Newest Philly OR,
Baba Sheikh Farid Shakarganj?
There we were debating the merits of underbidding the Texas Rangers for Barry Zito, there we were discussing selling New York and the Mets rather than the greenbacks in some inexplicable dialogue of economic theory in the sky.
There we were debasing the Zito Chase by listening to the hints and whispers about trading for his soon-to-be former teammates, guys Omar classified as “Some guys have emerged who I didn’t know were available until I got here.” (hint: the injury-prone flame thrower Rich Harden and Joe Blanton) and there we were listening to the encouragement of Beaneball who nods willingly at the rumours and asks, like a corner street hooker to be approached about both.
And all the while, in the smoking rooms of Philly steak and cheese sweatshops all around the City of Brotherly Love, a sneaking little satori was taking place.
The Phillies done stole Freddy Garcia from the White Sox. The unofficial rumour of only a day ago was that it would take Gavin Floyd AND Aaron Rowand to pry Garcia from the clammy hands of the White Sox management.
Well, "stole" is a bit of hyperbolic nonsense considering they still coughed up their boy band Cy Young hopeful, Gavin Floyd in return but let's face it - was anyone really going to hang their pennant-hoping hats on a kid with potential and verve but no concrete results? Personally, I wasn't going to worry myself about Gavin Floyd this season. I didn't even have that penciled in as a concern.
But Freddy Garcia, well, that makes one sit up and take notice.
These means the Phillies aren't looking to wait for the future but are ready to party now.
This comes on the heels of the not-so-scary Adam Eaton signing and gives the Phillies six potential starters which means one of the duds might become expendable in a pitching-starved market for some decent bullpen help in return or a bat to slap behind the monsterous MVP, Ryan Howard.
Oh, they're yucking it up in Philly at the moment, you can be sure. Ambiorix Burgos, you can hear them chortle. By god, what will those Mets think of next?
The interesting sidebar to the winter meetings: two heralded GMs going mano a mano: the wiley youth of Hermano Omar v. the age and guile of auld Pat Gillick. Mothra v. Godzilla.
I am officially unconcerned that Julio Lugo signed with the Red Sox for an absurd sum and will be playing the position he wants rather than out of position for the Mets. Perhaps I am still concerned about the prospects of a drearily played second base next season but c'mon, 4 years and $36 million? The guy who hit .219 with no homers for Los Angeles in the final two months of the season? You go girl. That Theo Epstein must have contracted mad cash cow disease from the Red Sox disappointing season. What else would explain the absurdist show of $50 million plus for the bidding rights to an unproven Japanese pitcher and the $70 million, five-year contract for the sure-to-spend-the-majority-of-his-career-on-the-DL superstar, J.D. Drew.
Congratulations for Mike Piazza finally getting the gig his limp-armed two-hop-to-second-base lifestyle deserved: a stint as a DH. This is where this guy can finally make his mark.
What concerns me more is that the A's also signed left-handed reliever Alan Embree for a paltry two years at $5.5 million. Is there something about his 4-3 record with a 3.27 ERA in a career-high 73 outings for the NL West champion Padres in 2006, that Omar didn't like?
No, I'd rather take my chances on Señor Burgos, the man Omar fumes about when he's called the reincarnation of Jorge Julio.
"...and her radiator's steaming
and her teeth are in a wreck
now she won't let you kiss her
but what the hell do you expect
and the Gypsies are tragic and if you
wanna to buy perfume, well
they'll bark you down like
carneys... sell you Christmas cards in June
from Tom Waits' Small Change