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Saturday, July 22, 2006

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I agree, it's been over a month now and the fans aren't going to be as incensed about the Myers issue as they would have had his start came two days later; besides, by now he's finally come out and publicly effaced himself. I don't doubt that the reaction in Philly would have been about the same as it was in Boston if that start had been made in CBP instead of Fenway in June.

On the other hand, if Montgomery and Giles were introduced on the PA today, they'd probably have grenades thrown at them. I think fans are going to be a lot less likely to forgive and forget the way the organization presented itself in the wake of the assault - and besides, its dundering figureheads weren't exactly popular to begin with. Even Myers doesn't appear to be in the advanced stages of hopeless denial which his bosses demonstrate.

heard the most riduculous thing on the rain delay show on 1210. The guys were taking calls and asked if Gillick would look to get a #1 ace in the offseason. The phillies lackey's responded by saying they have spoken to Gillick about this and his response was that he doesn't believe in spending free agen $ on pitchers and would rather sign position players as free agents. And compared them to used cars in that you don't know what kind of mileage their arms have on them. Its ludicrious but typical of this team. We will never have a winner in this city as long as this management is around. Hey guys I'm still willing to come back and help off the bench. I sure as hell know i can hit better than that midget nunez. Hey Gillick I'm glad you put some $ out there and got him...he's a gamer! But the 2 lackeys did say that we have potentially 2 Aces in Myers and Hamels...Well the one could potentially go to jail and the other guy looks as thin as a rold gold pretzel...Hey cronies we all can see through your spin!

did anyone else hear this on the radio?

The Myers situation is the biggest question of the off-season. Bill Conlin reminded us a couple of weeks ago that Phillies history indicates he will be shipped out -- which would leave us with no starters at all above the .500 pitcher level. Hate to disagree with Phillies brass, who have made whistling through their hats into an art form, but Cole Hamels is about three years of experience short of being a legitimate #1 starter.

jason and RSB i'd like to get your take on Gillick's statement that FA $ should be spent on position players and not pitchers...i think its pretty interesting since the phillies do not have a real need to fill any position holes but have glaring needs in pitching. Looks like the phillies are getting ready to spin the offseason excuses and get us ready for a cut in payroll next season.

jason and RSB i'd like to get your take on Gillick's statement that FA $ should be spent on position players and not pitchers...i think its pretty interesting since the phillies do not have a real need to fill any position holes but have glaring needs in pitching. Looks like the phillies are getting ready to spin the offseason excuses and get us ready for a cut in payroll next season.

sorry guys i hit the button twice

After watching Piazza recently he's still got it. I want him to finish his career here at home. I only wish the Phillies could've figured this out 10 years ago when LA traded him to Florida

Not any glariing holes at positional players? Have you watched the 3B and C positions all year. In Bell's defense, he is having a better year than last year and performing at or above his career numbers. Problem is that is not actually a high threshold.

As the C, it has been a black hole. Lot at the stats for the C positioning and the Phils now have the worst production in the MLB at the C position. Lieby has been horrible, Fasano not much better, and Ruiz has struggled. All-in-all not a stellar group.

It has become more and more apparent that the real issue does not lie in the GM, coach, or players. The real issue lies in the ownership group, and until that group decides to sell, buy one another out, or decentralize authority to the GM, we will be watching the same team 30 years from now. With that being said, Gillick has not had the opp. to make moves thus far, but he should start dumping payroll right now.

the more and more I hear the Phils' management speak and make subtle comments, the more i think that this payroll be around $65 million instead of $75 million next year. Seems like ownership has determined that this bloated payroll of $95 million hasn't won anything and that the Phils will go back to the middle to bottom third of the league in spending as in the late 90s.

MG - you are correct about the payroll next year. I've been in the clubhouse and talked to some sources about this issue. The owners are pissed off they have not pocketed any cash in the first 3 years of this park. They have decided to make some $ in the future. That being said, I would expect to see it at closer to $70 millions which would put us around the middle of the league. That would also put another $25 million in the owners pockets.

Fasano designated for assignment
Associated Press
Major League Baseball News Wire

PHILADELPHIA -- Popular backup catcher Sal Fasano was designated for assignment by the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday.

Assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said the Phillies have to trade, release or send Fasano outright to the minors by July 31. Fasano was placed on the disabled list on July 4 with left knee inflammation.

Though he was only batting .243 with four homers and 10 RBIss in his first season with the Phillies, Fasano quickly earned a fan club.

A group of guys called themselves "Sal's Pals" and sat in the upper deck in right field wearing long wigs and mustaches like Fasano. Link:

http://beerleaguer.typepad.com/beerleaguer/2006/07/utley_looks_to_.html#comments

Holy bleep, the Phillies did something that made sense. Stop the presses. Goodbye, Mr. Moustache.

My take on Gillick saying he wouldn't sign free-agent pitchers is that I think that's a bad rule to set across the board. It should be evaluated on a case by case basis. If a pitcher is relatively young and has no history of injuries, I see no reason why they shouldn't be willing to spend on a contract for that type of guy. Gillick is supposedly opposed to long-term deals, so good luck courting anyone at all with that strategy. Did long-term deals hurt the Phillies, are they still hurting? Yes. Do they always necessarily have to hurt? No. Is Scott Rolen's deal hurting St. Louis? If that leaves trades and small-time patchwork FAs as Gillick's strategy to repair the team, I smell trouble. This is a guy whose few trades with the Phillies have been underwhelming at best, and who shows little inclination to boldly pull the trigger. If he makes a trade that's remotely significant before the 31st, I'll be shocked. And so it remains to be seen what Gillick's master plan is, if there is any. After all this time, there is no evidence or indication as to what he is doing or thinking.

Off the top of my head, here are the names of some to the bigger free agent starting pitchers from the last couple of seasons:

Pedro - excellent, but wearing down with injury
Derek Lowe - should have been signed instead of Lieber
Lieber - bust
Big Unit - old
Milton - bust
Millwood - ok
Wells - old
Washburn - so-so
Pavano - bust
Wright - bust
Morris - mediocre
Weaver - bust
Loaiza - bust
Clemens - calls his own shots
Burrnet - hurt most of year
Clement - out since June

Gillick's argument is correct. Millions and millions have been wasted by teams playing roulette with free agent pitching. The Phillies have been there, done that, and it hasn't worked for them. Frankly, it rarely works for anyone. The list of upcoming free agent pitching is thin and old. In addition, pitchers have to want to sign here. Do you think Andy Pettitte will sign here when he becomes a free agent? No chance. How about Mussina? Will he finish his career in a hitter's park? Absolutely not. How about Zito? What are the odds of signing him, instead of a team like San Francisco that has $50 million coming off their payroll?

If Gillick wants to play the free agent game, all he will wind up doing is overspending on someone, for example, Jason Schmidt. He'll want a four-year, $50 million contract. Is it worth it? No. He doesn't get you over the hump in 2007, let alone 2008-2010. And he's an injury risk.

Here's a better plan for getting them over the hump: Hamels, Myers, marquee prospect, homegrown prospect, free agent (someone like Wolf or Lidle). And with the money, they could sign a FA like Barajas to catch, or trade for a high-ticket third baseman. Do you like having Utley and Howard around? So do I. They'll need to get paid at some point, too.

Finally, one of my predictions comes true: Fasano is designated for assignment around the all-star break. This is something I thought would happen back when he was first signed.

I think they'll be able to keep him. Who would possibly want Fasano in late July? If I was Fasano, I would accept an assignment to Scranton and remember with fondness my time in Philadelphia.

J. Weitzel is correct and Gillick is correct as well Free Agent Pitchers have about a 5-10% chance of being successful for a good portion of their contracts. Free Agent Hitters tend to be a much better bet.

That is all they were saying on Radio, and they were relaying Gillick's idea's not the Gang of Ten's.

Even if we have trunk loads of cash, the FREE AGENTS out there are not enthralling this winter.

The point from Gillick is that any organization aside from NY, needs to invest in developing High Quality, Low cost Pitching from it's minor leagues.

Fasano has already said he won't go to AAA. It was the right move to make, but I feel bad for him.

