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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

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That would have been nice, but they obviously had no intention of losing him.

Ichiro batting leadoff for the Phils...stop, I'm getting a woody. Oh wait, wet dream, because that's all it will ever be...a dream.

i think they'd have a better chance of getting god to reincarnate babe ruth and put him on the team than they did of getting ichiro away from the mariners.

Yeh, I admit Ichiro is good, but how many books has he written?

>Yeh, I admit Ichiro is good, but how many
>books has he written?

and how many ice cream cones can he eat in the clubhouse?

And how many planes can he fly?

The managment apologists and Pollyannas who love the Phillies farm system won't like it it, but here's another great Conlin column:

Bill Conlin | Their prospects are dim
PHILS' TOP PICKS SINCE 2003 NOT SHOWING MUCH

CLEARWATER, Fla. - It's simple logic that the top picks made by any major league organization over four June drafts will be well-distributed. If the scouts did their jobs and the selections were both lucky and good, the 2003 pick would be in The Show by now, or knocking on the door, particularly a college pick from a high-profile program like the University of Texas.

The top 2004 pick should be putting up big numbers somewhere in Class A, even if he was a high-school hotshot.

OK, a college star taken in 2005 as a club's No. 1 pick should be on a fairly fast track and playing in a high-Class A league.

This June's jewel? A high-school pick could be right here in the short-season Gulf Coast League. Ditto a sandwich pick.

Through a strange alignment of the moon, the stars, bad drafting and sheer coincidence, all of the Phillies' top June picks since 2003, plus this year's 37th selection overall (sandwich round), are crammed onto two minor league teams sharing the same acreage that hosts Bright House Network Field and the Carpenter Complex. It's about a Ryan Howard homer from home plate where the Clearwater Threshers play to the sun-scorched complex diamond where the Gulf Coast League Phillies play other GCL teams at high noon (free

admission) after the morning workout.

All this strange convergence of the cream of four drafts has set back the payroll-shedding Phillies about $4.04 million in signing bonuses. Or, a little less than the $4.2 million they shelled out to 2001 first-rounder Gavin Floyd. In 2002, Cole Hamels received $2 million to wear pinstripes.

On a suffocating night (game-time temp 92), I watched the Threshers and their three top draft picks seize first place in the FSL West from the Tampa Yankees, a nice "take that" touch. Next door, Bobby Abreu-Cory Lidle deal low-enders Carlos Monasterios, a lefthander, and Jesus Sanchez, a catcher, were unpacking after the 20-mile drive from the Yankees' complex.

Remember, that by 2003 - when their first pick didn't come until the third round - general manager Ed Wade was playing free-agent bingo. The Phils drafted smallish Longhorns second baseman Tim Moss. He was a College World Series guy and only cost Mike Arbuckle $440,000. Had Moss been signed for peanuts in a late round, he would be getting on with the rest of his life by now. After 56 games at Double A Reading, the 24-year-old Moss was a rolling stone batting a pathetic .180. So they sent him back for a second semester of thrashing with the Threshers.

At Reading and Clearwater, the 160-pounder has struck out an alarming 123 times in just 360 ABs, two more Monday night. He's no longer on the 40-man roster.

Centerfielder Greg Golson is the classic too-much, too-soon study. Watching him run the bases, chase down balls and unfurl spark-trailing throws, you say, "Wow." See him hack feebly at the breaking ball and you say, "Ow."

Golson ($1.475 million) was a

legit first-rounder in 2004, an Austin, Texas, five-tooler who was asked by the folks who made him a high-school All-America what he wanted to be doing in 10 years. Greg replied, "In 10 years I want to be the leading vote-

getter for the All-Star Game."

If the swing he showed batting No. 2 in Threshers manager Greg Legg's lineup is a measure of 10 years down the road, Golson won't be going to an All-Star Game without buying a ticket. At low-A Lakewood, the kid started putting the ball in play in June and worked his average

all the way up to .220. Still, an athlete projected as a 1- to 3-hole hitter had walked just 19 times in 387 ABs with 107 strikeouts. And isn't that just what Pat

Gillick needs for the Money Pit, more smallish guys who lack home-run power, striking out by the score?

A brief word on Hector Made, the young shortstop who came over from the Tampa Yankees for Sal Fasano. Hector did a strange and wonderful thing. He dropped a beautiful sacrifice to move a runner into scoring position. And the run was actually driven in. Can this be legal? A quick check of the J-Roll stat sheet reveals that the varsity shortstop and leadoff hitter from hell has zero sacrifice bunts, yet has grounded into 11 doubleplays.

