As patient as Philadelphia has been throughout this free agent signing process, which is to say, nobody’s died, it is tough to watch teams like Atlanta and Washington find their man.
Ruben Amaro has set fire to the snow in recent winters, giving us warm Halladays and Cliffs and Papelbons to dance around while the sun sets at four in the afternoon. And while his new found patience is admirable, it is at the same time, explosively irritating.
So let’s all drum our fingers on the counter and watch Thursday Night Football and pretend we’re not staring at that phone like Ruben’s gonna call any moment with the good news.
“I signed Michael Bourn!” he’d say.
“That’s nice, I wish he wasn’t as old as he is,” we’d reply.
“No, you don’t understand, I signed 2009 Michael Bourn, when he led the league in stolen bases and won a Gold Glove. Employing a witch doctor as an assistant GM has paid off in spades.”
“Hooray, I have literally no other problems! That was the last one!”
This will never happen, as Ruben Amaro has suspiciously never confirmed or denied his stance on the effectiveness of witch doctoring. Also because he keeps us very, very far out of the loop. But, as a general concept of “signing Michael Bourn,” it may happen for a few reasons: The Phillies have a past with Bourn, they have the money to pay him what he wants even if it’s outrageous, he’s the superior WAR candidate, and he’s part of a shrinking short list.
He’s a great fit for this offense as a leadoff hitter who can outrun the instincts of most Major League catchers. He’s got a skill set that makes him a scoring threat after as little as a hit-by-pitch, but he is more than likely going to want money to exchange those skills in a Phillies uniform.
That aforementioned short list includes famed Hawaiian fellow Shane Victorino, Angel Pagan, Josh Hamilton, and some longer shots like Alejandro de Aza and Dexter Fowler, who really are not as good at baseball as the ideal candidate would be. In baseball’s deepest market, it seems the Phillies are content to go for a swim.
There is no easy formula. Any guy that’s a great fit wants to stay too long, any guy that’s affordable may not be a solution. Even the chosen ones like B.J. Upton and Denard Span are flawed, and far from guarantees that they’ll contribute what the blinding light of hope has made it seem they possess.
Which is why it’s refreshing to see our excitable GM taking a second to back up, sit down, and consider just what in the hell is going on.
That doesn’t mean it’s easy to wait for him to figure it out, especially when all of us so clearly have.