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Sunday, August 06, 2006


Weitz, I started the Lieby to Beantown rumor, and mine fell through. Maybe your Lieber to LA/Anaheim will pan out...we can only hope!

Despite yesterday's debacle, I'm still excited for tonight's game because I think the Phillie will answer back.

"Go Wild Phillies!"

I just want to take this opportunity to state that I absolutely detest Tony LaRussa. I think he's one of those guys who gets sanctimonious when pointing out alleged misconducts by other players, but when it comes to his team or his decisions to have ppl hit by pitches, it's "good, hard effort". He just annoys me for some reason.

Ed, couldn't agree with you more.

Stub, you shoulda told me you were going to the Harrisburg/Reading game, I was thinking about going myself.

I'm still in Bermuda, so I missed last night's heartbreaker, but I'll be tuned in for tonight's game on ESPN. To respond to some of last night's Lieber comments, is his groin injury part of the reason for his poor conditioning? Oh, and Ed and S&B: Exhibit A for your argument is the way Tony -- a lawyer, no less -- looked the other way on Big Mac's andro diet.

Stub- yesterday's loss reminded me of a certain phrase we like to say "gimmie-n-E"!

what the hell is wrong, i keep posting comments, but nothing is showing up, i go back to the main page and it shows there are more comments in the thread than i can see when i actually click on the comments?!

I wouldn't mind seeing Lieber get traded since his money could be used more productively next season (that is if the Phils' ownership actually spend any of it). Still if Lieber is traded, it basically ends any hope of this team making any kind of run at the WC because it means Madson returns as a starter.

Still, why do people on this site still insist on seeing Madson start? He is god awful and is having one of the worst seasons as a Phils' starter in recent history.

People might counter that Madson is on pace to win 12 or 13 games. If he does win 12 games, he will be just the 3rd pitcher since 1930 with 12 or more wins and an ERA over 6.00. Other two pitchers (Astacio, Bohanon) both pitched for the Rockies. It is basically very good run support and stupid look that Madson has this many wins.

Madson stinks as a starter and he has had ample opportunity to prove otherwise this season. Put him in the pen where he has some value to this team.

Don't hold your breath on the Lieber to Anaheim possibility. The Angels have called Joe Saunders back up (he was a 2002 #1 pick). In 3 games started this year he is 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA. His first stint back up with the club today included 7 innings of 3 hit ball.

Madson should never start again. I think Weitzel put it best when he said he only has 2 pitches, and that doesn't get him by in the starting role...hell, he's barely getting by in the releiving role.

Lieberthal is starting tonight. In my opinion, Coste should get the start, particularly since Coste has thrown better, and hit better, than Lieby, although both of them were hitless in their last starts. The Mets have Reyes and some other speed. Thoughts, folks?

coste should start every game he is able to, instead of lieberthal.

eagles up 7-0. E-A-G-L-E-S (that one is for you, Drama Queen)

the angles rumor has already made the rounds at i don't see it happening. you might actually get something for him in the off season if he has his traditional stretch run.

no offense davthom73, but eagles chants are tacky enough at phillies game. they sure as hell don't belong on phils blogs.

Wasn't my post. Take a look above, gr. But personally, I didn't have a problem with the one short reference, early in the game, anyway.

Random thoughts...

We better hope McNabb doesnt every get hurt, watching Garcia is painful...

Matieson pitches with confidence, maybe we should hypnotize Gavin Floyd?

I'll need a full report on Mathieson; I'm only stopping by quickly before settling down the rest of the evening to watch a movie. Looking at Yahoo!, I see lots of ground balls. Very exciting development for a team in need of starting pitching.

Well didn't that go to hell in a hurry...

here's your full report: Mathieson has nice stuff, but he's still a minor league pitcher. Doesn't keep his stuiff down enough. One good spin throught he lineup, then the wheels fell off in the 4th, thanks to another bad throw from the mound to 1st.

sorry dav, my mistake.

Fielding mistakes killing us in this series.

No problem, gr. Wow, didn't that game go down the drain fast.

I think we'd have better luck hypnotizing Pink Floyd than Gavin Floyd at this point.

