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Wednesday, November 15, 2006


no more graham slam ice cream? nooooooooo!!!!!

The Phils won't renew Scott Graham but stick with Wheels-How Wheeler stays on the air is beyond me-he must have pictures of Dave Montgomery with goats or something.

Call me crazy, I liked Scott Graham

You are crazy

Yeah, you are crazy, Graham is a cardboard cutout of an announcer, with no soul or character. He is a polished talking head who could be selling washing machines as easily as announcing baseball games.

Good riddance.

I can never get a handle on who is "in" and who is "out" regarding the broadcast team. Of all four broadcasters, I would have thought milktoast Graham was the most juiced in ... even more than Harry at this point. I didn't have a problem with Graham, either.

The Rowand rumor was reported on ESPN also. Don't know if that gives it any more truth, but they did mention it.

So that's definitely an official rumour then.

Seriously, if two teams are interested, we have to be able to get something decent out of it, don't we?

First, I want to say thanks to all the vets that welcomed us newbies to the board. TY

Seems like a split vote on Soriano or no Soriano...I'm still on the no side. Too much money for too much risk. Believe me, I get scared when I find myself thinking like Conlin and Hayes. Nice to find some similar thinking minds here.

Years ago Connie Mack said that 90% of baseball is pitching. Well the numbers gurus today put it at 60-67%, that's still significant. Then again Berra said, "[baseball is] 90% mental and 50% physical." I'll let the number crunchers work on that one.

I still say it's all about pitching and yes I think we can afford to let Aaron go for a starter. Add Floyd to the mix, I don't think he'll ever get his head on straight in Philly.

So, based on todays roster, with no Soriano and no Rowand my lineup would be as follows:



Just show me the pitching!

Dumb question of the day. What would it cost the Phils to bring in a Borowski and a Weaver??

Final note, my 83 year old mom said today, "Good that guy and Wheeler drive me crazy...they never shut up."

Graham was clearly the weakest link in the broadcast team, so no shock there. Franzen or whatever his name is, was far better.
Gramps, what do you think Roberson would hit playing every day? I say .223 with no power.

Here's my feelings on Graham: you never really think to yourself that this guy is really good, but when you have the game on he is kind of pleasant to listen to.

As for Conlin, is that guy one big miserable SOB or what?

Conlin is indeed curmudgeonly, but he's polite, and he gets back to folk who e-mail him. Can't fault that.

In the prior thread, Zach T asked if I went to Stockon. The answer is yes. I actually have a B.A. degree from them packed in a box somewhere.

I'm all for trading Rowand. We all loved him for running into a wall. Not much love for him running into Utley. His throws from the outfield were less than desired. I'm content to let Victorino be the CF starter.

I'm straddling the fence on Soriano.

Clout - I didn't have him playing everyday, just against righties and maybe as a late game defensive move, I think with more at bats he can improve to between .250-.260. Not looking for power in #7, just contact and line drives.

Last year I was told by one Ken Mandrel that Victorino couldn't cut it in the majors. Shane proved him wrong.

The Rowand interest in Colorado was also in a Fox article I believe. I think I linked to it this morning.

Sorry, not Fox. It was the Sporting News which was linking to the Denver Post which..

Denver Post says: "Cash is the operative word at this event, where agents are smiling and mini-crabcakes are going for 12 bucks a pop. That explains why the Rockies will make a run at the cost-efficient Burke and inquire about Philadelphia's Aaron Rowand"

Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports wrote: "Phillies left fielder Pat Burrell has informed the club that he would accept a trade only to the Yankees, Red Sox or a west-coast club, according to a source with knowledge of his thinking. The Phillies badly want to move Burrell, who has a complete no-trade clause. They also would be willing to trade center fielder Aaron Rowand for a quality reliever. ..."

I guess the west coast club is San Francisco. Pat the Bat will be a Phillie until his contract expires.

Rosenthal writes that the Cubs want Soriano to be their CF. Rosenthal puts the expected price tag at $90 million.

Yeah but the Fox article has him going for a reliever, not a starter. Either way it's good; deal from a position of depth, since I think it's a tossup between him and Vic as to who would be better next year.

