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Sunday, November 12, 2006

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oh, lordy. thanks a lot Allentown, for crushing my enthusiasm about AAA baseball in the Lehigh Valley.

let's be honest though, as bad as Iron Pigs is, Phantastics and Gobblers are far, far worse.

I hate to sound like I'm not a traditionalist, but if the Lansing Lugnuts can succeed, anything can. And if the mascot is a pig, I'll be buying a cap.

Dude! One of the "losers" was the "Fightin' Scrapples"!!!!

I can't believe that didn;t make it to the top ten...I think the team was probably worried that it would win. Is there anyone here who would not have voted for the Fightin' Scrapples?

I live here and I think there was about BILLION NAMES THAT WOULD HAVE WORKED BETTTER!!! Maybe the Bulldogs, because of mack truck, fill in whatever you want but this is so stupid people will be very turned off.

I, for one, like the name "Iron Pigs". I mean, would you prefer something as banal as the "Crushers"? True, I imagine players sent down to AAA aren't going to be happy having to be Iron Pigs. But too bad.

Oink, Oink!

Bad name from a bad list Thanks B Branding from Florida.

At least we can look forward to the Rally Pig - as it replaces the rally monkey, the iron piggy bank for kids - don't drop it on your foot, the squealing pig clock - gauranteed to annoy your neighbors, and the annual bring your pet pig to the ballpark to run the field day.

They should name the field the Pig Pen

Lame...

Reminds me of a softball team name.

horrible team name, but i truly don't care as long as they help churn out mlb ready talent.

so who do we predict giilick to sign 1st? weathers, aurilia, helms, derosa, borowski, sandy alomar jr.?

I was really pulling for the Vulcans.

Common folks, we all know the name was selected to help the media and Phils management. Can't you see the headlines? "Pigs Wallow In Last" or "Pigs Squeal Out A Win." How great to call a kid into the managers office, "Sorry, kid your a Pig, report to Allentown in the morning." Poor kid gets to call home, "Hi mom, just wanted to let you know, I'm a pig."

As for the Free Agents...just a pig in a poke.

So much for my corny fodder, too bad about Ramirez.

reminds me of a softball TEAM.

I actually can't wait to pick up a hat. A sure conversation starter (out here in the midwest, where no one will no who they are).

If nothing else, it should serve as a true wake-up call to the project pitchers who come to the bigs and don't work out. I can hear it now in Gillick's office - "I'm sorry Fabio, now just isn't the right time. Back to the Iron Pigs for you."

so kerry wood re-uped for 1.75 guaranteed with games pitched and games finished bonuses that could make it 6 mil.

depending on how the bonuses are set up that's a pretty good hometown discount - even if he is moving to reliever.

I wish Wolf would go ahead and give us the hometown discount, so we can concentrate on the bullpen and 3B.

J, as much as I love the Iron Pigs post, there was a ton of news in MLB yesterday (Wright trade, A-Ram signing). New post coming soon?

i'm pretty resigned to the fact that wolf isn't coming back. if he does i'll be pleasantly surprised, but as of now i'm thinking there is no way it's happening.

I read those near Wolf say he is getting ready to leave Philly, doesn't sound too good.
GrumpyGramps, awesome headlines for a newspaper. LOL
Players I'm sure will want to skip AAA starting next year.

I hope Wolf is getting the message from both Kerry Wood *and* Aramis Ramirez handing out hometown discounts.

When a politician doesn't connect with reality, he or she is said to have a "tin" ear. I doubt that anyone being referred to as an "iron pig" would take that as a compliment. That name is so bad, that someone higher up the Phillies food chain, without a "tin" ear, will rush in and give the team a more realistic name. I predict that on opening day in 2008, the Allentown team will not be called the Iron Pigs.

I love it. War Pigs would have been better but Iron Pigs will do.

Well, I guess nearly everyone dislikes the new name. I for one can't wait to HEAR what the fans come up with at the ballpark. The words may not please most, but the sounds are guaranteed to be among AAA's best!!

from the miami herald -

"Philadelphia is making a strong push for free agent Wes Helms, with GM Pat Gillick visiting him in Alabama. Helms wants to play every day, which Florida can't guarantee."

