Young a worrisome pickup
So the Phillies signed Delmon Young last week while the Atlanta Braves traded for Justin Upton.
What's wrong with this picture?
A lot, if you're a Phillies fan. I know General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. got Young dirt cheap ($750,000 for a one-year contract), so if he's a miserable failure, the Phils are on the hook for very little money.
By the same token, if he plays surprisingly well, Amaro looks like a genius. However, this GM doesn't seem to have the knack for signing under-the-radar players or guys with baggage and having them turn into wise investments the way former General Manager Pat Gillick did.
In other words, Young is no Jayson Werth, whom Gillick brought to the Phillies after an injury-plagued early career. Even if you disregard Young's suspension last year for uttering an anti-Semitic slur, he's an American League player used to batting as a DH.
Given that he's not far removed from a 2010 season in which he plated 121 RBIs with the Twins -- and was MVP of the 2012 American League Championship Series for the Tigers -- I can see how Amaro would be intrigued by the 27-year-old Young's offensive potential.
But to expect him to be the everyday right-fielder strikes me as more than a tad unrealistic.
For years, the Phils boasted one of the best-fielding teams in baseball, but those days are long gone. Shortstop Jimmy Rollins, center-fielder Ben Revere and catcher Carlos Ruiz are fine, and so is Freddy Galvis wherever he ends up playing.
But the rest of the guys are question marks, including new addition Michael Young at third base.
So while the Phillies are trying off-the-wall, head-scratching moves that weaken their defense and may or may not improve the offense, the Braves keep adding to their arsenal and pulling further ahead of the Phils personnel-wise.
Atlanta's outfield of B.J. Upton, Justin Upton and Jason Heyward would appear to be miles ahead of the Phils' trio of Revere, Young and whoever plays in left field. Kind of a depressing thought, isn't it?
This offseason has been the most disappointing in many years, and I'm pretty much resigned to the Fightin's finishing no better than third in the NL East, as the Braves and Nats battle for first place.
If the Phillies finish out of the playoff hunt again, I wonder if Amaro's days are numbered.
n Playing without their starting center, Andrew Bynum, the Sixers have endured a miserable season so far, with one notable exception.
Point guard Jrue Holiday's been a revelation, posting career highs in points and assists, and earning a trip to his first All-Star Game.
I was wondering if the Sixers' bad record (17-25 as of Friday) would hinder his chances to be chosen, but apparently his numbers speak for themselves.
The only real downside to Holiday's season is turnovers, in which he leads the league at four per game. But that's certainly something he can improve on.
Right now, Holiday is the only NBA player averaging at least 19 points and nine assists per game, and he's the youngest Sixer -- at 22 years, 7 months -- to be selected an All-Star.
Even if the Bynum experiment is a failure, the Sixers at least can build a team around Holiday, Thad Young and possibly Evan Turner. Imagine what Holiday could do if the team actually had a decent post player, giving him more chances for assists and opening up better opportunities for outside shots.
Paula Wolf is a staff writer for the Sunday News. Email her at email@example.com. She also blogs about sports at lancasteronline.com/blogs/wheelchairqb.