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Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Can we get Ichiro - he was the main Mariner on that team's run to 116....

clout, that was a joke

This is a good pickup and there are still 3 or 4 more spots on the 40-man roster.

I posted this on the last entry, but since threads on this blog die whenever a new entry is posted, I'll repeat it here: Who's next in Gillick's attempt to rebuild the Mariners on the Atlantic, Junior Griffey?

Haha - let's hope not. We don't need another 30 or 40-good-swings-a-year guy.

This is not a good pickup. This guy simply provides some badly needed roster depth for the bullpen. Might be a candidate for the last spot in the pen.

Look at the list of spring invites in the paper today.

Randall Simon was invited back! Randall Simon?? What does that tell you??

Alright fellas, I want your opinion on something. First, didnt Kurt Schilling say last year that he was retiring after the season, several times? What happened to that or did I dream that up?

Second, and this is the opinion part? Where do you guys hold Schilling as far as hated, or still beloved former Phillies? Me, I guess I generally still appreciate his play for the Phils. I know he went out on bad terms, but where I live it didnt get much publicity. I guess I just prefer to remember the 1993 season and hold that as a nastolgic treasure that I am not sure can ever be reproduced. Of course if the Phillies win a WS in my lifetime I will look on it fondly, but those guys were the players of my youth. (Kruker, Dykstra, Hollins, Morandini, Inchavilia, Eisenreich, Schilling, Mulholland, Williams). When Schilling got traded I guess that I never fully got the true story about how it went down. I know he was frustrated with managment, but was it money or was it that he thought that they werent trying to win? If the latter then maybe it is understandable. Schilling does and says things that make me want to vomit sometimes, but when I think back to 1993 those dominant outings cast a long shadow over a lot of other issues. I just dont ever hear anybody mentioning him in the same breath as Drew, or Rolen. Those guys are truly scum in my eyes, but that is because they never put it together for this team. Personally it is hard to place Shilling in the same category. What are the thoughts of some of you who had more exposure to the situation? Was it Shill, or did he have legitimate qualms as to where this team was going?

What's not to like? He cost a small amount of money, and either will break camp with the team as a situational/long reliever or will get innings in Ottawa as a potential mid-season reinforcement. Beats the heck out of overpaying for some 35 year-old with a superficially decent ERA and a bunch of scars on his shoulder and elbow.

That no minor league mascot that Ottawa plays will be safe from Randall Simon!

And yes, I know Drew never even played for the Phillies that bastard.

>Randall Simon was invited back! Randall
>Simon?? What does that tell you??

Don't come to the ballpark dressed as a gigantic sausage?

man, i hope he makes the club solely for the fan club. hell, the wolf pack has to find something to do.

Yet another patented Gillick "shot in the dark". I think we'd all be much more contented if he'd get around to courting some actual major league pitchers to join the bullpen.

Schilling is a big-mouthed hypocrite. He always assumed, from the second he whined his way out of Philadelphia, that amends would be made and he'd get to do his comeback tour finishing out his glory days with the Phils. Now the prissy baby, seeing that maybe the owners weren't quite as cheap as he suspected and that the team has become competitive again, continues to whine that they don't want him back. I'm ultimately glad he was forced to take his right-wing right arm somewhere else. Don't worry Curt, it was just God's plan for you, anyhow.

Maybe someone can explain to me why Schilling, who openly campaigned for a departure from Philadelphia much longer and louder than Rolen ever did (and for the same exact reason), still goes over well in Philly, while Rolen is "scum". Is it just because Schilling is an old war hero from '93 and Rolen wasn't?

Parker –

Schilling ran himself out of town. The trade (one of the worst made by the Phillies) was made to get him out of town so he would stop criticizing ownership. Was he correct in what he said? Sure. The Phillies have never tolerated disloyalty and Schilling could not be trusted.

I will fondly remember his tenure in Philadelphia because I want to remember Schilling the pitcher – not Schilling the man. As a pitcher, you knew that you would get a solid effort from him every single time he was handed the ball. He did not always win, but he did always battle.

In some respects he can be compared top Allen Iverson. His attitude and off the court antics are enough to drive you insane. On the court (during games – not practice), few players have worked as hard as Allen. As a fan I always appreciated Iverson’s and Schilling’s effort, but let’s be honest – it is always about themselves and not the fans or their teammates.

I really would have liked for Schilling to come back to Philadelphia a couple of years ago when he opted to go to Boston. Maybe we could have recaptured some of the glory of the ’93 season. It is kind of fitting that he ended up in Beantown, however. There are a lot of arrogant, egotistical, self-absorbed Red Sox fans and Schilling is an arrogant, egotistical, self-absorbed player. IMO a perfect match.