Jason: You're on the money about FA pitchers. More than half turn out to be not worth it.
RSB: You confuse me. You're one of the leading voices here to rip up the team, dump Burrell, Abreu, Bell, Rowand etc. Yet you say, correctly, that so far Gillick's trades "have been underwhelming at best."
Even assuming GOOD trades, ripping up the team means at least 3 years of losing. Ripping up the team in bad trades, which is most likely given this team's track record, means 6 or 7 years of losing. How many years do we need to wait? It's been 26 since the last championship and 13 since the last WS.

chris coste is my hero and we should have a fan club for him...maybe davthom73 can be its ringleader...curses it was his plan to get fasano booted

Free agent signings are not without risk. But the top 3 starters for the 1st place Mets are all free agent signings (Pedro, Glavine and Trachsel) as well as their closer (Wagner).
The philosophy of re-signing your own positional players to long term deals (Burrell, Lieby, Abreu, Rollins) certainly hasn't brought a championship, let alone a divisional crown. Phillies cannot have such a bullheaded strategy that they don't sign free agent starting pitchers and need to be more flexible. I would like them to take a run at a Zito or Schmidt. Kenny Rogers has certainly helped the Tigers this season.

I don't agree that multiple trades translate into at least three losing seasons. I would prefer three losing seasons at this point rather than the continuum of a lifeless, underachieving .500 team, but I'm not convinced dumping the superfluous players means having to rebuild. There's still a good deal of quality to work with, and with the right amount of shrewdness and boldness, Gillick can change the face of this team and have it contending within another year, if not possibly sooner. The trades do not all have to be for minor-league prospects. A good model for this would be the Indians - despite their troubles this year, they blossomed back into contenders in virtually no time after shedding all their big contracts.

I don't think I'm a "leading voice" to rip up the team. It's hard to find anyone not saying that. I would prefer they hold on to Rollins, Rowand, and even Gordon, and most wouldn't even go that far. It's elementary that Burrell, Bell, Lieberthal, Cormier, Rhodes, Lidle, and Lieber are dead weight on this team. The dividing point is Abreu. But I say you don't move forward with players who you've lost with for years on end. The bottom line is that this group hasn't worked, isn't working, and is not going to work. Even if that means more years of losing, you cut your losses to ensure that the winning might possibly get here more quickly. It isn't going to come by just tinkering around with the Abraham Nunezes of the world and hoping your wonderful all-star rotisserie team finally gels and leads you to the promised land. There must come a point when management is forced to be honest with itself and the fans and say, "Okay, this isn't working. We're starting over." Because nobody's being fooled here. Everyone can see this for what it is. No one is happy with this team. No one believes they're only a couple of players away. The players might say that, but I doubt they even buy it. It's time for losses to be cut and something drastically different to be done.

We could have had Rodgers, he was in the Padilla catagory with a much worse rap and we did not go after him. Pedro went to the Mets and their Pitcher's park for a four year contract and he is breaking down already after 1.5 years of it.

Pedro would not come to this market, Glavine who has been so-so for 2 years refused us, and Schmidt is a year away from being very injured. Zito would be great in a sign and trade, but let me ask you this...

You are a Free-Agent Pitcher ready for your 40-75 Million Dollar payoff. Will you go to a team like Boston or the Yankees? Or will you go to the Phillies now that they have blown up the team and gotten rid Burrell and Abreu? Not likely.

Hopefully Mr. Gillick will use the AL Central race to the Phillies advantage. If we could get Brandon McCarthy and multiple prospects in return for a swap of, say, Rowand and Gordon, I say pull the trigger. I still think there are viable pieces in place to make a push for 2007... but then again, I haven't been able to watch the games of late. If a Bourn/Victorino tandom can take over in CF and take over the leadoff spot then I think we move Rollins down to the 6/7 hole where he can drive in more runs (I think 75-80 RBIs for him in that spot is not unrealistic, plus it adds some speed lower in the line-up which hopefully translates into increased RBIs for the 8-1-2 hole hitters).

Trade Lidle, Rhodes, Cormier, Fultz, Lieber, and Dellucci for as many prospects as possible and then wait to the winter to try to trade Abreu or Burrell and use the cash savings to work on the rotation, catcher, and third base -- if those positions aren't handled through trades.

Yo MPN in Iraq...great post and keep up your great work for our country. Bless you and hope you return quickly.

