Ron Costello

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Maybe Junior Just Loves 'Em Too Much

How many GMs have you  seen cry when firing a field manager? You're looking at one above.

Of course, I didn't do any scientific study, but I doubt there are many. Lookit, maybe it's the source of the Phillies' problems — Junior's inability to make a deal. Not that he's afraid to, or not smart enough, or isn't paying attention.

Junior just loves 'em too much.

Here's the thing. He didn't trade before last season's deadline and didn't again this year. He's given out nice, comfortable contracts to Howard, Rollins, Utley, Chooch, Papelbon, Lee, and Hamels. For several years it paid off.

They're his boys.

Perhaps if we could reincarnate the dead, John Quinn could return and trade the whole damn bunch — wouldn't matter what he got for them! They'd be gone.

Plus, Sandberg keeps running Brown and Kendrick out there like they're Taney all-stars in the Williamsport World Series. And I bet — knowing Junior's track record — he'll even try to resign Kendrick at season's end.

Oh, no, no way!

Yes, way!

Maybe through this loyalty for the guys, he's overvaluing his players? Maybe Junior is too close to the team, having gone through the championships of 2008 through 2010, first as an assistant to Wade and Gillick, then as GM. Add to that, Junior works for a super-nice man, Dave Montgomery. I never met my grandfathers, but if I had to pick one, you know, somebody to be my granddad, I'd pick Mr. Montgomery. He's so nice, his cats probably follow him around his house.

Mr. Montgomery won't move Rollins, Utley, Chooc, or Papelbon out the door. It's not in the man. He's too appreciative of what they've done for the Phillies.

Speaking of Papelbon. If there is any one player on the club — besides Marlon Byrd, that is —  that should've been traded, it's Papelbon. He's owed $13 million this year, $13 million next season, and a $13 million vesting option for 2016.

Kenny Giles — that's 100-mile-an-hour-Kenny Giles, who get's paid the major league minimum of $500K — looks ready to take over the closer role. Why would Junior keep Papelbon? So what if Giles blows a few games, what's the difference — the team is in LAST PLACE — 15 games out! Who needs a $13 million closer when you're 15 games out?

Let's see, $13 million minus $500,000, is what? I never paid attention in math class, I was always writing something.

Unless, no team would give up the bat boy's socks to take him. Maybe Junior couldn't give Papelbon away. I don't know, I wasn't there when Junior was texting the league GMs. But I know this much, Papelbon's still closing for the Phillies.

Either nobody wanted Papelbon, or Junior overvalued him — by asking way too much — and no club would touch him with a ten-foot-bat.

Overvalue? Who gave Papelbon  the mind boggling four year, $50  million deal, including a vesting option?  I rest my case.

So if you're not following along, let me give it to you straight. Will Sandberg sit Rollins, Utley, Byrd, Sizemore, Chooch, and yes, even Asche, and let the youngsters from the farm play in September?

Yea, sure, that'll happen.

It's Junior — he loves 'em too much, so get use to it.

Ron Costello


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