Like the people who work for the traveling carnival, sailors, or those who root through the bags here at the airport, baseball folk live a hard life. Oh, it’s completely by choice, mind you. As stated previously, baseball folks act like they have some sort of link to history or Americana, but the truth is you wouldn’t let any of them hold your car keys.
But none of this has anything to do with my boastful countenance. In fact, I don’t even need a reason to let loose with the trash talk. Hey, think I’m gonna let someone bust up my party? No way, man. Put me in a room with the baseball carnys and I’ll keep a hand on my wallet and keep them off guard with a little yapping.
It’s all I got.
So we’re off to Indianapolis for the annual baseball Winter Meetings. Last year they held the event in Las Vegas, which was like putting the Star Trek Convention at Cannes. Watching the writer types mill around the high-roller room at the Bellagio with their lanyards and name tags all in place and those Dockers fitted just right, was disturbing and clearly ruined the vibe of the entire town. Some establishments decided to take preventative measures by turning off all the glittering lights and boarded up the windows as if a hurricane was on the way. Baseball scribes in Las Vegas? Yeah, imagine Estelle Getty in the Victoria’s Secret runway show.
Needless to say, the Vegas Chamber of Commerce and/or convention bureau won’t be drawing up a petition to have the gang back.
Indianapolis seems like the appropriate place to hold the baseball Winter Meetings. Actually, Branson, Missouri is probably the most perfect place, but both the Charlie Daniels’ Band AND The Osmond’s are performing this week. Why ruin the buzz of the hot stove?
Whether or not that stove will be hissing and burning on the Phillies side of the convention center remains to be seen. GM Ruben Amaro Jr. already took care of the biggest need of the off-season when he inked Placido Polanco to play third base, Brian Schneider to be the backup catcher, and Juan Castro to fill the role previously held by Eric Bruntlett.
That’s the brunt of the holiday shopping right there for the Phillies.
But it’s not Santa riding into town with a sleigh full of the big-ticket items. And needless to say we shouldn’t be listening for the pitter-patter of hooves on the roof this year. Oh sure, there still is a chance Pedro Martinez could return to the fold, which truly is the gift that keeps on giving. Oh sure, sometimes predicting the results on the mound from Pedro are a bit of a crapshoot (yes, we already miss Vegas), however, to ball scribes he’s like a three-day weekend in the middle of July. One time when I was looking for something to write about I walked over to Pedro in the clubhouse and said (essentially), “Hey Pedro, can you just talk and I’ll go to my computer and write it all down.”
My promise is that if Pedro returns I will write lyric poems about him. Hell, why not a feature on the Louis Vuitton man-purse he carries around.
Outside of Pedro, it seems as if the Phillies will target current Mets flop, J.J. Putz as the addition to the bullpen…
Hey, sorry about that flop crack. That wasn’t fair considering Putz was injured and it was the fault of one man for the Mets’ suckitude in 2009. That was a total team effort from the front office on down. The truth is Putz would be a big-time “get” for Ruben, the Phillies, and smart-alecky types that enjoy making fun of other people’s surnames.
I don’t like the last group of people I mentioned.
When he pitched for the Mets, Putz wasn’t very good. However, in 2007 he saved 40 games for the Mariners and posted a 1.38 ERA. Needless to say, that’s the guy the Phillies want to get.
Anyway, whether its Vegas or Indianapolis, I’m not going to be the only person talking trash this week. The truth is it will be piled high and deep in the lobby of some very nice hotel filthy with baseball types. Wear a cup.
Anyone know if Mellencamp is in town?