Let the Off-Season Begin

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. (still got to get used to that) was in Philadelphia yesterday morning, but could be found in Dana Point, Calif., last night for the GM meetings.

What are the GM meetings?

Pat Gillick passes the torch to Ruben Amaro Jr. yesterday.

They're kind of like the winter meetings, only more sitting around in the hotel lobby and less action.

Mike Jensen gives Phillies fans an idea how Amaro got there.

Bob Ford talks about Pat Gillick riding off into the sunset, and how Amaro has a tough act to follow.

And how can he follow it?

Amaro talked about his ideas for 2009, and it starts with strengthening the rotaton.

"It continues to be pitching," he said. "I think it's important for us to solidify our rotation. We won with pitching this year. We were a team built on offense, but we tweaked it enough to get to the point where pitching became the thing that carried us. If you were to ask . . . if pitching would be the thing that would carry us, probably we wouldn't have been that sure. We probably would have to bang them to win. But we know that it's the same deal - you've got to have pitching to win this thing."

Pat Burrell? I don't expect him back, but Amaro hasn't ruled it out yet.


Gillick is staying on as an advisor to Amaro. That's a good thing.


Some people have wondered why Davey Lopes wasn't at the parade. I'm told he is fine, but returned home for personal reasons.


Frank Fitzpatrick talks about needing a decade to recover from the World Series. I agree. As much as Phillies fans would love to see their team win the World Series in 2009 or 2010, it wouldn't feel the same as how it felt this year. Twenty-eight years builds up a lot of anticipation and excitement.

That said, a repeat wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.


Thanks to everybody who has visited this blog daily, weekly, monthly, yearly or whenever. The Phillies Zone was the most read sports blog at philly.com in October and the most read sports blog at philly.com this year. Of course, we got a head start on the Eagles, but I just want to say thanks to everybody who checks us out every day.


Because nobody can get enough highlights from the World Series. Here's Charlie Manuel's postgame interview on the field. At the 1:20 mark you can hear Manuel utter an "I hear ya!" at the sight of the Inquirer. That's funny to me only because that's something Manuel says all the time. It goes something like this:

"Charlie, looks like it's going to rain."
"I hear ya."

"Charlie, what is up with your bullpen?" (A question that would have been asked before 2008.)
"I hear ya."