Coste should have started tonight. Not that he would have stopped 47's immolation, but he should be starting at least two games and in three per week.

That LaRussa stuff is total garbage, too.

Nothing like J-Roll swinging at ball 4 twice to take us out of another inning. 3 ABs and 3 flyouts. At least the Reds lost today...

Nunez could have also busted it down to second and maybe Roberson comes away with an infield hit on his high chopper to second...

Well, if the 7.5 runs per game that has everyone here so excited about their chances continues, then this game isn't over yet.

BTW, I hate LaRussa too. He and Guillen can battle it out for the most arrogant manager of recent times.

Cholly put Castro in. Without even seeing the scoreboard, you know the Phils are down by 7.

This blows my mind,a pitcher screwing up ANOTHER throw to first! And then that cookie to Reyes. These are minor league type mistakes that we have to put up with, the teething marks of a young ML pitcher.

That guy Maine had great stuff, but could've been had when he was in that wild spell.

LaRussa is a lawyer, what do you expect?

Is it possible we can see Castro in a close game for once ? This guy throws hard and has a nice breaking ball. Should we now refer to .160 as the "Nunez line" ? He's back under it at .159. Another o-fer and 2 more strikeouts tonight. I don't care if this guy fields like Scott Rolen and Brooks Robinson combined -- which he doesn't. I can't take seeing him get 4 ABs a game for the next 2 months.

Ragtop, I agree. -- Maine was wild high and Phils hitters were making it easy for him by chasing. Unearned runs kill you.

I said Coste should have gotten the start tonight, but I'll give credit where credit is due. Lieberthal's HR and his shot to the left field wall the ninth, are part of his much improved hitting performance (3 HRs and 8 RBI''s in Lieberthal's last 8 games)of late. Coste does throw better than Lieby, but Mets base stealing obviously was no factor in tonight's dismal result.

Yeah, Lieby starts hitting after Coste catches fire. Coincidence?

Probably not. Lieby has seemed much more "with it" and aggressive, both at the plate, and behind it, over his last several games.

Lieberthal will probably get the start tomorrow night in Atlanta, because Myers is pitching, but Coste certainly shouldn't have to sit so much now, after the way he has been hitting the cover off the ball.

It's funny how a rookie hitting .370 while throwing out 5 of 11 baserunners can make one get "with it" so quickly.

Yeah, I think you're right. Lieberthal's recent upgraded performances only underscore how the "laid back one" was coasting, (not "Coste-ing").

Yes, one thing all Beerleaguers agree on...Tony LaRussa is a gasbag.

My dear clout, I am not suggesting the Phillies will continue their rate of offensive output without Abreu - as we see, it's quickly fallen off the last couple of games. I suppose my point was that it's been rather difficult to discern any evidence thus far that they are so much weaker a team without his golden bat in the lineup.

I don't know what to expect from Mathieson down the road, but I wouldn't be counting on him for next year's rotation. He looks mighty green.

What about the idea of giving newly-acquired (in the Cormier trade) RHP Justin Germano a shot? Although Germano has had only one start at Scranton Wilkes-Barre since his arrival from the Reds (6 IP, 1 ER, 3K's, 1.50 ERA), Germano had an intriguing spot start for Cincinnati on July 29th, when he was being "shopped" to the Phillies. [5.2 IP, 4 ER, & 8K's]. Germano was up with the Reds briefly earlier this season, and pitched a scoreless inning at Wrigley back in May. Germano, 23, went 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in 2 games with Cincinnati, and 8-6 with a 3.69 ERA in 18 starts and 1 relief appearance for Louisville in AAA this season. Germano's numbers at Louisville: 117 IP, 124 hits, 48 ER's, 22 BB, & 67 SO's. Germano's 8 wins at the time of the Cormier trade were tied for the Louisville team lead. As far as I am concerned, there are one, possibly two, "designation" candidates to give Germano the roster spot.

After a weekend series against the NL's strongest team, the Phils fall back only 1 game in the WC chase - not disastrous.

Looking ahead, the pitching matchups against Atlanta are favorable, then Cincy comes into town.


Sounding very calm there voice of reason.:]

Yeah. Still in it only 3 1/2 back. Myers and Hamels up next is very favourable. Hopefully the bats start talking again and bust up the Braves.

