Life has been super fast for Ben Francisco.
Unlike most players, Benny actually existed prior to playing for the Phillies. We know this not because he was spectacular in any way, but because his name was oft-mentioned in the same breath as “Cliff Lee,” having been the garnish on that trade deadline feast. Then, he gets to play for the Phillies, for a few years, which was anywhere from pretty fine and good to forehead-massagingly bad.
Quite suddenly, however, the Washington Nationals went insane, and Benny had the chance of a lifetime. With Jayson Werth following a wheelbarrow of money to D.C., Bennywas fighting for a starting position! Somebody wanted him out on the field when the game started! Surely, Benny was the next Phillies star outfielder to impress everyone from under the radar, and pretty soon, he’d be following his own obnoxious amount of money to some other city, backed by the obnoxious boos of the fans.
And that story came true for Benny, except for the impressed people and money.
Now, some will tell you that his “probably for less than $2 million” deal is different in some way from Jayson Werth’s $126 million one. But the truth is, Benny got just as good a deal as Jayson did. Sure, it involves considerably less money, job security, and media coverage. But Jayson’s deal ended with him playing for the Nationals. So… you know.
In return, the Phillies will be welcoming a 27-year-old minor league left-handed pitcher named Frank Gailey, whom everyone will tell you they’ve never heard of. He’s originally from the Philly area, though, so that’s neat. He had like a 5.70 ERA in Double-A New Hampshire. So, no, this wasn’t really a bust of a trade or anything.
Already, though, the repercussions of Benny’s absence can be felt. Shane Victorino expressed sadness over his friend’s departure, posting said melancholy on Twitter in the form of a tender good-bye note. Which would probably be more effective if Benny had a Twitter account, too. But hey. We’re all hurting.
Benny will be most remembered for a home run in a game we barely won during a series we definitely lost.