Friday, December 12, 2003

Winter (Meeting) Wonderland

The Inquirer's Todd Zolecki and the Daily News's Paul Hagen file stories today observing that the Phillies will have little pressing to do at this year's winter meetings, which begin today in New Orleans. Having moved quickly to obtain a starter, a closer, and a setup guy, and to lay the groundwork for Kevin Millwood's return for another season, Ed Wade is in the comfortable and pleasant position of playing things cool and seeing what develops.

Unlike Zolecki, Hagen files today from New Orleans, allowing him to report that the Phillies denied an interesting rumor that arose last night. The rumor had the Phils talking with the Red Sox about dealing Jimmy Rollins and Bobby Abreu for Nomar Garciaparra, whom Boston will have to move should the long-anticipated Manny Ramirez-for-Alex Rodriguez trade come together. The Inky's Jim Salisbury previews the meetings today, but isn't in the Big Easy yet.

One thing Wade may want to keep an eye out for is a left-handed specialist out of the bullpen. Contrary to what the papers have been reporting for weeks, Dan Plesac yesterday announced his retirement. (Daily News, Inquirer.) Plesac's comments indicate that he'd been considering retirement much more strongly than either of the papers' coverage has reflected. This is simply a case of lazy reporting -- the beat guys should have asked the pitcher himself rather than rely on official team reports.

UPDATE: Shallow Center's South Jersey correspondent would swap Abreu and Rollins for Garciaparra "in a heartbeat": "If not for the on-field talent," he writes, "how about for the off-field talent that would come with him?" Presumably this is a reference to Mrs. Nomar, the very, very attractive Mia Hamm. Were such matters about off-field talent only, then the deal would indeed be a no-brainer. Alas, the World Series, not ogling hot women's soccer players, is the ultimate goal, so the discussion would have to be along those lines. And since the trade seems so unlikely -- to call it a long-shot rumor would be generous -- it's not even worth talking about.


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