Dec 192010
 
Phillies ace Roy Halladay

Phillies ace Roy Halladay

December 19:

Philadelphia Phillies news and stories from around the web…

Pitching great, but Phils’ offense questionable

December 19 Wilmington News Journal:

“Cliff Lee sat at a podium Wednesday and admitted he had turned down more lucrative offers in order to rejoin the Phillies.

Jayson Werth sat at a similar podium in Washington the same day, the proud owner of a seven-year contract that most analysts believed was worth far more than any other club had offered.

In those terms, the Phillies’ decision to sign Lee and let Werth walk made perfect sense.

“I don’t say this to slight our former rightfielder,” general manager Ruben Amaro said, “but I think, to a man, we felt like [signing Lee] would have much more of an impact on our club moving forward because, frankly, I believe in pitching and defense winning championships.”

If Amaro is right, there should be little holding the Phillies back from a third World Series appearance in four years in 2011, as the team could sport one of the most fearsome pitching rotations in baseball history.

On the other hand, if Amaro is wrong, he has left little margin for error.

After all, it was not the pitching staff that doomed the 2010 Phillies. Even without Lee, the rotation of Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels carried the team to a fourth straight N.L. East title, but in the playoffs, they could not overcome an anemic offensive effort.”

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Amaro knows Phils have holes

December 19 Camden Courier-Post:

“Cliff Lee sat at a podium Wednesday and admitted he had turned down better offers to rejoin the Phillies.

Jayson Werth sat at a similar podium in Washington the same day, the proud owner of a seven-year contract that most analysts believed was worth far more than any other club had offered.

In those terms, the Phillies’ decision to sign Lee and let Werth walk made perfect sense.

“I don’t say this to slight our former right fielder,” general manager Ruben Amaro said, “but I think, to a man, we felt like (signing Lee) would have much more of an impact on our club moving forward because, frankly, I believe in pitching and defense winning championships.”

If Amaro is right, there should be little holding the Phillies back from a third World Series appearance in four years in 2011 as the team could sport one of the most fearsome pitching rotations in baseball history.

On the other hand, if Amaro is wrong, he has left little margin for error. After all, it wasn’t the pitching staff that doomed the 2010 Phillies.

Even without Lee, the rotation of Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels carried the team to a fourth straight NL East title, but in the playoffs it couldn’t overcome an anemic offensive effort.

The Phillies scored nearly three-tenths of a run less per game in 2010 than they did in 2009, and in the postseason they failed to top four runs in six of their nine games. And that was with Werth batting in the middle of the order.”

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Rotation a one-year phenomenon?

December 19 Philadelphia Inquirer:

“Euphoria is still in the cold winter air.

The nicknames are pouring in: Phab Phour, R2-C2, The Phour Aces, The Phour Tops.

The anticipation for the start of a season has never been greater for a franchise smack in the middle of its golden age.

We interrupt this Phillies starting rotation celebration with a cold dose of reality: It’s entirely possible it could be a one-and-done situation.

It is remarkable that Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. and his cast of capable assistants have brought back Cliff Lee to join a rotation that includes two-time Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay, 2005 NLCS MVP Roy Oswalt, and 2008 NLCS and World Series MVP Cole Hamels.

What would be even more remarkable is keeping that cast together in 2012.

As diligent as the Phillies were in bringing back Lee, it was possible only because the 32-year-old Arkansas native had fallen so deeply in love with the team and the city during his three-month stay here in 2009.

That, in itself, is amazing given how short Lee’s stay in Philadelphia was and the fact that he ended up back in the World Series with the Texas Rangers in 2010. At last check, Arlington, Texas, is a lot closer to Benton, Ark., than Philadelphia.

Add in the fact that the New York Yankees, with their bottomless pockets, were bidding for Lee’s services and you still have to shake your head six days after the news broke.”

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