Thursday, July 30, 2009

I Love A Parade

This site- which links to the City of Philadelphia’s application for a parade permit- might be very useful very soon!

Certainly, Bill Conlin seems pleased in the PDN:
I don't know if there is an all-points bulletin out for Ruben Amaro in Ohio, but there should be. Grand Theft. Really grand.
Everyone seems pleased- as the Phillies were able to acquire Cliff Lee, the 2008 Cy Young Award winner, for none of the untouchable top four (J.A. Happ, Kyle Drabek, Dom Brown and Michael Taylor). I won’t pretend to know anything about the four prospects the Phillies did send- other than to say the Phillies are about 2009 and 2010- and this trade obviously makes them better now.

Lee’s won-loss record isn’t great- but everything else is good. The ERA of 3.14 was generated in a hitters’ park- and should decline with the weaker bottom half NL line-ups he’ll now face. He leads the AL in innings pitched and doesn’t walk people- a huge criteria for success in Philadelphia where even the best pitchers are going to give the long ball. He should drop neatly into as a role as a huge “plus” number two starter. And let’s face, for five years or so now- since Brett Myers, the Kevin Gross of our generation, was anointed the number two option, this has been a glaring need for the Philadelphia Phillies. Of the ten or so key players you need to win a title, Game Two and Six starter was the weakest element of the Phillies hand. And this step solves that problem.

Plus, Lee is only 30- and makes about half of Halladay. These are not insignificant considerations. Should the Phillies want to lock him up, the fact that Lee is scheduled to be grossly underpaid next year gives them leverage- and I’m a lot less concerned about tacking four years onto the end of his deal than a pitcher who was two years older.

As predicted here, the Phillies seem an increasingly lock to win the NL East. With 100 games in the bank after tonight, the math starts to work ruthlessly against the division rivals- teams needing to win 2/3rds of their games for eight weeks? That is a hard road. With the best-of-five first round, married to this bullpen’s current back-end cast of characters, nothing in the play-offs is going to be routine. In fact, now that the Phillies have surplus rotation options, Happ still looks real trade-able to me. He is still a guy at the top of his value; Happ is never gonna be 7-2 making rookie money again, right? And the Phillies have a need for more lights-out ‘pen options.

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