Thursday, December 17, 2009

Now Pitching For #34 Cliff Lee, It's #34 Roy Halladay

Now that the dust has settled following The Big Swap which has landed Roy Halladay in Philly, it's important to ask the necessary questions.

Atop that list is this:
"What is every Phillie pitcher's fascination with uniform #34?"

Is every pitcher who arrives in Philly overtly superstitious -- or is that red, pinstriped shirt w/ the red "34" on the back actually THE SAME SHIRT which has been passed from Ben Rivera to Keith Millwood to Gavin Floyd to Freddy Garcia to Cliff Lee and now to Halladay?

Image Preview
Ever since The Sarge left it behind, pitchers have been using #34 as a hand-me-down, the weirdness factor reaching its weirdness apex when #34 Floyd was traded for Garcia, who took #34 before Lee -- who'd worn #31 w/ the Tribe when he was winning the '08 Cy Young -- arrived and discovered that Rodrigo Lopez (who'd been with the Phils for approx. one month) was wearing #31.

Then, #34 Lee was traded and, since #34 was available ("hey! imagine that!"), Halladay took it.

Sure, we understand ... the number that Halladay wore for all those years in Tronno (32) is off limits in Fluffya, thanks to Lefty ... and #33 is off limits because it is jinxed by the Ghost of Wayne Twitchell and the Curse of Chad Ogea ... and Robin Roberts'll be #36 forever and ever and ever, but, seriously, fellas ... FOR THOSE OF US who care not to delve too deeply into contract negotiations and the numbers therein, uniform numbers are which concern us most.

And, quite frankly, some of the particulars of this Philly-Seattle-Toronto merry-go-round are confusing.

This much is clear: From what we can tell, this was not, by definition, a 3-way trade involving our beloved two-time defending National League champion Philadelphia Phillies. It's 2 unrelated trades ... acquiring Halladay in one deal; swapping Cliff Lee in another. There's nuthin' 3-way about it 'cuz we haven't seen a Seattle-Toronto connection.

Say it loud, say it proud: "There is no Seattle-Toronto connector!"

Are we wrong -- or should we allow Ruben Amaro and his biology degree from Stanford to explain it?

What we know: The Phillies reeled in Halladay from the Jays in exchange for minor leaguers, P Kyle Drabek, OF Michael Taylor and C Travid D'Arnaud -- and Lee was dealt to the M's for P Phillippe Aumont, P Juan Ramirez and OF Tyson Gillies.

See? No Toronto-Seattle connector!

Example: When BETHany (almost her real name) stops by "to be satisfactorily pleasured" on a Tues. nite and then goes home sometime 'round 3 a.m. ... and then when, at 7 a.m., Sherilyn (nearly her real identity) stops by on her way to work for some "servicing" before her Weds. workday begins, the events of that 9-hr. window DO NOT constitute a 3-way.

A menage-a-3-way would require a BETHany-Sherilyn connector.

Without it, it's merely two separate acts of fornicayyy-HOLY CRAP! That's right: Lee's out, Halladay's in, okay, umm ...

For the record: "Phillippe The Phillie" and "Gillies of the Phillies" are fascinating nicknames, although not as great as the days when Dave Philley was a Phillie (what are the odds?).

It doesn't hurt to ask, though: Why can't the Phils have their cake and Cliff Lee, too? (i.e., BETHany every Tues. nite/Sherilyn every Weds. a.m.)

The story we've already heard is that Biology Major GM couldn't swing a deal for Halladay last July (before the trade deadline) because nobody could decide which Phillie prospects would be turned into human sacrifices ... to die in Canada playin' before a half-filled Rogers Centre (what the natives once called "SkyDome").

So, rather than lose prized minor leaguers Drabek and Taylor, the Phils spent the Db4D ("day before deadline") packaging Carlos Carrasco, Jason David, Jason Knapp and Lou Marson in exchange for Lee and Ben Francisco.

