Monday, November 12, 2007

On Losing Control

Philadelphia Phillies announce they've signed JC Romero (LHP) to a three-year contract for $12 million.

Blink. Blink.

I learned first hand that there are plenty of pitfalls to being an earnest young man, starting with the limits it places on your sense of appropriate behavior. Earnest, serious analysis has its time and place, but there are also times to be stupid. Or, in the words of Walter “Gib” Gibson, “What the hell's wrong with being stupid once in awhile?”

The foremost example of this philosophy is matters of the heart. There is precious little room for analysis in intimacy. Letting someone you barely know into your bed and falling asleep naked next to him or her is an act of insanity. You need to play a ridiculous game, and act the fool to get anywhere near love.

So you had better get a highly developed sense of humor, and quick. That walk of shame can crush oneself quick if you can’t laugh at your own actions, weaknesses, and kitschy sexual predilections. Just what was it that drew you to her, exactly? Where did that feeling come? And most importanly, what were you thinking?

You’re a good way towards the answers when you can shake your head and laugh at the results.

I hope this morning Philadelphia Phillies GM Pat Gillick is laughing at himself and the chemical hold that JC Romero seemingly has on him, because I assure you, he’s likely to be fielding some calls from his fraternal brothers.

“Mr. Gillick? Mr. Ryan is on line one.”“Dude, you know he went after my manager’s door with a bat, right? A BAT. And that was after we’d sent him down to the minors to get his head straight. Sleep tight, buddy.”
“I’ve told Mr. Epstein several times that you’re busy, but he keeps calling. He’s on line two.”
“You just can’t get enough of my throwaways, can you buddy? Listen, I hear you, it’s closing time, you’re in the game and he looks like the complete package. But let me warn you – no control. Or maybe you like that type, eh?”

The danger is that this wasn’t just a temporary case of beer goggles. Maybe Gillick really is smitten. He’s a sharp guy, but even the smartest people think that this time is different. Maybe the object of my affection has changed. Or worse, maybe I can be the one that changes them.

I can see where Gillick might think that, seeing as Romero had a 1.24 ERA in his time with the Phillies. But his fundamental problem – the aforementioned lack of control – doesn’t seem to have changed. In his 36 spectacular innings with the Phils, he still walked 25 guys, which is about par. He succeeded despite that wildness because nobody could actually hit him. Which He raises the possibility that maybe the NL batters just haven’t figured out to show a little patience with him.

Now they’ll have three years to work on it, which is damn near an eternity for formerly free-falling Romero. After all, two years ago he was worth $2.2 million and a mid-level prospect. One year ago, he was worth $1.6 million. Five months ago, he was available for free. But today he’s worth $12 million over three years.

And, hopefully, a good self-deprecating laugh.


Kyle Eliason said...

Do you think, after Romero allows inherited runners to score, Gillick reminds himself that J.C. always tells him that he loves him afterwards?

"Pat, you look terrible, what happened?"

"Ah... I fell down some stairs in the seventh inning."

Anonymous said...

I thought it was Lohse who went after Gardenhire's door with a bat. Did Romero do this to a manager's office, too?

J. Lichty said...

Gillick must have read that article where JC informs the LA/Anaheim media that he thrives with men on base. I know I believed him over the stats and my own lying eyes.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible that Gillick was thinking hey, what the hell, no one's gonna find out?