I like the idea of giving Germano a go as well Davthom. Why not. All the other young blokes are getting a look in.

DavThom73, I think we will see Germano at some point; definitely when they expand the rosters in a few weeks. Wildcard talk is fun, but even the most optimistic Phan must realize that this Phils team does not have starting pitching to be able to be able to play .625 ball over an extended period.

It's past my bedtime, but I have to report that I watched the game on ESPN and Joe Morgan is terrible. The other guy with him was really pullong for the Mets when it was still scoreless. What a bunch of stiffs.

I don't think Mathieson was as bad as that 7 run inning and I don't think Maine is as good as his 20+ scoreless innings string.

Nunez must have goat pictures of Gillick. He must've told Gillick, "Trade Bell before August first and play me everyday or else the pictures go up on Beerleaguer."

The ESPN stiffs went on and on about Reyes and nary a word about J-Roll. Aren't they about the same?

I like Davthom's suggestion about Germano. Give him Lieby the whale's spot after Lieby goes to the AL.

The Phillies game highlight? By default it goes to Lieberthal's homerun. Having Coste in the dugout and the other half of the "black hole" exiled to another team has Lame Duck Lieberthal hitting better.

I know the Astros made it to the Series after getting the wild card last year, but should we somehow, by a miracle, squeeze into the postseason, it's not as if we'd have a shot at winning, so... what difference does it make?

Can we officially pronounce the ridiculous WC talk now dead? This rotation has a guy struggling to get back (Wolf), a guy who looks over-the-hill and has struggled all year (Lieber), and two rookies who are not yet reliable (Hamels, Mathieson).

If the Phils had another solid starter besides Myers, maybe they could make a run if another 3rd starter got hot but no way this team has 2 or 3 of the aforementioned starters pitch well the rest of the season.

Great more indications that the Phils are all about cost-savings and pinching pennies in the near future.

Great logic from Phils' management about not wanting to wrap up Utley and Howard in long-term deals because they don't want to get burnt again. You damn cheap bastards. What the hell was all that crap about using the savings from trading Abreu and freeing up salary.

Agreed, freeing up salary was what they wanted. I hope they use it for these class players. Cause we need 'em bad. I'm sure management are'nt stupid enough to lose Utley or Howard. Those 2 along with J-Roll, Myers and Hamels are the nucleus to a successful team in the future. All things must start with them, by building the team around them.

Reyes and J-Roll are NOT about the same. Reyes as greatly matured this season, and will continue to do so because he's young (23/24 I believe). I hate the Mets and I hate to talk about their players being good, but Reyes is better than J-Roll.

BloodStripes- my positive vibe has worn...need Myers to pitch a gem tonight and the offense to return for my positive vibe to return.

I was gone for the weekend, but when I heard Wright's new ridiculous contract extension, I just groaned. How much is keeping Utley and Howard going to cost us? There goes all that money that Gillick saved.

Reyes has a higher BA, more RBIs, higher slugging %, but J-Roll has more HRs. The numbers other than BA aren't that far apart. J-Roll is a better fielder with more total chances, less errors and therefore a better fielding percentage. J-Roll's about four years older and has been hiiting at the wrong slot in the line-up. Last night, Reyes was the star, but I still stand by my remark that they are about the same.

I've been saying that the phils need to take 5 of the ten from the Mets this month. And this weekend's performance doesn't discourage me from this POV at all. They need to win 4 of 7 of the rest. No problem. They do, however, need to to keep the previous pace in all the other games, especially the Reds.

Will- I wasn't trying to trash your statement, but based on age and performance this season, Reyes is of higher quality than J-Roll in my opinion. I agree Jimmy shouldn't be the leadoff hitter. I agree Jimmy is the better fielder, and should be considered for a gold glove, but Reyes is nice with the mitt too!

that last post should have been directed to Lake Fred not bad.

I've read several vague references on here about Burrell's habits off the field.

But what was the deal with the bags under his eyes last night? I'm talking *bags*. Like, noticeable from my little TV across the living room bags.

They had a day game and then a night game. Not enough sleep?

