Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Philadelphia is still Phtupid.

You can call Pat Gillick brutally honest if you want to and I realize he's only had the job for 77 days but I'm wondering if his tenure in Philadelphia is going to be just like his one in Seattle; a series of non-moves and missed opportunities to better the team and push them over from coulda-shoulda-woulda almost-contenders to actual perennial contenders. I mean, they don't call him "Stand" Pat for nuthin', folks. Like a guy in a poker game who doesn't want any more cards because he likes the hand that he already has. Y'know. Stand Pat. That's why they call him that. Because that's what he does.

Phil Sheridan from the Philadelphia Inquirer sez:
The new GM rightly says that it will all come down to his ability to find a true No. 1 starting pitcher. Not somebody else's carefully sheltered No. 2 and not a No. 3 with delusions of grandeur, but a legit top-of-the-rotation ace.

"I'm talking about a guy with power, a guy who can stop a losing streak, who can strike people out," Gillick said yesterday.

What? Like who? Even if they use Bobby Abreu as a bargaining chip as rumored, who the hell is available on the market that can bring that to Philadelphia? Nevermind that Abreu is easily the best player on the Phillies, arguably the most complete all-around hitter in the game and has a complete no-trade clause. Who can they get? Barry Zito? Possible, but Oakland can't afford the $28 million Abreu is guaranteed through this year and next. Even if Patty-Cakes agrees to eat even more salary than he's already chewing for Jim Thome, Zito has been continuing his steady decline since his 2002 Cy Young campaign, with his strikeout rate going down at the same rate his walks are climbing. He doesn't have power and he won't strike people out. Dude'll get hammered in Citizens Bank. Matt Clement? Another maybe, in a package deal, but he's certainly not the top-of-the-rotation star that Philadelphians have in their eyes. I've also heard the oh-so-low Mark Prior rumblings but while Jim Hendry has made some dumbass moves, trading Prior will not be one of them.

Given their needs and a prolific-ish offense, I can see how Abreu is expendable in the right deal. But if it's pitching they were after, then why didn't they make a run at the Let's Overpay for A.J. Burnett Sweepstakes? He wouldn't have been the stopper they're looking for, but at the very least he would've continued Philadelphia's fine-honed tradition of compiling a rotation full of #2 and #3 starters. Going into 2006, their rotation options consists of a guy who could actually be pretty darn good, followed by a guy who's just okay, two guys who suck, one guy who's out until at least July with Tommy John surgery, a completely unpredictable 23 year-old, a guy they can't figure out a role for, and some guy named Robinson Tejeda, who somehow started 13 games for them last year without my noticing.

Is it really necessary for the Phillies to play this year? I mean, can't we just award them third place and get it over with?

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