Last week we decided to stray from the normal everyday Phillies content and focus on the broad scale of MLB. We're back to business now, and today's post serves as a recap of the happenings from last week concerning the Phils.
I. I'll start off with our plump green fuzzy homeboy the Philly Phanatic being named sports' best mascot ever. Growing up a Phillies fan I always loved the Phanatic's playful shenanigans and to this day still appreciate the humor he brings to the ball field. Glad to see he got top honors in Sports Illustrated's poll and on Forbe's list, because if Mr. Met would have won I'd have severed that dumbass baseball head right off his shoulders.
II. Cross Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge of the list of players attempting to squeeze every penny out of the organization, as they each agreed to 1 year contracts last week without heading to the ugly process of arbitration. Lidge in his final year before free agency accepted the Phils' $6.35 million deal, and Madson took the $1.4 million and ran.
III. Johnny Podres died last Sunday at the age of 75, and for those of you who remember he served as the Phils pitching coach from 1991-1996. He didn't just tutor pitchers, he performed quite well as a pitcher himself winning 148 games over 15 seasons from 1953-1969 for the Brooklyn/Los Angels Dodgers and the Tiger, and of course the appropriately named Padres.
IV. Eric Bruntlett and Ryan Howard aren't too happy with the Phillies front office right now. Why? The Phils brass is low-balling them. Newly acquired utility man Bruntlett is asking for 800k and the Phils are offering 550k...I think a compromise can be made here at 725k. Howard's situation is a bit more hairy, where the Phils don't really care if they piss off Bruntlett because he's likely packing his bags after the '08 season anyway, but Howard is a dude that should be kept happy because they want him around for the long haul. Ryan wants $10 million (which would be a record for 1st year arbitration eligible players) and the Phils countered with $7 million (which is actually respectable considering Howard's 1st year of eligibility). There's no denying Howard's talent, which is prolific power. We all know he has stonehands at 1st and is a record setter for k's, but there's no way in hell I want him being traded away for magical beans in a couple years because we can't lock him up long-term. Right now offer him an Utley-like contract (7 years $85 million) and hope he accepts. *I need to note that the Phils aren't being cheapskates with their proposal, those penny-pinching years are in the past. MLB has a salary structure set up for arbitration based on years (for example the more experienced, and every bit as good if not better than Howard, Miguel Cabrera just got $11.3 million from the Tigers); they also apply this with slots in the amateur draft. If the Phils were to go crazy and give Howard the $10 million he wants in good faith, believe me the rest of MLB would be angry.
V. Kyle Lohse and Pedro Feliz are the two names I'm still seeing in the Phils rumor bin. Lohse has good stuff, but remember so does/did Adam Eaton. Kyle is a career loser with a 63-74 record, 4.82 era, and 1.43 whip, that's the simple truth. Don't get me wrong, having him as the 4th/5th starter would make me feel better heading into the '08 season, but at the price of at least $10 million a year and for no less than 3 years...craziness (which any Scott Boras client is). Feliz is being mentioned as an everyday 3rd baseman. I do not want him! Pedro is an out making machine, and I'm not talking about the pitcher Martinez in which making outs is a good thing. This Pedro is the equivalent of No-Hit Nunez with some pop...doesn't that just about make you throw up in your mouth and swallow?
VI. Chris Coste's much anticipated book "Catching the Dream" is set to be released soon by Random House publishing. That title is about as lame as some of the headings Corey and I post on our blog...c'mon now. The book chronicles Coste's travels through the minors, Independent League, and finally his big break in the 2006 season with the Phillies. I smell a Disney movie.