Crash Bag Vol. 45 – Poetry And Prospects And Punters (Wait…Quarterbacks, Not Punters)

I greet you with this query from Poet Laureate of The Phils Blogosphere:

My response to this reference to an interesting quote from our new field manager, is a verse for that February day when spring returns to Clearwater, Florida, while the rest of us still slowly move out of winter.


As frost wanes
As snow turns to rain
We push through the pains of stagnation
From a long winter spent in shelter
In stillness
Perhaps apathy

In the north
Still-chattering teeth
Remains of a wreath dying on a door
Remains of the season of mirth and cheer
From the midst of the season of death and despair

But in the south
The glorious south
The soil is prepared
The whitest chalk in the straightest lines
The maple and the ash
The leather
The rosin
The reddest of thread
Stitched twice all around the orb

Rejuvenation lurks!

But from now
Until that day
When givers and takers return to their fields
We have hope
For a man both strong and agile
Prince of the Chesapeake
But for just one spin ‘round the sun
The young flame coveted
Shall not depart
Maybe for like Franklyn Kilome or something, IDK

Do you all think the end needs work? Maybe a little.

If I’m the GM, Sixto Sanchez and J.P. Crawford are not moving this offseason. Sanchez is too elite a talent and Crawford is too good at such a key position with no immediate replacement. Scott Kingery could go, and you keep César and hope he stays good through his arb years and maybe look to buy out one year of free agency via extension. Adonis Medina is the last of the bunch to consider, IMO. I say he’s got to stay. Everyone else is on the table.

And another thing – for me there is not an untouchable among the big league outfield – I’d listen on Aaron Altherr, Odubel Herrera or Nick Williams. You don’t deal more than one, but it’s a position of strength now, that could be backfilled at most any trade deadline to make a run at the playoffs if it’s not been filled internally or through free agency.

All signs point to Manny Machado being a one-year rental for 2018 and not negotiating a contract extension this offseason with Baltimore or whoever might trade for him. If that’s true, a team in a better position to win now should give up more. Machado is a rare talent, but he doesn’t turn the 2018 Phils into a contender. You take your chances that he hits free agency and you can heap dollars and years on him like others can’t or won’t.

Jake Arrieta is worth thinking about, sure. And if you can get him, and get one more starter, whether it be a Lance Lynn or Alex Cobb or maybe swing a deal for Chris Archer, then suddenly your club is built to win in 2018. If that’s happening, maybe I rethink Manny Machado and push hard to build a roster that can win day in and day out. That seems not to be the plan, however.

And so is Arrieta worth having around this year in an effort to have him around in ‘19-20 when the young core of the lineup is hopefully maturing into a bunch of first-division regulars, and some young pitching is starting to make an impact? Maybe. Like I said, it’s worth thinking about. As is everything you suggest, Drew. Klentak should be all in your DMs looking for advice. Particularly as it seems you’re a strat player, and they’re all cool. Tweet me a photo of your strat. (Sorry non-guitar people. Guitars are very important).

If the guys sitting around you were over 21, no way do I give that back to them. What I would probably do for a tossed ball like that is pass it to a kid, so if these guys were even like college-aged, without beers, I would give it back to one of them. Beers nixes it – if you can’t catch a ball while drinking, you don’t deserve the ball. Or the beer. HAND IT OVER, BRO!

Now if this were a foul ball, I’d try give it to a young kid (under 15 maybe) who almost caught it or made an effort. I don’t really need a foul ball at my house. The dog would eventually find it and chew it. Dude can chew. A home run, I am keeping unless a younger kid, like 10 and under, blew the catch and is all whiny and upset. I can find somewhere to keep an MLB home run ball away from the pup, but it’s not worth hearing a kid bitch and moan.

If they land Machado in a White Sox swappidy-doo, or some other decent veteran option at third, then no, I think they stopgap their way to Gleyber Torres’ being healthy and ready (and maybe screw him out of a super-two future). If not, Torres maybe is their third baseman mid-year (still after the “super-screw” – that’s what we should all call that now, btw. Give it a good name and maybe it forces owner to change. Sure. Right.) At that point, César is a viable option. He’s got a good chance to help for a couple years, so he won’t be cheap, and he doesn’t have to go now – he could be held up to the July deadline or even until next winter.

