I realize that you can’t write the story of last night’s Yankees game without noting that Joe Girardi made the ballsy decision to pinch hit Raul Ibanez for the struggling Alex Rodriguez. That’s the kind of thing we’ll be talking about for decades, I reckon. It’s news, and of course you have to talk about it.
But is piling on A-Rod really the way to lead it? Are his failures, as opposed to Raul Ibanez’s heroics, really the first thing that should come out of your mouth, figuratively speaking, when talking about last night’s game? If you’re the New York Post and the Daily News, yes, yes it is:
Call me crazy, but you’d think the swipe at Rodriguez could wait until the second paragraph, not the headline.
And yes, I realize that saying such things about the New York tabloids is about as pointless an exercise in the world. It’s like complaining about the sky being blue or a zebra having stripes. The very question I’m posing here is rather nonsensical given who we’re talking about.
(Thanks to Jimmy Traina for the heads up)
Robert Murray and MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported earlier, respectively, that the Phillies signed pitcher Francisco Liriano and infielder Neil Walker to minor league contracts. If he makes the major league roster, Liriano will earn a salary of $1.5 million with an additional $1.25 million available through performance incentives. Walker’s contract information is not yet known.
Liriano, 36, struggled from 2016-18 but enjoyed a productive year out of the bullpen for the Pirates this past season. He posted a 3.47 ERA with 63 strikeouts and 35 walks over 70 innings. The lefty was quite effective against same-handed batters, limiting fellow lefties to a .659 OPS. That would figure to be a key component if Liriano makes the Phillies’ Opening Day roster.
Walker, 34, hit .261/.344/.395 with eight home runs and 38 RBI over 381 plate appearances with the Marlins last year. The veteran is versastile, having played first, second, and third base along with both corner outfield spots in recent seasons. Despite Walker’s versatility, it is tough to see room on the Phillies’ roster for him, barring injuries to other players. It never hurts to have depth.