March 3, 2015

Happy Cliff Lee Day!! I’ve Got Some Questions

Well, today is the happiest day of the year. I could hardly sleep last night and I imagine that might be the case until April. Cliff Lee is a Phillie, again and he and Roy Halladay will be manning the top of our rotation for at least the next 4 years with Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels along for 2. We are the slam dunk World Series favorites and will enter the season with unmatched hype and excitement. It’s a fan’s dream come true and I think there are many of us who are still convinced it’s a dream.

As I was driving to work, I found myself with question after question in light of this signing. So many implications, so little time. Let’s get to them all.

1. What’s the catch?

Anyone else still waiting for the other shoe to drop? Last year, the catch in acquiring Roy Halladay was trading Cliff Lee (every time I type his name, it makes me happy). This year? What is it? Is it really just going to be getting someone to take Blanton and maybe Ibanez? Does this mean we won’t pick up Oswalt’s option next year? Or that we can’t extend Hamels or Rollins? Frankly, anything would be worth it (except trading Oswalt or Hamels – don’t do that again) — but there’s gotta be a catch, right?  And if there is not – does that mean I’m going to get hit by a bus before April?

2. What’s the contract for, and what’s the risk involved?

If we had been given more than 4 hours notice that we had a chance at Lee, we would have been obsessing over the contract terms. The way it went down, and the discount we got, have put the contract terms to the back burner. Here are the terms (per Cot’s Contracts): 5 years, $120 million. I believe that $120 million includes a guaranteed $12.5 million in the 6th year (buyout if he doesn’t vest his option). That’s $21.5 million per year. There is a vesting option for a 6th year that is performance based (he needs to pitch 200 IP in 2015 or 400IP in 2014/15) and that is for $27.5 million. So it’s likely that this contract will end up at 6 years, $135 million unless he gets hurt.

Usually I would be terrified about a deal like this (see: Howard, Ryan) but as deals like this go, I’m as comfortable as I could be. Lee has a great work ethic, is a lefty (they tend to last longer), relies a lot on control (meaning he could still pitch well if he loses some arm strength) and has a smooth, low impact delivery. As far as pitchers go, we might have the two most reliable ones in the league now with Halladay and Lee.

3. How many frickin’ games is this team going to win?

This is what everyone is talking about today. How many regular season games is this team going to win? 100? 110? Here’s a super un-scientific way to do it. We went 22-11 in games started by Halladay last year. 18-15 in games started by Hamels. 17-14 for Kendrick. Let’s say we go 22-11 for Lee as well and 20-12 for Oswalt. That puts us at 99-63. Not quite as high as you would think, huh? But still probably good for best in the majors. And remember how bad our offense was this year (though that doesn’t mean it will improve). I’ll put the O/U at 100.

4. What’s the rotation going to look like?

Best guess: Halladay, Lee, Oswalt, Hamels, Worley, possible Oswalt and Hamels switching.

5. What about the playoffs?

This is where it becomes somewhat interesting. You only really need a 4th starter for 2 games in the playoffs. Game 4 of the NLCS and Game 4 of WS. Would Charlie rotate them around, or send someone to 4th starter duty? My guess is an obvious answer will present itself by the time its time to think about that.

6. What number will he wear?

Halladay has his #34 he wore with us. He wore #33 for Tex and #36 for Sea last year. Obviously #36 is not available (Robin Roberts).

7. Why didn’t we just sign him to an extension last year?

The number we signed him for 5/120 or 6/135 was pretty much exactly the same deal we wouldn’t sign him for last year. Did our financial situation change that rapidly? And this was AFTER we extended Howard and acquired Oswalt. Not that I care now, but it does seem somewhat strange.

8. Is there a better GM right now than Ruben Amaro?

You be hard pressed to argue otherwise. The Howard contract was irresponsible and he sometimes gives extra years where he shouldn’t, but he’s turned Hamels, Myers, Moyer, Blanton, Kendrick into Halladay, Lee, Oswalt, Hamels, Worley in just two years. That’s unreal. And unprecedented.

