Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE
It was reported yesterday that Juan Pierre was considered desirable by the Baltimore Orioles for the last three weeks of the season. By the close of business yesterday, the Phillies had walked away from the table, or the computer, or back room of a shady bar guarded by a Phanatic holding a bat with a nail in it, or wherever they sit while wordlessly sliding pieces of paper across the table to opposing GMs.
If you thought the wheeling and dealing was over because something called the “Trade Deadline” had passed, then you are sadly mistaken. Ruben Amaro lives in a world without deadlines or rules or some of the “more bullshit” laws. During September, teams on the fringe of the playoffs are only going to become more starved for that final piece to give them the edge, and he knows this, probably.
The issue is, people are now considering the Phillies a “playoff team.” Of course most of those people are people whose livelihoods depend on other people who like the Phillies buying their newspapers or going to their web sites. But tonight, the team that was once 10 games out of the Wild Card and saw Kyle Kendrick pitch five no-hit innings and has Michael Martinez on it will be playing to break even and make what is starting to be universally accepted as a “playoff run.”
So maybe we need Juan Pierre more than the Orioles? No. But we apparently need him more than whatever we’d get from the O’s.
As Michael Baumann pointed out when this story was still considered “news,” the Orioles offer must have been ludicrously low for Amaro to walk away. Or his value of Juan Pierre is ludicrously high. Something, in this situation, is ludicrous. It’s up to us to figure out what [EDITOR’S NOTE: No it is not].
The Orioles are trying to fill a Nick Markakis-hole in their outfield, and love Juan Pierre for it in the same way that the Reds went gaga for his veteran leadership earlier this year. The Phillies have a wealth of outfielders just waiting for a chance in Dom Brown, Darin Ruf, Nate Schierholtz, Laynce Nix, and a hot dog somebody dropped from section 144, and all of them have a better arm than Pierre.
Back in the spring, Pierre was deadlocked in vicious contention with Scott Podsednik, the guy everybody favored to make the team. “Scotty-Pod,” we’d call him. His fan group would be guys dressed up as beans. Or whales. Or soulless, alien clones of themselves called the “Pod People.”
We were all excited about it; selling out Podsednik jerseys, finding eight feet of green material to make a bean costume that can fit our awkward figures, wishing we had last names that sounded like three random syllables crammed together. But in the end, it was Pierre who the Phillies believed would have the best affect, and Scotty-Pod wound up in Boston to round out his legacy.
To Pierre’s credit, the guy has put together a season that makes the deal he signed with the Phillies beneficial for the team. But he’s not going to get a one-day contract to retire with the Phillies, so if they can steal a low-level prospect or even just get somebody from the Orioles to come pick up that hot dog in exchange for Pierre than maybe they should think about that.
But they have not. And now that we’re doing what we’re doing, Ruben thinks that at the moment, keeping Juan Pierre is the best move for this team. So let’s stop talking about this so loudly before somebody gets a Phanatic nail-bat to the head.