Now, 1.5 seasons later, this part of that dream has turned bizarre.
Lee hasn't been brilliant this season and he hasn't been horrible.
To have an 0-4 record (after losing to the Tampa Bay Rays this weekend) would be disappointing, if it were early May. The fact that it's almost July and he hasn't recorded a win is astonishing, or is it?
Hardcore Phillies fans know that their team's offense can't be accurately labeled as terrible this season. Yes, they aren't effective with runners in scoring position and seem to have lost the ability to routinely mount late rallies. But, when their group batting average and OPS (on base plus slugging percentage) marks are compared to other teams in the National League, this lineup falls somewhere in the middle of the pack.
This year the Phillies most pressing problem has been its much vaunted pitching staff. And yes, Lee has been part of that concern.
He has always been prone to throwing too many pitches in the strike zone. Those who don't understand why that can be dangerous must have never pitched at any level, or simply don't grasp the art of setting batters up throughout the count.
This year, Lee has strung together shutout innings and has also increasingly surrendered the 'big' inning. While still a good pitcher, he' s now 24-16 through 56 starts in his Phillies career. That's good, not great.
New age baseball disciples who choose to believe that a pitcher's won-loss record doesn't matter are wrong. But, that is another lesson to be taught to the children in another column.
The right move?
There are some highly emotional baseball souls who become wildly passionate whenever anyone mentions a ballplayer who they have chosen to worship. These personality types must somehow project themselves in their baseball heroes souls and therefore become personally offended whenever anyone questions someone's work performance.
No one is asking to send Lee to war, accept a job transfer to China or stop coming to the family home for Sunday dinner.
It's very fair to question whether the Phillies made the right move by signing Lee in 2010. It's also fair to ask if he will remain with the team for the entire length of his contract.
Lee was great when the Phillies initially obtained him from the Cleveland Indians in 2009 and performed sensationally in that season's World Series against the New York Yankees. He was great for much of last season and he's been mediocre this year.
Because he has been mediocre and the Phillies have had numerous roster problems to deal with, the man has earned zero wins. Those are the logically presented facts.
Sean O'Brien's professional writing career began in 1990, when he first began working in the Philadelphia Phillies farm system. He was a freelance sports writer for five years and is currently a Featured Contributor for Yahoo! Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @SeanyOB and read his daily Sports Blog: Insight.
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