Philadelphia Phillies: Re-signing Phil Gosselin is the most Phillies move ever

(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

Despite their willingness to greatly increase spending in recent years, the Philadelphia Phillies are more recognizable as the team we know and love when they make moves like bringing back Phil Gosselin.

The Philadelphia Phillies are a team trying desperately to make it back to the top of the baseball world, a point supported by their lucrative spending of late.

And then there’s moves like the minor league contract/major league camp invite that they handed out to career utilityman Phil Gosselin on Thursday.

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For every Bryce Harper or Zack Wheeler that we hope will define this baseball club, the Phillies just wouldn’t be the Phillies without guys like Phil Gosselin perpetually hanging around the team. It’s not necessarily a good thing, but it’s weirdly endearing in a way.

And while I fully realize that not all MLB players can be world beaters and every team has a long line of “roster fillers” in their history, I can’t help but reflect back on the lineage of such players in Philadelphia over the past generation.

So who else fits the Phil Gosselin mold to which I’m referring? Honestly, too many players to list. And I’m just talking about eminently forgettable players, typically light-hitting middle infield-types who manage to stick on the roster for longer than one might expect.

These are the players who you forget were ever even on the Phillies shortly after they leave town, but who you randomly think about nine years later and then have a good laugh with your friends. Or maybe you cry at how such a lackluster player held down a roster spot for the Phillies for as long as he did.

I’m talking players like Kevin Sefcik and David Doster, who I incorporated into a parody of Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start the Fire called Why Do We Like the Phillies? that I wrote in college back when I thought I was funny. I don’t remember much about the “song” except for this one lyric:

Kevin Sefcik. David Doster.

Every year an awful roster.

Art in its highest form, I know. Side note: Did you know that Sefcik appeared in every season from 1995-2000 with the Phillies? There’s hope for us all, I guess.

The patron saint of this type of player for the Phillies is Desi Relaford, who actually managed to achieve everyday status for a couple seasons because the team was so bad. Poor Desi. He wasn’t the reason those Phillies were awful, but he became a perfect symbol of their ineptitude as an organization at the time.

Desi begat Alex Arias, who begat David Newhan, who begat Felipe Crespo. And on and on. Players that you barely noticed while they were here, didn’t miss when they were gone and probably forgot about when they were somehow mentioned a decade later. But then again, why would anybody mention them?

Phil Gosselin, welcome to your future.

You’ll be rubbing elbows with the likes of Shawn Wooten and Miguel Cairo in the hearts and minds of Phillies fans when your time in Philadelphia is just a distant, extremely faint memory.

For every impact player that the Phillies bring in to play for them, I can name you a dozen Ross Gloads or Pete Orrs that have been, in an extremely twisted way, the true lifeblood of the Phillies for decades. These types of players can somehow manage to stick out for Phillies fans who are able to maintain a sense of humor to go along with that trademark “Philly fan mentality”.

And so Phil Gosselin shouldn’t feel bad about being lumped in with Mike Fontenot and Reid Brignac. He could do worse. I know I’d be fine with being a punchline if I could say I reached the majors and made a couple million dollars off it.

It remains to be seen if Gosselin’s new deal ends up with him back in a Phillies uniform next season. If he makes it, good for him.

Maybe he can create a new signature moment as a Phil to outweigh his current placeholder of striking out looking in a critical pinch hitting situation in what I dubbed the Phillies’ fifth-worst loss of 2019.

And if he doesn’t make it back to the team, you can be sure that there is another player just like him waiting to take his place. And then the cycle will begin again.

That’s the beauty of Phillies baseball. It never ends, and these guys keep coming.

dark. Next. Phillies: Meet new shortstop Didi Gregorius

Or maybe this is all a nightmare. I still haven’t decided.