I think it's mostly because of '93, but also that Shilling is always talking jive, while Rolen is more quiet.

Gee, RSB, stop pulling your punches and tell us how you really feel. ;)

Personally, I still like both of them, but I was glad Rolen wasn't signed to a big-bucks contract; his bat had slowed down even while he was here, and he still can't hit the inside fastball. He's a mistake hitter at this point.

I don't get your gripe about Schilling, though (or I should say your baseball-related gripe). He was absolutely right about the owners' tight pursestrings -- they didn't spend squat until they opened CBP and enjoyed the increased cash flow. I would have no reservations about bringing him back. Does anyone doubt he'd be the No. 1 starter on this team? I don't think he'd thrive in this ballpark, but then I think we're in the early years of a ballpark-induced pitching drought that will last the rest of my life (I'm 51, so I don't expect to see another park).

As for why Schilling is still liked while Rolen isn't, Schilling never failed to perform, while Rolen was perceived as dogging it his last year or so here. There's nothing Philly fans hate more than someone perceived as a loafer (see Abreu, Bobby, and Burrell, Pat).

I believe that both Schill and Rolen cared - but Schilling wore it on his shoulders and Rolen didn't. Sometimes Schilling wore too much of it as well.

So if the Phils get a solid number 8 guy and don't upgrade the number 5 hitter has it been a sucessful offseason?

...I meant a solid 8th inning guy.

RSB – Great post, as always.

I think there are a lot of reasons that go into why Rolen is held in such contempt. One reason is timing. The Phillies were on their way down around the time of Schilling's departure. The Phillies were trying to build a more competitive ball club when Rolen left town. Second, Rolen was seen as the heir apparent to Schmidt. Schilling didn’t have that pressure. Third, Rolen lacked charisma where Schilling seemed to be a likeable guy. Lastly, Schilling won an NL pennant. Rolen won nothing.

It says an awful lot that Phillies fans hate this ex-player or that ex-player but you rarely hear them say peep about the ownership, which laughs all the way to the bank.

Livingston is the one cheap pickup that actually stands a chance of going north with the team IMHO. He is your classic, soft-tossing finesse lefty with zero margin for error, of which there are approximately 12,135.3 in the minor leagues.

His minor league numbers show he is emminently hittable as a starter. He could be decent as a second lefty out of the pen, however, if he isn't overexposed. Guys like this usually fail because mlb hitters (unlike AAA hitters) won't swing at their junk and very few can throw it consistently for strikes. But this guy's 1.8 BB/9 and better than 3-1 K/BB ratio suggests he might be good enough to have a career as a 1-inning second lefty.

Uh, Iron Pig, I'm having a hard time squaring the "off-court" antics of Iverson -- guns, drugs, naked wives -- with those of Schilling -- charity work and, at worst, talking too much about things management didn't enjoy hearing (the truth, for the most part). Most of the bitching about Schilling came from other players, who frankly didn't understand him most of the time -- no surprise considering that on the intelligence scale most baseball players would fit somewhere between Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton. If you think players are thinking about "the fans" at any time other than when they're flinging bull at sportswriters and fans, you're dreaming.

I also find it amusing that a Philadelphia fan would slag ANY other fans in this country. We're the closest thing in America to British soccer hooligans.

I agree with you more balanced take on him, Iron Pig; no one could question Schilling's effort, and in fact he was a joy to watch battle. I just think he's a weasel. Meanwhile, no one could *ever* fairly accuse Rolen of dogging it. He may have been unhappy at the end, but he never dogged it a day in his life. Phillies fans have a clear double-standard here, and I think it may be as simple as observing that they gravitate towards macho pinheads and distrust more reserved types.

RSB's grip on reality grows ever looser. He calls Schilling a "prissy baby." Yep, that was some prissy thing he did for the Red Sox with a ligament torn in his ankle stapled in place. I'm guessing RSB thinks the Schilling trade was almost as good as the Abreu trade.

Iron Pig & Alby nailed it: Schill had a big mouth and got dumped because he told the truth about ownership and management. On field (and front office) performance will never be as important as loyalty to Monty & the gang.

Bingo, Clout. Whenever fans go into their reveries about how much players are supposed to care about the fans and their teammates, I think of all the similar horse manure my corporate bosses used to hurl at us. Yeah, I'm going to work myself to death for the stockholders! Go, stock, go! Meanwhile we got 2 percent annual raises, the stockpayers got a 25 percent return. Do you really think the owners think about us fans while they're sucking down their scotch and soda out on the Main Line? But they're not the problem -- it's those arrogant, egotistical, self-involved players. ROFL.

