Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A Baseball Decision, Pt. II

Whisky covered half of the Moyer trade, how a team that's going nowhere sent its longest-tenured and most beloved for a pile of nothing, robbing their fans of a few well deserved ovations. However, the trade looks just as bad from the other side. Gillick's been trading contracts and relics for a month: Sal Fasano, David Bell, Bobby Abreu, Cory Lidle, Rheal Cormier, and Ryan Franklin. Clearly a demolition, and a deserved one. But now his team has a good week and gets within four of the wild card, Gillick is thinking differently. "We thought we needed a veteran pitcher. He's a guy who's going to lend a lot of stability to our pitching staff." (mlb.com) The Phillies won today. That puts them at 62-62, .500. They're 2.5 games and two teams back of the Wild Card. The article also mentions the the change, that great upturn in Philadelphia Phortunes that has put them in a buying postition: "An 11-7 stretch since Aug. 1 transformed the Phillies from sellers to buyers."
This is what they used to call waffling. In the last month, Gillick has traded two starting pitchers, his right fielder and number three hitter, his starting third baseman and catcher, and a reliever. Then the team went and won eleven out of eighteen games, and he's brought in a 44-year old pitcher. A second mlb article pushes the new direction line, and tries to appease by linking Moyer to the team's glory days. (It turns out that Moyer is so old that his major league debut twenty years ago was against the Steve Carlton) Pat is so fond of his former Seattle charge that the two have worked out a mutual option for 2007, meaning writers and announcers will use words like "anchor", "bulwark" and "ageless" to describe the 45-year-old long into next year. It's a completely see-through gesture of competitiveness to a fanbase that every year watches the Phillies fall a few digits short of the Wild Card. Fire Ed Wade is now defunct, and its target only a memory. But his replacement seems well on his way to authoring another series of flawed just-short teams.


Blogger Whisk E. Bear said...

The irony, of course, is that in the one season that "Stand Pat" emerges with the conviction to deal, he sells off Bobby Abreu et al just weeks before his team begins its improbable run (The NL Wild Card: Making Big-League Dreams Come True!). Somewhere, Gillick is muttering over his morning coffee about "sticking to my guns."

Tue Aug 22, 10:05:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Craig said...

I really can't fault a team for acquiring a guy who is effective and doesn't have a big fat long-term deal to fuck up payroll for years to come. The Phils gave up essentially nothing for Moyer, and even if they don't make the playoffs this year (and they probably won't) they won't be left with the residue of this deal over the next few seasons. Even if Moyer does sign for another year, that will have little long-term impact on the health of the club. Sure it's weird that they started off selling off parts and now are trying to get back in the race, but sometimes that's the way things go. They give up nothing of import, have a net loss of salary, and stick around in the race. Why the hell not?

Tue Aug 22, 12:12:00 PM EDT  

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