The Beast requires constant feeding, and that is why
Making the playoffs? That's fine for 27 other franchises. But the Yankees took on The Beast in 2000 and the Red Sox in 2008, and now Philadelphia has it.
Seven months after trading Lee, Amaro got it. He traded pitcher
To understand the transformation of Phillies baseball, you need only go back four seasons, to 2006. That year Philadelphia drew 2.7 million fans, ranking seventh among the 16 National League teams. They spent $88 million on payroll. And in their organization were pitchers Hamels, Happ,
This year the Phillies rank first in the league in attendance, on pace to draw more than 3.6 million. Their payroll is $141 million. And Happ, Myers, Wolf, Floyd, Gonzalez, Carrasco, Maloney, Outman and Monasterios all are pitching elsewhere.
The Phillies fill Citizens Bank Park every night. Their local TV ratings, which are up 16.5 percent this year, are higher than every team except the Cardinals and Twins, who are regional draws. If you go by the average number of households watching the local team, the Phillies have more eyeballs on them than every team except the Mets and Yankees. Think Red Sox Nation is big? The Phillies' viewing audience is 41 percent bigger than the Red Sox's audience and 60 percent bigger than the Cubs' audience.
In just the past 12 months, the Phillies have traded for Halladay, Lee and Oswalt, traded Lee and handed
Go to Citizens Bank Park and the fans are decked out in Phillies gear of all kinds. The team sells Charlie Manuel jerseys, for goodness sake.
Amaro had a choice when it came to what he provides these people: he could put 36 of his team's final 61 games in the hands of Happ, Kendrick and Joe Blanton, and hope not only that it was good enough to make up the deficit in the standings but also good enough to pitch the Phillies through two rounds of the playoffs. Or he could feed The Beast and go get Oswalt to team with Halladay and Hamels in what could be the best October rotation since the mid-90s Braves with