Yes, clout, Phillies ownership has long been enormously popular with the local fans. There's just no end of praise and good tidings directed their way. Why, I can't even recall the last negative thing I've heard about them. It must have been years ago.

Gillick's had a pretty good track record evaluating young talent. Well, as much as we can tell in 1 year. Matt Smith looks good, as does the Model Dictator. So basically I'll trust his feeling on this guy in a limited role out of the pen.

RSB, you're right about Rolen's personality being part of the problem -- particularly the way it grated against Bowa's. He just wasn't a fiery, rah-rah clubhouse cheerleader. Those of us old enough will recall that Schmidt had this same problem and was consequently booed for years, even when he was leading the league in HRs. Rolen's other problem was that everyone, particularly in management, wanted him to be Schmidt, when the better comp is Brooks Robinson -- great glove, good but not great bat.

Bats like his aren't exactly a dime a dozen. Is he Freddy Sanchez (in terms of average)? No. But he will play a damn good third base and hit you 20-30 HRs a year. I loved Rolen when he was here, but I had mixed feelings about when he left. I think most of these stemmed from the lack of talent sent from the Cardinals in the trade (other than Polanco). A lot of my anger was directed toward a gifted player who couldn't bring his team any legitimate prospects.

Schilling and Rolen are both great players that got away because we did not have an ownership commited to winning.

Both have proved themselves to be key players on WS teams.

Schilling, in particular, is the best big game pitcher of his generation (along with Smoltz and Glavine).

The Phillies organization was severely hurt by losing them.

I don't think any of these statements can be reasonably challenged.

I don't think there is much more to say.

As for Livingston, I'd be a little conceerned about how he did after repeating AAA. He lowered his walk rate, but his hit rate skyed and his K rate went way down (from 7.14 to 4.59) I'm not sure about this, but I think Tacoma is a hitter's park (and the PCL is in general a hitter's league), so this could be explained away somewhat, but last year, he simply wasn't a very good AAA pitcher (that 4.59 ERA is way out of line with his peripherals).

He is only 24, so I would keep him at AAA and hope he returns to his his pre-'06 form.

As Weitzel said, though, he won't be groomed as a starter. The Phils already have a pluethera of 3/4/5 starters in the Minors (see Mathieson, Germano, Segovia, Castro, etc). Seems like he's a clone of Matt Smith, and Lord knows we could all use two of the same pitcher on the same team!

Umm, Rolen is not a good bat? He isn't Schmidt, but he is a hell of a lot better hitter than Brooks Robinson.

Career OPS+
Schmidt - 147
ROlen - 129
Robinson - 104

Rolen may come down a bit as he ages, but Brooks Robinson broke a 129 OPS+ exactly ONCE. Rolen has done it 5 times.

Robinson's second highest year was 125, a number Rolen has bested in 9 of his 11 years.

Don;t like rate stats: OK, well Rolen currently has 15 less HR than 5000 less at-bats!

You may think Rolen is a "mistake hitter" but either Brooks COULDN'T hit mistakes, or Rolen makes a hell of a lot of pitches look like mistake.

Sorry Alby, I reread your post, and you said Rolen had a "good, not great bat" I misread it to say "not a good bat." However, Robinson was really more of an average bat.

you guys know fans that don't say crap about ownership constantly? i sure don't.

i actually don't know anybody my age that doesn't blame them for 15 years of worthless baseball.

now they spend money and now people go. it seems simple to me.

I agree with most of what everybody says. I think it is just when I see the anguish and fristration in Shilling's face when he was taken out that relates exactly to the way I felt then. I was 11 and I thought Schilling was superman. When he was taken out it was like it was over already. Then he just sat there with the towel on his head, with one of the most miserable and helpless expressions on his face I have ever seen. Schilling has an obsession with winning that very few players in any sport have. When he was on the mound pitching, you could see the tanacity of Jordan, the stuborness of Elway, and the vulnerability of a wounded animal waiting to take his last shot to save itself, knowing that death will shortly follow. He was the ultimate battler, and I have to say that when he came out with the bloody sock and dominated the Yankees, every hair on my body stood on end whenever he came out there. I hate the Sox, but I was a Sox fan that day. Even though Shilling left the Phils, that night it was almost like he got his vengence on stamina and pain tolerance that got the best of him in 1993. There have been few sports moments that have been more moving to me than that game and it showed the progression of a truly great pitcher. He refused to give in to the same ailments that got him a decade before and became the figurehead of a retrurn from same for a whole city. Two more games back in the fall of 93 and Curt Schilling has a statue in front of CBP, and Philly, not Boston breaks the chains of sports abyss.

