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Saturday, August 19, 2006

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Ouch.

Myers pitched well immediately following his return, but "just couldn't get run support", according to the announcers. Maybe it was my imagination, but I thought it rather obvious that the team hated him and were passive-aggressively sabotaging his efforts. Such is one of those "intangible" reasons I advocated trading him during his "incident", while he was still hot, but, in retrospect, I realize management would have received nothing in return. So now we're stuck with a unstable, whiney, fat, violent "old look" Phil who aspires to fizzle out in mid-August like the rest of the old guard.

Despite Lieber's recent turnaround, I view him as a bigger disappointment. There would be less pressure on Myers to shine had Liber pitched as well as he was supposed to all year long.

You're right. This team has never scored runs for Myers, even during his lights-out start of 2005, he had a losing record.

Lieber's been a disappointment as well, but in light of Myers' domestic assault charge, and the way he's pitched here in August, I'm still listing him as the front-runner at this point. Lets hope he can prove me wrong. If he can't, kiss the WC goodbye.

The charge seems especially valid when considering the rivalry between Myers and old leader Abreu. If Abreu wasn't up to scoring runs, I doubt the rest of the team would go out of their way. Abreu's gone, but the team still hates Myers. I'm not a fan of "intangibles", but this one requires deliberation. Myers could be a clubhouse cancer, and increasingly so once "old look" teammates like Lieberthal depart.

Any stats on Meyers' run support vs., the rest of the rotation?

I really like the "new look"-"old look" stuff here, and the acknowledgement that it takes more than talent to be successful in the major leagues. The Phils seem to produce and attract more than their fair share of head cases: Myers, Burrell, Floyd, Franklin (Wah! I wanna be a starter), Padilla, Urbina, and on and on. Guys like those can create enormous drag on the energy of guys like J-Roll, Utley, Rowand, Victorino, Delluci, Hamels, and Howard. But the balance seems to be tipping, thanks to PG, who thinks "team" and who sheds the dark forces pretty quickly.

Dick: Yep, Gillick has made some great trades.

Maybe I"m reading the wrong web sites, but where does this "the whole team hates Myers" stuff come from? And, if I'm not mistaken, every team Schilling pitches for hates him, too, and he's got two World Series rings. Methinks you folks are overstating the case here.

I disagree with that. Myers is not this season's greatest disappointment. I would have to go with Bobby Abreu and Pat Burrell as the biggest disappointments. Abreu's numbers were down so much this year as compared to previous years.

The Phils have scored 103 runs in 23 games that Myers started. Team average of runs per game is 5.24; average runs in Myers' games are 4.48. However, Phils have won 12 of the 23 games Myers started: .522 over team average of .488. Four of Myers' games netted a single run, one of them for a win.

My vote for biggest disappointment goes hands-down to Lieber. If he had done anywhere near what was realistically expected of him, the Phils would be out in front of the wild card race even with the performances of Abreu, Burrell and Myers. Lieber's lousy year is the big difference-maker.

geez... most disappointing? geez, there's plenty of baseball left.

and besides, rejoice! its cole hamels day!

Where'd you come up with the idea that everyone "hates" Myers? When he came back to the clubhouse after his exile, everyone reportedly welcomed him back with open arms. Maybe I hate him and you hate him, but there's no evidence his teammates do.

Nonetheless, I would love for Gillick to take a chance on trading him. I mean a real trade this time, not more single-A players. A big-time trade that could land a right-handed power hitter to protect Howard, and a stable veteran pitcher for the rotation. I don't care that Myers is still young. His act is old. And I don't see him ever improving substantially enough to warrant the Phillies continuing to believe he'll eventually blossom into a Schilling-like "ace". Ain't gon' happen.


As far as ranking disappointments, let's just say Myers and Lieber are where they were supposed to be in the pitching rotation - one and two.

I based my assumption on Myers' below average run support, especially immediately after his return (8 runs across three games), though he had his season high in runs, 16, in his fourth post-hiatus start. He did pitch a mere 6 innings and surrendered as many ERs in that game, however.

I also believe Abreu did not like him and the rest of the team followed suit, passive-aggressively. Passive-aggressive individuals will welcome enemies with "open arms" only to stab them in their backs later. Ever work in a corporate environment?

