I haven't done a Top Five in a while, so here you go...
You have had every pundit chime in the last week or two talking about the good, bad and ugly about the Roy Halladay trade to Philadelphia. Here's my .02 cents.
1. Love Cliff Lee. Solid guy, and if he wanted to play for the Phillies, i'd love to see that too!! But lets get realistic, you have Halladay who also wants to play in Philadelphia, is equal, if not slightly better than Cliff Lee...and isn't looking for a revenue busting contract.
2. I'm a fan of Kyle Drabek. I hate to see him leave, also. I think that kid COULD be a great pitcher...someday. Here's the key, Phillies fans: SOMEDAY. We don't know what we have with Drabek. He could be a Cy Young winner or some overhyped kid. We don't know if he will be good next season or in three seasons.
3. This is what we DO know with this trade - we have the Michael Jordan, the Wayne Gretsky, the Barry Sanders of this game. Will Roy alone carry us to a World Series? No. But he's a game changer. Lee was that same game changer, no doubt - but Lee didn't want to stick with us for the next 3 to 4 years. He COULD have returned after next year, but do YOU want the Phillies to get into a bidding war with the Red Sox & Yankees over Cliff Lee? I don't.
4. The Phillies basically have a limited window with their contracts right now. Mostly everyone is signed through 2011 (except Werth who becomes a free agent after next year, unless he signs an extension). Like I said about Drabek before...there's a "win now" mentality before the Phillies will have to go into a rebuild phase.
5. Phillies attendance and revenues have been skyrocketing in recent years, and note this from Sports Illustrated: "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. Their farm system is so flush that they could trade for both Lee (who cost them four prospects) and Halladay inside of six months and still have hay in the barn. Their attendance has risen 38 percent since 2006, climbing from 2.6 million -- ninth in the league -- to 3.6 million. Their payroll in those three years jumped 49 percent, from $88 million to $131 million and is likely to approach $140 million in 2010. Local television ratings for the Phillies on CSN Philadelphia, their regional sports network, soared 24 percent last year alone -- the team's seventh consecutive season with increased viewership. The Phillies' 7.13 rating and 210,000 average homes are team records. Only the Yankees and Red Sox reach more households with their local networks -- making the Phillies the most watched team in the NL."
Translation: Philadelphia LOVES baseball. You build a winning team, and the the fans respond. I have been going to Mets vs Phillies games since I moved up here, supporting the team when they were dreadful. Wearing my Phillies cap with pride for many a summer. If you are a fan like me, this is your time to enjoy watching probably the best Phillies team in the history of the franchise.
If we didn't face the Yankees this year, we may have had another World Series trophy. Who knows? But to be the best, you have to beat the best. Yankees were the best team in 2009, and getting Roy Halladay is part of the way that the Phillies are putting our team in a position to win another World Series in the next three years.