The Phillies Girl Returns

 

No, this is not a dream. It’s not a mirage, and you aren’t brainwashed (by me at least).

You’re reading this correctly.

I’M BACK.

While unable to cover the Fightins in 2012, I just lived a baseball season to remember. I spent the summer in the company with some of my favorite athletes, writers and broadcasters. While the end of the season ended… well, less than favorably, I have to say, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Under normal circumstances, I’d say that taking the season off from Phillies writing would severely depress me. However, I think that actually blogging this season would have done irreversible damage to my precious psyche.

Alas, it’s time to put the past where it belongs: behind us.

With no MLB games this time of year, I pretty much want to fling myself from every building in the vicinity. This winter is blowing a particularly cold wind into Philadelphia, and change is upon the Phillies. No longer the top contender in the division, the NL East has become much stronger and far more competitive.

I won’t beat around the bush. There is no quick fix for the Phillies’ woes of 2012. Add a list of ailing players and the team’s average age of 28.1 years old (one of the collectively oldest groups in MLB today) to the fact that there are more than a couple positions that need to be filled if they want to contend next year. The ever exciting Winter Meetings set to begin the first week of December, Ruben Amaro Jr. and Co. are going to have their work cut out for them before pitchers and catchers report.

There are a lot questions that need to be answered. Who will we see in the outfield? Third base? When is Raul Ibanez coming back? What exactly does Ryan Howard order when he goes to subway? How many alligators will Doc be wrestling in his spare time?

You know… the important stuff.

The World Series trophy has been hoisted, but in my world, baseball never ends. I’m back, counting down the days until Spring Training, and making each non-baseball day a little less painful. Or, attempting to, at least.

That’s right, people. The Phillies Girl has returned, and she’s ready to tell all… again.

1 Comment

This is what I’m worried about. For the last four or five years now, GM Ruben Amaro has been so enamored with making the “big splash” whether it makes sense or not. It’s no secret that I was very vocal in my disappointment of signing Cliff Lee in ’09 when I was really hoping they’d get third baseman Adrian Beltre — who was coming off a really good year in Boston.

Fans are obviously going to clamor for the “quick fix” like Josh Hamilton or Michael Bourn — which are two signings that’d make splashes but don’t exactly solve problems. There are maybe two guys on my list of “gotta sign” free agents. B.J. Upton, who you know I’ve been talking about for weeks. Before a few days ago, I would’ve been okay with Delmon Young, but I get a sense his harrassment and anti-Semitic slurs won’t go over too well with … I guess any fan base at this point.

At third base, Youkilis’ name is getting tossed around, and while I wouldn’t mind having Youk in a Phillies uniform, it HAS to be at the right price. Understand what you’re paying for Ruben — a post 35 y/o 3rd baseman who’s batting average hovers around .240 (despite his over .700 OPS). If Youk isn’t there, just give Placido a minimum contract. No overpaying guys over 33, Ruben. We’re paying the price for that as is.

If Ruben really wants to make a splash, then trades are gonna have to be the way to go. Honestly, I think Cliff Lee still has value in this league. I floated this trade around the Twitter-verse, and got postive feedback. If you called the Boston Red Sox and said “Lee for Ellsbury straight up” and the Sox said “Sure. No problem.”, I think you do that.

No matter what happens this off-season, it’s the beginning of what’s gonna be a LONG rebuilding process. I’d rather not make things worse long term in an attempt to right the ship in the short term — because the NL is a helluva lot better than it used to be and getting to the Series is gonna be ridiculously difficult.

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