The Hunt-er For Competitive Baseball

Posted: July 27, 2011 by dontbeskerritt in MLB
Tags: , ,

Thanks to the NFL Lockout and the mundane and annoying lockout updates that I was forced to sit through in the heat of the summer, my love for baseball has been rekindled. I don’t if it’s me just growing older and appreciating the pace of the game, similar to an old head enjoying scotch instead of young boy throwing back shots Bacardi 151, but baseball has found its way back into my heart. I live in Philly, so the talk of the town is the heavily favored Philadelphia Phillies, with their Big 4 pitchers of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and Roy Oswalt (though you can throw in “Vanimal Vance Worley now), along with sluggers Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, and Chase Utley. I definitely don’t root for the team, but I can’t really hate on them either….
…Except if these guys get Hunter Pence. You see, the Phillies have an Achilles Heel – their lack of right-handed hitting. It would be like buying an Audi A5, but you throw some goodwill tires on them. Car looks nice and rides great, but at any moment you could be sitting on the side of the road with a blown-out tire. That happened to the Phillies last year in the NLCS; great pitching with Halladay, Hamels, and Oswalt but they couldn’t hit at all against the Giants, who scraped together enough runs to win the series. Now the Phillies have even BETTER pitching, but still can’t hit. Pence would solve those problems with his .309 average, 11 home runs, and 62 RBI. Oh, can throw you out at home from North Philly, as his 9 outfield assists prove. And he is doing it all on the Bad News Bears of baseball, the Astros.
So of course the Phillies should try to trade for him. They already stole Lee from under everyone’s nose, traded for Halladay and Oswalt in the span of 2 years, have grown Hamels into a force, and have kept Howard, Rollins, and Utley together. I don’t want to stop the Phillies shine; let them be great. They have a plan and they execute it well. It’s not their fault their smarter than everyone else.
My problem is that they can actually be able to put together this super team. I have a bigger problem in that it seems like only 4 teams really can. It’s the same 4 you hear about at the end of every season; sometimes you get a surprise like the Tampa Bay Rays, but it’s few and far between. What makes the NFL superior to MLB and helped the football surpass baseball is that everyone has a chance to win…unless you’re the Buffalo Bills. What made this NBA Season so great is that you knew that Miami’s super team actually had a chink in the armor; you just wanted to see if a team could expose it. But in baseball, the super teams become more powerful, while the peons suffer in the unforgiving heat of summer and Halladay fastballs. As much as the Phillies need Hunter Pence to solidify their World Series run, baseball needs to get back to some sort of competitive balance to keep my interest for years to come.

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