Ruben Amaro Jr. has been a busy boy (oops- man) signing Shane Victorino, Chad Durbin, and Joe Blanton to one year deals avoiding arbitration. He also skirted around arbitration with Cole Hamels, Ryan Madson, Jayson Werth, and Greg Dobbs by locking them up with multi-year contracts; all within a weeks span. Amaro is like the Arb King or something. Ryan Howard remains the only unsigned Phillie, and he has exchanged numbers with the Phils. However, as everyone knows by now, Howard is demanding an outrageous $18M while the Phils countered with $14M. I wish I could get a raise in my line of employment by actually getting worse over the past 2 years. F'n joke! He's the worst fielding firstbaseman in baseball, strikes out 190+ times per season, and his batting average and walks are steadily decreasing along with the trusty measurement of a player's value of OPS ('06- 1.084, '07- .976, '08- .882). His OPS was ranked 28th in MLB last season, not top 5. If he wins this arbitration case putting him in the upper echelon of MLB salaries then I believe Barack Obama should focus on baseball salary structures rather than a college football playoff system.
Just because I called him a "money grubbing whore" in the comments section yesterday, doesn't mean I hate him. I've always maintained that I'm glad he's a Phillie and we're lucky to have him. However, this is getting tiresome with his A-Rod type dollar signs in his eyes. Howard is essential to the Phils success. That doesn't change the fact that I absolutely hate his negotiating tactics for money. I know other players do it too, it's not just a Howard thing, but damn, it pisses me off. Here's how one dude would spend Howard's millions.
I must admit, I'm impressed with Ruben's recent string of activity by locking up young talent and settling on fair contracts. He may have not done that well in the free agent pool, but he's doing a tremendous job ensuring that Phillies will remain Phillies.
World Baseball Classic:
The Wolrd Baseball Classic is set to take place in March during spring training. Players will be granted permission by their parent teams to play for their national teams. MLB announced its rosters for the World Baseball Classic. Phillies on rosters include...
Australia- righthander Drew Naylor, catcher Joel Naughton, and infielder Brad Harman.
Canada- outfielder Matt Stairs.
Dominican Republic- catcher Ronny Paulino.
Italy- outfielder Michael Spidale.
Mexico- infielder Oscar Robles.
Netherleands- righthander Mike Bolsenbroek.
Panama- catcher Carlos Ruiz.
Puerto Rico- lefthander J.C. Romero.
USA- shortstop Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino.
Venezuela- righthander Carlos Carrasco.
*Thanks to Todd Zolecki for the list.
I think the WBC is a good idea, just done at the wrong time. I feel it should take place in November following the MLB postseason and be played in warm weather destinations. To have a guy, especially pitchers, coming in cold after a winter's layoff to pitch competitively in this tournament seems risky. With that said, Go Team USA!!!