Results tagged ‘ Trade ’
When we have last seen Kid Gleason, he has just been traded by the Baltimore Orioles to the New York Giants after the 1895 season. Gleason is made team captain after the trade. During his first season with the Giants, 1896, he would go 162 for 541 in 133 games, tied for the team lead with Mike Tiernan and George Van Haltren, compling a batting average of .299, with a slugging percentage of .372 and an on-base percentage of .352. He would that year knock in 89 runs while scoring 79. He would have 17 doubles, 5 triples and 4 home runs, walk 42 times, strike out 13, steal 46 bases and be hit by the pitch two times. This is presently the last season for when his strike out totals are known. From 1888 to 1896, Gleason is known to have struck out 131 times. After that, his strike out totals are unknown. The following year, 1897, would be his best season as a regular. Playing in 131 games, the team leader in that category, mainly at second base, Gleason would go 172 for 540 for a .319 batting average, with a slugging percentage of .369 and an on-base percentage of .353. He would have 16 doubles, 4 triples and 1 home run, knocking in 106 runs while scoring 85. Gleason would walk 26 times, steal 43 bases and be hit by the pitch three times. In 1898, his batting average would drop to .221, along with a slugging percentage of .253 and an on-base percentage of .278, as he would go 126 for 570 in 150 games. Gleason would record only 8 triples and 5 doubles, getting just 62 RBIs while scoring 78 runs. He would walk 39 times, steal 21 bases and be hit six times. The following season, 1899, Gleason’s average would rise to .264, along with a slugging percentage of .302 and an on-base percentage of .293, as he would go 152 for 576 in 146 games. He would hit 14 doubles and 4 triples, collect 24 walks and steal 29 bases. In 1900, his last year as a Giant, Gleason’s average would drop again, as he would hit .248, with a slugging percentage of .295 and an on-base percentage of .280, as he would go 104 for 420 in only 111 games. He would get 11 doubles, 3 triples and 1 home run, along with 17 walks, as he would steal 23 bases while being hit twice.
Before the start of the 1901 season, Gleason would jump to the upstart American League, becoming the Detroit Tigers’ first starting second baseman. During the season, he would play in 135 games, going 150 for 547 with a .274 batting average, a .364 slugging percentage and a .327 on-base percentage. He would hit 16 doubles, 12 triples and three home runs, as he knocked in 75 RBIs while scoring 82 runs. Gleason would also walk 41 times while stealing 32 bases and being hit twice. He would be tied for the team lead in most games played with Jimmy Barrett, while being the team leader in at-bats and triples. In his second season as a Tiger, Gleason’s batting average would drop to .247, with a .297 slugging percentage and a .292 on-base percentage as he would go 109 for 441 in 118 games. He would hit 11 doubles, four triples and one home run, knocking in 38 runners while crossing the plate 42 times, as he would also walk 25 times, steal 17 bases and be hit three times. After peace was made between the American and National Leagues, the Tigers would, on March 2, 1903, trade Gleason to the Giants for Heinie Smith. But, at some point between then and the start of the 1903 regular season, Gleason would be let go by the Giants, and then rejoined his old team, the Phillies, now as their starting second baseman.
During his first season back as a Phil, Gleason’s batting average rebounded as he would go 117 for 412 in 106 games for a .284 average, with a .367 slugging percentage and a .326 on-base percentage. Kid would collect 19 doubles, six triples and 1 home run, knocking in 49 RBIs while scoring 65 runs, as he also walked 23 times, stole 12 bases and was hit by the pitch three times. The next year, 1904, he would appear in 153 games, going 161 for 587 for a .274 batting average, a .334 slugging percentage and a .319 on-base percentage. Gleason would get 23 doubles and six triples, as he knocked in 42 RBIs while crossing the plate 61 times, as he also walked 37 times, stole 17 bases and was hit twice. In that season, he would lead the Phillies in games played, at-bats and hits. 1905 would see the start of a slow decline, as Gleason, although playing in 155 games, would only go 150 for 608 as his battling average slides to .247, with a .303 slugging percentage and a .302 on-base percentage. He would get 17 doubles, 7 triples and 1 home run, as he would knock in 50 RBIs while scoring 95 runs. He would walk 45 times, while stealing 16 bases, and be hit by the pitch three times. Gleason would lead the club in at-bats while being tied with Ernie Courtney and Sherry Magee for the most games played. The following season, 1906, as he played in 136 games, he would only go 112 for 494 for a .227 batting average, a .269 slugging percentage and a .281 on-base percentage. Gleason would hit 17 doubles and two triples, knocking in 34 RBIs while scoring 47 runs. He would walk only 36 times while stealing 17 bases and being hit two times. In 1907, he would appear in just 36 games, going 18 for 126 for a .143 average, a .167 slugging percentage and a .200 on-base percentage, as he would hit only three doubles and six RBIs while scoring just 11 times. He would also receive just seven walks and steal only three bases. In his last year as a Phil, 1908, he would appear in just two games, going 0 for 1 with a .000 batting average. Between 1908 and 1911, Gleason would be in the minors, acting mainly as a player-manager, before being signed by the Chicago White Sox as a coach.
