I don't know about all of you out there, but I've spent the last few days getting my holiday wish list in order. This year, my list seems to have a common theme that everyone should be able to guess considering the website you're currently reading. That's right folks, everything I want for Christmas has to do with our very own Fightin' Phils. Before I send my list off to the North Pole, I thought I'd give you guys a look. Without further ado, here is what I'm looking for this Christmas.
A veteran ace. Now, I know Curt Schilling went to Boston, and the Phils just acquired Eric Milton (more on him in a bit), but there's no denying that this very young pitching rotation Joe Kerrigan has on his hands could use some veteran leadership. Although he may be nearing the end of his career, getting a guy like Greg Maddux would be nice, especially since it would relieve Randy Wolf (or whoever else would be the number one as of now) of the spotlight and pressure associated with being a staff ace. Obviously, it would cost a nice chunk of change to get Maddux or someone else of his caliber, and who knows how much more the Phillies are willing to spend, but keep in mind the fact that this is a wish list.
Miguel Tejada. I remember Howard Eskin mentioning that Tejada was interested in Philly now that he's a free agent. You see Miguel and Jim Thome have the same agent, so the former AL MVP has been hearing a lot of good things from Big Jimmy about his new home. How great would it be to get the power hitting Tejada in at shortstop to replace that dud they call J-Roll? Sounds like a good deal to me. If only the Phillies had Steinbrenner as their owner…
Bartolo Colon. Ok, this is more of a contingency plan, just incase Santa can't get us that veteran ace I mentioned earlier. Could you imagine a rotation of Colon, Wolf, Padilla, Myers, and Milton? That my friends, is a pitching staff.
The return of Pat the Bat. This really is my biggest wish for the 2004 season. If Burrell had taken another step forward last season, instead of a large step back, the Phillies offense would have been completely different (for starters, it probably wouldn't have made me rip every last hair of my head). I think we can all agree that until Burrell gets his act together and plays the way we all know he can, the Phillies as a team will never reach their full potential.
A solid season from Eric Milton. Speaking of unfulfilled potential, here we have the newest addition to the Fightin's. At the age of 28, and with five full seasons in the majors under his belt, I'd say it's about time Milton shows the league what all the hype is about, and for the Phillies' sake, it better be this season. Standing to make a cool nine million dollars in this the last year of his contract, Eric could end up being a costly mistake for Ed Wade if he continues at his current pace. As if the situation weren't enough to make Phillies Phans nervous, the former Twin also happens to be coming off a knee injury that kept him out of the vast majority of last season. I wonder if the elves can fit Milton with an arm like the kid in the movie "Rookie of the Year"?
Timely completion of Citizens Bank Park. I could be wrong but the Cit (or whatever the hell we're supposed to call it for short) looks and sounds like it still has a ways to go before it's ready for Phillies baseball. Seems to me, if we get a lot of snow this winter, the promotion for the 2004 home opener could be "Help lay the sod and/or build a concession stand."
A crappy season for the Braves. Other than seeing the Phils do well, nothing makes me happier than watching the Braves lose. It seems like whenever Atlanta is predicted to have a sub-par season, they come out and not only do well, but win the division yet again. So this year, all I want from friends in Georgia is a good old fashion last place finish…and maybe to see Andruw Jones commit 50 errors and not win a gold glove for once, but that's just if Santa has some extra room in his sack.
A World Series win. Last, but certainly not least, I really want the Phillies to win the World Series. Since I was born a few years after the one and only WS title in the club's history, the granting of this wish would mean a whole lot to me and many other young Phans.
Well, I could go on with wishes forever, but this should be good enough for this year. If you are in fact reading this Santa, as an added incentive to give me everything I'm asking for, I'll leave you a six pack and pretzels on Christmas eve, instead of the usual milk and cookies. It's the one night a year you get away from Mrs. Claus, so why not live it up?