He is God awful right now.

Burrell's nightly habits have been well documented, the dude is a straight up pimp.

Geez, what a bunch of fair weather Phans. Last week, everyone was talking about how the Phils had a real shot at the WC, that this was not a rebuild effort, they'd be a contender next year, that the team was better off without Abreu, the offense wouldn't miss him, Victorino is a star waiting to happen etc. etc. Two losses to the Mets got everyone so glum?

P.S. to Lake Fred, the big problem with a Reyes/Rollins comparison is age, as DQ noted. Until this year, statistically they were similar: Good glove, good speed, mild pop, no clue about the strike zone, hideous OB. Reyes was always a much better base stealer. But the key is that Reyes is only 23 and has sharply improved his BB/K ratio and BA this season. So we are seeing a learning curve that still has a few years before it peaks. Rollins is 27 and he too, believe it or not, has improved his BB/K ratio, but his BA is down and he's at an age where there usually isn't much more upside as a player gets older. I don't think there's a huge difference between the 2 players today, but there will be a huge difference between the 27-year-old Reyes and the 27-year-old Rollins, in my opinion. I think Rollins, like Utley, Howard, Hamels & Myers, is one of the foundation blocks for the rebuilding effort. But he should never, ever hit leadoff.

P.P.S. I predict that Mathieson, like Madson, will eventually prove far more useful as a reliever.

Agree with davthom that next open roster spot needs to go to Justin Germano. He doesn't have great upside, but he's about as ready as he's going to be. He's a Bob Tewksbury type (for old timers out there) who can't break glass with his fastball and gives up a ton of hits, but throws 3 pitches for strikes, doesn't walk anyone and can eat innings as a 5th starter.

Okay, clout & DQ, I agree. They are about the same right now, but J-Roll probably has peaked while Reyes should improve, so down the road Reyes should be better, while J-Roll will be ordering his wheelchair. One caveat is that the future is never predictable. Batting somewhere else may improve J-Roll's batting numbers and Reyes may get a big head and be mediocre the rest of his career (or maybe that has already happened to J-Roll)!

Ridiculous wild card talk? Depends on whether you believe the glass is half-full or half-empty.
Will Lieber continue to pitch like an an over-the-hill starter or will he finally put together an end-of-year streak similar to those in '04 and '05?
Will Wolf struggle to get back to his former self the remainder of the season or will his strength and command improve with each outing?
Will Hamels remain inconsistent or will he continue to evolve as a potential No. 1 with more gems than stinkers?
Can the Phils offense come through enough to win a few 9-7 or 10-8 games when Mathieson pitches or will he soon be replaced and relegated to the back end of the bullpen?

Are any of these stretch of the imagination (perhaps too much Kool-Aid), or are they realistic possibilities? I tend to believe the latter.
Sure, everything has to go right but the same can be said for any of the 7 or 8 teams still in WC contention.
Yes, the Phils are just as likely to quickly fall out of contention as they are to rise to the front of the race but to label playoff talk as ridiculous is, at this point, well, ah ... ridiculous.

Add in the favourable schedule (only 10 games remaining against teams currently with winning records, none after August 27), and the weak NL (84 wins may put a team in the playoffs), and the Phils have to be considered a legitimate contender; not the current favorites, but legitmate contenders nonetheless.

Plain & Simple: 3.5 games back with 52 games to go - Phils remain in the wild card race.


I remember last year at this time when the Phils were battling Houston for the WC race, on paper the Astros had this great pitching staff where they had Clemens, Oswalt and Pettitte were better than any of our starters, yet the Phils hung in because of hitting. Our staff now consists of Myers, Moe, Larry, Shemp and Curly. We have as good a chance as the other 15 teams in the mix.

the Mets are the best team in the NL. We really should have won that series, because we gave Saturday's game away. Last night was just a mess. Bouncing back tonight with our ace on the mound is very important. Any prolonged streak of losing with place the Phillies out of wild card contention.

This was about the same time last year that a lot of experts thought the Phils could slide into the playoffs on the backs of the bullpen (Madson, Urbina and Wagner). Basically, the starting five was good for a Lilde-like 6 innings, 3 runs, and the bullpen was good enough to shut the door most nights. The offense really started clicking a little later in August (I think).

