Philadelphia’s Top Headlines Have Become a Battle for Attention

July 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

PHILADELPHIA, PA—Lately, the media scene in the city of Philadelphia has become as common as taxes.

Just as one team makes an acquisition for a new star, another team makes a bold move to steal the spotlight. As one team makes a run towards the post season, another makes a questionable contract extension.

In the city of Philadelphia, the sports media culture has been in a constant tug-of-war match for the attention of their two favorite franchises: The Phillies and the Eagles.

This is no disrespect to the cities other two franchises, the Flyers and 76ers.

With the recent struggles of the Sixers and their dismal 27-55 record in 2009-10, they have remained out of the spotlight accept for on small occasions. In the case of the Flyers they must be commended for their run towards the Stanley Cup, but because of the fact that hockey is still a relative niche sport in America, they remain with a strongly secular and specific fanbase.

For decades now, the Philadelphia Eagles have been the major ticket in town. Their constant runs towards the playoffs and their high-profile moves have made for some of the largest crowds and media controls in the city.

Just as the Eagles were making their run for a permanent spot in the mindset of Philadelphians, the Phillies have quietly, since 2006-07, made a run as one of the strongest and fastest rising teams in all of baseball.

As the Phillies got better, their fanbase got bigger, and at times, began to dwarf in popularity to the big dog Eagles. The Phillies back-to-back-to-back NL East titles and their improbable run to the 2008 World Series, along with the opening of the brand new Citizens Bank Park, began to shift the focus to the Phillies in the cities popular culture.

This phenomenon has not gone unnoticed, as beyond the moves of the teams, a seasonal debate has brewed on which team will make the next move to steal the attention.

This week has become another chapter in this long going struggle.

Yesterday, the Phillies made a move for one of the highest touted pitchers available in Roy Oswalt. A move that has been debated for weeks finally commenced, and conveniently enough, just as the Eagles began their training camp with new starting quarterback Kevin Kolb.

Just four months ago, it was the Eagles chance to steal the spotlight. As the seasons do evidently change, so do the teams in their position of prominence in the media eye.

The Phillies began their 2010 season fresh off their second run at a World Series title in as many years. The day was April 5, and the Phillies were set to open their season in Washington to take on the Nationals, for them a huge time for media attention.

But for the Eagles, it was another chance to steal the spotlight.

The same day the Phillies began their third run at a title was coincidentally the same day the Eagles sent Donovan McNabb packing to division rival Washington. The deal to trade McNabb was not urgent and could have come at any time, but in the city of Philadelphia, where fans are constantly pulled for their attention between the two franchises, the Eagles felt it was time to steal the Phillies’ thunder.

The timing was not all that surprising, as the Phillies made their own questionable trade just four months before.

Throughout the Eagles 2009-10 season, their was heavy debate on whether Andy Reid was going to be given a contract extension to remain with the team. Reid’s extension was an issue that many thought would be addressed in the offseason, yet on December 10, the Eagles decided to announce Reid had signed a three-year contract extension to remain with the team through 2013.

At this same time, the Phillies were testing the offseason trade market in hopes to seal another piece of the puzzle for their upcoming season.

Not to be one-upped by the attention the Eagles were getting, the Phillies made their own blockbuster move to steal the spotlight, trading Cliff Lee to the Seattle Mariners and acquiring Roy Halladay from the Toronto Blue Jays.

Just more signs of the ongoing battle in the city of Philadelphia to retain and capture the attention of the Philadelphia faithful.

They call Philadelphia the “City of Brotherly Love,” and just like any siblings that vie for the coveted attention of their mother, both will do anything and everything to quench that desperate need for attention.


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Roy Oswalt and Philadelphia Phillies: Here They Come…Again!

July 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

On Thursday, the Philadelphia Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. completed yet another trade deadline blockbuster which may put the team back on top of the NL East in short order.

With the acquisition of former Houston Astros ace Roy Oswalt, it’s arguable the Phillies now boast the best top three starting rotation in the National League.

