The holidays have come and gone, meaning Ruben Amaro has gone from pretending to pay attention to his chattering underlings while methodically fingering his smart phone to pretending to pay attention to his chattering family members while methodically fingering his smart phone, and back again.
Yes, it’s back to the seductive allure of being the only one in the office, calling other teams’ GMs at unreasonable hours to run ideas by them; catching them off guard and giving him the upper hand. Is Amaro above getting his children to draw loving pictures, sending them to his rivals and getting them to assume their own children drew them, and then calling them while they are in the grips of a vulnerable, emotional state to take advantage of their undoubtedly weakened judgment?
We can only ask these things. And assume them.
But in the past few days, the Phillies have gone from being in on every lower tier outfielding option on the market to being in on every lower tier outfielding option on the market after Christmas.
The headlines of Philadelphia sports sections glitter with the prospect of Scott Hairston! Vernon Wells! Jason Kubel! Alfonso Soriano! Basically, Ruben’s dream seems to be that guy in a suit who helicopters out to the grizzled veteran;s log cabin in the mountains to convince him to stop chopping wood and get back into the game.
“I don’t do that anymore,” Alfonso Soriano would growl.
Whether he wasn’t doing it anymore out of choice or bland incompetence, we don’t know. That’s another assumption. That’s what offseason news is all about! People forget what baseball looks like, or what it is, and they get all convinced Vernon Wells can be effective or Michael Young can track a grounder and the next thing you know our roster looks like a series of compromises.
Cody Ross and Nick Swisher–who were apparently the best options–are gone, leaving us with these.
Wells’ OPS has been worn down to unrecognizable and he doesn’t move with Vernon Wells-like swiftness anymore; Hairston would have to work through the impenetrable hatred of Scott Franzke; Kubel’s all southpaw’d; and nobody feels like getting a ride all the way up to Soriano’s secret mountain lair in the heart of avalanche season.
There are also plenty of good reasons not to sign these guys, but seeing as how we’re running out of options, and this league has a dramatic shortage of flawless players, more than likely, one of these mornings we are going to wake up and find out that we settled for someone at some point during the night.
It’s that magical time of year when people start articles with “The holidays have come and gone,” as if you didn’t know that, which means it’s time to start accepting that you didn’t get everything you wanted because some of it was too expensive; it’s almost the new year now, and it’s time to just start settling.