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The Phillies are turning into the Yankees

Dec 11, 2009, 9:26 AM EDT

That’s what Tom Verducci at SI is saying in light of their “aggressive” pursuit of Roy Halladay, the prize for whom they currently stand as the front runner.  He quotes Brewers’ GM Doug Melvin as saying that between the Halladay stuff and some of their other recent moves, the Phillies are “creating a powerhouse” in the NL, raising the bar for other teams just like the Yankees have raised the bar in the American League.

Or maybe the Red Sox. Says Verducci: “The Phillies represent the biggest growth brand in the baseball
industry, similar to how the Red Sox began to rise in 2003 under new
ownership.”  All that’s missing, it seems, is an equally aggressive and astute rival. As for now, the Mets are occasionally aggressive, but not all that astute. The Braves are the opposite.  The Marlins never seem all that interested in contending for more than a year at a time before tearing it all down and  the Nats need a lot more time.

Will this eventually lead to a rise in the NL’s fortunes?  Maybe too early to say, but we can say this: right now they stand as the favorites to land Halladay, and that’s without even putting their top prospects like Kyle Drabek on the table. At least not yet.  Verducci says that Philly is even exploring bringing in a third team to the deal. A deal they very obviously want to make happen. And that Roy Halladay wants to make happen too, according to various reports.

Halladay-Lee-Hamels as the top three. A lineup chock full of All-Stars. Maybe a new closer in John Smoltz.  Can anyone say Yankees vs. Phillies, part II?    

  1. Jason @ IIATMS - Dec 11, 2009 at 9:42 AM

    cue the pink hats.

  2. Alex - Dec 11, 2009 at 9:49 AM

    While I agree that the Phillies have created an elite brand in NL as well as MLB with the club they have built, the HUGE difference between them and the Yankees is that we have done it through trades and with our own players. Not throwing way more money than anyone else has at the best available free agents. Ibanez and Feliz were the only free agent starters on last years team including pitchers (Martinez was picked off the scrap heap for free practically). Even if they aquire Halladay, it was done through trading guys that we have cultivated ourselves. BIG difference from the Evil Empire. But I’ll take it as a compliment as a Phils fan that we have built something worthwhile and that should compete for years to come.

  3. Old Gator - Dec 11, 2009 at 9:50 AM

    Craig, you’ve been an ex-lawyer for no more than a week or so and already your heart is beginning to soften like a persimmon at room temperature. Your assessment of the Marlins management is so Bodhisattva-like in its compassionate understatement that I hardly recognized the cheapskate, grubby, fan-contemptuous bunch of New York mid-high-society carpetbaggers you were referring to. It’s true that they have no interest in competing, but I assure you that 2003 was quite the accident, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Jeffrey Loria went home after the party and realized the magnitude of his boner as soon as he sobered up: “Omigod, the fans are going to expect me to pay to maintain this level of competition!” (as opposed to 1997, which was a result of a hopeful and deliberate splurge by Huizinga and Dombrowski). They would like us to believe that as soon as Macondo Banana Massacre Stadium is finished, they’re gonna suddenly start shelling out the big bucks and building a winner on the odd amalgam of rule five reclamation projects, EYPs and the occasional “franchise player.” Right, and if you believe that, I have a structured settlement I’d like to sell you.

  4. Alex - Dec 11, 2009 at 9:51 AM

    Also would LOVE a Yankees Phillies part II……would be EPIC.

  5. Skip O'Rourke - Dec 11, 2009 at 9:53 AM

    Staying compeditive is now a sin? Philly fans filled the seats and have paid their dues. What’s wrong with the Yankees? We all want our teams to be a winner. Some owners appreciate their fans and do what an owner is supposed to do, spend money to get the best players, coaches, managers they can. Sure they fill their pockets with cash but we get to parade in our favorite player Jersey and say we are world champs. Yankees beat everyone this year maybe they raised the bar….

  6. Kelly - Dec 11, 2009 at 9:58 AM

    I think it would be excellent to have a high end Empire in the NL, make GMs get aggressive and inventive instead of, “hey, at least we’re not the AL East” when looking at not spending money and raising ticket prices and allowing legal scalping at Wrigley and…wait, different thread.
    I’ve always liked the Phillies as a club and a Halladay-Lee-Hamels is just downright filthy scary.

  7. Alex - Dec 11, 2009 at 9:59 AM

    Forgot Werth, but either way we are talking about role players on the Phils, not the players that make or break the team (A-Rod, Burnett, Sabathia, Tex)

  8. todd marlin - Dec 11, 2009 at 10:06 AM

    you forgot to mention that the phillies have a ton of offseason championship tropies in their showcases while the yankees have won a ton of world series trophies. There is no comparing garbage philly team to yanks.

  9. Big_Monkey - Dec 11, 2009 at 10:10 AM

    The Phillies have been, for the most part, a losing franchise for a long time. It only makes sense, with all these very good, young pieces in place, that they do everything possible to win championships now. The window of opportunity for most ballclubs is short. The Phillies must take advantage now. It’s their time now, the front office realizes it, and the all these moves make perfect sense.

  10. Alex - Dec 11, 2009 at 10:12 AM

    Haha….spoken like a true Yankee fan. In a conversation about current clubs and how they got there to somehow work in 27 championships. So predicatable. You probably don’t even live in NY.

  11. YankeesfanLen - Dec 11, 2009 at 10:14 AM

    With all due respect to all concerned, the NL needs a Universe. At least the Phillies are trying, and making a certain team that should be doing it look ridiculous over the past few years.
    And, if they have to be the Buffalo Bills of the 90’s in the 10’s, at least they got that far.

  12. Alex - Dec 11, 2009 at 10:17 AM

    I appreciate the somewhat backhanded compliment, but Buffalo Bills????? WE WON THE WORLD SERIES JUST LAST YEAR!!!!!!

