The Phillies needed to make a move this weekend to make room for Vance Worley to return to the roster to start on Saturday in Seattle. Instead of optioning one of the younger players, Ruben Amaro Jr. and co. went the route of seemingly cutting ties with a veteran and key cog in the Phillies 2008 World Championship.
J.C. Romero was fantastic for the 2008 Phillies, and was the pitcher of record in two of their wins against the Rays in the World Series. Unfortunately, his time with the Phillies following that magical season was hampered by both an unfortunate PED suspension and nagging injury after nagging injury. When used in the right situation this season, solely against lefties, Romero wasn't bad, but his lack of control and penchant for free passes cost the team on too many occasions and J.C. finally paid for it yesterday by losing his roster spot.
Romero, after a reported temper flare when first hearing the news of being designated for assignment, was gracious in his departure. He spoke of youngster and lefty replacement Antonio Bastardo like a proud mentor, noting that the student has surpassed the teacher.
Fans were frustrated with Romero's performance this season, but the joyous reaction by a small contingent of fans upon his DFA'ing was a bit misguided. J.C. helped bring this city the only championship it's had in decades. That shouldn't be forgotten.
If his being designated for assignment gives the Phillies the best team to win the 2011 World Series, as Ruben and co. seem to believe, then it's the right move for sure. But parting ways with a WFC shouldn't be taken so lightly. Or mockingly.