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MLB-a-Culpa: Let us never make fun of Raul Ibanez's age again

Big League Stew

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Big League Stew posts at least once a day, often times much more, nearly every day of the year. At such a volume that means, every once in a while, somebody's going to say something really, really stupid.

That's where MLB-a-Culpa comes in. Because for the sake of transparency, honesty and credibility amends must be made when an egregious error is made.

Dear Raul Ibanez:

This is a bit of a weird MLB-a-Culpa, because I really don't have any specific post to apologize for. You've never been the target of a slamming on the Stew and I didn't think your signing was a terrible decision for Philadelphia like some Phillies blogs may have. I was well aware of your turning into a RBI machine during your second tour of duty with Seattle and appreciated you for it when others may not have.

But I have to admit that during a few conversations and maybe even a season preview here or there, I publicly doubted your ability because of your increasing age. I compared your years on Earth to Methuselah and even Jamie Moyer. I wondered if you were that much of an upgrade over Pat Burrell, the left fielder you were brought into replace.

For that, I am sorry ... MLB-a-Culpa!

As we've seen in your hotter-than-hot start with the Phillies, you think that age is nothing but a number. You'll turn 37 on June 2, but if future visions of liniment and rocking chairs are in your head, you certainly haven't shown it by going .342/.402/.685 with six homers and 16 RBI in your first 18 games. On April 20, you officially became a Phillie by hitting a two-run game-winning homer against the Padres and on Monday night, you rocked a go-ahead grand slam off Joel Hanrahan for a wild and wooly win over Washington.

Now the Fightins' faithful can't sing your praises loud enough and for good reason. You're producing and you're known league wide for being one of the better guys in baseball. I can back up that statement. Years ago, when we were both in Kansas City, I was dispatched to Kauffman Stadium to write an article about a horrific slump you were struggling through. Being a cub reporter, I was pretty sure that you'd be grumpy and would brush me aside upon inquiry. Instead, you talked through your troubles in detail and were pleasant the entire time while doing so. Many Major Leaguers would not have done that and I've always appreciated that lone encounter with a pro's pro.

Anyway, it's nice to see you making good in your Philly debut and that the CBPers are having fun singing along to your Werewolves of London intro (Raaaaaaauuuuullll!). Please accept my promise to never make any Metamucil or Medicare jokes at your expense again.

Sincerely,

'Duk

PS — In case you hadn't seen this, the left field bleacherites are crushing hard on you.

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