PBR: Phils Re-Sign 43-Year Old Moyer To Two Year Extension, Just To See If A Major League Pitcher Can Live That Long; Bullpen To Become No-Fly Zone

Not sure how I feel about this Jamie Moyer extension. Thought it was a stroke of understated brilliance on G.M. Pat Gillick‘s part to pick up the crafty 43-year-old southpaw for the Phils’ unanticipated stretch drive. Moyer did exactly what I — and Gillick, I’m assuming — expected: soft toss his way once around a league mostly unfamiliar with him and his throwback style of American League “backwards” pitching (i.e. — working off your off-speed stuff rather than your fastball)…

The Souderton native went a very respectable 5-2 with a 4.03 ERA; could’ve been something like 7-1 with a couple lucky bounces. Just as important, he played the Pat Morita to stud rookie lefthander Cole HamelsRalph Macchio, schooling the ace-of-the-future on the finer points of being a pitcher, not just a thrower. For proof of how important a veteran presence can be on a young pitching staff, look at Kenny Rogers and the Detroit Tigers, currently playing in something called the World Series. (Really, you can’t underestimate the effect of these “good guy in the club house” types. I always hoped that would be my ticket to the bigs. Keeping everyone loose, snapping guys with wet towels in the shower, giving the third-base coach a hot foot, pulling the old ‘Got any naked pictures of your wife? Wanna see some?’ on the opposing pitcher. Alas, my fastball was a few yards short, and my curveball a misnomer. I digress? )

Was hoping Moyer and the Phils would agree on their mutual option for 2007. Let him wring one more year of guile from that left arm, let him spend another season mentoring the likes of Hamels, Bret Myers, Ryan Madson, et al. A relative steal at $4.75 million.

But two years at $10.5 million, plus bonuses? I was afraid it was going to take a leap-of-faith deal like this. Moyer resurrected his career in Seattle in the mid-’90s, put down roots there and never really wanted to leave. Can’t blame him, as it’s an absolutely wonderful city and a great place to raise a family from what I hear. So the Phils had to overpay to bring him back home for six months out of the year.

Yet as Gillick has said time and again — and the Inky’s Todd Zolecki concurs — it’s all, and I do mean ALL, about the pitching. Hence this deal.

Inquirer: Who’s Gonna Pitch And Who’s Gonna Catch?