Dear Jake Peavy,
Yo. (The Philly-to-Cali dictionary translates that as: What's up, brah? How are things with the Padres? Not so hot, huh?)
That has to be tough. You're a fantastic pitcher, but you and your San Diego teammates are just a game above .500. As of yesterday afternoon, that put you 81/2 games behind first-place L.A., a club that's been cruising even without Manny Ramirez. And it's not quite June yet. If this continues, by the time August rolls around, the Dodgers will be able to call out sick for the rest of the season and still win the NL West.
No wonder the Padres are trying to trade you. San Diego isn't ready to win right now. But do you know what city is? We'll give you a hint: Starts with a "Ph" and ends with an "iladelphia." City of Brotherly Love. Birthplace of America. World champions of baseball in 2008, baby. Maybe you've heard of us.
We have to be honest - we're all a little smitten with you around here. The other night, you picked up your fifth win of the season when you beat the Diamondbacks. And you have an awfully attractive 3.67 ERA. We love the current crop of Phillies, but there's always room for one more talented player. Considering the Fightin's have the second-worst team ERA in the National League, you'd make the pitching staff look a whole lot prettier. Just imagining you and Hollywood Hamels at the top of the rotation is enough to make us swoon.
And now that Brett Myers has an injured right hip that could keep him off the mound indefinitely, we sure could use another leading man.
Now, we've heard you're a little reluctant to leave San Diego. You recently turned down a trade to the White Sox. That's understandable. Between us, the White Sox couldn't hold the Phillies' championship trophy. Given what your agent, Barry Axelrod, told MLB.com this week, we're hoping you realize this is a much better place for you than Chi City.
"He has a strong preference to play in the National League," Axelrod said. "He also wants to play for a contender. Both of those two things play into Philly's hands. . . . The personnel is awesome. If there is one downside, it's the geographical difference for him, given that he has made his family home in the San Diego area."
Dude, we get it. Southern California is a stunningly beautiful place. It's hard to beat palm trees, 70-degree weather, and the deep-blue Pacific Ocean. But have you been to South Jersey in the summer? You'd hardly know the difference. There aren't any palm trees, and the beaches are packed, and the humidity is higher, and there are a lot more jellyfish, but the way the sun reflects off the brown-green Atlantic is just . . . magical.
Besides, you're never going to find a good cheesesteak or quality Italian food out there, and you're approximately 2,800 miles from the nearest Yuengling distributor. That's no way to live. And have you had scrapple? It's a local breakfast delicacy - crunchy on the outside, just mushy enough on the inside. It's God's meat.
And if you're a little worried about our reputation, don't be. We're pushovers. There's not a city in the country that will love you the way we will. Ask Raul Ibanez. Ask Brian Dawkins. (Don't ask Adam Eaton.)
You don't have to decide right now. Just think about it. We'll certainly be thinking about you.
The player ratings for EA Sports' Madden NFL 10 have been released. (For Madden video-game geeks, it's a sort of holiday.)
Two Eagles made the top 10 at their respective positions. Brian Westbrook is tied with LaDainian Tomlinson of the Chargers for third among running backs with a 94 overall rating out of 100. And Donovan McNabb is sixth among quarterbacks with a 91. Only Peyton Manning (99), Tom Brady (98), Drew Brees (97), Kurt Warner (94), and Ben Roethlisberger (93) have better numbers.
A final note about the ratings: McNabb has a 78 TAS - Throwing Accuracy Short. That's the lowest TAS of any QB in the top 10. Shocker.
Andy Reid should remember that the next time he calls for another 5-yard pass. And you should remember that when hosting your Friday-night "All Dudes/Where Are the Chicks?" Madden tournament.
Just when you thought the National Spelling Bee couldn't get any better - spell "diluvium" kid, and be quick about it - ESPN added reporter Erin Andrews to the mix. Between E.A. and all the wispy mustaches of the 13-year-olds, the NSB should win an Emmy. . . . Mark "Frog" Carfagno, a 33-year veteran of the Phillies' ground crew, will be signing copies of his book, Hardball & Hardship, at 5 o'clock tonight at Chickie's and Pete's in South Philly. The book includes stories about Frog's participating in on-field skits with the Phanatic, his friendship with the '93 Fightin's, his appearing in Phillies promotional videos, and his "messy," "premature" termination in 2004, which led to a heated, public lawsuit. . . . Wipeout might be the best thing on TV. I have to get on that show. . . . The US Air Guitar Championships will take place tomorrow at the Khyber. Who's in? Anyone? Guess I'll just have to rock my sweet imaginary ax all by myself. . . . Raul Ibanez now has two fan clubs. The first, Raul's Bouls, made an appearance at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday night. The second, Raul's Ghouls - a bunch of fraternity guys from Drexel University dressed in beige bedsheets - appeared at the Bank on Wednesday. Ibanez went a combined 1 for 6 during those games. Not so good. Anyone else have an Ibanez fan-club idea? Third time's a charm.