(Hat tip to CSN Philly's own Corey Seidman for making me remember that this depressing rumor exists.)
The frightening specter of Dinger, the Rockies' mascot, looms large as I write this. Dinger and his associates on the Rockies seek to consume Carlos Ruiz whole, to eat him as a large dinosaur would eat a human. Only Dinger is not large, he's human sized, so the image is even more startling -- a person-sized Dinger, standing tall, with just the waist and legs of Carlos Ruiz protruding from his mouth. Is that not terrifying!?! We must ask ourselves: why does Dinger want to eat Carlos Ruiz? Dinger is a triceratops, which is a herbivore. When and how did Dinger acquire the taste for flesh? Did the Rockies know about it? Did they hide it, possibly allowing him to murder-eat anyone he came across?
Oh, okay. I see where I messed up. Dinger, perennial finalist for the title of "World Stupidest Mascot", does not want to actually eat Carlos Ruiz. (I cannot speak about Dinger's desire to eat other baseball players.)
Troy Renck of the Denver Post has reported that Dinger's employers, the Colorado Rockies, are interested in signing Carlos Ruiz. The Rockies apparently aren't looking to add Chooch for his skill with the bat, though. They have catcher Wilin Rosario for that. No, they're seeking Chooch for other reasons:
Ruiz would not be expected to help on offense as much as on defense, where Rosario has struggled.
Adding a starting veteran catcher would allow Rosario to learn from a mentor and give the Rockies flexibility to play Rosario at first base or right field.
My list of untouchable Phillies players has just two names on it, and Carlos Ruiz is not either of them. (Special Supreme Blog Mistress bonus points if you can name the two players on my untouchable list.) But he's been inching his way closer to that list in recent years, and I'm at the point where I'll be incredibly depressed and sad if he leaves the Phillies.
And putting my personal feelings aside, what would the Phillies do if they didn't re-sign Chooch? Not philosophically, but in reality? None of the catchers in the system are ready, and Erik Kratz, in my opinion, is a backup at best. Looking outside the organization, there's Brian McCann, who's likely to be expensive (and also ew no ew). The other free agent catchers are somehow even less exciting (though none of them fill me with rage quite the way McCann does). Letting Chooch walk seems like a really stupid thing to do, especially since the Phillies need to spend their free agent dollars on other distressed positions this winter.
Chooch has said that he wants to return to the Phillies, but he won't come cheap. I know I'm not ready to say goodbye to him yet. For more about Chooch and non-Chooch options, check out John Stolnis' piece from last week about why the Phillies need Carlos Ruiz.