Ok then, here ya go! The Phillies have signed Placido Polanco to play 3rd base after the Tigers declined to offer him salary arbitration. Because he was not offered arbitration, this means the Phillies do not have to give up a draft pick. The deal is for 3 years, 18 million dollars, plus an option for a 4th year.
Phillies fans should be thrilled to see Polly back in the red pinstripes; he is a career .303 hitter and rarely strikes out, a stat which would be a huge help to this lineup which tends to whiff more than most teams. Polanco played second base for the Tigers, but has played 322 games at third in his career as well. The Phillies actually signed him as a third baseman originally in 2002.
Back in June of 2005, the Phillies traded Polanco to the Tigers after Chase Utley won the position at second base. Fans screamed for Polanco to stay and to be placed at third base instead of David Bell, but the Phillies sent him packing, a move which I have always felt was a huge mistake. So, the Phillies have not only signed an amazing player today, but they also righted the wrong of 2005.
In exchange for Polanco in 2005, the Phillies got right-hander Ugueth Urbina and infielder Ramon Martinez. To give you an idea of how that worked out, the following off-season in 2005, Urbina was arrested on attempted murder charges for attacking 5 farm workers at his Venezuela home with a machete and he also tried to light them on fire. He is currently serving a 14-year prison sentence. Great pick up, Phils! I wonder if we can get him back when he is released? Nothing wrong with a little entertainment… ;o)
Polanco is back and I think this is an outstanding move for the Phillies! Welcome back, Polly! We missed ya!
More Arbitration News
The Phillies did not offer arbitration to any of their free agents, not even Chan Ho Park. He may still be back, but it looks like the Phillies did want to be tied down monetarily. While this gives them greater freedom to sign players at lower costs, it also means other teams can now sign them.
Ticket Price Revisited
Thank you to everyone for their feedback on my last blog regarding the ticket price increases. There were a few revelations in those comments. For instance, Rich of Fightin’ Phillies reports that parking has also gone up from $11 to $15 and if the price continues to rise, he will not be renewing his season ticket plan in 2011.
The BILF Reporter says the ticket price increase did not upset her parents too much, but it also appears that partial plan holders are losing a playoff game opportunity. In 2009, the partial season ticket holders were guaranteed at least 3 games; for 2010, it has been knocked down to 2 games. Another comparison is that in 2008, partial plan holders not only got the 3 games, but they were also given “second chance” opportunities for up to 3 additional games when there were tickets leftover. So, it is basically going from 6 possible games to 2 in a matter of only 2 years, while prices continue to rise.
Add together the parking increase, ticket increase, lost playoff game and some partial season ticket holders getting their seats bumped backwards, this is a recipe for some very disgruntled fans. If anyone from the Phillies is listening, they may want to rethink this strategy. Imagine what is going to happen here; they will lose their loyal fans as season ticket holders, gain bandwagon fans and then, when they stop winning, who will be left in the seats? There are fewer and fewer reasons to buy or renew your season tickets. Where is the incentive when each year, we pay more and get less?
And yes, I understand the Phillies are more reasonably priced that say, the Yankees. And if you’ve got money, you are probably not concerned. But people on a budget are used to paying a certain amount for a particular level of service; they will resent the changes. All of these teams, not just the Phillies, should be more sensitive to what their fans expect and deserve. Of course, this is just my opinion :O)
Speaking of fan appreciation, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. left an automated message on my voice mail today, thanking me and all the fans for our great support. Say it with flowers, say it with a phone call….or, how about saying it with better seats and lower prices? Just an idea…
Polanco photo by Jenn