The injury bug has decimated the Phillies throughout season, with only a handful of games being played using the club’s top starting lineup.

In spring training, starter Joe Blanton and closer Brad Lidge suffered injuries.

Once the season got underway, it didn’t take Jimmy Rollins long to strain a calf in a pregame warm-up.

Placido Polanco got hit in the elbow in a game against the Atlanta Braves a few weeks later and ultimately landed on the 15-day DL in June.

Late in April, Ryan Madson got frustrated with his performance in San Fransisco and broke his toe kicking a chair.

As players returned to health, the starting lineup saw more setbacks.

Chase Utley broke his thumb trying to stretch a single into a double and Jamie Moyer hurt his pitching arm a short time later.

The latest casualty is center fielder Shane Victorino, who suffered a strained side muscle a few days ago.

Despite all the injuries, the Phillies have continued to go out and play hard everyday.

With a mediocre June, the club found themselves sitting in third place behind Atlanta and the New York Mets.

Since a four-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds before the All-Star break, Philadelphia has a 13-6 record including the current eight-game winning streak.

Even with all the injuries and setbacks, Philadelphia has played well enough to get within 2.5 games of the NL East leading Atlanta Braves.

Since Charlie Manuel became the Phillies manager, the club has earned the reputation of being an excellent second half team.

With this in mind, Philadelphia GM Ruben Amaro Jr. decided Thursday to throw down his cards and deal for Roy Oswalt.

With three top starters in Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels, the Phillies may have all the pieces in place to capture a third consecutive National League Championship.

Chase Utley and Shane Victorino are scheduled to come off the disabled list in three weeks.

The Phillies should, barring any other injuries, finally be at full strength just in time for September.

Stay tuned Philadelphia, here come the Phillies—again!

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Royal Pain : Grading the Roy Oswalt Trade

July 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

Roy Oswalt became a Phillie today in a prospect packed 3-team deal involving the Astros, Blue Jays, and the Phillies. Here are some moving parts from the deal that will help us find the correct grade for all 3 teams.

Phillies acquire
-Roy Oswalt(From Astros)
-$12 Million(From Astros)

Astros acquire
-JA Happ (From Phillies)
-Brett Wallace(From Blue Jays)
-Jonathon Villar(From Phillies)

Blue Jays acquire
-Anthony Gose(From Astros via Phillies)

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Roy Oswalt, Domonic Brown Keep Philadelphia Phillies Faithful…

July 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

Tomorrow night Roy Oswalt will take the mound in a Philadelphia uniform.

After the 32-year-old ace dropped his no-trade clause and accepted the move from the Houston Astros to the Philadelphia Phillies, Oswalt joins a team dedicated to winning. That is exactly what Oswalt is looking for, and he may be exactly what the Phillies need in order to win their second World Series in three years.

The Phillies were the clear winner in this trade with the Astros. The Phillies received one of the best pitchers in the league along with $11 million. In return, the Astros received J.A. Happ and two prospects, Anthony Gose and Jonathan Villar.

With Oswalt, the Phillies immediately jump into World Series contention.

Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels lead a Philly pitching rotation that could prove to be the best in the league.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. agrees as he said, “To have Roy Oswalt, Roy Halladay, and additionally Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton and Kyle Kendrick, we stack ourselves up as one of the best rotations in baseball.”

It is a rare luxury as a manager to sit back and think to yourself, “Who should I start tonight, the active league leader in complete games, a World Series MVP, or a three-time All-Star?”

Sure, Amaro, Jr., is rectifying a mistake when he let Cliff Lee go, but at least he realized his mistake, and made sure to go out there and get Roy Oswalt. This pitching rotation will prove to be something special, but that is not all that has people smiling in the City of Brotherly Love.

Dominic Brown, their new prospect called up due to a Shane Victorino injury, proved to be a success.

In his first at bat in “The Show,” Brown nearly hit a home run, but settled for a double. Brown’s major league debut was something special, as he went 2-3 at the plate, with two RBI and two runs scored.

