Lot of Phillies rumors floating around the internet these days. Very exciting times! Burrell to the Giants for El Puede de Gasolina Benitez. Our garbage (Floyd, Madson) to the Yanks for the Iron Sheff. And don't forget the free agents: A-Ram, Akinori Iwamura, Mark DeRosa, Joe Borowski, Alfonso Soriano, Randy Wolf, Mike Mussina, Trot Nixon, Curt Schilling, Ed Delehanty...the list goes on. Well, here's way too much excitement and giddiness in Philly-land for my liking. Don't you shiny-happy-people realize, this is the Phillies!!!So, to bring everyone back down a notch, I off this poll...The Phillies Worst Free Agent Signings of the Last 10-ish Years.
1) Danny Tartabull - former ROY and Seinfeld character Danny Tartabull was once a feared slugger. Then he had lots of injuries and for about 3 years was on a rapid downslide. Then, somehow, he hit 27 homers in '96 for the White Sox. So, the Phils signed him for 1 year, $2.3 million. Here is an article from the NY Times on 2/12/97:
The cost-conscious Philadelphia Phillies crossed DANNY TARTABULL off their wish list after the outfielder turned down the team's final offer of a $2 million, one-year contract with $300,000 in incentives. Tartabull, 34, made $5.3 million with the Chicago White Sox last season, the final year of a $25 million, five-year contract signed with the Yankees. ''As far as I'm concerned, it's over with Tartabull,'' Phillies General Manager LEE THOMAS said yesterday. Tartabull's only other offer is $500,000 from the Cincinnati Reds.
Tartabull signed 13 days later. He reported to camp late. His final line: 3 games, 7 at-bats, 0 hits, 1 broken foot, $2 million dollars, 1 retirement.
2) Gregg Jefferies - this former NY Mets golden boy, whose parerents inexplicably decide to put a completely useless extra "g" at the end of his name, thereby securing his place on the all-time list of stupidest first name spellings, had two good seasons for the St. Louis Cardinals in '93 and '94, hitting .342 and .325. He only hit 30 homers, never drove in 90, never scored 90, but so what, the Phillies signed him to 4 years and $20 million. For the next 3 1/2 years, he spent as much time of the DL as he did on-base. His average dropped steadily in the first three years: .309, .292, .256. Never drove in 60, never scored 70, and never hit more than 11 homers. The last year of his contract, he was traded to California/Anaheim/Orange County/LA Angels for Doug Nickle, who completely sucked.
3) Mike Jackson - when Jackson was 23 years old and making $62 thousand, he threw 103 innings for the Phillies and had a 4.20 ERA. That was good enough to package him with Glenn Wilson and ship the pair to Seattle for Phil Bradley. When he was 35, he threw 68 innings with the Indians and had a 4.06 ERA. From baseballlibrary.com: "Mike recorded similar [save] stats in 1999, and decided to sign with the St. Louis Cardinals as a free agent, looking for a big bankroll to go with his big numbers. However, Jackson failed his physical, and ended up signing with the Phillies." Failed physical. That's worth a big contract to the Phils. Final line with the Phils in 2000: 0 games, 1 blown elbow, $3 million.
Worst Trick - Ed Wade - apparently Philly fans can't get enough of hating old Scrot Face.
Best Treat - tie between Harry & Whitey and the '93 Phils. No surprise there, kind of surprised Wilfredo Laureano, as the representation of the end of the David Bell era, beat out the Vet 3 votes to 2. This sort of grudge holding makes me proud to be a Phillies fan.
Go Penn State!