The Evster's Top Six Reasons to Keep Cliff Lee

The Evster's Top Six Reasons to Keep Cliff Lee

Full disclosure: I have watched a grand total of five innings of Phillies baseball this year, and four of those innings were on Tuesday night. (I really like that Jeff Mayberry fella!) But despite my lack of viewing, I still follow what's going on, am aware that Cliff Lee has been amazing, and am not a total bozo -- so when I heard last week that Ruben Amaro was shopping Cliff Lee (AGAIN), I had a mini-meltdown.

This is Cliff Lee we're talking about! 7-2, 2.45ERA, sprints off the mound in between innings, Cliff Lee! Why does he continue to be tossed around the league like Alyssa Milano?! Is nothing sacred?!

Ugh.

So here are my Top Six Reasons to Absolutely, Positively, Not Trade Cliff Lee

Reason #1 - Trading for Prospects is Friggin' Dumb

In the past four years, Cliff Lee has been traded three times, and in each one of those trades the team dealing Lee hasn't gotten dick.

In 2009, the Phils traded Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald, Jason Knapp and BIG DADDY LOU MARSON for Lee. If you recall, the Indians WOULD NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES do the deal if Carrasco was not involved. Since then, Carrasco has won 10 career games, and is currently TEARING IT UP in the minors. Before being sent down to AAA this April, he posted an ERA of 17.18 for the Indians. Did you read that correctly? Go back and look at that statistic again. The guy had an earned run average of SEVENTEEN POINT ONE EIGHT. If/when Carrasco is recalled, he'll also have to serve an 8-game suspension for repeatedly throwing at batters. Also, Marson is 0 for 3 on the season, and has a lifetime batting average of .219.

Later that year, Amaro dealt Lee to Seattle for 2023 Cy Young Award winner, J.C. Ramirez, Phillippe Aumont (he's from Quebec!) and Tyson Gillies, who according to Wikipedia is nicknamed "The Hamster" because of his recurring hamstring injuries.

YOU WANT MORE PROOF THAT TRADING CLIFF LEE SUCKS BUTT?

In 2010, Lee was traded from Seattle to Texas for Justin SMUH-SMUH-SMUH-SMOAKE (.240 -- 3HR -- 8RBI this year), Blake Beaven (real name!), Josh Leuke (aka Josh Puke) and Matt Lawson (currently poppin' bottles for AAA Columbus at a .250 clip).

Trade value schmade value!

Reason #2 - Cliff Lee Actually Wants to Live in Philadelphia

Dude, I know, if you give it your all here, no one will love you more than Philly fans. John's Roast Pork is the greatest. Beanie Sigel actually shoots people. Philly 4 Lyfe. Whatever. No human being in their right mind actually wants to live in Philadelphia. Last week, when it was 93% humidity, I wore seven pairs of underwear in one day. My next-door neighbor has rocked jean shorts for three straight weeks. If it wasn't for your stupid friends and family, you would've moved to Barcelona years ago. Have you ever seen a Catalan woman Flamenco dance? HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A CATALAN WOMAN FLAMENCO DANCE?

So after playing in three cities in two years, Cliff and his family decided they wanted to settle down. Enough with the moving, the living out of boxes, the kids having to switch schools over and over. And seeing as the Lees could choose WHEREVER THEY WANTED TO LIVE, they chose Philadelphia. The guy and his wife -- actual human beings -- chose Philadelphia. THAT'S WEIRD.

Do you remember how much you hate Scott Rolen? Because for all intents and purposes, Scott Rolen was the QUINTESSENTIAL Philly ballplayer. Do you remember why you hate Scott Rolen?

It's nice to have someone who wants to be here.

And it's nice to not live out of a stinkin' box! The last time I moved was five years ago and I still have no idea where my NBA Superstars tape is.

Reason #3 - That Amazing Catch vs. the Yankees

Doc's reverse scooper vs. the Lakers, Wes Hopkins breaking Ernest Givins's nose, and Cliff Lee's basket catch in the World Series. We already knew he was a pimp, but Lee solidified himself as my wife's favorite athlete of all time after that catch. When I play company softball at the Belmont Plateau, I stand out in left field dreaming of making a play like Cliff's. Last Tuesday, I took a slice of pizza out with me to the field, just to give myself a better chance of making that dream a reality. So there I was, shoveling pepperoni into my face, when a lazy fly ball was hit right toward me. This was the moment I'd been waiting my whole office career for, making a catch while eating dinner. The chicks who I work with were gonna love it, they'd be sending me selfies in no time. And then as the ball came down, I panicked, threw my pizza on the ground and made a stupid, fundamental two-handed grab. Rickey Henderson woulda scoffed. Then a dude came zipping by a 4-wheeler and I screamed like a mule. I have not showed my face in the office since.

