You heard it here first back in spring training. J T Realmuto has had it with the Feesh. After verbally spanking their terrific young catcher in March for asking to be traded in the wake of Beep Beep’s demolition derby, franchise hatchet man Mike Hill began purring and cooing late in the unlamented season about how Realmuto knew they loved him and how they were going to offer him an extension. “Reaching out,” is how he put it.
Na-na-na-nope, the Golden Boy isn’t having it. For one thing, he surely seethes on about his public treatment by one of the least competent GMs in the game. For another, he’s now 27 and doubtless figures that in the 3-5 years, minimum, it takes this team to be respectable again, he’ll be banged up and have lost a step or two – meaning, after hanging on through one execrable season after another, they’ll unload him just as they’re ready to make some noise other than glup-glup-glup.
There aren’t many teams who couldn’t use him, but there also aren’t many teams who would be able to re-sign him once his current two year controllability period ends. His agent, Jeff Berry, predicts he’ll be wearing a different uniform come the spring equinox. The possible fudge factor: whether the Feesh front orifice screws up trade talks and the team hangs onto their backstop to help ripen their larval pitching staph, thereby sharply reducing his trade value by squandering one of his two controllable years. Yes, they really are that stupid.
Top hat and matching caveat: you may well ask – and should – whether this whole thing was a sideshow for the sake of whatever is left of the Macondo fan base. In this dystopia, even Beep Beep figured out that Realmuto wasn’t drawing any fans to his empty stadium by himself. The franchise had made him one of the three darkened figures in their rotogravure-like “Just Gettin’ Started” advertising images along with Lewis “The Bust” Brinson (he didn’t post a slash line so much as a “Z” that stood for Zorro) and Jose Urena, a decent young headhunter who’s about as likable as a funnel web spider. So, in order to keep from looking like a couple of soulless idiots – not much hope of that, of course – they have pretended to love J T with these blandishments of affection. All along, meanwhile, they never meant to keep him.
I’m betting on the latter version.