Phillies land Lee in stunning turnaround

On a day Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said Johan Santana won’t  be available until July at the earliest and Oliver Perez had a chance of going to spring training with a chance to compete for a job, the Philadelphia

LEE: Back in Philly

Phillies stunned the sport by bringing back Cliff Lee.


Lee left money and years on the table to return to Philadelphia, the place where he was most comfortable, now even more cozy because he’s joining  a rotation that includes Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt. The Phillies’ team he left is better now than when he was there, and now arguably is the best in baseball.

Never mind that the Yankees were spurned. No tears for them as they’ll sign Andy Pettitte as a stop gap and add somebody at the All-Star break. I feel a little for the Texas Rangers, but they probably made off better in the long run by not being saddled with a huge contract. With Lee, they might have become the Mets in four years.

The Mets and Phillies are close in payroll, but there’s such a disparity in talent. So much so, that adding Lee wouldn’t have put them over the top. Adding Santana didn’t put them over the top, either.

You can try to convince yourself  Halladay and Lee are 32, that Oswalt is showing breakdown signs, that Lee had a bad back, and Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins, that Jayson Werth is gone so there is a closing window in Philadelphia. Maybe so, but before it slams shut the Phillies will have played a lot of October baseball games. Maybe even spilled some champagne.

For the past four years the Phillies have been more aggressive and smarter than the Mets, and eclipsed them in the standings despite similar resources. The Mets have spent money since 2006, but not wisely. The Mets, in essence are starting over with a plan to make up for the poor choices of the past. The Phillies’ choices in that span have worked and they continue to feed the monster.

Maybe, when it is done eating, the Mets will be in position to do something. But, it won’t be anytime soon.

11 thoughts on “Phillies land Lee in stunning turnaround

  1. how i despise the Philthies. people that know me , know I only hate a team when they play the mets. I could care less about any other team. the exception: The Philthies. even when we were atlanta’s whipping boysx for so many years that bothered me but on a baseball level. both our teams were good at the time but we couldnt get over the hurdle that was atlanat. so it was purely frustration.
    The Philthies on the other hand.. *ugh* let me count the ways. first off. the fans. i think it’s the fans I despise more than the team. I have seen some nasty Yankee fans etc. but the philthies take the cake. stealing baseball caps from little kids. puking on them pouring beer on them just because they root for a different team.
    As for the team. well they are more than the hurdle that was the braves. they are a thorn in our side. *sigh*
    well all the more maybe we will see that keeping warthen was either good or bad. maybe being under manuel was the keystone to the pitching debacles.
    I give the mets 2011 to get things right. if 2012 we suck more.. then I expect a clearing of the house.
    SO with all speculations aside we have to wait to see the boys in management and on the field in action before we make our comments 😉

  2. Wow. What a rotation.

    We better have a pitcher that can keep us in a game and play fundamental baseball. Two things we have been lacking in the past 1/2 decade.

  3. I went to sleep last night after reading the news that the Phils were in the hunt for Lee and woke this morning to the news that they got him. My immediate reaction:

    We’re doomed.

    Agree with dave (2) that we’ll need sound pitching and good fundamental baseball to battle that rotation. The Giants dented Lee in the WS, but they had Lincecum going for them.

  4. Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbour? No. That’s why the 2011 NL East hasn’t been decided yet.

  5. 6. oh damn i was that dense to miss an animal house ref?

    you know what. IT JUST DOESNT MATTER! 😉
    I need more coffee that is what it is.. its been one of those days todays.

  6. john(8)

    yes. he would. but hopefully he doesnt go into his annual funk and can pitch well and keep us in a game.

    i am thinking if our pitchers can do 4 runs or so a game we have a shot.

    make the pitcher work. no easy outs. play sound defense and baserunning and you can win.

    be a clueless idiot and you will lose games.

    we have lost way too many games because we do not play the game the right way. it is one thing if they just have more talent.

    it is another if you hand them the game because the pitcher does not cover or the OF throws to the wrong bag or you drop an infield fly.

  7. I think it also proved what having a deep farm system means. Phills would not have been able to acquire Oswalt, Lee, or Halladay had they not had the top perceived prospects to trade for them in the first place. I believe that the Mets with their three headed monster in Sandy/DePo/JP will be building a deep system eventually. On to the Phills, one thing they have to watch out for is the age of their staff. Oswalt and Halladay certainly have injury histories and they aren’t getting any younger. What looks great on paper doesn’t always come to fruition. Met fans should know that better than anyone else.