Shame there instead of same.

As far as Rolen and Schilling are Concerned i'll just leave you all with a little story. My mother and friend went to a game in 95 during the summer. They got a little drunk and decided to leave in the seventh inning. It was the vet, and they had a parking pass right under the stadium, in that inner lot you all remember?

Well as they are pulling out, someone comes flying out of a door and running out in front of their car. They slam on the Brakes, and there is Curt Schilling Deer in the Headlights, staring them down...

Scott Rolen as far as i know, never ditched out of a game and he didn't bitch when he wanted to get traded. He told them flat out: i'll stick around two years, let's win a playoff, otherwise i'm moving on..

Loved Schill in 93. Who Didn't. But hey, I loved Wild thing too.

No one Rags on the Phillies Ownership? I've been ragging on Bill Giles since i was old enough to really give a damn about baseball.

I don’t believe many Phillies’ fans have ever sided with ownership in any disputes with players, with the possible exception of the JD Drew fiasco.

For quite a while Phillies’ ownership was tight-fisted. No news there. You can point to that as an indicator of greed, pure and simple, but I tend to think it was also a lack of passion for winning. And for some reason it always seemed as if ownership was convinced Philadelphia was ‘small market’, and tried to run it like a mom&pop candy store. There did not seem to be a big vision for the team as a championship caliber franchise.

When fans stopped coming, and worse, stopped caring; when good FAs refused to come here; when good local players did everything they could to get away from here; when other pro sports franchises in this city started to improve; and when the local media openly turned against them, and started calling for new ownership, they finally started to react (the new ballpark sure helped, of course).

I do not begrudge ownership expecting a decent return on their investment as long as they re-invest some of that profit into the business and put a decent (competitive)product on the field. Ten years ago that was not happening. I think the effort has been there the past 5 years or so and I see no indication so far that it will not continue.

As for our departed heroes, I like Curt Schilling as a competitor, but he fancied himself a leader when nobody was following him. He started to believe his own press clippings and thought people wanted to hear his opinions about everything. They didn’t.
Still, I like Schilling more than Rolen because Schilling at least admits he has a big ego and is a bit of a prima donna. Rolen hides it behind a country-boy aw shucks persona.
Lastly, Curt Schilling always has sought out the big game, has wanted to be the key guy in the key spot, has thrived on the pressure. Win or lose, I like that. Rolen never has had that desire that I could see. He's competitive as hell, but never wanted to be tested on the big stage. He's a complimentary piece, not a foundation piece.

rsb - got to pick you up on a comment a bit back - you mentioned we'd all feel better if I Gillick got around to courting some actual major league pitchers to join the bullpen.

I'm really happy with the strategy he's pursued instead (altho' I still wonder whether we were one of the teams offering 3 years for borowski) - grab projects on the cheap. Like clout said, the kid has control, and I like the fact he's only 24. I like the fact we haven't lost draft picks for him. I like the fact we've got a reliever who is showing a good walk rate and decent control.

Targeting FA relievers is a hiding to nothing, and relievers acquired in trades are one step up from prospects in terms of a gamble. I'd rather we had young than old, and guys who showed good peripherals and got scouting reports using the words 'composure.'

Its probably in part some pavlovian response to one to many aging middle relievers sourced through terrible trades, but I can't be doing with acquiring this year's 70 IP flashy ERA who's 32/33.

There is a big diffence between Rolen and Schill. Rolen dogged the fans by not playing in "Rolen Day", and not coming out for a curtain call after a HR. He made public comments about playing in Philly and the Fans. Where Schill complained about ownership not wanting to put out a winning ball club. Schilling never dissed the fans, Rolen did big time. Short memories.

Livingston, I am going to trust Gillick on this one. If anything he is a minor leaguer who could come up in case of an injury. Same thing about Simon. If there is a injury or the Phils need a PH.

Kdon, thanks for the OPS-plus numbers on the three third basemen. I didn't realize Rolen was that far ahead of Brooksie. I will say this -- I'm old enough to remember seeing Robinson play, and I think Rolen is even better than he was in the field. His curse in Philly was having to follow Schmidt. And, as PhilRocks points out, we have short memories -- Rolen never actually asked to be traded, he just made it clear he was going to leave when his 6 years were up. He was traded because management wanted to get something beyond a draft choice in return.

With the jennings trade and this acquistion, I'm very curious as to whether lieber goes for pitching, unless someone throws a can't miss prospect out there as the deal. I'm starting to think that gillick is leaning towards sorting out holes in the bullpen from the bargain basement folk, and seeing what position player he might get for lieber.

