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Sunday, August 27, 2006


I hope they can get this game in today. The Phils have had a grueling schedule lately and the last thing they need is to be hanging around in NY for too long. Besides, it's Sunday and I need my afternoon lay on the couch/Phillies game fix!

Postponed--- to be made up tomorrow

The reason why the Phils HAD to unload Abreu was so that that they could get Delucci into the lineup. Clearly he would not even consider staying in the Phil unless he got some playing time and he may still leave but now the Phils have a shot at resigning Delucci. This is the biggest upside to trading Abreu IMHO, we get to see if Delucci (and to lesser extent Victorino) are the real deal.

Question- What should Fabio "Model Dictator" Castro's role be on this team for the remainder of the season? Please give reasoning.

My answer- he should be worked into higher pressure situations to see how he performs. He's done nothing to leave questions about right now in his current role, so it's time to bump his exposure up more. I'm not saying this guy is a God-send, but maybe, just maybe the Phils got lucky on this guy and he'll turn out to be a very solid late inning reliever for this and many more seasons to come.

I still lament the loss of Cliff Politte. Maybe Castro can fill that void.

I think Clif "Mr. Etiquette" Politte can be had for nothing right now, although he's laid up after surgery. There's always next year!

Bullpen Madson is probably the closest we've had to Politte in recent years.

I agree wth DQ. He's only been appearing in 6+ blowouts (either way). How much harm can there be in playing him in 4 run games or even the occasional 3 run game in the 6th? Even if you put him on a short leash out there in those situations, it'll be better than burying him.

From the Courier-Post (Camden, N.J.) Phillies' beat reporter's blog:

It's 3:51, the rumors are hot and heavy - and really not rumors but truth - that Phillies have completed a trade for 40-year old Jeff Conine as the Orioles waddle through the seventh inning in Baltimore. Add in the fact that I'm still at Shea and it;s just about the best day ever.

crazy idea- if indeed the Phils did get Jeff Conine, is there anyway he can possibly play 3rd for this and next season? He hasn't played there much over the past couple seasons, but he used to do an adequate job.

Orioles radio is reporting the Phillies have acquired Jeff Conine + approximately a half million in cash (to help defray his $2 million 2007 contract) in exchange for a PTBNL.

Yeah it's a done deal. Here is the article from

Phillies acquire Conine from Orioles
08/27/2006 5:08 PM ET
Phillies Media Relations

Outfielder Jeff Conine was acquired from Baltimore, along with cash considerations, for a player to be named later, Vice President & General Manager Pat Gillick announced today.

Conine, 40, hit .265 with nine home runs and 49 RBI in 114 games for the Orioles. Since June 24, he is hitting .301 in 51 games.

For Baltimore this season, Conine made 53 starts in left field and 47 starts at first base. He also appeared in one game at third base and one game in right field.

A 15-year major league veteran, Conine was a member of both of Florida's World Championship teams in 1997 and 2003. The Phillies are Conine's fourth team. He previously played for the Royals (1990, 1992, 1998), Marlins (1993-97, 2003-05) and Orioles (1999-2003, 2006). Conine is a career .286 hitter with 207 home runs and 1,015 RBI in 1,894 games. He collected his 1,000th career RBI on July 18.

The Phillies will make a move to accommodate Conine on the 25-man roster once he reports. He will wear #19 and bench coach Gary Varsho will now wear #30.

I would think it would be Sandoval or Roberson going down. I'd send Sandoval down just because Roberson does have some speed and could be used as a valauable pinch runner with the number of veterans we now have on this team.

Leaving Nunez as the only backup option at SS? Not likely. Getting Conine is a good deal to get a veteran bat on the bench and to keep Delucci from further bloodying up the grass out in right field. Delucci is a LF only, pure and simple. Truth be told, I think Burrell would be better in right than Delucci; he doesn't get to much but he rarely butchers what he reaches, and his arm is better than Delucci's too. I've seen enough of Looch out there to not want to see any more.

Several responses from clout:
1. alby, Hernandez can play SS (although not well) so the Phils could indeed option Sandoval as Jon suggested. I LOVE your idea of trying Burrell in RF since Looch clearly can't play the position, but that can't be done until next year when Burrell's foot will, hopefully, be healthy.
2. xatsman: Think about what you just said: The Phils traded Abreu, one of the best offensive players in team history, so they could make room for a 33-year-old bad- fielding platoon player. Your apology is accepted.
3. I don't like the Conine deal. He is basically the same player as Hernandez (although slightly better vs. RHP), offensively and we're stuck with him next year. He is brutal in the OF and, Fred, if he played 3B an entire show of baseball's funniest videos could be produced. I'm with the poster who preferred Ledee to beef up the bench.

Ooops, the comment to Fred should've been addressed to Drama Queen.

I agree with Cout, in that "I don't like the Conine deal" either. Conine's last 10 games stats: 39 at bats; 8 hits; 1 HR; 3 RBI's; and .205 BA. In other words, he has not exactly been hitting the cover off the ball for the Orioles of late. Furthermore, he's 40 years old, and, as Clout said, the Phillies will be stuck with him next year.

In much the same spirit as Clout...