What this whole offseason says to me is how ridiculous it is that teams still balk at signing their first-round draft picks. I'd rather roll the dice at 5 million than 40; even if the major leaguer feels safer (since he's already made it to the majors without breaking down) there's no guarantee his arm won't fall off right after you sign him.

Lake Fred, don't forget san diego, who are rumoured to be looking getting rid of dave roberts and/or brian giles. If its a west coast there's options. LA Dodgers aren't getting great production out of their current left-field multi-headed monster. Giants are not guaranteed to re-sign bonds. There's stuff that can be worked on.

Blue Jays inked Matt Roney, one of Oakland's castoff minor league relievers who would have been a nice addition for the Phils.

Ummm, I'm taking part of that the last comment back for being more than a bit thick and not looking properly at Andre Ethier. He's doing pretty well for them out of the several they've had playing there. so I guess no move to LA in the immediate future.

If there's one thing which has bugged me, its the lack of FA signings of minor leaguers by the Phils. Unless I've missed something, we've been quite quiet so far.

I agree Oisin...especially with the sad state of our bullpen I find it hard to believe that some of these guys couldn't have found a spot with us.

There's still time. Roney was one of two pitchers I looked at from Oakland. But you're absolutely right. Where does relief pitching come from? Avenues like this.

It's like jason said ages ago - even if they're only invited to ST, they're still going to fulfil a role on a minor-league team, and if they're good it just contributes to a winning culture through the organisation.

Don't forget who coaches third for the Yankees and his aversion to Burrell. I doubt Cashman would be that naive.

Now Derosa ups with the Cubs, (who seem to be pitching an all-or-nothing type of ad-campaign going into 07') and now who's left?


Ahhh, good riddance Scott Graham if it's true. He and Wheels together are insufferable. They just refuse to be quiet. Harry and LA together are the best.

If the lineup is anything like Gramps suggested above, this offseason will be a major bust. Roberson looks like a bench/late-innings guy at best.

"Graham was clearly the weakest link in the broadcast team, so no shock there"..jhe wasnt worse than Chris "I wear a squirrel wig" Wheeler, but that isn't saying much. Also, I know I am in the minority here, but how can anyone like Larry Anderson?

Morgan Ensberg?

The amazing thing about Gramps lineup is that is still looks OK, even if Nunez and Roberson are in it (proably as good as any other team in the NL). I think that there is zero chance Roberson is the starter however. There are enough cheap LH outfield bats out there to set up a very productive platoon with Conine.

Paul, there are about a million reasons why Burrell isn't going to the Yankees, the Bowas connection probably being somewhere in the mid-300,000s.

Well, I'm glad DeRosa is gone, especially for that money. He and Helms seem pretty back-ups looking to cash in on career (and given there age), fluke seasons. Helms had a BABIP (for those of you who don't check out The Hardball Times, this is the percentage of times that a ball put in play falls for a hit) of .394 last year, which is basically off the charts.

What this means most likely is that he was incredibly lucky last year and had a lot of bloopers and dribblers fall in. When his luck runs out (DeRosa also had an abnormally high BAIBIP last year), he'll be the same player he always was.

Interstingly, Soriano managed to have his career season without any increase in BAIBIP, and also moving from a hitters park to a pitchers park. This (along with his increased walk numbers) means it's possible that he has taken a real leap forward and that last year's improvement wasn't ephemeral. I don't know, if the team can keep Burrell and Soriano, I could see doing a deal that is 5 years for around $13-15M per IF there is no no-trade clause.

I watched a lot of baseball this summer on the extra innings package, and I'd have to say that the phils broadcasting team is one of the least annoying out there.

When I'm watching Baseball, I want some nice commentary, some key stats, and nobody annoying. I don't need anything ridiculously in depth, or too forced. I'll leave that for the post game guys.

Buying low on Ensberg would be a coup. I have no idea why but the Astros hate him, unless they're concerned about his injury history. But they're talking of bringing in Huff, a move that would almost certainly speed his departure.

I see a guy with plus power and great OB skills who doesn't make any money. If the Astros want to punt him because of his avg. last year we should by all means try to be the happy beneficiaries of their lunacy. Especially when the alternatives have names like Aurilia and Helms.