9. Is this the best rotation of all-time?

Time will tell. Injuries happen, and all four struggled at times during the regular season last year. But we are talking about 4 potential HOFers here (with Hamels obviously the furthest out).  If you think I’m not doing a “Big-4 Greatness Watch”, you’ve lost your mind. Now we just need to come up with the best 4-man rotations of all-time to compare them to.

10. Who is playing RF?

Who cares?

11. Should the fans feel some personal pride in this signing?

I think so. And I think this will be underreported. Strange that Lee would be dying to come back to Philly, where the “worst fans in america” live. I don’t think Lee ever felt anything quite like he did in Philly in 2009. Both the camaraderie in the clubhouse and the unadulterated love from the fans obviously endeared him to this place. Add to that the the 120+ straight sell-outs generated much of the cash for this, and I’d say we should be pretty happy with ourselves.

12. Is Lee the most popular athlete in Philadelphia?

Probably. Who are the candidates? Halladay, Utley, Rollins, Howard obviously (and probably Chooch), Mike Vick would be if not for his history, Jackson might be too much of a showboat for folks, Mike Richards is a good candidate. But Lee is different. He was universally beloved, then ripped from us, and now is back is dramatic fashion, taking less money to be in Philly. Yes, Halladay did the same, but the emotion of his arrival was tainted by the Lee trade. Obviously it’s up debate, but I’d love to see the amount of Lee jerseys that sell in the next week.

13. What kind of year could Lee have?

This will be the first year that Lee will have a full season in the NL. Like with Halladay, this likely means some improved numbers. Halladay’s ERA dropped 12.5% in the NL. If Lee does the same, we can expect an ERA in the 2.78 range next year.

14. If Lee sucks at the end of this contract, are we allowed to boo him?

No. Never. And if you ever see anyone do it. Punch them in the face. Same goes for Halladay. If you take a discount to play here, you get a lifetime free pass in my book (not that I’m a boo-er).

15. Is the 2nd best thing about this contract that we don’t have to hear “if we had Cliff Lee” anymore?

No. It’s that we stuck it to the Yankees – who are now royally screwed on their rotation.

Well that’s all I got for now.

Keep up the great discussion in the comments section. And Happy Cliff Lee day!

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  1. Richie says:

    Am i the only one that has just read every sports site (Recliner is my favorite Pete I promise) and every article, but can’t get enough and can read about ten more? Every new one I read I get the same chill going through my body, the one I had at the parade two years ago. Today is just flat out incredible.

  2. Pete says:

    Haha – I’m just getting started Richie! Spent the morning writing that!

    From Crasnick:

    I’ve been told if Lee’s option vests, he will have left $13MM on the table in turning down Yankees’ offer. Not as much as people think

  3. Ken Bland says:

    That’s a great, great post.  With an asterisk.  The subject makes it quite easy to write it! :)

    36 isn’t available.  That was Robbie’s number. 

    What a great, great day.

  4. Jason says:

    Point #14 is a good one.  We have to realize that Philadelphia has become a choice destination for performers interested in winning rings.  The Eagles, Flyers and Phillies now all enjoy this status.  People don’t want the hyped expectations or the overly-critical reviews of Boston or New York.  We have a unique chance to embrace these athletes and pave the way for more to come. Let’s remember this when each of these guys stumbles a bit next year, and they undoubtedly will from time to time.  Support is far more effective than criticism.

  5. Pete says:

    well said, Jason

  6. Phil D says:

    just think- less then 2 years ago hammels was the ace. now hes the 4th starter. pretty amazing stuff.

    i love how the phils pull this move during eagles/giants week. a move the eagles usually pull on the phils

  7. SABR says:

    Regarding that Crasnick post…that is 7th year money, so he really left nothing on the table. If at age 39 he can get a 1 year, 13 million contract (with price inflation does not seem ridiculous – consider that Blanton and Moyer made 9 million each last year). Not a discount to come here.

  8. Pete says:


    I’m sure all the details will come out and we will get an exact number, but it does seem like our 6 year deal was pretty much the same as the Yankees, UNLESS the option doesn’t vest (which is a significant risk with pitchers). GUARANTEED money was probably $18 million less. But if you assume the 6th year vests, then they are pretty much the same.