Several responses from Drama Queen:
1. The Jeff "Inate" Conine deal is a good one. He can play corner outfield and corner infield. I didn't say he was gold glove, hell he may be brick hands, but he can catch a ball out there...I remember many a play against the Phils. So what if he's old, and glad to have him next season.
2. Roberson needs to stay so he can play CF if needed, plus as noted, he's a solid pinch-runner. Send down Sandoval.
3. I'm very intrigued who the Phils have traded to the O's because it's a member of the 40 man roster, just has to clear waivers first.
4. Fabio Castro should be used in any situation until he proves that he shouldn't be. Because right now, it just looks like Manuel is making mistakes by not using him enough, so if he goes and allows him to pitch in pressure situations we'll know if Manuel was doing the right thing or being a dumbass as-per-usual!

I'm not crazy about all the age the Phils are suddenly adding, bu I like this deal a lot better than the Hernandez move. Conine adds power and is still a decent OF. Don't know about his infield play, but if he's not a butcher there (3B) you've got to see if he can hit more than Nunez.

I've been as harsh a critic of Gillick as anyone, but at least now Gillick and Amaro are trying to fix one of the team's biggest holes-the bench. If Flash is strong when he gets back and Moyer's got enough left, the Phils will stay in it to the end. Don't know that they'll win, but...

Read the comments of Tejeda, Patterson etc from the O's. This trade is more about intangibles. Conine knows HOW to win, who on the current Phils knwos how to win? nuff said.

I like the Conine deal for the most part. It's just too bad he's going to be playing for the Phillies again from 2009-2011 when he's way way over the hill. I mean, that would fit his MO anyway.

"Intangibles" are nice, but I'd rather see Conine hit some home runs and play adequate third base, or whatever position he plays. Not sure what "knowing how to win" means. I suspect it doesn't mean a thing.

The Conine deal is an end of the game pinch hitter with power, an athlete who knows how to win, and a defensive replacement, in that order of importance. Impressive stuff from Tejada, too (thanks, Dude, for the link). You have proven veteran leadership with Moyer, Conine, Gordon, Rhodes, and Hernandez showing the way to the future leaders of the team. I like it.

One game out! Who knew that Cincy would fall apart on the west coast?!

Conine OPS vs. LHP is .774
Hernandez OPS vs. LHP is .807
Neither is anything special vs. RHP. Hernandez is the better fielder, though both are bad.

Jason: The Phillies winning streak did not begin July 31 after Abreu was traded (although tey've played great since he was dealt). It began July 26, 5 days before he was traded. The Phils are 21-11 beginning 7/26.
Beyond the weak schedule, improved rotation, shift of Madson back to the bullpen, Howard & Rollins on fire, 7 runs per game average etc. etc., there is another factor that's led to success. It was mentioned by Cole Hamels on WIP yesterday morning. Asked why the Phils got so hot after Abreu was dealt, Hamels said, "The pressure was gone." In other words, the players had been feeling pressure because they'd been underperforming. Dealing Abreu & Lidle was the signal by Pat Gillick that he didn't expect the team to win. With the pressure gone, the team relaxed.

i am so sick of this team 'relaxing' and 'playing well'. what do they think would happen if they actually made the playoffs? the whole world would need to turn away for them to win a single game. that said, they have as good a chance to play in oct this year as they've had the last 5.

Just wanted to note, in case it hasn't been seen, that we're now even in the loss column with our top two wild-card rivals, not including current division leaders.

From a fan's perspective, one can't help but view the Abreu deal as a significant marker in the chronology of this franchise. I know many of you get into it about what Abreu's departure meant for the rest of the team, and why they are suddenly playing better. This was designed as a general piece on how they're doing it, rather than why they're doing it without Abreu. Schedule is an important factor. I think players like Dellucci and Victorino had something to prove, which might have given them an extra lift. And you mentioned the relaxed atmosphere because Gillick outwardly gave up. I also agree with many posters and national analysts that the overall passive attitude of the team probably changed with Abreu gone. I certainly don't think it's the main reason for the 18-11 record. Certainly not more than starting pitching or schedule. What's the bigger reason the Phils won their series with Washington - that the team no longer followed Bobby's passive lead, or Pedro Astacio and Ramon Ortiz?

I think the phillies improvement has more to do with the hot hitting of ryan howard, and the bottom of the lineup (coste, lieberthal, and nunez)than the exit of abreu. Obviously, the combo of victorino and delluci is going to drive in more runs in a per plate appearance ratio because abreu walks much more. It isn't abreu's fault that the phillies weren't driving him in more often. Arguably, the phillies may have been scoring more runs in this streak with abreu in the lineup as he would been on base more and probably scoring on howard home runs and other hits from the bottom of the order.

However, it is much too early to be judging whether the phillies are better because abreu is gone. This streak is another up for a characteristically up and down team. Unless they continue this streak into the post season, this streak will be less impressive than the streak the phils had earlier in the season - with abreu in the lineup.

I really don't think abreu's leadership skills are a factor in the "resurgence" of the phillies. I have no idea of what abreu's leadership skills are, or how you define leadership. Some people say actions speak louder than words, if so Abreu was a fine leader as he always worked hard in every at bat. If a leader is someone who must be vocal and waving a pom pom on the field, then perhaps abreu was not a leader in that respect. As far as what occurs in the locker room or in the clubhouse in conversation, we are not privy to that and thus lack personal knowledge of who is or is not leading the phillies.

Why should abreu have been solely responsible for leading the phillies anyway? Keep in mind that abreu is also a foreign player, and to expect him to have great communication skills may be a little unfair. In any event, a baseball team should have more than one leader.

Finally, who is the leader of the phillies? If it's utley, well he was here when abreu was here. If it's a new player -who is it, and how do you know that person is leading the phillies? I have seen no evidence that leadership is the reason why the phillies have improved over the last 29 games, or why abreu should have been traded.

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