Did Kdon just come over to the dark side??? I agree on the NTC - that to me is the true dealbreaker. Here's hoping Gillick sticks to his guns.

Mav - not just kdon. To me the thing has always been does doing a deal with soriano soriano mean we a)have to trade burrell b)take him for 6 or more years c)preclude us from sorting out a long term 3b package d)prevent us from sorting out pitching and bullpen.

If all of the above, I want no part.

If it means only a)I'm very sceptical unless Gillick is trading burrell for a right fielder/pitcher.

If b) I want no part, even if it means none of the rest. Really. I'd also prefer four years not 5, but I accept that 5 is more likely.

If it only means c) and/or d) this is not the worst thing in the world. we can get by with nuni this year, and I don't think cash is going to solve our pitching anyway.

kdon, not sure I agree. I think that those lineups bring up shades of the 7-8-9 "black hole." I really don't like Nunez at 3B and would be willing to sacrifice the defense for a little bit of consistency to turn over the lineup.

Will, you nailed it. I'm an extra innings guy, too. Although the Phillies announcers don't show up on EI often, they're about 50X's better than the likes of the Nats (as I mentioned previously) and the Marlins. Even that new SNY crew is pretty brutal for the Mets.

Anyone else concerned that all of our speculation seems to revolve around guys that the freakin' Cubs keep locking up (A-Ram, DeRosa)? Are we setting our sights too low or are the Cubs stepping up?

Jeez my typos are bad today. sorry everyone.

erm, looks like the winning bid for iwamura was 4.5 million (according to espn, via philliesphans). 4.5 million for someone who at WORST was going to be david bell. And he's 28. We could have nabbed him on a 2 year+option deal easy.

At about the time I read this, In Utero started playing on the office cd player. Kurt's screams voice my frustration better than I ever could.

WP - it was never a guarantee that A-ram was hitting the free market so I'm not bugged. and if the cubs want to pay De Rosa for three years, that's fine by me too. helms is at least a year younger.

I am willing to be Graham got the boot due to internal politics at Phils' organization. Hate to say it, but I really hope that Harry Kalas retires this year or end of next season. I would hate to see him pull a "Mays in CF for the Mets" in the booth.

Conlin is a cynic but why not? What has the Phils' organization done the past 20 years that gives you much faith?

kdon, Helms line drive % was also 26.3, which is very good and could explain (in large part) the high BAIBIP. I agree with the concept of not overpaying for players like Helms. But he certainly is an upgrade to the likes of a Randall Simon, Sandoval, Alex Gonzalez, and their other bench mistakes.

stupid broken wrist- should read "damn graham"

oisin- i know the phils shouldn,t be hastey with their moves (i.e. cubs), but i'm dying for roster moves.

the combination of Scott Graham and Larry Anderson late in the game drove me nuts!! "what do you think of this LA?" or "should we get the rally towels out?"
he sets you up for a HR dissapointment 10 times worse than Harry the K.
"this one has a chance.....that ball isssssssssss ......caught in front of the warning track"

"aaaah your pretty special too....I'm buyin"

the combination of Scott Graham and Larry Anderson late in the game drove me nuts!! "what do you think of this LA?" or "should we get the rally towels out?"
he sets you up for a HR dissapointment 10 times worse than Harry the K.
"this one has a chance.....that ball isssssssssss ......caught in front of the warning track"

"aaaah your pretty special too....I'm buyin"

Agreed kdon. I was always leaning more toward Helms, myself. I vehemently stand by my no-Nunez philosophy. What is with the Phils grabbing 3B's who are mediocre career guys after they have an "up" year?

mg, you're right on Conlin. Let's face it, at this point, we're all cynics (some more than others, clout). Following Philadelphia sports will do that to anyone. The first Philly team to win a championship will win the city over for a LONG time. In other words, the Phils could make this a baseball town again. I just think that they need to do some serious work first.

Let me ask everyone this...are you ok with not getting Soriano is your alternative is Burrell? Remember, we are NOT getting Carlos Lee or JD Effin Drew or ManRam. We almost have no choice BUT to go after Soriano.