RSB: Hmmmm. You want to trade Burrell, Bell, Lieberthal, not to mention half the starters and half the bullpen and yet you think you can do that and not have 3 losing seasons? Who, praytell, do you think we can get for those players to fill those 3 everyday positions and rotation and bullpen well enough to have a winning team?
P.S. I'd urge anyone who thinks that Bourne or Victorino can leadoff to look at their BB/K ratios. I think Bourn will be a very nice bench player, great speed, great glove, but won't hit enough to play everyday. Same for Victorino.

Bourn had a .350 OBP at Reading and .400+ OBP at Scranton so far this year.... so if he can stay in that range, that is better than the current holder of the job. We'll see. I still think Jimmy is better suited for a lower position in the line-up. It'll take pressure off him and take better advantage of his bat.

Not that I think Fasano was any good, but if they really wanted to send a message they shouldve cut lose Lieby, ate his contract and then people might start gettign the message.

clout: everyone that RSB mentioned, except for Burrell and Lieber, are in contract years, so, trading them wouldn't really change next year's projected teams, especially since we KNOW Liebrthal nad Bell are definitely not being re-signed. So trading these guys wouldn't be "ripping up the team." Rather, it would be trading guys you're gonna drop anyways.

As far as Burrell and Lieber go: you will lose something with Burrell that may take more than 1 year to replace. However, with Lieber, I honestly believe that Gio is pitching better right now than him, certainly Mathieson has shown he can. To get somebody to take his 7.5mill for next year and give us a prospect would be a steal.

Well Clout, the subtraction of the players I mentioned would still leave the Phillies with a nucleus of Rollins, Howard, Utley, Rowand, Hamels, Myers (only because I know they won't move him), and Gordon. Add in whatever talent can be acquired for Abreu and the others, insert decent short-term fixes like Dellucci, Wolf, Geary, and Victorino, and I don't think you're all that far off from respectability. What I'm saying is that if Gillick is all he's cracked up to be, this is not necessarily the desperate situation it may appear. I believe the Phillies would win just as many games going with a vastly different roster than it would if it kept the same old hangers-on that it's failed with since cranes still hung over CBP - and may actually have a glimmer of a future, to boot. In the cases of a lot of these players, they could be replaced by American Legion players and I fail to see how the Phillies would be any worse for it. I cannot imagine why anyone would prefer to keep this team as it is.

"That Dude," I agree with your point. Fasano has proven to be at least as good as Lieberthal and given his popularity with certain fans, he quite possibly is more valuable to the oranization at this point than Lieby. Moreover, Lieby is gone after this year. Lieby is around strictly because he makes huge cash and putting a player making that much money on waivers is "bad PR." the team is sending a message, it's that once you get a big contract, you don't have to perform. sometimes i wish the MLBPA wasn't so strong, and all these contracts wouldn't be garaunteed....

on the topic of trading players, i would be open to trading everybody on the current roster except howard, utley, myers, and hamels. nobody else on this team is irreplacable and this team as assembled is not going to win.

this should be very interesting what happens

I think it would be a little classless to release the longest-tenured guy on the team in favor of keeping one who's been there a half-season. They're equally as bad, and Fasano wouldn't have registered a singular blip on the radar if it wasn't for all his hair.

MPN in Iraq is right the AL Central reace is where we might get the best deals. The White Sox with a fantastic 3B prospect Josh Field, and a Six Man Rotation with two mid range solid starters and a good young arm, in Vanquez (who wanted to be nearer to Puerto Rico when he was in Arizona), Freddy Garcia, and Brandon McCarthy. The White Sox need a Center Fielder and a closer, as they see their hopes to repeat slip away. Just think where they would be without Jim Thome.

In Detroit there are some seemingly can't miss OMG Arms and they need a lefthanded outfield bat.

Boston and the Dodgers need pitching.

Let's hope we do not blow up the Phightens, and add to them, with a trade a Rowand and maybe even a Gordon to the White Sox for a Win-Win situation.

A trade of a Delucchi to Detroit, or the Yankees (and if not give him arbitration so we get a draft pick), and the trade of a Cormier or a Lidle to the Red Sox or the Dodgers for some Single or AA talent.

who cares that lieberthal is the longest tenured guy on the team? what does that do for the team or its fans? should we keep this guy around forever just because he's been here a long time? why not give him an extension now then. sure, have a no-hit, no-catch, no-throw catcher, but dammit, he's been here a long time so let's all love him...

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