I never really thought about age until my 34th birthday when a friend pointed out that I am now as close to 50 as I am to 18. That was a real shock, especially since I still have the mindset of a sixteen year old. Looking back, there have certainly been hints that I was no longer in my physical prime (if I ever had a prime). A couple years back I pinched a nerve in my neck, which required eight physical therapy sessions, simply by watching TV in an odd position and this year I had the pleasure of passing two kidney stones (talk about something that is wholly unnatural!). I am already beginning to get a belly that only Nate Newton could love (at least Newton has an excuse—you can’t expect the man not to have a serious case of the munchies when he gets busted with 388 pounds of pot!).
Given my slow, but sure, physical regression, imagine my surprise when I read that on December 15, 2008, Jamie Moyer signed a two year, $16 million contract to remain with the Philadelphia Phillies. Usually a two year deal for a number four starter is not newsworthy; however, Moyer will be nearing his 48th birthday when his contract is over. 48! Since 1940, only three players have made a meaningful contribution after their 46th birthday: Hoyt Wilhelm pitched 82 innings of 3.40 ball in 1970 (the next year his ERA was 2.70, but he only went 20 innings); Phil Niekro had a 4.23 ERA over 210.3 innings in 1986 (he did hurl over 138 innings the following year but got shelled to the tune of a 6.30 ERA) and Julio Franco hit .273 in 165 at-bats for the Mets in 2006. Moyer has a great chance of adding his name to that list as his 3.71 ERA last season was the seventh lowest of his 22-year career. Makes me want to hit the treadmill, or at least eat the reduced fat Oreos.