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Lee to The Phillies: Team Chemistry Not Something to Mess With

NEW YORK - APRIL 16:  Cliff Lee #31 of the Cleveland Indians pitches against the New York Yankees during opening day at the new Yankee Stadium on April 16, 2009 in the Bronx borough of New York City. This is the first regular season MLB game being played at the new venue which replaced the old Yankee Stadium as the Yankees home field.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Dan VillantiContributor IJuly 29, 2009

On Wednesday, the Philadelphia Phillies traded for a former American League CY Young Award Winner.  However, as many fans thought, it was not Roy Halladay.  Instead, the Phillies traded for the 2008 AL CY Young Award Winner, Cliff Lee.  Lee comes to Philadelphia sporting a solid ERA of 3.10 and has 18 quality starts in his 22 games started.  However, it might not be his stats that help the Phillies, but the addition of Lee won't affect their team chemistry.

Team Chemistry is a phrase in baseball that refers to how well the team gets with their manager as well as with their teammates.  The Phillies showed great team chemistry in 2008 leading them to winning the World Series.  Most will agree that team chemistry can become more valuable to a team than having more star players.

For example, an argument can be made against the New York Mets.  Obviously, injuries have played a major tole on this team. However, injuries have hit many teams and it seems they have gotten through them (Phillies had Raul Ibanez out for a long period of time, Alex Rodriguez was out to start the season, and Josh Hamilton missed a major part of the first half to name some players).

The New York Mets could possibly have five players at the best in their respecitve position. Johan Santana, Francisco Rodriguez, Jose Reyes, David Wright, and Carlos Beltran all can be considered the tops in their position.  Having five players at the top or near the top in their respective postion, the team should be competiting for atleats a division and possibly a league title . This years Mets are not even competiting.  The number one reason is not injuries, but poor team chemistry.

The Phillies on the other hand are competing for more than a third consecutive division title, but a possible second straight World Series title.  As talented as the Phillies are, they also have one of the best team chemistries in baseball.  As the fans and even some players may have hoped for Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee may be the better fit.

A young pitchers echo is something not to play around with. Cole Hamels, last years World Series MVP, has said all the right things abot the Phillies going after another ace. If the Phillies were to get Halladay, "Hollywood" Hamels becomes secondary to the new ace in town. The World Series MVP would have presumbly taken a backseat to Halladays first postseason appearance especially in Game 1 of the NLDS.

With Lee, Hamels will be the co-ace and would projectably start Game 1 of any playoff series. Lee gives helps to Hamels without taking over for him.  Then, when Lee leaves Philadelphia nothing would change with Hamels: he'd still be the ace of the staff.

As Ruban Amaro Jr. has gone through his first trade deadline, he didn't disappoint. He may have dissappointed some fans, but one things for sure: he didn't disappoint his "Hollywood" star.

 

 

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