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Monday, August 29, 2005


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i better not hear manuel offer some useless explanation like "we like rheal in that situation, he just made a bad pitch to glaus." any fastball thrown below 85 mph to a major league hitter is a bad pitch and he threw an inningful of them.

Maybe he could go join his buddy Worrell in the AZ pen.

If you are to point to a single failing of Charlie Manuel this year , it has been his use of Worrell and Cormier. Coming out of spring training, everyone knew Worrell was done. His ineffectiveness and Manuel's use of him in late and tight games helped contribute to the Phils poor start in April. Ditto for Cormier. I know a manager has to stand up for his players, but don't insult the fans with comments like "Worrell is throwing as well as he ever did" when it is obvious to everyone he had lost velocity and location.

The only reason Worrell wasn't used more was because he removed himself from the team. Maybe we could kidnap Cormier, and leave a note behind saying, "Dear Ed and Charlie, I'm taking a leave of absence from the team, I'll be back on November 1st. Sincerely, Rheal"

I was flipping the game on and off as I was working last night. When I saw Frenchie on the mound, I thought to myself "either we're way up or way down at this point (I hadn't checked in for about an hour then). I saw the score was 6-4, sighed, and turned the tv off, not to turn it back on. The only question in my mind this morning was how much we lost by.

We have Fultz in the pen to hold those games close if you don't want to use Madson or whomever. Watching Cormier come up is like seeing Bell coming up to the plate with a man on first and one out. You just know the inning is going to go badly for the Phils.

There comes a time when a veteran player is not in a slump, is not playing with a nagging injury, but has simply reached the point in his career where his skills have eroded. Although he can still provide the occasional good game or two, he is no longer able to sustain excellence consistently.
Good managers/GMs have the ability to recognize that early and can take steps to limit the damage to the team by changing that player’s role, or by replacing him. At the very least, if you can make that distinction early enough, you can prepare for the player’s eventual replacement by bringing younger players into the mix with quality PT.
Charlie Manuel does not seem to possess that ability to differentiate between a slump and a permanent drop in ability. If he does, then he is too loyal to veteran players at the expense of the team.

Players like Adams, Worrell, Cormier, Bell, Offerman, Lieberthal are not or were not in slumps. They are done as everyday players. They are not going to get better. But no steps were taken by CM to work younger players in until he was forced to do so. Pitchers like Tejeda and Brito remained at the bottom of the depth chart.
It is a Catch-22: CM will claim these young players (and that includes guys like Victorino and Kata) do not have the experience to play in the tough games down the stretch or in the playoffs. So he will stick with veterans. But of course, they do not have the experience because he will not use them.

Can Rheal Cormier be called on in any situation other than a 9th inning blowout? Can he be called on at all should the Phillies make the post-season? The answer is NO!

As for Brito and Tejeda, it would serve the Phillies well to insert one or both of them into the regular rotation for the rest of the season and let them pitch. What is the risk? Are they any less predictable or reliable than Brett Myers or Vicente Padilla right now? At the very least you get a real chance to see what they can do, and if the Phillies get into meaningful games at the end of the season, or heaven forbid, in the playoffs, how much more valuable would Brito or Tejeda be with some big-game experience?

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