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Friday, September 29, 2006



Looks like your scrappy team did just about the same thing it does every year. Faded down the stretch. And I'm not there, hmmm.... I guess that theory doesn't hold much weight anymore does it?

I'll see you in the playoffs, oh wait. NO I WON'T. Start the Bus, Start the bus.

All you idiots who said I'd be batting 7th in that lineup, that I couldn't produce. Biggest stage in the MLB's, biggest spot in the lineup and I just keep getting it done. Over 100 RBI's, close to 100 scored. Sick OBP and OPS. Nah, you didn't need me. And this just in, the power's turning back on just in time for my first post season trip.

You know, for all the talk about people choking, the Phillies playing tight or players coming up small, Charlie Manuel's poor management or any other reasons for the Phillies (possibly) not making the playoffs, if I were to pick one, it was because they replaced Bobby Abreu with Jeff Conine.

Jeremy: No rational human being would argue that the Phillies are a better team with Conine or Dellucci in RF instead of Abreu. But the fact is, pitching is what sank this team in the first half of the season and pitching is what put it back into playoff contention and neither of those developments had anything to do with Abreu.

My beef with RSB and Lake Fred and the others who said dumping Abreu for nothing was a smart move wasn't the dumping part. It was the "nothing" part. Teams like the Marlins get real talent when they deal their veterans. The Phillies don't.

In the end, looking at these last 3 losses, the Phillies were a couple of bullpen arms and a bat short.

Perhaps this is true. With Abreu in the lineup, we MAY have won a few more games. However, Conine did not replace Abreu, at least not directly. Conine came much later when it became apparent the Phils were a different team with a chance at the playoffs. Ditching Bobby A was an admission that we weren't going postseason this year and maybe even next year. It was a long term move made to clear up lots of payroll $.

The fact that we are even this close speaks to 'something' that happened after the trade deadline. Was it - a clubhouse atmosphere thing? - a 'challenge' issued by Gillick in the form of his 'giving up on the season' moves? We will really never know, but alas we are here with a chance (a desperate one) of going in to October. Would we be here (or worse, or better) with BA on the team. Its a question, but I don't think it can be answered. Track record indicates we wouldn't be. Before the trade deadline, we were playing under .500 ball. Since the trade deadline, we've been playing significantly better than .500.

So, the first two posts here are a bit rediculous and I probably shouldn't even respond since they are trolls, but I couldn't ignore it.


Please address the Abreu's salary in regards to getting 'nothing' because it can't be ignored.

Amen clout. We should have got more than smith. Still the opportunity is gone now. Time to move on as best we can

I wasn't trolling. I may have been embellishing a bit, but I feel that, at a minimum, there's a pretty good argument that trading Bobby Abreu was one of the worst mistakes made all year. There are plenty of other good options as well, like letting Gonzalez and Nunez get so many at bats and letting Floyd pitch for so long.

I'm not saying that at the time that it was made trading Abreu was a bad idea. At the time they made that trade, the Phillies looked like they had absolutely 0% of making the playoffs, so a salary dump isn't a bad idea. What I am saying is that, in retrospect, had they not traded Abreu (and Lidle, for that matter), there's a good chance the Phillies are looking down at the Dodgers right now.

Sorry Jeremy, I lumped you in with the first post - clearly a troll. The issue I had with your thoughts regard replacing Abreu with Conine, which I can see you realize wasn't the exact chain of events.

I agree, all things being equal, we are better off with Abreu in the lineup. However, all things AREN'T equal. The intangibles are not tangible, but they are REAL. This is a better ball club since the trade deadline. Granted that may not be the exact chain of events either, but it sure makes for a handy reference.

Pat The Bat!

Yay Pat!

Jeez, who woke up Burrell?

I actually like Burrell, but even I'm tempted to make a snarky, "see, Burrell only hits home runs when it doesn't matter" comment.

Burrell just missed a pair of homers last night and he hits a no-doubter - on the first pitch! - tonight. What a big boost it is when someone can actually back up Howard.

Thank f++k. Except now moyer is making it worse for us

This is the third time Moyer has faced Florida this month, and they look like they're figuring him out.

