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Philly Cheesesteaks? Try Philly Cheapskates

Two moves by Philadelphia sports management leaves a sour taste in mouths of fans.

The news came in Thursday afternoon and a feeling of sickness came over Philadelphia Phillies fans all over the region.

The Anaheim Angels had signed stud superstar outfielder Josh Hamilton, the last big free agent fish left on the market, to a five-year, $125 million contract. The Phils had made an offer – three years, $80 million – but it wasn't THE offer.

Then the Philadelphia Eagles decided to place defensive tackle Mike Patterson on the inactive list because of a viral illness – a move that meant Patterson would lose $150,000 in salary. 

This move was really a slap in the face for a player who was fighting back from brain surgery – yes, brain surgery – to play for the Birds once again. Why be so cold to a dedicated player who was the longest tenured on the roster.

Eagles management, which has been dragged through the mud the whole year for its decisions, were blasted by the Philly media and fans all day. Then, late Thursday afternoon, management reversed course, saying Patterson's salary wouldn't suffer. (Ah, the power of the media.)

The loss of Hamilton, though, cannot be reversed. And while it was nice to hear talk from new centerfielder Ben Revere, that wasn't enough to get the juices flowing for Phillies fans about the upcoming season. No Hamilton probably means no playoffs. And no hope.

Phils General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. had the cash to get Hamilton and there was hope earlier in the week that the big fish would be reeled in. But now we have to settle for guppies.

The football season will end in January with a losing record for the Birds and the loss of the team's longtime coach. Yet, we can't even get excited about spring training in February with no Hamilton.

At least the Grinches in Eagles management did the right think with Patterson. But the Phillies decided to go the Scrooge route.

Bah Humbug!

