From the Philadelphia Daily News -
Maybe Philadelphia isn’t as gritty as New York. Maybe Citizens Bank Park doesn’t have the dank, congested charm of Yankee Stadium. Maybe the Delaware Valley isn’t as cosmopolitan as the Metro area.
That suits Wes Helms just fine.
Helms yesterday signed a 2-year deal worth $5.45 million with a club option for a third year. The soft-spoken Alabaman, who almost became a Phillie this time last year, said he took less money from the Phillies.
“It came down between the Yankees and the Phillies,” Helms said, and then listed why he chose Philadelphia. “I definitely wanted to stay in the National League. I knew all the pitchers. I knew all the hitters. I know where to play them in the field. Everybody I know who has changed leagues, it’s an adjustment period.
“It’s a more comfortable place for me to come to. I think it’s better for my family, also. I felt they’d be happier here than in New York.”
Apparently, he thinks he’ll be happier, too, starting at least part of the time at third base – instead of getting consistent playing time at first base for baseball’s most marquee team as the replacement for the departed Craig Wilson/Gary Sheffield experiment.
“The role was to play first base,” Helms said. “They were going to DH [Jason] Giambi. On the guaranteed side, they were a little higher [in salary]. But that’s just me. I’m going to go where I’m happy. I felt like this is where I needed to be.”
So, now, we know whoever the Yankees get to play 1B in 2007 will be “Plan B” (at best).