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Sunday, June 04, 2006

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Yeah, it is hard to believe that the Phils would only be 4 back if we win and the Muts lose. That being said, the NL East is there for the taking, thus Mr. Gillick needs to step up to the plate and make something happen!

The fact that this team is a game over .500 with the kind of abyssmal pitching it's gotten is a little miraculous, if you ask me. I'm not saying Manuel has done a bang-up job to get them there, but at the same time I can't quite understand how people think he's the problem. The problem is, and remains, a lack of organizational depth. Leaving Gavin Floyd in the rotation and calling up the likes of Eude Brito will testify to that. Manuel may perplex people at times, but the .500 record is in no way his fault. There are only two pitchers who've been worth a damn this season, two out of twelve. That isn't the manager's fault. His options are slim, none, and worse. He'll be fired anyway, though, and when he does he'll be a far bigger scapegoat for the ineffectiveness of management than Bowa and Wade ever were.

I agree with you to a certain extent RSB, but
no matter how you cut it, Elmer is a part of the problem with this team. Their lack of situational hitting, the failure to move Rollins down in the batting order when he's cold, things of that nature are the responsibilities of the coaching staff which he is the head of.

That having been said, I agree with the statements that RSB gave about the pitching being terrible with the exception of Myers.
I don't understand why at this point Gillick won't take a chance on a hot pitcher like Mathieson (SP?).

Oh, I forgot to add, I would love to see what Lou Piniella would do with this crew. guarantee their situational hitting would improve.

i don't think manuel, at least at this point, could ever be considered a bigger scapegoat than bowa was.

bowa took a club that had gone 7 years without an 80-win season and proceded to win at least 80 every year he was here. and don't forget how overachieving the 2001 team truly was. no way that team should have won 86 games, a 21 win improvement from 2000. bowa got a lot of credit for that, and rightfully so. the year bowa gets fired, the team wins 86 again, but by that point all the things that bowa did to make the team better, had backfired, and he was blamed for the underachievement of certain players and the team as a whole. but like this year, remember who he had to run out there to start because of the lack of pitching depth then? poor hitting , bad attitudes, no pitching depth, lack of organizational leadership...and bowa took the axe. he was a true scapegoat (sometimes a scapegoat is needed...)

so in comes manuel who takes a team with an agueably improved roster (2B, CF notably) that included a much more stable and consistent starting staff and bullpen, and mismanaged them to an improvement of only 2 wins, missing the playoffs by a game. now this year, regardless of the pitching staff (which is without the doubt the real problem) the team is underachieving offensively, even though that is supposedly manuel's strength as a coach/manager.

my point is, the team has continued to underachieve since manuel arrived and, unlike bowa, he has never done anything during his time here to indicate that he is going change this. even so, firing manuel at this point would probably do no good at all. but if it happens, it is my contention that his place on the totem pole of scapegoats wouldn't be nearly as high as that red-ass bowa.

Did anybody listen to Uncle Charlie's pregame show today? He actually said that if at the All Star break this team is 4 or 5 games back "that would be good". He went on to say that then they would have plenty of time to make a run at the end of the season. This sounds to me like a typical Wade-era attitude. 4 or 5 back at the break when they are 4.5 back now is not a winning goal. I'm not neccessarily jumping on the fire Charlie right now bandwagon, but 5 back as a goal? This isn't the late 90's.

I would think the goal would be that the Phillies are in 1st place, making the other teams wonder what the hell to do. But instead it's the Phillies once again in the rearview, trying to play catchup and most likely not fully getting there. NO playoffs since 93...c'mon that's a long fricken time!

Stub- couldn't agree with you more my brotha, on the entire Bowa -vs- Manuel scapegoat theory. It is not solely Manuel's fault for the Phillies not playing to the level they are capable of, but it is indeed partially his fault, so like I've said before changes must be made and might as well start with our dope of a manager.

By the way, I was on the other thread and found interesting the whole 3 or 4 team trade between the Roys, Mars, and Phils...can that really happen?

