Catz corner: Rea-Lee-ty SUCKS. Why can't I come to grips with trading Cliff Lee?

the only picture of Cliff Lee with Champagne I could find was with the Rangers. - J. Meric

The rumors are getting to me, and I'm strugging to figure out why I'm so opposed to trading Cliff Lee.

Reality sucks.

Seriously. It sucks.

I took a week off from TGP while on vacation, in of all places, Philly. I got off a plane last Friday night and the Phillies were up by 11 runs, there were joke tweets about trading for Alex Rios going on as I took the air tram to get a rental car. I sat in the bar at Stella's off of South Street Saturday and watched the Phillies lose to the Mets and Zach Wheeler and thought it to be a blip. I expected them to lose to Harvey the next day, but was fairly certain that they'd go something like 3-3 over the next six.

So much for my predictive powers.

And here we are. Even the Miguel Gonzalez news Friday night did little for me, other than give a faint glimmer that maybe Ruben has a slight clue about what to do.

And then there was yesterday. The day turned into Cliff Lee is being shopped day. Rumors galore from every horse this side of Churchill Downs. Red Sox. Cardinals. Pirates. Whatever.

Reality sucks.

I spent most of the day trying to figure out how to write this piece. I went analytical at first then scrapped it. I had the idea to do a piece geared towards the visitors from other teams looking for insight... But nada.

The problem is when it comes to the idea of trading Cliff Lee I'm dead inside. Which makes writing about it that much more difficult.

What I don't know is why?

Is it because there have been 12 players traded for Cliff Lee since 2009 and while he's put up close to 25 fWAR over that period, those 12 players have COMBINED for less than 6 fWAR?

Certainly something to think about but no, I looked that stuff up to feel smart.

Is it because, as David Murphy pointed out today on twitter, the player traded for Cliff Lee with the most WAR in 2013 is Bartolo Colon?

Nah, thats just TINSTAAP rearing its ugly head.

Is it because I fear that Ruben Amaro will screw it up beyond reprehension, and give the guy away like so many others before?

No, he's not that stupid. Seriously, he's not. He's got his price sky high for a reason. HE WON'T SCREW THIS UP!! (Will he??.... excuse me...)

OK. Got the dry heaves out. Ready to go again... Where was I?

Is it because no matter HOW GOOD THE RETURN is, it still won't be as good as the return we all have in our crazy prospect fetish minds?

Maybe, but that's pretty much true of any trade if you listen to the ridiculousness and take it serious. I mean, Papelbon went from being "untouchable for anyone short of Nick Castellanos" and Jim Bowden was screaming for the Tigers to do that" to being "untradeable" according to Bowden in like what? 36 hours or something?"

The return is NEVER AS GOOD AS YOU THINK IT SHOULD BE. Ever.

Is it because the idea of extending Hamels, extending Utley, signing Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez and then trading Cliff Lee seems bizarre, and counterproductive to putting a winning team on the field?

No. There's actually a logical argument that can be made there, if you get the right return for him.

Is it because deep down inside I remember the Nineties? Because I know in my heart that trading Cliff Lee leads to only heartache and despair and 60 win teams for the better part of a decade? That this is the real first step in a march towards mediocrity?

That's a little heavy.

I know.

F&*K Ryan Howards Contract and Jonathan Papelbon's mouth!! this is all their fault. (though the contract really can't be the fault, can it? Who cares. my rationale here. ) While we're at it screw Halladay for getting OLD! and Utleys knees! and Scott Boras for being greedy! And Dom Brown for not figuring it out sooner.

AND GO TO HELL HUNTER PENCE I WISH YOU WERE NEVER BORN!!!

And while I'm at it SCREW YOU TOO CLIFF!! maybe you only have yourself to blame!!

Whoa.

Did I just say all that stuff? Out loud? On the internet? For everyone to see?

I feel better.

But I still don't know why I hate the idea of trading Cliff Lee so much. I mean, its not like he's gonna take us to a World Series any time soon.

Huh.

Remember this?

And there is clarity in my soul.

Close your eyes for a second and remember where you were and how you felt when you heard we GOT HIM.

That might have been the pinnacle. Maybe a better feeling than the 30 seconds after the clincher in 2008. Maybe.

Cliff Lee was the chosen one. He spurned the evil empire to come BACK TO US!! He was the last piece we needed to return to World Series. It was a forgone conclusion. Dynasty. Destiny.

Denial.

That's why I can't get over this. It's why I won't let go if they let him go, and it's why Oscar Taveras and Michael Wacha and Shelby Miller and the ghost of Stan Musial won't be enough in my mind to justify it. You can send Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley and Ted Williams cryogenically frozen remains, bring him back to life to teach Ryan Howard how to hit left handed pitching, and I will still be pissed.

No, the real reason I don't want to see him traded is because HE WAS SUPPOSED TO WIN HERE! Halladay was supposed to win here! I mean, how the hell did Halladay and Lee not get a ring here??

That's why it hurts.

Because in December of 2010 Ruben Amaro was Santa Claus, and he gave every one of us the best damned Christmas present we could have asked for, I loved him for it, and three years later, it feels like he went into the toy chest grabbed that gift and is throwing it, along with the dreams of another World Championship out the window.

That same window that we all believed would never close that December.

And across the Delaware Valley, there's a shortage on batteries.

Cause whatever he does, whatever side of this you're on, Ruben can't win this one. He's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. He lost this battle when the Cardinals took the NLDS, When 2011 turned to 2012 and father time caught up with mother nature, and had a freaky looking 179mm baby that just played an outfield of Steve Susdorf, Laynce Nix and John Mayberry Junior last week.

And thats all I got. Well, maybe not all I got.

Whatever.

Catz Out.

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