Phil Spare December 15, 2012 at 12:25 PM
Lets see, 5 years @ 25M per. Phillies offered 3 years @26.6M per. Please explain how thats being a Cheapskate?
anonymous December 15, 2012 at 01:00 PM
The author of the article is obviously not very knowledgeable when it comes to sports contract negotiations and contracts. I think the Phillies made a very nice offer...a BOATLOAD of money...but, thankfully, didn't want to go more than 3 years for a guy who's injury-prone and has a history of pretty major drug problems.
Dino Ciliberti (Editor) December 15, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Yes, I know about contracts. Three years at $80 million is a big difference than five years and $125 million. And that's what it took to sign Hamilton. The Phillies could have done that.
Geoeray December 15, 2012 at 02:09 PM
All are overpaid. There is no recession in sports.
K.B. Matticus December 15, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Let's see, the Phillies paid how much money for the "best pitching staff in baseball," and they've won how many titles since then? No hope, simply because we didn't get one ballplayer? Really? The Angels overpaid for Hamilton - he won't play a full season again before he retires, and he won't last five years with the Angels. As for Patterson - I don't get paid if I don't work when I'm sick, neither should Patterson. If he is the longest-tenured Eagle, and if one game is worth $150,000, then he should have quite a cushion saved - in his profession, he knows the risks. Sorry, the Eagles did the wrong thing here. Stupid article.
Steve December 15, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Yes, the Phillies could have paid him 5/$125 and maybe got Josh. It would put them way over the $187 million Super Tax Threshold and we would be handcuffed with that contract for many years. I like Ryan Howard, but how many like his long term $25 million a year contract now. How many would go back and sign Cliff Lee again if it meant we can't get anyone else. They are not being cheap, they are placing their bets where they believe they need to given this luxury tax threshold. I don't agree with all their moves, but one thing they have not been over the last 5 or 6 years is cheap. If your old enough to remember the mid 90's and early 2000's, that was cheap. Please don't turn into whining Yankee fans who get upset when they can't build a full team of ALL stars.
Scott Snyder December 15, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Yeh, I'm sorry, but you're wrong that most fans think Phil's did the wrong thing in the Hamilton case. There is no reason to think it's Hamilton or nothing, no reason to think that Hamilton would have been a good signing, especially for five years, and no reason to call $27 million a year a cheapskate offer, when it would've made him, if not the highest-paid Phillie, certainly one of the top couple. I'm not even so sure it would've worked out for THIS year. Hamilton doesn't exactly hustle, and he's got clubhouse problem written all over him. Time will tell.
Scott Snyder December 15, 2012 at 03:24 PM
*the Phils Stupid autocorrect.
Mike Shortall Sr December 15, 2012 at 07:44 PM
The Angels flat out over-paid for Hamilton. The market for him from all reports was nowhere near A-Rod, Howard money over 5 years. And anyone who thinks Hamilton was worth that much should look at what both the Yankees and Phillies are experiencing right now with A-Rod and Ryan. The difference is that the Yankees don't really care about money. But BOTH stars are huge risk players now. A-Rod's production and health has slipped precipitously; and Howard's ability to return to form after his injury is a huge question mark. Does anyone question whether the Yanks would have jettisoned A-Rod this year if they could have found a suitor WHILE paying a substantial portion of that bloated contract? And not for nothing, but check out Hamilton's physique last year compared to prior years, and convince me he wasn't "juiced up". I'll be shocked if the Angels view this as a value acquisition in five years, especially if they don't win the World Series in that timeframe.
George Keiper December 15, 2012 at 08:16 PM
Hamilton is a headcase with drug abuse issues.He's one binge away from ruining what ever franchise goes all in on him.Five years was way too much to invest in a 29 year old addict.Amaro played this one right.And the Eagles started out wrong,but gave Patterson the difference in his contract.
ron December 15, 2012 at 09:48 PM
The phillies have had one of the highest payroles in baseball the last 5 years. How can you call that being cheap?
Mike M December 15, 2012 at 11:56 PM
I'm all for ripping the Phillies for being cheap when it is warranted. For example, the luxury tax isn't really a salary cap, so the Phillies should have spent over that number going into 2012 on making sure they had enough bullpen arms to win. They didn't because the owners are cheap, but had Ruben lie through his teeth about the whole thing. Josh Hamilton is a totally different story. There is no reason to give a $125 million deal to a low-life drug addict who misses games like Michael Vick misses open receivers. Cheap has nothing to do with the Phillies not wanting to pay for a guy who isn't going to play a full season.
Mike M December 16, 2012 at 12:00 AM
They're cheap, but not in this case with Hamilton, because the luxury tax isn't a hard cap. If the Phillies owners cared to dip into their obnoxious profit margin, they might have had enough bullpen and bench last year to cover for the 18 choked late inning leads and lack of hitting while Howard and Utley were out. That is cheap.
Jeff Lugar December 16, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Offering Hamilton only three years was not about being cheap; it was about not wanting to be married to a guy who'd be entering his late thirties at the end of the contract. And that he took a little less from the Angels shows he's worried he won't be able to command close to the averages he just was offered after three years as he could have had locked up for five.
Jeff Lugar December 16, 2012 at 12:54 PM
What a sour grapes ghoul you are. 'I'm not lucky enough to get paid sick time, so neither should anyone else.' Wow.
Tom Bates December 16, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Really? You know this? An explanation of how this could have happened would have made an actual article.
K.B. Matticus December 16, 2012 at 06:28 PM
It's got nothing to do with sour grapes - I sign a contract, I abide by the terms of the contract. If you have a contract that pays you when you're sick, good for you. And believe me, I make a lot less than $150,000 for a day's work. I've got no sympathy for someone who makes that much money and can't find a way to create a financial cushion.
Tom December 16, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Um..... giving 5 years to a guy who is notorious for substance abuse and up and down play is a bit risky eh? Also you really want the Phils to start stocking up on older players? Did you watch them at all last year? They may be in a rebuilding phase by next season. Not sure how you are getting paid for your opinions because this article is awful.
Brett Wells December 16, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Must have been a slow sports week. You're working with a pretty thin premise here.
Intheweeds December 17, 2012 at 07:44 PM
It is absolutely LUDICROUS to compare and call the Phillies as cheapskates for not overpaying Josh Hamilton over $125 million, to the Eagles for their classless handling of Mike Patterson and a grand total of $150k. What an embarrassing article.
kevin December 17, 2012 at 08:14 PM
While the notion 'I'm not lucky enough to get paid sick time, so neither should anyone else.' does sound ridiculous on the surface of it, I'm inclined to agree with K.B.- An entire year's worth of money for one day of "work" precludes you from financial hardships. Wildly ironic then that people who make a small fraction of what Patterson does would take pity on him from a financial standpoint.
Degibu December 18, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Oh great! Another "sports writer" who knows less than nothing about anything! Yeah, right. According to this idiot, one man, Josh Hamilton will get the Phillies into the postseason. Oh doom and gloom! One man does not a team make. There's no "I" in team. Hey dude. You're so in love with Josh Hamilton, how about you get together the $125 million since you think thats such a small amount of money. What a loser!
Jeff Lugar December 18, 2012 at 02:53 PM
It's not about the money, Kevin. It's about respect. He has a special clause in his contract that allows the Eagles to reduce (not eliminate) his salary should he go on the non-football-related inactive list. This was to protect them in the wake of his off-season brain surgery should a complication from that leave him unable to play. But he ended up going on for a different reason, the viral pneumonia he contracted. Any other player in the league would still get their full salary in that instance. That he makes a lot isn't the issue; it's that to deprive him of any of it is a slap in the face.

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