My name is Andy Martino, and I have the privilege of joining the Inquirer as the new Phillies beat writer. I am already very familiar with the team through my work at the New York Daily News, for whom I covered the N.L. East last season, among other duties. So I’ve spent plenty of time in the Phillies’ locker room, including during the World Series. My job is to aggressively dig up news and deliver it to readers in a fair and objective way; in other words, I work for you, so if you ever have questions, complaints, compliments or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to email or comment. I’ll be blogging frequently through spring training and the season, so please keep checking.
This is a fascinating time for baseball, and for the Phils: drug scandals have forced us to confront uncomfortable moral questions about the stars of our era, small-market teams like the Rays have figured out how to run with wealthy behemoths like the Yankees and Red Sox, the economic downturn/crisis/depression has already dramatically altered the business of the game, and the Phillies, of course, are set to defend a championship for only the second time. We’ll have it all covered, and will probably slip into some weird digressions along the way (oh, the infinite space of the Internet).
I’ll be blogging from the exhibition against Toronto in Dunedin, Fla. tomorrow, but for now will leave you with two items that dampened the weekend for two of the Phillies’ division rivals: Johan Santana was supposed to get an M.R.I. on his elbow, and though he then felt good enough after throwing to cancel the exam, the fact that the words “Santana” and “elbow”-- not to mention “M.R.I.” -- have appeared together in the same sentence in March must be scary for the Mets, who last year awarded the lefty a six-year, $137.5 million dollar contract. And New York's chance to avoid another collapse this season—or even be in a position to collapse in the first place—will obviously take a gigantic hit if their ace misses any time.
And not that anyone was particularly worried about the Nationals, but an embarrassing situation worsened in Washington, when GM Jim Bowden resigned in scandal. Between this mess and the one that led to the firing of Bowden's special assistant Jose Rijo last week, this is an organization in serious disarray, not only on the field but in the ethics department as well.
That’s all for now. Please make this blog a part of your daily procrastination/slacking/baseball obsession-feeding routine.