This year, the Phillies put aside the unbridled sense of joy and confusing sense of lust that comes with their annual blockbuster signings, in favor of softer, quieter, more frugal deals to guys who could fill holes without overflowing them.
One of those guys was Michael Young, 36 years old and being asked to play a position his old team didn’t think a 36-year-old Michael Young could play. Another is Mike Adams, fresh from the Corpus Cristi news desk which is apparently located in his family’s living room.
And the other is former National John Lannan, who in his pitching career has seen more defeat at the Phillies’ hands than anyone I’ve ever met (19 games, 3-13 with a 5.53 ERA. Fortunately, that very specific struggle means that with the Phillies no longer an “enemy,” Lannan’s value could go through the roof. Chase Utley has a .317 career average against him. John Mayberry’s is .429. He has, of course, struck Ryan Howard out 14 times in 39 at-bats.
@tbohblog Oh, just all the boos.
— Marty G (@ThisPhillyFan) December 18, 2012
Or, it could stay here, in the same room as us, sitting uncomfortably in the corner and giving us weirded out glances that say “Why am I here?” and “If nobody tells me why I’m here soon, I am going to break some poor second baseman’s hand.”
Which he has done, numerous times.
It’s well documented that John Lannan has struck more Phillies with the baseball than any other living pitcher, I assume, because all the ones that tried to go for the record before have been “neutralized” by Ruben Amaro’s smart phone. Lannan survived each encounter, presumably because Rube seemed to have planned to assimilate him with the team all along, finding Lannan’s deeply sociopathic need to create physical pain an appealing character trait.
So, Lannan and all, the Phillies sat John Lannan down in front of a Christmas tree, had him put on his eeriest smile, and relate the story of his first Major League appearance, in which his passion for Chase Utley’s blood first appeared.
“It was six years ago. Like I said, it’s water under the bridge. I think they know I didn’t mean to do it. Lefties, I’ve got to throw inside. I’m not going to blow people away. I have to pitch inside to good left-handed hitters. That’s what Utley and Howard are. I’m not going to miss over the plate, but I’m not trying to hit them.”
–John Lannan, via The Phillies Zone
Lannan went on to say he doesn’t “remember anything about that day,” indicating a sort of black-scenario in which he loses consciousness, performs grotesque acts of violence, and awakens several hours later in the clubhouse with a splitting headache. He also refused to admit that the Phillies were better than the Nationals.