Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve noticed that the Yankees are being the Yankees, and while the rest of the world begins to crumble under an economic system as unstable as a Minnesota bridge, they’ve spent hundreds of millions of dollars on 3 players. The headline of this deal is the largest contract ever given to a pitcher, namely the 7 year, 161 million dollar deal given to one C.C. Sabathia. To give the Yankees credit, the guy is in his prime, works hard and has shown periods of complete dominance reminiscent of any top-flight ace. The only questionable thing about the deal is the fact that Sabathia has continuously ballooned up in size over the last few seasons. Standing at 6 ft., 7in. and 290 pounds Sabathia is a monster on any scale. He dwarfs sports’ favorite heavyweight Babe Ruth in his prime. Check out this blog that breaks down the number of pinstripes Sabathia will probably represent: to give you a hint, his uni may have the most in history. And it this mammoth proportion that leads to the title of this blog.
Sabathia, the current StayPuff Marshmellow man of pitchers, is destined to be a Phillies long reliever by his 40th birthday. Coming off of the later years of his contract with the Yanks, weighing in around the size of one of those ultra compact cars, the Phillies are sure to milk the end of his career. It’s been a few years, but by 2020, they’re sure to revert to their old ways. If there’s a past-his-prime reliever out there who is generally in terrible shape and is complete and obvious bad call, the Phils seek him out like a dollar dog.
Examples of this include, the once great Jose Mesa. Not familiar with Mesa? Beginning his career in good ol’ 1987, Mesa made a name for himself as a fireballer for (who else?) the early 90s Cleveland Indians. A top of the rotation starter, the years quickly caught up to Mesa, and he never again reached the triple digits in innings pitched after 1993. He was then relegated to life as a journeyman reliever for a variety of clubs, eventually ending up with the Phils from 2001-2003. This stint started well, with Mesa posting above average era’s in the early years, but being let go in 03 after an abysmal 6.52 ERA. But, the Phils using traditional Phillies Logic, immediately ascertained that “Gee, our buddy Joe Table is older, heavier and in way worse shape then he was when he sucked before. Let’s give him a whirl again.” So he came back and sucked again to the tune of a 4.61 ERA before being released. He also managed to start a feud with (who else?) that notorious bastard Omar Vizquel somewhere along the way?
The second example is the great Antonio Alfonseca. To Alfonseca’s credit(?) he was never that good, and not that old, but he was a big guy. He was only 35 when the Phils picked him up in 2007, but weighed in at 235. As a fan, I can remember lots of games where Alfonseca put me on the edge of my seat, and than completely lived up to his potential by costing the Phils the loss. He left at the end of 2007 to the tune of a 4.61 ERA.
The third, and one of my personal favorites is Ugeth Urbina. To make a long and not so interesting story short, Urbina was a journeyman reliever for 10 years prior to joining the Phillies in 2005. He ended the year with 4.13 ERA which isn’t hideous, so there had to be something wrong right? He never came back to baseball the next year after killing a man in his native Venezuela. Doh!
The 4th, and kind of an honorable mention, because Gordon is generally a good guy. He started his career in 1988, made a name for himself as a setup man for the great Mariano Rivera back with the Yankees used to win World Series’, and than, of course, ended up in the Phils relief crew when he was too old to function effectively anymore. From 2006-2008, Gordon has seen his ERA balloon from 3.34 to 5.13, and his spent numerous stints on the disabled list. Rumor has it he’s still on the Philies roster. Though again, as a fan, I gotta’ say Gordon has broken my heart many times with busted setups and closings. But..he’s old….
So, when Sabathia is broken down, either due to age, size, or a myriad of domestic disturbances, you can be sure the Phillies will be calling, and we won’t be taking no for an answer.
In other news. I saw this video last night on SNL and, having grown up in the late 80s early 90s it hit a chord. I can’t believe I remembered the theme song. Was there ever a more memorable premise or character on TV at least in the last 20 years though? I can’t even think of any that come close. It was the perfect combination of ridiculous premise, not-as-bad-as-you’d-think acting, and of course a set of easily memorable occurrences on each show: starting with the theme song and ending with the journal..sure to make it a cult classic for years to come.
Anyway, until next time,
Go Phillies in 09