I can't imagine too many of you have awoken from your tryptophan-induced slumbers, but let's get down to business here on Black Friday.
1) The Phillies are close to making their first free agent signing official, having agreed to terms with South Philly native Mike Koplove. It seems South Philly natives are good in short yardage. Now we'll see what they can bring to a bullpen. Last I heard the T's were not yet dotted and the I's were not yet crossed -- or something like that -- but Koplove will be in spring training in February looking to earn a spot as a long-man in the bullpen. I expect that he'll be assigned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, but he'll have an opportunity to earn a spot on the big league club. At last count, the Phillies have five relievers who are locks for the squad-- Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, J.C. Romero, Scott Eyre, Chad Durbin -- and one who I'd count as a virtual lock in Clay Condrey. That leaves one, maybe two spots open that last season were filled by Rudy Seanez and Tom Gordon. I expect the Phils to make a play for an established big league arm, and they could still bring back Seanez. But Koplove will get a shot, and at the very least will provide some nice relief depth at Triple-A.
2) What's Koplove's story? Grew up in Philly, prepped at Penn Charter and Chestnut Hill Academy, went on to play collegiately for the Mighty Mighty Blue Hens at UDel and later at Northwestern. He was a solid young arm in the Diamondbacks pen for a few seasons. He has played in parts of seven major league seasons, but has only appeared in seven big league games since 2005.
3) High Cheese would like to wish a very happy birthday to Jimmy Rollins. He's a man. He's 30.
4) Reports out of Venezuela are that Freddy Garcia has injured his shoulder playing winter ball.
5) I'd love to hear some shopping stories from all the High Cheesers out there. I've had a great Black Friday thus far. Woke up at 4:30 a.m., drove to Cedar Crest High in Lebanon, Pa. to play some hoops with some teacher friends out there. On the way back, I hit up King of Prussia Mall. See, I'm attending a charity cocktail party tonight to benefit La Salle Academy, which to me is an excuse to buy a new black suit. And really, why buy one suit when you can buy two? At least that's what the salesman at Men's Wearhouse told me. So yeah, um, if you could, click on some of the advertisements and keep my bosses happy because I don't think Holiday impulse buying is covered under the Federal Bailout package.
6) That's all for today. Hopefully this post was efficiently balanced enough.