Semantics aside, my point is: "Is this guy worth it?" Brett Myers is:

1. Consistently out of shape
2. Unstable
3. Mediocre
4. A potential clubhouse cancer
5. A moral blackhole

As a person who believes Ty Cobb is baseball's best, it would be hypocritical for me to suggest releasing Brett Myers solely due to his "personality quirks", but unlike Cobb, Myers appears to be a run-of-the mill #2 (NL) or #3 (AL) guy with a lot of baggage instead of a guy who, while an ass, is capable of holding a dozen MLB records for decades or longer.

Brett looks like a typical burnout prospect to me--one of those guys who looks great at first yet never rises above basic serviceability. Yet again his defenders say stuff like "He'll do better next year; his big breakout will come then, you'll see!" I'm far from convinced but hope that perception holds. Myers should attract attention even in his current flabby state, and I think he's a player the Phils could net value from given the proper trade.

Wait a minute, Whelk. You're saying it was some kind of conspiracy that the Phillies didn't give Myers run support? Now, I've been mocked in the past for over-emphasizing psychology, but this is a little over the top. How do you know Abreu didn't like him? Because Myers glared at him for not making a play? And so therefore Abreu decreed he would not play hard behind him?

It just doesn't work that way. The players aren't playing for Myers. They're playing for the Phillies, or themselves. Besides, there's absolutelly nothing to suggest he's a "cancer" or that his teammates don't like him. Frankly, you're kidding yourself here.

Myers isn't ace or all-star material, but he's also not a bad pitcher. My argument is that the Phillies should trade him while he's still young and some other team thinks they can get more out of him. I think on that point, at least, we do agree.

I agree with you, RSB; Whelk is fantasizing. Myers is not only not a bad pitcher, he's the only healthy average-to-above-average starter -- besides Hamels, whom I still think will have some up-and-down days for another year or so -- that the Phillies have. If they're gonna trade him, they create another major hole to fill. Conlin seems to think they'll trade him this offseason because of the Boston incident -- I know some of you dump on Conlin, but he's been a lot closer to the team for a lot longer than any of us -- but there's also a chance that the major embarrassment Myers has undergone will be the impetus for him to grow up. Or maybe not. If he's traded, let's hope they at least fill one hole for the one his loss will create.

I don't endorse the "everyone hates Myers" idea, either, but it's true that Myers never seems to get much run support, for whatever reason. Schilling also never got much run support when he was here, but that offense was much weaker. Myers has allies on the team, including Madson.

Lieber has been a disappointment, but he's also 10 years older than Myers. This should be the prime of Myers' career, and he's taken a step backward. Plus, he missed a critical stretch because of the leave of absence.

I thought after Myers came back from his time off that he had finally changes and was ready to become the "ace" of the staff. Apparently I was wrong. I was envisioning Hamels and Myers as 1 and 1A for years to come but I guess Hamels will be 1 and Myers will always be a 2 or 3.

It's soon to annoint or presume Hamels as the No. 1 pitcher. He's been better lately, and there's no reason to think he won't be good, but he will struggle again.

Let's just face it, there *is* no number one pitcher on this staff. And it's doubtful there will be one next year.

For Myers to be a "little out of shape" in the middle of August is inexcusable. Not only did he have a month off in the middle of the season due to his off-field behavior, but it was in no way injury-related.

This would be a different story if Myers had gotten hurt in the middle of the season and then struggled/got tired. Still less than ideal but understandable. His conditioning looks atrocious and definitiely plays into his current situation.

As for Myers' teammates and what they really think, it is hard to say. None of his current teammates have made any damning comments but if both ex-coaches and ex-teammates rip you, there must be something about him that rubs people the wrong way.

Basically, it comes down to the fact that Myers is mentally weak. Getting in excellent shape is more of a mental thing than a physical thing at his age. Plus, he has a horrible tendency to get fluxomed if something doesn't go his way and immediately lose his focus.

Unfortunately, the Phils' do need his arm next season but the Phils' management should privately make it clear this his behavior and conditioning will not be tolerated next season.

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