I remember Rollins & Lofton leading the way with a great OBP. Phils need to ride another hot streak by JRoll to stay in the race.

Of course, if Cholly returns, that will only mean another season of Rollins batting leadoff.

Geary, Rhodes, and Gordon are this year's Madson, Urbina, and Wagner...not as good!

As we always come to the conclusion: the offense is fueled by the leadoff hitter, and in this case J-Roll. I would love for the Phillies to get a legit leadoff guy for next season, but usually those type of players don't become available.

Has the Beerleuguer blog site died? I have been refreshing this screen for at least three hours with no changes. I can't believe that no one wanted to add there two cents over lunchtime.

juan pierre - on the cheap after a down year.

Just read an article this morning that the Cubbies are trying lock up Juan Pierre. I like him, because he's pesky, but honestly, I don't think he'd be that much better than J-Roll at leadoff, but if the Phils signed him I wouldn't be disappointed.

MG, I can certainly agree that the notion the Phillies have a shot at a wild-card card seems preposterous - they aren't a very good team. But then there's the reality: 3.5 out with over 50 to play. So they do, but they don't, but they do. I personally don't think they have even enough to beat out the other competing mediocrities...and then there's the part of me that would just find it embarrassing to have a team with 82 or 83 wins get some cheap playoff berth and be knocked on its ass in the first round. I'd rather do it the way the Mets are doing it if it's going to ever happen at all.

RSB - I'll take em when I can get 'em.

yes, the phils are mediocre at best this year.

so is the entire NL.

and if they make the playoffs, you still need to actually PLAY those games, and anything can happen in a short series!

/me the eternal optimist.

RSB - Remember the '73 Mets: in the fifth year of divisional play they're able to go 83-79 and grab a "cheap" playoff berth, then go on to World Series after beating The Big Red Machine in the NLCS.

Not saying the Phillies are going on to the World Series - just trying to make a point! Ya just never know.

RSB - Making the playoffs also might make the Phils more of a desirable destination for free agents during the offseason, don't you think? Even if the team does get "knocked on its ass in the first round," some playoff excitement would help the franchise all around. Finishing way out of the hunt with an unruly, unhappy and very vocal fan base means we'll have to overspend for crap - like we did for Damien Bell.

Franklin is gone to the reds for that "a player to be named later" guy. Good riddance.

You guys do have a point, and I doubt I'd really be moping if the Phillies somehow ended up on top of the pile and got in 'cheaply'. It could help the franchise a more attractive destination for players, but then again it could serve to delude everyone that the roster is good enough without many changes and next year we go through the same deal all over again. I would tend to seriously doubt it'd make them a candidate to reach the World Series, but if I suppose if they were hot enough to beat everyone else out, they could concievably carry that momentum, a la previous wild card winners like Houston, Florida, Anaheim.

Then again, I must maintain that this is all strictly hypothetical; I'm sorry, but I just don't think they have the kind of pitching staff or dynamic offense that can achieve any sort of hot streak or extended momentum in the first place.

RSB: the way the mets do it? you mean throw money at everyone? oh I get it, you mean play well all the time.

You mean the Reds now have Franklin and Cormier in their pen? Sheesh, what kind of way is that to win a wild card. Hey, y'think they want White back, while they're at it?

Any playoff experience would also be nice for Utley and Howard.

Hey, you have to give the Mets more credit than that. The Phillies threw their money around and it got them nowhere - and likewise for the Mets in many past seasons as well. I guess that's why I was so surprised that this strategy finally worked for them this time.

You mean the Reds now have Franklin and Cormier in their pen? Sheesh, what kind of way is that to win a wild card. Hey, y'think they want White back, while they're at it?

It's all part of our master plan to sabotage the enemy.

They threw around $15 million more than the phils ever did, did it with a GM who's better than Wade ever could be, and chose a season when all the other divisional rivals were reducing payroll and talent levels.

