Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Grapheme and the Money Ball

What an emotional time for baseballers. The loss of Pat Burrell still sticks in my crawl. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad Ibanez isn't a total dud, and apparently Amaro Junior is after those RISP and clutch numbers. But again, if the issue was giving three years and alot of money to a player who isn't defensively sound or fast at all, then why not keep the band together? Pat the Bat turned out to be a fan favorite and someone we trusted, one way or another, and the advent of a Championship does not translate to a kinder, gentler Philadelphia. Ibanez is gonna get the business from the left field stands, for sure.

Thankfully we resigned Jamie Moyer. This was very wise. With Moyer, you get a good arm and a great mind, and any young pitchers on the staff are lucky to have him. Not to mention it means retaining another piece of our beloved team. We signed Chan Ho Park, the ex-Dodger pitcher to jump in the mix for the fifth starter along with J.A. Happ, Kyle Kendrick, and Carlos Carrasco, but I've seen some hopeful bloggers with some good ideas. Namely, go crazy, trade Ibanez for a high tier starter and retain Pat the Bat. I know that is just wishful thinking, but what if?

Watching a player of franchise status get a new team and a new uni can be fascinating and exhilarating. I love when things (cows, ghosts, athletes) look the same as always but in a different color. Like when Shaq went from Laker gold and purple to Miami black and red, or when my man Allen Iverson strapped on that Detroit penny this year. Baseball is even better. I love the color match-ups in baseball, and I love getting the city scape shots and local flavor that somehow finds its way to exhibition on the diamond. Interleague is the best for this synesthetic joy. Like when the Dodgers play the Angels in the Battle for Los Angeles, and you have straight up red team vs. blue team action, fighting for the ideals of their neighborhoods. Even better is Oakland A's vs. San Francisco Giants, poor vs. rich, green and yellow vs. orange and black. The Phillies/Dodger series was great because 1) It was red team/blue team, 2) It was mean and wild vs. lazy and apathetic, 3) We won.

Still, I don't really want to see the Bat in any other uniform, but I assume he's gonna go to the AL, so I'll have a favorite Junior Circuit team soon I guess. If I had to see it, I'd hope it would be in Orioles gear, or barring that Kansas City or Oakland or Tampa Bay. And dear lord please not New York, Boston, or Atlanta. Either way the decathexis is painful and I wish it didn't have to happen.