His first year as a coach, 1912, would also be the last time he would make an appearance on the field, as he would play in one game at second base, going 1 for 2 for a .500 batting average, slugging percentage and on-base percentage.
During his twenty-two years as a pitcher and a player, Gleason would play in 1966 ballgames, going 1944 for 7452 for a career .261 batting average, a .317 slugging percentage and a .311 on-base percentage. He has a career total of 216 doubles, 80 triples, 15 home runs, 823 RBIs, 1020 runs scored, 500 walks, 328 stolen bases and been hit by the pitch 38 times, as he becomes one of the few players in major league history to play in four difference decades (1880s, 1890s, 1900s, 1910s).
As the coach of the White Sox, starting in 1912, he watch the team land in fourth place in 1912, fifth in 1913, and sixth in 1914, before watching it rise to third place in 1915, second in 1916 and first place in 1917. In the 1917 World Series, the White Sox would face the National League Champion, the New York Giants, in a best of seven series. The White Sox would win the World Series over the Giants, 4-2, becoming the baseball champs for 1917, with him be given credit for much of the White Sox’s success that season. (Here is a graphic showing the 1917 pennant race: http://www.baseballrace.com/races/MLB-1917-AL-Normal.asp) The following season, Gleason would be dropped as the team’s coach. He would watch the White Sox drop down to sixth place during the war shortened season of 1918. Gleason would be called back by White Sox owner, Charles Comiskey, who would make him the team’s manager for the 1919 season.
I will continue Gleason’s story with the third and final part, which will look at the 1919 season, Gleason managerial career at the Black Sox Scandal and his years as a coach for Connie Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics.
Sources: Wikipedia, Baseball-reference.com, Retrosheet.org, The Delaware Valley Rhythm & Blues Society, Inc. (DVRBS.com), BaseballRace.com
Although best known as the betrayed manager of the infamous 1919 Black Sox, Kid Gleason began and ended his baseball career in Philadelphia, first as a pitcher for the Phillies and later as a coach for Connie Mack’s A’s.
William J. Gleason, Jr. was born on October 26, 1866 in Camden, N.J., although at least one biographer claims that he was born in south Philadelphia and that his family would move across the Delaware River to Camden while a toddler. Gleason’s father, William, Sr. worked as a foreman for the Pennsylvania Railroad, working out of the Market Street Ferry Terminal. Growing up, Gleason would play baseball, being nicknamed the ‘Kid’ because of both his short stature and his energetic, youthful play, while also working as a brakeman for the railroad, continuing to perform that duty during the off-season for a short time after becoming a professional ballplayer. After playing for local Camden ballclubs, including the Camden Merrit club in 1885, he would play for a team in Williamsport, PA., in 1887 and then play for a team in Scranton, PA., later that same year. The following year, he would play his first professional ballgame as a member of Harry Wright’s Philadelphia Phillies, making his major league debut on April 20, debuting as the team’s opening day pitcher. Pitching against the Boston Beaneaters (now the Atlanta Braves), the team would lose 4-3.
