Last week, I discussed possible landing spots in a trade for for Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard. I figured his hot hitting this month could catch the eye of a few general managers around the league that were in a pennant race. However, it was the hot hitting of another member of the 2008 World Series team that landed him with another team.
Carlos Ruiz is a Los Angeles Dodger. It still doesn’t seem real.
As hard as it was to see Chase Utley in Dodgers blue earlier this month when the National League West club came to Citizens Bank Park, it’ll be just as hard to see Chooch strap on that blue catching gear for the remainder of this season, or potentially beyond.
From the Phillies standpoint, this was a class decision. General manager Matt Klentak made the decision, a smart one for the organization in regards to what it got in return, but clearly the motivation behind it was to get Ruiz another shot at a championship.
“Ultimately, this was about doing the right thing for Carlos Ruiz because he has meant so much to this organization,” Matt Klentak said.
— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) August 26, 2016
Chooch meant so much to this organization and this fanbase. He did not grab every headline like Jimmy Rollins, Howard, Utley, or even Jayson Werth, but he was that reliable, above average catcher who was prone to making great plays, either in the field or at the plate, when it was needed the most.
Ruiz will go down as one of the best catchers to ever play the game and should easily be the best catcher in the Phillies history. Also, he is one of the best assets, money-wise, in organizational history.
The Phillies spent $8,000 to sign Carlos Ruiz in 1998.
According to Fangraphs, he was worth $149.9M in his Phillies career.
— Joe Giglio (@JoeGiglioSports) August 25, 2016
Chooch was the quiet player, but yet commanded respect from his teammates, other players in the league, and most importantly, the fans. Every at bat echoes of “CHOOOOOOOOCH” filled the air and increased in volume if the 18-year Phillie delivered in that ensuing plate appearance.
We’ll always remember that amazing group of players from that 2007-2009 era of the Phillies, some of the best baseball in the organization’s history. Looking back at it all, it’s tough to fight back the tears, especially after watching this tribute video from the Phillies.
Thank you, Chooch.https://t.co/HMyRb1CN8d
— Phillies (@Phillies) August 25, 2016
Thank you, Chooch, and good luck. I’ll be rooting for Señor Octubre this fall.