Perhaps it was destined to be this way for the old crafty pitcher, back in the same building he started his career, finally facing the grim specter of death in the form of a cherub-faced general manager. Youth is so oppressive and Jamie Moyer knows it.
The 46-year-old veteran was told yesterday that he'd no longer be welcome in the Phillies starting rotation now that the team had hired Pedro Martinez, not just another old dude but an old dude with three Cy Young awards in his china cabinet. Moyer feels that he was promised by ownership that he'd be a starter for the entirety of the 2009 season and he was careful but curt with his words of rebuttal:
"I'm really not happy with this decision that the Phillies have made," Moyer said. "I will take what they've asked me to do, but I'm not real excited about the decision that's been made."
"I feel like I've been misled," Moyer said. "I'm a little disheartened a little bit because I know this past winter when I was negotiating with the Phillies, this was a sore thumb, if you will, about this potentially happening. Ruben, you can't promise anything in this game, but I really felt that Ruben kind of parlayed to me that this type of situation would not happen.
"I actually even had some conversation with David [Montgomery], and them reassuring me this type of situation won't happen. Again, I'm a little disheartened by the way it's happened, how it's happened."
Montgomery, the team president, and Amaro were not in Chicago to respond to Moyer's sad soliloquy. And really, they'd be better off handling something like this in private. It's better to deal with the elderly on a man-to-man level, behind closed doors so as not to excite them too much and cause some sort of stroke or heart failure.
But seriously, folks, ageism is real, even when a 46-year-old pitcher (Moyer) loses a job to a 58-year-old pitcher (Pedro). Nowadays in this recession that Lehman Brothers caused, jobs are hard to come by and it seems that once an old dude loses his job, it's curtains. Moyer's lucky that he still has part-time work and retains all his benefits, especially the ones that pay for home delivery of diabetes testing supplies. After all, if he had gotten fired outright, what contending team out there would be desperate enough for starting pitchers to take on such an old fart?