Playing in twenty-five games during that first season with the Phillies, all but one of which would be as a pitcher, Gleason would start in twenty-three games and finished the other one. His record for the year would be 7-16 with a 2.84 ERA, as he would pitch in 199.7 innings, giving up 199 hits, 11 of which would be home runs, leading the team in that category that year, allow 112 runs to score, 63 of which would be earned, as he would also walk 53 batters, strike out 89, hit 12 batters, leading the team in that category, and throw 11 wild pitches. The following year, 1889, Gleason would play in thirty games, pitching in twenty-nine of them. He would start in twenty-one games, completing fifteen, and finishing seven other games, being the team’s leader in that category. His record for the season would be 9-15 with an ERA of 5.58, as he would pitch in 205 innings, giving up 242 hits, including 8 home runs, while allowing 177 runners to score, with 127 of them being earned. He would also walk 97 batters while striking out 64, hit 9 batters, once again leading the team’s pitching staff and throw 14 wild pitches. Gleason would also save one game, putting him in a tie for the team’s lead with Ben Sanders.
1890 would be the Kid’s breakout year as a pitcher as he would become the team’s ace thanks to that year’s Players’ League revolt. He would start the year off as the team’s opening day pitcher, facing future Hall of Famer Amos Rusie of the New York (now San Francisco) Giants on April 19, leading the Phils to a 4-0 victory over the previous season’s National League champ. Appearing in sixty-three games that season, he would play sixty games as a pitcher and two as a second baseman. Gleason would start in fifty-five games, completing all but one, while finishing the other five, placing him third in the NL in all three categories. His record for the season would be 38-17 for a .691 winning percentage, leading the team in wins (while setting the team’s record for wins in a season, which still stands) and winning percentage and placing him second behind Bill Hutchinson of the Chicago Colts in wins and second behind Tom Lovett of the Brooklyn Bridegrooms in winning percenatge, with an ERA of 2.63, leading the team and placing him fifth in the league. He would perform six shut outs, placing him second behind Kid Nichols of the Beaneaters. Gleason would also have two saves, tying him for first place in the NL with Dave Foutz of the Bridegrooms and Hutchinson of the Colts. He would pitch in 506 innings (3), giving up 479 hits (3), of which 8 would be for home runs. Gleason would also give up 253 runs, of which 148 were earned (4), walk 167 batters (5), strike out 222 (3T), perform one balk and throw 11 wild pitches. The following season, 1891, he would once again be the Phils’ opening day pitcher, pitching against the Bridegrooms on April 22, as the Phils would lose the game, 1-0. The Kid would have another winning season, but just barely, as his record drops to 24-22 with an ERA of 3.51, although leading the team in wins and ERA, and, sadly, also losses. In sixty-five games, fifty-three of which would be as a pitcher, Gleason would start in forty-four, completing forty games and finishing nine others, leading the team in all four categories, as well as leading the NL in games finished. He would have one shutout, tying him for the team’s lead with Duke Esper and John Thornton and one save. Gleason would pitch in 418 innings, giving up 431 hits, 10 of which would be for home runs, while also giving up 237 runs, 148 of which would be earned, leading the team in innings pitched, hits allowed, home runs allowed and earned runs allowed. He would also walk 165 batters while striking out only 100, and throw 17 wild pitches, leading the team in both walks and wild pitches. This would be his last season as a Phillie as at some point between the 1891 and the 1892 seasons the Phils would either let him go or trade him to the St. Louis Browns (now the Cardinals) one of the four teams picked up by the National League following the folding of the then second Major League, the American Association.
Among Phillies’ leader, Gleason is presently still 16th in wins (78), 21st in losses (70), 22nd in ERA (3.29), 58th in games pitched (166), tied for 27th in games started (143), 11th in complete games (132), tied for 37th in shut outs (7), tied for 89th in saves (4), 17th in innings pitched (1328.2), 18th in hits allowed (1351), 12th in runs allowed (779), 23rd in earned runs allowed (501), tied for 89th in home runs allowed (37), 9th in walks (482), 34th in strike outs (475), tied for 12th in hit batters (49), 9th in wild pitches (53) and 176th in winning percentage (.527). But, this would not be the last time that Phillies fans would see Gleason as a Phil, but we are presently getting ahead of ourselves.
