Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Hot Stove Updates

Welcome back, Adam Eaton. Your locker is the one over there in the far corner, with a sling still hanging in it. We’ll have someone remove Randy Wolf’s belongings and name plate by day’s end.

The Phillies have apparently completed their starting rotation with the signing of the free agent Eaton, whom they selected in the first round of the 1996 draft and later traded to San Diego. He replaces Wolf, who in seven years, all with the Phils, won 69 games. If Eaton remains healthy, he figures to be one of the sleepers of this off-season. Both he and Wolf are no strangers to injury, each having undergone Tommy John surgery. In six big league seasons Eaton has won 54 games.

Eaton spent last season with the Texas Rangers in a pitcher-friendly park. Now, he gets a chance to show his stuff in a hitters’ park while Wolf moves on to spacious Chavez Ravine.

The Eaton signing has to be seen as something of a gamble. Last year he lost considerable time due to a finger injury. Scouts love his stuff, which is code for he should be good if he can stay healthy and pitch like he is capable of pitching.

* * * * * * *

David Dellucci has signed a three-year deal with the Cleveland Indians, who guaranteed him a starting role in left field. Dellucci was never happy in Philadelphia and made no effort to conceal his displeasure. He takes his astonishingly weak arm, questionable glove and flat-out inability to hit lefties or breaking balls back to the American League, which he prefers.

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Bill Conlin is one of the few local sports columnists who regularly replies to emails. Of course, he is so “faithful” because he is motivated by more than mere conversation; at least half of those replies drip with unconcealed contempt for his correspondents. Here he is today on bloggers and other cyberspace fans:

“Blog Nation and its e-mailing disciples remain locked in historic silk-purse-for-sow's-ear mode. Like their snail-mailing fathers and catcalling grandfathers, they insist you can get five-tool outfielder Vernon Wells from the Blue Jays for oft-injured, power-deprived outfielder Aaron Rowand and $4.2 million bonus flop Gavin Floyd.

They believe a similar package certainly should be able to land Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada, a former MVP. Oh, yeah, since the Migster is adamant about remaining at shortstop, selfless, all-for-the-team-except-taking-a-pitch Jimmy Rollins would volunteer to jump on over to third base. Sure. The deal-breaker, of course, is at the action end of the deal, not the consequences end.

Andruw Jones, that's it. Atlanta GM John Schuerholz and manager Bobby Cox are dying to move their best player so they can help Ryan Howard get more pitches to jack out of the yard. Let's see... How about Rowand, Floyd and a couple of minor league pitching prospects, maybe Gio Gonzalez and J.A. Happ?

Nobody ever wonders, of course, how people that dumb managed to win their division 14 straight seasons.

The Blogs, phan phorums and unattached Hot Stove League regulars thought they had a Bobby Abreu for Manny Ramirez deal cold at the trade deadline. Bobby would play right and gimpy Trot Nixon would move to left. Even though Manny, generously labeled "eccentric" by Gillick last week, had already told the Red Sox he would not go to Baltimore. So why would they think he would go to Philadelphia?

Now they are plugging away again, packaging the Phillies' usual suspects for the Sawx unusual leftfielder and resident flake.”

Conlin goes on to censure the Phillies front office for their own incompetence, writing that “…the scouts, cross-checkers, assistants to the GM and other members of the Phillies team who have been making mostly bad decisions since this ownership group bought the Phillies after the 1981 season.”

As usual, Bill, you’ve got it right. The bloggers and fans are uninformed idiots, just as incompetent as the Phillies’ front office. We are fortunate you are here to point this out.


Tom Goodman said...

Correction: Jason Weitzel pointed out to me that Arlington is a pitcher unfriendly park. It was San Diego that was friendly.

Corey & Carson said...

wow, we're all just a bunch of idiots...way to clump everyone in the same group. if he really read blogs, he would see that we don't believe any of that garbage. he's the idiot!

dane said...

great comment on conlin. he is always very negative regarding philly. when the phils win the division he will be the person who writes that they didn't win by enough games

RickschuBlues said...

I addressed Conlin's column on BL, but your take on it merits further commentary...it's strange that Conlin, who at times strives for a certain populism, would now go out of his way to alienate a significant cross-section of fans, supposedly allied against the incompetent Phillies' braintrust. As the relavance and power of newspapers suffers more by the day in the face of broader information technologies, I sense a little harrumphing in his tone, as if he resents or is somehow undermined by what he considers to be 'amateur' commentary, which cannot possibly be as informed as his professional journalistic credibility.

Tom Goodman said...

Conlin loves to pontificate ("When I am king of the world") but unlike those columnists who use their forum to puff themselves up, Conlin is more likely to want to take someone down or, at the very least, ridicule or humiliate them. He's bright, reasonably-well educated relative to most of his subjects, pompous and more than occasionally cruel.

And here's the kicker: rarely does he add to our understanding or appreciation of the game or its practicioners.

Tom G said...

Clearly he's not reading BS&S.com, because I never floated any of those trades. As a matter of fact, I doubt Beerleaguer did, nor Swing and a Miss, nor...

Tom Goodman said...

As a matter of fact a few weeks ago I did mention the Phils should turn their attention to Wells, but I am fully aware they don not have what Toronto and just about everyone else wants, i.e., pitching. The Phils were interested in Wells last year, but that was when they had Abreu to offer as well as a much less damaged Gavin Floyd. They don't have enough to offer now.

Oisín/Wizlah said...

I was quite surprised at just how sarcastic his tone was - and like Tom G wondered which boards/blogs he'd been reading. It's a shame because I usually *do* get something interesting from his articles (some kind of historical viewpoint, if nothing else), and his stance on Brett Meyers was particularly fair to my mind. I tend to ignore the curmudgeonly tone, but that article stood out as sour grapes just for the hell of it.

Tom Goodman said...

RSB: I once exchanged emails with Conlin whose reply included the line that when I had caught a red-eye flight across country and filed my story upon landing I should get back to him. Conlin's anger at bloggers and emailers is all about their not having paid his particular kind of dues. To some extent I can sympathzie with his point of view. I read comments on various blogs by various people and think how easy it is to make them. Many are inane or just uninformed. Still, there are those who write blogs and make excellent observations and those who comment provide insight and, yes, entertainment. Being a professional newspaper man doesn't guarantee worth any more than being an "amateur" as the English use the term(one who loves) doesn't mean your insights are without worth.

RickSchuBlues said...

There have been a good deal of inane Floyd-and-Rowand-for-Wells suggestions at Beerleaguer, but not by any of the regular, longer-term posters. To make it sound as if the majority of "bloggers" are putting forth opinions like that is inaccurate and irresponsible. (speaking of BL, no one wanted to talk about this over there. Score a big one for Swing!)

Conlin's a talented but ultimately lazy writer at this point in his career. His columns are all about foisting a clever and sardonic persona at the reader and are rarely focused on any discernible point for very long. His work suffers from the fact that he clearly believes himself to be above and beyond the need to submit it to an actual editor; and it has always suffered from a complete lack of humility.

J. Weitzel said...

It was a little bothersome, but the need to respond passed quickly. At least Conlin is reading our stuff. One could even say he's paying an awful lot of attention to us. It was only a month ago that he quoted me directly, though it was no surprise he left out any mention of Beerleaguer or blogs.