If he fouls up getting value for lieber, I'll be less than impressed. But I'm cautiously optimistic that he's going to get a useful piece for us.

we basically got bobby livingston for nothing (just cash)...therefore good pickup.

Here are some non-tendered free agents that I could see the Phils being interested in based on Gillicks claim that we need a left-handed hitting outfielder, backup catcher, and relief:
1. Joe Pineiro (P)- sucked last year, but has electric stuff.
2. Damon Hollins (OF)- Phils almost traded for him last spring.
3. David Newhan (Utl.)- he can play all over the place, and he was a Philly breifly seasons ago.
4. Toby Hall (C)- he would be a fine backup...I can see him having a Todd Pratt like career.

carson: I sure hope you're wrong! Hollins and Newhan are just plain horrible. Pineiro hasn't had good stuff in 3 years and there's no room for him in the rotation. Hall as 3rd catcher is not a bad idea, however, since he can also play the INF corners. But I would NOT want him taking time from Ruiz/Coste.

Here's 2 non-tenders I would like to see the Phils go after: Jerome Williams, failed Giants prospect who's had injury problems, but would be an ideal swingman. If we deal Lieber we'll need a 6th starter since none is available at Ottawa (I don't consider Mazone a major leaguer); Chin-Hui Tsao, former top Rockies closer prospect has failed to recover from 2005 rotator cuff surgery (he also had TJ surgery in '01), but is only 25. When healthy he throws 94 mph with a very good slider.

Oisin: Besides bullpen help, the Phils need a LH outfielder who can play RF. The ideal Lieber trade would bring a decent bullpen arm and that lefty bat. The odds of that happening are slim. I don't think Lieber is held in high regard at this point in his career.

"I don't think Lieber is held in high regard at this point in his career."

Understatement of the year

I'll give my two cents in the Schilling-Rolen-Drew debate. We should all hate Drew forever for not even wanting to come to Philly.

I really liked Schilling as a Phillie and felt his need to have a chance to play for a winner. I have rooted for him as a D-back and as a Red Sox. He is a great pitcher that is a real competitor. I agree with Alby, George S., Iron Pig (I hate that name!) and clout about Schilling.

Rolen is not as great a player as Schilling, so my following for him quit when he went to St. Louis. I know I'd rather have Rolen at 3rd than Bell or Nunez. Rolen wanted to leave and good riddance. I could care less about Rolen.

What about Reitsma? Atlants non-tendered him.

Any interest out there for the guy?

Clout - although age is most definitely an issue with lieber, his control (which seems stubbornly immune to the steady onslaught of time) makes him valuable and he has managed to be about a league average pitcher for the last couple of years.

At this point, that's something you can sell a desperate team. Asking for a young outfielder (hell, doesn't need to be a great arm - you could move burrell to right and move the tradee to left) with good upside instead of a pitcher might seem like a bargain to most teams, given what was given up for jennings.

Note to all - just for fun, here's the fangraphs page comparing jennings and lieber. HR/9 aside, I find it hard to believe we're not able to get similar value for lieber in a trade. I thought it might be the cubs, but I suspect they'll try to exhaust all FA options before going for a trade -

I'm still getting over the fact that Miguel Batista is now getting 9mil PER YEAR for the next three years.
We beleaguer ourselves on these no-name type arms the Phils are signing like Livingston, Kane Davis, Rule 5'ers, but what's the harm in rooting for these guys due to the price in which they are coming? Would I rather have Gagne at 6mil and his shredded shoulder, or joeshmoephilspitcher and his possible Chris Coste story?

These contracts are unreal, and the more I see them going out to teams other than the Phils, the happier I am.

Maybe Nolan Ryan can load up on the Advil and sign for year.

One "laugh of the day" question and one favor from the Beerleaguer professors.

It's Feb 15th, catchers and pitchers are reporting and we still have 6 starting pitchers. Who do we pencil in to the rotation?? Myers, Hamels, Garcia and...thus the crux of my laugh of the day question. Is it remotely possible, that a Moyer, Leiber or Eaton, could actually provide a viable 8th inning set-up man?

I know it's a lot to pay for a setup man, and totally out of character, but it may buy some time until one of the kids is ready to assume the role. Personally I think it's something Jamie Moyer could do and might do well as a veteran pitcher.

Okay folks, get yourselves up off the floor, serious favor. Would it be possible for someone to share some of the links you use to evaluate talent and come up with all those stats they never had when I was a kid?