Gleason would spend two plus seasons with the St. Louis Browns. He would begin the 1892 season as their opening day pitcher, going against the Chicago Colts on April 12, that would end up as a 14-10 lost for the Browns. Gleason would play in sixty-six games, forty-seven of them as a pitcher, of which forty-five would be starts, completing all but two. The rest he would play as either a shortstop or in the outfield. Gleason’s record that season would be 20-24, including two shut outs, with an ERA of 3.33. He would pitch 300 innings that year, giving up 389 hits, 11 of which would be for home runs (7), allow 244 runs to score, of which 148 would be earned (9). Gleason would also walk 151 batters, while striking out 133 and throw 9 wild pitches. He would lead the Browns in all pitching categories mentioned, except for ERA and runs allowed. The following year, 1893, would see him play in fifty-nine games, of which he would pitch in forty-eight games (6T), starting forty-five games (4), completing thirty-seven of them (8), while finishing three, pitching one shut out and saving one game (6T). In 380 and a third innings (7), he would give up 436 hits (5), of which 18 would be for home runs (2), while allowing 276 runs to score, of which 195 were earned, the lead leader in that category. He would also walk 187 batters (3), while striking out 86 and throwing 16 wild pitches (5). He would lead the Browns in wins, games started, home runs allowed, walks, hits allowed, earned runs allowed and wild pitches, while being tied for the lead in games pitched, saves and shut outs.
The 1894 season would see him play for two teams. He would begin the year playing for the Browns, with a record of 2-6 and an ERA of 6.05 in eight games pitched, all starts, with six complete games. Overall, he would play just 9 games with the Browns, playing his other game as a first baseman. He would pitch in only 58 innings, giving up just 75 hits, only two of which would be for home runs, as he would give up 50 runs, only 39 of which would be earned, while walking just 21 batters, striking out 9 and throwing just one wild pitch. On June 23, 1894, the Browns would sell him to the Baltimore Orioles for $2400. Kid would become sort of rejuvenated upon joining the Orioles, as he would end the season with a 15-5 record with a 4.45 ERA, as he would pitch in twenty-one games, playing twenty-six games overall, as he would start twenty games, completing all but one, and finishing one other game. Pitching in 172 innings, he would give up 224 hits, only three of which would be for home runs, allow 111 runs to cross the plate, of which only 85 would be earned. He would also walk 44 batters, while striking out 35 and throwing only three wild pitches, as he would help lead the Orioles to the first of two straight pennants (1894-1895) as a member of their ball club. This would turn out to be his last major year as a pitcher, as the National League, now the only major league in existance, would move the pitcher’s mound to its modern distance of 60′ 6″ from home plate, ending his effectiveness as a pitcher. He would appear in just nine more games as a pitcher in 1895, starting in five, completing three games, and finishing the other four, recording one save, as he would record a 2-4 record with an ERA of 6.97. Gleason would pitch in 50 and a third innings, giving up 77 hits, four of which would be home runs, as he would allow 51 runs to score, of which 39 would be earned. He would also walk 21 batters while striking out 6 and throw one wild pitch.
In nine season as a pitcher, Gleason would compile a record of 138-131 for the Phillies, the Browns and the Orioles for a winning percentage of .513, with a 3.79 ERA. He would pitch in 299 games, starting 266 games and finishing 30 others. Gleason would complete 240 games, while throwing 10 shut outs and saving six. The Kid would pitch in 2389.3 innings, giving up 2552 hits, of which 75 would be home runs, while allowing 1511 runs to score, of which 1007 would be earned. He would also walk 906 batters, strike out 744, hit 21 batters, throw 83 wild pitches and commit one balk.
During the 1895 season, Orioles’ manager, future Hall of Famer Ned Hanlon, would turn Gleason into an everyday player, mainly playing at second base. During that first season as a regular, Gleason would blossom as a player, hitting .309, with a slugging percentage of .399 and an on-base percentage of .366, as he would go 130 for 421 in 112 games. He would knock in 74 runs while scoring 90, as he would collect 14 doubles and 12 triples, while walking 33 times as he would strike out only 18 times. He would also steal 19 bases, as he would help lead the Orioles to their second straight NL pennant. On November 15, the Orioles would send Gleason and $3500 to the Giants, in exchange for catcher Jack Doyle.