Mike Costanzo, the local guy out of Coastal Carolina University, was the Phils' second-round pick last June, another year of no first-rounder. Mike got $575,000. Big guy, lefthanded

hitter, decent hands, not much range, but a bionic throwing arm from third base. It looks like this great arm will die on the vine. But his career can be saved if somebody says, "Mike, you've got an arm from God, but the only way you'll use it in the big leagues is to catch." Charlie Manuel, by the way, thinks he could be a closer. Arbuckle apparently sees the next Tomas Perez.

Meanwhile, these Boys of Simmer baked through a collective 1-for-11 with four strikeouts. Each is in a different stage of a long, hard journey.

Next door... This June's first-rounder, righthander Kyle Drabek, got $1.55 million. Teammate shortstop Adrian Cardenas got $925,000 and is the star of the team. I say he makes The Show.

On grounds he was overpitched during his fabulous Texas high-school season, Drabek is essentially auditing the GCL. His ERA is 14.40 after five rusty innings. A talented shortstop, Drabek is 0-for-2 with two walks as a DH.

The cynic in me saw Brad Brink's career shatter on that same field many years ago. The cynic whispers to me, "Damaged goods."


Yes, clout... we read the paper every day.

Do you think Ichiro! goes all-in on an A-K suited? At least there was an attempt. Nobody would have even returned a call from Ed Wade.

Aw, clout, that article depresses me.

I think as long as clout continues to whine about "management apologists", we should call him a Pat Burrell worshipper. It's probably not true at all, but fight fire with fire, right?

Is anybody else very tired of Bill Conlin? He's that cynical great uncle who always rains on the parade by telling you about how good things used to be and how they'll never get better. "The farm system is awful (after attending one game), the ballpark is The Money Pit and keeps away everybody, the players flat out stink and this team will never win." Bill Conlin is one of the reasons why Philadelphia has such a bad reputation. He's one of the reasons nobody plays here. Nobody wants to come to town and listen to Bill Conlin trash them for doing their job. Here he is trashing kids who have never even heard of him. Personally, I would much rather have Jayson Stark and Jim Salisbury feeding me Phils columns than Conlin, Marcus Hayes, and their Negadelphia ilk. When I'm King of the World, Bill Conlin will stop writing.

bill conlin didn't vote for nolan ryan to get into the hall of fame and still gets paid to give his opinion about baseball. God bless America.

I take every media figure with at least a pound of salt and some more than others. They fill the time until 7:05 eastern and do all they can to bring in more readers. Conlin has been pretty genial to me when I have emailed him - we had a nice back and forth about the status of Dave Coggin's gooey shoulder a few months back. (I went to the same physical therapist that he did.) What they print in the paper or squawk on the radio is biased toward market share. Which is why I visit here - I like the difference and defense of arguments to get toward reality.

i'd rather have padilla than nolan ryan. padilla is first ballot baby.

I can't believe that Conlin wrote an article that didn't have a sentence start with, "Back in 1973, I remember standing near the batting cage talking to Paul Owens in Clearwater...".

Live in the now, Bill.

I disagree with Conlin -- I would have voted for Ryan first ballot -- but he's not the only writer who held Ryan's relatively low career winning pct. for a HOFer (.526) against him. And I second Mike H on Conlin's email demeanor.

Was Ichiro a scab?

By scab, are you asking if Ichiro was a replacement player in 1995 ? Ichiro has only been playing in MLB since 2001.

However during the strike, there was a lot of media coverage of Japanese baseball, and this is when Ichiro first was introduced to American audiences, so he does have a weird bond to the 1994 strike.

Talk about a black hole -- Lieby (.236) , Nunez (.157) , Myers (.026).

Aaron Rowand continuing to come through in the clutch with 2 outs and RISP. -- Brutal .

Conlin is still a great writer, and no one has earned Philly the label as a tough media town more than he. But he does have a tendency to beat dead horses, and write too frequently about what he sees in Clearwater rather than Philadelphia. Okay, Bill we get it: the farm system is as dry as ever. Thanks for the breaking news.

Why didn't the Cards walk Howard to get to Burrell in the second? I thought LaRussa was some bigshot managerial genius. Those weren't real good percentages, Tony.

nunez, is awful.

if only we had a guy on the bench that was tearing the cover off the ball in the bigs, and was competent at 3b in aaa...

anybody know where we can find one of those?

Did I just see Dellucci snub Rollins at home plate after the homerun?

Sorry there was no official/unofficial game thread tonight. Maybe the Cards will sign Ryan Franklin off waivers. He's better than Weaver. That's the worst pitching the Phils have seen since Adam Bernero.

