rightly so. Blame the owners for Lee being gone, not Ruben.

    The Dipsy

  34. Chris.I

    June 14, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    I would love to see Amaro go after Oswalt to make up for his BIG Lee mistake. Only thing wrong with us going after Oswalt means goodbye Werth next year, which I could live with since we have Brown coming up on deck

    Hell….I’d give up every prospect we got from Seattle and then some to get our hands on Oswalt, and then some.

  35. Georgie

    June 14, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    “For a city prone to sports-based mass panic”……where did you get THAT idea, Michael?

    If Cliff Lee goes to the Yankees or Mets, I refuse to take responsibility for my verbal tirade which will no doubt go on for years and years, because the “OG” would have to be stupid to have not seen this coming when they let him go.

  36. adam

    June 14, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    For me the biggest issue with all this is the fact that people are talking about SEA getting Montero for Lee, which I think everyone can agree is a better return than the package we got from SEA, despite coming half a season later. That would sting.

    Also, Lee in ’11, please.

  37. Chuck

    June 14, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Ok….IF Hamels has to face Lee in the World Series (BIG hypothetical here)….who’s to say that that King Cole won’t just beat him?? Seriously??

    I mean, after yesterday’s performance….and just the way he has pitched in a lot of games this season..(more games than not)…..Cole Hamels right now, in my opinion, is as good a #2 (or VERY close to it) as there is.

  38. Manny

    June 14, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    I’m with Georgie… and whatever reasoning you want to throw at me, we had Cliff Lee in the palm of our hands, making Blanton-money… one of the best pitchers in the game.. a Cy-Young winner, a Yankee-dominator… and pff we gave him away for unconvincing prospects. And then there’s this rumor (which I hope stays a rumor) that Montero would’ve been / could be involved in a Lee-deal. Disgusting.

    Thankfully (?) the Yankees already have a great rotation with Sabathia, Burnett, Pettitte, Hughes, and Vasquez. All of them would be scary in the playoffs… and why would they bump any of them out of the rotation now? I don’t see them trading away a guy like Montero anytime soon to get Lee, simply because they don’t need him AND they can get him in 2011 if they really want to.They’re rich but they’re not stupid.

    As for cheering for Rays, I always want them to beat the Yankees and Red Sox!! BUT, if the Rays stay atop the AL East, wouldn’t that compel the Yankees even more to pull the trigger on a Lee trade? So, at least for now, I’m cheering for a close AL East, but hopefully with the Rays on top (and the Red Sox 2nd).

  39. psujoe

    June 14, 2010 at 5:21 pm


    The ownership did not tell Amaro, jr to tender Blanton. Here was the choice:

    Blanton for 3 years 24 Million or 1 year arbitration award.
    Aumonte, gillies and Ramirez


    Lee for 1 year at $9 million
    two picks for Lee being type A(probably late picks if Yankees)
    No Joe Blantan

  40. psujoe

    June 14, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    I thought Montero is destined to be a DH because he doesn’t field his position well?

  41. Chuck

    June 14, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    I think for all our sakes we had better not wish for a Rays matchup in October. They are a better team than they were in 2008….and would have something to prove…BIG TIME.

    Just as it may be advantageous to play the Yanks again….for the same logic. The Phils would LOVE a rematch….and the chance to prove that they CAN beat NYY.

    I also agree…the Rangers could be dangerous with a few key moves…and NEVER count out the Twins.

    But first….can we PLEEEAAASSEEE just focus on straightening things out in our own home…we have division rivals that are hungry!!


    June 14, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Amaro is overmatched in his position. Ed Wade and Amaro are cut from the same cloth. Both are good and loyal #2 men. Both lack leadership. Gillick left here not because of age but because of the constant meddling of ownership. He did not need it, especially after winning the world series. Ownership made a big mistake when they chose Amaro, who was a home-grown management favorite and son of Ruben, Sr.. He grew up here, but he just does not have the starch to run this type of high pressure outfit. Ownership at this point would love to rid itself of Amaro, but the embarrassement would be too great. Instead they handcuffed him. He was a moose, now he is a mouse.

    DO NOT EXPECT BIG CHANGES IN THE NEAR FUTURE !!!!!! Not until Ibanez’ contract is up will you see any serious movement in this organization. I said SERIOUS movement. Mark my words.

  43. Bart Shart

    June 14, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Hey Chuck, pass me whatever you are smoking. “Don’t wish for a Rays matchup in October !!!” Are you dreaming, dude. I would love a matchup with the Rays, I would love a matchup with any winning American League team. Hell, I would love to make the playoffs. Chances are that we are not going to get there this year, at all. It’s great to be optimistic, but the fall from fantasy land can be steep and painful. I hope you are prepared. Yes, I love the Phils, too. But I am realistic. We are out of sync, and on the borderline of “STINK.” Frankly, I hope you are right and I am wrong. but you need to stop looking directly into the sun of partisanship and zeal…. And get REAL !!!