I will continue the story on Kid Gleason next week, starting with his years playing for the New York Giants.
Sources: Wikipedia, Baseball-reference.com, Retrosheet.org, Delaware Valley Rhythm and Blues Society, Inc.com-Camden Sports Hall of Fame, The Baseball Page.com, Phillies.com
During the club’s 126 years of existance, the team has won only nine batting titles. The nine titles have been secured by seven men, two of whom have won it twice: Hall of Famer Billy Hamilton in 1891 and 1893 and Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn in 1955 and 1958. One of the seven, Harry ‘the Hat’ Walker, would win the title in 1947, after being traded from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Phils early in the season. Ed Delanhanty’s 410 average would be the highest batting average among Phils’ title winners. The Phil with the lowest batting average to secure the title would be Sherry Magee with his .331 average. Of the seven, four are now members of the Baseball Hall of Fame: Hamilton, Delahanty, Chuck Klein and Ashburn, while a fifth, Magee, was on the Baseball Hall of Fame Veterans Committe’s pre-1943 Hall of Fame Ballot for 2009. The last Phil to secure the batting title was Ashburn, who did it in 1958.
The first Phillie to win the batting title would be Billy Hamilton, who would win it in 1891 with a .340 batting average, beating out Bug Holliday of the Cincinnati Reds. Hamilton would then win a second batting crown as a Phil, doing it in 1893, with a .380 batting average, as he beat out fellow Phils Sam Thompson and Ed Delahanty. The second Phil to win the honors would be Delahanty, who would win the title in 1899 with a .410 average, beating out Jesse Burkett of the St. Louis Perfectos. The next Phil batter to win the batting title would be Sherry Magee, winning the crown in 1910 with a .331 average, as he beat out Vin Campbell of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The fourth Phil to capture the batting crown would be Lefty O’Doul, doing it in 1929 with an average of .398, beating Babe Herman of the Brooklyn Robins. Chuck Klein would be the fifth Phil to win the batting title, doing it in 1933, the year that he won the triple crown, hitting .368, to go along with his league leading 28 home runs and 120 RBIs, beating out fellow Phil Spud Davis. The sixth Phillie batting champ would be Harry Walker, who would win the title with a .363 batting average, beating out Bob Elliott of the Boston Braves, after being traded to the Phillies by the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday, May 3, 1947, along with Freddy Schmidt, in exchange for Ron Northey. The last Phil who would win the batting title would be Richie Ashburn in 1955, as he beat out Willie Mays of the New York Giants, with a .338 average. Ashburn would then win his second and last batting title in 1958, batting .350, as he once again beat out Mays, this time in a tighter race. No Phil has won the batting title since.
Could another Phillie batter win the batting crown? To be honest, I don’t know.
Sources: Wikipedia, Baseball-reference.com, Retrosheet.org
Yesterday, when I’d made a reply to Julia of Julia’s Rants about the Phils’ signing of Shane Victorino, I’d mentioned that when Phillies.com talked about what Ryan Howard was asking for and what the Phils said they were willing to give him, the article also mentioned the differences in pay amounts between Chad Durbin and Jayson Werth and the Phils, I told her that I’d noticed that there was not one word said about Joe Blanton, and I’d figured that something was going on, and I’d figured that it meant that the two sides were close to a deal. And, boy was I right, as Joe Blanton have signed an one-year, $5.475 million dollars deal with the Phils.
Blanton, whom the Phils got in a mid-season trade with the Oakland Athletics, had a record of 4-0, 4.20 ERA, in 13 starts for the Phillies, with a combined record of 9-12 with a 4.69 ERA for both the Phils and the A’s, while having a record of 2-0, with a 3.18 ERA in the post-season.
That means five down, with three to go, and I get the feeling that Werth and Durbin will be signing contracts in the next few days since there is very little difference in money amounts between the Phils and the two players. As for Howard, I see him going to arbitration. I just hope that I’m wrong.
Phillies acquire Paulino from Bucs
Jaramillo goes to Pittsburgh in swap of catchers
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
Raises an eyebrow. Two trades since Ruben took over and they’d both been minor league prospect for minor league prospect. Okay, Junior, there’s better be a method to this while we all wait to hear the final results of the Peavy trade.
