In December 2007, Chad Durbin met the Phillies and it was love at first four-seam fastball. Chad stepped into a pair of bright red cleats and never looked back, providing the spastic bullpen with some flakes of stability throughout three highly successful campaigns. By the end of it, though, the Phils cut him loose, leaving the reliable Durbin a mere shadow of his former self–a habitual win-junkie, unable to think of anything but his next chance to suck down some sweet, sweet, victory.
With the free agent market laying before him, and several mediocre teams on th phone, Chad is discovering one haunting aspect of his time with the WFC: The Phillies are a gateway team.As recently as the last day of January, Durbin was claiming that a Phillies offer was still being considered. A “person close to” Chad announced that “He wants to go back to Philly.” But at the same time, Ruben Amaro had come to accept that we would “…probably not be re-signing” him.
Yet, the indications seem to be that Chad will not be getting his fix in Philly in 2011. There are plenty of teams out there with bullpen-holes who could make good use of a guy like Chad, even if he’s suffering from a debilitating degree of addiction. Sadly, as it turns out, he’s in no mood to sink back down to a team that won’t allow him exposure to the bright lights and explosive crowds of the post season. So sure is he of prospective Phillies success in the coming year, he seems prepared to break his finger nails off in the hope of pitching for us.
But not only is he wringing his hands in hopes of playing for a championship caliber squad, he’s hoping to pave a road into the future with said team with a multi-year deal. He deserves it, sure, but there’s no denying this is partially fueled by his desire to never watch the playoffs from home; the viral smarms of Joe Buck sneaking into his ear; the outrageous screams of the crowd hundreds of miles away.
So while we wish Chad the best of luck on the market, we also apologize for injecting him with an insatiable desire to win constantly. Hopefully, he winds up on a team that can satisfy that terrible hunger. Otherwise, he’ll be ripping apart locker rooms and throwing TVs off hotel balconies as the hideous process of quitting cold turkey hits home.