First off, hats off to the Yankees and their fans. It was a fun series and the better team won.
With that said, this is what I think of the Phillies:
Good team, with a good core which just needs a few minor tweaks to contend for the next three years.
1. I would sign Cliff Lee to a contract extension. He is playing for the Phillies through 2010, but I would look to extend that to 2012.
2. I would look to sign Brett Meyers, who will be a free agent, but his injury will probably cost him a bit.
3. Tell Cole Hamels that he has 2 months vacation, but report to Clearwater early to learn how to throw a curveball. He needs a 3rd pitch. That may even mean a demotion to minor leagues for until he gets his pitch.
4. While Hamels is getting work, and you have Lee and Meyers as your #1 and #2 and Happ as #3, bring up Kyle Drabek (the guy we didn't give away for Roy Halladay).
5. Have faith in Lidge. 2009 was a tough season. He will bounce back.
6. Find a (reliable) left handed pitcher for the bullpen.
7. Sign Victorino to a multi-year deal.
8. Sign Blanton or part ways with him. My pitchers would be for 2010: Lee, Hamels (after he learns the curve ball, even if it means missing some of the regular season), Meyers, Happ, Drabek. That's your 1,2,3,4,5 pitchers, along with whatever minor league players we want to experiment with.
9. Find a better bat than Dobbs, Bruntlett, Francisco or Stairs - maybe time to promote Dominic Brown, another player we didn't want to give up for Roy Halladay. "Brown was hitting .303 (72-238) in 66 games at Clearwater with 41 R, 12 2B, 3 3B, 11 HR, 44 RBI and 15 BB. The 6'5", 200 lb. left-handed hitter owned a .386 OBP, .517 SLG and .903 OPS."
10. Don't panic. We have a good core and just need to make a few tweaks to be contenders again.
Andrew Tavani wrote up one of the best articles I have read about the Philadelphia Phillies Club of Hoboken. Here are the PDF files, and the picture above was from the front page of the paper.
Also in case you missed it, our club had two other write ups.
Just remember that next season we will meet once a week, every Friday night, at Mulligan's to watch the regular season Phillies games. I hope to see you then!