LAS VEGAS — The Phillies and Pirates completed a swap of catchers on Wednesday night, with Ronny Paulino coming to Philadelphia in exchange for Jason Jaramillo.
“We just think it was a good move to give us an incremental edge,” said Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. “Sometimes, it’s the little moves that can help, and it gives us depth at a premium position that we needed.”
It was Amaro’s second trade since he replaced Pat Gillick only days after the Phillies defeated the Rays at the end of October to win the second World Series in franchise history. Last month, he acquired John Mayberry Jr. from Texas for Greg Golson in a swap of outfielders.
Paulino, 27, split last season between Pittsburgh, Triple-A Indianapolis and the Gulf Coast League Pirates. In 40 games (27 starts) for Pittsburgh, he hit .212 with two home runs and 18 RBIs, although those figures leapt to .387 (12-for-31) and 14 RBIs with runners in scoring position.
Behind the plate for the Bucs, Paulino threw out 26 percent (8-for-31) of potential basestealers, and for his career, he has caught 24 percent (51-for-216).
Amaro said the deal could lead to interesting choices down the road. The Phillies are already carrying two catchers: starter Carlos Ruiz and Chris Coste.
“Ruiz is our No. 1 catcher,” Amaro said. “I think he deserves that. Really, in Spring Training, it will be a competition at backup, frankly, and it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility that we’d carry three catchers. Chris Coste has the ability to do a variety of things and there may be room. But it creates a competition at the very least, and that’s good for our club.”
Jaramillo, 26, hit .266 with eight home runs and 39 RBIs in 115 games for Triple-A Lehigh Valley this past season. He was a second-round selection by the Phillies in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft. He was an International League All-Star in 2007 and ’08, while leading all catchers with this past season with 113 games played. (H/T Phillies.com)
Okay, the Phillies have now traded one minor league catcher to the Pirates for one of theirs. I hope that Paulino will help the ballclub in the future. Hey, Ruben, how about trading for someone who can help the team now and not the future?
Phillies deal Golson to Rangers
Texas outfield prospect Mayberry headed to Philadelphia
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com
Blink, blink. Talk about something coming out of, pardon the expression, left field.
PHILADELPHIA — In an exchange of former first-round picks, the Phillies sent outfielder Greg Golson to the Rangers for outfielder John Mayberry.
Golson, selected in the first round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, spent the season at Double-A Reading and played in 106 games, hitting .282 with a .333 on-base percentage, 13 home runs and 23 stolen bases in 426 at-bats.
The 23-year-old was born in Austin, Texas, where he attended John Connally High School.
Mayberry, the son of former Royals first baseman John Mayberry, hit .264 with 20 home runs and 71 RBIs in 519 at-bats at Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Oklahoma. Texas selected him in the first round in 2005.
Golson made his Major League debut as a pinch-runner on Sept. 3 and stole a base. He then went hitless in six September at-bats. He made his first Major League start in the Phillies’ final regular-season game.
Mayberry was assigned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley and had his contract purchased by the Phillies, who added him to their 40-man roster. Philadelphia also added right-handed pitchers Carlos Carrasco and Drew Naylor, left-hander Sergio Escalona and catcher Joel Naughton to its 40-man, bringing it up to 37 players. (H/T Phillies.com)
Scratch head. To be honest, I have no idea why the Phils made this move, although Golson was unable to hit during his few at bats last year. I guess we’ll all know in a few years who really benefitted from this trade.
He’s expected to join the Phillies before Saturday’s game against the Mets, though he’s ineligible to appear in the postseason.
Iguchi appeared in 77 games at San Diego this season, batting .231 with two homers and 24 RBIs. He was released by the Padres to make room for top prospect Matt Antonelli.
The right-handed batter was first acquired by the Phillies on July 27, 2007, for Minor League pitcher Michael Dubee. He batted .301 in 27 games as a starter, and .304 overall.
The Phillies pursued Iguchi this winter, offering him the chance to play third base, but he signed to San Diego for two reasons: to be closer to Japan, and to play second base.
The Los Angeles Times, citing Iguchi’s agent, Rocky Hall, reported on Friday that the Dodgers and Phillies had inquired about Iguchi. He’ll be used as a pinch-hitter. (H/T Phillies.com)
All I’m going to say about Tad’s return to the team is this. He’s has to be a better pinch hitter than So Taguchi is. He just has to be.
