Jumping off the deep end

Cannonball!So the free agent period is officially on. In fact, it’s “on” on. Yesterday was the first day and it seemed as if everyone was freaking out trying to learn new information about who was talking to whom and where everyone was going the next couple of days. Everyone was in everyone else’s business and had each other’s names in each other’s mouths.

Between hoping I could carve out my insides with a pie cutter and waiting for my head to explode with this damn sinus/migraine thing I got going on over here, I fielded an IM or two about all this free agent hubbub from guys closer to the situation (and more seasoned) than me.

Pure insanity.

They all wanted to know if the other shoe had dropped. Did I know anything? Had I heard anything? TELL US! TELL US NOW!


But just like… well… me on payday, I got nuthin’. Nada. But then again, I’m not one of those guys who goes running all willy-nilly for no reason. I don’t go shopping the day after Thanksgiving (unless it’s online) and I don’t go doing a cannonball into the deep end without dipping my big, battered toe [1]in first. Folks, you have to settle in and build a nice rhythm if you expect to go the distance.

In other words: simmer down. Now. Who goes out on payday and breaks the bank seconds after walking out of the check-cashing place? Not anyone sane or sober and certainly not the Phillies.

But then again, perhaps the shooting-from-the-holster approach isn’t a bad one. Maybe if the Phillies jumped into the deep end they can get all of their wintertime shopping done before the crowds rush in. After all, trading for Brad Lidge kind of pushed the team onto a certain direction in completing the puzzle, which, truth be told, wasn’t too difficult to decipher to begin with. Apparently, the Phillies believe they score enough runs as it is and can go with Shane Victorino in centerfield, Jayson Werth in right and Wes Helms/Greg Dobbs at third. How many runs does a team need?

I guess that has to do with the pitching, which is what the team (and every other team, too) will be looking for. It’s also the reason why Kyle Lohse will likely sign a multi-year contract filthy with a bunch of numbers. Will it be $40 million? How about $50 million?

And yes, we’re talking about Kyle Lohse. And Carlos Silva. Write the big check for Livan Hernandez.

Aaron RowandAccording to some reportage and sleuthing by the local beat scribes, it appears as if the Phillies will not have the cash to break the bank this winter, which seems odd. It seems odd because the Phillies had the best attendance in the history of the taxpayer subsidized Citizens Bank Park in 2007. What’s more, they made the playoffs for the first time in 14 years, too. That means more exposure, more games and (probably) more cash coming in. Plus, chances are they will raise ticket prices for 2008, too. Yeah, why not… if the fish is going to jump into the boat, all they have to do is beat it over the head with an oar.

Still, it seems likely that there won’t be enough petty cash stuck under the cushions of the couch to make a “competitive” offer to Aaron Rowand, the Gold Glove Award-winning centerfielder, who just so happens to be coming off a career year with the bat. It also appears that Messr. Rowand is heading for one of those contract deals that looks like science fiction, which is crazy. Could a team really be ready to offer Aaron Rowand $15 million per season?

Really? That’s Kyle Lohse money.

It also reminds me why running, cycling, golf and tennis are superior to the so-called “mainstream” sports in the U.S. Why? Because you have to win to get paid.  

[1] I reckon I have run more than I walk during the past two decades. Therefore, my toes are all beaten up as if they were about to go into a mince meat pie. I have no idea what mince meat pie looks like (or even what it is), but I bet it’s nasty… like my bludgeoned-by-running toes.