OK, here we are with another Phillies’ season going down the drain. I do not want to be the one who told you so nor do I want to sing the same old song, but when the Phillies sent Cliff Lee to Seattle because they wanted a marquis pitcher in the name of Roy Halladay and by doing that, they lost a golden opportunity to repeat the glory days of 2008 when they won the World Series.
Giving up on Cliff Lee in 2009 was a monumental mistake, an error in judgment that will haunt these Phillies for many years to come. Pat Gillick would not have made that trade, it took a novice in the name of Amaro to shortchange the Phillies and the fans of Philadelphia when he decided to make that fatal trade in 2009 that brought to Philadelphia the three minor leaguers–Gillies, Aumont and Ramirez–that would help the Phillies compete for many years to come. But, guess where these three minor leaguers are today?
Well, Tyson Gillies was arrested in 2010 for cocaine possession and between 2010 and 2011 played in just 31 games due to injuries and other problems. While drafted as a starting pitcher, the best the Phillies can hope today out of Aumont is for him to become a closer because Aumont cannot, as of date, hack it as a starter. In fact, all the scouting reports point out that his greatest potential lies in closing games with his 94 to 98 mph fastball.
Therefore, of the three people that the Phillies received from the Cliff Lee’s trade, the only bright spot in that blockbuster trade is C.J. Ramirez. Ramirez is coming along as well as can be expected but it will take some time before he can pay dividends for the Phillies at the major league level.
So, was Amaro justified for bailing out on Lee? Obviously not, because after he realized his blunder, Amaro resigned Lee to a long-term contract but by that time, it was too late. It is as they say, too little too late.
Things in life never remain the same. Golden opportunities happen once and
then they disappear sometimes, for a very long time. Now, with the other teams in the National League East getting stronger, it will take a miracle and another blockbuster trade to propel the Phillies to another World Series in Philadelphia. The Phillies lost a golden opportunity in 2009 and 2010 and now it is gone, at least for near future.
Cliff Lee was the premier pitcher without the marquis label the Phillies coveted when they first got him only to repay him with walking papers. This is what happens when we place a premium on labels rather than substance. Lee had all the tools in 2008 when he single-handedly beat the NY Yankees to shreds in the 2009 World Series. What a shame for a team that had it all and let it slip away.
The 2012 baseball season is almost over and again, the Phillies will be spectators instead of competitors. I must admit, until a week or two ago, I still had hopes for my team, the Philadelphia Phillies. Unfortunately, too much has happened with these Phillies in the past few years but the biggest blunder and miscalculation of all, was the 2009 Cliff Lee’s trade. A trade that will surely live in infamy in my mind and I am sure will also live in infamy in the minds of many Phillies fans and people everywhere who love the game of baseball.
My father used to say it best, “You just do not bite the hand that feeds you.” Cliff Lee gave the Phillies all he had in 2009 and they let him go. As sad as I am for the Phillies today, Mr. Amaro deserves what he is getting in 2012, another disappointing Phillies’ season. As for Halladay, who lost the last game of 2012 in great fashion, recording only five outs and giving up seven runs in just two innings, I say, let us all hope that he returns to form in 2013.