Saturday, July 29, 2006

By George S.!!

Someone out there must have won the pool. He probably walked into a WAWA in the middle of all the speculation regarding whether or not the Phillies would be buyers or sellers, purchased a large coffee (three sugars, French vanilla cream), and as he paid for it mumbled something about David Bell being the guy most likely to go first. A few people in line and behind the counter must have looked up at that moment, clucked their tongues and went about their routines.

Our winner is probably lying low at the moment, waiting until the hoopla dies down before he comes forward to claim his prize. Right now his family is urging him to hire a lawyer and financial planner.

David Bell?

If nothing else, Bell’s departure confirms the Reverse Curse is alive and well. (See the last paragraph of yesterday’s post.) As soon as I heard the news it also occurred to me that George S.’s infamous Black Hole was the first casualty of the new order.

Bell was shipped to Milwaukee for Wilfrido Laureano, a 6’6” 170 pounder. My first thought upon reading the details was how in the world did scouts even see the guy if he were standing sideways?! The 22-year old Laureano was 3-2 with a save and a 3.96 ERA in 29 appearances. In 63 2/3 innings he struck out 62, walked 36 and allowed 54 hits. I don’t know how, but those figures computed to a .218 average against him according to the paper. So, what do we have here? A kid who strikes out a batter an inning, allows nearly a hit an inning and walks a batter just under every other inning. A project.

Is that all a veteran third baseman is worth on today’s open market? Hard to believe, Harry.

I watched a post-game interview with Bell and to his considerable credit he handled himself with tremendous grace, expressing sincere regret the club never reached the post-season during his tenure and noting he had made many friends for life among his teammates. He certainly didn’t make many if any among the fans, but that is water over the dam now.

So, get ready for Abraham Nunez, folks. Earlier in the season a lot of people including yours truly clamored for Nunez to get more playing time.

Watch out what you wish for…..


dane said...

Finally the David Bell era is over. Hopefully the Phils call up Bobby Scales or Brennan King from Triple A to get their feet wet to see if they could fill the position in the future. Hopefully this is the first of many deadline deals.

Anonymous said...

Between this move & the Padilla
giveaway, I'm wondering if
Stand Pat might be a double agent
working FOR the Rangers & Brewers...

RickSchuBlues said...

I'd be willing to bet a stick of Bazooka gum that Nunez has a solid final two months as the regular third baseman. I predict his average will be at least .250 be season's end. He may not have been a good bench player, but he's not nearly as bad as he's shown.

Maybe the best thing about the Bell trade is that it finally signals that Gillick isn't going to be a dodo and try to con everyone that the Phillies are still "in it" because they're only 7 out in the wild-card, as I was beginning to fear. It means that more may be coming, and very soon.

Corey & Carson said...

I love this trade for sheer purpose of ridding the club of Bell. I'd love to see some idiot club take a risk on Nunez too, because no matter what some think, he's never been a productive or good MLB player. Time to reshape this squad, and the Bell move was one in the right direction.

*We should link each other's blogs.

Tom Goodman said...

I must say I was moved by Bell's tribute to his teammates. In an age when veteran players move around continuously (long-term contracts notwithstanding), he spoke to the permanence of friendships and comraderie in his usual soft-spoken way.

Jeff Dowder said...

All David Bell did during his time here was play like David Bell. I have no idea what the fans expected. If you look at his career numbers, what he did here was about what he did everywhere else. It's not his fault that Wade overpayed in years and dollars. I had no problem with Bell at all.

Rev. Smokin Steve said...

Allow me to be the first to comment on Abreu's departure, even though this posting is David Bell related.

I have this feeling we're going torank that Abreu trade up there with the Rolen and Schilling trades, and certainly not in a good way.

When Bobby Abreu helps the Yankees get in the World Series,we're just going to have yet another story to point to in order to justify our misery.

RickSchuBlues said...

Allow me to be the first to disagree with that perspective. Bobby Abreu may help the Yankees get to the World Series, but he was never going to get the Phillies there. Those who focus solely on the 'value' obtained for Abreu and Lidle are misguided and looking at this just on the surface. The Yankees also agreed to inherit a significant degree of inflexibility and the Phillies received what could prove to be very valuable flexibility in return. Gillick said as much in his press conference that flexibility is everything in running a baseball team. To that end, moving Abreu was absolutely necessary.

I could not feel more differently about this trade than I felt when Schilling and Rolen were dealt. Those were truly dark days. This one feels like a light has finally appeared in the distance. I commend Gillick and the Phillies for the vision required to pull the trigger and finally move forward as an organization.

Anonymous said...

i agree 100% with rickschu's last comment. between the added payroll flexibility and the removal of a "veteran leader" who wasn't, there was more gained by the phils in this trade than the 4 minor-leaguers. i would have loved to have gotten a higher-ranker prospect but the market is what it is. abreu had to be moved, and i think gillick made the best deal he could have. it's amazing that people are already writing off gillick less than a season into his tenure. lead sme to disagree with the description i've heard of philly baseball fans as "knowledgeable."