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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

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I'm glad Bell is finally producing, after all the Phillies did invest 4 years in him.

Phillies have been horrible with situational hitting...used to be blamed on Bowa's hard, in-your-face mentality, Manuel was supposed to change that with his laid back, friendly chill-out attitude...guess that didn't work.

I strongly hope the Phillies can beat this kid on his debut, and then again win tomorrow to still take the series, this is about as important as it gets in May.

Seriously, the biggest negative (potentially) is Cole Hamels' shoulder.

Last week we all praised Gillick for "making all the right moves", but should Gillick be taking more criticism ? Rowand and Gordon look to be strong acquisitions, but the weaknesses of this team -- namely a poor bench and a week middle relief corps were primarily Gillick acquisitions.

Good point Billy Mac, Gillick needs to right this ship. Nunez horrible, Santana horrible, Gonzalez so horrible that he retired!

Manuel has been far from perfect, but I agree with pretty much everything Tony had to say about last night's game. But there are two things I'd like to add. Nunez and Roberson are doing nothing to help this team. They looked horrible last night. I actually like the move to pinch run for Burrell, but letting him have three at-bats is just insane. Give Coste a shot in that situation. Also, I can't say this often enough or loud enough: unless and until Jimmy Rollins gets his head together, he should not be hitting leadoff. Give the job to Victorino or even Utley, but enough is enough.

this is the story of Jimmy Rollins, he fakes everyone out making them think he has it figured out, but he really doesn't. and don't even mention the hit streak...

Along with Santana and the utility infielder mess, Rhodes and Franklin are also not good enough as back end relievers. And could we have done better than Sal Fasano as someone who would catch 40 % of your games ? I know Gillick was limited by a depleted farm and some bad contracts that was not his doing, but I don't think all the praise for him is warranted and he shares some of the criticism.

Gillick didn't do enough to improve the bullpen. Most people covering the team believed bullpen, and not starting pitching, would be the area that would ultimately fail them. They have time to play with the bench, but bullpen will be harder to improve. The bench also figures to improve once Lieberthal and Rowand return to the lineup.

reyes' homerun might have been lucky, but what it really was was a score-evening two-run eighth inning homer off of a pitcher that should have not been in the game.

Endy Chavez may be the worst hitter in baseball, but he won the game for the Mets. His speed down the line on that two-out infield single was incredible. It wasn't even a contest when he scored from first on the ball hit to left. If he hadn't found his way on base, Reyes would have faced Gordon in the 9th instead of Franklin with a runner on in the 8th.

I couldn't believe how dead the team looked after Bell's two-run double solidified their lead in the 7th.

Casey is right. The game was lost on the Endy Chavez plays. First Franklin botched the play at first. Then Woodward doubled, but even the fastest runner should not be able to score from first on a hit down the leftfield line with the fielder playing straigtaway. Burrell is iridiculously slow now because of the bad foot and he was slow getting to the ball (and maybe because he wasn't expecting Chavez to go all the way.) His throw was hurried and not very good.

I really hope this doesn't step on Weitzel's toes, but I would like everybody to check out my friends revamped lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody...it's absolutely hilarious. Just click on my name below to be directed to it.

Gillick absolutely should be hit with some criticism. Not only did he not improve the bullpen, he gives no indication of acknowledging that it's horrendous...the team just rolls on with that sorry (mis)cast of characters in the late innings and nothing is done. The biggest culprit may be Rhodes, who has lost the confidence of Manuel and is no longer the prime set-up reliever...and there is no one on the roster close to being worthy of assuming that role.

The bench *appeared* to be improved as the season began...no one would have guessed Nunez and Gonzalez would hit like pitchers, and that Dellucci would only hit one homerun in seven weeks. I can give Gillick some slack for the bench, but not the bullpen.

I hate to disagree with the assessment of Reyes' HR, but no one who goes deep off Franklin can be considered "lucky". The truth is, he's lucky when he gets anyone at all out - he is the most hittable pitcher I may have ever seen, and that is not hyperbole.

