The more I look at this Roy Halladay deal, the more I think the Phillies just stole the 2010 world championship. They give up Cliff Lee, a former Cy Young award winner and an excellent pitcher, along with some top prospects in their minor league system. In exchange, they get Roy Halladay, a workhorse and one of the top 3 pitchers in baseball every year. Did I mention Halladay is a workhorse who eats up innings for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Any rest for our bullpen is a great thing. They also get some of the top prospects from the Mariners minor league system. In fact, they got the top 2 pitching prospects the Mariners had, along with an outfield prospect valued by Baseball America as about the same as the one they gave up. So the effective trade for Philly is Lee for Halladay and prospects for equal or better prospects. They also signed Halladay for the long term as part of the deal, locking up an ace for the future.
One look at a comparison between Halladay and Lee and anyone can see that Halladay is a far better pitcher. Halladay’s ERA is about half a run lower, his strikeout rate is higher, his opponent’s batting average is lower, and his complete game total is higher. Halladay also was pitching in the AL East, which has by far the best offenses in baseball. If he can shut down the Yankees lineup, he should have no trouble with the Mets.
I think the big loser in this deal is the Yankees. They failed to get Halladay, they failed to get Lackey — who’s left? They could make a push for Derek Lowe, but I don’t think he’s better than anyone they’ve got in their rotation right now. They entered the offseason as world champions, and they might enter spring training as pretty much the same team, except older. If the Yankees do decide to make a big move between now and then, it will be for one of the lesser free agents/trade baits available.
The Phillies have dealt Cliff Lee to the Mariners and received Roy Halladay from the Blue Jays in a 3-team deal. ESPN.com is reporting that this trade is all but done, but you’d have a hard time figuring out what’s going on from the wording of their article. Here’s a paragraph quoted directly from their site:
“Meanwhile, the Phillies are expected to trade Cliff Lee to Seattle as part of a three-team trade, but it’s not confirmed whom the Mariners would receive in return from either Toronto or Philadelphia, SI.com reported.”
First of all, hire your own reporters and stop just using your competitor (Sports Illustrated) as your news source. Second, does the writer at ESPN even know the baseball team that plays in Seattle is known as the Mariners? I believe that last part of the sentence should read “but it’s not confirmed whom the Blue Jays would receive in return from either Seattle or Philadelphia.
The availability of World Series tickets at Yankee Stadium for anyone willing to shell out a few thousand dollars for the high-end seats has created quite a marketing opportunity for one company. KGB, that text message question-answering service with the annoying ads, has put two people in seats behind home plate with t-shirts bearing the company name for the World Series.
While this might seem like a cheap ploy to get free advertising and have great seats for the game at the same time, it’s also quite an embarrassment for the Yankees. Those seats behind home plate have been mostly empty for the 2 World Series games played there due to prices that are way above what most people are willing to pay, even in New York. Rudy Guiliani was sitting in a row by himself the other night. The Yankees are so out of touch as an organization that they don’t even realize the harm they do to the sport. They need to charge less for those seats and let the fans enjoy them. In addition, they need to shut down the catering in the luxury club suite available to ticket holders for those seats by the 3rd or 4th inning, so fans will actually have to go to their seats and watch the game. It seems many of the so-called “Yankee fans” have forgotten that there’s a baseball game going on in that green patch at the center of their luxurious clubhouse.
It seems the folks at MLB.com were a little too eager to post a story about the Dodgers evening the series against the Phillies last night. Perhaps next time they’ll actually wait until the game is over.
Cliff Lee showed the form that won him a Cy Young award last season in giving up just 1 run to the Rockies in a complete game 5-1 win in game 1 of the NLDS. The wind was blowing in hard all game, keeping the ball from leaving our little band box that’s become known for the long ball. Jason Werth could have had an inside the park home run if he had run out a high fly ball that ended up hitting off the wall in left center and rolling all the way to right center field.
The Phillies are now in prime position for a quick win in this NLDS. They’ve still got postseason veteran Cole Hamels to pitch before leaving Philly and heading to Colorado.
The bad news is Jamie Moyer is done for the season (and possibly his career). The good news is the Phillies are not. The Phils clinched their third straight division title last night. This team has a much different make-up compared to the championship team from last season, even with a lot of the same players. Their closer is no longer “lights out”, but they’ve got some other guys like Pedro Martinez and J.A. Happ who few people could have imagined would be doing what they’re doing in a Phillies uniform at the beginning of the season.
A lot of people seem to think the Yankees are going to run away with the crown this year, but I’ve seen a lot of heart in these Phillies. A month from now I don’t think we’ll be hearing about the Yankees finally getting back on top for the first time in 9 years; I think people will be contemplating whether or not we can begin calling the Phillies a dynasty.
Check back later for news about Phillies playoff tickets.
Here’s an absolutely precious video of a Phillies fan who catches a foul ball off the bat of Jason Werth and gives it to his daughter, who proceeds to throw it back onto the field.
Here’s a little video of a Phillies fan beating up a fat Mets fan:
Raul Ibanez is having the best season of his life and is currently #1 in the All Star voting for NL outfielders, but he can’t help but get mad at bloggers suggesting his success this season is the result of performance enhancing drugs. Midwest Sports Fan Site made those remarks recently, although no one from the site actually said Ibanez was on PEDs or even suggested that they suspected he was on PEDs.
While I feel for Ibanez, who has had so-so seasons for about 15 years now and is finally breaking through at the age of 37, I think questions will always be there about players who have “unusual” seasons during the steroid era. In his defense, there has never been more testing on MLB players than there is now. Heck, Manny Ramirez got caught with a fertility drug in his system. If they’re testing for fertility drugs, I’ve got to think Raul Ibanez doesn’t have some secret PED that they aren’t testing for yet.
Ibanez has offered to take a drug test for the media including a urine test, hair test, blood test, stool test or any other test they can think of (to my knowledge, this type of unauthorized test would not be allowed by the players union) to prove that he’s clean. Jerod Morris, the writer of the comment at Midwest Sports Fan Site, has said Ibanez should blame the speculation on all of his peers who have used steroids and other performance enhancing drugs. I can’t say I disagree with him there.
The Phillies finished the month of May with a 17-11 record — good enough to keep them in the thick of the hunt in the NL East. Unfortunately, they also lost the services of their most consistent pitcher thus far, Brett Myers, for what will likely be the remainder of the season. Myers developed a hip injury that seems to be contagious throughout baseball. The Phillies are now in a shopping mood, looking for another starter in a hurry. They were actually already looking for someone before Myers went down, so now they’re even that more desperate.