It seems like even if you figure Moyer out, he'll just make an adjustment in-game. He did it last Sunday when they got 4 in the first off him. It's nice to watch a pitcher with a brain.

Mike, good point. You know, if the Phillies had to face Moyer, he'd probably pitch a perfect game.

Burrell's surely not worth the amount of money they are giving him, but if you can afford it, he's still a better than average player. I'm against trading him just to trade him in the off-season. If someone's silly enough to give us value in return, then alright. Otherwise, make him get something done on the foot immediately after the season and he'll be fine next year. If they could ever actually get Aramis Ramirez, Burrell would be a fine 6th hitter.

Can someone post or link to the comments Scott Olsen made about disliking the Phils? I'm curious what that little prick had to say.

Here's the link to the Inquirer article:

Go Phils, stick it to 'em.

Moehler kind of sucks.

Was there any doubt that the bats would wake up again once we started putting nails in the coffin? I have to think Sunday's game will mean something.

There probably shouldn't have been any doubt. Sure - L.A. will let them back in and they'll lose on Sunday.

It is nice to see them finally swing the bats, anyhow. Maybe some of the Marlins should have kept their fat mouths shut.

Thanks guys.

On a related note, I know these non-playoff teams like to play the spoiler, but to me, all the intentional walks by the Nats and Marlins on Ryan Howard strike me as pretty weak. Yeah they need to try to win games, but they're not going anywhere. Let the kid go for 60, or 62. I bet even the opposition fans would like to see him pitched to. Am I wrong?

I wouldn't be surprised to see it play out exactly like last year. Need the sweep and get it, but L.A. goes 2-1 in San Fran.

I think you're wrong, even though I love your name. Teams have to play these games with equal integrity, this isn't spring training.

I don't have the audio on, but was Looch hit intentionally or not?

I'm not even sure he was actually hit. Definitely not intentional.

Well - if nothing else, they are sticking it to the damn Marlins. I'll take satisfaction where I find it right now.

Thanks, Jesus.

Chris Coste: Professional Hitter.

Yeah RSB, I hear you. Obviously these teams can't roll over. It just burned me up watching Frank Robinson gloomily showing those four fingers again and again and again.

Do you think I'm wrong about opposing fans wanting to see him pitched to?

Save some for the weekend, guys?

Oh, it seems that Bonds is in the lineup for SF tonight. He's hitting cleanup.

These will be the only games all year that I won't cringe at a Bonds homer and pray that he leaves before he passes Aaron.

I dunno, Jesus. (I like talking baseball with Jesus!) I guess if a guy on another team had 58, I wouldn't necessarily care so much. I would tend to root for him when he played other teams, but not against my team. But that's just me.

Howard might actually get a few shots tonight to hit now that it's 10-1...

I'd only care to see a guy hit a homer against the Phillies if it was a major milestone and if I caught the ball.

Coste doubles a lot. 12 in 190 ABs. That would be 40 doubles if he were a regular starter.

Yeah he might just see some pitches now. Of course, if he gets intentionally walked again tonight, I will be TRULY pissed.

At least they threw to him.

What the hell, Pat?

"Yeah they need to try to win games, but they're not going anywhere. Let the kid go for 60, or 62."

I think the same thing plus... Isn't it a good opportunity for a young pitcher to show what he's got? If the game means nothing more than a "moral victory," why not see what the pitcher's got?

And...Not only isn't Howard getting much to hit, but he's also been a little impatient all week.

I hope that Pat keeps this up ALL weekend...:-)

I mean, in fairness to Pat, those were pretty bad pitches he hit out. Yusmeiro Petit doesn't belong in professional baseball at all as far as I can see. I wouldn't say he suddenly started hitting when the games didn't count.

At this point, I'd ride Moyer for another few innings and let Castro work some innings. Save the bullpen. Get Bourne out there and maybe even Conine to get some swings (and out of his funk).

I don't think he suddenly started hitting because it's meaningless, I'm just wondering where the good swings of today and yesterday came from after a loooong stretch of ineffectiveness. It seems like he gets one pitch per at bat that if he pulled the trigger he could kill, and the past two days he's finally pulled it at the right time.