Could this be a taste of the future?

With Brown having so much success in his first ever Major League game, we can be sure to see more of this young slugger as the Phillies look to win the NL East and contend for their second World Series title.

The Phillies are riding a seven-game win streak and look to continue tomorrow night at Washington against the Nationals.

With Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Shane Victorino, and Jamie Moyer all on the disabled list, Roy Oswalt and Domonic Brown are exactly what the Phillies need at this integral part of the season to continue their winning ways.

Even with all these injuries, the Phillies look as good as they have all season, but they’re not done yet. They are still 2.5 games back of the Atlanta Braves in the NL East race with two very important games against the Nationals coming this Friday and Saturday.

The Phillies should be thanking their lucky stars for Oswalt and Brown, who will prove to be essential in their mission to win the NL East and return to the World Series.

This team is on a seven-game winning streak with four of their star players on the DL; imagine what they will do at full strength.

And the cherry, or cherries on top, are Roy Oswalt and Domonic Brown.


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Roy Oswalt, Welcome: You’re Not in Texas Anymore!

July 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

I feel obligated to snap this off tonight.  The Tex Mex Phillies aka Astros are a much different team and Roy Oswalt deserves some advice upon his arrival.  Considering Houston is like our second home I would like to help him adjust once he gets to Philly (he pitches tomorrow night at the Nats for anyone who has been asleep).

Big Texas Howdy, Roy!  I hope this helps you as much as you will help us on our quest to the World Series!

  • There is no Original Momma Ninfa’s or anything quite like it anywhere in the area (and I mean it).
  • There is no Luling City or Goodes BBQ and BBQ in Philly is hickory or mesquite, no walnut and apple wood unless you search.
  • We do not go to the beach, we go down the shore.  Our water is more grey than blue-green.
  • Our stadium has no cover so be prepared to play no matter what.  Fire works look better here than at Minute Maid Park.
  • Philly fans love to love you and will not hesitate to hate you.  Houston fans just love having you and a baseball team in town.
  • Get a cheese steak anywhere.  Texadelphia is not a real cheese steak place despite what Houstonians think.  
  • Eat some real Italian food in South Philly
  • Take a ride to the Poconos –  America is not flat, just Texas.
  • Learn to deal with the Mets fans who invade our stadium like mad, crazy bees.  They can be a distraction.
  • Finally, ignore the boo’s.  We love having you here – we are just lacking that southern warmth.  we will make up for it in spirit.

The City of Brotherly Love guarantees you a parade you won’t soon forget when we win the World Series.


Advice to J A Happ –  everything above in reverse!  See you in Houston!


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Amaro Delivers Again With Oswalt Deal: Phillies Advance as Favorites

July 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

It must have been agonizing coming to work while taking the mound every fifth day, but this is what happened to a notable ace on a formidable roster in Houston, realizing misery reducing the reliance and excitement. They are a perfect landing spot for the disgruntled Roy Oswalt, a veteran right-hander who needed a change of scenery and a chance to contend for a championship.

The trade was bound to happen as the non-waiver trade deadline loomed ever so closer, but the Philadelphia Phillies weren’t the frontrunners in grabbing a stud pitcher to strengthen a depleted and wobbly rotation.

Philadelphia though is a town that can use a pitching tandem to solidify the starting rotation and take the pressure off Roy Halladay, a dominant strikeout specialist who easily can reach a historic milestone and shatter the 3,000 strikeout plateau.

At the moment, the Phillies benefit at the trade deadline, acquiring the necessary and impressive prize in retooling an essential department during a tight, tense pennant race. As we all know now, Phillies fans are thrilled and fortunate to witness the shrewd skills of Philies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr., who has a knack for stealing the biggest prizes on the market.

The brand of the Phillies is remodeling in the midsummer, a time when rumors run rampant, but it’s also a time Amaro revitalizes the pitching department. His blockbuster trades have become a habit each summer. He brought in Cliff Lee a year ago but later foolishly traded the former Cy Young winner to Seattle.