I agree with DQ on Pierre. His OB last season was .326 and so far this year it's .323. He'd actually be a step down from Rollins. Ironically, the Phils had a great leadoff man last season -- Kenny Lofton. Yeah, he's 39 and yeah he's a total rag arm in the OF, but a .350 OB (.392 last year)offsets a lot of that. Of course, our manager refused to bat him leadoff.

Franklin to the Reds? Really? In that ballpark?

The Phils playoff chances just got better!

I agree with Zach, RSB and Voice. Franklin will cause the Reds to lose three games that they would ordinarily won. That makes the Phils only ½ game behind the Reds, now. Franklin was horrible. He was the worst Phillie. Even worse than Nunez.

Clout- we actually agree on something (Pierre)! Damn it feels good to not be arguing with each other.

About this Wild Card could happen. Will it happen, I say no way. However, I would gladly be wrong in this instance. Losing 2 outta 3 to the Mets was a set back, but let's see how this week plays out with the Braves and Reds. The outcome of the next 6 games will be a huge indication of what the Phils can accomplish in regards to a playoff berth.

I love the fact that the Reds are actually going to give us a player for Franklin. This is along the lines of the Bell and Fasano deals where I'm just glad to get anything in return. I'd like them to send us a hitting prospect, albeit no highly regarded obviously.

I am going to play devil's advocate and state that making the playoffs this year might actually be bad for this team in the long run. The Phils have no shot at winning a WS. None. Anyone who thinks so is either related to Phils' management or under the influence of narotics.

If the Phils somehow sneek in with (yes the other teams are flawed but not as much as the Phils) 83 or 84 wins, it takes the pressure off the Phils' management a bit. They get to talk up the fact to their season ticket holders that they made the playoffs. Probably buys another year or two of PR credibility for this team instead of really restructing this team properly (although I don't believe that this team will ever be a model organization under this ownership). So, in the long run making the playoffs this year might actually be a negative in the long run.

Think of how long the Phils' ownership costed on the feelings of the '93 season. I loved that season but it was a brilliant fluke. Might never happen again for this franchise. If the Phils' make the playoffs again this season, I am willing to be that they have another similiar reaction.

I don't care if the Phils have a losing record and make the playoffs...I just want the playoffs! I understand people reasons for saying making the playoffs "MIGHT" or "MAY" have an adverse effect, but come, most Phillies fans are just dying for a playoff berth. Seriously, this year's team could conceivably win less games than last year's and make the playoffs unlike last year's and I'd be happier. Funny isn't it? Less wins, but happier all because the almighty playoffs!

Probably buys another year or two of PR credibility for this team instead of really restructing this team properly (although I don't believe that this team will ever be a model organization under this ownership).

Except that the organization's stated goal is already to rebuild. I don't think making the playoffs will change their minds about that, especially since they would be making the playoffs with players who are basically projects anyway.

I think Gillick knows what he has and won't be fooled if the team happens to make the playoffs.

MG - I don't think you can really compare the '93 Phils to the '06 team. The '93 team played great all season due to career years by most of the team.
If the '06 team gets in, the fluke would be the weak NL.

I too, hope the owners aren't fooled if they happen to back in to the post-season, but I'd love to see them playing in October and let the chips fall where they will during the off-season.

MG and RSB - you've got us in a circular argument. If the team is good and they're stated plan is to "retool," they can draw better talent if they make the postseason - but you're saying the owners won't retool because they'll feel the Phils are OK as is.

If the team finishes far out of the hunt, they have to spend MORE to draw in talent in the offseason. Sure - but then they'll likely have to overspend - witness Damien Bell's 4-year $16 million deal, which was used to generate excitement before moving into CBP.

I'd rather have the team able to negotiate from a position of strength (as a mediocre team fresh off some playoff excitement) then being in a panic and willing to overspend to placate an unhappy fan base.

Y'know, in the NHL, no one ever laments how they just got traded to/signed by the Flyers, even though that franchise hasn't won a Cup since the 70s. I want a franchise that players WANT to sign with, not one where you have to lay out extra dollars and years just to entice them in the doors at CBP. That's the kind of franchise that will have us singing "Welcome Back" to Damien next season.

Philly can't buy a championship - we need to grow one organically. And the first step isn't a flashy free agent signing or two - it'll be a postseason berth.

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EST. 2005

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