Ruben Amaro is a smart baseball man.
Ruben Amaro is a smart baseball man.
In saying that, he’s too smart to believe that our “missing piece” to this battered Phillies rotation lies within the arm of Pedro Martinez, who signed with the team this afternoon. Truth be told, the Phillies really don’t know when Martinez will be able to help them. Let’s face it: Martinez was pitching to batters in the Dominican Republic. These players aren’t exactly the caliber of Kevin Youkilis or Joe Mauer. Moreover, at this point in his career, do you REALLY think he is better than what the Phillies have right now? To complicate matters, this will destroy the relievers in “The Pen.” If you thought the story lines were getting dramatic on the MLB reality show, just wait until Pedro only goes six innings. I hate to say this, but until the Phillies acquire another proven starter, this seems like a “same old Phillies” kind of move. The team has NO problem spending money, but more often than not it is spent on proven commodities who are currently on the team.
I give Amaro credit for the fact that he didn’t try to insult our intelligence and claim that Martinez was the second coming of Josh Beckett. Which can’t help but make me think that he has some irons in the fire. I’m not going to emphasize how important Roy Halladay would be to this team. Everybody (including Amaro) knows this. Toronto wants a boatload of prospects in return which the Phillies actually have. Problem is, with or without prospects, the Phillies have NEVER been a team to “just go for it” and roll the dice. And if they do, you don’t hear about it until long after the fact. They just won the World Series, so is this year an exception? That is the looming million dollar question. It was interesting that the Phils name is spreading like wildfire through Major League Baseball regarding the Halladay sweepstakes. You never usually see the Phillies name dangled the way it has been during the last several weeks in this matter. And please don’t insult the fans by saying you can’t afford the remainder of his salary for 2009. That Majestic Clubhouse is always crowded whether the Phillies are in town or not. Phillies World Series apparel in 2008 was among the highest selling of all-time.
Remember the days when the Phils couldn’t acquire a deadline player if they wanted to because they didn’t have the prospects? Well now they do. Everyone knows prospects are hit or miss. Remember back in 1993 when then-GM Lee Thomas allegedly wouldn’t trade “can’t miss prospect” Tyler Green to the Mariners for some lefthander named Randy Johnson? Do you think Toronto would have had a hope in hell of beating him in the World Series later that fall? And just HOW good were the Phillies the next eight summers after Thomas “Didn’t want to mortgage the future”?…….Adrian Cardenas and Josh Outman could be Hall of Famers for all we care, but they gave us Joe Blanton. Last time I checked, he helped us win a title last year. He even threw in a home run for good measure. Meanwhile, Outman is headed for Tommy John surgery and couldn’t help us if he was still in the Phillies system anyway. How are the prospects the Mets traded for Johan Santana doing right now? Or better yet, the players the Phillies traded for Curt Schilling and Scott Rolen? The two players who had the biggest impact for the Phillies are no longer on the team (Vicente Padilla, Placido Polanco), they are playing in the American League, and had NOTHING to do with the Phillies World Series Title last year. Kyle Drabek may be the best pitcher in the game in five years. In five years, Ryan Howard may be a DH, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins will be on the downside of their thirties, and Jamie Moyer……….well he’ll probably still be pitching, but you get the point. Michael Taylor may be the next Dave Winfield, but Marlon Byrd was supposed to be the next Kirby Puckett.
Not only do the Phils need Halladay to return to the World Series, they need him just to get out of the National League! Imagine Joel Pinero or Chris Carpenter from St. Louis in a possible first round matchup in the NLDS. Or better yet, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain from San Fransisco. Even Chad Billingsley and (although he can’t beat any other team) Hiroki Kuroda in the NLCS. I won’t even get started about the Red Sox, who not only seem to have the best pitching in the world, but they practically have a whole other staff in Triple-A. This march to the title will be no cakewalk. Imagine how it would be without a pitcher like Halladay………….
The Phillies have the rare feat of doing something that only two National League teams have done since 1921- REPEAT! The now defunct New York Giants (1921-1922) and The Big Red Machine (1975-1976) are the ONLY NL teams ever to accomplish this feat. Wouldn’t the Phils look really nice in that exclusive company? Wouldn’t there be some long awaited but not necessarily overdue respect given to this long-suffering franchise?
Come on Ruben. Be a hero. Pull the trigger. Roy Halladays don’t just fall off trees.
Don’t be the “same old Phillies”……………………