I don’t want to rain on everyone’s parade here because this is obviously a tremendous time to be a Philadelphia fan in general and more specifically, a Phillies fan, but I have a couple of issues that need to be aired out. Living in this area, and rooting for this Phillies team for most of my life, I have heard all of the anger towards the Yankees and the frustration with the team’s in New York “buying” championships. Many fans in 2009 would go as far as to say that “at least we didn’t have to buy our World Series.”, which was pretty ridiculous during that time but it becomes even more ridiculous now that the Phillies are participating in this same type of activity that was once bashed so vehemently in this very town. Ruben Amaro is praised as a hero and a genius (we’ll get to that later) along with the front office being praised for doing anything to win when if this same signing were done by the Yankees, fans would be pissing and moaning about how the MLB needs a salary cap (it doesn’t) and how the little guy can never win (they can).
Don’t get me wrong here, I don’t disagree with the actual move to sign Cliff Lee. It’s a tremendous signing that catapults the Phillies to the clear favorites in the National League and likely World Series Champs, its just the complete double standard that is being applied here. Just like the Desean Jackson celebration where fans are clamoring “Desean is just having fun” or “If you don’t want us to celebrate, then stop us”. Stop for a second and consider what the reactions would be if Miles Austin stopped at the one yard line to fall backwards into the end zone like he was a kid jumping into a swimming pool. There would be complete outrage that would never be forgotten. Show some class and act like you’ve reached the end zone before. There’s nothing like a little bit of humility. I’ll get off my soap box about the Jackson celebration for now.
My point basically is: Will we still be complaining about the Yankees or Red Sox buying World Championships? When we are sitting in a position with Roy Halladay signed for $ 20 million, Cliff Lee signed for $20 million, Ryan Howard signed for $20 million, and Roy Oswalt signed for $15 million.
Some other notes on this Cliff Lee deal:
1. This should not change your opinion on Ruben Amaro Jr. I’m not trying to sway you to be pro-Amaro or anti-Amaro but signing Cliff Lee is not something that should make you change your mind here. Any person with half a brain with or without a back ground in baseball would have signed Cliff Lee if you were given the financial freedom that Amaro received. If you thought Amaro was a bad General Manager two days ago, guess what? He still is.
2. Why did Ruben actually trade a pitcher of Cliff Lee’s caliber (100+ mill on the open market) for 3 sub par prospects that most scouts were not very high on?
I realize this isn’t going to be a very popular opinion and I’m sure most people will call me nuts but I’m willing to debate if you have any questions or issues you’d like to bring up.