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.
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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.