The Phillie Phanatic is good for a laugh a majority of the time, whether he’s cavorting around Citizens Bank Park in his ATV, posing for pictures with fans in the stands, or rifling individually-wrapped hot dogs into the 400-level. The Phanatic, who hails from the Galapagos Islands (of Charles Darwinian fame), will be entering his 36th year of existence on this planet and he has become as much a part of the Phillies franchise as the athletes who don the red pinstripes themselves.
The Phillies’ latest creation involving the Phanatic is nightmare fuel, however. In an attempt to parody the popular YouTube video “What Does the Fox Say?” by Norwegian duo Ylvis, the Phillies created, “What’s the Phanatic Say?” It’s… something.
This, not the five-year, $125 million contract extension given to Ryan Howard, will be the lasting legacy of GM Ruben Amaro’s tenure with the Phillies.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times unloaded a lot of interesting news items about the Rays last night, including a report that the Rays might have “mutual interest” in a deal with free agent first baseman/DH Mike Napoli. The Rangers declined Napoli’s $11 million option earlier this month and owe the veteran infielder a $2.5 million buyout.
Napoli, 36, had a strange year in Texas. He turned in 29 home runs, good for 11th-most among AL hitters, but finished the year batting just .193/.285/.428 over 485 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, his -0.5 fWAR was the worst mark of his career to date, but on the bright side, he should come cheap for a team looking to swap out their veterans come spring.
Of course, the specifics of the Rays’ offseason plan have yet to be divulged — or, by all accounts from Topkin, even decided on. The club could go the refurbishment route, changing out some of their higher-paid veterans for a mix of prospects and cheaper aging players; or they could opt for a full rebuild, which Topkin cautions against as it could have a negative effect on the financing of a new ballpark. Either way, the Rays figure to offload some of their bigger contracts this winter, and will need to decide if they want to retain Alex Colome, Chris Archer, Wilson Ramos, Evan Longoria and others before pursuing any other major free agents.