With a last name like Bastardo, every time it appears in print or spoken by a sportscaster, I laugh because it sounds like the Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher is being cursed. However, the guy’s actual name is Antonio Bastardo. He’s orginally from the Dominican Republic, and has been up and down in the Phillies Major League and farm teams organization since 2009.
A Long-Time Phillies Fan’s Opinion I’ve been a hometown Phillies fan since their glory days in the 1950s when the Whiz Kids batted and pitched their way into the World Series. When considering the winning Phillies pitchers of that time and since, stars including Hall of Famers Steve Carlton and Robin Roberts, a look back at their statistics and pay can be interesting. In fact, they’re a bit disturbing when when compared to Bastardo’s inflated paycheck for the 2013 season.
What Will Phillies Fans Call Him This Year? Given the traditional rowdy behavior of Phillies fans in the stands, I’m sure Antonio has heard colorful variations of his name many times. Depending on how he does in the win-loss columns this season at Citizens Bank Park, I can predict we fans will be even more creative in letting Antonio Bastardo know what they think of him.
Big Pay Hike For What? After “earning” $505,000 last year when he won all of two games against five losses, he’s being paid $1.4 million to pitch this year. Then, because he wasn’t satisfied with that offer, he filed for arbitration with the league, but then reluctantly accepted the nearly 150% raise. I thought only bankrupt auto company executives and crooked Wall Street brokers “earned” big raises after losing years.
Bastardo’s Statistics Bastardo’s total record during his four Philllies years is a feeble 12 wins against nine losses, with an earned run average of 4.33. Of course, he’s a relief pitcher and not expected to be in as many games as regular players. However, he will be paid more than a million bucks for what could be total physical efforts measured in hours. This puts Bastardo in a class with rock stars, heavyweight boxing champs and Hugh Hefner’s wives.
Steve Carlton Statistics In 1972, his first season with the Phillies, Steve Carlton won 27 games. His salary was $65,000. Later, as a Major League veteran, he earned $1 million in 1983. During his 15 years with the Phillies, the pitching star won 241 games. Carlton’s total Major League record over 25 years included 329 wins.
Robin Roberts Statistics In his best year of 1952, Roberts won 28 games, and then 23 games in each of the next three years. In 19 seasons in the Major Leagues, Roberts was never paid more than $155,000 a year. Of course, factoring in inflation since his playing days, that could put Roberts somewhere near what Bastardo is getting this year.
Ted Sherman grew up in Philadelphia going to Phillies games at Shibe Park (including the 1950 World Series against the Yankees) and remains a Phillies Phan today. Now retired, he worked in public relations and was able to meet and work with many Phillies legends including Robin Roberts and Harry Kalas. You can follow him on Twitter – @travel4seniors.