"Hello, Kurt? Yeah. Yeah I'm stuck in the net again. Please help." Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Phillies and IronPigs Renew Commitment to Adorable Love Story

“We have no intention of ever looking anywhere else.  It’s a great marriage, and when you have a great spouse, there’s no reason to look anywhere else.”

Lehigh Valley IronPigs co-owner Joe Finley

You may have heard of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.  They are where the majority of the Phillies bullpen comes from; and then goes back to upon giving up 16 runs over 3 1/3 innings.

Kurt Landes is the general manager of the IronPigs.  Brash and theatrical, the man takes mundane Tuesday afternoon-talk and recycles it into a press conference with a smiling hot dog.  He doesn’t seem to shy away from the camera.  In fact, he probably brought the camera with him and is currently throwing handfuls of confetti at you for some reason.

Ruben Amaro’s Triple-A incarnation doubles as his antithesis.  The minor leagues don’t require the icy calculation of the pros; they require consistent attention and anthropomorphic animals that race each other or something.  And in a setting with those priorities, Kurt Landes is as effective and theatrical as Ruben is cold and silent.

He is one of the many reasons the two franchises are perfect for each other.

“We’re on the same page.  We understand each other.”

–Phillies Assistant Director for Player Personnel Steve Noworyta

And with that, the IronPigs and Phillies renewed their vowels the other day, in what was deemed a completely unnecessary press conference.

Acknowledging that the extension was pretty much a formality, Landes said the Phillies-IronPigs relationship is something that ‘shouldn’t be taken for granted’ and was ‘something worth celebrating.’”

Jeff Schuler, Allentown Morning Call

The combined player development forces of both organizations have made them want to sign, in blood possibly, an extension of their dedication to each other.  You can’t blame the Phillies for wanting to stay involved with Landes, who has taken the third smallest minor league market and made it number one in attendance.  The two just belong together, and seem to have no interest in looking elsewhere to get what they need.

As Ruben grapples with decisions like how many decades to sign Cole Hamels for and what color to paint his money room (I believe he settled on red, “the color of blood money”), Kurt Landes will be there, for at least the next four years, cultivating Ruben’s future stars and trade chips while tweeting at no one.

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Tags: Lehigh Valley IronPigs