PORTLAND — Lost in the hype of a much-anticipated series with NL West rival Sacramento was some melancholy news from the Portland Jacks offices Wednesday: Allan Philips, the NL’s first Cy Young Award winner and Portland’s lone 100-game winner, has been dealt to Philadelphia for AA outfielder Ivan James.
“Everyone from up in Chehalis and down to Medford is going to miss Allan,” said Portland GM Dee Trayne. “The situation had become clear though: He was the 13th-man on what we want to make a 12-man pitching staff. We could have waived him and got nothing in return or sent him across the river (to the AAA Clark County Volcanoes) but he deserves a chance to stay in the bigs and we wanted to get a promising youngster like Ivan in return.”
Philips is the Jacks all time leader with exactly 100 wins — the last coming when he went he pitched six innings of five-hit ball in a 4-2 victory over Seattle on July 12 — and in complete games with 19. He struck out 1,063 batters in a Jacks uniform, second all-time for the club, in 1,553 2/3 innings. He won the Season 1 Cy Young as a rookie after going 18-3 with a 2.49 era for the Jacks’ 102-game winning division champs.
“Pitching for the Jacks is the only job I’ve had in my adult life,” said Philips, who originally hails from Wisconsin. “We’ve been living out in fishing country, Clatskanie, for the last five or six years, so Philly is going to be a big change. The last time I was there and went site-seeing, my wife and kids and I ended up walking through some sort of Chinatown until we came upon a pretty scary sight — the city police headquarters surrounded by razor wire. If the cops aren’t safe…. I’m not sure what a ‘Dead Milkman’ is either. If we were the ‘Dead Cabdrivers’ I’d figure it had something to do with the guy Mumia Abu Jamal says he didn’t kill, but Milkmen, I’m not sure.”
Philips is expected to add more veteran presence to a staff that includes fellow 32-year old Al Badilla (8-6) and younger standouts such as 11-game winner this season Haywood Jodie , Louis Durham (9-6) and Rafael Moreno (8-5).
Meanwhile, the 21-year old James is a speedy defensive outfielder who is hitting .307 with 46 successful steals in 51 attempts for Philadelphia’s AA team.
“Ivan’s the type of player we like to have in our system,” said Trayne. “He may not play in the majors the first five months of a given season, but his speed and defense make him a great guy to contribute in September when it matters most.”