And I don't mean on the field, I'm obviously referring to critical management decisions that were sound in philosophy and poor on execution. Let me first put this exclaimer: I love Roy Oswalt and he did what he could to keep us in the ball game. Nevertheless, the two transactions are individual of themselves and so are their grades.
The Very good:
Acquiring Roy Halladay for less than what it would've taken in the trading deadline of '09.
Acquiring Roy Oswalt at the trading deadline, which in effect saved your job Mr.Amaro
The Acquisition of Placido Polanco, and this is really Amaro's only good judgment call of the year as Polanco succeeds beyond our expectations and becomes a stellar defensive 3rd baseman. As well as adding good OBP% to the table.
Acquiring Mike Sweeney: This could've been made even better, if not for Charlie Manuel but more on our skipper later.
Finding Wilson Valdez: Guys like him make your bench deeper and it was a good find.
The VERY BAD(If not dowright offensive):
Trading Cliff Lee, remember my disclaimer above, the Oswalt/Lee transactions are different. I love Oswalt and the competitive fire he brings and I'm absolutely thrilled that he's in our rotation. That doesn't mean I'm thrilled with the mockery Amaro made of the Phillies fanbase.
The Cliff Lee camp said they were more then willing to accept less than market value to come here(That means, contrary to the propaganda from management, we could've had Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay. But the VERY BAD isn't the trade. I'm perfectly fine with replenishing your farm and keeping this thing going for as long as possible.
But WHAT was that? The Mariners made out like bandits, getting high level prospects and what did we get? We, who wanted prospects to fill the farm. Well?
Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies and J.C. Ramirez. These guys were pretty much ranked at the lower barrel of the totem pole for the Mariners. And what'd the Mariners get for Lee?Justin Smoak, the Rangers former starting first baseman and was a first round pick in 2008 (11th Overall), Blake Beavan(17th overall), Josh Lueke(16th round) and Matthew Lawson(14th round).
We got raped to begin with, then it's like we got a second helping of rape. Amaro, this trade is an epic fail and not simply because of no Lee-Halladay.
The VERY VERY MUCH WORSE:
Ryan Howard: 125 Million
This isn't irrational hate for game 6, this is the fact, Ryan Howard dropped from 45 HR'S to 31. And you can't use the injury bug for Ryan Howard until late in the season. He'll be paid 27 MILLION DOLLARS. And it's not just this playoff slump either, if you'll remember Ryan Howard had a historically AWFUL World Series against the Yankees.
Ruben, Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez(Roids or not) are GREAT players, both will be in the hall of fame. As for Ryan Howard? He'll be remembered for what COULD have been. I say he easily lost us two titles and only won us one. For a 25% conversion rate overall, and that's worth 27 million? Not in any other sport, and not in this one.
I imagine the negotiations for this fat contract were in the works far before the signing took place, this is why you wanted to do the Lee deal, to save up money for this epic fail of a signing. Howard, to his credit became a solid first baseman defensively but even those woes showed up in this series.
It's BAD enough that this signing is probably what kept you from keeping Cliff Lee, but Jayson Werth who has shown his desire and will to win in Philadelphia, sure it was a love-hate relationship this year with his comments but I mostly love the guy based on what he showed us this year. So you gave up Jayson Werth and Cliff Lee to sign a 30 year old to a 6 YR deal maxxing out at 27 million.
Slap yourself in the face, you narcissist. Anyone can inherit a title team and just sit on their behinds. Not everyone gives up a 30+ HR threat and a legit ace for a guy whose one dimensional and clearly doesn't want to play in the playoffs, where it matters. What happened to that new approach? Yeah, gone.
The overpaying of Howard, the give-away of an ace that has now beaten the Yankees 3 times and letting Jayson Werth walk. Epic fail.
I'll start off by being very fair to Charlie Manuel, the way he's managed the game has brought us here. His unrelenting faith in Brad Lidge has revived the kind of closer he is and has given us stability at a very important position. But the skipper has made and stuck with some very annoying mistakes.
Remember earlier when I mentioned Mike Sweeney and how he was a good addition? He could've been our replacement to Matt Stairs and gave us HR-hitting power, which we could've used in Games 6 and 4. Charlie Manuel has stuck, very fruitlessly to Ross Freaking Gload.
His OBP% is entirely deceptive, he's had the 2nd fewest hits of his career(36) and the 2nd fewest runs in his career(16). He's never hit more than 10 homers in a season. There is NOTHING statistically that suggests why this guy should be our lead off pinch hitter.
I think every and any one of us would've used Mike Sweeney as a Matt Stairs clone.
But we probably would not be here if not for the epic failure that is: Chad Durbin.
Charlie Manuel has this annoying habit of getting so into his chewing gum(is it REALLY that good?) that he fails to comprehend the situation, not like last night where he recognized the decoy attempt by Bochy. In game 4, Chad Durbin wasn't awful, he was terrible and while the tally was only 2 runs I say it would've been and felt like more.
And Manuel just STANDS there.(Same with Rich Dubya) while Chad Durbin puts our world series chances at jeopardy. That, to me, regardless of the WS and all of our success is a fire able offense
But to be fair to Charlie, outside of Game 4 and his refusal to use Sweeney as a Matt Stairs-esque weapon, this outcome isn't his fault.
Nor is it to the fault of the big 3, they did their jobs and if Blanton could've lasted one more inning I say he did his job too.
This season, this pain and this agony belongs to Ruben Amaro JR. The arrogant, narcissist son of a gun who spent money where it didn't need spending, sent prospects that didn't need sending and just burned our dynasty with his grandiose incompetence.
Keep Manuel here, he developed this dynasty and surely he can set the table for the next Phillies Warriors. Trade Jimmy Rollins and Raul Ibanez for whatever you can get for them. Take the picks from the eventual Werth signing or work a sign/trade to get the best possible outcome.
Rebuild and use this opportunity to do so, because heaven forbid that awful Howard contract is gonna kill us for yrs to come.