How is it that Aaron Sele and pitch so well for the Dodgers, that they just happened to take a chance on, but we can find quality anywhere?!

Wow, my typing is off today. The previous post was to say, "Why is it that Aaron Sele can pitch so well for the Dodger, who just happened to take a chance on, yet we can't find quality anywhere?"

Seriously, Sele is dominating!

Once again, on here by myself, and it looks like the 6th inning is about to kill Myers. It's a shame, because he's pitched well, and yet again the Phillies offense sucks! Is it just me, or does this team just seem to collectively suck?!

wow, Lieby really pounced on that little dribbler like a cat...so glad we have his offense and defense back because Fasano and Ruiz were soooooo much worse.

total sarcasm!

Aaron Sele is not a good pitcher. He is a bad pitcher who has happened to have had a few good starts. Seriously, look at his stats. If you want to get mad at the Phillies for not scoring more off the guy, that's legitimate, but you can't get mad at the Phillies for not trying to get a guy like Sele. I'd rather take a chance with a young guy like Brito, where there's a chance, however small, that he could be good, than go with a veteran that there's no doubt will suck.

As for that dribbler in front of the plate, you can get say Ruiz might have made that play but there's no way Fasano does.

Holy Crap, I was not suggesting getting Aaron Sele at all, and I'm sorry my words could have been read that way. I was merely complaining about the Phillies inability to hit pitchers like this, and for the Phillies to find a "Aaron Sele", not really Aaron Sele himself. By that I mean, a guy that can come in and help a team for a small period of time while their staff is in need. Sort of like what Aaron Small did last year...and once again I don't want Aaron Small. My point is that the Phillies don't ever seem to find someone that just steps in and does a decent job...nope instead we have Brito.

it's amazing how people get all up in arms about noted sarcasm...dude I'm not even a fan of Fasano, I was just pointing out that people were crying for Lieby to come back and look at what he's done (NOTHING!)

Seriously, what the hell does Dubee have to offer to Myers? Goodbye Dubee...goodbye!

Freaking Cormier.

Sorry, I didn't mean to attack you. What I was trying to say though is that pitchers like Aaron Sele and Aaron Small are the players that the Phillies don't want to go after. They're aging starters with bad track records. Sometimes they can turn in a small stretch of starts in which they don't suck, but these times are few and far between. Small sucked every year before 2005, he sucks this year, and he will continue to suck. The Yankees just happened to get lucky stretch out of him.

I commend the Phillies for giving a chance to a rookie rather than getting another Paul Abbott. With regards to the Lieberthal thing, it's been a total of 3 games. I'd say it's a little early to start complaining. Besides, at 1 for 15 (or so) so far, he's about as good as Ruiz was.

"Freaking Cormier" indeed. Although you might as well say "Freaking Manuel" since he's the reason he's in there.

Nothing annoys me more in baseball than bullpen management. The notion of bullpen roles drives me crazy because it makes close to no sense. Manuel is worse than just about any other manager when it comes to strict bullpen roles.

In that last inning, it's a 3-2 game with 2 runners on base and we have Cormier in. Then, it's 3-3 with the bases loaded and Geary is in. I understand the notion of a closer, and while I disagree with it, I understand it's difficult for Manuel to put Gordon in in that situation. But why not Fultz or Rhodes? I'd rather see either of them in than Cormier or Geary in both those situations. The Phillies bullpen may be one of the lowest in the majors, but that doesn't mean it's used well.

Weitzel started this entire thread with a piece about the Phillies bullpen and a real nice and neat 3.29 ERA. I will agree that Fultz, Cormier, and Flash have done ok, and Geary is coming along. Sanches might be good, and so might be Condrey. Rhodes has a high WHIP but ok ERA. I think the ERA of the bullpen is low is because they get some many innings/opportunities in which to lower it because of the horrible rotation. The Phillies bullpen logs a ton of innings...so they can lower the ERA...this is just my view on the whole thing.

Game Notes: Utley is the man, I love him as a player. I can live with occasional 0-5 and errors because he is fun to watch! That was an awesome bowl-over of the catcher! Saito just hit Vic on purpose it looks, so hopefully the offense can blow this game open then bean JD Drew!

