Woke up this morning the best way that a man can
— Orioles’ outfielder Adam Jones on Twitter a few minutes ago.
As a man who has been married for more than 15 years, I’m assuming that “the best way a man can” wake up is by being allowed to sleep until 8AM — which is late these days, pal — and by being allowed to drink a cup of coffee and read the paper without having anyone ask him to fix or clean anything up or, for God’s sake, be asked if “you’re going to spend all damn day in front of the computer again.”
On the off chance that he meant something, um, different, I have to ask: Ms. Andrea Bradley — Adam Jones’ mother: are you still out there reading the blogs for comments about your son? If so, do you approve of him making such lurid suggestions? I KNOW you raised him better than that . . .
In an age in which even baseball’s richest teams talk about tight budgets and keeping payroll low, it’s pretty rare to hear anyone connected with a front office talking about freely spending money. Phillies owner John Middleton, however, offered up something rare about the team’s approach to free agency.
“We’re going into this expecting to spend money, and maybe even be a little bit stupid about it,” he told Bob Nightengale or USA Today. He then added, “we just prefer not to be completely stupid.” That save aside, it was a pretty unusual sentiment these days.
“Stupid” could certainly mean Bryce Harper, who the Phillies have long been expected to pursue. It could even mean Harper and Manny Machado. Why not? At the moment the Phillies’ payroll for 2019 is looking to be just a shade above $100 million, so even adding, say, $70 million to that would not put them in an unreasonable position compared to other competitors. And that’s before you figure in any sort of back-loading or deferred money that Harper and/or Machado might agree to.
Or, even if they didn’t get one or both of those guys, they could spend that same kind of money on multiple free agents. Patrick Corbin? Marwin Gonzalez? A handful of others? We counted down the top 100 free agents last week and any number of them could be acquired given the sort of payroll flexibility a large market team like the Phillies appear to have. It merely requires the will to do it. A will which, it seems, John Middleton possesses.