  9. Jesse says:

    Pete – I’ve been trying to find this info without doing a whole lot of research but do you have any idea what the most wins out of a starting rotation in a season is (in the more modern era)? Or what some of the highs have been in recent years?
    On a side note, I was watching Sportscenter this morning and they were interviewing Schilling. He had nothing but praise for the city of philadelphia and all of their fans. He even said that when he left AZ his top choice was to come back to Philadelphia. They didn’t go into why he didn’t come back but it was just very interesting to hear that. Makes me wonder IF (and that’s a big if) he ever was selected to the hall of fame, him going as a red sox is no longer as sure a thing as a I thought

  10. Pete says:

    Jesse -

    Not sure – and not sure how to research it either. It will be a group effort to come up with the pitchers we want to compare our Big-4 to.

    Also, re: Schilling, I did a post on his HOF credentials AWHILE ago here. Always thought he should be the first D-Back in the HOF.

  11. Stu says:

    I am feeling really good that we just signed a new starting left0handed pitcher 15 years younger than Jamie Moyer.

  12. Phil D says:

    the only comparable “big 4″ i can think of is maddoux, glavine, smoltz, and avery

  13. The Real Rob says:

    How do the Phillies beat the Giants in a playoff series?  Pitching was great for both teams, but situational hitting needs to be addressed.  What are the next moves for the Phillies and will Chad Durbin be re-signed?  Will Joe Blanton be traded and to who?  If we don’t trade him, he would make an awesome 5th starter.

    With that said, we have one hell of a team in the Phillies.  I love it that all four teams are buzzing simultaneously this month.  It is AWESOME!! 

  14. jjg says:

    ’54 Indians staff has present Phillies starting staff beat by a country mile, performance-wise:  93-36 – 2.64, 2.72, 2.73. 3.09, 3.35 – GS 147, CG 74 – (in order of ERAs) Mike Garcia, Bob Lemon (HOF), Early Wynn (HOF), Bob Feller (HOF) and Art Houtteman.   

  15. Wilbur says:

    Amaro is NOT the best GM. He made a critical error not keeping LEE. This likely cost the phillies a world series title. Acquiring Roy Halladay had to do with Roy. He told Anthopolous that he would not sign with anyone other than the Phillies. Same with Lee. It was Lee that decided to come back to Philly. Amaro’s offer was not the best, financially. So, it boils down to why these two studs are in Philly — obviously, because they feel that they can win here. Amaro should get some credit for this, but not all. It is not even fair to say that he played a dangerous game. I think that this came about more by happenstance than anything else. However, you know the old saying, “Why look a gift horse in the mouth!”

  16. Pete says:

    Wilbur -

    No. No. No.

    The Phillies lost because of their offense, not pitching.

    Lee lost 2 games in the WS against the same Giants team he would have faced in the NLCS.

    Fail. Fail. Fail.

  17. Stu says:

    Wilbur, it was the Phillies silent bats that doomed them in the NLCS last year, not the starting pitching.  They finished with the best record in baseball w/o Cliff Lee.

    This has been covered.

  18. dude says:

    “it was the Phillies silent bats that doomed them in the NLCS last year”

    Agreed.  That and a few bad errors that i don’t think i’ll ever forget.  The bars I was sitting at probably still bear scars from the pounding they took those nights.   Either way, not really a pitching issue.

    “We have to realize that Philadelphia has become a choice destination for performers interested in winning rings.”

    The best part about this is that its self-perpetuating – the more people do it, the more the idea is reinforced.  We’re in a golden age.  Live it & love it.  (subpoint that now seems obscure/funny if it wasn’t painful - Elton Brand came here because he thought the sixers were on the cusp of something too…)

  19. jjg says:

    ’63 World Champion Dodgers‘ – Koufax, 1.88; Drysdale, 2.63; Johnny Podres; 3.54; Bob Miller, 2.89; Pete Richert, 4.50 - stats were pretty nice too.  

