“My body is in tremendous shape.”
And thus Jake Arrieta has arrived with his luxuriant beard to take baseball games from opponents with brute force and a virility that quietly but emphatically states, “I’m more of a man than you are, and I know it.” I foresee the consumption of many smoked meats, many power lifting sessions and plenty of visceral grunting taking place in the Phillies clubhouse this season. There’s a matter-of-factness about Arrieta that plainly says, “I will throw the ball. You will miss it. I will win.”
The Phillies introduced the 32-year-old former Cy Young Award winner, who looked quite like the Brawny paper towel man, during a morning press conference that had a little bit of everything. There was some organizational self-stroking, some verbal pats on the ass between Arrieta, Klentak and Kapler, and a bold proclamation made by the team’s prized acquisition. There was even Scott Boras pimping the Phillies as a destination team for future free agents (probably because they helped wipe some of the egg off of his face after his brutal and embarrassing Mike Moustakas market miscalculation).
Scott Boras, on future free agents looking at the Phillies as a desirable destination: "When you have players like Jake on the team, you’ve now crossed the bridge. It’s hot coffee and ready to drink."
— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) March 13, 2018
Weird parallel, but fine. Between the flattery and cordial welcoming, we did learn some things. Perhaps of most importance, Arrieta told reporters he intends to be ready for the start of the season:
“I feel like we’ll probably sit down and game-plan and decide how quickly I get into a game and how many pitches I’m able to throw right away and develop a program to get me ready for the opening week of the season because that’s exactly what I intend to do.”
With only 15 days remaining before the start of the regular season, that’s a short turn around, but there exists a no-bullshit quality about Arrieta that was fully on display this morning, so I’m going to take him at his word. It’s possible with the smattering of early season off-days that the Phillies will roll with a four-man rotation over the first week of the season to buy Arrieta some extra time. Still, any delay to his debut would likely be minimal.
Arrieta very clearly wouldn’t have ended up in Philadelphia had it not been for the Phillies’ aggressive pursuit and contract offer to the former Cy Young Award winner, but he made it clear that he believes the Phillies are ready to compete with this answer that, if I had to guess, could very well serve as inspiration for a t-shirt available at a certain sports website:
Jake Arrieta message to Philly
“We’re going to promise a fight. We’re going to have conviction, we’re going to fight, and we’re going to win”
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) March 13, 2018
Thank you for this, Phillies. This is going to be fun.