Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Around The Horn

Random thoughts as the February weather in Philadelphia swings wildly, feeling one day like Florida and the next like Maine....

Ryan Howard is in an historic position as his arbitration hearings get underway today. He might be the only man in the history of personal finance to get a $6.1 million raise and be pissed. Life can throw a few curves along the way, especially to big guys with big swings. He may have to adjust.

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Much has been written and filmed regarding the Phillies' organization-wide practical joke played on second year man Kyle Kendrick, who by all appearances doesn't seem to be a real worldly sort of fellow. The elaborate ruse in which Kendrick is informed by everyone including his own agent he'd been traded to a Japanese team brought chuckles from the local and national media. Most observers passed the whole thing off a harmless case of boys being boys, only there were some fairly senior guys involved in this plot.

Managers and especially Assistant General Managers should maintain some distance, however, and in this case they chose not to. Charlie Manuel is such a players' manager he might be excused, but Asst. GM Ruben Amaro had no business participating. Labor and management can maintain cordial, even friendly relations, but they operate in very different spheres. Some lines should not be crossed and practical joking in the clubhouse is one of these.

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If nothing else, Roger Clemens has had at least one effect on the other players named in the Mitchell Report. Many of them have watched Clemens' orchestrated, aggressive defense and [probably] found it unconvincing. Instead, many of them have decided to take a more direct approach and simply apologize for the use of performance enhancement drugs.

Clemens didn't win many friends with his approach. Indeed, he's lost at least one good one of long-standing in Andy Petitte. It remains to be seen whether or not Clemens' long-term prospects for forgiveness if not redemption improve as the controversy plays out.

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J-Roll has arrived in camp, which means the atmosphere is just a little brighter and no doubt chirpy. Everyone is waiting for Jimmy to respond to Carlos Beltran, but the highly likeable and talkative reigning MVP isn't likely to oblige. The bet here is Jimmy is going to enjoy seeing Beltran undergo the sort of treatment he received a year ago when he uttered his "We're the team to beat" line. What's sauce for the goose....

1 comment:

Bri said...

I agree, I mean how could Kendrick have ever saw that coming when your boss is asking you to sign papers and ship you overseas. Very elaborate and shifty prank, but a little too far.