While the Eagles are busy stealing members of the Vikings practice team, the Phillies are flipping through the Rolodex, giving lovelorn, nostalgic glances to names from their storied past.
“Do I dare do it?” they ask themselves, thinking of crossing that line from fond rememberance to actual contact. ”Do I dare dial reach out to Juan again?”
It had been years since they’d spoken. There were good times, sure. His first year in the Majors, they got to the World Series. There were also bad times. Like, every other year until 1990, when he wasn’t a Phillie anymore.
Well, we dared do it, and Juan was happy to hear from us, it seems. Things rekindled almost immediately, and the next thing you knew, we were shoving Sam Perlozzo from third base to first base, and Juan is taking the reins at third.
That whole “get in on the ground floor” argument I made for him sticking with the Orioles? Apparently nonexistent.
Here’s the thing. You don’t let a guy like Davey Lopes just walk out of your life. But to catch a Juan Samuel on his way up, when our mutual past is so agreeable and he fits our needs so perfectly (he’ll coaching the outfielders as well, like Lopes did), well, we could have done much worse.
Speaking of the outfielders, this is a critical portion of time for them. Whoever’s their liaison on the coaching staff is entering a stage where we will be addressing significant loss. A crevasse has split open in right field (probably), and there will be mixed issues involving inexperience of both age (Dom Brown) and/or every day playing (Ben Francisco, Ross Gload), and/or new faces altogether (If anybody says Jeff Francoeur again, I will break my hand-bones in a large radius of dry wall).
What I’m saying is, there are plenty of reasons to have a seasoned, knowledgeable outfielder on the staff who can also coach a base or two.
The outfield could use a wise voice to lean on, and I’m trying to talk beyond the whole Werth thing because face it, Ibanez is no spring chicken (or, more to the point, no young left fielder), and Victorino’s skills dulled enough in 2010 that I actually had some doubts about his recent Gold Glove.
The Phillies first get is a solid one.