The Roy Halladay saga hasn't yet gone on as long as the Brett Favre soap opera, it just seems that way.
But it will draw to a close - one way or the other - by the non-waiver trade deadline on Friday.
So here's one last plea to make the next couple of seasons the most electrifying in Phillies history.
First, meet Toronto's demands for Halladay by giving them righthanded prospect Kyle Drabek, outfield prospect Dominic Brown, and current starter J.A. Happ.
Second, send righthanded prospect Carlos Carrasco and outfield prospect Michael Taylor to Cleveland for lefthander Cliff Lee.
Finally, send infield prospect Jason Donald or catching prospect Lou Marson to Baltimore for closer George Sherrill.
Whew. Now take a deep breath and read on.
That sets up a rotation of lefthander Cole Hamels, the 2008 World Series MVP; righthander Halladay, the 2003 American League Cy Young Award winner; lefthander Lee, the 2008 AL Cy Young winner; righthander Joe Blanton and either righthander Pedro Martinez (a three-time Cy Young winner) or lefty Jamie Moyer, whichever the situation dictates.
It would add Sherrill to a bullpen that now has a shaky Brad Lidge, a shaky Ryan Madson, little-used Scott Eyre, and a group of guys on the disabled list (Clay Condrey, J.C. Romero, Chad Durbin and Brett Myers).
By playoff time, both Martinez and Myers could join the 'pen full time, giving the Phillies serious firepower in relief of the Big Four in the rotation.
Fans who will argue against this need to keep one hard truth in mind - the Phillies have a three-year window to win another World Series before such stars as Hamels and Ryan Howard can go out on the free-agent market.
And if you hesitate to give up Happ, Drabek and Carrasco - the system's three most advanced young pitchers - remember, there are serious arms further down the line. The Phillies still would have Vance Worley, Andrew Carpenter, Joe Savery and Yohan Flande in the pipeline.
Getting a chance to win a World Series comes along very seldom in Philadelphia. Getting a chance to win two straight or two in three years has only happened once before and might not happen again in 40 years.
Finally. It's over in Minnesota. Thanks, Brett.
Contact staff writer Don McKee at 215-854-4611 or
This article contains information from the Associated Press.