    Entire Dodgers staff gave up 550 runs on season; ’54 Tribe – 504; 2010 Phils – 640.

  20. Pete says:
  21. Pete says:


    So, why Philly?

    The answers are fairly simple, according to a close friend of Lee’s:

    * He loved the National League. He loved to hit. He loved being a baseball player, not just a pitcher.

    * He enjoyed the team and city during his brief stay with the Phillies in 2009.

    * He wanted to be in the same rotation as Roy Halladay, and was “devastated” that the Phils traded him after ’09 rather than put the two of them together.

  22. Pete says:

    “He loved to hit”

    That’s great – love that

  23. DC says:

    1st, I hate the Mets, but this was a pretty good rotation.
    88 Mets: Cone 2.22 (20-3), Gooden 3.19, Darling 3.25, Ojeda 2.88, Fernandez 3.03 Record 100-60 gave up 532 runs.

  24. Pete says:

    Keep the 4-somes coming guys and gals – good work.

    Lee will wear #33, per Zolecki

  25. Phil D says:

    lincecum, cain, sanchez, bumgartner

  26. Stacy says:

    I too have been hooked on finding anything and everything about this deal if for no other reason than to make sure its true because I still can’t believe it.
    Hopefully this won’t impact a Hamels extension – with the other 3 being in their early 30′s, we’re going to need Hamels to take over the reigns at some point.  But with Halladay and now Lee both taking a “pay cut” to come here, maybe others will start to follow suit.  Lee can provide a lesson here about how miserable it is to be on the outside looking in (Jayson, are you listening?)
    Happy Halladays and Merry Cliffmas

  27. Phil D says:

    breaking news- the yankees counter losing cliff lee by signing russell martin.

  28. Sue says:

    I haven’t been this happy about anything since…oh wait…I don’t think I’ve ever been this happy about a team I was so angry with at the end of the season.  Thanks Ruben, you’ve redeemed yourself!  Giddy is the perfect word.  Wow!

  29. Stu says:

    Phils could sign Joe McEwing or Tsuyoshi Shinjo right now to plaotoon in the OF and I wouldn’t care.

  30. tk76 says:

    jjg- I don’t think you can compare MLB 60 year ago.  Back then there were only 8 teams in each league, so HOF talent was much more concentrated.
    In the AL in ’54 there were 22 pitchers on the 8 teams with an ERA of 3.5 or better.  So on average nearly 3 pitchers per team.
    last year in the AL there were 12 pitchers on the 15 teams with an ERA of 3.5 or under.  So less than 1 per team.  So its almost impossible to compare eras or ERA’s.

  31. Pete says:


    using ERA+ or WAR would probably do the trick. Those are meant to balance out time period/ballpark/defense/etc…

  32. tk76 says:

    But that Cle team did have the #1, #3, #4 and #18 best ERA pitcher in the AL.
    As compared to this year the Phils had #3,#5 and #12 in the NL and the #7 in the AL.
    Both staffs are amazing.

  33. tk76 says:

    By ERA + the Phils have the edge.  But its really almost impossible to say which squad is better (on paper.)  In terms of W-L, certainly Cle (111-43) had the major edge.

  34. Chuck says:

    Im on Christmas Break from school so im really on cloud nine right now. Does anyone know when we can expect a press conference?

  35. tk76 says:

    How about the late 90′s Braves staff as a comparison?
    Maddux, Gavine, Smoltz, Neagle and Millwood?

  36. phillyfan says:

    I just got my son a new WII game called “WII RAJ”  In it your get to have a fantasy team with a starting staff of Halladay, Lee, Oswalt, and Hamels.  Imagine that!

    In light of the Halladay and Lee signings is really reduces the impact of the Howard signing.  They are clearly swimming in dough.

    I really would like to see them find a way to sign Hamels.  It would be nice to have a home-grown stud around for another 6-8 years.  Wouldn’t feel like we are totally becoming mercenaries or Yankees south.

  37. bball says:

    On the Blanton trade front I don’t see why the Phils would have to eat any of his salary with pitching at a premium.  He’s a better option than Pavano right now. 8.5 mil is reasonable for a 3.5-4.5 era pitcher.

