For the second morning in a row, Rich Hofmann of the Daily News has the most intelligent things to say in the post-Ed Wade era.
Hofmann is bothered that David Montgomery is meeting with Billy Wagner today to discuss a possible resigning, a decision that should be in the hands of the new GM:
"The first mistake of the post-Wade era is about to be committed by the Phillies. David Montgomery, Ruben Amaro Jr., and whoever else makes up the merry band of wise men in charge of the organization are scheduled to visit Billy Wagner and his agent today in an attempt to work out a new contract with their closer.
They should cancel the meeting instead.
This has nothing to do with the merits of re-signing or not re-signing Wagner. This has everything to do with respecting the next general manager, whoever he is.
A decision this big should be his decision, not theirs. The commitment of the franchise's last big chunk of dollars for 2006 should be his decision, not theirs.
And they should have enough humility at this point to recognize that fact."
Wagner is seeking upwards of $27 million over the next three years, a chunk of money that will be wasted if they can’t afford better starters to help bridge the gap to the ninth inning. Without better arms, the Phillies will once again have the best closer in the National League sitting home watching the NLCS on television.
They've had Wags for a couple seasons now. This plan of collecting No. 3-5 starters in front of him hasn’t worked and needs to be scrapped.
Signing Wagner this quickly certainly seems like just another poorly conceived fix to prove that they're "committed to winning." The only positive is it appears they have some money to spend, but if that's all they have, use it, instead, for starting pitching, then deal with the closer situation. Realize that $8-10 million is more money than some teams pay their highest-paid player.
First and foremost, they need a new GM, and he needs to be brilliant. That's No. 1. Innovative thinking is what the Phillies need, not this, and it needs to come from an experienced replacement.
Come on, gang. Get with it.