Welcome to PhilsWeek! – a fun* look back at the week that was and all the exciting happenings surrounding everyone’s favorite major league baseball team: The Philadelphia Phillies!
*Note: Amount of fun experienced may vary.
Super big Phillies issue of the week: Domingo Santana was an accidental throw-in unless he wasn’t
Remember the Hunter Pence trade? Of course you do! That’s the trade that most Phillies fans point to when they try to show how awful Ruben Amaro, Jr. is. In exchange for Pence, the Phillies sent four prospects to the Houston Astros: Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singleton, Josh Zeid, and Domingo Santana.
It was a hefty price to pay for Pence, who only ended up staying with the team for a season. But as it turns out, the price might not have needed to be that high.
The initial deal was specified as Cosart, Singleton, Zeid, and the most often traded player in the major leagues: The player to be named later. As is typical in these cases, the Phillies sent the Astros a list of players to choose from, and they ultimately chose Santana.
As Santana’s minor league career progresses, it is looking more likely that all four players in the deal will eventually make the majors. However, his inclusion may not have been a baseball mistake, but rather a clerical one. According to a source, Santana wasn’t supposed to be among the players on that list.
Or maybe he was. Amaro vehemently disputed those rumors, saying that Santana’s presence on that list may have been foolish, but it was certainly intentional.
I’m not sure which case make the Phillies look worse. Is it better to think that they “threw in” a guy with so much potential? Or is it preferable that they correctly valued their talent, but someone made a clerical mistake.
If I had to guess I’d say that the inclusion of Santana was indeed intentional. It seems far-fetched to believe that the list of players submitted to the Astros wouldn’t have gone through several stages of review.
Maybe there’s a simple explanation. Maybe the Phillies regret the move in hindsight (I certainly hope they do), and wanted to trick the Astros into giving Santana back to them. Maybe they thought that if they told the Astros, “Hey, we goofed. Can we have Santana back?” they would agree to it.
Unfortunately, if that was their plan, it doesn’t seem to have succeeded.
Pennant year song of the week
Winning the National League pennant isn’t something the Phillies do all that often; it’s only happened seven times in team history. Each week, I’ll take a song from one of those years that somehow ties into the events of the past week.
The Other Guy – The Little River Band, 1983
Apparently, the Phillies might not have meant to trade Santana. They really wanted the Astros to take some other guy.
Right player, wrong uniform
There are some players who played their entire careers with a single team, and it’s impossible to imagine them in a different uniform: Mike Schmidt with the Phillies,Cal Ripken with the Orioles, and Derek Jeter with the Yankees are prime examples. On the other hand, there are some players who you might associate with a certain team…but they also had a forgettable stint (or two) with another team. You might not remember their time with those other teams, but the internet never forgets!
Dwight Gooden once looked like he might be the greatest pitcher that ever lived. He took the baseball world by storm, winning the Rookie of the Year award in 1984, a Cy Yong Award in 1985, and pitched the New York Mets to victory in the 1986 World Series.
He continued to pitch well throughout the 1980s when injuries and drugs began to take a toll on him. You might remember that he spent a few years pitching for the crosstown Yankees. You might also remember him playing for his hometown Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
But the two years he spent on the Indians? I had no recollection of that.
The Week Ahead
After a day off, the Phillies take on the San Diego Padres. The Padres aren’t having an especially good season either, but the good news for them is that playing the Phillies seems to be a great way to earn some victories.
Inane Rap Lyric of the Week
“I like them black, white, Puerto Rican, or Haitian, like Japanese, Chinese, or even Asian.” – Chingy, Balla Baby
“No, man, I don’t want Asian food. Let’s get Chinese!”
See you next week for another installment of PhilsWeek!
Tags: Philadelphia Phillies