I was at work the other day and saw a Yankees highlight on ESPN Sportscenter and had a thought of the near future rifle through my mind.
I waited and watched as other Phillies fans did, waiting for the Toronto Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay to be traded to the defending World Series champions.
I wanted the Phillies to do something and my thought was this: If Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro hung his hat on getting an iffy Pedro Martinez as an answer to the pitching situation; it would be looked upon as Amaro not pulling the trigger to improve the team.
But I had faith, considering the team brought home the World Series last year that they would not stay put. To stay good, you have to continue to improve. No resting on last year's success.
The trade announcement Wednesday restored my faith the Phillies would make a move: they acquired 2008 Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee from the Cleveland Indians.
I pay scant attention to the rest of the league and for most of the season, the Boston Red Sox lead the American League East. I knew of the controversy over Alex Rodriguez and his substance abuse admission, his hip injury, and his return to the Yankees.
Mark Teixeira is having a huge year, hitting .282 with 25 home runs and 72 RBI. Derek Jeter, shown above, the heart and soul of the Yankees, is hitting .322, and Rodriguez is hitting well.
C.C. Sabathia, the big free agent signing, is having a good year with a 10-7 record, but the other free agent pitcher, A.J. Burnett at 10-4 with a 3.53 ERA is even better.
The Yankees are red-hot right now at 61-39, a major-league best .610 winning percentage and with a 2.5 lead over the Boston Red Sox.
The Phillies are no slouches themselves. The arguably have the best offense in baseball. Ryan Howard has 26 home runs and the Phillies free-agent signing Raul Ibanez also has 26 home runs while hitting .305.
Chase Utley reminds me a lot of Jeter, in his heads up play, and the ultimate student of the game. I love his compact 3/4 swing, which generates a lot of power.
The Phillies, at 58-40, have a seven-game lead over the Florida Marlins.
Stats aside, I will talk now as a fan: The Phillies could win the National League East this year in their sleep, starting Jamie Moyer every day. No offense, Jamie. At least we could play the Marlins every day, who Moyer has a 13-2 career record against the Fish.
It is the playoffs I am worried about.
Lee should help, with a playoff rotation of Hamels, Blanton and Lee.
Lee is 7-9 this season with a 3.14 earned run average, giving up 33 walks and striking out 107 opponents. Last year he was 22-3 with and 2.54 earned run average, winning the Cy Young Award in the American League. Lifetime he is 83-48 with a 4.01 earned run average.
Most of the Yankees' stars are right handed or switch hitters, which could be bad news for the Phillies predominately left-handed rotation. That is why Blanton would probably pitch over J.A. Happ or Moyer, who are left-handed pitchers.
My gut also tells me the Yankees would win the World Series, four games to two.
The Yankees are the granddaddies of the World Series, with 26 championships. The St. Louis Cardinals are next with 10. The Phillies, along with the Mets, Marlins and other teams, have two World Series crowns.
But to be considered one of the greatest teams of the 2000s, or in the same breath with the Cincinnati Reds, who were the last National League team to win back-to-back World Series (1975-76), the Phillies have to beat the best.
Bring it on!