Sunday, July 30, 2006

Outta Here!

OK, I hate the Phillies, and I love to see their air castle dreams come crashing to the ground as they suffer through another futile season.

But, at the same time, I would like to be able to root, root, root for them, IFFFFFF they could ever get their crap together.

This was a start: The Philadelphia Phillies began dismantling a disappointing team, trading third baseman David Bell to the Milwaukee Brewers for a minor league pitcher Friday night.

David Bell sux, yesterday, today, tomorrow and forever. He's got good bloodlines and he plays hard, but he was never cut out to be a regular thirdbaseman. He had the good fortune to be hanging around Seattle the year they won 116 games, and San Francisco when they went to the World Series, so the Phillies graciously overpaid for him, thinking he was a winner.

So, in the immortal words of Lenny Dykstra, "Great trade; who'd we get?" Getting anything, even a sack of used resin bags, for David Bell at this point is a plus for the Phillies, because it gets him out of their lineup and saves them a decent chunk of salary.

Dumping Ryan Franklin is a good move for all the same reasons.

This, I'm not so sure about: Abreu, Lidle Dealt To Yankees.

Forget about Lidle; he's a replaceable journeyman. Ironically, the Phillies got him from Cincinnati in August of 2004 for their pennant run that year. He pitched OK for the Phillies, but he's 33 years old and not getting any better.

Dumping Abreu saves the Phillies a few million this year, $15.5 million next year, and the choice of paying him $16 million in 2008 or paying him a $2 million buyout.

So what are they going to do with the money? When they got rid of Jim Thome and his similarly enormous contract, they filled a need by acquiring Aaron Rowand to play centerfield, plus opened up a spot for Ryan Howard, who's younger, cheaper, and just as good. Abreu has been creating 120 runs a year for almost a decade. That's a lot of offense to make up, and dollar bills don't swing the bat. And even with Abreu, the Phillies didn't have enough to get over the hump. Are they going to spend the bucks on someone else to stick in the middle of the lineup? If not, are they serious about competing for the next 2 years? These are the kind of questions this organization creates in the minds of its "fans," and it's the biggest reason they've turned off their fan base over the last 20 years.

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