First Phillies fans should applaud the work of their front office. They can go back a little over a decade with the drafting of Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Jimmy Rollins. Look at the incredible free agent signings and rule 5’ers such as Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth, Raul Ibanez, etc. But most of those moves were conducting by either Ed Wade or Pat Gillick. The two were quite good at evaluating young talent and realizing (in physics talk) the potential energy of under the radar players.
Ruben Amaro has the most difficult job of any of the recent ‘Fightin’s’ general managers. He is bestowed with a good to great team, with young talent. Now his job is to make sure it maintains if not continues it’s meteoric rise. It’s easy to be good when little is expected of you (Ed Wade). It even easier to be good when following an act that was chased out of town (Pat Gillick). The hardest thing to do is sustain success while comparisons to your predecessors are always close at hand.
The Phillies will enter 2010 the odds on favorite to retain the National Crown. The Phillies unlike the Dodgers or Mets have not been hampered by domestic drama as in LA or financial, health, and the normal city drama that surrounds the Mets.
Most figured the Mets to make some moves. As of posting this I am aware of two moves and both players are expected to miss extended time with injury. The Dodgers have been a little more active this off-season but if Frank McCourt had to do a book report on “How I Spent My Winter Vacation”, it would read as such; Chaptor 1…Randy Wolf re-signing, Juan Pierre leaving; Chapter 2-10…the on-going tabloid stories surrounding his crumbling marriage.
The Cardinals have been silent and I’d call the ghost town of the off-season if not for the Cubs, who seem so gunshy about making another mistake; they’d allow their biggest mistake to be inactivity [heck that would be better than another Milton Bradley’esque signing].
The Giants have done nothing to prove that they are more than a one trick pony, unless Matt Cain learns to pull a rabbit out of his hat. The Astros, while always a fun team and one not to overlook still lack pitching up and down.
So with the off-season nearly half-over (pitchers and catchers report in less than two months) the Phillies are the winners of this off-season.