And this is why we need to fill the 'pen in a more creative fashion. When Gagne and "Big Name FA Signee X" get shelled and/or injured, it makes Gillick look like a genius for simply being fiscally responsible in filling his 'pen on the cheap. This is precisely why PG has his business model of getting pitching via trade and other means, rather than free agency.

For all the bashing/arguing taking place lately, I couldn't possibly agree more with clout that a 6th starter is an absolute MUST for this team. If Lieber goes, we need someone to replace that role. How they use that "6th starter" is up to CM to figure out, but mark my words he WILL be needed to start, and chances are, he'll be needed to start for an extended period of time.

Gramps: I do 99% of my research on two sites: and

The former is perhaps the most comprehensive clearinghouse of stats on individuals and teams (both traditional and sabremetric) going all the way back to the old-old-timey days that the Internet has to offer. Its only weakness as far as I can tell is that it doesn't offer minor league stats (which the Cube does, making it very easy to spot worrying trends in a player's development).

Thank you, Mav, time to see if this old dog can learn new tricks.

GG - I find is also a useful visual aid for player comparison. You can can select a player, and then compare up to two other players - it's a quick way to pinpoint odd abberations in a player's mlb career. It also compares every player against the ML average (but importantly not league avg, which is a bit annoying).

Oh, and usual mention should be made of jason's list on the top left hand side of beerleaguer - hardball times etc. is good for all the details on a player's contracts.

GG, baseballcube is absolutely essential for minor league (and even college!) stats. B-Ref is good for historical comparisons, because of the similarity scores and weighted stats like OPS+.

If you want more advanced (or some would say, just more complicated) stats, check out the hardball times and Baseball Prospectus. Hardball Times is great because it gives you things like GB/FB ratio and "expected" ERA. B-Pro has a great stat called VORP (value over replacement player) which allows you to judge the value of a player based on their position. It also gives you a rough estimate of how many wins a player is worth to a team. Every 10 points of VORP is worth about one win. For example, Ryan Howard had a VORP of 81.5, meaning he was worth about 8 more wins than a replacement player (basically defined as a AAAA player or waiver wire pickup). Nunez, however, had a negative VORP of about 20, meaning he was two wins WORSE than a waiver guy like Jose Hernandez.

Probably way more than you wanted to know, but I certainly like to encourage research.

Oh, and if you want to look at contracts, Cot's Contracts is absolutely the best site, very easy to navigate.

Thanks everyone, I should be ready by spring training. Honestly, this is very educational for me and much appreciated.

anyone see that Brandon Duckworth is on the non-tendered list? only astacio still with the astros out of that deal. Much as i hate him, at least we did get two years of the whinging little b****x. Astros have not much left out of that deal.

jason, sorry about the swearing. I find it hard to talk about that man without getting worked up.

Oisin, I have no idea what a b****x is, so I'm not offended.

To Grumpy Gramps, don't let all this newfangled stat stuff intimidate you. When the batter comes up to the plate, you want a hit or an RBI. These are stats anyone can identify with. A lot of these new designer stats are based on small samples and the variations from season to season make some of these stats meaningless.

That said, there is one acronym you need to know before you can call yourself a 100% certified Beerleaguer. You need to know what a LOOGY is. (I hope I spelled it right, or I'll lose my certification.)

Lake Fred, its a dublin term derived from the following, not dissimilar to brat, but generally attributed to more older, wiser yet more selfish folk.

(For at least one other piece of foul dublines that I have used about B***y W****r, see here)">">here)

Thanks LF, I'm sure I know what a loogy is, I have found that as I get older I'm able to add a bit of phlem to it too....or did you mean left-handed one out guy? Or what we used to call a situational pitcher?

One comment on Rolen and Schil based upon talking to two different players... Both were not will liked by teammates but for very different reasons.

Rolen is an introvert who demanded to be coddled. The Phillies bent the rules many times for him, such as letting him take his own transportation, and other players disliked him for that and the fact that he never spoke to them except to complain about things. He is just a miserable person to be around.

Schilling was the opposite. Loud and boisterous, always wanting the attention to be on him as opposed to his teammates. He says he wants to be everyone's friend but will stab anyone in the back if it gets him some more publicity, then say "hey buddy!"

LF, what are you talking about...if there is any stat that varies significantly from year to year, it is batting average. RBI is also a stat that fluctuates a lot based on where you hit in the lineup and how good the palyers ahead of you are at getting on base.

As far as helping you determine wether a player is a good bet, BA and RBI are two of the most misleading stats. For the former, think Glanville, and for the latter, think Brogna.

ooo... we went from the ephemera of Nolam Ryan making the Hall to Saberstats vs. Traditional stats.

BA and RBI's are still the most important stats for a hitter, despite what sabermatriarchs haev to say.