At the time, it appeared to be a trade which benefitted both ballclubs -- however, "at the time," some of us fancied a greater opportunity (i.e., landing Cliff Lee AND -- boldfaced and underlined -- Roy Halladay) ... an opportunity which was squandered simply because BMGM (Biology Major General Manager) failed to think outside the box.

It was there for the taking, but we can be 97.48% certain that BMGM never uttered the words to the Toronto GM, "Well, Mr. Ricciardi ... howzabout Hamels for Halladay, straight up? And, because you have an honest face, I'll even throw in catcher Tuffy Gosewisch."

The ink on that deal woulda been drying 15 minutes after it was first proposed ... but, re-positioning toy soldiers on a miniature battlefield is more prolific in some people's minds ... and puffing out one's chest and bellowing, "You will not have Kyle Drabek!" makes some guys sound tougher.

The story we're going to hear is how Halladay and Lee together would not have been a viable option because both will need re-signing following the '10 season, blah blah blah, ya can't afford 'em both, blah blah blah ...

Okay ... so, deal with it AFTER THE SEASON.

After the second parade down Broad Street within a 3-yr. span ...

While some of us Phillie Phans detest discussions pertaining to the specifics of $$$ and $$$, we're common-sense-friendly enough to realize that renegotiating Hamels contract after his next five seasons of 13-11, 12-10, 11-11, 12-11, 11-13 is a real yawner.

And, we wish he was Toronto's problem for the next half-decade.

Newsflash: Cole Hamels probably doesn't have much left in the tank, so let's not pretend that he's going to pile up several seasons of 17-8 or 18-9.

The '08 postseason ended, like, umm, more than a year ago.

The scenario we're not gonna see at the end of the '10 season is $$$ which was previously tied up in Hamels, Martinez and Moyer (and you, too, Brett Myers -- 'cuz all four of ya would be "outta here!" as Harry liked to say) is now available to re-sign Halladay and Lee.

For a few moments today, Phillie Phan envisioned an Opening Day rotation of 1) Halladay 2) Lee 3) Blanton 4) Happ and [wait ... is there a No. 5 guy available? Are Moyer and Martinez part of the 2K10 Paradigm? >> Is Hamels the new closer? "Think about it" ... ]

It'll probably now end up as Halladay-Hamels-Martinez-Blanton-Moyer (unless Halladay gets injured during spring training and -- [trumpets blaring] -- Brett Myers is asked to start on Opening Day for the FOURTH year in a row.

It's too confusing to sort out the pitching staff at this point.

So, the next best thing is to keep our fingers crossed.

Seriously, "The Previous #34 Required During An Off-Season" (Garcia) seemed like a steal, given his credentials w/ the M's and w/ the Chisox. That guy was a consistent 14-17-game winner w/ acceptable ERA >> good gravy, that guy was The Second Coming of Joe Cowley, I shit you not, Mister ...

1-5 / 5.90 as a Phillie.

Well, this time, it'll be different because Halladay is a horse whose actually first name is "Harry."

In the annals of trades 'tween Fluffya and Tronno, there's no way it can ever match the train wreck from yesteryear: "Rob Ducey for Rob Ducey."

You remember: The final/fateful days of the Francona Era (2000) ... Ducey, batting .189 at the time, was shipped to Tronno for a player to be named later.

Five days later, the J's sent P John Sneed to complete the deal.

Five days after that, the Phils traded fan-fave Mickey Morandini -- in his second stint with the Phils after spending 2 yrs. with the Cubs (as part of the Doug Glanville trade) -- to the J's for a player to be named later.

Two days later, the J's named that player -- and it was Rob Ducey (2 for 15 -- .154 -- during his 5 gms. in Tor.) who was sent back to the Phils to complete the Morandini deal.


Rob Ducey was successfully traded for Rob Ducey.

What else didja expect from the Francona Era?

This time, it'll be different.

#34 is here to stay.

Unless there's another #34 out there who wants to come to Fluffya to wear #34 ...

+ + +

No comments: