Thursday, January 26, 2006
Next up, Cecil Fielder!
Yesterday, ESPN said the Phillies have had "very preliminary" talks with those who represent Mike Piazza about signing the Philly suburb native. Shortly thereafter, a source hushed the story, pointing out that the Phils don't have an opening for Piazza.
May I say: I hope that guy's right.
Look, Piazza has put together an amazing career and I'm ready to admit there still might be a little juice left in his bat. Plus, I love the idea of signing a Cooperstown-bound local as much as the next guy. But to my mind, there are two obvious things that make this rumor a little tough to swallow.
1) THE NATIONAL LEAGUE DOES NOT ALLOW DESIGNATED HITTERS!
That's right, they still don't allow it! Mike Piazza is one of the best hitters to ever ruin a pair of knees behind home plate. For his sake, I wish somebody had decided early on that, "Hey, maybe this really good hitter should play first base or outfield or something!" But nobody decided that, and his body has paid the price. Some people can continue to produce at Piazza's age. All signs indicate that -- though I don't blame him for it -- he can't. So I'm having trouble warming to the idea of the Phillies signing up a guy designed for a position that doesn't exist on their team. I mean, if they wanted to go that route, there are plenty of options -- Cecil Fielder...Jim Thome -- oh, nevermind that one.
Hey, you -- need a job?
2) He'd cost too much money.
The Phillies have plenty of holes to fill. Paying Piazza a ton of cash to fill none of them probably isn't the right approach.
It seems a distinct possibility that this is all just blather -- a rumor that will run its course and fade away. Let's hope so. If not, I daresay things suddenly seem a great deal more dire for the Phils.