Just like ERA is still the best stat for pitchers, regardless of ERA+ or expected ERA, or WHIP.

wait joe, I thought wins were the most important stat for pitchers? after all, ERA involves all kind of fancy newfangled division and such. wins were good enough for Old Hoss Radbourn, they had damn well better be good enough for us.

Gramps, I don't think using one of the six starters as a set-up man is a good idea. None of them have any experience in that role. In retrospect, I think the Phillies may have been better off letting Franklin start rather than use him to try to fill the RH set-up role at the outset of last season, which was really just a blindly hopeful and inadequate maneuver. If Madson and Floyd had not fooled everyone with their strong spring trainings, that's probably what would have happened. I strongly doubt Gillick would repeat such a poor strategy with Eaton this time around. The odd man out will be far more valuable to the team for what he will net them in return, namely at least one legitimate relief pitcher.

To that end, I am as hopeful as everyone else that that odd man (Lieber) can possibly land them Osuka from Texas, but then again the Rangers probably don't believe they'd be secure without having him as insurance for Gagne.

That non-tender list looks a bit different from the one I saw yesterday. What happened to Wilkerson? Did they offer him a contract after all? The one name I see on that list who hasn't been mentioned elsewhere is Jorge Sosa, who I think could be a decent long reliever/emergency starter/pinch-hitter.

"Phils. Now the prissy baby, seeing that maybe the owners weren't quite as cheap as he suspected and that the team has become competitive again, continues to whine that they don't want him back. I'm ultimately glad he was forced to take his right-wing right arm somewhere else."

What do his right wing views have to do with anything?

RSB - Wilkerson was offered a contract afterall

Dude: they don't really. I find the man repugnant, which admittedly should have little, if anything, to do with my opinion of him as a baseball player. My initial point was that I didn't like the way he crusaded for a trade and then whined about not being able to come back once the team was better again. Something about that fair-weather attitude really rubs me the wrong way. But my subsequent personal attacks kind of muddled that argument, and I should have probably not included them. Admittedly, I often have a hard time separating person from player.

That said, I have nothing against Pat Burrell or Bobby Abreu personally, so don't even start!

Oisin, I now know what a b****x is. I guess the "x" fills in phonetically for "cks". Not a term generally used here in the USA. My only knowledge of it is from the Sex Pistols album title. My daughter spent a semester in England last fall and now I hear a lot of "bloody this" and "bloody that" when she's home. "Bloody Burrell!!"

looks like matsuzaka is signing with boston after all.

boras played them like a fiddle.

kdon, I was being simplistic in talking about hits and RBI's. It's all situational. Each stat has its use. You want a different stat level in the leadoff batter than in your cleanup batter. To paraphrase what I wrote regarding all the whiny Pujols supporters that supported his MVP bid with a lot of fancy esoteric stats, I say that Howard's 58 homers trumps sabremetrics.

The article I saw said that Matsuzaka was flying to Boston. What he does there is merely speculation. Maybe seeing Fenway Park will be the selling point, however, maybe seeing the Green Wall will make him hightail it back to Yokohama!

"The Green Wall"?

Lake Fred - well, if ever you needed a definition, that'd be Billy Wagner. Really, I know phils fans haven't felt charitable to either Schill or Rolen, but at least neither of them felt the need to stick their neb in on an argument between another ex-player (lidle) and the phils (stick their neb in - central belt scotland slang for getting involved when you don't need to).

Sorry, I must've been thinking of the great wall of China. I meant the Green Monster, Fenway's left field batting target for doubles.

Oisin, I checked your second link, too, and read how you really feel about Billy Wagner. The closest MLB town to me is Houston, so I have seen Billy Wagner in person when he was with the Astros. He was awesome as an Astro; less than awesome as a Phillie; and a complete f$@#ing d%$#head a$$#@!% as a Met.

NO harm no foul Schu, I can be a tad defensive when people make remarks about RW'ers. I hate when people list someone's character flaws and somehow being a RW is one of them. No harm no foul, and remember I have no love lost for the Midnight Mayor of Center City and Bobby abrBOOO either.

Speaking of the Midnight Mayor of Center City, when I read what Alby wrote near the beginning of this thread: "considering that on the intelligence scale most baseball players would fit somewhere between Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton." I imagined Burrell being a baseball player who would fit comfortably at a lounge somewhere between Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton.

I imagine Pat has been somewhere between lindsey and ching

I was pretty sad with what happened with Bobby Livingston this year. Watched him in Tacoma, he looked good. Then he got his callup... looked bad... went back down... looked worse.