I got the impression Dellucci had his head down and didn't see Rollins...although, you never know...

It's true, Weaver is the kind of guy teams like the Phillies usually pick up on their very last legs, not the Cardinals. Were they ever teeing off on anything he left anywhere near the strike zone.

Lake Fred - funny stuff. Ichiro also has subpar facial hair.

I always thought Fasano had plus facial hair.

Yeah. Like the Padres last year, the Cardinals are the team everyone will want to face in the playoffs. Actually, that applies to anyone but the Mets. NL is really pathetic. I look around, and the two teams I like for the Wild Card, at this moment, are actually the Dodgers and Phillies.

You heard me. Dodgers and Phillies. That opinion could change 20 times before the end of the season.

At least Utley will get 5 chances tonight for sure

Aaron Miles...are you kidding me??

Dodgers and Phillies eh? 100% they lose this game.

You see, Madson's an even worse bullpen option than he is in the rotation. He gives up more homers than Franklin.

If the Phils hold on they will only be 3.5 out of the wildcard lead. Amazing!! They, however, need to hold on to this one first.

Phils are just lucky Pujols is swinging a cold stick up there right now, for once.

If they're going to be using Madson out of the pen, I hate to say it, but it needs to be as the long man.

If there is one thing consistent about Madson, it is his inconsistency.

Think there's ever been a team who sold off veterans at the deadline, and then went on to make the playoffs anyway?

I can't recall any, but maybe someone else can.

It's heartening to see the Phillies are playing a little better, but I don't quite have illusions of anything more than just getting back to .500.

Speaking of heartening, Lieby looks like he might not be done, after all.

Lieberthal sees his chance to possibly go to Beantown, so of course he is going to pick up his play, much like Abreu finally busting his ass down to first last night against the Jays to try and con the Yankee fans into thinking that he isn't as lazy as his persona alludes.

Coste is a freaking stud!!

Coste should catch five to six times a week until he proves otherwise. I am amazed at how clutch he has been. I have done a complete 180 on him. I was ready to ship him down when he was 0 for 14. He really has been downright amazing! Imagine riding his back to the wildcard! Sounds crazy I know, but who knows what to think anymore when you look at the standings, especially with the Phillies recent play. Simply amazing!

Chase baby!!

Speaking of amazing!! 34 for Chase!!

Utley! Damn, he hustles.

That is horrible!! They took it off the board and gave him a FC!! Damn the Cardinals!!

Fielder's choice? Man, that St. Louis scorer is brutal.

6 RBIs for Abreu's replacements tonight. No walks though.

damn, that was reversed, again! 34 for chase!

last i checked, you needed an out for an FC.

They changed it again! Good for Chase! Could you imagine losing it like that? With it already on the board as a hit? Unbelievable!

Typical St. Louis, Tony LaRussa, bullbleep. That is atrocious.

Watch Burrell hit a meaningless home run...

Now LaRussa will probably pitch around Utley every at-bat tomorrow (even with Howard behind him). I cannot stand him. I used to love it when Ron Gant torched the Cards, burning LaRussa everytime in the process!

Rick White...are you kidding me?? Get him the hell out of there!!

rick white has plus facial hair.

You know that official scorer sucks. There is no way that Roberson should have been denied a hit, let alone Rolen charged with an error on that play. Probably a pay back for Utley in some weird kind of way (although Rolen may disagree).

Rollins 5 runs scored, 2 hrs, & 4 rbi!

The Rollins bashers have been awfully quiet lately.

I still like him, but JRoll isn't even at .270.

Cards used 19 guys in this game.

Make it 20 guys. This is one of these games where Whitey would have been talking about pizza and a hundred other things. Damn, I still miss him.

rollins is what heis, streaky.

but when he's on, he's very, very on.

No more trades - they finally have a motivated clubhouse - thanks Lidle - and the right amount of talent at each position. Rollins to Utley to Howard is the best double play combination in a hundred years and thank goodness they kept Burrell and Lieberthal - they need some righty pop to go with all of those great lefties plus they are five over .500 with Lieberthal starting. Now just move Dellucci down to 5 Utley up to 2 and Burrell to 3 and you have a combo that can't be topped by left-handed specialists! Finally we are going to make the playoffs and possibly get to face Wagner and Lidle on the way to the first Series since 1993!

The Rollins bashers have been awfully quiet lately.

Just wait until the hits stop falling (and his average-driven OBP starts falling).

Pretty sad, really. Our leadoff hitter gets on base 37% of the time for a two-week span and it's noteworthy.

I don't just look at Rollins as "The Leadoff Hitter" and judge him by his failures and strengths according to this alone. Those who do are selling him short.

