Here's what it boils down to for me. Several years ago a young minor league first baseman was the subject of EVERY Phils rumor because Jim Thome was blocking his path to the majors. As fate would have it, Thome got injured and a young guy who was tearing the ass out of the minors finally got his shot. That guy??? Ryan Howard.
Need more proof? Look at what our minor league system has been doing lately -- Jimmy Rollins, Carlos Ruiz, Howard, Utley, Victorino, Cole Hammels, Ryan Madson, JA Happ - all guys came up through our system and still play in Philly. Don't forget David Bourn (Houston), Gavin Floyd (White Sox) and Gio Gonzalez (Oakland) who also came up through our system. Our once laughable minor-league system is now an MLB producing machine. Bottom line -- I'm not ready to deal the highly regarded Kyle Drabek, Dominic Brown or Michael Taylor for Halladay, and getting Halladay will require AT LEAST one of those guys. Rookie sensation JA Happ is a guy I would move, but I believe Ricciardi will want Happ, in addition to one of the aforementioned (Drabek, Brown, Taylor) and another mid-level prospect or two. As my boy Derrick pointed out, the playoffs usually consist of 3-4 man pitching rotations, so if we can add another quality arm, I think we'll be good enough. The Phils have one of the most explosive line-ups in baseball, which means we will not only score runs, but we just need our starting pitching to be good enough (and our bullpen to be great) to win ballgames. Halladay, is a 32-year old horse, with almost 2,000 innings of mileage on his right arm and he is only signed through next season. Personally, I'd rather take my chances dealing for a Kyle Loshe/Joe Blanton-type as my #3 guy, than give up the farm for Halladay.
In other news -- can you believe the Eagles report to Lehigh on Sunday? What have they waited so long for? Word on the street is that talks with Jeremy Maclin, our highly touted #1 pick, are heating up and he should be in on-time. The Eagles haven't had a first-round pick hold out since Clinton administration.
How sweet to hear the Flyers will be ringing in New Years up in Baaaston with a game at Fenway Park . Yes, you heard me right -- on January 1 the Flyers-Bruins will get it on, outside in the cold, at Fenway. I could do New Year's in Boston.
The Dawgs received a huge commitment yesterday from the #2 rated DT in the country, which is even bigger when you consider they are losing their top 3 DT's after this season. Garrison Smith announced his intentions to attend UGA (AKA - GOD's country) next year. He becomes the 15th commitment for the 2010 class. Was talking with HOJO and it's amazing how strong this UGA class is shaping up. Granted, verbal commitments are non-binding but there are still a number of top-notch prospects that UGA is going after and adding those to an already strong class has me frothing (again).
In other news:
- Anyone watch the TO Show? I watched about 7 minutes and quickly realized I had just used seven minutes of my life and I will never get those back. It is so evident that he is trying to set-up life post-football, which I believe will happen in two years.
- Amazing that DeKalb County home prices have gone down, but taxes are going up - awesome!
- Great second episode of Entourage. Lots of Ari, less E = GREAT TV
- Did anyone see this story? Crazy stuff - http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=4339343
- Shaq is going to be on Monday Night Raw next week
- MCAAAAAAAA, here's hopin' you get healthy and get back on the mic soon... http://www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/Music/07/20/beastie.boys.cancer/index.html
- This is one of the coolest things I saw this week. Travel firm Cox and Kings has chartered a Boeing 737-700 aircraft to give people the chance to see a Solar Eclipse from 41,000 feet
Experts will be on board to explain it to passengers, some of whom have paid 1,600 dollars for a "sun-side" seat on the three-hour flight from New Delhi. The eclipse's shadow is expected to pass over the aircraft at 15 times the speed of sound (Mach 15), said Ajay Talwar, president of the SPACE Group of companies that promotes science and astronomy.
- This is a pretty unbelievable feat...I tried it once but dislocated my hip. Kids: please do not try this at home... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXoqfIU0C6Y