  44. Bart Shart

    June 14, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    Chuck, I admire your optimism, nevertheless. Don’t change. You are durable and steadfast in your passion for the Phightins.


    Bart Shart

  45. Lives Under A Bridge

    June 14, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    Manny’s absolutely right. Unless George Steinbrenner somehow manages to regain his late 70’s insanity and control of the Yankees, they’re not gonna worry about Lee this season. Most Yankee fans (and I’m not one of them… I just live with one…) want a big bat more than a pitcher right now.

    I’d love for him to go to the Mets… but as a Mets fan, I’m sure that the day after he did, his arm would fall off… heheh

  46. The Dipsy

    June 14, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    I hear ya Joe. But once told that he could not keep Lee AND Halladay, one would think that he had to trade Lee to help replenish the farm system, which he gutted to get Halladay, and Lee the first time around. Quite frankly, two first round picks suck as far as compensation is concerned and I wouldn’t have wanted it either. RAJ did get what was generally regarded as a “decent” package from Seattle. I was in the “balls to the wall” camp: keep Lee and worry about it later. But there was also the argument that you don’t destroy your farm system for one year run at the WS. Blanton was tendered because you just couldn’t ket him walk. He was too good. They tried to trade but couldn’t get anything for him. Had they been able to get half the package for Blanton it would be Doc/Cliff/Cole right now.

    The Dipsy

  47. Bart Shart

    June 14, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    Hey F F Fingo……Are you a nut job? No offense, of course. How do you know what ownership thinks. Are you an owner?


    Bart Shart

  48. Phan in the outfield

    June 14, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    I think the Yankees want him b/c they know others want him and b/c Pettitte is old w/issues. Nevertheless, eventually the Yankees get what the Yankees want. If it is indeed Lee, then they will have him. End subject.

    Hey maybe it’ll be the Mets. They just live to get at the Yankees. Whatever happens – it won’t be us.

  49. Andrew from Waldorf

    June 14, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Cliff Lee was moved for financial reasons. That was before Ryan Howard was over paid. Looking at the young talent on other teams in the division. I am not optimistic long term. This team should be better this year with Halladay but it isnt. Theres more than meets the eye to all of this.
    The Mets are irrelevant regardless of who they get. I just hope they win enough to keep Jerry Manuel and Ricky Ricardo the GM around for a year or 2 more.

  50. Bart Shart

    June 14, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    Andrew — you are so correct in your analysis. At least in my humble opinion. Did you know that Howard had 18 homers this time last year. He only has ten now. And Ibanez’ was the MVP for the first half of the season in 2009. He is a shell of his old self. We have better hitting at third base, but the heart of our organization is on the DL. Jimmy Rollins is hurt and we are seeing what this dude means to the team. Also, we got caught cheating and we went into a tailspin. Coincidence? I don’t think so. The Phils will have to learn to THINK and hit for themselves. No easy task. But, we will say a prayer every night and irregardless, we will have fun.


    Bart Shart

  51. George

    June 14, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    There are still people who wanted Lee so badly they refuse to give any credence to the reasons why the Phils couldn’t keep him. I suspect they’d still be griping if Lee’s arm fell off and Aumont began throwing perfect games.

    Personally, I don’t give a crap who gets Lee, or what Seattle gets in prospects. I’m just going to worry about the Phils. If they play right, they’ll win, and Lee won’t matter. If they play wrong, they’ll lose, and Lee won’t matter, either. They can beat even a team with Lee on it if they play even 75% as well as they did earlier this year.

    I suspect Baumann just wanted to stir up some doo-doo, because it’s the only reason for a stupid post like this one. And he can keep the Rays.

  52. The Dipsy

    June 14, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    Dear Management:

    While a staunch advocate of free speech, I am growing somewhat frustrated with the level of discourse on the board over the last week or so. New people showing up whom I suspect are the same people using different names. Those who post for no other reason than to annoy and to try to poke legit posters with a stick to get them to react. As I am addressing this issue, I would think that those I am speaking of feel a small victory. While that may be, I will cede this satisfaction to them in exchange for some more attentive moderation from the Big Brothers (I say it with respect) at the Nation so some of this valueless expression could be kept from taking up %50 of every thread. Just a request. I know all you guys were away this weekend and I hope you had fun. Help me….Spock.

    The Dipsy

  53. Bart Shart

    June 14, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    Dipsy — You are making valid points and I respect your frustration. I am behind you 100 percent. Serious bloggers like yourself deserve the utmost respect and reverance for all you bring to the Phillies Nation. Please don’t leave, as we all enjoy your comments.


