It wasn't as if the Arizona Diamondbacks were going to compete for another (2001, baby!) World Series ring any time soon, but the breaking, shocking and yet totally awesome news that Cliff Lee gave his rose to the Philadelphia Phillies and snubbed the New York Yankees is still a set back for the Snakes. The National League just got about 73 percent better according to our own super-secret advanced baseball algorithm, while the Yankees are left sitting on their hands like a spoiled rich kid that wasn't able to buy the toys he wanted with daddy's credit card.
That rotation is sick, sick, sick and as followers of another team in the NL, that has us concerned. The very excited fans over at Phillies blog The Good Phight explain that they now have the MLB leader in WAR (Lee), the NL WHIP leader (Roy Oswalt), the NL Cy Young (Roy Halladay), and the best lefty ERA in the second half of 2010 (Cole Hamels).
They even taunt us by saying, "Other than on the fifth day, will they even need a bullpen other than Lidge and Madson? And on that fifth day, maybe they should just let their bullpen get its work in?"
The San Francisco Giants beat the Phillies in this year's NLCS with their own army of fantastic arms -- Lincecum, Sanchez, Cain, and Bumgarner -- but aside from The Freak, those are three really young pitchers that lack the pedigree that the Phillies now bring to the mound.
And if the Giants staff is lacking in experience and proven talent, where does that leave the Diamondbacks young core of Ian Kennedy, Dan Hudson, Barry Enright and Zach Duke? The answer is many, many years away from sniffing the World Series.
The upside here is Cliff Lee striking a blow against the free-spending Yankees, who were offering a reported $70 million more to once again ensure they win the offseason free agent battle. In that sense, Lee's decision at least struck a blow for smaller market teams and won a small victory for good over the Evil Empire.
It's not likely a decision that will change the landscape of baseball economics in any conceivable long-term way, but, at least for now, the Yankee-haters can smile.