Let’s talk about… um… nothing

Curt SchillingWith the NBA season ready to kick off tonight, it means one thing in Philadelphia…

It’s hot-stove baseball time!

Yes, the rumors, innuendo and conjecture is in a full-court press as suggestions for ways the Phillies can re-build their NL East-champion club before the 2008 season. And just where do the Phillies start?

Pitching?

Center field?

Third base?

Another power hitter?

Pitching?

How about some pitching?

Did anyone mention pitching?

So far the Phillies have started by holding an organizational meeting in Florida in order to outline the plan of attack this winter. No doubt it all started with a Power Point presentation featuring the themes listed above. Or maybe someone just broke out some poster board and a Sharpie and scotch taped it to the wall. Undoubtedly they wrote:

Pitching?

Center field?

Third base?

Another power hitter?

Pitching?

How about some pitching?

Did anyone mention pitching?

Anyway, what has happened now that the official Major League season has been over for three days? Well… nothing. What was supposed to happen? Sure, Aaron Rowand and a bunch of other guys have officially filed for free agency, but that’s just a formality. It’s like signing up to bring a bag of Pirate’s Booty or a spinach dip tucked into a bread bowl to the next weekend party or something. You do it, but is your heart really into it?

Nevertheless, the Phillies have exclusive negotiating rights with Rowand and guys like Antonio Alfonseca, Jon Lieber (the fat man walks alone!), Rod Barajas, Jose Mesa and J.C. Romero for two weeks. After that… it’s on! Any team can talk to any free agent and put some scratch behind all the blather, too.

Plus, during the next two weeks of exclusivity, the Phillies can talk to other free agents though they are not allowed to discuss money or contract terms[1]. So, say for instance the Phillies want to call up… let’s just pull a name out of the air here… Curt Schilling and broach the subject about whether or not he’d like to pitch for the Phillies in 2008, they can.

As long as they don’t talk about money. Which is weird, because what else would they talk to him about?

“Hi… Curt?”

“Yeah, who’s calling? My caller ID didn’t register properly.”

“It’s the Phillies!”

“Oh hi… what’s up?”

“Oh nothing, just calling to see how everything is going… what’s new?”

“Oh, you know, nothing much. I was just in that World Series thing with the Red Sox and we won in four straight games. Other than that I have EverQuest convention coming up…”

“A what coming up?”

“EverQuest. It’s a game. You play it on the computer. It’s kind of like Dungeons & Dragons, only geekier…”

“Dungeons and what?

“It doesn’t matter. I don’t think you called to talk about that.”

“No, you’re right, we didn’t.”

“So what’s up?”

“Nothing, we’re just calling to see what’s up with you.”

“Nothing.”

“Nothing?”

“Well, nothing really.”

“Nothing really?”

“Yeah, nothing really… what are you getting at?”

“Well, we don’t know how to say this so we’ll just come out and say it… we like you. We really like you.”

“Thanks…”

“… And if you like us as much as we like you, maybe we can work together next year?”

“Maybe. I don’t know. We’ll see.”

“Well, we can’t tell you how much we like you yet, but we will.”

“Maybe we can talk again then, right now I have Lord Doljonijiarnimorinar breathing down my neck and things are getting pretty tight. Why don’t you call me in a couple of weeks and we can pick this up then.”

“OK. How about in two weeks.”

“OK.”

“OK… we’ll talk to you in two weeks.”

“OK.”

“Talk to you then.”

“OK, bye.”

“Bye… Curt, we really li…”

click


[1] Yeah, like that really happens.

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