“Or a Stanley Cup,” the Canadian-born hockey fan said Saturday from Wrigley Field, where he joined his new Phillies teammates. “It depends on what uniform is on. When you get near the end of your [baseball] playing career, the sacrifices you make, you just want to get a ring and go from there.”
With his hockey career having ended in high school, Stairs embarked on a professional baseball vocation when he signed with the Expos on Jan. 17, 1989. Still playing at age 40, now for his 11th team, the Phillies give him a much better chance of reaching that goal than his former team, the Blue Jays.
“It’s tough leaving Toronto, being Canadian, but when they told me I was going to Philly, I was like, ‘Nice,’” said Stairs, who served as an assistant hockey coach for John Bapst High School in Bangor, Maine, during the offseason. “[The Phillies] are a team in the hunt, in a park I enjoy playing in. There’s an opportunity to win, and whatever my role is, is fine.”
That role will mostly be pinch-hitting, though manager Charlie Manuel said he’ll work Stairs in at the corner outfield spots, especially against tough righties. The Phillies will assume the balance of Stairs’ $2.25 million salary for this season and $1 million for 2009. The Jays will receive a player to be named after the conclusion of the World Series, according to Phillies general manager Pat Gillick.
The Phillies had been looking for a left-handed bat since losing Geoff Jenkins on Aug. 23 to a strained right hip flexor, and there’s little chance he’ll return when eligible on Sept. 7. Philadelphia claimed Stairs off waivers, limiting the Blue Jays to one trading partner.
“We lost Jenkins and were short left-handed,” Gillick said. “Consequently, to get an experienced guy who can play some and hit off the bench can’t hurt. We had claimed him, so they either had to make a deal with us or keep him on the roster.”
Motivated by wanting to find a spot for top hitting prospect Travis Snider, Toronto quickly agreed with Philadelphia, but haggled over money and the quality of the player to be named.
None of this matters to Stairs, who has been part of two playoff teams, with Boston in 1995 and Oakland in 2000. He understands that staying loose is important during the final weeks.
“My approach is it doesn’t matter if you’re 100 games out or 100 games up,” Stairs said. “Every day and every at-bat, you have the same approach. At this point, you have to stay loose and have fun. I’ve been on teams before where you get in a race and everyone gets tight.”
Stairs said Thursday that he would’ve liked to finish his career with the Jays and “party down Yonge Street” if they won a World Series. He’ll just have to adjust.
“When you get to be my age, you don’t want to move around as much as I have,” said Stairs, who learned about Philadelphia from former Flyer Mark Recchi. “I’ll have to find a new street in Philadelphia and party down there, maybe look for Rocky Balboa and hang out there.”
Perhaps on Broad Street. (H/T Phillies.com)
So, the hold up was over money? Why am I not surprised. I’m just surprised the Phillies have decided to eat up the balance of Stairs’ contract. Either the idiots are desperate, or they’d finally decided to stop buying on the cheap and to start buying to win. Either way, this vet better help tp get this team moving forward to the playoff.
The only thing missing is the official press release. Phillies general manager Pat Gillick said Friday that he couldn’t comment, though sources have confirmed the acquisition of Stairs for an unidentified Minor Leaguer.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Phillies would send left-hander Fabio Castro to Toronto. Castro, who is 8-4 with a 4.71 ERA this season at two Minor League levels, was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley after Friday’s game.
Philadelphia didn’t make a corresponding roster move, with a team spokesman saying one would be made before Saturday’s game.
“If you’re guessing that it could be in the state of Pennsylvania,” Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi said, “I’m not going to tell you you’re wrong, but, I’m not going to tell you anything else.”
Ricciardi, speaking to reporters at Yankee Stadium before Friday’s Jays-Yankees game, adding that his club hoped to complete the trade by Saturday at the latest.
The Jays designated the 40-year-old Stairs for assignment Thursday to make room for top outfield prospect Travis Snider. The Phillies had been searching for a left-handed hitter off the bench, and intensified that search after potentially losing Geoff Jenkins for the season with a strained right hip flexor.