Man I can't stand David Bell. His hits are all luck, because that swing is ugly. It's only conducive to hitting pop ups to infielders and inside-outing pitches to the 2nd baseman. He sucks! I don't care about his D, when he's that bad with the stick.

That DP ball that Bell just hit and was blown by the Dodgers infield is proof that the Baseball Gods are smiling upon us today!

Hooray for a win...:-) Especially with the Mets and Braves losing today.

I'm not going to get into the whole Bowa can of worms, S & B. All you want to seem to talk about is 2001, though. He was fired because a) he did not make ther playoffs in four seasons, the last two of which the team was considered a favorite to win the division, and b) he had long since lost the support of the clubhouse. His firing was completely justifiable.

Meanwhile, in the present tense, a nice, scrappy win over a tough team - anyone would be happy to get a split in L.A. the way the Dodgers have been playing. I like the way they seemed determined not to let go, and got the runs they needed in the late innings. Great effort by the bullpen, which has really rebounded since the Milwaukee ugliness. And Utley...man, what a player.

The team actually appears to pick it up a notch when Myers pitches, the way the older teams did with Schilling or even going back to Lefty.

Utley's 'take no prisoners' approach is impressive and can't help but rub off some.

Nice split against the Dodgers. Myers did his job as the "stopper" and Utley continues to impress. Tough matchup tomorrow with Brandon Webb and D-Backs.

Bowa did improve this team but he simply wore out his welcome. Phils needed to bring in someone different although I wish it was someone other than Manuel.

Manuel's personality is well-suited for this current roster but his country-bumpkin act wears thin at times. Some of his post-game comments are so absurdly ridiculous in their simplicity (i.e., John Madden) that they are bound to grate on the media and fans who are desperate for a winner.

Manuel is not to blame for the inadequate starting pitcher of this team; however, I wish he would leave the starters in a little longer at times. Additionally, Manuel's "Let'em play" attitude suits this team well most times but I get disgusted when he is not willing to shake things up that are clearly not working.

Two clear case of this are the leadoff spot and the use of the bullpen. Rollins have struggled this year and should not be batting leadoff. The Phils don't have many options here but Rollins needs to be moved down in the order. He just don't get on base enough or take enough pitches. Since Abreu won't bat leadoff, I would like to see Rowland in the leadoff spot. Not a huge upgrade in .OBP but still an improvement.

Another example is with the bullpen. Weitzel highlighted the overall quality performance of the bullpen but Manuel tends to stick with reliever in certains situations. Since the Phils don't have a dominant setup guy, Manuel needs to mix and match more. Also, I wouldn't mind seeing him use a reliever for more than 1 inning at a time.

Brandon Webb's scoreless inning streak will end tonight in the top of the 1st.

Hey, a man can dream can't he?

RSB, you missed the point. i wasn't arguing whether bowa's firing was justifiable or not (it was) and i wasn't arguing that manuel should get fired (not yet, anyway). i was just saying that bowa would be the bigger scapegoat, which was your original assessment.

let me put it another way. bowa would be a bigger sacpegoat because he took the majority of blame for phillies failure to make the playoffs and for many things that were out of his control (i mentioned a few earlier.) for example, bowa was blamed for burrell not hitting in "pressure" situations, because he didn't respond to bowa's high-tension apporach. well, how often is manuel blamed for his average with risp this year? when people talk about manuel getting fired, he gets defended because of pitching depth. but what about last year? and what about the depth bowa had? it's just not consistent. bowa took the heat for things that have continued past his tenure, but have not been transferred to manuel (rightfully so.) if manuel was fired, he wouldn't get nearly the blame bowa did, but if you look at the records, they pretty much are doing the same job. that is my arguement.

and i do like to talk about 2001, because it was the greatest phillies year since'93. it is when fun and energy and winning returned to philadelphia baseball.

Rock on brotha, rock on!

Clean sweep yesterday throughout the Phillies organization, all levels won!