  38. phillyfan says:

    I hear alot of people talking about how the Phils didn’t win the title because of their offense.  While I somewhat agree, it also diminishes the Giants pitching.

    RAJ’s strategy is clearly to give the team the best possible chance to GET tot he post-season.  Improving an already strong starting pitching staff improves the chances to get to the postseason, more than any other single move.  Once you get to the post-season the outcome is based alot on luck. karma, and momentum.  Improving pitching raises your odds (see Giants) again, but gaurantees nothing.  So RAJ has done everything he could to impact things in the most positive way, but in the end we are far from winning the title.  That will depend on timely hits and lucky bounces.

  39. tk76 says:

    Agree.  There is no way to lock up a title- but the playoffs seem like a high probability for the next 2-4 years.  can’t really expect more, but you can hope.
    The best thing about this staff is that they can sustain a pitcher or two going down for parts of the year without missing a beat.

  40. jjg says:

    tk76, Good stat dig.  Fair point to raise. 

    A Man on a mound is a man on a mound.  That there are currently fewer 
    per capita doesn’t unendorse the qualified.  I don’t know how far your 
    your viewing experience dates back but I can attest to having seen ML pitchers, all along the talent and performance spectrum, since the 1959 season.  Believe me or take it with a grain of salt, those sepia-toned pitchers were as talented as those in living color of today.  And, in my view, they were mentally tougher and more humble as a rule of thumb; 
    WWII & Korea was in many of their admixtures. 

    Do you personally eliminate George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln & Teddy Roosevelt from ‘great President’ talk because U.S. cultural conditions have undergone vast change, and only consider JFK onward due to the “validity” of modernity?  I suspect not.  But if so  
    don’t forget to delete Babe Ruth and Christy Matthewson from your baseball determinations of prodigious efficacy in spikes.

  41. Brian says:


    The Eagles just signed Derrick Burgess!

  42. philly says:

    1966 Dodgers-Koufax, Sutton, Drysdale, Osteen
    1971 Orioles-Dave McNally (21-5), Jim Palmer (20-9), Mike Cuellar (20-9) and Pat Dobson (20-8

  43. Philly has to be the favorite to win the World Series at this point

  44. phillyfan says:

    This signing must annoy Jeffrey Lurie.  Eagles momentum just getting into high gear and PHillies make another huge move.  Nice rivalry for fans attention there.  I am so hyped for the Phillies season to start another Eagles letdown, if it hapens, won’t be nearly so damaging to the psyche.

  45. Pete says:

    another good article (SI’s Verducci)

  46. phillyfan says:

    Just though this was interesting from

    “In other Eagles-related news, the Sunday night’s game against the Cowboys that was aired on NBC was the most-watched “Sunday Night Football” broadcast ever. The game attracted 25.73 million viewers.”

    I know the cowboys always draw by Eagles-Bears game drew a record TV audience too for a Sunday game.  What is going on with the Eagles?  Is it the Vick phenomenon?  Do we have a nation of people who hate what Vick did but love to watch him play (like me?).  This is truly quite a time to be a Philly sports fan.

    Flyers and Pens tonight in a matchup of heavyweights.  My goodness this is nuts.

  47. phillyfan says:

    I must say, I am struck by the City’s love affair with Lee.  He was here for 3 months and didn’t win a world series.  Hamels wins a WS and MVP and is called aloof and unlikeable.  Lee is about as aloof as they come and people just say he is intense and professional.  Lee had 4 nice starts in the playoffs but he didn’t win a WS and the team would have made the playoffs that year without him. 

    Don’t misunderstand, I loved Lee as a pitcher when he was here, but trying to figure out this almost manic emotional attachment people had/have to him when I read the message boards.  Grown men are acting like the Messiah has returned.  He hasn’t even been that great of a pitcher, career wise.  A couple of very good years for sure.  But no HOF stuff.  The love affair seems all out of porportion with his Philly or career accomplishments.

