Jiminy Cricket, is anybody going to be left to play for this team next year?
Rumors have Lee, Victorino, Pence, Blanton, Pierre and Wigginton being traded at the July 31st deadline. Other rumors even have Doc hitting the road late this Summer. Polanco almost certainly won't be back next year.
Of course, these are just rumors. After their wonderful weekend in Atlanta the Phils probably won't trade more than four or five of these guys. Frankly, if they can get rid of Lee they should commit some of his money to Victorino, but that probably won't happen. Shane has begun to hit, a sign perhaps his wrist is feeling better. Yesterday, he stroked a home run from the left side from which hitherto he's been pretty awful. If he goes, next year's starting outfield could be Brown, Mayberry and Pence (if the latter doesn't go). If nothing else that's a threesome which will provide plenty of adventures.
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Cole Hamels affirmed his love for Philadelphia, the city that loves you back. (Is that the worst ad tag line in the history of tourism or what?). Everyone was thrilled, especially Cole but probably not necessarily Dave Montgomery and his silent partners. The contract was the second largest ever given to a pitcher and longer than any contract extension the Phils have ever granted anyone. Hamels celebrated by getting blown out in Atlanta, yielding a career high six walks in the process. But, hey, he's probably going to win more than his loses for the life of the contract and, after all, it's just money. I wonder if as the Phils' alleged brain trust considered the cash flow they factored on the likelihood attendance will drop during the years in which they rebuild? I'm sure people as smart as they are have done their homework. Look at the contracts they gave Ryan Howard and Cliff Lee, for example. Howard is paying serious dividends. Why only this past weekend he struck out in 8 of 11 plate appearances in Atlanta. Lee, meanwhile, has one win as of the end of July and is currently being shopped. I guess that means the boys in the front office have done their homework, provided of course they do unload him. If they have to eat part of his huge contract it would diminish the credit they deserve. Then, there is the matter of having acquired and traded him a total of four times in three years. If that doesn't speak of doing their homework I don't know what does!!