Phils So Happy to See Ibanez They Drop a Mayberry


The Phillies were so impressed by John Mayberry, Jr.’s peformance in Clearwater this preseason, they had a very clear message for him:  Get out.

Mayberry was finally optioned to the minors, a process that many saw as inevitable, as the current Phillies outfield is comprised of some offensive slaughterhouses, who’s well-rounded skills made them All-Stars in 2009.  And Raul Ibanez who, after swearing that all that quiet muttering his bat did in the second half of last year was over, promptly went 4-for-41 in Spring Training.

That’s a .098 batting average.  That’s bad.  That’s real bad.  Not even sell-your-body caliber baseball.

The appeal of Mayberry is that he’s a Jayson Werth-type hitter who, sadly, cannot hit right-handed pitching.  Thus, with a lot of pitchers being his apparent kryptonite, young John was sent packing in favor of the outfield they’ve got, including Raul Ibanez, who did I mention was scheduled to play yesterday because he got hit in the elbow?

Whatever.  It is the preseason.  For a week.  And it’s such a minor injury that he’ll be back in the lineup today, so no, there was barely even a reason to mention it.

But Mayberry is one of two (Guess who the other one is!) hot prospects in a Phillies organization that is trying to ignore the growling stomach of a farm system it has been left with after acquiring a certain best pitcher in baseball (Guess who I’m referring to!), and get this, they’re both outfielders. However long the brass wants to hide behind the “Well we’ve got three All-Stars in the outfield” argument could wind up being too long… especially since Raul seems to be stumbling through the revival of his glorious debut.

Speaking of Werth he had lunch with family friend Reggie Jackson yesterday.  Could it have been merely a meal shared between pals?  Or does this warrant a childlike freakout?

Ha, ha.  Of course it does.  Here we go.

Shrug ignorantly all you want, Brian Cashman, but we all know it would totally go against the Yankees persona and professional beliefs to sneak in there and get the slithery advantage.

What we talked about is our business. But, honestly, it was just two friends having lunch,” Werth said.

Okay, okay, Jayson.  We’re backing off.  But in a harsh whisper, let’s continue this made-up argument out of earshot of him.


Okay, so, Jackson played with both Werth’s step-dad and Dick Schofield, Werth’s uncle.  If there was a filter through which somebody could start pumping images of Werth in a Yankees uniform right now, it’d be Reggie Jackson.  Even despite all the family ties, if Reggie Jackson asks you for a lunch date, chances are a casual baseball enthusiast, let alone someone who plays the game for a living is going to A.) Say yes immediately and B.)  Listen to every god damn word he says.

But now we’re–oh wait here he comes.

*Jayson Werth walks by, glaring*

Hey, Jayson.  How are…

Okay, he’s gone.  But now we’re talking about the business of baseball, which the Yankees tend to play with the same merciless, serpentine mindset that gets them World Series trophies.  Taking into account Werth’s respect and admiration for Jackson, and 90% of the world being unable to formulate an image of Jackson in anything but his Yankees uniform, it is not hard to put together a scenario in which Jackson is breathing ideas into Werth’s ear.

That said, I absolutely believe Jayson will give us 150% this year and be an All-Star and put up numbers that I can’t even count to.  It’s just a real damn shame we’re not positive if he can do it again in 2011.  And I personally do not ever count out even the craziest conspiracies regarding the Yankees being total dicks.

Phils-Braves, 1:05pm, Bright House Field

Just read in City Paper that some folks expect Happ to be a fantasy bust because he’ll be in the grips of a sophomore slump.  Hey.  Shut up, City Paper.