He was a solid defensive first baseman, an unusually good pinch-hitter, and dwelt in the appropriate price range. And now, of course, the Marlins will have to face him.
Free agent Ross Gload signed a two-year deal with Philadelphia a few hours ago, not long after Marlins VP Larry Beinfest declared Florida's intention to keep him. Beinfest's reasons were obvious: together with Wes Helms, Gload was part of one of the best pinch-hitting tandems in baseball history -- their 38 hits tied the major league record for a duo -- and alone, he lead the league.
Yet Gload signed with Philadelphia, despite a Marlins offer that was reported to be similar to the one Helms received last year, a little less than $1.9 million for two years. Perhaps his reasons are obvious: Philadelphia are the two-time defending National League champs, and the Marlins are one-stop shopping for the rest of a division looking to pick off young talent that Florida won't spend to keep.
Perhaps he didn't know about the new color scheme coming our way? Or that he might be pressed into cleaning up after his former teammates come to town. Or maybe yesterday's joke about the Marlins turning to cheap child labor wasn't that far off after all.
Janie Campbell is still holding out hope to trade owner Jeffrey Loria. Her work has appeared in irreverent sports sites around the Internet.