Months later, the Phillies were gusty buyers after landing Roy Halladay in the Cliff Lee-to-Seattle exchange. Amaro, Jr., has proven to be the smartest executive in a draining, complex business in positioning the Phillies as the favorite for a third straight World Series appearance in October.

Land an elite hurler and he’s referred as Mr. October, nothing more than an executive erecting prosperity to enrich the Phillies’ capacity and amass postseason supremacy. In the past year, no team has had much success as the Phillies, also in the past year, no team has pulled off the inconceivable moves like the Phillies.

All the busy days were a boon, when the Phillies were aggressive and intrigued an unhappy pitcher after he pleaded for a new home with postseason implications. He carefully weighed options and waived his no-trade clause Thursday to be dealt for left-handed starter J.A. Happ and two prospects, outfielder Anthony Gose and shortstop Jonathan Villar.

“I’m glad it worked out for both of us. I wanted to go to a contender, and Houston gets some good prospects in return who will hopefully allow them to build a winning team,” Oswalt said. “The hardest part about it is cleaning out my locker. I’ve been in the same place for 10 years and having to say goodbye and clean out the locker is the toughest part.”

The acquisition of Oswalt gives the Phillies an additional ace needed for a successful chase for the pennant.

“We’re trying to do what we can to get back to the World Series and win it,” Amaro said whose usual trend as general manager is reforming a much-improved club into World Series champs.      

“He’s pretty excited about coming here,” Amaro said.

In the end, apparently, the Phillies benefit in a convenient deal, collecting sizable cash and a three-time All-Star who has a 143-82 record in nearly 10 seasons with Houston, where he arrived after being selected in the 23rd round of the 1996 amateur draft.

“I’m at a point in my career where I just want a chance to get back to the World Series like I did in ’05 with Houston,” he told “I’m excited to be going to Philly. I love watching Roy Halladay pitch, and I think with him and (Cole) Hamels, the three of us can feed off each other.”

By trading for Oswalt, the Phillies, who currently trail the Atlanta Braves by 3.5 games, instantly rise into contention and can easily make a run at a third straight World Series appearance.

If the Phillies revitalize and return to championship form with good health and consistency, they could very well be a tough out in the postseason. But right now, the Phillies are anything but cohesive and healthy. They’re missing second baseman Chase Utley and outfielder Shane Victorino, two essential ingredients necessary for their postseason run.

In Halladay, Oswalt, and Hamels, the Phillies now have arguably the best 1-2-3 pitching combo in baseball. That means the expectations are higher than ever, and now they hope to reclaim sole possession of first place in the NL East.

Come on, it seems logical. When a team has an intimidating pitching staff, especially when there are two strikeout experts, that team—in this case, the Phillies—should be favored. Baseball is a game built around sturdy pitching staffs and durable bullpens.

Haven’t you noticed five pitchers have thrown no-hitters this season, including the hard-throwing Halladay? Of course, he’s now relieved with the reinforcement of Hamels and Oswalt. It’s almost surprising but amazing how Amaro has built a winning franchise.

The Phillies get to experience the excitement and jubilation of postseason success almost every fall because of management’s desire and hunger to make the necessary moves to stay in the pennant race. Isn’t that how it’s supposed to be, a team willing to win year after year after year?

In Philly, a franchise residing in the community is suddenly becoming buyers and taking notice of the Yankees traits in purchasing a primary slugger or pitcher at the deadline. That’s exactly how the Phillies are conducting themselves—as a high-marketed franchise with a dauntless psyche in dealing unheard-of prospects for ultimate players to win. In other words, the Phillies have grabbed brilliant ideas from the Yankees.

It’s just a thought.

It’s entirely a no-brainer that Philly is on an earnest pursuit. Still, a significant portion of players are signed to long-term deals, at least through 2011. Maybe that explains why Ryan Howard was given a contract extension, but rather surprisingly, his teammate and longtime shortstop Jimmy Rollins never was offered an extension. Oh, trust me he’ll be given an eventual extension.

