Polly Wanna Contract?

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.DSCF3255 Polanco.jpg

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

 

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

15 Comments

Polanco looks like a great addition to the Phillies. I hope he does well, and it’s a relief to see he won’t be terrorizing (with his bat) Toronto pitching anymore when the Tigers visit (well, save for the annual Phillies interleague matchup).

Jonah
http://jonah77.mlblogs.com

Welcome back Polanco. I hope he can really play third. I know he’s been great at second.

What a story about Urbina. Makes Brett Myers look like a choir boy.

I don’t think the Polonco signing is all that good really. We let him go a few years ago now, and now he’s 34 years old. He delivered less homeruns and rbi’s than Feliz in ’09 – is this a trend or is it just a fluke? Yes, he doesn’t strike out very often, only 46 times on average. The lack of offensive production in RBI’s last season worries me, this is when a lot of players start to decline in their skills at this age.

My Phillies invoice mentions that Phillies ‘partial season ticket holders’ will have the opportunity to purchase a ‘minimum of 2 games’ not that you can only purchase 2 games. This means to me that you don’t have to buy the three ticket package as they offered last year, but I would like a clarification on this from the Phillies on what exactly they mean by this. I am also upset that I have tickets in the first level, but my playoff tickets were all in the upper decks in areas I wouldn’t sit normally, but someone with an upper deck cheaper plan can get ‘lucky’ and draw seats in the playoffs in the first level. That is wrong, you should sit in the level that you have your tickets in.

The parking is making me boil though, so I don’t know. I live in Jersey so you have to take everything into consideration. Parking, tolls, gas, and everything else to come up with the ‘real’ cost of your plan. The Phillies have a winning ballclub now, they won’t suffer to draw fans now but a few years from now they could be like Baltimore and sour the fans and have a stadium that is half full or less. Time will tell, but I have noticed that even at last year’s playoffs the team did go all out for the fans, even the Fan Appreciation day seemed like real hokie prizes at times, they used to give away many trips, and other things but now that they are making more money they are actually giving away less.

I hope Polanco is an improvement over Feliz for 2010 – I have to imagine simply putting the ball in play more frequently has to be a step up – the way the Phillies lineup strikes out so frequently is appalling sometimes!
Never had the bucks in the budget to be a season-ticket holder, full or partial. I think the price increase is the unfortunate byproduct of success – management assumes people will be willing to pay more and more to see a winner. Just like the price for Baseball 101 goes up every year, and still it sells out. They’ll keep raising the prices as long as they can. But I don’t like it.
Sue
Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

Jen,
I think the Polanco signing gave the “Hot Corner” and instant offensive makeover.
Sure Polanco might not have played the corner since his utility days, but he is a experienced infielder with a great glove, so it is a great upside move by Ruben Amaro Jr and the Phillie staff.
The non-tender to Park kind of got me thinking they might just try and sign him to a lower offer than his arbitration. He did a great job doing whatever they needed in 2009, and you would think that would be rewarded by the team.
I guess we shall see soon enough.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

It will be interesting to see, after a Gold Glove season at second base, if he can adapt back to third.
http://bronx-awesome.mlblogs.com/

December 2, 2009 is a day I’m sure my Detroit Tigers are going regret for years to come. Congratulations Philly, you’ve got yourself the most underrated talent in the league. Polly is perhaps one of the most dependable players in the game anymore. There’s not a lot of flash or home run power however there is an innate ability to put the ball in play and move runners along. Our loss is certainly your gain. I suppose I need to consider myself a Phillies fan by way of Detroit now. Congratulations Polly you deserve to be on a proven winner.

Signing Polanco makes you guys have the most stacked team in baseball. You have Howard at first, who has top class power. Utley at second, who is probably the best second baseman in the league. Rollins at short, who gives opposing pitchers and catchers nightmares as he nabs base after base. Polanco at third now, one of the best defensive infielders around (Let’s see how he adapts to the Hot Corner) and a real solid hitter who has past experience in Philly. Werth in right, who has power and can hit with the best of em; Victorino in center, with blazing speed and a lot of hits, Ibanez in left, a veteran who adds a bit of power to the lineup, and Carlos Ruiz behind the plate, who is a solid, above average catcher. No team can compete with a lineup like that, not even my Yankees :(. Add to that a pitching staff with Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, and Jamie Moyer, and you have World Series Champions 2010.

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