Ron Costello

Saturday, March 3, 2018

It's An Omen, I Tell You, Plain as the Hat Atop of Billy Penn

By all rights, Jake Arrieta, at 32, is an old man. The Phillies, instead of signing him to their rotation, can sign him to Broadacres, the home for the aged. Ahh, not so fast Morty.

Look at it this way: When Jake Arrieta was on his way to the senior prom, Jorge Alfaro, J.P Crawford, Dylan Cozens, Rhys Hoskins, Roman Quinn, and Nick Williams were either just starting Little League or finishing out Tee Ball.

But how nice Mr. Arrieta would look at the top of the Phillies rotation.

For Mr. Klentak — if he really is the one calling the shots upstairs — it would be a coup d'état against the rest of baseball. The young GM would have improved the club with Carlos Santana and Jake Arrieta, plus Pat Neshek and Tommy Hunter, wrapped around an incredibly young team. Arguably, the youngest team in baseball.

Jake Arrieta, like Carlos Santana, can instill confidence in the young bucks. Plus, the way he plays the Faithful will love him. I mean, he looks like he could be the bartender at Chickie & Pete's. When he goes after a hitter, he'll bring the house down.

But hold on partner don't start making room for those Jake Arrieta bobbleheads just yet.

The big money boys along the Potomac can smell blood. World Series blood. The Nationals have a great team and believe this is their year to go all the way. And Mr. Arrieta nestled in the rotation at the three spot just after Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg would look prettier in Washington than Ivanka Trump.

And the Yankees, never one to pinch a penny, and with more sluggers than Louisville, can fit Mr. Arrieta in with CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka — who, by the way, they signed for a $155 million and seven years. That's nothing, they gave Giancarlo Stanton 13 years plus an option for a 14th. By those standards, Mr. Arrieta would be chump change for the Bronx Bombers. There are other top clubs after Arrieta as well.

So, how is the young Mr. Klentak going to get Mr. Arrieta to come to Philly and be the big Pappa in a hitters park akin to Coors Field? Well, okay, nearly akin to Coors Field. Picky, picky.

There's only one way: Years and money. And it could be why we've spotted Mr. Klentak's car parked in John Middleton's driveway the past week.

Lookit, here's the thing. Are the Phillies a year too early to give Mr. Arrieta the years and money it will take to get him? Or, will this young bunch — a few clicks from Little League — not know how young and inexperienced they are, go out and get this city rocking again?

To me, this is an omen, clear and simple. And it's creepy. Look up at the photos. You could put a Cubs uni on Jason Kelce and not tell the difference between the two. It's no coincidence. It's as plain as the cheesesteak on your plate.

When the South Philly Gods speak, you've got to sit up and pay attention.

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