Phillies: Flashback; Flashforward

February 16th, 2010 by | Filed under Baseball, General, Phillies.

Phillies New Ace Roy Halladay

Looking back on the Philadelphia Phillies last season, I am absolutely impressed that the team won 93 games, especially considering the horrendous seasons from starter Cole Hamels and closer Brad Lidge, along with the long suspension and injury to mid-reliever J.C. Romero.

Add to that the mounting injuries to the bullpen, an ailing Raul Ibanez (secretly for half the season), an overplayed and underrested Chase Utley, a slumping/streaky/benched JimmyRollins, and an down year at the plate from a departed Pedro Feliz, the Phils really impressed me with their resiliency!

Just think if the closer combo of Lidge and Madson were effective – they would have won 100 games easily!  I am not blaming Madson, he was taken out of his bridge to Lidge role, and didn’t thrive as the stopper.

If not for the dissappearing act of Ryan Howard and the implosion of the bullpen in the World Series, the Phillies could have beaten the mighty, A-roid led Yankees.  Let’s be objective here.  Games 2, 3 and 4 of the World Series were all up for grabs and the Phils failed to nab at least one or two of them!  And the made-up-on-the-spot-by-the-umpires homerun that was gifted to A-roid was the turning point in the series.

As Frank Sinatra might say, all in all it was a very GOOD year – beating a tough and hot Rockies team, and a young, revenge-minded Dodger team, en route to the World Series!  But it could have been a GREAT and history making year winning 2 in a row for the National League like the Big Red Machine of 1975 and 1976.

Which brings me to this year, which I am starting to get excited about!  Yes, I am highly ticked off and annoyed beyond belief about getting rid of  fan favorite and former Cy Young award winner Cliff Lee!  It makes absolutely NO SENSE!  Actually, it does make sense, because it came down to dollars and cents!  They should never have traded him and could have cut costs in other avenues to resign him!  They let Myers go and his salary.  Let Park walk to save salary and overpaid Joe Blanton!  There’s your Cliff Lee $$ you bozo Amaro!  NO EXCUSES!

On paper I like this team alot for 2010.  They appear a little better than 2009’s squad.  They have the best righthander in baseball in Halladay. And young, emerging stars in lefty starter J.A. Happ, catcher Carlos Ruiz and rightfielder Jayson Werth.  Immensely upgraded is the already potent offense with Placido Polanco at third (former gold glove at second base)!

Some may disagree, but I would like Pedro Martinez back in a one year contract as a spot starter.  I love his competitive nature, baseball knowledge, clubhouse presence and humor.

They have revamped and upgraded their bench/role players. Replaced some holes in the bullpen too. We have the best starting 8 in all of baseball!

My concerns are Cole will not return from planet Mars, keeping an injured surgery riddled senior citizen Moyer around wasting a roster spot. Finding a quality 5th starter. I wanted Vasquez from the Braves after letting Lee walk!  But the Yanks nabbed him. And the health and consistency of the bullpen worries me.

There is no reason this team should not match the 1942-44 Cardinals and reach the Worlds Series three years in a row!

The question is, did they do enough to keep up with ridiculous, obnoxious, spend-heavy, hated Yankees?

I see 101 regular season wins.  Breezing through the first round NLDS, a third time beating the Dodgers in the NLCS, and coming up a tad short to the Yankees in 7 games without two aces in Halladay AND Lee!

Then we can all call for Amaro’s head in the off season and beg for Gillick to come back!  We had the Keys to the Kingdom and Ruben gave them to Seattle for a sack of beans!  Who knows?  Seattle looks like they could be the only team besides the Red Sox to potentially knock off the Yanks and face the Phillies in 2010 Fall Classic.

Talk about irony, could you picture Halladay vs. Lee in game 1 of the 2010 World Series?

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4 Responses to “Phillies: Flashback; Flashforward”

  1. Christian says:

    Great post Schmitty. I am looking forward to Opening Day myself!

    • seanfrancissmith says:

      My 2010 starting rotation would have been(money aside)Halladay, Lee, Happ, Hamels, Myers & Blanton. That rotation would have been lights out! Three righties and three lefties! To hell with Kendrick and Moyer! PLEASE!

    • ChrisLeo33 says:

      I agree, this is another great post. This is the Smitty I want to see, so please continue being Sports Writer Smitty.

    • seanfrancissmith says:

      You know what makes me laugh? Ruben stating he traded Cliff Lee to get back prospects to replenish the exhausted farm system. Not that ESPN is the Bible of Baseball prospects. BUT NOT ONE of the three prospects the Phils landed from Seattle is in the top 100! That to me says it all! Absolute crap spewing from Ruben’s mouth! Another one who is an absolute horse’s ASS is Santana of the Mets, proclaiming he is the best pitcher in the NL East! Let’s talk shop after another failed season Met’s fans, when you watch Halladay a 25 game winner in 2010 take the mound in the World Series while Johan (whatever his name is) watches the games from his favorite bar with his loser teammates!