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Monday, December 11, 2006

Comments

wow drabek is 19 and in camp. impressive.

i personally would like to see Joe Bisenius in person. from the buzz around him, he has a shot to make the team.

Oh, and for my official Beerleaguer take: There's only a small chance any of these players head north with the club. If you had to put money on any of them, it would be Davis or Bisenius, but only if they blow minds in Clearwater.

Simon, seriously, I thought we cut are ties with that clown. Considering we have Utley, Burrell, Conine, and Helms to play backup 1B, I can't see any possibility of him making the team.

RSB, I meant to ask you from the last post, did Charlie O'Brien have the orange glove on? That would be kinda freaky!

I mentioned this in another post, but I think Mazone is for real (meaning, he would be my first call-up for a spot start) based on his minor league performance. I can't say why he was in the independent leagues until age 28, but anyone who can post a WHIP of 1.12 and allow only 6 HR in 128 IP at AAA deserves a shot. Could be the pitching equivilent of Coste. He doesn't seem to have great K rates, but his HR allowed totals are absolutely mind-boggling (a good thing for CPB)...in the minors, 21 HR in 323 IP!

everytime i see lou marson's name, all i can think of is lou brown from the movie major league. i know it doesn't make any sense, but it keeps happening.

kdon, Simon is getting the chance to fill the BPWCHMS spot on the roster for the Phils this year - Bench Player Who Can Hit a Moving Sausage. He's actually the odds-on favorite to get the nod. They don't call him the Sausage Assassin for nothing.

Although he's got next to no shot, I'm glad to see the Phils letting Drabek get hit around by some big league pitching, without putting him in a position to shatter his confidence.

Quick question to clarify some of the comments on the weekend thread. ESPN sets the Phillies' payroll around $87M for next season [link=http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/teams/salaries?team=phi newwindow]here[/link].

Reading through the other posts, is this number not accurate? If so, this is fairly in line with Montgomery's comment.

Both Calloway and Pedro Swann are Lynx alumns. So grab your bags, honey. We're going to Ottawa! A possible Lynx lineup:

Bourn
Sandoval
Burnham
Swann
Simon
Jaramillo
Calloway
King
Beattie

Right. I'm excited for the possibilites for Drabek in maybe the 2008/2009 season. He's got electrifying stuff.

that's what i meant about drabek also. i hope he has a great future.

I'm also Happ-y about JA being in big-league camp. Ditto for Bisenius. I have good feelings about Happ, Bisenius, Drabek, and Carrasco (whose name I'm surprised not to see on the list).

I'm surprised Drabek got the call to the big camp above some of last year's Lakewood pitchers (Carrasco, Maloney, Outman, etc). Are they on the 40-man? (didn't check)

kdon, in my dream, I only recall reading about the acquisition of O'Brien in the dream. For all I know, it may have well been a dream version of Beerleaguer. Or - yes, clout, I'll beat you to it - a "fantasy" version.

Speaking of days gone by - that Expos logo pictured above already seems charmingly retro, doesn't it?

Bisenius sounds like a candidate to be the spring 'sleeper' of '07. And what about Gradoville? The guy threw out over 50%! Seeing that we've already got a fringe catch-and-throw specialist waiting in the wings, this Budde guy might be left singin' the blues (sorry, couldn't resist).

Nothing like a little bit of shameless handle-plugging.

Well, here goes nothing:
Happ's the ACE in waiting.

When Eaton gets hurt (which he's invariably guarenteed to), we all might get a long, hard look at JA Happ. I don't think he'll disappoint if we need him to step up.

i guess this means i have to cheer for Tim Gradoville?

Slow night...

HOT STOVE UPDATE

Free-agent right-hander Miguel Batista is on the verge of signing a three-year contract with the Seattle Mariners, FOXSports.com has learned. The deal figures to be in excess of the three years/$24 million offered by the KC Royals.

There are a few guys on this list that could end up being bull pen candidates for the Phils like Bisenius, Cameron, and Ennis.

Can anybody believe that Reliever Jose Mesa and the Detroit Tigers agreed Monday to a $2.5 million, one-year contract.

