Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Last Word On Cliff Lee...Probably

Some final thoughts on the Cliff Lee deal; things I didn’t cover in the most recent Lattanzi Moment below. Then, back to our regularly scheduled programming...

1) How bad must the Yankees (as an organization) be feeling after all this? They were left in the dust in so many ways. The big free agent prize now is...wait for it...Carl Pavano!  As a public relations issue, this has also been a debacle. Between the revelations that Kristen Lee had issues with the fans, their reaction to the signing, and Brian Cashman’s non-panic panic, the franchise is in a bit of disarray, no matter what they are saying publicly (Lisa Swan over at Subway Squawkers has some good takes here and here). Schadenfreude can be nice sometimes. I don’t hate the Yankees (as I mostly save my bile for the Mets), but for a franchise that seems to get their way quite often, it’s nice to say that they don’t always come out in front.  They will still be contenders, but this kind of event takes a little bit of the luster away.

2) The cultural shift with the Phillies as an organization in the past decade has been unreal. David Cohen (of The Good Phight – where I post on the game threads as “Wandering Moses”) wrote a very good take on this phenomenon – he dates it to the last five years; I would go back to the 2001 season to see the seeds of this – the rise of guys like Jimmy Rollins and Pat Burrell, and then the signing of Jim Thome before the 2003 season was another watershed moment. The opening of Citizens Bank Park gave the Phillies a serious home and a money-printing mechanism, and all of a sudden, they are contenders and now have gotten to the point where players want to come to Philly, for less money than other teams have offered. How the hell did this happen? I said before the 2010 season – it’s just a very odd feeling to be the favorite.

3) I had said yesterday that anything less than winning the World Series in 2011 would be a disappointment. I was wrong. My friend Nick said it would be an abject failure – and you know what, I agree. This may well be the only year that the Phillies have this rotation. Oswalt has an option for 2012 and may not be back. Hamels could be traded for his final arbitration years. Year to year, anything can happen. Injuries could happen. This is why I try not to take for granted that the Phillies will forever be good. 

2 comments:

Ryan Cunius said...

I believe that the true transformation of the organization was when they hired Pat Gillick as the GM after the 2005 season. He brought this new type of front office that allowed the Phillies to become this type of team. He never said never to anything and he wasn't afraid of the big deal, which the Phillies, as an organization, were more timid before he came.

Joshua Lattanzi said...

There is absolutely something to be said for the hiring of Pat Gillick as the 'turning point', but they were getting competitive as early as 2001 and were in the hunt in 2003 as well. Ed Wade deserves a little credit for building up some of the team, and for maintaining our farm club down in Houston.

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