The first trade that should be considered is a change of owners. Betz, Bucks, Middleton and Montgomery are not trying to field a first-rate team or stock the minors with premier talent. Next a new general manager might be helpful.

JOHN GALLAGHER

North Wildwood

"DON'T TRADE UTLEY"

I have watched Chase Utley participate with the Phillies for several years.

I've observed an individual who is the epitome of the slogan "give it all you've got, cause that's all you've got to give." He goes beyond this slogan.

Whether it's in fielding his position or addressing 95 mph pitches at the plate, Chase displays the positive demeanor that is so important to winning and eventual championship organizations. As his recent return to the team lengthens, I feel he will inspire the lineup through his example!

LOU PALUDI

West Atlantic City

To fully understand what happened in a short amount of time to this team is having the benefit of hindsight. They overpaid for Howard when they didn't have to. They understood he was going to get slower and lose some of the power that they paid for but the Achilles and knees accelerated the process.

This was a team that had a solid HOMEGROWN core that hustled and played until the last at-bat. Somewhere they got complacent and they need to go back to that drawing board and start fresh.

The cupboard isn't bare but they need to replenish and as hard as it may be for Phils Fans, it's time to rebuild. Anybody seen what the Pirates are doing?

Get what you can for Utley, eat some of Howard's contract. The pitching staff is still pretty good and if they can get those young power arms in the pen to throw strikes, they could be lights out.

Remember, Halladay, Utley, Ruiz, M.Young, D. Young all come off the books next year to the tune of $45-60 million. Thanks for the trophy Charlie, now step aside for Ryne. Ball's in your court Ruben because now time is ticking on you as well.

JOHN LEON

Absecon