#4 - But Evster, Trading Cliff Lee Will Free Up Lots of Money

Shut up. There's no salary cap in baseball. Money doesn't matter. The Phils organization makes plenty of dough already and can spend as much or as little as they choose.

#5 Name One Person Named Cliff Who You Don't Like

It's impossible. Cliff Huxtable, Cliff Robinson, Cliff Clavin. Three for three, all solid dudes. Plus, my brother's college roommate was named Cliff and when I was 13, he gave me a stack of nudie mags. Yes, most of them were from the 70s and featured ladies wearing tube socks, but they were still women and they were still (almost) naked, and for that I am forever grateful.

#6 Gotta Give the Lee-Halladay-Hamels Rotation One Stinkin' Chance Before Blowin' It Up

The Phillies put this staff together for a reason. Get us to the playoffs and these guys will do the rest. Granted, most of the guys on this team stink (lookin' at you, Laynce), Roy Halladay's arm might fall off at any moment (he'll be fine), and before Wednesday night, Cole Hamels was lookin' more like Carlos Carrasco (figuratively!). So with Lee still in town, combined with KAPTAIN KYLE KENDRICK and a late September pickup of , oh, I dunno, Pedro Martinez, we'll be poised to make another championship run.

That is of course if someone on this team besides Dominic Brown can learn how to hit a friggin' baseball.

Cliff Lee is batting .281 this year by the way.

You tellin' me he can't hit in the 2-hole?

Also, did someone in this world really name their son, Tyler Cloyd?

The Evster writes the blog TV My Wife Watches where he writes about TV his wife watches. Follow him on Twitter @TVMWW. Or look at this picture of a cow. He's a nice cow. 

Best of MLB: Sale loses in White Sox return, Chapman saves Cubs' 3-1 win

Best of MLB: Sale loses in White Sox return, Chapman saves Cubs' 3-1 win

CHICAGO -- Chris Sale returned from his jersey-trashing suspension and threw six effective innings, but John Lackey outpitched him and Aroldis Chapman got the final four outs to save the Cubs' 3-1 victory over the White Sox in Chicago's rivalry series Thursday night.

Sale (14-4) was greeted with smiles and hugs from his teammates following a five-day ban for tearing up 1976-style uniforms he didn't want to wear before his previous scheduled start. He had command issues, but worked out of trouble while allowing two runs and six hits.

Lackey (8-7) allowed one run in six innings for his first win since June 8. Chapman, in his second appearance since being acquired from the Yankees, struck out two and consistently hit 102 mph in his first save for his new team.

Kris Bryant, who homered against Sale in the All-Star Game, hit an RBI double off the center field wall in the first inning (see full recap). 

Diaz's homer helps Cardinals beat Marlins and Fernandez, 5-4
MIAMI -- Aledmys Diaz homered, doubled and drove in three runs against childhood pal Jose Fernandez, helping the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Miami Marlins 5-4 Thursday.

Fernandez gave up five runs in five innings and fell to 26-2 at Marlins Park.

Miami's Dee Gordon, the 2015 NL batting and stolen bases champion, returned from an 80-game suspension for failing a drug test and went 0 for 4. Ichiro Suzuki doubled as a pinch hitter in the seventh for Miami and needs two hits for 3,000.

Diaz and Matt Holliday homered in the third inning against Fernandez (12-5), who had never previously given up more than one homer in a home game. His only other loss at Marlins Park came on opening day this year against Detroit.

Michael Wacha (6-7) allowed three runs in six innings, and three relievers completed an eight-hitter. Seung Hwan Oh pitched around a one-out single in the ninth for his seventh save (see full recap). 

Familia falters again, Rockies rally for 2-1 win over Mets
NEW YORK -- Mets steady closer Jeurys Familia stumbled for a second straight game, allowing two runs in the ninth inning as the Colorado Rockies beat New York 2-1 Thursday for their seventh win in eight games.

Less than 24 hours after Familia's streak of 52 consecutive regular-season saves was snapped, the right-hander entered in the top of the ninth with a 1-0 lead, and couldn't hold it.

Trevor Story had a leadoff single and stole second. After fellow rookie David Dahl walked, Daniel Descalso bunted up the first base line. Mets catcher Rene Rivera watched as the ball spun toward foul territory but it stopped fair, loading the bases with no out.