Every Phillies starting position player has an RBI tonight. That can't happen too often.

Everbody gets an RBI. Woo-hoo!

Wheels and Graham are talking about how, regardless of what happens this weekend, they've played well together over the last two months and it's a good starting point for 2007. I guess they forgot how well they played at the end of last year and how flat they came out to start this season.

Why take Moyer out now?

Mike - I guess so. That party line is pretty old, and pretty lame.

So, has anyone in Phils history ever had 6 hits in a game? Victorino has a shot.

Eileen - no need to extend Moyer with a 12-run lead. Manuel is going to give some innings to guys like Sanches, Castro, Condrey, that he doesn't get to use very much.

Boxscores for the other two games have gone live.

Thanks, RSB.

RSB, looked it up. Most hits -- 6 Connie Ryan at Pittsburgh Pirates Apr. 16, 1953.

Most hits -- 6
Connie Ryan at Pittsburgh Pirates, Apr. 16, 1953

Or, Rick White...yeah, he really needs the work (??)

Sorry Greg S., I win the Phillies prize pack, haha. Speaking of, I've always wondered what exactly you do win for those Stump the Fans questions.

Hehe. All right Mike, how about this? Last Phillie to hit for the cycle?

I got the answer, but I also knew the question.


And wasn't his triple a maybe-homer? I remember it was some kind of weird questionable thing very close to the top of the fence.

Correct. David Bell vs. Montreal June 28, 2004.

Burrell is close to tying a single game record too. Which one?

Runs scored! 5, last done by Mariano Duncan. Haha, we must have been browsing the same page.

Well, the put Roberson in to run, so there goes that recrod attempt.

Erin Andrews looks nice today.

Greg S. Please explain how Bobby Abreu's absence caused the Phillies pitching to suddenly improve. Thanks.

How do you get to be a bullpen catcher?? Are they coaches?

Mike: Good point. The comment by Wheels & Graham also ignores the sharp difference in quality of schedule between the first and second halves.

The legend of Connie Ryan lives on.

Clout: I'll explain that when you address the $15 million dollar question. $15 million is not 'nothing'!

Greg S: I agree, but the $15M has not been spent so for this year, they got nothing. When we see how they spend the $15M (if they do) this winter we can factor that into the equation.
Now, it's your turn: You have said the Phillies were a better team without Abreu. The writers who cover the team and the manager say the Phillies got better because their pitching sharply improved. So, again, explain how trading Abreu caused the Phillies pitching to improve. Thanks.

Damn. Astros lost and Cards are killing the Brewers. Looks like the 1964 Phillies record will stand.

What sucks is that if the Phillies don't make it, it will probably be the second year in a row they have the fourth best record in the NL and miss out.

Chuck James screws the Astros, so it's not just us.

I just never understood how a team without a single good middle reliever or setup man was going to make the playoffs. I mean, has that ever happened since the advent of the bullpen? Geary pitched well the past month but he's still allowing opposing hitters to hit .287 on the season, you can't really say he's any better than average.


Phillies record through July 30: 48-54
Phillies record since July 30: 35-22

The Phillies are a better team without Abreu. Not because Abreu is gone, or as a matter of consequence, they are simply winning more games.

If you read closely, I said 'something' happened after the trade deadline. No question, pitching improved. But is it the only factor. No way. Howard was batting .278 before the All Star Break. Nunez: .136.

I'm actually not arguing that the trade was a good trade, I'm just saying that not everything is always tangible. The pitchers AND the rest of team are playing better in the second half. It is POSSIBLE that one explanation is a different feeling (camaraderie) in the clubhouse.

Bullpen ERA 3.87
Starter ERA 5.09

Looking at the season as a whole, it was the dismal first half starting pitching that's to blame. The pen really did the best it could. Only the Padres and Mets were better in the NL.

Maybe the fact that their GM said they were officially out of contention loosened them up. It's the same story every year, we get hot when we're supposed to be out of it, make it to the top of the wild card or NL East race for a day or two, and then throw away our lead. I don't think Abreu is some kind of camaraderie killer.