  48. Nate says:

    Funny. Here we are so happy that Cliff Lee is coming to town this Christmas. Yet, how happy are we that Christ came into the world to reconcile us to God?Shouldn’t that make us infinitely more happy that Lee coming to town? Or, have we made god’s in our own image and for our own pleasure?  Too strange…off to bed!

  49. Stu says:

    I would be happy if Nate went away and never posted again.  That’s what would make me happy.

  50. Chris McC. says:

    That’s it.  Cliff Lee is Baseball Jesus!

  51. Pete says:

    Not even close to the time or place Nate.

    Let’s go ahead and ignore that.

  52. Ken Bland says:

    Cliff takes a physical tomorrow (well, later today) now).  Presser follows.  As you can tell by this interview, he’s very level headed about the whole thing.

  53. Ken Bland says:

    I hear alot of people talking about how the Phils didn’t win the title because of their offense.  While I somewhat agree, it also diminishes the Giants pitching.>>
    Completely agree

    <<Once you get to the post-season the outcome is based alot on luck. karma, and momentum.>>

    Add adjustments to situations to that.  As in Aubrey bunting I guess against TEX, maybe us.  We get to the post season, where we face better pitching, could well get in a scoreless game in the 7th and face a lot of lefty relief pitching.  Have to adjust, and a righty bat still won’t hurt.

  54. Ken Bland says:

    Interested to see what players show at Cliff’s press conference.  Supposedly JW has one in DC tomorrow as well.

  55. Dino says:

    I think the owners should get more credit than Amaro for the Lee signing.  Aside from my belief that most of the major personnel decisions are made by committee, they are the ones who decide where their money goes when it comes to FA.

  56. phillyfan says:

    Excellent article on the proable suger daddy in the Phils ownership group by Conlin today.

    does anyone know about how much revenue the Clearwater Spring Training operation ads to the total Phils revenue.  Since the rise of the Phils they do have 15 or so home games that sell out down there and concessions and such.  This spring training will be  a circus.  They could probably add 5k seats and sell them out too.

  57. jjg says:

    Spring Training is big business these days.  Is it really a vacation when you see hordes of Philadelphians compacted in a fresh mini-stadium complex with maxi-pricing on food & memorabilia?  I miss the slack of Jack Russell.  

  58. Ken Bland says:

    The Inky’s running a poll as to which starter will have the most wins this year.  Fair amount of respondents, too, over 3000.

    It’s nice that Doc is crushing the field, reinforcing the deserved lovefest we have with him that had no reason to drop any in recent hours.  He’s got like 71 per cent.  Cliff is second around 18.

    Newly packaged chopped liver, er, Roy Oswalt, sorry, is 3rd, with like 3 per cent.  That might be the most impressive stat in Great Game history.  A guy like that only expected by 3 per cent to lead his club in wins.  It’s a fun piece, although the correct answer is actually any of the 4 that misses the fewest turns.

    But…if I were fiorced to pick an individual, and not take that pragmatic, logic induced approach, I might be inclined to vote for number 33.

    I figure it like this.

    Doc pitched 270 plus last year, a feat he also did for the Jays a few years back.  He was not healthy the next year.  He was younger then.  Suffice to say I’m a little concerned about that.  Hopefully much adieu about nothing.

    Cliff, on the other hand already did his injury plagued year a season ago.  Some tummy muscle stuff at the start of the year cost him 4 weeks, and then a summer back nerve problem or something cost him about 2 weeks.  He only won 12 regular season games, and I’d guess 2-3 decisions were L’s because he pitched hurt.  So this is his bounceback year.  It doesn’t even include the fact that his role as America’s Guest is passe.  Settled and healthy, Doc is freaking Doc and I don’t know that I’d vote for Cliff.  But believe me when I tell you I wouldn’t vote against him.

  59. Stu says:

    If Roy O. and Cole are gonna be matched up against the opposing #3s and #4s around the league (i.e Vicente Padilla), their win totals will be positively effected.

    I think Roy O. had a pretty strong run last year for wins as the #3…

    Sure, Doc will be dominant, but if he is matched up against the opposing Ace that may not translate to wins as easily as the guys going against the bottom feeders of opposing staffs.

