(Bobby and Cory, shown on Sunday afternoon, waiting for the Greyhound bus to take them to New York’s Port Authority)
I’ve characterized Philadelphia’s recent moves as a fire sale, but I suppose another way of looking at it might be to say the organization is cutting their losses on many of Ed Wade’s investments. Which isn’t to claim the new reigme is off to such hot start, either. The New York Times’ Murray Chass seems comfortable enough with “salary dump”.
The Phillies are more disgraceful than the Yankees. They play in one of the largest markets in the country, and they act like a small-market team. Their payroll reached a high of $95 million on opening day last year, but they reduced it to $88 million this year.
That does not mean the Phillies have a small payroll ” it was 13th among opening-day payrolls ” but it demonstrated their mind-set. Last year their payroll was fourth, and they finished two games out of first in the division and one game behind the wild-card winner. So what do they do to try to make up that little bit of ground? They cut the payroll.
They stumble and bumble in other ways, too. Instead of hiring Jim Leyland as their manager before last season, they hired Charlie Manuel. Now Leyland has turned the Detroit Tigers into the best team in baseball, while the Phillies have faded from view in the face of the Mets™ demolition of the National League East.
The Yankees’ newly acquired Cory Lidle, as quoted by the Phildelphia Inquirer’s Todd Zolecki, says he routinely lacked confidence in his old teammates.
“I’m the kind of player that goes to the field every day expecting to win,” Lidle told New York reporters. “Unfortunately, the last few years, I haven’t had a clubhouse that expected to win with me. It was almost a coin flip to know if the guys behind me were going to be there to play 100 percent. I know that’s not going to be the deal here in New York.”
“It was a mixture of veterans and young players, and sometimes there were mixed signals,” Lidle said. “Sometimes it seemed like winning was all that mattered, and sometimes it seemed like winning didn’t matter at all. That was the opinion I had. I don’t know how true that is.
“A lot of the other guys in that clubhouse didn’t all go there with one goal in mind. Everyone liked to win, but they didn’t expect to win.”