What does it take to get invited to the Phillies Spring Training camp? Dozens of phone calls to the front office? Furious phone operators screaming “Sir, this isn’t even the number to call to begin accomplishing that?!” Weeks of sleepless nights watching recorded games from 2011 season, wondering where it all went wrong? If so, I will see you there.
If not, you could always just become left handed. That’s a ticket into the Phillies bullpen regardless; they’ll sort out the details of your pitching ability at a later time.
That’s how Raul Valdes is getting there this season. The 33-year-old man with a left hand was recently offered a minor league contract and an invitation to Spring Training, which probably comes on sharp red stationary and features the Phanatic doing a cartwheel while shouting “YOU’RE INVITED!!” Just like in my sleepless dreams.
Valdes only tossed 12 innings more than I did for a Major League team in 2011, and in that brief window of time he managed to lose a game. I didn’t lose any, its probably worth pointing out, in case any Phillies front office people are reading this (Hi! Please ignore anything horrible I may have said about you as a joke.)
Plus, Valdes played for the Mets in 2010, which in baseball circles I assume is the same thing as dying. The numbers indicate he is a painfully average fellow who, again, does everything left-handed. The numbers also indicate that he is far more comfortable pitching in the minor leagues. The numbers also show that the Phillies should let me come to Spring Training because the north is so very unpleasant in the winter, which has expanded to include March somehow in recent years. I blame the economy.
Valdes signed a similar, and by that I mean exactly the same, contract with the Cardinals prior to the 2011 season. He pitched 5.1 of his 12 innings with them, and then sat around until August, when they asked him what he was still doing there.
My point is, will the Phillies be the next in line for the “Team Who Signs Raul Valdes to a Minor League Contract Before the Season Starts Wins the World Series” pattern? Its far too clear a pattern to ignore.
Thank you, Raul Valdes; for your presence assures us endless glory.