Inquirer beat writer Andy Martino and I ate lunch together today. Being the fierce competitors that we are, I was a little nervous when the food arrived. I've heard he plays dirty. We re-enacted the scene from the Princess Bride where Vizzini and Westley engage in a battle of the wits. Finally, I had Todd Zolecki taste my food. Needless to say, someone else will be writing the MLB.com story tonight. But that's not my point in telling this story. My point is that during lunch, after Zolecki had keeled over from a lethal dose of iocane powder, conversation turned toward Jamie Moyer's pending 250th career victory. Myself, I'm not a big fan of supposed milestones based on arbitrary round numbers. I understand 300 victories, and 3,000 hits. Over the course of time, they have developed a historical significance. But we are in a day and age where it seems like every time a player reaches a statistical level that ends in a "0," it is cause for celebration. To me, the storyline has never been Jamie Moyer going for his 250th career victory. It has been Moyer going for his fourth of the season. Call me an iconoclast, but that's how I see it.
If Jamie Moyer never gets win No. 250 -- obviously, he will at some point -- will it make his career any less noteworthy than if he gets it and then never wins No. 251?
In my mind, no. However, if he never gets win No. 250 -- again, he will at some point -- he will never move into sole possession of 44th place on the all-time list. Because right now, he is tied with Vic Willis, a right-hander who spent 13 years in the big leagues and would be 233 years old if he were still alive.
If you knew the answer to Wednesday afternoon trivia, I salute you.
Moving on, there was a discussion in the comments section of my previous post about the possibility of the Phillies calling up Lou Marson for this weekend's series against the Yankees. Theoretically, the move would enable the Phillies to use catcher Chris Coste as a designated hitter against lefties Andy Pettitte and C.C. Sabathia. As your dutiful beat writer, I asked Charlie Manuel an hour ago if this was indeed a possibility.
His answer: "Probably not."
But the Phillies could still call up another minor leaguer to join the bench. No decisions have been made yet, though.
Pitching coach Rich Dubee went to bat for Moyer today. Moyer has struggled in his last three starts, a stretch in which his ERA is over 13.00.
"I read all the stuff," Dubee said. "My wife tells me, oh you ought to see the articles about Moyer. For what? The guys got 249 wins. If he was 32 years old, what would you say? he's in a slump. he's not pitching well. He's 46, now, oh, has the time come? Who the hell knows when the times going to come? You don't think he's lost games and had bad outings before and been on a bad stretch? Hell, if it wasn't for Charlie and I, and the public had a vote last year, he wouldn't have pitched in the damn World Series."