Agree with most of what's been said about Scott Graham. I also couldn't stand his stupid banter with LA. Graham was the weakest of the announcer crew. Franske will be an upgrade.

that dude - i'm okay with not getting soriano and keeping burrell IF (we get better in LF or 3B) AND IF(we improve starting pitching and get a younger bullpen).

Soriano could be nice, there's no doubt, but we have more pressing concerns.

That Dude: At least RSB admits he doesn't care what the facts are, he just hates Burrell.
The Phillies led the NL in runs scored last year. That lineup included Burrell, as I recall. The only problems on offense were at 3B and the fact they have no legit leadoff hitter (that's right I don't think Victorino is a legit leadoff guy).

On the other hand, their rotation is shaky and full of question marks and their bullpen is even worse. They were 11th in ERA and opponents OPS was .798, worst in the NL.

Assuming that, unlike RSB, you are influenced by facts rather than emotion, what area should be first priority?

I'm mostly influenced by alcohol.

Well how do we get better in LF if we keep Burrell and don't get Soriano? Burrell cannot play any other position and after all that is said and done I think if we keep him we see more of 2nd half Pat than 1st half pat.

I would also say we have a better likelyhood of seeing 2nd half Nunex than first half Nunez. If you have Soriano in Left and a better Nunex I would say we are better off. I also saw some comments that said Soriano might go back to what he has been prior to last yr...well if that's the case I am ok with that since last yr isnt THAT much better than others. Playing in a smaller ball park in a better lineup, shouldnt he actuallt GET BETTER? Notcounting last yr he AVERAGED 35 homers in the AL. Against worse pitching he should perform like he did last yr when you add in ballpark and lineup in Phila.

Oisin, in two sentences, you perfectly summed up my feelings on Burrell and Soriano. I really think the only positive feeling we get from the Soriano buzz is the belief that the Phillies management is willing to spend money to improve the team.

I really agree with Willard on Nunez. We have to improve the offense at that position.

Clout, too is exactly right, the number one need for improvement is pitching. Pitching also is our second and thirdmost needs, in order 1. Starters, 2. Bullpen, 3. Closer insurance. The Burrell and Soriano stuff is just hot stove type stuff, something to pass the time, but not critical.

conlin is useless - he didn't vote for nolan ryan to get in to the hof yet still gets paid to give his opinion about baseball. i don't think the phillies are smart enough to pretend to go after a player to get season tickets up. i just don't believe it.

i like scott graham.

i like morgan ensburg. but probably not in a lineup with burrell and soriano.

i think rowand for a reliever is more realistic than for a quality starter. unless you start throwing in our better prospects.

word is the yankees may move Humberto Sanchez for a starter. lieber/ madson anyone?

Yes, just the same way members of the Chicago White Sox offered that Rowand was their MVP in 2005, and that the difference between their winning '05 season and abbreviated '06 season was not having Rowand. That's all emotion and no facts, too. Silly me, of course statistics are the only 'facts' known to man.

And, how about this choice of pristine 'logic': p: the Phillies led the league in runs scored; q: the Phillies had Burrell in the lineup; pq: Burrell can't possibly be an offensive problem. Okay. Same goes for Fasano, Bell, and Nunez, too, I guess. Let's bring them back and go with the '06 team all over again, because after all, they led the league in runs scored and you can't possibly improve on that. Oh - except for that mediocre leadoff hitter, the one with 190 hits, 127 runs, and 35 stolen bases. Yes, what a burden he was unto the rest of the lineup. What's his name again?

The report that Scott Graham's contract would not be renewed is the most heavenly news that possibly could have come from the Phillies this off-season - I don't care if they sign Soriano, and trade David Coggin's arm cast to Houston for Pettitte, Oswalt, and Ensberg. It gets no better than that. I'm in ecstacy!

"conlin is useless - he didn't vote for nolan ryan to get in to the hof yet still gets paid to give his opinion about baseball."

He wasnt wrong on that many times did NOllie win 20 games? heck, how many times did he win 18 or 16 games?

The answer: 20 games? twice and none after 1974

18 games? 4 and none after 1977

16 games? 8 times and only once after 1982

Do I think he is a HOF'er? Yes, but mostly based on longevity. Remember he played 27 seasons and won only 292 games...and no I dont think W's are the be all end all for pitchers...but back in his era when guys pitched 7-9 innings every time out it meant MUCH more.