    Bart Shart

  54. Brian Sr. of CO

    June 14, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    First, I agree for crying out loud give it up on the Lee thing. He is gone, just give it up. I hope the Phillies aren’t worried about facing Lee in the World Series. I hope the Phillies arent even worried about the World Series, NLCS, NLDS or even winning the NL East yet. They SHOULD be concerned, just as we should be concerned about first, keeping a winning record, second, getting back into first place.

  55. brian

    June 15, 2010 at 12:06 am

    I am a huge Phillies fan. What a terrible article his was. First off this team is on a down spiral to the bottom of the division. To worry about meeting the Yankees again. Are you serious. First off Utley is hurt. Werth is probably off the juice with Raul. Never a fan of either. Howard I love but not worth the kind of money they gave him. We are going to regret this contract in a year or two. I hate that they did not keep Lee for the season. I understand that was not Jr. This ownership doesnt care because we sell out everynight. Blanton, Kendrick, and Moyer are huge concerns. We need Jimmy back at the top of this lineup. The only thing we have going right now is this division is so bad. Nobody is running away. The Mets are out of Baltimore now. We will see.

  56. Pat Gallen

    June 15, 2010 at 12:12 am

    Agree with Dipsy, blame ownership for Lee being gone. A choice had to be made, they went with Doc who was willing to sign an extension. Easy as that.

    The prospects they could have done better, yes.

    Brian of CO, yes they should be concerned about first place.

  57. Ryan H.

    June 15, 2010 at 12:28 am

    i truly believe lee was moved for the prospects. it doesn’t make any sense for him to be moved for the money because he wasn’t making that much. He was moved for the prospects. what most fans don’t realize is that GM’s are looking 5 or 6 years into the future when they make moves. you don’t want to end up in prospect hell like the mets or yankees are unless you can spend your way out of it. you have to have good guys in the system coming up at all times or else you will never be competitive .

  58. Ryan H.

    June 15, 2010 at 12:29 am

    PAT: who are you to say the prospects could have been better, do you have a crystal ball? nobody knows how they’ll turn out. just because aumont was demoted to single a doesn’t make him a bust.

  59. TomohawkChop10

    June 15, 2010 at 1:59 am

    Just admit you’re screwed and that the divison will not simply be handed to you this season like 07,08,and 09.This isn’t your year.It’s the Brave’s year.Bobby is retiring and our boys want him to go out with a bang.We are World Series bound.Have fun getting sweeped by the Yanks & Twins (2 easy wins for the Braves this weekend btw).

  60. Greg

    June 15, 2010 at 2:01 am

    Ryan, I think Pat was more or less implying better prospects could have been attained from other teams for Cliff Lee. I don’t recall him saying Aumont, Gillies, or Ramirez were dreadful.

  61. MikeB.

    June 15, 2010 at 10:36 am

    TomohawkChop10; we’ll see.

  62. That Balls Outta Here

    June 15, 2010 at 10:48 am

    “It hasn’t happened yet,” is the mentality I’ve stuck with since hearing that Lee being a Yank is all but an inevitability. It’s the same logic I use when I’m supposed to be at work in 7 minutes, but I’m clearly 30 minutes from getting there… “Well, I’m not late YET.” Right now, I’ll take my head out of the oven if the Phils can take the Yankees series… Whether or not we
    re playing in October isn’t even a concept I want to debate yet.


    June 15, 2010 at 10:57 am

    and we take special pleasure in the misfortune of Phillies rivals like the Braves,



  64. bobby

    June 15, 2010 at 11:33 am

    The Braves stink. They wont last. Lowe is old. Chipper is finished. They are plain terrible. Put a couple of camels and let bobby smoke them. PIG.

  65. mikemike

    June 15, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    dipsy please explain your statement :blanton was to good to let go. but they couldnt trade him, because no one would give them anything???

  66. Dave

    June 15, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    People will never get over the Lee trade because it was a terrible trade for the Phillies and could cost them another World Series!

  67. Matt Kwasiborski

    June 15, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Anyone who has followed the Phillies for years knows that the ownership doesn’t like spending money. They have shown a willingness to spend money since moving to the Bank but only because they knew it was a basically a mint. However, they have always given the GM a payroll and the GMs could not go over it. Amaro rolled the dice on Ibanez, which looks like a bad contract right now.

    Amaro got Lee but when he had a shot to get Halladay- he knew payroll would be over the limit. He could either keep Lee for one year- knowing he probably couldn’t keep Lee and Halladay long term. Or trade his highest commodity- Lee. He figured Blanton gave us a better chance to win now as Drabek is unproven. And if he non-tendered Blanton the chance was that Lee would only be here 1 year.

    Personally, all of us would have rolled the dice on this year and worry about next year, then. Amaro also has to look to the future as well.

