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Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Fasona was just traded to the Yankees ... bye-bye mustache.

Yankees acquire Fasano from Philly

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The New York Yankees acquired catcher Sal Fasano from the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday for minor league second baseman Hector Made.

Fasano had been designated for assignment by the Phillies on July 22. He hit .243 with four home runs and 10 RBIs in 50 games.

The 21-year-old Made was hitting .286 with three home runs and 28 RBIs in 86 games for Class A Tampa of the Florida State League. The Phillies have assigned him to Class A Clearwater.

That's a whole lot of ugly. It's hard to imagine it could have gone worse this year. Even the national sports websites are acknowledging the Phillies need a change of "culture". Lee Thomas wasn't the most brilliant exec who ever walked the earth, but one thing he should always be thanked for - even if he did nothing to get the farm system out of the gutter in nine seasons - is that he recognized that a moribund late '80s team needed this fundamental change in makeup. I imagine certain Beerleaguers would have scoffed at the time over acquisitions of people like Dykstra, Kruk, Incaviglia, Williams, et al. But, at least for one season, it worked. The Phillies put together a team with presence that played hard, knew how to win, and bowled over the toughest crowd in the country.

I'm calling for a similar strategy this time around. Mullets are not required (sorry, Sal), but attitudes are. Let's get some life and some pride back into Phillies baseball. That should be job one for Gillick.

Excellent breakdown. This is my favorite part: "Leadoff pretender Jimmy Rollins has nine more extra base hits than power pretender Bobby Abreu, including three more home runs. Meanwhile, Abreu leads baseball in on-base percentage and J-Roll’s OBP ranks as one of the worst among lead-off men. Their spots in the lineup have not changed. [Uppercut]"

Every game he's penciled in. And every game I want to throw my shoe at Big Red over there.

It's way past infuriating.

For that strategy to work, we need to get rid of:

Lieberthal. It doesnt look like the guy wants to be playing anymore.

Burrel. Locker-room cancer. oh yeh, rumor is a nose-candy problem.

Abreu. He's lost the will to win in philly.

my personal favorite thing this year has been the lineup. off all the things charlie manuel, a hitting coach, could alter, improve or address you'd think it was that. you'd think it was sooo obvious that utley would be better hitting with bobby on than vice versa that a switch would be made.

you'd think that the catcher would stop hitting 8th after the pitchers continuosly fail to get them over on a bunt because they are so slow and because the pitchers, as a unit, are such poor bunters.

a manager, who didn't win 95 games with an indians team that had double the talent the phillies have, got exposed when he was so concerned with being a "players manager" he never put them in the best position to win.

Wow Jason, reading that was, well, painful.

Nothing to disagree with really, Gillick made one good move with Deulluci-Tejeda, but even that doesn't help a team not in contention, and added to a strength (oufield) and suntracted from a weakness (pitching, starter, reliever, whatever). I think the game really has passed him by.

I'd like to think attitude or culture could help this pitching staff, but I doubt it. You would think the usual suspects (Burrell, Abreu, Lieberthal) would have affected the offense, but that hasn't been the problem and the Phils have developed two all-star hitters on the right side of the infield this year despite the cancerous elements (and, if we want to use that metaphor, cancerous cells attack those closest to them, not the cells out in the bullpen). I mean really, Lieber, Rhodes, Franklin, Madson, etc. have all stunk up the joint because of chemistry? Don't think so.

Basically Myers and Lidle have been as advertised, but Lieber, Madson and the rest have been major dissapointments (Hamels obviously gets a pass so far). I'm not sure where the arms are going to come from, but they are the problem.

As for culture, that comes from the manager. Burrell and Abreu are hardly the first two players to appear in baseball history not to show their emotions one the field. Guys like Kent, Bonds, Ramirez and, oh yeah, how bout Mike Schmidt and Steve Carlton, all prefered to keep a low profile and let their stats speak for themselves.

Lee Thomas got lucky, clear and simple, if he aquired Kruk and Dykstra because of chemistry. Any Beerleaguer worth his Bill James Historical Abstract would have LOVED those moves, but more because those guys were OBP machines rather than "characters.'

The Alabama doughnut taster...


No credit for doughnut taster. That's in reference to a priceless comment in another post. I forget who said it, but they said something like "He used to be called a poor-man's Greg Maddux. He's more like Greg Maddux's doughnut taster."

Frankly, I thought more people would appreciate when I called Pat Gillick Dr. Zaius.

Chemistry isn't the problem here. The players all seem to get along. Yet they don't really gel on the field. It's not about showing emotions. Does Utley, ever? It's about playing hard, playing right, and just doing what it takes to win. I don't think 1993 was a matter of 'luck'. Thomas had his shortcomings, but was one of the best traders the franchise has ever known. Not only did he pick up a lot of winning players, he had a knack for finding useful pitching options on the cheap.

I'll tell you one thing: the last two losses are the kind of games lost by teams mired in a losing culture. The Phillies find ways to lose games like that at home. They'll come back when they're down, but then when it absolutely counts and the tying or winning run is at stake, they'll cave in. The '93 Phillies would have won both those games, and not just because they were more talented.

Jason: Great post but at least a few of those jabs and uppercuts were right crosses. Trust me, I was there watching.

Alex Gonzalez has provided right-handed pop from the bench, if by "bench" you mean "couch," and by "right-handed pop" you mean "occasionally open pickle jars in his wife’s kitchen." [Jab]

Jason, you're a master.

See, I thought the uppercut was the most devastating of the three punches. Jab is weakest, then hook, then uppercut. This is based upon hours and hours of practice playing Fight Night on my XBox.

Man, Jason, I feel like "Irish" Jerry Quarry or Piston Hurricane from that great arcade game "Punch Out"...

All really good stuff. Plenty of hurt because of the pitiful pitching.

Absolutely brilliant!! I couldn't have said it better myself and, I think, you covered it all. Well done!

... and I am the proud author of the "Greg Maddux Donut Taster" comment. An honor, indeed...

at least you're playing fight night. that game rules.

I could write a dissertation on 'Punch Out.'

Why not trade Lieby to Cinncy for Jason LaRue, who lost his starting job to Ross because he tried to come back too soon from knee surgery. LaRue has another year on his contract that maybe Cinncy would pick up part of just to get rid of him. His numbers are comparable to Lieby but he's intense and handles the pitchers very well. Could you ever imagine Lieberthal trying to come back early from an injury? Not in this lifetime. This would give Ruiz or whomever the heir apparent is another year to develop. Seems like a good fit. If they don't want Lieberthal, just release him. He's gone next year anyway so they'd only eat about 1/3 of his 2006 salary.

Can you just outright release a "10 and 5" guy?

The Phils aren't even close to sitting Lieberthal. Releasing him is a dream.

I'm glad Fasano is gone.

It'll be interesting to see who gets traded away. The list of potential short timers includes Lieber, Lidle, Lieberthal, Abreu, Burrell, Cormier, Dellucci, Cormier and Gordon. I wish they'd trade Bell, Franklin and Rhodes, too! They need to build a team that Lou Pinella would be willing to manage.

At least the play on the field, where the fans took all the body blows, has caused the referee to end the fight and definitely put the Phillies in the "sellers" category.

Great stuff, Jason. The line about power and leadoff pretenders was perfect.

I'd add, beyond the defensive lapses you mentioned, that other than Rollins the team really has no outstanding defenders.

i thought that super punch out was your speciality? i remember you playing that game hardcore for a while in school.

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