That Dude - we don't NEED to get better at LF. Pat Burrell was one of the top 4 left fielders in the NL this year. You're talking about going from 4th best to best. Nice if you can do it, but not essential. You assume burrell is going to get worse at LF on what basis? If he managed his 892 ops with 29 homeruns last year on a gimpy foot, I'm okay with that. We NEED to sort out RF, and we NEED to improve 3b.

Abe Nunez's BEST YEAR included 5 homeruns, a .704 ops in 421 at bats. In Wes Helms WORST year, he managed .692 ops and 4 homeruns in 274 at bats. Morgan Ensberg (were such a thing to come about) beats both those sets of numbers into a cocked hat (just follow the link). sort out 3b, and have a tolerable option in RF, and we're a lot better off in terms of offense through the lineup.

I won't deny that Pat's trick of K's looking is galling, or indeed his K's fullstop (although at least he doesn't ground into loads of double-plays). Yes , soriano's speed would give the lineup a different feel (although no, I don't think he'll do 40 again, unless as george s+carson says, we stick him in leadoff). But if we have to have a choice between him and sorting out all the other problems, i'm passing on soriano. Its still not clear whether we have to make that choice.

c'mon, RSB. I realise you can't stand burrell, and you'd rather someone who had his numbers but who hit the ball into play more often, but you can't go say that (p) and (q) mean (pq), then say that is what the typical stathead is saying.

If I'm going to be grumpy with my crusty symbolic logic head, the typical statistician is coming up with a relationship between (p) and (q) be it based on obp, or line drive %, or runs created or whatever which allows you to make the third statement (pq). (q) does not in anyway relate to (p) as it stands right now.

And no-one is saying bad things about jimmy.

I think we're all still very unclear on what to make of this off-season and Gillick running the show with a little bit of money to throw around. Maybe someone who is more familiar with his previous stints can shed some light on how he handles these things, but there are some things that none of us really know how to take (serious, or blowing smoke and jockeying for position/selling seats):

1. The press's constant hammering of Pat Burrell in what appears to be an attempt to break him down to free up trade possibilities.

2. The openness of management/coaching (not necessarily Pat, as he is conveniently coy and "playing things close to his vest") on Soriano. I, for one, find it hard to believe that if he was a serious target that Lopes and Manuel would be so openly gushing about him.

3. The payroll number ("will be in last year's ballpark") after an obvious salary dump and years upon years of management doing just enough to peak fan interest to sell seats and turn a profit.

This Hot Stove season will be pretty interesting, if nothing else, than to see how exactly Gillick operates. I don't believe that one becomes a "genius" and gains a reputation like he has by working in such an obvious media spotlight.

the whole Colin-didn't-vote-for-Ryan excuse for ignoring him is just absurd. sportswriters regularly leave much better players than Nolan Ryan off their ballots:

Hank Aaron - 9 guys didn't vote for him.
Steve Carlton - 20 guys didn't vote for him.
Willie Mays - 23 guys didn't vote for him.
Mike Schmidt - 26 guys didn't vote for him.
Cy Young - 48 guys didn't vote for him.
Sandy Koufax - 52 - fifty-two!!! - guys didn't vote for him.

Nolan Ryan - maybe the most overrated pitcher of all time - was still elected with a higher percentage of votes than anyone in history except for Tom Seaver. boo-hoo.

(I know how off-topic that is, but honestly, is there anything left to say about Burrell/Soriano/etc. that hasn't already been said?)

stupidity doesn't excuse stupidity. he losses credibility as a baseball person by not reckognizing he's a hall of famer.

just becuase conlin doesn't want soriano here doesn't been pat gillick is a liar and is wasting his time by meeting with soriano just to sell season tickets. (the whole premise that people are going to reup tix just becuase the team is talking abuot signing a free agent is stupid to begin with.)