  60. Chris McC. says:

    I don’t see a lot of opposing teams messing with their rotations to match aces.  Most teams have 1, the Phillies have 4.  Typically (with the occasional exception) in a three game series, you are going to have to face at least two of these guys. It’s not a situation in which you say to yourself, “if we can get our ace against our ace we have a shot and we can just try to slug through the other two games.”  No matter what, you’re facing at least 2 guys in a four man rotation that could win a Cy Young in 2011.  What’s the point in messing with your guys’ routines and schedules?

  61. Dino says:

    One other thing that no one seems to have mentioned is the impact Cliff’s positive energy brings to the team. I often wondered if the players lack of intensity last year was, in part, due to his absence from the team, and we can’t under estimate his  how his expressed love for the Phillies will help us this year.
    Bravo to the organization-just when I was really down on them, they  pulled off this huge moment in Phillies history.

  62. Stu says:

    <<Bravo to the organization-just when I was really down on them, they  pulled off this huge moment in Baseball history.>>


  63. Pete says:

    If you “down on them” after a 97 win season – I can’t imagine you’ve been pumped about them a whole lot!

  64. Ken Bland says:

    Cliff said he and Jayson talked and Jayson wasn’t real happy about Cliff coming here.

    Guys would kill to play for us now.  That’s pretty cool.

    Doc has been named Pro Athlete of the Year by the Philly Sportswriters Assdociation.  I’m guessing that come festivity night (1/31), he will feel an even closer bond with Philadelphia.

  65. Ken Bland says:

    <<Bravo to the organization-just when I was really down on them, they  pulled off this huge moment in World history.>>
    \ now it’s fixed

  66. Stacy says:

    Now that I saw Lee put his jersey on, I can believe that this is really happening.  He says he can’t wait for Spring Training – join the club
    Can you even imagine how wild the stadium is going to be the first time he’s introduced?

  67. Ken Bland says:


    I( have a question for you.

    Around the trade deadline when Cliff’s name was discussed in rumors, you apparently to some extent placed some credibility in it, even if it might have been from a fascination standpoint.

    The reason I say that is because I recall you writing a post or comment that I’ll paraphrase, “You can’t imagine what it would be like if we got Lee back, referencing the excitement level.

    So my question is now that it has happened, would you say the response exceeds what you might have envisioned?

    Personally, I can’t even begin to believe the whole thing yet, and suspect the collective disbelief has carried this to beyond comprehension levels, but that’s just my impression.

  68. jjg says:

    Figures Lee & Werth are buds.  Birds of a feather.  Talented snotnoses with world by the balls, discretionary spending-wise.  Good pitcher; city way over the top from where I sit.  If you’re thrilled, thank Boston’s Epstein for Amaro’s decision; ‘Adrian & Carl’ coup set wheels in motion.  Earl Scheib, any car, any color – 29.95! (now that’s a great deal). 

  69. Dino says:

    If you “down on them” after a 97 win season – I can’t imagine you’ve been pumped about them a whole lot!
    The Lee trade, Howard k extension, Blanton extension etc.  I’m not a rah rah guy, especially when the organization makes stupid moves. My loyalty to the Phillies, and any team I root for, is not blind, and I’m proud of that.

  70. dude says:

    Ken:  I just saw that Werth comment also, via murph’s recount of the Lee presser.  I didn’t see the video yet, but the text conveyed a hillariously gentleman-esque “sucks for him” tone.  Loved it.

  71. Dino says:
  72. Chris McC says:

    Just watched a clip from Werth’s presser and he sort of had this look on his face like he was thinking, “what did I do…..I signed where…..I’m gonna kill Scott.”
    He did not look excited.  He looked like he just realized that he took money over wins and now he’s going to patrolling a cavernous right field in a town owned by one of the only pro franchises in America the seems to be more futile than the Nats.

  73. Dino says:


    @JWerthsBeard “No disrespect to our former right fielder… but we made the right decision” – RA Jr.

