Apparently Mike over at A Citizen’s Blog had some choice words as to why the Mets aren’t the team to beat in the National League East this season. But wait a minute Mike, the Phillies didn’t win the East last season. They were just there to collect the prize, like they were the only one’s bidding on a product on EBAY. It took a historic collapse in the form of key players struggling, important figures on the DL or playing injured and an over exposure to the bullpen that eventually caught up with them.
So here are his key notes and below are my rebuttals to his, as he likes to put it, four good reasons as to why the Phillies shouldn’t fear the Mets in 2008:
Less we forget that those acquisitions were made under the Steve Phillips regime and how about the Carlos Beltran, Billy Wagner, Marlon Anderson, Jose Valentin, John Maine, Oliver Perez acquisitions? Should I go on with more players or do you get the point? This is a new era and a new General Manager, so that point is moot.
Way to downplay this one. It’s not just the addition of one player. It’s the addition of the most dominant pitcher of this decade, who pitches more innings, strikes out more batters and provides more protection than most every other starter out there and as a result it will provide the bullpen to not be used as it was last season and knocks down every other starter to take the pressure off of them. Can you tell me a better one through four in the East? Not likely.
Granted, Carlos Delgado isn’t getting any younger and he may be on the wrong side of thirty, but let’s look at your first baseman. Ryan Howard hit .313 in 2006, had 58 home runs and drove in 149 runs as well as striking out 181 times. In 2007 he hit .268, with only 47 home runs and drove in 136 runs as well as striking out 199 times. I think Howard had a little bit of a drop off. I’m not even going to get into the home runs because the Phillies play in a little league park to begin with. So before you sit and judge our first baseman, I would be a little worried that if pitchers had caught on to Ryan Howard and his ridiculous way of setting himself up to bat. Can he adjust? Was 2006 a fluke? Can he please strike out a little less!