The chance to win a championship is usually at the top of every athlete’s list when it comes to choosing with whom to sign during free agency, but the chance to be back with a favorite mascot is rarely cited as a reason. That’s why it was surprising to hear that the biggest reason Cliff Lee signed with the Phillies over the Yankees and Rangers was because their mascot, the Philly Phanatic.
Former Phillies first baseman and current ESPN Baseball Tonight analyst John Kruk has been training this offseason to enter the world of competitive eating.
That deafening silence fans have been hearing from Cubs camp this off-season has been that of GM Jim Hendry, whose wild spending habits on mediocre-at-best free agents has been curtailed by new ownership. Hendry, however, awoke from his hibernation Wednesday morning with his checkbook blazing.
Almost 30 years since Philadelphia foolishly dealt Ryne Sandberg to the Cubs for Ivan De Jesus, the Phillies reacquired the Hall of Famer to manage their Triple-A affiliate Lehigh Valley IronPigs, completing the franchise's evil plot to steal back a player who's become the face of the Cubs.
On Wednesday the Cubs and Ryne Sandberg made the difficult decision to part ways. Predictably, many fans were upset that a team icon from the '80s and '90s was allowed to walk out the door with no fanfare. Many of those sentimental fans also believe Harry Caray's widow Dutchie should take over Cubs radio broadcasts.
After winning the NL MVP Award and nearly leading the Phillies to the Wild Card last season, Ryan Howard hit it big--sort of--when he signed a one-year deal that will reportedly pay him $900,000 in 2007. Not exactly big money for a guy who hit 58 HRs last year, but Howard, a baseball visionary since his high school days in Lafayette, Mo., is setting his sights on bankrupting the Phillies by 2012.