Hello, is anybody out there? C’mon guys…the Rams-Bears game is not that interesting.

i was watching ali/frasier iii. i can't believe frasier's cutman stopped that fight...

as for batista - this is why he wasn't going somewhere as a setup man and (imo) wasn't going to be a closer either. the starters money is just crazy.

Jason: If that is Ottawa's starting lineup, it doesn't say much for the state of the Phillies farm system in terms of position players, does it?

I was thinking the same thing Clout. Not exactly a whole lot of names to get excited about - especially among the position players. I only name I am mindly intrigued by is Jamarillo because of the Phils' need for a catcher.

I wonder how many times Golson is going to strike out in spring training. I bet it is 1 K around every 2.5 ABs.

"Drabek has electric stuff." Really? And a 7.71 ERA, in case you hadn't noticed. According to Bill Conlin, Kyle Drabek looked like damaged goods, overpitched by his HS coach. Conlin compared him to Brad Brink. For those too young to remember him, Brink was a highly touted prospect out of Southern Cal who was burned out in the College WS and consequently never got more than a cup of coffee in the majors.

Drabek very well might have electric stuff AND a 7.71 ERA. He's 19. And Drabek didn't pitch in college, let alone in the college world series.

The Phillies are smack in the middle of a high-level position player drought, and it's reflected by that lineup. I didn't even mention Ryan Fleming and Jim Rushford. Both signed yet again this year. Some of these veterans, like Burnham or Swann, could actually wind up back in Reading just to fill the roster and keep the team competitive. Pitching is generally in better shape, but their organization-wide position player depth is quite poor. They are fortunate to have such good, young players in Philadelphia to buy them time.

Triple-A has become a wasteland for both pitchers and hitters, at least when it comes to the Phillies. If a player has any talent, you get 'em out of there, just like they did with Hamels. Of course, placement depends a lot on where the holes are in the organization, but it seems like more teams are promoting young players directly from Double-A these days.

The problem is, these veteran-heavy rosters have creeped into the Phillies Double-A club, all because they're so thin. Between Scranton and Reading, the Phillies really scrambled to find enough pieces, and development suffers.

Geez Alby, Drabek was 18 and threw 23.1 innings in Florida! Let's give the guy a few years before we pull a full negadelphia on the guy.

I don't think Conlin has a clue. Even if his arm was burned out as a 16/17yo, he probably has 6 years in the Phillies organization to strengthen his arm. The comp to a college pitcher (Brink) is beyond useless, it is completely misleading.

Negadelphia? Because I reported what was said by a guy who knows more baseball than most of the people who post here will ever know? Give me a break. The slagging of sportswriters by the wannabes on this board gets old.

By the way, where did you get your degree in sports medicine? "He has six years to strengthen his arm" is based on what? Wishful thinking? Pitching arms don't work that way. There's an old scouting adage about guys throwing hard in their teens vs. guys who don't develop the speed until later, to the effect that guys who throw in the 90s in their teens throw in the 80s in their 20s.

Similarly, your contention that a comparison between Drabek and a college pitcher is "beyond useless" is based on what? Most people who have studied the issue -- not me, but the guys on Baseball Prospectus -- consider that the younger an arm is overworked, the greater the lasting damage. So where do you get the idea that possible overwork of young Mr. Drabek is "completely misleading"?

Damn, I hate to see alby and kdon disagreeing. They're 2 of a tiny handful of posters here worth reading.

Why do we even bother looking at this blog? Baseball Prospectus and Bill Conlin have all the answers in their back pockets. The very best we can aspire to is "report" what they say. There is no need or use for our lowly opinions. Brad Brink and Kyle Drabek are in fact the very same person! Bow down before the authorities, vermin wannabes!

RSB: There are no lowly opinions, only uninformed, illiterate opinions. Such as your views on Abreu & Burrell for example.

And thank god that there are for your sake, clout - where else would you get your rocks off shooting other people down if there weren't?

OK, a few points Alby.

DO you admit that 23 innings from an 18 yo is not neccesarily a good indication of ability?