By committing a silly blunder for dealing Lee, Amaro learned to appreciate the value and players’ contributions within the franchise. It’s unlikely that he’ll ever make such a clumsy mistake, one that had the Phillies fans gagging each time they’d bite into a Philly cheesesteak sandwich. But really soon, the fans will be enjoying those cheesesteaks while watching three top-tier pitchers dissect the strike zone.

Mark my words.

The Phillies can win it all this year, I wouldn’t doubt it.

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Phillies’ Ruben Amaro Forced To Correct Mistake With Roy Oswalt Trade

July 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

For all of you who don’t own a classics degree or obsessively watch The West Wing , this Latin phrase roughly translates to “after it, therefore because of it.”

It means one thing follows the other, therefore it was caused by the other. It’s a generality, and it’s not always true, but it outlines the intricate relationship between baseball transactions.

Casualty weighs heavily on the minds of baseball general managers this time of year. 

The moves some of them made during the off-season have positioned these men as shoppers, scouring the market for bullpen help and left-handed bats to bolster their lineups for the stretch run.

But for others, their mistakes haunt their depth charts and define every single thought that’s popped in their brain between July 1st and now. And between now and Saturday, their respective ears will be glued to their Blackberrys trying to undo the ill-conceived waiver claims and free agent signings of last fall.

Today, Ruben Amaro corrected his greatest mistake.

The Phillies general manager traded popular lefty J.A. Happ and two prospects, outfielder Anthony Gose and shortstop Jonathan Villar for the Houston Astros’ staff ace Roy Oswalt.  

Oswalt comes to Philadelphia after spending his entire career in the Astros’ organization. He boasts a career record of 143-82, with a 3.24 earned run average and 1,590 career strikeouts.  

On the season Oswalt holds a pedestrian 6-12 record through largely no fault of his own. The Mississippi native still owns a 3.42 ERA for the year, despite ghastly run support including a grand total of two runs scored in his last five starts.

The Phillies move signaled to the rest of the NL this team still considers itself a contender.

“We’re trying to do what we can to get back to the World Series and win it,” Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. told ESPN’s Jayson Stark.  

Sitting 3 and 1/2 games back of the NL East leading Atlanta Braves, Amaro pulled the trigger while the Phils are riding a seven game win streak and gathering steam for the stretch run.  

Jayson Werth is probably staying put and, for now, seems content. World-beater prospect Dominic Brown debuted with two hits in Shane Victorino’s place. Victorino, second baseman Chase Utley, and the ageless Jamie Moyer will eventually come off the disabled list. And now Oswalt will team with Roy Halladay to form Roy Squared—the top pitching duo in the NL.

There is no question Amaro made the right call with this deal.  

He saw a need and relentlessly hawked Houston Astros GM Ed Wade and and managed to pickpocket $11 million from Astros owner Drayton McClane in the process. He somehow kept prized minor league masher Jonathan Singleton. He shook the Braves’ playoff hopes to their core, and Bobby Cox’s crew must now fire a return volley and maybe do something not so smart in the process.

All in all, Amaro traded a much loved but over-appreciated young pitcher with No. 2 potential and two unknown quantities for a bonafide stud.  

But still, looming over all of this, Cliff Lee’s specter taunts the Philadelphia faithful with questions of what-if and sentiments of regret.

There is no question Oswalt will be good in Philadelphia.

The Phillies have the NL’s third-highest scoring offense. Oswalt’s slider is tailored for pitching against NL East teams. He is striking out batters at a career high rate. He brings a dominate fastball and a plus curveball that will befuddle hitters time and time again.

Amaro’s move, however, only rectifies the abysmal shipping out of Lee.

The Phillies traded Cliff Lee for what’s looking more and more like 45 cents on the dollar to preempt paying through the nose for him come this off-season. Yes, Lee will command more money than David Montgomery is required to pay Oswalt over the next two years but the Phils must now pay eight players $112 million in 2012.  

