Did everyone know that Jamie Moyer was in the Dominican Republic for winter ball? The Moyer champions said, “god, that guy just loves the game.” The haters said, “he’s in bleeping winter ball?!” Where do you think I fell on this spectrum? You can never really be sure that you are done with Jamie Moyer, and so I think it was natural that when he shipped off to the Dominican I was feeling a little bit of trepidation about Moyer and the 2011 season. Remember we are only about 6 months removed from one of Philadelphia’s senior baseball writers making Moyer’s Hall of Fame case. It can’t be that hard to picture Moyer floating down to winter ball, screwing some kids into the ground with his junk*, and getting a Spring Training invite from the Phillies.
From there you can probably imagine what could have possibly happened. Kendrick gets lit up, Moyer somehow gets people out, you hear things about his experience, about how it will only cost the Phillies “x amount,” and the next thing you know he’s the fifth starter again. My soul couldn’t take a third year of that, and it finally appears that I won’t have to do any more worrying. Moyer left an outing in the Dominican last week after re-injuring his elbow. Moyer’s manager in the Dominican, who happens to be, wait for it…..Moises Alou, didn’t sound too optimistic that the old plow horse would bounce back from this one. I don’t imagine that Moyer will officially give in. He’ll pitch in Camden, or as I mentioned in the headline, perhaps turn up at SUNY Binghampton or something, but it looks like he’s not going to get to leave on his terms. I think finally, Moyer might be off every team’s radar.
So, with Moyer out of the way (maybe St. Joe’s needs a pitching coach), the baseball world can properly shift focus to the free agents who are marketable. Every time I look at the list I am surprised by how thin this year’s crop is. A lot of players are taking those extensions when they can get them, and that leaves a class of free agents that is extremely top-heavy. I worry about baseball’s hot stove season. If Lee, Crawford and Werth sign quickly, what else is there going to be to talk about? Zack Greinke trades?
Random “Winter Ball” Note: Bryce Harper is hitting .368 with a homer and 4 Rbis in 17 at-bats in the Arizona Fall League. Opening Day 2012, Strasburg and Harper. Get on Stub Hub now.
*still talking about pitching.