Carlos Ruiz is about to be a free agent, which means people are going to say things about “the last time he wore a Phillies uniform.”
These people are awful, and like to act like they are above having an emotional reaction to Chooch smiling or wearing a suit, when in reality, they are so ripped up inside because they’ve never had a Chooch that loved them that they lash out with negativity.
With those people out of the way, we can see the truth about this situation as clear as the charming grin on Chooch’s face – the Phillies need Chooch. And Chooch needs the Phillies. And he’s not going anywhere because why should he, shut up please.
The good news for people like me is that other people who are normally cold and objective and whose spouses wish they’d just come to bed agree with us: Carlos Ruiz is the best option at catcher for the Phillies next year. He is older (34), played in fewer games than ever (92), saw a big drop off from 2012 (.325/.394/.540 to .268/.320/.368). His strikeouts were right on par with his 2012 rate (between 11-12% of his plate appearances ending in K’s), but his OPS dipped under .700 for the first time since 2008. His lost time was due a suspension, not injury, though his body is clearly susceptible to things like “pain.” That cost him, in the end, but chances were he wasn’t going to be a .325 hitter for the rest of his career anyway.
The point is, though, that there is no hot young catcher waiting to call him “old man” and make him reflect on his life and realize he’s not a young man anymore lurking in the minors. And the top free agent replacement catcher would be Supreme Guardian of the Right Way to Play the Game Brian McCann, who with one misguided attempt at justice became an icon for the dumb thoughts of sports writers who still think calling someone a ‘nerd’ is an insult. That would be boring and too expensive and very bad. But at least we’d have someone ready to throw a fit after every opposing home run, other than ourselves in front of our kids.
It only makes sense for Chooch to stay a Phillie forever. And of course I’m speaking with hyperbole. Nobody is trying to trap him in a Phillies uniform and keep him here for literally ever with some sort of wizard’s spell or something I haven’t worked out yet.