Unless owner David Montgomery is contemplating opening up the payroll, the financial situation two years from now is untenable.

Ignoring the winter rebuilding plan Amaro just aborted, and the money issue, this decision stings.  

The Phillies opened the off-season by winning the Roy Halladay sweepstakes, at the time, putting together a remarkable one-two combination of Halladay and Lee, a complete game accumulating machine with experience against their inevitable World Series foe—the Yankees.

The Phillies were a baseball superpower prepared to kill everyone and conquer the world like Charlemagne.

Then, all went awry and Amaro unceremoniously ushered Lee out of Philadelphia, stranding him in the baseball wasteland also known as Seattle.

They went from downright scary to merely formidable.

So now, Roy Oswalt is to effect as Cliff Lee is to cause. Oswalt is a the Phillies’ tender sent out into the storm to repair a gash in the hull that’s slowly been sinking this team’s title hopes all year.

You can’t blame Amaro for trying to correct his mistake. What you can blame him for is his lack of foresight and his wavering vision of this team. In one moment, he saw his team as a contender but one that desperately needed to restock a depleted farm system, rein in its spending, and hedge its bets. Now, Amaro has revised his message—this team is putting everything into winning—a message that runs counter to everything he did since the Halladay deal.

If you lose, you lose. But if you waste opportunity, if you don’t do everything you can to win, then you don’t deserve to play the game.

Maybe the presence of Cliff Lee on the 2010 Phillies eliminates the need to trade for Roy Oswalt. Still everyone east of the Allegheny can’t help but shout, “We could have had all three!”

And it would have been so easy.

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Roy Story 2: Oswalt Is Big Piece to October

July 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

The Phillies are last team standing on top at the trade deadline. Again.

This time last year, the Phillies added hot pitcher Cliff Lee of the Cleveland Indians, a grizzled lefty coming off a 2008 Cy Young Award. In the process, the Phillies dumped future prospects while bolstering an already decent rotation with 2008 World Series MVP Cole Hamels.

Lee added to his legend by posting a 5–0 record, 39 strikeouts in 40 innings pitched, and a 0.68 ERA in his first five Phillies’ games down the stretch to a stellar 2009 World Series performance.

The problem, to most diehards, was no World Series. Ruben Amaro Jr., the Phillies’ general manager, wanted to supplant the struggling Cole Hamels and helped set up a lethal rotation for years to come.

Another problem, was dealing with money. Aging veteran Jamie Moyer was owed $9 million dollars in 2010, and contracts wavering over hitters Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth put the organization into a corner negotiating the future of Lee.

Amaro solved his problems instantly by hooking his main fish–Roy Halladay, another AL Cy Young Award winner (2003) of the Toronto Blue Jays. The cost? Dealing more minor leaguers including first round pick Kyle Drabek.

The story of 2010 has been the roller coaster standings ride, frustrating fans and the Philadelphia media, entering the season with heavy expectations from two-time defending National League Champions. Aside from a subpar offense this year, the injuries to Jamie Moyer, J.A. Happ, and Ryan Madson have plagued the pitching. With Chase Utley shelved until Labor Day, they’ve been on brink of going over the edge in the standings or going overboard on selling the house, such as Jayson Werth, who becomes a free agent after 2010.

Now Amaro is going big or going home with this deal. Oswalt solidifies the rotation, and with the positive numbers on his career in the second half of the season, (56-16), there are reasons to get amped for a top of the line pitcher. He’s a few months younger than Halladay, and with playoff experience under his belt with teammate Brad Lidge, the locker room should gel in competing for that coveted third straight National League crown.