Stairs is hitting .250 this season with 11 homers and 44 RBIs, and is a career .279 pinch-hitter with 12 home runs. He could join the Phillies on Saturday.
One potential holdup could be money. Stairs signed a two-year deal for $3.25 million in November. He would earn what remains of his $2.25 million salary for this season and $1 million in 2009.
For Stairs to be eligible for Philadelphia’s postseason roster, he would have to be in the organization by midnight Aug. 31.
He would be the second player the Phillies plucked from another club’s waiver wire. Earlier this month, they landed lefty Scott Eyre from the Cubs for Minor Leaguer Brian Schlitter. In seven appearances for the Phils, Eyre has thrown eight scoreless innings. (H/T Phillies.com)
Well, all I can say is I hope this guy’s bat will help this team, since they need help badly right now as far as the offense is concerned, especially with Geoff Jenkins possibly gone for the rest of the season. As for whether they have sealed the deal or not, just eat as much of the money he is own by the Blue Jays and get his butt over here. You want to win this division or not? I’m talking to you you silent morons. Just get it nailed down. NOW!!!!
That fresh start will come with the Phillies, who completed their search for an experienced second lefty reliever by acquiring Eyre from the Cubs for Minor League right-hander Brian Schlitter on Thursday.
“I asked how their bullpen was, and if they were just looking for guys, and they said, ‘No, we think you can still pitch,’” said Eyre, who will join the Phillies on Friday. “I said, ‘Great, I’m ready to go.’”
The 36-year-old Eyre appeared in 19 games for the Cubs this season because of stints on the disabled list for left elbow inflammation and a strained left groin, and worked only 11 1/3 innings. He’ll work in a situational role in the middle innings, and replace either Les Walrond or J.A. Happ on the roster.
After nine scoreless innings in his first 14 outings this season, Eyre fell out of favor with Cubs manager Lou Piniella when he allowed nine runs in five appearances, spanning 2 1/3 innings. He was designated for assignment on Tuesday, giving the Cubs seven days to trade him or he would become a free agent. He packed up his family in his RV, parked outside of Chicago, and headed to his home in Bradenton, Fla.
Eyre will turn around and drive to Philadelphia from Valdosta, Ga., where the family had reached when informed of the deal. The Phillies will be his fifth team, after the White Sox, Blue Jays, Giants and Cubs.
The last time he was designated for assignment, on Aug. 5, 2002, the Giants claimed him. He posted a 1.59 ERA in 21 appearances with San Francisco, which reached the World Series that year.
The Phillies’ bullpen has thrown the third-fewest innings in the National League this season, a product of the starters tossing the fifth-most innings. Still, manager Charlie Manuel would like some relief for late-inning pitchers Brad Lidge, J.C. Romero, Ryan Madson and Chad Durbin.
Lefties batted .259 (7-for-27) against Eyre this season, and have hit .244 against him in his career. In his past five seasons, Eyre has appeared in 317 games, the fourth-highest total among Major League lefties. Romero tops that list at 336.
“He’s a guy with a lot of experience,” said assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. “We’ve been looking for a left-hander for a long time, and think this left-hander can help.”
The Phillies thought that, too, when they pursued him in the winter of 2006, before he signed with the Cubs.
“This is a veteran guy who has had a lot of success,” Amaro said. “He’s had success in the playoffs and he’ll rise to the challenge. He’s been through it, having those kind of experienced guys is helpful. We think he has enough bullets in that 36-year-old arm to help us.” Schlitter was 4-3 with six saves and a 2.22 ERA in 34 games for Class A Clearwater, with 58 strikeouts in 48 2/3 innings this year. He was a 16th-round selection by the Phillies in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft. (H/T Phillies.com)
Hold the phone. They went after him during the off-season, and didn’t get him? Why didn’t…oh that’s right, cheapskate owners. I keep forgetting that. Anyway, I hope he will be the left handed complement to Madson, as he and the rest of the ‘pen needs a break while Gordon and Seanez are still out. Now, who will go? My guess is Walrond, since J.A. Happ can still be used as insurance against either Blanton or Myers going bad, or maybe giving Hamels a possibily needed rest. As I’d said earlier, time will tell.