DO you really think Conlin knows more about baseball than ANYONE on this board (let alone combined)? The guy advicated a Vic/Rowand/Bourn OF for christ's sake. Conlin is a wonderful writer at times, but I have seen more interesting insights from you, ae, clout, Jason, dajafi and even RSB than I have ever seen from Conlin. Don't confuse the ability to write a column with baseball knowledge.

I have respect for a lot of the things that Salisbury or Hagan have to say, but Conlin is paid to provoke opinion and discussion, which means that he is prone to go overboard, such as saying that Drabek is "damaged goods." He is about as reliable a source for good information as Ann Coulter or Al Franken.

As for the "medical" opinion, I can assume that none of the posters here work in sports medicine or have examined Drabek. My point was simply that VERY few pitchers have ruined their arm in HS as opposed to college. As far as I know, the BP research has revolved around drafted and college players and is applicable to players who have made it through the "injury nexus", meaning if you make it to around 25 w/o injury, you are in good shape. I don't think it applies to a case like Drabek.

The Brink comp is ridiculous, for the reason seth posted above: Drabek didn't get burned out in college and, nevertheless, is just one player. Comparing the two IS misleading, I don;t understand how you can see that comparing a player who pitched high intensity innings in college for four years with someone from high school is intructive.

My point about the age is that considering he is still young, the Phillies have time to nurture him.

Is it possible that his arm is shot? Sure, but don't try to convince me based on 23 freakin innings and the say-so of a blowhard.

Oh and if this is your opinion,

"The slagging of sportswriters by the wannabes on this board gets old."

Then go pick up a cup of coffee and read the damn Daily News instead of parroting it here!

The Drabek pick was less than thrilling but you need to give the kid a chance. 23.1 innings doesn't tell you anything. Check back at the end of next year.

OK, and finally, I decided to read the great oracle on Drabek, and this is the entirety of his comments, drawn (interestingly enough) from an article pasted by clout on Beerleauger in August:

"Next door... This June's first-rounder, righthander Kyle Drabek, got $1.55 million. Teammate shortstop Adrian Cardenas got $925,000 and is the star of the team. I say he makes The Show.

On grounds he was overpitched during his fabulous Texas high-school season, Drabek is essentially auditing the GCL. His ERA is 14.40 after five rusty innings. A talented shortstop, Drabek is 0-for-2 with two walks as a DH.

The cynic in me saw Brad Brink's career shatter on that same field many years ago. The cynic whispers to me, "Damaged goods.""

The way I read this is that the comp was a throwaway line at the end of a column. The point about being "overpitched" was only meant to explain why Drabek was being given an abbreviated stint, nothing more.

Please tell me there is more than this!

The position prospects are another deal entirely. I would be willing to bet the Phils are among the bottom 5 in the MLB with positional players who might make an impact in the next 1 or 2.

Kind of recapping a point I made the other day, but Arbuckle's drafts generally produced one or two decent apples and bunch of rotten fruit. Maybe the biggest knock on Arbuckle has been his ability to build a deep farm system through the draft.

ahh bill conlin. we know the offseason has hit it's most boring point. debating a guy who didnt' vote for nolan ryan to get into the hall of fame - shame on you all.

I just think Conlin allows his judgement to be clouded too much by his intense dislike for the Phillies current ownership and top management. He cannot evaluate talent, trades or other franchise moves except through this prism of cynicism and sarcasm. Every mistake is considered 'typical'. Anything done right could have been done better. If they say anything, they're lying. If they don't say anything, they're faceless backroom conspirators.

I'm no big fan of Montgomery or the owners either, but they are trying to put a winning team on the field, and PG is trying to improve the club. They make mistakes and PR gaffes just like all the other owners in pro sports. The team has been competitive and is getting better. Conlin smirking at their every move just gets old after a while.

Maybe we should nominate Bill as the next UN Ambassador and he can look close up at a REAL dysfunctional organization. Take Dallas Green along with him to run the Peacekeepers.


Conlin is pretty caustic at times and can be an old codger but can you blame him about his generally negative views about the Phillies' competitiveness since Montgomery and Co. took over?

I don't.