Questions will linger off of Oswalt and his endurance heading into the future. With his last ‘reported’ shot July 7, it seems coincidental that he pitched a one hit shutout against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

If fans want this chapter to close on a good note, look toward the near future. Chase Utley will return, Jayson Werth may pick up slack after a sluggish mid-summer form, bench players are collecting at bats, and the production of young Domonic Brown might be the best timing in energizing the offense that is now carrying the load for an impressive rotation, just a mere three games out of the NL East and Wildcard.






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MLB Rumors: Tejada to Padres, Brett Myers, Ted Lilly, and More

July 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

Hey guys, what’s up? Welcome to today’s MLB Rumor Mill!

After officially signing away his no-trade clause, Roy Oswalt has been sent to the Phillies for J.A. Happ and two prospects raising questions for many regarding last minutes roster changes.

With the ace pitcher of the docket many wonder who teams like the St. Louis Cardinals will opt for in the final hours of trade.

With Lee, and Oswalt settled with their new respective teams, who is next for an major league shift?

Will pitcher Brett Myers get traded?

Will Baltimore Orioles’ Miguel Tejada head to the San Diego Padres?

Who is in the race for Ted Lilly?

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Seeing Red: Roy Oswalt Won’t Improve Philadelphia Phillies’ Playoff Odds

July 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

It’s now official. Houston Astros ace Roy Oswalt plans to waive his no-trade clause, allowing a deal that would send him to the Philadelphia Phillies for J.A. Happ, and prospects Anthony Gose and Jonathan Villar.

Most see this as a move that solidifies the Phillies as playoff favorites. They’re starting to hit again, will get Chase Utley back from injury soon, and now have a consistent No. 2 starter behind ace Roy Halladay.

However, if Philadelphia wants to return to October glory, they’ll need to make at least one or two more moves before the July 31st deadline. Roy Oswalt will not single-handedly lead them to greatness.

Here’s why:

As of today, the Phillies trail the Atlanta Braves by 3.5 games. Roy Oswalt is atrocious against Atlanta. You do the math.

If the Phillies want back in the National League East race, Oswalt will have to have some success against the team Philadelphia trails in the standings, something he hasn’t managed to do so far.

Over his 10-year career, all of which has been spent with the Astros, Oswalt has been hammered by the Braves, who bat .354/.388/.543 against him. Against Atlanta, he is 0-3 with an ERA of 7.58, with a ghastly 1.787 WHIP. At Turner Field, Oswalt is 0-1 with a 6.97 ERA. Needless to say, he’s struggled against Atlanta.

His only success against the Braves came in the 2005 playoffs, when he gave up just three runs in 11.1 innings, so it’s possible he could hang with the NL East leaders.

The two other teams Philadelphia must compete with for positioning, not only in the East, but in the Wild Card race, are the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants.

Oswalt’s numbers against New York and San Francisco are not as horrible as those against Atlanta, but they are more pedestrian compared to his usual stuff.

For his career against New York, Oswalt is 5-5 with a 3.68 ERA. His .300 BAbip against New York suggests that those numbers have little to do with luck. His 2.88 K/BB ratio against the Mets is third worst among all National League teams he’s faced, behind only San Francisco and division rival Florida.

Against San Francisco, Oswalt has had moderate success. His ERA 3.59 is nothing to sneeze at, but his 2.88 K/BB ratio and 6.0 K/9 ratios against San Francisco are worst among all National League teams he’s faced. His .312 BAbip indicates a bit of bad luck, but when you don’t strike hitters out, they put the ball in play, and that leads to more hits.

In fact, the right hander has always struggled against playoff teams. Against teams above .500, Oswalt has a 3.86 ERA, a far cry from his domination of sub-.500 teams, which he holds to a paltry 2.77 ERA.

Of course, most pitchers are worse against worse teams. That goes without saying. But against teams with a winning record, Oswalt has been less than mediocre, going 47-49.

I’m not at all saying this was a bad acquisition. It was a steal for what Philadelphia gave up, but if the Philllies manage to make the playoffs in 2010, it will be because of a resurgent offense powered by the returning Chase Utley, and because of ace Roy Halladay, not because of Roy Oswalt.

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