This season has been a banner year for humility deficit disorder on the part of Phillies fans, but let us not forget who invented the idea that their team is entitled to everything. It’s the Yankees, folks, and it’s passages like these from the tabloid columnists — which, I might add, are reflective of a wide swath of Yankees fandom because the tabloids are nothing if not aware of their readership — that epitomize it:
the Yankees are sitting pretty, and the way their own pitching has
suddenly fallen into place, they may not care about which team they play
next. If Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes re going to continue to back up CC Sabathia with brilliance, maybe we can all start gearing up for a classic World Series matchup with Roy Halladay and the Phillies.
However, I have a feeling the Yankees will be watching Tuesday night
and quietly rooting for the Rangers to lose so the next time they see
Lee it will be in Tampa in February when he’s wearing their pinstripes.
In the space of two short paragraphs the Giants, Braves, Rangers and Rays are dismissed as an afterthought in this postseason, and 29 other teams are dismissed as an afterthought in the free agent market.
Is it likely that Phillies will face the Yankees in the World Series? Smart money says so. Is there a good chance that Cliff Lee signs with the Yankees? Of course. But no matter what the odds are, it’s pretty damn gauche, in my mind, to assume it like that, and it’s why so many people can’t stand the Yankees and, increasingly, the Phillies.
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.