  13. willmose - Dec 11, 2009 at 10:23 AM

    Oh yes. the Phillies just need to throw their jocks on the field to win the NL pennant this year.

  14. Mike - Dec 11, 2009 at 10:24 AM

    Cliff Lee was a salary dump, no different from the Yankees getting Alex Rodriguez. And remember the Core 4 Jeter, Mo, Andy & Posada were developed in the farm system as well as Cano, Joba, Hughes so a big part of the team that beat the Phils was home grown. The Phillies are no different than the Yankees or Red Sox. They are building their team with a mixture of home grown, free agents, and trades (yes some of them are salary dumps). When the Phils home grown stars are in their 30s the Phils payroll will be over $170 million or else they will lose their home grown players.

  15. smokehouse - Dec 11, 2009 at 10:32 AM

    They have to expand their small park. They sell out every game with many, many left without ducats.

  16. Alex - Dec 11, 2009 at 10:34 AM

    I agree with you that the Yankees “Core” guys are home grown and they were def played better in the WS, but the $250 mill in one offseason is not something any other team could do. Honestly though I dont hate the Yankee way. They want to win like everyone else and have the means to do so. It is more the system that allows them to do things like that that may be at fault. I really just dont like Yankee fans. Mainly because they are like Todd above who can’t go three sentences without mentioning 27 Championships……what does that have to do with today??

  17. Jonny5 - Dec 11, 2009 at 10:41 AM

    Not only do the Phillies want Halladay on their team……. The MLB wants Halladay to become a Phillie. MLB has needed a NL- AL rivalry of this caliber for some time now. This equals more $$$$$ for everyone if this plays out. Who wants to see world domination by one team, or one league??? Not very interesting is it? Add this one player to the Phillies and there will be a huge difference in ratings to MLB for sure. We all know this is their major concern anyway made evident by last seasons play off schedule.
    Wow!!!! Old Gator!!! No “Feelys” No “Horse meat and Whiz” comments?? Just as a very good singer once belted out “It’s been a looong time comin’, and change gonna come, Ohhh Yes it will”….. For most of you “whipper snappers” of my age group, That would be Sam Cooke. ;>)~ I know Old Gator knows his stuff. The Old Fart….

  18. RM - Dec 11, 2009 at 10:56 AM

    Don’t compare the Phillies to the yankees. 27. Just a waste of an article.

  19. Pat - Dec 11, 2009 at 10:57 AM

    The notion that the Yankees are only built through free agency just shows the ignorance of most fans and the media who fail to correct this notion. The main portion of their team was built through homegrown players and the draft. Yes, they signed the three biggest free agents last year but they represented 3 of only 8 free agents on last years team, the others being Damon, Matsui(who was resigned after his orignal contract expired with the team), Pettitte (coming back from Houston), Arod (opted out of a contract that they traded for) and Molina the backup catcher.

  20. sg - Dec 11, 2009 at 11:01 AM

    you don’t like yankee fans because they can’t go 2 sentences without bringing up the 27 championships? what does it say about fans like you who can’t go 2 sentences about the yankees without refering to them as the ‘evil empire’? hypocrisy is ugly. isn’t it.

  21. Alex - Dec 11, 2009 at 11:07 AM

    As you see lower down I acknowledged that, but none besides Mo or Jeter (who was invisable in the WS) are key parts of that team. All the other FA’s you and i named are the guys that make the Yankees go. My real gripe though, as RM so thoughtfully provided an example, is with idiot Yankee fans who use that horse shit line as a crutch. I love the riverly that is being created and hope it continues. Just wish Yankee fans had more to contribute to a conversation than an meaningless number.

  22. Joebob - Dec 11, 2009 at 11:10 AM

    don’t say we…you have nothing to do with it.
    phillies now are like the yankees of the late 90’s with a nice group of homegrown talent. What you will see going forward is that if you wish to maintain that core, you too will have to spend $$ to keep it intact.
    when utley, howard, lee, werth, rollins etc. are free agents, you will have to pay them and then you will see just how much like the yankees you are or aren’t.

  23. Alex - Dec 11, 2009 at 11:12 AM

    Haha i see your point and I would actually love the moniker if I were a Yankee fan. But your right though I shouldn’t have used it being a Philly sports fan and knowing how obnoxious and lazy I feel it is when people mention throwing snowballs at Santa and booing like we are the only town that boo’s. Had i known “evil empire” was the same for Yankee fans I wouldn’t have used it. Was just trying to spice it up. haha

  24. DiamondDuq - Dec 11, 2009 at 11:14 AM

    Alex, that actually makes the Phillies dumber in many ways. Sure the Phillies may acquire players through trade but eventually, next year in the case of Halladay and Lee, they have to pay those players free agent money anyway. The Yankees on the other hand, hold on to their own players, Joba, Hughes, Montero, and pay the players they want as free agents. Essentially they’re ending up with around the same outlay in cash, relative to the players, without giving up the prospects that the Phillies are. Look at your last post, #16, talking about spending $250 million in one off season is probably close to what the Phils will have to pay to keep Lee and Halladay, at least 5 years and $100 million a piece. On top of that, those “core” guys that were homegrown for the Yankees make up nearly 40% of their annual payroll and have been compensated for their contributions, not bought in free agency. As far as “the players that make or break the team”, how far would the Phils have gotten last year without Lee? Enough said!

  25. Alex - Dec 11, 2009 at 11:16 AM

    Grow up with the We talk. Obviously I know i am not on the team, but it’s the easiest way to distinquish my point of view (a Phillies fan). You have a good point and your right, I am worried about after 2011, but just leave it at that. Don’t ruin it with pettiness.

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