Good afternoon boys and girls,

What would it take to get Ensberg?

jo momma....had too


Pretty sure my Dad gave her a no trade clause :-)

lol - wow

Good debate today.
1. ae: Tim is not being honest about Conlin and Ryan. Conlin NEVER said he didn't belong in the HOF. What he said was he didn't deserve to be in on the first ballot. In fact, Ryan's won/loss is among the poorest of any HOF pitcher and some of his other #s aren't so hot either.
2. That Dude: Soriano DID play in a hitter's ballpark with a hitting lineup around him. It was in Texas in '04 and '05. Check out his #s.
3. RSB: The numbers of Fasano, Nunez and Bell speak for themselves, as do Burrell's. I'm not convinced that Burrell's lousy 2 months is predictive of a full 2007 season. You may recall that when you were arguing the Phils were a legitimate .630 ballclub during their hot streak, I was arguing that they were simply in a hot streak. It's a long season.
Just to be perfectly clear I am NOT opposed to an upgrade in LF. I just think that it should take a back seat to upgrading the pitching. I am also opposed to RSB's suggestion we dump Burrell for nothing as we did Abreu. That's not how to build a contender.

Tony wrote
"What would it take to get Ensberg?"

I am not claiming to be a scout, but Ensberg has a pronounced hitch in his swing. Worse mechanics than Burrell. No thanks.

Nolan Ryan the most overrated pitcher in history? I would think that 7 no-nos and 13 one-hitters would at the very least be good enough to warrant the opposite. Not to mention the 5700+ K's and 300+ wins.

That's ridiculous.

ok - i stand by what i said. if conlin doesn't think he deserved to be on the first ballot fine. i still think he losses credibility.

i believe a guy is either a hall of famer or not.

I never said Nolan Ryan wasn't a good pitcher, or a Hall of Famer. he was a great pitcher, and deserves to be in the Hall.

that said, he is not anywhere close to being the greatest pitcher of all time, as you imply. therefore, overrated.

"2. That Dude: Soriano DID play in a hitter's ballpark with a hitting lineup around him. It was in Texas in '04 and '05. Check out his #s."

I am tqalkign about comparing last yr's numbers to what he would do this yr. Was had a poor lineup and tough hitter's stadium, put him in CBD in our lineup he "SHOULD" get better.

hey clout - did i say conlin said ryan didn't belong in the hof? or did i say "he (conlin) didn't vote for nolan ryan to get in to the hof"

please answer me and apology for blatanly twisting my words.

thats just dumb.

Ryan was one of the greatest. That doesn't make him overrated.
And it shouldn't be implied, it should be stated.


Paul - thanks for your insightful comments. I have completely changed my mind based entirely on your well-thought-out argument.

Tim: Yes that's exactly what you said. Let me quote you: Conlin "losses credibility as a baseball person by not reckognizing he's a hall of famer."

by the way ensberg is the 3rd baseman equivalent to burrell. i've mentioned it before AND FELT A NEED TO SAY IT AGAIN.

oops, stupid finger bumped caps...sorry, not yelling

"thats just dumb.

Ryan was one of the greatest. That doesn't make him overrated.
And it shouldn't be implied, it should be stated."

Ryan was good and sometimes very good over a very long period of time. One of the greatest? I dont think so.

whatever it takes for you to finally get it.
Nolan's numbers speak for themselves.


Last word freak, arent you? tenth or eleventh grade, im guessing?

Three baseball records that'll never be broken: 1)Cy Young's all-time win total of 511; 2) Connie Mack's 50-year run as manager of one team; and 3) The Phillies as MLB's all-time losingest team (hmm, maybe not; the Braves are only about 300 behind us and if we can average roughly 15 more wins per season than Atlanta over the next 20 years . . .)

I digress. If any modern pitcher ever had the slightest chance to catch Young--or at least Walter Johnson at #2 with 417 wins--it was Ryan. Twenty wins over 25 years would yield 500 wins (obviously, an unlikely feat, particularly in the era of the five-man rotation). But Ryan was in the bigs for 27 seasons when four-man staffs were the norm, and he had fearsome stuff and amazing durability. Walks were his bugaboo, though.

With better control, he could've produced a win total for the ages.

Ty Zeb, for the insight. If anything, it's at least educated.

If you're struggling through tenth grade and a DOUCHE, you would know better than to doubt stats such as Nolan's. However, some of us don't recall what it was like to actually PITCH. Keep a journal, then post.

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