    WTF is that ?  RAJ is so freakin arrogant-no class

  74. Pete says:


    He was answering a direct question. I heard it live – it wasn’t class-less at all.

    How can you, or anyone, possibly say anything negative at a time like this.

  75. Pete says:

    An interesting interview with David Montgomery about how it all went down.

  76. Dino says:

    What was the question ?
    I’m not negative, but I am objective.

  77. Pete says:

    Q. Ruben, if Jayson Werth takes your offer, are you able to make this signing? 

    RUBEN AMARO JR.: I would probably say that I don’t think I’ve been smart enough to be able to do both things. At the same time, you know, we did have discussions about this internally with our scouts, the baseball people. Frankly, I don’t say this to slight our former rightfielder, but I think to a man we felt like this would have much more of an impact on our club moving forward because frankly I believe in pitching and defense winning championships. We’ve seen it over the last several years, that’s what wins World Series.

    If it comes down to a choice, frankly I’m pleased with the one we made.

  78. Pete says:

    that quote JaysonWerthsBeard said wasn’t even said

  79. Pete says:

    objective is def good and we encourage that here. but realism and perspective are encouraged as well. no team, organization, player or GM is perfect. for many people – the tendency is to jump on the negative instead of the positive – that’s a big reason why we started this blog. I’m absolutely floored at how many people (not meaning you at this point) reacted to the Cliff Lee signing with “why didn’t we sign him last year!?” Immediately to the negative.

    I was listening to Mike Missanelli, waiting for the PC to come on – and he decided to focus on already saying anything short of world series title would be an embarrassing failure. Already focusing on the negative. He even made the fans at his live show groan in unison to replicate how they would feel if we don’t win the series. He also started to insinuate that people could turn on the team if they didn’t.

    I feel sports are supposed to be fun. And we’ve had plenty of bad teams to be pissed about.  If you aren’t having fun with this team, you probably won’t.

  80. Pete says:

    Here is why we might not have to trade Blanton:

    The complete breakdown of Lee’s contract: 2011: $11 million; 2012: $21.5 million; 2013: $25 million; 2014: $25 million; 2015: $25 million; 2016: club option for $27.5 million that becomes guaranteed if Lee pitches 200 innings in 2015 or 400 innings combined in 2014-15. There is a $12.5 million buyout.

  81. Dino says:

    well that’s not the same as the Twitter quote I posted which was from someone else-not Jayson.
    It’s better, but that last sentence was unnecessary and was not responsive to the question.

  82. Dino says:

    Yeah Pete, but at the same time, Ruben represents the team, and being an employer myself, I would not like a high ranking rep from my firm voluntarily throwing in irrelevant and somewhat  contentious remarks.
    Perhaps he was responding to Jayson’s comment that “I guess they got their boy.”  Sometimes it’s better, for an executive, to take the high road.
    But, this does not have anything to do with the Phillies getting Cliff.

  83. Pete says:

    I’m certain he was speaking about the decision to pay for pitching rather than hitting.

    Agree to disagree I guess.

  84. Joseaulait says:

    14. If Lee sucks at the end of this contract, are we allowed to boo him?
    No. Never. And if you ever see anyone do it. Punch them in the face. Same goes for Halladay. If you take a discount to play here, you get a lifetime free pass in my book (not that I’m a boo-er).
    It is one thing to be pissed off at poor or, particularly, indifferent play. It is understandable to be furious at a front office that is totally incompetent (Mets -at least for Met fans.) It boggles the mind, sometimes, at the hate shown to certain players whose abilities desert them for a week or two. Enough Philly fans really are “the worst”, though the reputation is well beyond a reality that exists in most Northeastern cities. I have always loved the fact that tough, give-it-all players are greatly admired here, that the later, bloated version of Barry Bonds (another Elvis impersonator?) would not have gotten the adulation that he received in SF (Vick, despite his past, has at least a redemptive facade, that many, including myself, feel (or at least hope) is genuine enough.

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  1. [...] Cliff Lee and the Phillies got married again. It was a short break up, things have been reconciled and and are back to normal. Happy [...]