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Monday, October 16, 2006

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I like Conine as bench player. As a bench player he's a decent one. Can play corner outfield and corner infield positions. But as a starter that is just a very, very poor decision. I could see him getting 150 at bats and being ok with that, but around around 400 is just bad.

While we're at it, I HATE David Bell, always have always will.

I think Conine's age will prevent him from being an everyday player.

ESPN radio reports that the Cubs hired Lou Piniella to a three year contract as Manager. I do not see the Cubs rising up with Lou. He showed his hand while in a recent ACLS game when they were talking about Leyland's long minor league duty and his knowledge of fundamentals teaching. Piniella laughed and said that he didn't have any of that experience. He said he went from being a player to a manager. That scared me away from wanting him as the Phillies next manager. Let's see what he does with the Cubs.

you make a good point, jason, i'm just not ready to start shaking my head about '07 yet.

There's no better time than the present for pessimism here on Beerleaguer.

I don't consider it pessimism. It is something to watch out for. Regardless of what the Phillies say, you always must watch what they do. If Conine and Nunez are starting players the season is over before it begins. It means Gillick et al have decided another year of rebuilding is necessary, regardless of what they say.

Over-under on Manuel if the Phils tank in April?

Who'll replace him? Huh. Options?

ST. LOUIS - Charlie Manuel has added a tremendous amount of experience to his coaching staff.

The Phillies announced today that Manuel has hired Jimy Williams as his bench coach, Art Howe as his third base coach and Davey Lopes as his first base coach. All three are former big-league managers, and all three are signed to one-year contracts because Manuel's contract expires after the 2007 seasons.

Williams, who previously managed Atlanta, Boston and Houston, will be Manuel's right-hand man on the bench. He will coordinate spring training.

Howe, who previously managed Houston, Oakland and the New York Mets, also will serve as the team's infield instructor. Lopes, who previously managed Milwaukee, also will serve as the team's outfield and baserunning instructor.

Williams, Howe and Lopes join hitting coach Milt Thompson, pitching coach Rich Dubee, bullpen coach Ramon Henderson and catching instructor Mick Billmeyer.

They just announced the Phils coaches for 2007-

Jimy Williams, bench coach
Davey Lopes, 1st base coach
Art Howe, 3rd base coach

Looks like Lame Duck Charlie will be looking over his shoulder often as 3 former managers fill out the staff.

Conine can only be the next David Bell if he's allowed to *play* as much as David Bell. I don't see that happening.

Wouldn't you just have loved to see the expression of Manuel's face when he got wind of who his new coaches would be? Psst, hey Charlie, just a friendly word of advice, buddy. Look out.

As far as possibly being future Phils managers, Howe and Williams are run-of-the-mill retreads. I don't know much about Lopes except that he's coached for a bunch of teams, which isn't necessarily a great sign.

Concerning the Beerleaguer take on the post-season: it's just been an uninteresting one. The NLCS is a terrible matchup and the ALCS petered out in just four games thanks to the latest crash-and-burn postseason performance from the A's. It seems gratifying to me that it's Detroit's year, though. As a Phillies fan, I see the Red Sox win, the White Sox, and now the Tigers, and it gives me renewed hope that every long-suffering city eventually gets its turn.

i'm hoping that the new coaches will prevent yet another horrible april. cholly sure knows how to keep his team playing late into the season, but he sure can't get them off the blocks.

I like JImy Williams.

Jason, Ken Mandell is reporting that Conine will likely play a platoon role. Mandell is simply a beat writer for the website. Is he any more or less connnected than any of the other beat writers like Todd Zolecki for instance ? It is not like this is coming directly from Gillick or Manuel. A lot can happen between now and April. Conine is making $2M next year, plus the Phils received $500K to cover his contract. At $1.5M, I don't think there will be salary pressure to play him more than occasionally. I would be suprised to see Conine get more than 250 ABs, and I am OK with that. I see him in a right handed Dellucci type role prior to the Abreu trade. Pinch hitter and occasional starter. Bell had $4.5M guaranteed. It was a different situation.

On another note, the bench coach selections surprise me a bit, although I am happy they are going with some coaches with MLB experience who also have no connections to the Phils. I was hoping they would go a little younger though. Howe at 59 is the youngest of the group. Do any of these guys have a connection with Gillick ? Until I heard the names being interviewed, I was expecting coaches with prior connections with Gillick through the Blue Jays and Mariners.

Mandel's Q&A echoes what the GM said a few months ago, that Conine would likely be retained and play a substantial role next season.

my bet is that Manuel will play out a lame duck season no matter what happens (or possibly be let go very late in the season a la Bowa), and whichever one of those three impresses the powers that be the most will be the manager next season. to me, Gillick's comments taken in conjunction with the blatant Abreu salary dump and other moves at the deadline mean that the Phils franchise is not going to "waste" any money - such as by paying Manuel not to coach, which is what they would do if he was fired. (obviously the definition of waste is entirely subjective. I'm looking at you, Conine.)

On another positive note, the Phils did not go the cheap route. I am not sure what a bench coach and base coaches are paid, but I would expect coaches with the resumes and experience of Lopes, Howe, and Williams, are all being paid signficantly more than their predecessors.

I also don't believe you bring in veteran coaches like these unless you a). intend to win, b). intend to make a change at the first sign of trouble.

The rest of baseball must look at this situation and laugh out loud. Here's a manager who's got to be feeling the heat, and it's only October! If Cholly makes it out alive, it would be a miracle.

And I also like that all of the coaches have NL experience. I was afraid Gillick would go with familiar AL guys. I still don't think Gillick hasn't discerned some of the subtle differences between the leagues -- namely your bench is mainly about pinch hitting in the NL.
And nearly all of his acquisitions have been through his AL connections. Cholly certainly needs all the help he can get ; hopefully he will listen to Williams.

I'm trying to believe Gillick is going to do the "right" things this offseason. Getting a decent hitting 3rd baseman is crucial. The Phillies fans shouldn't be forced to suffer through another season of Nunez's bat, and I don't give a crap how good his mitt is, not good enough to justify that non-production. Outfield is a mystery too, and I hope Conine isn't a major factor in that equation. The rotation and bullpen are up in the air as well. The way I see it, it is inexcusable to regress next season, Gillick needs to add 8-10 wins to this team!

3B is the key here for the Phils. get a good hitter there than Burrell is your 6th or 7th hitter. I feel that Bourn will be starting before the end of the year. If Burrell gets off to a good start then I would expect him to get moved at the trade deadline. Also Rowand will probably not make it thru the winter with the Phils. There are a number of teams very interested in him. He is much more valuable than most Phils fans take him to be. However for the Phils he is more valuable as a trading chip than as their starting CF. This is due to Victorino playing so good last year. Conine will likely see limited playing time during the year at the most.

bobd -

i'll betcha a quarter that rowand is in a phillies uniform next year. he is the archetype player that gillick is trying to build this team around, you dont get rid of the prototype.

I second the motion that Rowand will still be here next year. He is a ballsy player, besides his shortcomings and I just don't see Gillick giving him up.

Barring a deal that would knock his socks off that is.

3B is THE KEY DEAL to be made this winter, here's hoping that PG gets it right.

Unfortunately, Conine and Nunez will both be around next season and play prominent roles early on in the season. Their spots on the roster come down to money. Pure and simple. The Phils just aren't willing to eat $1 or $2 million to get rid of someone. Depressing to be a Phils fan so much of the time.

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