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The Philadelphia Phillies Need A Strong Start
By Clayton Ruley

If the Phillies want to celebrate a fast start would certainly help!

No more sub .500 month in April for the Phillies! That's what I want to see because with the Mets addition of Johan Santana there will be even more competition in the NL East and the Phillies can't afford to warm up to playing good baseball! The Mets now have the memory of the biggest collapse in baseball history fresh in their minds and will likely use it as motivation which can be a scary thing!

The Phillies improved their starting rotation and bullpen with the addition of Brett Myers to the starters and the acquisition of Brad Lidge as a closer. I don't like only adding an often-injured Kris Benson to the roster especially when a proven winner in Livan Hernandez goes to the Minnesota Twins for 5.5 million! Stop being cheap Phillies! We are depending a 2nd full year player in Cole Hamels to stay healthy, Myers to return to a starters' role and a 45 year old player in Jamie Moyer as a 3rd starter and that's a big stretch!

While Moyer is a junkball pitcher he can still be simply outdated this coming season and with good reason! The team also has Adam Eaton's overpaid self still on the team and the fifth spot is up for grabs.

The bullpen did re-sign J.C. Romero and that was big but can we expect Ryan Madson to be effective? Tom Gordon to not give up the big homers that have plagued his existence in Philly! It's hard to believe that a team who has aspirations of winning a division let alone a World Series would do this!

The team is really depending on their starting line-up to win them some games as they've done in the past and that's a hard way to win games especially in the playoffs like they should have seen this past year playing the Colorado Rockies. The pick up of third baseman Pedro Felice was nice because he can hit a little and plays a really nice hot corner and Geoff Jenkins will help replace the production of Aaron Rowand in the outfield.

We will miss Rowand's attitude but he wasn't worth the money he got from San Francisco especially because last season was his best season and he wasn't even the third best player on last year's Phillies team.

"Pay him... Pay that man his money." - Teddy KGB, Rounders

The likelihood of shortstop Jimmy Rollins repeating his MVP performance shouldn't be depended on and the team need to resign first baseman Ryan Howard to a decent amount (say 9 million) a season to make peace and break the bad feelings up! If so the team can have one of the best infields in the league and one of the most productive! Chase Utley must stay healthy and step up in the big games (he didn't versus Colorado) but his game should be fine and he could be MVP!

Charlie Manuel still isn't the one of the game's top manager so he needs as much help as possible. And with help I mean some talent! It's true that the team did bond towards the end of the season and gave us some great baseball but I do think the administration could have done more in the off-season to make themselves instantly better starting the season.

Any questions, comments, suggestions email Clayton at

A fan celebrates Jimmy Rollins magical MVP Season. Can he do it again?



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