With all of the success we’ve had acquiring people, Ruben has turned us into sickening junkies, always elbowing our way into trade talks where we don’t belong. This is part of the reason we made the Michael Young thing so irritating for him: Imagine being followed around by 30 people who can speak only in the form of a question. And the people never have to sleep or eat or care about anything else.
So Ruben’s tossing us a bone in the form of a rumor about Cardinals outfielder Jon Jay who, at 25, is young enough to still have some formative years left for the crippled, elderly Phillies to harvest and absorb like ravenous crypt keepers.
I know what you’re thinking. “The outfield? But why the outfield? The outfield is perfect. And furthermore, who drew all these shrieking skulls on my NCAA bracket?”
Well, the outfield is far from perfect. I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but since Jayson Werth was let go, right field has become a revolving door of names all characterized by the fact that none of them are Jayson Werth. A lot of people just don’t like Raul because he’s 39; and while I am suspicious of old people, that’s mainly because I’m suspicious of everyone.
And then there’s Shane, who I remember quite fondly from my days as a “Citizens Bank Park employee” and “horror movie-esque stalker.” He just won a Gold Glove in 2010, which I used to think meant a player was extremely proficient defensively at their position, but seems to be a mere congratulatory gesture for a player who manages to get through the whole season without losing their glove.
Okay, I know what you’re still thinking. “Fine, you’ve convinced me quite easily that the Phillies outfield isn’t perfect. But who the hell is this Jon Jay character? Why the hell should I waste my time checking him out? And I just turned my bracket over and for some reason there’s a picture of a Nittany Lion being pecked to death by a couple dozen jubilant Owls. It’s… pretty disturbing.”
Jon Jay is more than a mere college of criminal justice.
The Phillies may be seeing the value in acquiring players who can play multiple positions so that their bench can cast a wide net over the horrific slodge of starters who spent most of 2010 destroying themselves and appear to have similar intentions for 2011.
It’s become apparent that Ruben Amaro spent the majority of his childhood being harassed and abused by right handed hitters, because he has a strict aversion to having any of them on this team. Jay would be leaping into the scrambling pile of lefties wielding bats in the lineup, but his comes with a pretty decent batting average, and according to Bruce Jenkins, the batting average is the most important hitting statistic because it just is.
He can play any outfield position, his nickname is “The Chief Justice,” and it will be impossible for him to be one of those young players who thunders into the league only to burn out and disappear because in his first major league at bat he struck out on three pitches.
This could very well end with Ruben once more shouting down the notion of further acquisitions, but as usual, we’ll just have to try and shout even louder.