In other breaking news, the papers report that Mike Lieberthal has a mohawk. That kind of blows my mind.

For anyone who thought Rowand's catch may have inspired the team they should look at the defensive hack in right field. He should be stripped of a major league status and sent to live w/ Ugetha Urbina on his compound.

If anything, Rowand's catch should be the definitive answer to anyone who wonders why Abreu will never be popular in Philadelphia, no matter how many pretty stats he puts up.

While I'm still "on the fence" concerning Gillick, in his defense baseball is probably the most difficult sport regarding player evaluation.

Only a few short months ago, most of us (including yours truly) were lauding Gillick for stocking up on backup 3rd basemen while counting down the days until the "platoon" at third gave way to Nunez (who did a credible job replacing Rolen in '05) instead of the poor-hitting, bad fielding David Bell. Now its Nunez (and Gonzalez) who get bashed while Bell is putting together an acceptable season.

Funny how quickly things change in this game.

As soon as the Phils left the sacks drunk with nobody out and did not score a run, I knew this game was gonna be a 'L'. The only question was how.

This is the worst situational hitting team that I have ever seen. If anything, they have gotten worse at it since Bowa left.

They are in dire need of a return by Rowand, maybe that will inspire them somewhat.

Great performance by Madson, that's about it.

Speaking of 3b, I remember I mentioned Mike Lowell as someone e shouldve look at on here about 8 weeks ago and was laughed at. Who's laughing now?

Yeah, I even heard mention of Lowell and the dreaded "s" word in the same breath.

Now he looks like the Phillie killer of old.

Boston is paying all of Lowell's $9 million this year and next. Considering that no team would have taken on much or any of David Bell's $4.7 mil salary, the Phillies would effectively be paying $13.4 mil for Lowell. One could argue that he's earning that kind of money now, but as of November last year with Lowell coming off a .658 OPS train wreck of a season, it would have been a little out there for the Phillies to think of paying him that.

Credit where it's due to Boston, but they took Lowell and his salary (which they can afford) to get Beckett. Granted, they probably wouldn't have done it if they didn't think Lowell would bounce back from last year, but I doubt they expected to get what they have so far out of him.

RSB, Although I agree the sorry bullpen was a problem we all saw in March, why are you giving Gillick slack for the Phils pathetic bench ? Nunez, Gonzalez, Fasano, and Dellucci are all his guys. Nunez was given a 2 year deal and Gonzalez couldn't even last 2 months. Isn't player evaluation Gillick's job ? He cannot blame Wade for any of that. Gillick cannot even take credit for Victorino. I have yet to read one article taking Gillick to task for not doing enough this off-season. He's made a lot of mistakes, but it seems he is universally lauded.

Second guess anyone? Rhodes, for all his problems, looked good in the 7th last night. The Mets had Floyd, Matsui & Chavez due up in the 8th. Two lefties and a switch-hitter. Why not leave Rhodes in? If the Mets PH Woodward for Chavez (who is truly pathetic vs. LHP), then switch to Franklin.

Billy: Because as I said, it was not probable that the guys you mentioned would be such nonentities. Fasano is another story, but Dellucci, Gonzalez, and Nunez I thought were all good additions at the time, and Gillick can't be faulted for thinking they'd strengthen the team. It hasn't worked out that way, mostly because these three haven't previously been accustomed to having their backsides nailed to the bench and have struggled in adapting to their roles.

I would, however, cite the Phillies' problems as Gillick's responsibility far, *far* more than Charlie Manuel's. True, he inherited this team, he's just evaluating, he has large contracts to deal with, blah blah blah. I'm looking at the result of an off-season which failed to address too many needs, and an apparent willingness to let the team wallow in mediocrity far too deep into the season.

I agree with you RSB on Nunez, Dellucci, and Gonzalez. I thought they were good moves also but so far they haven't worked out. How does one predict that guys will have off years though it seems anyone playing in Philly anymore has an off-year. As for Franklin, since he's the whipping boy for the bullpen, I tell you that he's made 23 appearances and been scored upon 6 times. He hasn't been as bad as a lot of people think.

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