Tim: Every time you lie, I'm going to correct it. Conlin thought Ryan deserved to be in the HOF but NOT ON THE FIRST BALLOT! And when you compare Ryan to other first ballot winners, it's not an unreasonable position. But keep on lyin'

Regarding Drabek, I don't recall a lot of questions being raised about his physical health at the time but there were tons of questions raised about his mental health. The rap was that he was immature and didn't take instruction well (and at age 18, imagine that!) If true, that could explain his numbers as much as an arm problem.

I'm with a few of the others - don't judge Drabek based on 23.1 IP in the GCL. There never was a question about Drabek's physical health, only about his makeup. He was 18 when drafted, and is now 19. Oh, and by the way, he'll also be in Big Camp during the spring. But OBVIOUSLY, those who made the decision to bring him into camp with the rest of the Big Dogs don't know anything. It's not like they run a professional sports franchise. It's also not like they made the decision to bring Cole Hamels up in the middle of a season.

Anything Bill Conlin says about the Phillies can be completely disregarded. The man is a sad excuse for a human being and is probably (and by probably, I mean DEFINATELY) holding a grude against current ownership, management, and staffing. He will forever (or at least until Montgomery sells the team) be one of the sportswriters in this city who are much quicker to point out the flaws in something and overlook things that are done right.

Clout:

You are one negative individual. It's a baseball blog, nothing more.

That said, I highly enjoy reading your posts....

Paul: Not as negative as Conlin, though! Here's what's negative: Number of playoff appearances by the Phillies during the past 12 years: 0.

Golly! Jason posts a list of 19 longshots to make the team and we get a discussion thread degenerating into arguing about an 18 year old's 23 inning performance, Bill Conlin's competance and we even get mentions of Ann Coulter, and UN ambasssadors.

The bulk of the 19 names are pitchers and catchers It's essentially an audition list for third string catcher and last arm in the bullpen. The names that pique my pitching interest are Bisenius, Cameron, Happ and Farnsworth. It will be an interesting spring.

seeing bisenius on the list cheers me up. if last year's ST is anything to go by, everyone will at least be given a fair shot at making bullpen/rotation. The rule 5 picks suggest that gillick is trying the same MO of gathering a large pool of arms and seeing who sticks - so you'd hope that Bisenius, maybe happ can make the relief corp with a view to filling in where needed.

As for conlin, I often like the guy's writing, but he's curmudgeonly. Its rare he'll let the opportunity for a snide swipe pass if he's riled. If a kid hasn't pitched at college, I'm not going to assume one way or the other how tired his arm is, short of hearing he's been scheduled for TJ surgery.

One thing which does occur is that the son of a pitcher might be told how to handle his arm - of course, you might make the argument that his old man just told him to tough out any pain, but I doubt it.

I guess I'm in the minority here, but I always viewed Conlin as a venemous windbag, a pathetic, wheezy excuse for a human being, a know-nothing, reactionary parroter of bile, a paragon of arrogance, a knee-jerk nattering nabob of negativity, a black hole of schadenfreude and envy, a self-involved spewer of the most perverted conventional wisdom and, more than anything else, a sad old man.

But, that's just me.

Also, as to the Drabek-in-camp mystery:

"Drabek, 19, the team's first-round pick in June, received an invitation because it's part of his contract. Golson, 21, a first-round pick in 2004, will be in camp because the Phillies want him exposed to the big-league environment."

Of the non roster spring training invitees, probably Randal Simon has the best chance to make the team if the Phils can't land a left handed bat and he has a strong spring. Spring training has become big business. They play 20 games, get around 5K in attendance, and need lots of arms and catchers. Possibly one of the pitchers could stick, but that's a longshot as well. They are essentially roster filler when Burell, Rollins, and Howard don't want to take 2 hour bus rides to Fort Myers or Sarasota.

The dog days of christmas. I hate this time of year (baseball-wise, anyway).

hey moron clout - what did i say? i said he didn't vote for nolan ryan to get into the hall of fame. everytime you smeer what i say and pretend it's something else i'm going to call you out on it.

BILL CONLIN DID NOT VOTE FOR NOLAN RYAN TO GET INTO THE HALL OF FAME. that statement says nothing about what he said about the vote afterwards. that is a fact.

maybe one of these times you call me a liar and i prove you are wrong you will apologize to me, but i doubt it. i've called you bill conlin in drag before and i'll do it again. it's pathetic how miserable you are about something, you're presumably, here to talk about because you love.

wow, it's tough to be more hostile than a clout/RSB fight.

congrats, Tim.

