What? No, we don’t need a set-up man.
I mean, sure, we could have used Ryan Madson. He was… he was great. But he’s gone now. He doesn’t matter anymore. He probably does to his family and stuff, I guess, but more importantly, he doesn’t matter to us. And therefore, the position he was perfect in no longer matters either. So there.
Unless, of course, somebody else came along and was suitable for the role. Then maybe we could let go of the past and accept that Francisco Cordero could be just fine as the new set-up man. Or he could be further middle-aged dead weight keeping us sluggish and corpse-like while the youthful Ryan Madson excels in a new uniform. That’s the fun of the offseason! The nightmare scenarios are literally endless.
But in this case, let’s cast aside the all too accessible negativity and consider that the Phillies are one of four teams (contending with the Orioles, Blue Jays, and Angels) on Cordero’s short list. By the end of the week, the solid reliever will have picked a suitor, and we’ll all get to move on to the next rumor.
However, let’s envision a world where Cordero signs with the Phillies.
It’s still winter. It’s still cold. And a 36-year-old man is offering what many professionals refer to as “stability,” which is the preconceived notion that a relief pitcher, one of the most touch-and-go positions in the game, can retain an effective skill level over the course of a season. The alternative, of course, are the two young arms who found success mixed with loud, puzzling failure in 2011, Michael Stutes and Antonio Bastardo, as well as broken man Jose Contreras. So “stability” is a nice word to hear.
In this world–we’re still in that other Cordero dimension, remember–the Phillies have brushed a bit too harshly against the luxury tax, and our governments Cashbots have broken into Ruben Amaro’s office, trashed the place, and made off with all those financial penalties we owe them.
Meanwhile, on the field, Cordero remains solid, despite secretly wanting to close, and letting soundless tension build between himself and Papelbon until it all erupts in the bullpen during a 27-4 routing of the Mets. The clubhouse will split into two factions and this city will tear itself apart. Of course, being built on a cloud, this is a far more devastating conclusion. We’re still in another dimension, remember. Watch out for that swarm of robotic bird that escaped from the cyber-zoo!