25 September 2002

Rolen in the Dough

Scott Rolen, according to people with access to better information than me, has reportedly signed an 8-year, $90 million deal with the . The deal averages almost $3 million/year less than what Philly was offering before the season, which he refused on the grounds that he wanted to see who else would negotiate with him in the off-season, when he became a free agent. He reportedly did this not because he wanted more money, but because he wanted a chance to win and wasn't sure he'd seen enough evidence that the Phils were going there.

I could not be happier about this signing, for three main reasons:

1) I like Scott Rolen. I always have. He has caught some flack from the media, especially around here in Philadelphia, for not turning into Mike Schmidt, but then, who does? (Actually, Troy Glaus may turn out to be a pretty good facsimile.) I think Eddie Matthews may be a better analog for Rolen. You could do worse. And the Phillies have. A guy who comes to the park every day, plays his ass off, and wants nothing more from the organization than a commitment to winning? It's hard not to like him. Well, unless you're a Philly baseball writer.

b) I like the Cardinals. They're not my favorite team or anything, but they seem to be run pretty well, know what it takes to win, and I never hear them complaining about being in a small market. St. Louis is very close to Kansas City, in both size and proximity, and yet I never hear Walt Jocketty or their owners bemoaning the woes of a small market club like I hear David Glass and Allard Baird and whomever is their GM now doing so regularly. And I have it on good authority that "...St. Louis locals are TERRIFIC, well-informed, polite fans." Whereas Philly fans are egocentric, uninformed, obnoxious, fickle and they smell bad. Ok, well, they're not that fickle.

iii) I don't like the Phillies. I try to, but I just can't. I don't mean that I don't like Ed Wade or Pat Burrell or Larry Bowa (although...), I just don't like the way the town and the team treat each other. The fans are always complaining that the team never wins anything, so they stop coming to games. The team is always complaining that the fans don't come to games, so they never spend money to win now, always planning for the future. And everyone's always complaining about how the wind/sun/umpires/infield turf/fan interference/flaky relief pitcher/Zeus conspired to screw them out of something, and I'm tired of hearing the excuses. I'm going to work on a plan for the Phils and I'll get back to you.

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