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/sports/15991908.htm

Let wolf go, he isn't worth more than 5m a yr and we can;t have THREE lefties in a rotation.

if wolf isn't willing to give the phils a slight hometown discount after everything the organization and fans have done for him then ggod riddane. i'd rather take my chances with a cheaper bautista, ohka, aramas jr., or someone along those lines. wolf will most likely get a big payday, but nothing guarantees he'll be worth.

helms could help this club. he's noavior but a nice helms/nunez rotation could be worked out. helms gets majority of starts and plays the first 7-8 innings with nunez coming in for defense in close late games.

should say "helms is no savior"...one hand typing is hard...stupid broken wrist.

"Helms wants to play every day..."

That scares me-- I hope we don't promise him that.

Helms hits lefties well, even before this year, and Nunez hits right handers better than lefties (though that's like comparing Todd Pratt's ability to bunt for a hit and steal a base), so I could imagine a platoon giving us some decent production. But Wes Helms, a 30 year-old third baseman coming off a career year, getting everyday duties? Haven't we learned that lesson already?

No on Helms! The guy is a butcher in the field and can't hit RHP. I can't believe we are doing all this grumbling about Soraino and we may enter the season with no 5th starter and Nunez/Helms at 3B. I can see how a platoon MIGHT get you acceptable production, but I'd rather have a mediocre guy like Randa (yeah, I know he is retired) than this platoon.

Some players who could help this team are slipping away, A Ram & Kerry Wood being the latest. Helms is a fine bat off the bench vs. LHP, but he is brutal at 3B. Wish they'd make a bid for those Japanese guys at 3B and SP. Also hoping Soriano goes elsewhere.

the 'play everyday' language scares me also. the guy clearly is not a starter.

no matter what happens with the position players i will not be happy until a legitimate 5th starting pitcher is added to this roster.

I take back the comment that Helms can't hit RHP, he actually had an OPS over 1100 last year (check stats, then post!). He is officially terrible in the field (according to both range factor and fielding percentage) though.

He had a career year last year, and it's tough to figure out why it took him until he was 30 to really break out. Limited playing time, no pressure in Florida, playing 1B? I have to asssume his numbers would come back a bit, but not to the level of atrociousness in MIL. If all the other options are gone, I could see paying Helms $2M a year.

Amazing fact: Helms was the third highest paid Marlin last year...at 800,000!

30 years ago, wasn't Jim Bunning too embarrassed to admit he managed the Mud Hens? It's hard to believe minor-league team names have gotten this much cheesier and campier since then... Iron Pigs? Oink. I mean, ugh.

I wonder if part of the reason Helms hit so well this year is that he came in as a pinch-hitter in more than a third of his appearances (52 out of 140).

some evidence for that:
- he only had 66 AB all season against pitchers a second or third time.
- his OPS drops by 173 points the second time he faces a pitcher, and drops another 278 points the third time. (as a comparison, Miguel Cabrera's OPS went up about 100 points each consecutive time he saw a pitcher.)
- for the last three years, his OPS as a PH is .975. as a 1B: .847. and as a 3B: .758.

and on the other hand, while his OPS as a PH this year was higher than as a 3B or 1B (1.024), he did put up a .900+ OPS when he was playing the field.

i thought there would been some movement on players by now. this is killing me.

i echo your thought tim...it's time for action, even if it's a minor league deal for a relif pitcher.

When the Piggies get a rally together at the home ballpark, they can pipe in that classic clip from "Deliverance" over the PA: "Squeal like a pig!!"

Crowd: "EEEEEEEEEEE!"

kaz matsui just resigned with the rockies. yea...

Cool numbers ae, I wonder how many players really are cut out for PH. It is usually considered to be much harder, but Helms seems to be better at it...I wonder if his ineptitude in the field at 3B carries over to the plate.

Also, 140 is the number of games Helms played in last year, not PA.

BTW, where did you get those numbers?

Ramirez from FLA won NL ROY. Man, I'd have killed to have been in a room with the Nats' TV announcers when that was announced. Haha. Anyone who had to get their Phillies fix on Extra Innings would probably agree with me. They thought Zimmerman was a LOCK!

zimmerman was on my championship fantasy team - so i was pulling for him. the guy is a doubles machine in rfk.

i thought uggla deserved it. amazing group of rookies in the nl this year.

When the Arkansas Razorbacks come to town, you hear their fans scream their hog call, "Sue-e-e-e!"...then another will shout, "Here, pig, pig, pig, pig!"

It's just stupid. Is Allentown ready for such ridicule?

I went back to my comments in the October archives to see what I had written about these names. The first one I eliminated was the Iron Pigs. One of the new owners probably picked that name (even though they promote the story that some fan submitted the name) and everyone working for him was too scared to say the name was lame.