J-Roll is a 80-90 RBI guy if he's hitting 6th in our line-up.

Conlin is the center of the black hole negativity in the Philly media but he has a well-earned point. I made the point a couple of days ago on this blog that this club's drafts since 2003 have stunk.

Their top picks have really stunk and a large reason the Phils took these guys is because they signed cheap. Besides, the top draft picks since 2003, look at the overall team drafts since then. With the exception of a few arms, they have been just dreadful.

I just don't see where this club is going to get any internal help, especially in 2007 or 2008. It just isn't there right now. The only way for this team to really improve in the next few years is via FA or trade and trade options are limited due to the limited number of Phils prospects.

I still say trade Lieby if some team wants him (Boston?).

Last night's win was great. I'm loving the fact that this team is playing better lately. Even better...Dellucci is doing an excellent job filling in for WalkMaster.

Imagine Hamels pitching a gem tonight to get the Phils even closer to .500 and a wild card. I still think they won't get the wild card, not even within 1 game like last season, but hey this is fun!

I have no foundation for this assertion, but I contend J-Roll would be a 100+ RBI guy in the 6th hole. Let the lineup as is right now though...it's winning.

conlin spent one (1) night watching "top" draft picks. he must be an expert now.

Now that Abreu is gone, Rollins is the lead-off guy by default. This problem has transformed from Rollins fault to the Phillie's responsibilty to get some who can do the job (and is willing, unlike Abreu). There's nobody who could perform the job so much better that it would be worth the risk (Rollins getting down, losing productivity) to move him in the lineup.

Larussa won't pitch around Utley today. He basically came out of the dugout in April and made them throw a strike to Rollins. Although it's August and he might not go that far, he's not gonna be known as That Guy Who Pitched Around History.

Phillies playoff tickets:

718-507-TIXX

Everybody hits....woooohoooooooo!

Last night, I flicked on ESPN to try to catch the Phillies score in the crawl at the bottom of the screen. To my suprise, they were televising the Phillies and they were winning 8-2. And as an added bonus...no Joe Morgan. Seeing the Phils on the tube here in N'Awlins is so rare, I plopped myself on the couch and didn't leave until the last out.

This was the first time I had actually seen some of these players. I was suprised that Madson looks so young. He didn't look too good as a reliever, giving up that quick home run. I think he should be a starter.

Rick White is just plain ugly. That beard with the shaved head is hideous. The announcer referred to White as an "innings eater". I checked his career stats. This is his 11th team in 13 years. In only one year did he exceed 100 innings pitched. The way he pitched last night, I wouldn't give him very many innings to "eat". He was bad.

Then they bring in Fultz. He lucked out in not giving up any runs. He didn't look very good, either.

I think the announcers went on too long about Utley's first hit. Utley clearly beat the ball to the bag, irregardless of where the first baseman's foot was.

With the Abreu trade, we've been writing a lot about prospects languishing at single A. Here's a story in this morning's New Orleans paper (http://www.nola.com/sports/t-p/index.ssf?/base/sports-24/115459122153330.xml&coll=1) about a local college boy, Tulane pitcher Micah Owings drafted by Arizona in the third round last year. He's coming to town, starting tonight for Arizona's Tuscon triple A club sporting a 7-0 record in nine starts! Why can't the Phillies draft like that. Being a third rounder, the Phils had their chances to get this guy.

Lake Freddie,

It looks like the Phils got a 3rd round gem! J.A. Happ. 3rd round pick in 2004 out of Northwestern. He's pitched great this year. He was promoted to Reading not too long ago.

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/H/James-Happ.shtml

Gosh, I hope the Madson starting experiment is over for good!!!

i would prefer madson starting to lieber these days.

Tony, I checked out Happ's stats. He looks good. I really like drafting college players instead of high schoolers. They are more mature both physically and mentally. They are older, and therefore closer to their prime years, meaning less years to wait for them to develop into major leaguers. I went to business school and know all about the time value of money. The risk vs. reward potential mixed with time value means that these high schoolers better be great to justify the extra time and money needed to get them ready for MLB.

Joe, I agree with you. Lieber is only going to get worse, at least Madson has upside potential.

Madson stinks as a starter and the Phils are on the hook for $8 million next year for Lieber. Sadly, it means that Lieber is a starter by default next season. Hopefully he can rebound a little bit next season.

We could still get rid of Lieber in the offseason. Never say never.

Instead of a "no trade" clause, maybe the phils should impose weight limits. Lieber should be off to the fat farm this off season. You would think a professional athlete would keep himself in appropriate shape to do his job especially when he is receiving millions of dollars to do a job well.

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