As usual, enjoying all the Beerleaguer love going around as I enjoy my late-morning coffee and pumpkin cream donut!!! When the next civilization unearths and reads the Beerleaguer archives, they will categorize us with the Huns and Barbarians!!


BTW, just keeping up on the latest Boras/Matsuzaka/BoSox showdown at ESPN.com and it looks like Epstein, Lucchino and Co. blinked first. Without even receiving a counteroffer, BoSox management flies out to SoCal to kiss Boras' butt. LOL!!! As much as many of us might detest Boras, I've got to admit: He's the best at the high-stakes poker otherwise known as contract negotiations.

I hate to bring up football on a baseball blog, but since I'm living in New Orleans, we are witnessing something truly amazing here with the New Orleans Saints. Last year the Saints were horrible and they fire the coach and the quarterback. In the offseason, they hire a young assistant coach and pick up a free agent quarterback who is coming off shoulder surgery with a bad arm and he's too short. The rest of the team has some holdover good players and a lot of third rate players. It turns out the coach is a really smart no-nonsense coach. He runs off a lot of the old and assembles the new of mostly cast off players from other teams. This year it looks like the Saints will win their division. The moral is this: If you can turn around a team through mainly a smart no nonsense coach, how can the Phillies improve with Uncle Cholly?

Are there smart managerial talents available in baseball? Why continue with Foghorn?

Billy Mac: The Inquirer lists Simon, Bisenius, Happ and Davis as the four most likely possibilities of this group to break camp. All four are a stretch. I can't see Happ coming north. The rotation is filled and he's being groomed as a starter. Simon is possible off the bench, but he looked pretty washed up and can't play in the field. If any of these players come north, I'd bet on a low-level reliever.

i'm usually a very passive person. but clout keeps saying that i'm lying about something that is an absolute fact and it's getting old.

sometimes i actually think he is bill conlin - seriously.

J:

Have you ever done a "Get to know your posters" column.

I would love to know more info about some of the posters like:
1. Age
2. Birthplace / Current City
3. Baseball Background
4. Occupation

Just curious where
A. All the good insight comes from
B. Where all the negitivity comes from.
C. Where people get the time to post this much.

Love the blog - keep up the good work.

ps - when will Drabek have the best chance of pithing in the spring? I am going to catch a few ST games and would love to see what he has got. Thanks

Jason, I'm with you. Simon didn't impress last fall in Philly. Happ is a starter and there is no room for him as a starter. Davis' past doesn't make him appear to be a keeper on the big club. The best bet is for one of the relievers, Bisenius, Farmsworth or Cameron to impress and stick for the trip north.

yeh, you gotta love the smell of a good flame war at lunch.

on the topic of "get to know ya":
Age: 31
Birthplace: Shamokin, pa currently: philadelphia
baseball background: pitcher, college, independent leagues. Stopped playing at 24.
Occupation: sofware engineer

Baseball America will be posting their top ten Philly prospects next month. It would be interesting if you would would make your selection before they do. They were pretty bad last year--as was our minor league system--selecting Moss, Harman, and Baez (3b at Lakewood but check the spelling), none of whom improved.

Your selection might prompt an interesting discussion.

Maverick, that's a pretty good assessment of Conlin. I would add to that list, in honor of his transparent literary aspirations, "prolix tautologist". (Though I can't deny I enjoy reading him most of the time, anyway.)

I have to think the only reason the Phillies are bothering at all with Simon is so that they can have him around to amuse the Ottawa crowds all summer, and call him up again in September to be the 39th man. He can't do anything except occasionally sneak a ground ball through two fielders.

Yep, I guess these are slow times when I am moved to comment on the likes of Charlie O'Brien and Randall Simon...maybe we ought to break out the "Beerleaguer Classic" and argue about Manuel's strategies in some random game back in May of '05.

Randall Simon can also close his eyes and hit the bal a loonnnnggg way.

he jsut can't hit a breaking ball with an ironing board.