With one out, Familia (2-3) got pinch-hitter Cristhian Adames to hit a slow grounder to the right side. First baseman James Loney booted the ball and Story scored to make it 1-all. Familia then threw a wild pitch, allowing Dahl to cross the plate with the go-ahead run (see full recap).

Instant Replay: Phillies 7, Braves 5

Instant Replay: Phillies 7, Braves 5

BOX SCORE

ATLANTA — Aaron Nola picked up his first win since June 5 as the Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves, 7-5, at Turner Field on Thursday night.

Nola was supported by some strong offense. After scoring just one run in losing the previous two games in Miami, the Phils erupted for five runs in the first inning. They hit three homers in the game.

The Phillies had been winless in Nola’s previous seven starts.

The Phillies are 47-57.

The Braves have the worst record in the majors at 35-67.

Starting pitching report
Despite leaving with a 7-3 lead after five innings, Nola was not particularly sharp. He gave up eight hits (one was a fly ball that was lost in the twilight sky), walked three and hit a batter. He needed 95 pitches to get through the five innings.

Nola is 6-9 with a 4.78 ERA in 20 starts.

Atlanta’s Matt Wisler gave up seven hits and seven runs in five innings. Five of the runs came in the first inning when the Phillies batted around. Wisler allowed two homers, two singles and walked two in the inning.

Bullpen report
David Hernandez was the first Phillies reliever out of the bullpen. He struggled. But Edubray Ramos, Hector Neris and Jeanmar Gomez combined to close it out.

Gomez allowed two hits, a walk and a run in the ninth, but earned his 27th save.

At the plate
Aaron Altherr, activated off the disabled list earlier in the day (see story), had a big night in his first game of the season with the big club. He hit the ball hard all night and had three hits, including a two-run homer in the fifth.

Maikel Franco and Tommy Joseph hit back-to-back homers in the first inning. Franco’s was a three-run shot. He leads the club with 19 homers. Joseph has 14 homers in 57 games.

Adonis Garcia had two hits and two RBIs for the Braves.

Transaction 
Peter Bourjos was placed on the disabled list and Altherr was activated (see story).

Up next
The series continues Friday night. Vince Velasquez (8-2, 3.34) pitches against Atlanta right-hander Tyrell Jenkins (0-2, 6.17).

As Aaron Altherr's audition begins, Pete Mackanin says Cody Asche 'needs to step it up'

As Aaron Altherr's audition begins, Pete Mackanin says Cody Asche 'needs to step it up'

ATLANTA — Nearly four months late, Aaron Altherr is finally getting his shot to show the Phillies he deserves to be part of their future outfield plans.

Altherr, 25, was activated from the disabled list before Thursday night’s game against the Braves and was in the lineup, batting fifth (see story). Altherr will see a lot of playing time over the final two-plus months of the season. He’s essentially auditioning.

“We want to see him play as much as possible,” manager Pete Mackanin said before the game. “So if he stays healthy, I’m going to keep running him out there. That’s what this year is all about. We’re finding out about the guys that are here. He is a potentially important part so we want to see what he does. I’m anxious to see what he does.”

Altherr, a ninth-round draft pick in 2009, played in 39 games for the Phillies last season. He hit just .241, but 20 of his 33 hits were for extra bases and he had a .827 OPS. He was slated to be the team’s everyday rightfielder before suffering a wrist injury that required surgery early in spring training.

Altherr is healthy now and eager for his chance.

“I’m good to go mentally and physically,” he said Thursday afternoon. “I’m definitely excited to be back up.”

Altherr took Peter Bourjos' spot on the roster. Bourjos was placed on the disabled list with a sprained right shoulder two days after running into the outfield wall in Miami.

With Mackanin committed to giving Altherr playing time, it will be interesting to see how the skipper divides up playing time with the remaining outfielders, especially when Bourjos recovers. Bourjos was a trade candidate before his injury. He could still be moved in a waiver deal once he’s healthy in August. Tyler Goeddel, Cody Asche and Jimmy Paredes also play corner outfield spots and much heralded prospect Nick Williams is expected to be here at some point (see Future Phillies Report).

Asche is walking a tightrope. He entered Thursday night’s game mired in a 4-for-51 skid and Mackanin seems to be losing patience.

“As I said earlier in the season, this is a very big year for Cody to prove that he can be part of the future and he needs to step it up,” Mackanin said.