The winning submission was from Ron Steele, a 31-year-old circuit layout designer from Northampton who described himself as a casual baseball fan.

at least we know who to blame

Tim. i thought uggla was easy winner also... Wes Helms is a lesser choice than Penn's Mark DeRosa.. they're about the same age DeRosa is a better fielder and has about the same power numbers and has played a full season before... Pig Irons huh?? didn't know pig's wrinkles were a problem

oooh iron pigs.. still applies

kdon - stats are from ESPN, their splits are pretty good. (you are correct on the games/AB tho, little bit of a typo...)

Willard, you're not kidding about the MESN announcers. I live in DC, so I hear them a lot...good lord are they unbelievable. it's not like Zimmerman is the only one either, their Soriano adulation would put some posters here to shame. personally, I don't think you could go wrong with any of those three guys. I think I would've gone for Zimmerman just because of his defense, I saw him make some real impressive plays, but they all had unbelievable seasons.

oops, that should be MASN, not MESN.

Rob, Helms is 30, DeRosa is 37.

Ooops, DeRosa is 31, my bad!

aurilia is 35, derosa is 31, helms is 30, and mike schmidt is 57.

I am 27.

is Mike Schmidt an unrestricted free agent?

I am 36 next month, but I am available to pinch hit.

>is Mike Schmidt an unrestricted free agent?

Bigger question: can he still play 3rd?

I'd take Schmidt at 40 pct over Nunez at 100 pct

i would absolutely take schmidt right now over any of these bums that are being mentioned.

espn says the red sox bid $42 mil to get the japanese pitcher. crazy!

"their Soriano adulation would put some posters here to shame"

I have no idea who ae could be referring to, but my guess is he's just jealous because Soriano can divide by zero and he can't.

i too am 27 and could hit as well as nuni with my bum wrist and all.

"With Soriano as Target No. 1, the Phils have indicated they are interested in ... Miguel Batista and Jeff Suppan for their starter vacancy." (Hayes article).

This bother anyone else? In my mind Suppan is the ultimate trap; a middling starter who performed well on the national stage and will therefore receive an inflated contract in an already-thin pitching market.

i think it depends on the number of years with suppan. if it's 2 or 3 (which i doubt) i'd be ok with it because you can always trade a guy like him. he's like a lieber. as average as he is there will always be a market for him.

"divide by zero" - huh?

but seriously, if you can't take a joke, internet message boards are probably not the best place to spend time.

oh, and the irony: "a middling starter who performed well on the national stage and will therefore receive an inflated contract in an already-thin pitching market."

replace "pitching" with "outfielder" and it sounds like a certain much-discussed position player...

soriano he would get paid no matter when he became available. he would be a top 5 outfielder in any fa class this decade - probably ever.

Dude, I was joking. Sounds like you're the one with the humor deficiency ...

I still don't get it.

ah, should've waited another 30 seconds.

Suppan= the same type of pitcher the Phillies always try to shove down our throats.. *see Lidle,Lieber,Padilla etc Innings eaters w/ a severe lack of quality innings

I'm 31 and played third for the Penndel Babe Ruth team in 1988, but somehow I don't think I'm Phillies material.

I'm scared that the biggest signing/move they make will, um, nothing.

And yes, the Iron Pigs is God awful. They might as well call them the Lehigh Valley Farms.

suppan a phil...only at the right price, but in this market...no way!

IRON PIGS!!! As a native son of Allentown, I am horrified and embarrased! I live 30 minutes from the location of the new stadium and was planning to go to many games. But do I really want to be known as an "Iron Pig fan"? I've got some serious thinking to do.

Another one bites the dust. ESPN's Orestes Destrade said Monday on XM radio that the Red Sox were the winner of SP Daisuke Matsuzaka's rights with a bid of about 5 billion yen.

I may have missed it, but has anyone commented on the 10% hike in ticket prices? I recieved my invoice and my tickets are going from $40 to $44. Yet they state payroll will be the same.

longwood - i said something a couple posts ago, but didn't get any traction. i'm not sure how many season ticket holders are on here. i went from 22 - 24. they were originally 20 when cbp opened.

re: Matsuzaka - ken rosenthal says "But starting pitchers in Japan work every sixth day, getting one more day of rest than their major-league counterparts."

is that true and if so why didn't i know that?

tickets are getting too rich for my cheap ass!