On the subject of scouting and minor leagues, one area that totally flopped for the Phillies was their focus on Australia. That small endeavor, which made a few headlines, has turned out to be a total bust. Lesson learned: Stick with Latin America, like other teams have done for 30 years.

Jay Weitz, Agree that Simon is real stretch. But if he hits .500 in March and they don't have a better left handed pinch hitting option, he has a small chance of sticking. I agree he is washed up and cannot play defense. Not the type of bench player that Gillick covets. By my count the Phils still have 5 openings on their 40 man roster. I wouldn't be surprised to see another late trade (aka 2006 Dellucci) to fill out the roster to head north. To me, the guys on the bubble this year for the final roster spots include Coste, Brito, Roberson, Sanches, Condrey, Yoel Hernandez and Bourne besides some fringe players that will be acquired in trades or invited to camp as free agents. By the way, whatever happened to Josh Kroeger ? He's not on the Phils 40 man roster and is not a spring invitee. I thought he was still with the Phils.

CY, If you want to see Drabek pitch, I suggest going the first week in March. As soon as the minor league guys report, Drabek will be back with the minor leaguers. This is how the Phils handled Floyd and Hamels.

Billy Mac: The bus ride from Clearwater to Sarasota is less than an hour. Just like clout, I'm going to call you out on all your lies. Especially those regarding Grapefruit League travel times.

Come on people, lighten up a little bit.

Kroeger was put on waivers right around the time rosters expanded last season. He was included on last year's 40-man roster and had a dreadful year in Scranton.

I see spring training unfolding in a similar way, Billy Mac, with Gillick trading for an outfielder some time in spring training, just as he did with Dellucci in 06. As for the bullpen, it could come down to predictable choices like Condrey and Sanches for the final spots.

I had a conversation with outfielder Peter Bergeron last season about spring training competition, and he indicated it doesn't exist to the degree fans make it seem. The Phillies and players have a pretty clear idea about who's heading north, months before Clearwater.

Joe:

Independent leagues to software Engineer. Now that is good stuff. All the smart players are pitchers ;)

Mapquest says travel time from Clearwater to Sarasota is: 1 hour, 13 minutes.

That's if you drive like my Grandma.

From Jason, "about spring training competition, .... it doesn't exist to the degree fans make it seem. The Phillies and players have a pretty clear idea about who's heading north, months before Clearwater."

Back to my earlier New Orleans Saints post in this thread, that was something that was different this year about the Saints. The best pre-planned players did not necessarily make the team. An example was the the Eagles Donte Stallworth. He was being beat out by a late rounder from Hofstra, Marquis Colston, a throw away pick that was not supposed to make the team. Stallworth was traded away to Philadelphia and Colston was named to the starting team. That sent a message to the rest of the team to produce or get packing.

I'm disappointed that the Phillies spring training is not like that. I can see Howard, Utley and Rollins having essentially guaranteed jobs, but the rest of the roster should not have any locks on their jobs. The best guys should make the team and head north.

Gagne to the Rangers for $8 million.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2695054

Otsuka time?

The Clearwater to Sarasota quips between me and Steve Jeltz is how disputes should be handled on Beerleaguer. He made a statement. I looked it up and stated what I found and he rebutted with humor about Grandma. Neither one of us called the other a liar or an idiot and we are still Beerleaguer buddies. However, based on Steve Jeltz' response, I could conclude that he drives a bit faster than he should!

Jeltz, Clearwater to Sarasota in 1 hr. Perhaps at noon. But that return trip at around 4:30p during rush hour takes nearly 2 hours. Florida traffic is brutal.

Looking ahead, Tom Gordon's status will be a big story of spring. Obviously, Pat Burrell and what's going through his head. Eaton and Garcia will be watched closely. Howard will draw crowds.

For geeks like us, we'll keep tabs on the Rule 5 picks because they must perform in order to stay. There's one opening on the bench, and it will go to a left-handed hitter. By mid-March, the field of final bullpen candidates will be narrowed to only a few.

