As a site that covers the Phillies, this week has largely been one of anticipation. Why hasn't the Jimmy Rollins trade shown up on the official transaction list? Why are Matt Kemp's hips so bad at 30? Should we find a way to alert him to this workout video?
Are we going to look silly for mocking David S. Cohen's Jimmy Rollins trade birtherism? All of these are questions we asked ourselves, until, mercifully, the Dodgers, Padres, and Phillies came together in holy trade matrimony and put an end to our madness. But, this round-up is not about that madness. It's about other things that don't inspire as many hot takes, Decartes-level skepticism, or name-calling.
Obligatory Rollins-related Miscellany
Rollins: "I was ready to honor the contract and if that meant going through another year of not winning, I was ready for it." #Phillies— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) December 19, 2014
We love you too, Jimmy! Glad to hear you would have been thrilled to be around us for another year. In all seriousness, though, I respect Rollins' understated honesty here. The Phillies are going to suck next year. Why would a 36 year-old shortstop want to be on a team like that when opportunities are available to, oh, you know, win more than half of your games? I, for one, am happy for Jimmy that he'll have a better chance to win elsewhere. He's given us more than enough joy.
Utley on Rollins:The team will miss his leadership on the field and his infectious smile,but most of all,I will miss our pre-game handshake.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 19, 2014
Was I missing something all these years? How have I never heard of this pregame handshaking ritual? Entire internet weblogging sites could be dedicated to this: I Want to Have a Threeway (Handshake) with J-Roll and Chase, Pre-Game Handshake Pictures, Pre-Game Handshake Quotes. This could have been a goldmine for internetting. Sometimes you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone.
Trades on the Horizon?
Convos between Amaro and Utley/Utley's agent: Utley wants to be in Philadelphia.— Ryan Lawrence (@ryanlawrence21) December 19, 2014
I'm sure the talk-radio listenting insecure Philadelphia sports fan will be happy to hear this. We all want to be loved, and it's good to learn that at least one person in the Phillies organization holds us in that regard. The bottom line is that if Ultey wants to be in Philadelphia, Utley will be in Philadelphia, thanks to his 10-and-5 rights. While it isn't clear how strong Utley's desire is to remain in Philadelphia--would he actually say no to a deadline trade that would put him on a playoff-bound team?--his desire to be here certainly isn't a bad thing. His contract carries little risk going forward, as his contract for the next year doesn't vest unless he remains reasonably healthy (500 PA in the previous season).
At least we'll have one half of that now-famous handshake team.
Heard #phillies are kicking the tires on Rafael Furcal, who's playing winter ball for Aguilas in Dominican Republic.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) December 19, 2014
Furcal is basically a year older than Jimmy Rollins, so, at first this seems silly: why trade Rollins just to sign a player who is both worse and older? Not so fast. The next person who could possibly be the next great Phillies shortstop is J.P. Crawford. He's at least a year away, probably more. Until he's ready, they need to man the position with someone. We've assumed that would be Freddy Galvis, but no matter how high you are on Freddy, it's unlikely you give him a ceiling higher than "average shortstop." The Phillies have more info on Galvis that we do, so if they think he's best cast as a utility player, signing Furcal to a cheap contract--a minor league deal, even--wouldn't suck.
Hey, maybe they could even flip him for some non-crappy prospects at the trade deadline sort of like they did with Roberto "Fausto Carmona" Hernandez last year. I actually kind of like this idea, especially if he's picked up a good, firm handshake over his 14 year career.
Is 2015 Freddy Galvis' First Step on a Journey to the Hall of Fame?
Amaro said Freddy Galvis will have "an opportunity" to be starting SS. "Whether he's earned it or not, we don't know."— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) December 19, 2014
High praise from Ruben! Just reading this, you can feel the confidence Ruben has in Freddy's ability to hold down the fort at shortstop. Wait! Let us not float away on the calm river of RAJ's unequivocated praise of Freddy Galvis. Let's not allow him to lead us to visions of future All-Star Frederick Galvis. Actually, I take that back. Keep dreaming. Freddy Galvis' All-Star potential will be the opiate that gets us through 2015. That is, as long as his pre-game handshake is up to snuff.