As expected, the Phillies have declined their 2012 team options on both Roy Oswalt and Brad Lidge.
Instead of exercising his $16 million option the Phillies will give Oswalt a $2 million buyout and Lidge will get a $1.5 million buyout instead of a $12.5 million option.
In announcing the moves general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said that the Phillies will talk to both pitchers about returning at lesser salaries.
Lidge was limited to just 19 innings because of injuries and his raw stuff has declined significantly, but he still posted a 1.93 ERA and 23 strikeouts (along with 13 walks). Oswalt also missed time with back problems, but was plenty effective when healthy with a 3.69 ERA and 93/33 K/BB ratio in 139 innings.
Lidge may have to settle for a one-year deal and an opportunity to perhaps fight for a closer job, but if Oswalt is committed to playing beyond 2012 he should be able to command a multi-year contract.
If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.
Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 13 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.
Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.
Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.
TMZ is reporting that actor Charlie Sheen has the original cast on board for Major League III but is still looking for financial backing. TMZ cites Sheen referring to the script as “dynamite.”
The original Major League came out in 1989 and debuted at No. 1 at the box office. That spurred a sequel, Major League II, which was released five years later in 1994. Despite negative reviews, II debuted at No. 1 at the box office as well. Major League: Back to the Minors was released in 1998, but tanked at the box office and received mostly negative reviews.
Given that trend, one might wonder why anyone would attempt Major League III, and one would be correct to raise that question. But it’s been 19 years since the last installment and 27 years since the original. People in their early 30’s and 40’s with nostalgia and disposable income will likely be willing to pay to relive a blast from the past. In my humble opinion, Major League is the finest of the baseball movies, so I’ll at least be curious if Sheen ends up getting financial backing.
Sheen has had, well, an interesting life in the last two decades so it’s no sure thing that people with money will trust him to stay out of trouble.