Despite Rick Sutcliffe’s rantings about it last night (J.A. Happ, who is 8-2 with a 2.75 ERA should go to the pen, Rick? Really?), I think the Phillies made the right move in taking Jamie Moyer out of the rotation. According to Phil Sheridan, Jamie Moyer, despite his complaints yesterday, felt the same way about it, at least theoretically speaking, back in February:
“It was really hurtful to watch Steve Carlton finish his career the way
that he did,” Moyer said that day. “I’m not questioning why he was
playing. But . . . to see him kind of hanging on the last couple of
years – maybe he thought he could still pitch. But he struggled. I hope
I don’t have to go through that.”
Well, Charlie Manuel is trying to save him from that, isn’t he? Beyond that, I still don’t get the “I was miseld” line Moyer was peddling yesterday. Using that logic couldn’t the Phillies, on some level, say they were “misled” too? I mean, I’m sure Moyer told them that he still had a lot left in the tank when he signed that two-year deal, and he obviously doesn’t.
In reality, no one misleads anyone with this stuff. People hope for the best when fortysomething starters are involved. It often doesn’t pan out. When it doesn’t, the team has to make the moves that are best for the team. Ask Tom Glavine. Ask John Smoltz.
Ask the February 2009 version of Jamie Moyer.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.
ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.
Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.
Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.
EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.