    Bottom line is we should be much more critical of ownership not giving Amaro the payroll flexibilty to win it all this year. They figured they have maxed out the WS revenue and have gone back to penny pinching ways equal to today’s unstable economy. They are the ones who are not like the Yankees/Mets/Sox- which is win at no costs. In order to do that, the Phils need to establish their own network. Amaro can be faulted for Ibanez but lets judge that at the end of the year.

  68. psujoe

    June 15, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    LOL. DOes everyone realize that the Phillies are only 2 games back in the loss column despite a ton of injuries? That’s a weekend series for the life of Pete.

    Heard on the radio yesterday that the Phils did turn down significantly better prospects from the Yankees for Lee. IMO, unless you’re trading in Division, maybe in League you take the best deal you can get. I’d loe to know the prospects they could’ve had.

  69. Dagobs

    June 15, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    The bottom line is getting rid of Lee was a horrible move. Yes, Doc is great. You had Lee here without giving up Drabek. Terrible move. Listening to Stark today and I am almost convinced this team cheated to win. He brought up lots of good points. Just look at Werth right now. He was a nobody before he came here. Then all of the sudden boom. Now look at him. Look at Utley. You never know.

  70. Pink

    June 15, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    Assuming that the Phillies offense finds its way out of this current slump, which I am confident it will very soon, I don’t see the need for such panic. I have confidence in our 1-2 pitchers, and I think that they can take the Yanks in the WS. Halladay is clearly amazing, especially against the yankees, http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/yankees/post/_/id/4356/halladay-king-of-the-yankee-killers ! Cole seems to be back to, or at least close to, his 2008 WS MVP form. So, what if the Yankees get Cliff Lee? Halladay against Lee and Hamels against CC, i’ll take it. And if Halladay and Hamels both pitch two games each and we throw in one of the other 3 pitchers in the middle, whoever seems to be the hottest at the time, I am confident that the Phils will regain the title. I know it’s thinking pretty far ahead but unless the offense continues to look the way it has this past month, this sense of panic, in my opinion, is not warranted.

  71. psujoe

    June 15, 2010 at 3:18 pm


    Werth was always hurt before coming to Philly . He’s always been a tremendous athlete. His start this season was ridiculous, but I seriously think the pressure of the contract bogged him down. He’s settle d in at his career norm. Keep in mind in 2004 he bombed 16 in only 290 abs. His second best career ratio.

  72. Phan in the outfield

    June 15, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Dagobs – “Cheated to win”? If you’re talking about “stealing signs” well that’s not considered cheating in baseball. It’s part of the game. Every team steals signs, some teams are more successful than others.

    I’m not sure what your point about Werth and Utley is. Utley was drafted by the Phillies. Werth was drafted 37th (or something like that) in the 1st round by the Orioles. They both had the goods before they came to the Phillies (though Werth’s road was notoriously far more difficult). They aren’t known b/c they’re on the Phillies. They’re known b/c they worked hard, earned their way, and did their jobs, managing to stand out on a team that’s full of talent. They also tend to keep their heads down and their mouths shut, all-in-all an admirable quality.

  73. Phan in the outfield

    June 15, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    psujoe – The facts are that Werth was not always hurt before coming to Phila. He was drafted by the Orioles as a catcher; traded to the Blue Jays as a catcher. The Jays moved him to the outfield but moved him around, never really sealing him up in RF, but that’s where they felt he began to be comfortable. They traded him to the Dodgers as an outfielder. He was injured in ST when AJ Burnett hit his left wrist with a fastball – breaking it. This began an almost 2 yr stint of ups and downs with the Dodger doctors, 2 surgeries (I think), and ultimately their misdiagnosis, not knowing how to treat the incorrectly fixed injury. Were it not for Werth’s own tenacity, his wrist might still not be fixed. A neighbor referred him to a specific doctor at the Mayo Clinic who knew exactly what was wrong and did a corrective laser surgery w/i days of the initial MRI. Since then he’s been essentially fine, except for a pulled muscle here and there that’s put him out briefly.

    I think the pressure put caused by the media may be behind this slump for Werth. But I’m not sure I’d outright say the pressure of the contract caused it. How would any of us know? And what’s behind the slump for everyone else on the team?

  74. psujoe

    June 15, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    True, always was a too strong. About a year and a half. Point was the year before the wrist injury, 2004 for the Dodgers is statistically very similar to his years with the Phillies. So I don’t so how Werth was cheating for the Phillies.

  75. Dagobs

    June 15, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    Steroids are cheating and they were not banned from baseball. Cheating is still cheating. This is not a slump. A team all the sudden stops hitting after they get caught. I love the Phillies but if thats the case I am done with them. Play fair.

  76. PhilliePhagatic

    June 16, 2010 at 10:34 am

    LOL – the Philthies aren’t going to the World Series. They’re not even making the playoffs! LET’S GO METS!

  77. Phan in the outfield

    June 16, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    Wait -Werth was “cheating for the Phillies”? What are you talking about?

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