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Eskin: If I Were in Charge of the Phillies

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The Phillies were built for a championship but came up short so who should shoulder the blame?

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The Phillies were built to win a championship this year and they failed. If I were the GM, I’d have a lot of work ahead of me.

For starters, if I were in charge, I’d blow the team up. Here’s how:

Resign Ryan Madson:
We have three really good starters -- Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee. I’d keep them and re-sign Madson as my closer. It’ll cost $13 to 14 million, which may not be easy to squeeze out of an inflating payroll, but it has to be done.

I’d also be thinking long and hard about how I’m gonna add more depth to the bullpen.

Beef Up the Bench:
The Phillies bench is terrible. We need power in the lineup.

I’d bite the bullet on Placido Polanco and get a better third baseman. Resign Jimmy Rollins for two years and an option year. I don’t want to get into a problem later with another guy getting too old and too costly.

I’d sign players like Detroit and St. Louis did this year that could actually help you when they come off the bench. In my book, Ben Francisco is done and Wilson Valdez and Michael Martinez should never be on the same bench -- two weak links in the lineup.

I wouldn’t resign Raul Ibanez and I’m not ready to name John Mayberry, Jr. or Dominic Brown as my left fielders, so I’m going out to get somebody better.

Develop New Talent:
We sucked our minor league teams dry. We have to find and develop new talent.

And if I’m in charge, I’m seriously asking myself if this team’s too old? I think the window is closing fast if it’s not already closed. Don’t change a thing and they’ll go on to be a good team next year. Maybe even make the playoffs, but they can’t win a World Series and that’s really what it’s all about.

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