Well said, Fred. I live in Tampa and travel all through the area for work so I would consider myself the resident expert on Grapefruit League travel time. But Fred's assertion about my driving is correct and I have the tickets to prove it. And Billy Mac is right as well, at 4:30 on a weekday there's no way you're making that in an hour. Look, I found something we're all in agreement on!

And just for old times sake, David Bell sucks.

That geography discussion is fascinating, but back to the potential players on the team - I don't think the Rangers will trade for Lieber until they know if Zito accepts their offer or not. If he ends up in SF or NY instead, then the Phils can name their price - what do their catching/ other reliever prospects look like?

Is it me or is going to Spring Training just the biggest waste of time ever? Maybe if you are a little kid and can get an autograph or if you are retired it might be worth it but I can't stand listening/watching Spring Training games. Even worse than preseason in football.

Spring Training is much more fun than preseason football, if only because the weather is better adn you can interact with the players. But the Cactus League is better than the Grapefruit League, any day.

Steve, it's okay to say a player sucks or a manager is stupid or a front office guy is a liar. That's what a sports blog is for. We're trying to stop our fellow Beerleaguer posters from calling each other liars and stupid idiots.

I'm straddling the fence on Burrell. In my mind I ponder...does Burrell suck or not?

I hate to hear that MG, I've never been, but I have always wanted to go. I wouldn't mind seeing the players close up, since I could never get a seat that close in a ML ballpark. Also, the prospect of drinking bear, sitting in the sun and watching baseball is NEVER a waste of time!

There should be ZERO chance of Simon making the team. We keep talking about needing a LH hitter of the bench, but what we really need is a LH hitter to start in RF, so Vic can be a super-sub again. I don't care if it is Huff, Church, or Nixon, but one of these guys needs to be platooned with Conine. And if we do trade Rowand, then we REALLY need another starting outfielder because Conine/Bourn/Roberson is simply not going to cut it.

ugh! Did I really write "drinking bear"!! Maybe too much whasky last night?

Hey idiot liars, today was also nontender day. If you idiots would stop lying to each other for one moment you would have realized it. Time for some dumpster diving:

Josh Fogg
Shawn Chacon
Rodrigo Lopez
Joel Pineiro
Marcus Giles
Chris Reitsma
Ben Broussard
Toby Hall
Mark Hendrickson
Yorvit Torrealba
David Newhan
Todd Williams
Jorge Sosa
Brendan Donnelly
Brandon Duckworth
Kyle Snyder
Chin-Hui Tsao
Javier Lopez
Humberto Cota
Antonio Perez
Eric Bruntlett
Brad Wilkerson
Jason Lane
Jody Gerut
Jayson Werth
Aaron Guiel

(I should add that the above are strong candidates to be nontendered, and have not yet been officially)

Here's what mlb.com has on Otsuka: "From the beginning of August to mid-September, Otsuka said he had been bothered by terrible migraine headaches, a problem that has been bothering him off and on for 10 years." and it looks like they want to use him as an 8th inning guy - they need it since their top 3 starters are listed as Millwood, Padilla, and Tejeda! Is Tejas where all Phillies starters must go to die?!?

Pineiro meets the recent requirement - former Gillick player...

I'm with you, Fred. Regarding David Bell, I was just referring to something else we may all agree on.

I agree with Verdeforce, spring training is a good time. I go to a bunch of games that are much cheaper than CBP, where you sit closer to the field, get cheaper beer, and, in the case of Bright House Networks Field, you can get the best cheesesteaks south of the Mason-Dixon line. If you haven't been to Clearwater since they built the new stadium, it's night and day compared to Jack Russell. I highly recommend anyone checking out some spring training games down here if they get the chance.

The only problem is you may not see alot of Howard and Utley and you may see more Randall Simon than you ever wanted to. Getting back to the topic of the non-roster invitees, I don't think any of these guys are ending up in Philadelphia. Even if they do, it will be as the last guy and won't have much of an impact.

Hopefully Happ and Bisenius throw some quality innings against some big leaguers and build some confidence before a possible mid- to late-season call up. I think that's about the most you can hope for out of this bunch.