There's no question they play looser when they're dead. They're basically dead after last night and they come out and put up 14 runs.

Greg S: I agree with that post. The team had a better record after the trade. But that's not the same thing as a better team. Here is what you said earlier:
"Would we be here (or worse, or better) with BA on the team. Its a question, but I don't think it can be answered. Track record indicates we wouldn't be."

So, again, how did Abreu leaving cause the pitching to get better? Did it get better because of a "feeling in the clubhouse"?

SF has 2 aboard with no outs in 1st.

I mean, come on, he wasn't this obnoxious guy who everyone hated or anything like that. You want to talk about guys who harm camaraderie, look at Barry Bonds. Maybe the Giants should've traded him 3 years back for a middle reliever because his salary is big, no one in the clubhouse likes him, and he walks too much.

Greg, you're wasting your time here. I agree with you, but you aren't going to get Clout to see it your way. Trust me on that one!

RSB: If you or anyone else provided even one fact to support your assertion I'd love to hear it. But you never once have. It's just your fantasy.

It's not something you can prove or support for or against with 'facts', Clout. It's an observation. But we've been down this road once or twice before.

Can never please a philly fan. I swear that everyone will complain about loosing Burrell once he is gone. They'll Talk about how much we loved him and what a great guy he was. BS!

Hah! Not me, brother.

I don't think you can give a final judgement on the Abreu trade until we see what moves are made in the off-season. Freeing up money? Good. Getting no real value in return? Bad. Turning the team leadership over to Utley and Co.? Good. Losing Abreu's serious offensive production? Bad. My final assessment hinges on what they do to add pieces with the money they freed up.

RSB: Were you inside the clubhouse? If not, then it's not an "observation." It could be a theory. It could be a fantasy. But unless it's coming from a writer or member of the team or someone who is actually in a position to observe, then it is certainly not an "observation."

Greg S: Do you favor dumping Burrell for nothing also?

I don't think the Phils were happy and joyous that Abreu was gone. He seemed to get along just fine with everyone. The difference was in their overall approach to the game after he left. Whether that was due more to the removal of expectations or the removal of Abreu's presence is something I can't determine. But even some players have come out and said as much that Abreu's departure changed the makeup of the team. I'm not pulling that out of my rear, and I think you know that.

Sorry clout and RSB to drag you back into this. I know you have a history with the topic. I'm done.

I'm done, too.

Not a single player ever said that Abreu leaving changed the atmosphere for the better. Marcus Hayes said in an interview that he thought Bell leaving did and I assume he got that from players. But when asked specifically about Abreu, both he and Jayson Stark said Abreu leaving did not change the clubhouse attitude one iota. I won't belabor it either other than to repeat that, once again, neither you nor Greg S has produced even a tiny shred of evidence to support your assertion that the Phillies got better because of Abreu leaving.

Well, on a positive note the Giants are up 1-0 and Noah Lowry has retired the first 8 batters he's faced. Good thing too, because he's been awful this month. If we come out of the night down just a game, all we'd need is one more loss out of them to force a one-game playoff. Not too much to hope for, is it?

I produced a lengthy quote from Jimmy Rollins on this site about a month ago concerning that, but you are choosing to either ignore it or forget it.

Rollins never mentioned a name.

First ten batters. And RSB, Jimmy was asked a direct question about why they were playing better and he just said, oh, we used to rely on Bobby but now we rely on ourselves to score runs. I mean, I doubt even he honestly believes that himself, it never seemed like they relied on or leaned on Abreu.

He never mentioned a name, but it was pretty clear he was talking about Abreu. If you choose to believe he was implicating Bell only, I guess it's your prerogative. Tray, that is not the quote I'm referring to. Please, let's not go through all this yet again. Agree to disagree.

In the Phillies mag, issue 7, J-Roll said this about the team after the trade deadline: " There's definitley a different energy. I don't want to say its new because it's been here at times. But when you have a different makeup you're going to get a different reaction. Players are either gonna fold or they're gonna step it up and we stepped it up".

I'm sure they were all surprised and were thinking what the...? But it was a good kick in the ass and the boys responded well.

I should say, surprise Bobby was traded.

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