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Monday, December 15, 2008

Wisdom and Silliness from Philadelphia

The wisdom, of course, is the signing of Jamie Moyer to a two-year deal. Yes, it's risky to ink a crafty 46 year-old lefty to more than a 1-year deal, but Moyer rocked last year for the Phillies. He's a hometown guy, he's a team leader, and he still gets people out. Remember, it's been said of lefties that they're like a good wine -- they get better with age.

My guess is that the equity markets affected Mr. Moyer, who has seven children, in such a way that perhaps the corpus of money he saved up isn't what it was, say, before the Phillies figured it out in September and went on their dash to the World Series. As a result, that extra, second guaranteed year became more important. When the Phillies figured out that someone else will sign Derek Lowe for more money than he's worth, the options to replace Moyer became fewer and further between. That's why Moyer got the second guaranteed year -- it's a function of supply and demand (which is also why Pat Burrell right now is lingering on the free agent market -- he could be victim of the economy because streaky, slow 32 year-old below average fielding left fielders aren't as much in demand). At any rate, signing Moyer was the smart move.

The dumb move came this past week from one of Moyer's proteges, wunderkind portsider Cole Hamels, who called the Mets' choke artists when interviewed on WFAN. Cole, who was at his most eloquent during the post-season, took the bait -- hook, line and sinker -- from the NY radio station hosts and created bulletin board material for an entire season. Why did someone like Hamels say something so stupid? Well, he didn't have his mentor, whom he follows around reverently during the season, there to filter his remarks. Moyer offers the wisdom of experience, while Hamels offers, at times, the untamed qualities of youth. Forgive Hamels, he's not even 25, and most of us have said or done things before that age that we wouldn't have done given what we know now. Still, you're asked to grow up faster in the world of sports, and Hamels proved in this instance that he hasn't fully matured as the total person yet. (Then again, such brashness might be the key ingredient to what makes him great).

Moyer and Hamels, bookends on a championship season, back together again for at least two more years.

The ambassador and the prodigy, still going strong.


Blogger Escort81 said...

The fact that Jamie Moyer is a very popular local boy and that he is essentially an additional coach in the dugout and locker room provided the extra incentive for the Phils to nail down the deal. As Mitch Williams pointed out, it is probably on purpose that the Phils signed Chan Ho Park the same day, thinking that Jamie goes 4-5 innings and Chan goes 2-3; that betweem the two of them (combined age over 80), they can get to the back end of the bullpen, one of the great strenghts of the team.

11:06 PM  

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