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Let's Talk Some Baseball

Philadelphia : PA : USA | Oct 23, 2012 at 7:15 PM PDT
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Michael Morse and Jayson Werth (L) of the Washington Nationals

I was reading a Time Magazine in the docs office today. It was published before the Nationals lost to St. Louis in the baseball playoffs. Let me preface what I'm about to say with the fact that I am a lifelong Phillies fan. Since I'm 56, I've seen a lot of bad baseball. Since around 2003, things changed a lot in Philadelphia baseball.

The Phillies lead all of baseball in attendence. This is an important fact. It is the reason why Phillies management will do what it takes to become World Series contenders again. They don't need to do too much for 2013.

I'm not impressed with The Washington Nationals. They made a big mistake shutting down their number one pitcher. They still would have lost, but what they did said a lot about ownership of that team. They said to their fans- "We don't care about winning. We just want to sell tickets". This "Natitude" thing they came up with is, well, stupid. What they wanted to do was drive away Phillies fans. They might have done that, but the only sell-out the Nationals had was the last game. That is pretty sad. Washington loves the Redskins, not the Nats. The Nationals are not going to sell-out unless they win the World Series. Two problems there- Atlanta & Philadelphia.

When the Nationals shut down their number one pitcher, they said to the Braves & Phillies that they think they are so much better than those two teams that they take for granted they will win the division again in 2013. I don't think they will.

The Phillies have owned the NL East for quite some time, and 2012 was just a a bad season, not a trend. The Phillies are still young enough to win several more division titles. The core of this team- Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, & Jimmy Rollins are all future Hall of Famers, & they know what it takes to win it all.

I enjoyed watching Jayson Werth look lost & defeated when his Nationals blew a 6-0 lead & ended up losing 9-7. It was epic, & it was telling. They don't have what it takes to win it all. Jayson Werth knows this. He doesn't care. He has five more years left on his contract with the Nationals. He already has a World Series ring from the Phillies. Our fans are much better, much more loyal than Nationals fans, or Atlanta fans for that matter.

Atlanta is on a decline. The Nationals peaked in 2012. The Mets?- not much going on there.The Nationals will not be able to keep everyone they now have & they don't have enough to win. If they are to keep their core players, they will need to take care of them very soon, because Washington can't compete with the dollars available from the Phillies or Yankees. This means a payroll that will be near the salary cap with just a very few players. They need to do this very soon, or these young players will test the free agent market. That is not something the Nationals can deal with.

I realize they have a couple more years before these guys become free agents, BUT, if they want to keep them as cheap as possible, they will work out a long term deal in 2013. Waiting any longer will cost them a lot more money & limit what they can do to add what they need to win it all. The Phillies did just that with Ryan Howard. We didn't overpay for him. Look at the Albert Puljols contract. That is what the Phillies would have had to pay if they waited.

San Francisco, St. Louis, & The Yankees have done great jobs staying contenders for many years. The Phillies have done that as well. I haven't seen that kind of action from the Nationals or Atlanta. They talk the talk, and that's about it.

The Nationals SHOULD be a very good team since they drafted the top players every year because of their pathetic record. So yeah, they should have a dynasty there. They don't. Injuries are the other thing that the Nationals haven't really had to deal with yet. Yeah, I know- Zimmerman & Werth were injured, but every team had at least a couple of injuries. It happens. You work around it. The Phillies need to make a few changes & I have no doubt that they will do that & with a healthy Chase Utley & Ryan Howard, will win the division in 2013. The Phillies pitching should get us through the playoffs to The World Series in 2013. I have no doubt about it. Will they win the 2013 World Series? I don't know. It depends how they match up against the AL champ. The only team The Phillies might not beat would be those pesky Yankees. The Yankees are winners, & I would be surprised if they don't win their division in 2013. Baltimore will go back to being Baltimore.

It used to be that the Phillies could only bring back the 1980 World champs & the 1993 World Series losers for our "feel good" history. Well, a lot of Phillies fans were not born when the team won in 1980, & the 1993 team, though loved, did not win. Now this generation produced the 2008 champs & ever since 2006 they has been playoff baseball. 2012 was the exception. This was Washington's chance. They chose not to go for it. Nationals fans will look back on 2012 and say "If we only had done this or that, or maybe not start celebrating with a 6-0 lead, thinking the game was over in the 2nd inning. Jayson Werth knew better than that & those wide-eyed rookies will not be looking to him as a leader anymore. They shouldn't. They need to claim their own team. Jayson Werth is not a Nationals champion. Jayson Werth is a Phillies champion. It is because of the Phillies that the Nationals overpaid, & I mean, REALLY overpaid for him.

All that said, if I were the Phillies GM, I would trade them Dominic Brown for Jayson Werth, PROVIDED that the Nat's pay a sizable portion of Werth's remaining contract. Werth is a good fit in Philadelphia. He is not a good fit in Washington. The Nat's would get a young player who is cheap & on the rise. We would get a guy who could help us now but not have to be the main man. Werth would do better in a support role, not a leading man. It is not his personality to be a leader & as long as he is in Washington, he will be the defacto leader because of age. It's a baseball thing.

For example: years ago, The Phillies traded Bobby Abreu to the Yankees for I don't remember who. It didn't matter. The new leaders- Rollins, Howard & Utley could not take over until Bobby Abreu & catcher Mike Liberthal were gone. Abreu was not a bad player, but it was time for him to move on. Liberthal never was all that good as a catcher. Carlos Ruiz, our current catcher IS good. Ruiz is one of the best catchers in baseball & has become a dynamic hitter.

On paper, you can look like a champion, but you need the right chemistry. Jayson Werth would once again be a good player in Philadelphia, but he is of no use to Washington.

I don't think that trade will happen, for a number of reasons, but it does make sense for both teams. Probably, the Phils either overpay for Michael Bourne, which I hope they don't do, or maybe somebody below the radar. Josh Hamilton is not a player the Phillies should look at. He is not a good fit for this team.

Juan Pierre had a great season for the Phillies in 2012, but he is not what we need. We paid him $800,000 this year. That was a bargain. He still has some baseball left in him, but we need someone with more power, so I don't expect to see him back in Philadelphia in 2013. Juan Pierre deserves & will get a lot more money in 2013 for a team that needs a guy who still has some speed & hits for average.

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RoyEisner is based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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