Eyes and Ears
Say hello to Charley Kerfeld, a former pitcher in the majors, who joined the Phillies this week as a special assistant to General Manager Pat Gillick.
What is a special assistant to Gillick?
Basically, the special assistant is the traveling eyes and ears of Gillick. Airplanes, hotels and suitcases are Kerfeld’s friends as he travels around the country on scouting assignments directed by Gillick. The travel can expand beyond the states.
Kerfeld, 43, was among a group of 25 or so who huddled at Citizens Bank Park this week. Free agents, trade possibilities and 40-man roster decisions were among the topics that were discussed.
Next week, Gillick, Ruben Amaro Jr., Mike Arbuckle and Kerfeld will be in sunny Naples, FL, attending the annual GM meetings.
Free agency kicks off Sunday, the first day clubs can talk money with a free agent other than their own. Sort of like the start of the hunting season.
Agents will be dropping in the GM meetings also, parading their products. Baseball’s annual winter meetings come along Dec. 4-7 in Disney World. The agent shows intensify there. Mickey Mouse will have to take a back seat that week.
How did Kerfeld wind up with the Phillies? As the GM in Seattle, Gillick originally hired him as a scout in 2003. When Don Welke left the Phillies a couple of weeks ago for the Rangers, Gillick quickly nabbed Kerfeld from the Rangers, where he performed similar duties last season.
Kerfeld and Larry Andersen were locker mates with the Astros in 1986. They claim to be the original cone heads, something that is not documented in the Hall of Fame.