Ross Gload’s job security came into question yesterday when the Phillies signed a somewhat younger guy whose functions include playing first base and outfield, hitting left-handed, and moving around with the agility of an outdated kitchen appliance.
28-year-old John Bowker, who has performed these tasks for the Giants and Pirates in the past, will serve as the likely replacement for Gload, whose base running has been accompanied by a haunting, mechanical sound that opposing infielders have described as “…just awful; like a bag screws in a dryer.”
The acquisition cost the Phillies a roster spot, and Michael Schwimer was sent back down to Lehigh Valley to become increasingly bitter toward his teammates and stare wistfully out of bus windows while recalling his brief flash of glory in The Show.
The desperate need for a left-handed bat off the bench who isn’t Ross Gload has been the focus of the Phillies’ determination since a few days after plugging their last hole in right with Hunter Pence. No word yet on which issue the media will be skewering next as an absolutely critical need for the Phillies that, if ignored, will cost them their precious World Series dreams.
Meanwhile, Bowker’s 2011 Major League presence includes a .235 batting average, with four hits, a double, two RBI, and a caught stealing. Already, this is an upgrade from Gload as no one would ever even consider letting him attempt to steal a base. Joining up before the September 1 deadline, Bowker is perfectly eligible to be on the Phillies’ post season roster, assuming Gload isn’t threatened enough to challenge him to a fist fight in “the circle of death,” a term the bench player has used with increasing frequency in reference to a circle of baseballs near his locker in which he can be often seen doing a few push-ups and then napping.
It is not yet known how many prized prospects the Phillies gave up in the deal.