With the top job comes the tough decisions and last week Bud Selig had one of the tougher ones: whether or not to overturn the blown call by Jim Joyce and give Armando Galarraga his perfect game. We all know that he declined to do so. Yesterday he explained his reasoning:
“In this job, precedence [sic] is very important. A lot of
people don’t really understand that. But it is important. And while you
can say, ‘This was really aberrational,’ there are a lot of situations
— I’ve had clubs call me and say, ‘What about that game I lost, why
didn’t you think about doing that?’ And they were serious . . . Of course you open Pandora’s Box [by changing a call]. You may think you haven’t, but you have.”
This was on all fours with my reasoning. An unpopular decision to be sure, but God knows that Bud isn’t in this racket to be popular. Baseball has made enough ad hoc decisions over time. I’m glad they didn’t make another one.
Now, about replay . . .
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.
Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”
On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”
Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.
Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.