We really need to get some bats down in the minors, because there is some really decent starting and relief pitching going on without translation to W's.

Carson says the low bullpen ERA is due to many innings, yet MG complains that relievers never pitch more than one inning.

When I was a boy, my Dad told me that relivers have lower ERAs because they often pitch less than an inning and only need one or two outs to end the inning. Even if they give up hits, the runs that score usually belong to their predecessors, keeping the reliever's ERA low.

I believe that the Phillies bullpen low ERA is due to the small duration of each reliever's work. We have a lot of bullpen innings because the starters are less than stellar (I cleaned up my language for the end of this sentence), however each reliever only gets an inning or less from Foghorn, thus the low ERA.

If a relief pitcher (A) comes in and puts a man on base and then is lifted, but the next relief pitcher (B) comes in and allows that runner to score, it is charged to relief pitcher (A)...not the predecessor.

You could have Tony LaRussa, Joe Torre, and Jim Leyland as coaches on this team and they would be maybe 1 or 2 games better then what they are now. All the coaching in the world won't change the fact that the pitching is absolutely horrendous. Ryan Franklin is going suck just as much with Manuel as he will with Lou Pinella.

carson, reliever (A) is the predecessor...

Not to nitpick with Carson, but generally the predecessor of a reliever is the starter. I wasn't talking about relievers relieving each other in a given inning.

This last game is a perfect example. Cormier gives up a hit, the runner scores, charged to Myers, a starter. Cormier gets yanked, but his ERA for that "fine" outing is 0.00.

The Phillies bullpen seems to be all short relievers, except for Madson's 8 inning gem a few weeks back. I checked the average innings per appearance of Cormier, Gordon, Geary, Fultz, Rhodes, and Franklin. Only Geary and Fultz average over an inning per appearance, at 1.11 and 1.37 respectively. Franklin, the "innings eater" averages 0.96 innings per appearance.

Yeah, Franklin would still suck, but any of those managers wouldn't have used him in 6 games out of 8 (or whatever that ridiculous streak was earlier in the year), regardless of the results. Manuel has a problem of overusing a reliever during a span of a week, and then not using him for a week or so after that.

Charlie also has a problem of expecting results from his bench, when he does not give those reserves any playing time. I bet the number of games started by our bench players is very small (if you don't count Rowand's injury).

Also, J-Roll's numbers still might not be the best, but any one of those managers would not be afraid to drop him down in the line-up and keep him out of that top spot. Charlie wants him there cause he is a stolen base threat. Hey Charlie, what good is a stolen base if you aren't getting on base?!?!

Any of those managers wouldn't be afriad to speak their mind on any one of our players, if it was necessary to do so. Charlie is a "yes man" to the boys upstairs. Has he ever questioned something they ended up doing? We probably would not have the Franklin's, Nunez's, and Fasano's of the world on our team if we had one of those guys as our manager.

Mismanagement of the line-up and misuse of the bullpen would doubtfully happen under those other managers, yet it continually happens under Manuel.

I get your drift now Lake Fred...we're on the same page.

With Meyers' start behind us, it looks like we'll need the offense to put up runs each of the next 4 days to hang in there. This is starting to remind me of the Yankees last year where A-Rod said to the team that all they need to do is put up their "6 a game" and they'll be competitive. With the Phils' success with RISP, I'm not so sure that's the mindset I want to have. WE NEED SOME STARTING PITCHING!!!! PLEASE!!!!

Any shot against Webb tonight? That ERA looks nasty, especially given the D-back's recent sweep of the Braves.

Is it just me or has the talent in baseball coalesced more this year? If I remember, last year all the NL East teams were above .500 for most of the season. Now, across the league there are .600 teams and .300 teams. Seems more extreme.

Here is what is scary. Im on vaca in Madeira Bch Fla, my wife is hot AND loves me, but all I can think about is hitting BrightHouse Networks field tomorrow for Randy Wolf's rehab start....

BTW...does Drabek being the son of a ML'er trump being a HS pitcher? I think maybe yes.

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