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Why the Phillies have to get Carlos Beltran- and FAST!!

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The only run the Phillies scored Saturday afternoon was on a home run.

From their starting pitcher, Cliff Lee.

To be fair, Braves’ starter Tommy Hanson is among the league leaders in ERA and clearly is not the same guy the Phillies tattooed several summers ago. Hanson has clearly come into his own.

And so have the Braves.Beltran (without question) makes your offense better overnight. Photo: www.rotoprofessor.com

Let’s be honest, the only reason the Phillies are ahead of Atlanta in the standings at this time is because the Braves got off to a rocky start.

Get ready everyone, because if these two teams meet in the NLCS (which is a possibility), the last two games you have watched will be a sign of things to come in October. Both team’s pitching, hitting, and relief corps are nearly identical, and each game played so far this weekend could have gone in either team’s favor.

I don’t know about you, but it’s going to be pretty embarrassing if we have to see the big, bad Phillies with their three all-star pitchers get upset yet again in their attempt to reach the World Series. Their toughest opponent will most likely not come out of the American League this Fall, it will be a team in the NL. If the season ended today, the Phillies would play the Giants in the NLDS.

And that’s in the first round!

Which is why the Phillies need to make a move that would not only put them a notch above the Braves and the Giants, but it might just make them the absolute favorites to win the whole thing.

It just so happens that yours truly will be travelling to Citi Field next week to see the Mets and Phillies.

If given permission, I will gladly bring back Carlos Beltran. And yes, I can put Vance Worley in the passenger seat.

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I know I’m revisiting an old post here, but after watching Saturday’s game, it just hit me: This deal NEEDS to happen.  Who would you have rather had at-bat with the bases loaded Saturday in the bottom of the 10th inning? John Mayberry Jr.? Or Beltran?  I know that’s an insulting question and I apologize, but you feel me.

Truth be told, who is completely sold on Domonic Brown?  Is he the next Darryl Strawberry? (minus the personal issues), or the second coming of a young Lonnie Smith?  

‘Skates Jr.’ is incredibly shaky defensively, and is developing an early penchant for losing his footing, on the base paths and out of the batter’s box. Either way, he’s clearly not the answer at this particular time when you are trying to win a World Series. If the Phillies don’t see this, there is something wrong here.

As for Worley, he was never considered a highly touted prospect. He might turn out great, and he might not. Josh Outman could be a Hall of Famer when all is said and done, but the bottom line is that the Phils traded him for Joe Blanton and they won a World Series. The Phillies will still have Roy Halladay, Lee, and Cole Hamels next season, and possibly Blanton if he is healthy and/or isn’t traded in 2012, so it’s not like the rotation is relying on Worley. Moreover, the Mets need young pitchers, so it’s a good fit. Whether they would want more for Beltran other than Worley or whether they would even want him remains to be seen.

Beltran is a complete difference maker. We razzed Pat Burrell when he was here, but the Phillies were a formidable offense with Burrell as well as Jayson Werth for a short time, and Beltran has more talent than both of those guys combined. Hitting behind Ryan Howard, Beltran (without question) makes your offense better overnight. Make no mistake, Beltran is 34 years old and would only be a rent-a-player for the duration of 2011. The Fightins will not even consider offering him a contract in 2012.Ryan Howard

Although Beltran is a step slower these days, his 27 doubles lead the league, and his 13 homers along with his 58 runs batted in and .288 average are nothing to sneeze at either. Beltran will be playing for a contract, and we all know how he played in the 2004 NLCS when he was trying to get a contract.

If you don’t remember, let me refresh your memory: an average of over .400 with eight home runs and 14 RBI’s in just 12 playoff games that year.

The one road block in possibly getting Beltran is the salary of $6 million the Mets owe him, which might be too hefty for the Phils. The Mets need to dump salary, not take on salary. If you’re the Phillies however (and I know I’m playing with monopoly money here), what do you say to Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay, who took less money to be in Philadelphia to try and win a championship? ‘Sorry guys, we just can’t get this missing piece?’  They know the crap they took when they shipped Lee out of town for (technically) $9 million dollars. Do they want to deal with that again?  And how about the backlash from the fans? Will they keep coming when the novelty of the Phillies wears off? Will the Phillies’ start to get labelled as underachievers if they can’t win another World Series?  

Assuming the Phillies’  injured players recover (and there MANY injured players) and nobody else drops, the Phillies are thisclose to realistically winning the World Series. They have the best record in baseball despite all of their setbacks. Sure, they will be in contention for the next few years nonetheless, but your best shot is this year with all of your pieces lined up. So much has been invested in this pitching staff and the fans have invested so much in this team. Will one more piece break the bank? Or better yet, do you want the Giants and Braves getting him? Because the Mets closed out the break in San Francisco, Beltran is flying to the All-Star Game with the Giants for God’s sake, so lord knows what kind of crap Brian Wilson is saying to him...

If Beltran goes to either one of those teams and it comes back to haunt the Phillies, Ruben Amaro’s job might not exactly be on the line, but there will be some grumblings as to whether he can put together all of the proper pieces needed for the Phillies to win another championship.

Don’t let $6 million dollars be a factor in getting upset again in the NLCS, Ruben.

Make it happen.

Please?

 

Joe Vallee is a lifelong Phillies fan and former Phillies batboy. Joe has claimed to have seen about 98% of every Phillies game since the early 1980's.

Contact Joe at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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Photo: www.rotoprofessor.com