And finally:

There are a couple possibilities – I think Aaron Altherr would make a decent signal caller – he’s tall, has a good arm, seems mobile enough to bail out the lackluster left side of the O-line, but he was born in Germany so he probably plays soccer, not football. Shame. Nick Pivetta is built like a QB, but being from Canada, he’d always be saying things like “we just need to get to the fifty-three yard line” and “what the heck’s a fourth down” and “let’s run the Ol’ Moosejaw Mambo”.

A big arm is a must, so you have to consider Vince Velasquez, but he’d have to come out before the first half ended after throwing 117 passes. Adam Morgan’s a lefty, which to me is weird for a QB. Aaron Nola’s arm slot is too low – every pass would be batted down.

I think I’m going with Jerad Eickhoff here. He’s a big body with a good arm who’s known to manage a game well, and “The General” is a great nickname for a quarterback.

Ok, that’s it. Happy Holidays to all of you. And Happy Hanukkah to all those celebrating this week. I’m a non-practicing gentile, and my wife is non-practicing Jewish, but we’re doing the more secular holidays for the first time this year with our 2-year-old daughter Ada. Rosh Hashanah was ok – apples and honey is not a bad thing – but Hanukkah is better. Ada likes the candles and gelt, plus I think we’re making latkes and lox with dinner-eggs this weekend. And there’s beef stew, (we didn’t actually get brisket but whatever), in the slow cooker starting to smell really good at 3am when I am finishing writing this. Not bad.

FYI – Trader Joe’s gelt is pretty good. Not waxy and gross like others I’ve had. It’s so good that Ada had a meltdown when we wouldn’t give her any before dinner tonight. FUN!

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  1. Mike Fassano

    December 15, 2017 11:02 AM

    Not everybody is on twitter. What about our questions?

    • Brad Engler

      December 15, 2017 11:34 AM

      I do this so sporadically that to provide an email account to regularly send to is not really worthwhile if I don’t also announce that I am doing the crashbag otherwise. If I am scheduled in advance, I will ask the prior week’s poster to add my personal account to their post and maybe I can suggest to our team to also ask that anyone posting in a given week add whoever’s email when a crashbag is scheduled.

      • Radu

        December 15, 2017 01:31 PM

        You can also use the comments section of a Crash Bag to collect questions for the next one.

      • Brad Engler

        December 15, 2017 01:57 PM

        @radu – not sure how reliable that is since the crashbag is intended to be part personal, and is not always done weekly, especially in the off-season. Questions could get stale. But worth us discussing. Thx.

  2. pamikeydc

    December 15, 2017 12:02 PM

    Nice! Thanks for the write up Brad! I def enjoyed it.

    I would def go with Slick Nick as my Qb tho. He reminds me of a Steamin Willie Beamin!

    • pamikeydc

      December 15, 2017 12:02 PM

      ^****Williams that is

  3. Romus

    December 15, 2017 04:27 PM

    Mike Fassano….Carlos Santana is npw a Phillie and who knows, Manny Machado may be one before the weeknd is out. That should be news to make yuor day.

    • Andrew R.

      December 15, 2017 07:59 PM

      Part of the reason I got banned from phuture Phillies is because I suggested Carlos Santana and other people are crying about Tommy Joseph. I was mean to them and banned. But this is an awesome signing! Puts a little faith in Klentak for me.

      • Brad Engler

        December 15, 2017 10:37 PM

        Mean got you banned? Was there cussin’? Cause I recall we weren’t really down with cussin’ when I was there.

  4. Jerry Spradlin

    December 16, 2017 10:08 AM

    Brad, QB has to be Alfaro-he’s got a cannon. First Colombian to lead a team to the Super Bowl AND win rookie of the year in the same calendar year??!!

    • Brad Engler

      December 16, 2017 01:15 PM

      I would get on that bandwagon.

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