Phils lost, I am over it. It sucks and we all feel that way, but the uncertainty of almost losing is worse than actually losing. Now you know where you are and what you need and where to go with it. Plus, I think it would have been worse on my stomach if they actually came back. This pitching staff would have killed me in the NLCS and/or the World Series.
Anticipating this day, I have been thinking about what the Phils should do, and I have outlined my steps to success below the fold. The Phillies have brought baseball back to Philadelphia and are making big bucks on us. They need to go that extra step and raise payroll to the 105-110 mil range. They can afford it and we'll make them wealthy if they do.
Say goodbye to:
Aaron Rowand: Thanks for the good year, but you are too expensive for the marginal return over Shane Victorino.
Abe Nunez: See ya.
Rod Barajas: Adios.
Jose Mesa: TTFN
Antonio Alfonseca: Godspeed to you
Wes Helms: Don't let the door...
Say Hello to:
Joe Nathan: Yeah, he is already 32, but he has had back to back good years and we need a closer. Not because I believe in closers, but because it also solves a starter problem by putting Myers back in the rotation. I think 3/27 might do the trick.
Curt Schilling: Still has a little left in the tank. I don't like him as a person, but I think we could get him to come back here and be our saviour (a role he relishes). 2/19
Mike Lowell: I am not a firm believer in him, but he is pretty much the best option. Problem is that he is coming off of a career year and might want big bucks. If we can get him for 3/24 I'd be happy.
Pat Burrell: Give him a 3/28 extension. He had a really bad month, but has been remarkably consistent over the last 3 years and is still just 30 years old.
Ryan Howard: Consider extending him this year as well. Not for any other reason that he dropped off a bit and that could actually save you money. I think 4/50 could get it done.
Altering what we currently have, this would give us a lineup:
CF: (S) Shane Victorino
2B: (L) Chase Utley
SS: (S) Jimmy Rollins
1B: (L) Ryan Howard
LF: (R) Pat Burrell
3B: (R) Mike Lowell
RF: (R) Jayson Werth/(L)Greg Dobbs
C: (R) Carlos Ruiz
SP1: (L) Cole Hamels
SP2: (R) Brett Myers
SP3: (R) Curt Schilling
SP4: (L) Jamie Moyer
SP5: (R) Adam Eaton/Kyle Kendrick
CL: (R) Joe Nathan
BP: (L) JC Romero
BP: (R) Tom Gordon
BP: (R) Ryan Madson
BP: (L) JA Happ
BP: (R) Scott Mathieson
B: Chris Coste
B: Michael Bourn
B: Greg Dobbs/Jayson Werth
B: Backup shortstop
B: Russle Branyan type power off of bench
B/BP: Kyle Kendrick/Adam Eaton or another bat
I suspect you can replace Rowand's offense (from thus year) with Mike Lowell. 3rd base is then replaced by Werth/Dobbs which is a significant upgrade. You have good L/R splits when Dobbs plays. Burrell and Rollins could switch, but I'd suspect that if you take Rollins out of the top spot, you'd "have" to bat him 3rd.
Your bullpen goes from old to young pretty quickly with Mathieson (assuming he can return next year) and Happ to provide some strikeouts in the pen. Gordon is a righty specialist and Romero is the lefty specialist. Assuming Madson of last year was for real, he can cover either the 7th or 8th.
I think this is easily a World Series team. Great offense again with solid pitching in the pen. Good starting pitching with a mix of righties and lefties. Involves 3 off season pickups, but, with the way the team played this year and the money they are rolling in, there is no excuse NOT to make these mov