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Thursday, August 04, 2005

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Spot-on regarding J-Roll. I'd take a shortstop that is fielding his position well, stealing bases at a decent clip, and hitting over .280. What's more, he has almost been carrying this club over the last few weeks when nearly everyone else has disappeared.

Amen to praising jimmy two-strikes. Hadn't wanted to look at his OBP for a while (his free-swinging ways pain me mightily cos I like the guy), but for the last seven days, he's at a staggering .448. Maybe he's rooming with Bobby right now.

That LaTroy Hawkins debacle in early May at Wrigley was one of my favorite Phillies moments of the year. We were at the game with a nice little Phillies contingent; it was great to see the Phillies win at Wrigley. And at the bars after the game we kept telling Cubs fans how great we thought LaTroy was. They took it pretty well, good fans out there.

Did you guys forget that he swung on the first pitch of the game last night. The swing wasn't even a good one, as it broke his bat. He has a few good games and all is forgotten? He is 8th in runs scored, big deal. The Phils are 4th in the NL in Runs Scored and tops in OBP. A lead off hitter for such a team, should most definitely be higher than 8th in Runs Scored. Instead of 70, he should have around 85, if not more. If you so enamored with his doubles and triples, put him between Bell and Lieberthal. My lineup then would be: Abreu, Lofton/Michaels, Utley, Burrell, Howard, Bell, JRo, Lieby, Pitcher.

JRo is a good player but not at all deserving of the above praise.

Abreu in the leadoff spot? Please forget that. Consider: Against Mark Prior today... First Inning. GRAND SLAM.

Case Closed.

Abreu is a middle of the lineup player. Anywhere except an All-Star team.

Little fast dudes who are good at running the bases make excellent leadoff hitters no matter what way you cut it.

I live in Seattle (grew up in Philly), and we have a little fast dude in leadoff for the Mariners, who you may have heard of. The thing is, if you look at Jimmy and Ichiro's lines for this year, they're actually not that different. Both have 24 stolen bases (Jimmy's CS 5, Ichiro's CS 6); Ichiro's scored 74 runs to Jimmy's 71; Jimmy's walked 27 times and struck out 43 to Ichiro's 30 walks and 42 strikeouts.

One of the most entertaining games of this season was the Phillies-Mariners game on June 16th, not only because I'd never seen a 2-3-1 double play on a strikeout before (go figure, it was Lieberthal's strikeout and Utley at the plate), but because everyone on both sides seemed to have given up except Jimmy. Jimmy got on base with a double in the 10th, and the next Phillie to get on base was... Jimmy with a triple in the 13th. Here's the funny part... stop me if you've heard this one before. Jimmy's on third base, with no other runners and one out. The Mariners intentionally load the bases, walking Kenny Lofton and Bobby Abreu to get to Tomas Perez. Rather than striking out, though, Perez hits a sac fly and Jimmy dashes home. Billy comes out for the bottom of the 13th -- game over. I only got booed by one person walking out of Safeco in my Phillies jersey...

It'd be sacrilege if I said that Jimmy was anywhere near the same caliber of hitter as Ichiro, no offense; but when it comes to having the makeup of an excellent leadoff man who will score you runs, I'd say they're coming from the same mold there.

Just a statement on the scoring. As first base was occupied, Burrell was out on strikes with no play required due to the passed ball. Abreu can't advance to free up the bag, that's not the way it works. Rollins advanced at his own risk and I think Burrell breaking for first and Rollins breaking for home caused Barrett's brain to short circuit rather than the giant stat machine. The play was to run him back to third, not throw from behind the plate.

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