Baseball is one of the denominations within the North American sports’ religion. A variety of souls within that zeitgeist are screaming that Cliff Lee might be dealt by Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr.
Would this front office pastor dare defy the baseball gods again?
While the streets won’t be filled with mobs looking to feast, the Philadelphia region will be reeling if, or when, Amaro trades Lee this summer. That single move, different than dealing Chase Utley, or Carlos Ruiz, who are set to become free agents, would signal that a full franchise transition is under way.
Even getting Jimmy Rollins to submit to a deal (as he’s a 10-5 man) wouldn’t create the type of backlash that a Lee deal would because ‘J-Roll’ is a good-glove, weak bat man at this point in his career. As everyone knows, Lee is still mowing down most men who approach the plate.
The 2013 version of Philadelphia’s baseball team is currently submerged under the .500 line. Imagine if Lee hadn’t been part of the scene this season and some John Lannan-type was working in his place. By all ‘rites’ the Phillies would likely be pushing toward 50 losses this week, which is where the horrid Triple-A (which is being kind) Miami Marlins are buried.
Thoughts about whatever return could be gained through Lee’s subtraction, or payroll space that would be opened for future use, is pure hooey.
Lee is a great pitcher, who’s likely to remain healthy and win games from now until the hereafter. If he’s traded, Amaro, his employer and the fans will almost certainly rue the day.