Folks, we don’t know each other.
You may feel, over the years, that you’ve gotten to know me based on my combination of humorous whimsy and dull sense of satire. I don’t comment a lot, even though I should. I’ll go days without tweeting. For a man trying to make it in media, I don’t engage with audiences nearly enough. And that’s my fault. I know many of you are pounding at the door to know me, and I’m not letting you in.
But I have always assumed that many of you lead productive, interesting lives. I just can’t grasp why I’m writing this, let alone why you’re reading it. Think, briefly. Does the dog need to be let out? Is the sink full of dishes? Is the tiny, clasped hand of a child tugging at your shirt tail, needing anything at all? Please consider these potential priorities before proceeding.
Because this is an exit interview for two players on a fourth place team who set out with very low expectations and might have even reached them; no one in Philadelphia knows because we all went to the beach, together. It was a disgusting car ride. Traffic was a breeze, though.
Jimmy Paredes’ Phillies career began in early June. From June 8 to June 24, Paredes appeared in 12 games. The Phillies lost all 12 of them. In fact, the Phillies lost 52 of the 76 games in Paredes appeared for them. I’m sure that doesn’t all fall on Paredes’ shoulders. But if you mentally associate him with the Phillies losing, you couldn’t be blamed. Because that’s chiefly what they did when he was around.
But not June 2, when, in his second game as a Phillie, Paredes threw a runner out at home to keep the Brewers off the board. And not on June 4, in his fourth game as a Phillie either, when he hit a three-run home run to pad a lead. He was a .389 hitter after getting ahead in the count, in fact; and a .311 hitter when there were no outs. Not to mention his five XBH with RISP, and the 16 RBI and .293 BA that resulted from that.
Then for a while, nothing happened. Due to limited playing time, Paredes just didn’t get to hold a bat too much. August was his most popular month, in which he saw an uptick in playing time due to providing coverage for an injured Peter Bourjos. As soon as word spread that Bourjos was on his way back, Paredes’ job was considered in jeopardy. He was hitting .215 at the time, so this wasn’t entirely unwarranted. He wound up hitting .224 with a .643 OPS for the month, and in September, he evaporated, appearing in 14 games but getting only one plate appearance in 11 of them.
But on September 16, he was back, baby! Paredes punched a single to right center in the bottom of the 13th against the Marlins and got Peter Bourjos across the plate under the arm of Ichiro. This occurred at a time when baseball was slowly being phased out of the headlines to make room for bitching about the Eagles, so it makes sense if you missed it. It actually makes sense if you missed all of this.
Look, the guy was bad. He looked lost in left field. He didn’t hit the ball. What did you want from him? "Anything?" Well, you got that. With two outs in game 161 against the Mets, it was crunch time for Jimmy Santiago Paredes.
All that stands between the Mets and the Playoffs is Jimmy Paredes— Kevin Cooney (@KevinCooney) October 1, 2016
You know what he did? He singled. With two outs. In the ninth inning of the second to last game of the year, in front of mostly Mets fans waiting to see their team clinch. Did Aaron Altherr line out to end the game immediately afterward? Absolutely. But for several precious moments, Jimmy Paredes denied Mets fans joy. And that, I think, is enough to get you on his side.
No. It isn’t. And it shouldn’t be. I will say, however, that there are a lot of pictures from THIS season of Paredes smiling with his fist in the air. The man played for a bad team the right way, and I will leave you with my favorite Jimmy Paredes highlight of all time.
And then, to a lesser extent, there was Emmanuel Burriss. He hit .111 (In bowling that score is called a "shit house") in 45 AB. He hit a double, he hit a triple. He stole a base. The triple was in a game the Phillies were losing 7-1. The stolen base had to be reviewed, slowing the game down even further. His OPS was .361. His WAR was -0.6. From April to May, he had four hits. After being promoted back up to the Pillies on August 19, he had one hit through the end of September. It was in his first game back. Roman Quinn was promoted on September 11 and outpaced Burriss’ season hit total in four games. I think he was the emergency catcher at one point? He saw a spike in Twitter mentions when Freddy Galvis got dreadlocks.
Two men. Two seasons. Both entirely forgettable. Both becoming free agents at the end of the year. Neither of whom could stretch this post to 1,000 words. Let us thank them for that, at least. There is a baseball god. And today, they have had mercy on our souls. I love you all.
*Yes, it was the least exciting version of this play imaginable - the runner was Jonathan Lucroy; it was only the second inning; it wasn’t even the third out of the inning.