The Philadelphia Phillies are giving Citizens Bank Park a makeover, replacing the original playing surface – a surface on which the Phillies won three NL East titles, two pennants and the 2008 World Series – with brand new sod.
And they’re generously giving their fans a chance to purchase a piece of the old field, and (as they’re spinning it) team history. (From Philly.com)
The Phillies said the grass has been sectioned into 3 inch-by-3 inch pieces, freeze-dried, preserved and displayed in a UV-glass case with a photo of the field and highlights of the ballpark.
Cost is $79.99 for outfield or infield sections, or $119.99 for a piece of the painted Phillies logo section from behind home plate during the postseason. The logo pieces have been numbered from 1 to 2009.
Only $80 for a piece of sod? Maybe for another $80, they will throw in some champagne corks and cigar stubs from the 2008 championship celebration. And is it really a good idea to mess with the CBP mojo? In fact, it might makes sense from a superstitious standpoint for the Mets to buy every little 3-inch-by-3-inch section and reassembling it at Citi Field.
In that case, I could understand opening your wallets. But for everyone else, it might be wise to pass on grass.
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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Phillies signed pitcher Henderson Alvarez to a minor league deal. If he is added to the major league roster, he’ll earn $750,000 prorated.
Alvarez is still only 27 years old but hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2015 due to shoulder issues. He signed with the Long Island Ducks last month, making seven starts and posting a 3.94 ERA with a 13/14 K/BB ratio in 32 innings.
The Phillies learned that Vince Velasquez will undergo season-ending surgery and also placed Zach Eflin on the 10-day disabled list, so the club is just looking for pitching depth to help take them through the end of the season. Any innings that Alvarez is able to handle will be considered a bonus.
Mets third baseman David Wright will begin a minor league rehab assignment Tuesday with High-A St. Lucie. He’ll be the DH.
Wright has been sidelined since May of 2016, first with a cervical disc herniation and, more recently, a shoulder impingement. He has appeared in just 75 games since his last full season in 2014. Wright is under contract through 2020 and is owed $47 million after this year. For now insurance is picking up a large portion of that.
It’s possible he’ll make a return to the Mets before the season out as the competitive portion of their year is basically over and giving him a chance to see big league pitching before he begins what one hopes is a normal offseason might be a good confidence boost. What meaningful role he ever plays in the big leagues again, however, is decidedly up in the air.