IronPigs Hogtie Couple More of These Here Minor Leaguers


“The minor leagues?!” says you.  “What are those?!  I don’t care!!”

What an impossibly ignorant, insensitive viewpoint to take on such a broad matter.  You hardly seem like yourself when you’re like this.  And I’ll have you know the minor leagues are a bastion of future glory, where dreams go to thrive, or simmer.  Or explode or die or be smeared over the course of a decade.  It’s a wild place!  And you’re boring and unfulfilled.  No wonder you hate it.

Well, the Phillies’ own Lehigh Valley IronPigs have brought two old favorites back into the pack–OF Rich Thompson and OF Michael Spidale.

“…and it appears neither are willing to leave the nest,” writes Jeff Schuler, apparently implying that IronPigs are a rarely seen tree-dwelling species of the barnyard animal.Richard Charles Thompson has eleven years of minor league ball under his belt, and one full year of the Show.  However, the year in question was with the 2004 Kansas City Royals, a season that could have ruined any wide-eyed prospect’s opinion of not only playing baseball, but baseball itself.  He called upon to fill the distinguished role of “Rule 5 draft pick/substitute base-runner” and used his single at bat to ground into a double play.  The Royals quietly packaged him back up and sent him back to the Pirates.

After being scorned by the minor league deal he got with the Red Sox in 2008, Rich signed on with the Phils, where he was inserted into a hilariously catastrophic inaugural IronPigs lineup.  Something turned on and Rich went on to hit .271 as a career ‘Pig, and stealing sucessfully 127 out of 141 times since his debut.  The base paths of Coca-Cola Park wouldn’t be the same without him.

Michael Spidale, on the other hand, was placed in a different facet of the farm system, with similar results.  Being the all-time career hit leader of the Reading Phillies, Michael joined up having also been scorned by some Sox, only his were White.  Whether he’s been playing amongst the rails or experimenting in Lehigh, the guy has been solid with a bat, hitting over .300 consistently (including .326 last year).

So maybe learn the whole story next time before you start making judgments about entire systems full of people.  I don’t even really understand what would make you say those things in the first place.