Glad to have thrown the bomb into the room; things were getting damn boring in here. Look, all I did was dredge up what Conlin wrote several months ago (yeah, that's all I saw; I don't think he wrote anything else, and I don't know where to look up Drabek's usage pattern). I mentioned it mainly because this was the first time I saw the final bottom line for young Mr. Drabek, and it was none too impressive, 23 innings or not. Can any of you deny you would be excited if his ERA for the 23 innings was, say, 1.15?

As for insulting all the wannabes, the multiple nasty assessments of Conlin's skills says more than I ever could. He's spent more time talking with professional scouts than all of us put together ever will, unless we either get a job in baseball or as sportswriters ourselves. But you can't just disagree with him; he has to know nothing, in your all-seeing eyes. ROFL again. But then, it shouldn't surprise me -- half of the posters here spend their time concocting imaginary trades and complaining about Pat Gillick when he doesn't make them.

Oh, and Tim, there are plenty of people besides Conlin who don't feel Nolan Ryan belongs in the Hall of Fame. I have pretty loose standards for inclusion, so I'm not in that camp, but you should stop citing that as proof of anything but your man-crush on Nolan Ryan. The stats -- damn, here come those facts again! -- hardly mark him as a no-brainer Hall of Famer. There are several pitchers not in the Hall who I'd take ahead of Ryan if I were putting together a team -- unless, of course, I put a premium on throwing no-hitters rather than winning games.

YAwn.

Can Javy Lopez still catch twice a week?

Forget that - I missed Brendan Donnelly on your list the first time through - the Phils should sign him posthaste. 6-0, 3.94 in the AL 53-28 K/BBs. Looks like the best out of that group.

Thank you for that deluded, irrational list, Mav. The non-tenders are almost like a second wave of low-tier free agents, and are never without a few real surprises. For instance, Brad Wilkerson, a name that was recently bandied about (here, at least) as possible return for Burrell. Are the Phillies likely to have any interest in any of these po' folk? There might be some half-decent answers in there somewhere.

How on earth is Nolan Ryan's lifetime ERA of 3.19, 324 wins, 5714 Strikeouts, and 7 no hitters anything BUT a first time ballot hall of famer?

seriously, i cant think of another modern era pitcher that put up numbers that were close.

Yorvit Torrealba could be a backup catcher candidate, maybe paired with fellow countryman Freddy Garcia.

joe - seriously?

five "modern era" pitchers better than Nolan Ryan:

1. Roger Clemens
2. Pedro Martinez
3. Greg Maddux
4. Tom Seaver
5. Steve Carlton

although to be fair, this assumes that your definition of "good pitcher" involves going into a little more depth than how many strikeouts a guy has.

Bill James' 20 best pitchers of all time, as of 2002:

1. Walter Johnson
2. Lefty Grove
3. Pete Alexander
4. Cy Young
5. Warren Spahn
6. Tom Seaver
7. Roger Clemens
8. Christy Mathewson
9. Greg Maddux
10. Bob Gibson
11. Kid Nichols
12. Bob Feller
13. Randy Johnson
14. Sandy Koufax
15. Carl Hubbell
16. Steve Carlton
17. Robin Roberts
18. Jim Palmer
19. Gaylord Perry
20. Ed Walsh

Let's not forget my all-time-favorite NOlan Ryan state -- not once in his career of record-setting length did Nolan Ryan finish more than 6 games over .500. He did this several times, but that inability to dominate over the course of a season the way he did over the course of so many individual games is why he racked up such a mediocre career winning percentage (.524) despite playing most years for winning teams. But, hey, he struck out all those guys, right? And walked all those guys, too. So who cares whether teams that employed him really had a better chance of winning with him or without him?

Oops, that should be favorite "stat," not state.

Thanks Maverick, but that was the pitcher of the same name. Javy caught some after he went from Baltimore to Boston last year, but I don't know how much time he spent as a DH. Torrealba only hit .230 in Coors Field last year, ugh.

This is what I love to see: "I'm really happy to go to Philadelphia," Freddy Garcia said in a conference call on Tuesday. "They have a very good chance to make the playoffs. It's a young team with good players."

Maybe Conlin secretly didn't vote for Ryan because for part of his career he was a NY Met. We hate the Mets. Can't vote for a former Met.

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