Jamie Moyer spoke his mind on Tuesday.
This is good.
Moyer said he was "disheartened" by the decision to yank him out of the Phillies' starting rotation. He said he had been "misled" during off-season contract negotiations with the club, when this kind of scenario was raised and he was assured he would not be banished to the bullpen. Moyer also said he would not be a distraction.
There are people who see all of this as inconsistent. I don't, not even a little bit.
I continue to be amazed by media people who ask questions for a living who are horrified when the answers are truthful. It's absurd. I ask people things and I want to know what they really think. I don't want robots. I don't want coach-speak. We have all spent such a large portion of our lives listening to athletes say nothing that, when somebody actually does say something, there are people who recoil.
Of course he's disheartened -- and there is nothing wrong with saying it.
If he feels he was misled, there is nothing wrong with saying that either. Because there are promises and there are promises and everybody knows it. The Phillies promised Chan Ho Park an honest competition in spring training for a spot in the rotation and they gave him the job because he won it. That's honorable. This is a little different because of Moyer's elevated earned-run average. At 5.47, it's about as bad as a starter can possibly have and remain a starter. And know this: at a certain point, everyone would agree -- hell, Moyer would agree -- that an exorbitant ERA would cancel any off-season conversation. So we are just talking about the definition of exorbitant.
One final thing: he will not be a distraction. Because making a single newspaper headline is not the same thing as dividing a clubhouse. Moyer won't do that -- he just won't. It isn't in his DNA and, frankly, it isn't within his power. Because while the man is universally respected, the numbers are the numbers, and 5.47 is 5.47, and everybody in the Phillies' clubhouse can see that.