I have NEVER been to CBP and don't intend to give this current mgmt group a nickel of my money.. Not until they stop being satisfied w/ being "in the mix" for a playoff spot.. I live 30 mins from the stadium

The only way to get the prices lower is to stop using the product. It's true with oil, and it's true with baseball tickets. The owners are seeing what the market will hold. And if you think this is bad, you should read up on how the cubbies are scalping their own tickets.

Tim, yeah the tickets went from 22 to 24. We have been in section 145 the last 2 years and do the 17 game plan. I don't know which one I'll go with next year, usually it's the one with the most interleague games/Mets games.

Hang in there everyone. I'll generate a fresh post this morning.

Iron Pigs, to Wes Helms, to Penn Del Babe Ruth, to Oil vs. baseball tickets.

It's amazing where these threads go.

Beerleguer site is haunted, again. I wrote an earlier post this morning about the email I received from the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, and my response. I posted it and then went back to work. Now I'm checking the latest comments and my post disappeared. It did not contain any vulgarities to warrant a purging, so I can only ascribe the disappearance to malevolent spirits from the supernatural (or the Phillies thought police).

I was reading Ken Rosenthal's FoxSports article on the GM meeting and he writes about starting pitchers being available and the number of teams disappointed that A-Ram re-upped with the Cubs. Getting a good 3B may be harder than getting another SP for the rotation.

I'll try to recreate my disappearing post.

I voted online last month on the Allentown team name. As part of the vote, you had to give your email address. This morning I received an emailed press release on the new name. I replied with an email. Here's the text of that email:

Dear Sir or Madam:

I think you are making a terrible mistake naming your team the Iron Pigs. It is a horrible name which will cause your team to be the subject of ridicule. It reminds me of the Johnny Cash tune called "A Boy Named Sue." Sure, he became tough because of the name, but he hated the name. You need to give your team a name that the players and fans can be proud of. This name, the Iron Pigs, is not it. Thank you for letting me express my opinion.

Dear Lake Fred,
A sincere Thank You from the Phillies organization for your input. However, until the professional team in Philadelphia can generate some buzz, we are forced with utilizing off-the-wall Minor League tactics to sell tickets (at a higher price than last years S/WB tix). Although the increased revenue will not go toward making the organization any better, you can rest assured that the Iron Pigs will continue to produce mediocre mid-level talent, for the Phillies to call upon when the rosters expand. We hope that the Iron Pigs name will not deter you from attending our "Win the 3B Coaching Job" promotion night in May. Also, please tell your friends about our other fine promotions such as "Bring your pig to the park night" and "Smoked Sausage Jamboree, with special guest Randall Simon."

Sincerely,
Anita Hamm

"Win the 3B Coaching Job" promotion night in May"

I AM THERE!

Actually "anita"--- I think Lieber and Myers are the new poster boys for Allentown.. "come pork up to the big leagues with us"

Willard, Great Post! I got some good laughs out of it, especially the smoked sausage jamboree!

I guess they'll have Hamms Beer Night, too.

"Although the increased revenue will not go toward making the organization any better, you can rest assured that the Iron Pigs will continue to produce mediocre mid-level talent, for the Phillies to call upon when the rosters expand."

The Philadelphia Phillies are an up and coming team with some of the league's best home-grown talent. Howard, Utley, Rollins, Hamels, Myers all came up through the Phillies system.

IronPigs is a great name, BTW. Much better than "Crushers" or "Phantastics"
You people are too fickle.

First and foremost, frankly as long as the team has LEHIGH VALLEY at the front of the name, I could give a damn less what the nickname of the squad is. With all the crap the area went through to get a baseball team and to keep one (anyone care to reminisce on the debacle that was the Black Diamonds or the failed run of the Ambassadors?) the team nickname is a secondary concept to me.

With that said, I LIKE the nickname. The name Iron Pigs is a play off pig iron, a Lehigh Valley staple and it pays homage to the steel industry, which had such a crucial role in the area. It's marketable for both the adults and the kids. I can see plenty of good coming out of the name.

Let's also be fully honest here. Take a look at some of the nicknames in Minor League sports, specificially baseball. You've got teams named the Nuts, the Biscuits, a team called the Grasshoppers, the Lugnuts and one named after a team used in an episode of the Simpsons. Frankly, Iron Pigs isn't even close to the worst nickname in Minor League Baseball, let alone sports.

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I think the name Iron Pigs is a great name!
It has character and it is different. I'm from Rochester. We have the Red Wings. 70 miles away is the Batavia Muck Dogs. They have one of the best selling memorabilia in the minor leagues. So lighten up!!!

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