On the other hand, people used to refer to him as being a "younger version of Jamie Moyer" in our farm system, so hey, what better place for him to be than learning from the older version of Jamie Moyer?

And with a bunch of former team-mates!

What the heck, might as well add my two-cents worth regarding athletes in general and schilling in particular:

It irks me when players (in all sports) campaign for the security of a multi-year contract and can't sign on the dotted line fast enough when an agreement is reached. Afterwards, if things are less than ideal, for example, the team is not winning, salaries escalate dramatically after the contract is signed, or if, after a breakout year, a player would be worth significantly more than his current salary, the player whines about how underpaid, unappreciated, and unfairly treated he is!!

Can't have it both ways, either shut up, honor the contract and, if unhappy, leave after the contract expires, or refrain from signing the security of a long-term contract.

Ah, I feel better now!!!

Forget Torrealba, he signed with the Rockies - I'm not thrilled about Ben Davis or Benito Santiago, is anyone else?

The Phils should bring in one of the former Red Sox FAs, either Javy Lopez as a 3rd catcher, big stick off the bench - he's was the '96 NLCS MVP (and it would piss off Braves fans) or Trot Nixon for the LH corner outfielder position. I hope that is what PG does once he figures out what holes are filled by a Lieber trade. Did Moyer have his own catcher with Seattle? I wonder if Lieber does go, if Hamels will keep up wanting a personal catcher, like he and Lieber had in '06?

verdeforce, I really don't think Lopez has anything left at the plate (.683 OPS) or in the field.

I've been pushing Nixon for a while, but he really only fits in a platoon given his terrible numbers against lefties and general tendency for injury.

Okay, this is slightly off topic, but it's time for a MavRant(tm):

What the hell are the Mariners doing?

First they trade Rafael Soriano, an arm as good or better than their nominal closer, for Horacio Ramirez, an oft-injured player who is just becoming expensive and hasn't been successful in years. Now they've just taken the aging and oft-injured Jose Vidro off the Nats' hands (paying him $12 over the next two years) in exchange for Chris Snelling (once a highly-touted prospect who has battled injuries but is still just 25) and Emiliano Fruto, a decent reliever prospect who logged over 1 K/IP in AAA last year at age 22.

It's one thing to give up cheap, promising young talent for aging, declining veterans. This seems to be a disorder perculiar to the GM species. But it is quite another thing to do so in exchange for talent that is of zero utility to your lineup. Vidro is not going to start over the M's current young 2B, Jose Lopez. He doesn't really have enough power or mobility to play anywhere else. So he becomes, what, a $6 million guy off the bench? A DH who slugged .395 last year?

Anyone? Anyone want to defend this crap?

VOR, I agree completely. Though I can't imagine anyone wouldn't agree with that.

Mav, I'm with you on the Soriano/Ramirez deal, but Vidro's a better player than he's shown with the Nationals. He's always reminded of me of Abreu from the left side, and he actually might not make a bad DH.

I'm not trying to start Abreu War LCXIV, but Vidro = Abreu? they're pretty substantially different players. Abreu strikes out and walks a lot - Vidro doesn't do much of either. Abreu averages 30 steals a season, Vidro averages a tenth of that. they're both double machines and hit for similar averages, but aside from that they're extremely different players. what's next, comparing Scott Rolen to Brooks Robinson?

(kidding, kidding...)

They were reportedly looking to move Sexson and I think Lopez has played SS at some point coming up. So perhaps Lopez/Vidro MI combo or Vidro at 1B.

They seem to have an odd man out now though. Betancourt is a great defensive SS and they have/had a DH platoon of Broussard and Perez. It makes no sense i'm going to stop trying to rationalize. If they weren't paying 75% of his salary it would be good.

The difference to me between Abreu and Vidro (among others) is that Vidro's OBP, in his good years, was inherently avg-driven, whereas Abreu (as we all know) is a walk machine. This means that as Vidro's avg. slides (as it has the last three years) it takes his OBP with it, and since he was never that scary in the power department, most of his utility as a player.

Don't get me wrong, I liked the Vidro that hit .300 for 5 straight seasons just fine, but that Vidro is gone and he ain't coming back.

He always seemed to kill us too, back in the day.

Well, I can name about 50 differences between Vidro and Abreu, the first being that Vidro isn't remotely as good. But if he reminds RSB of Abreu, they must be comparable, even if the stats say the opposite, no?

All I meant was that Vidro reminds me of Abreu as a hitter. They both hit a lot of line drives, a lot of doubles, have similar swings, use the whole field. Nothing to do with numbers. Do you have to jump on every goddamn thing I say?

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EST. 2005

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