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Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Its not burying the"lead"... rather the "lede"... the lead would be technically correct but in the journalism field they use "lede" to avoid confusion.

I never herde that. Thanks.

The Phillies have a 2 year window to win the division before the Marlins start a 5 year run of dominance. I'm not as high on Rios as everyone else here, but that trade would fill their only hole on offense.

Ever the optimist.

clout -

the marlins draw less than the reading phillies. if they don't get a new stadium, they won't keep ANYONE.

I actually hope the Fish trade Olsen or some other young promising arms for Benitez. Benitez is a clubhouse cancer who places blame on other teammates when he stumbles and would only marginally help the Fish in the pen.

i'm soo tired of hearing about the marlins. i'm 2014 i'm going to be president!

Yeah, I don't buy the "5 years of dominance." This team has had incredible talent before and has yet to win ONE NL East crown, let alone 5.

"We think we have a closer in camp," Beinfest told an writer yesterday. "I'm not sure he's been a closer, or he knows who he is, but I think in the next six weeks, someone will step up."

You see - it could always be worse.

The Fish will keep very little of their talent, IMO. What are Cabrera and Willis going to get?

Both of them will be FAs before the new stadiom gets built - IF it gets built. By that time it will cost close to or more than $30MM to keep both of them. The scaly ones will never put out that kind of dough for only two players, not when the Yankees (who may lose A-Rod) and the Red Sox are lurking with their networks and revenue streams.

marlins are moving and pittsburgh is coming back to the east. we won't hav eto worry about anything then.

Tim, I've long thought about that. What they should do is move the Fish to San Antonio, Portland or Vegas - to the AL West. Move Pittsburgh to the NL East, rekindle some old instate rivaly, and the leagues would be balanced with 15 teams each.

I hate the 16 - 14 balanced right now. I would like to see the Phils play more games against the original 8 teams like the Cubs, Dodgers, Giants and Cards. With so many teams in the league it's not possible.

Funny, I love that quote by Benifest. That was probably what they did with Borkowski, and he was fine, and what they did with Braden Looper when they won the WS.

There are proven closers of the Rivera/Hoffman type, but after that, there are only really good and bad pitchers. I'm sure the Fish have plenty of talent and will have no problems finding a closer.

AWH, you can't have a 15-15 split unless you want to have interleague games ALL season, including the stretch run. That would suck, and mean LESS games against the old time teams.

I really think it is time to dump interleague play; that or go to a balanced schedule. I like playing the Mets 19 times a year, but I do miss seeing more of teams like the Cards, Dodger, and Cubs

I think if the Fish moved to Vegas, the West would become the division with six teams.

kdon, we agree on interleague play. If it were up to me I would dump it, though I have enjoyed watching the Phils at

I don't follow why a 15-15 league split would mean interleague games all year. Please explain.

It will never be gotten rid of though. Too mch money at stake.

Kdon writes, "This team has had incredible talent before and has yet to win ONE NL East crown, let alone 5." And yet it has won two World Series. So it seems winning an NL East title is beside the point, no?

AWH: Because a league with 15 teams in it can only play 7 games on any given night within its own league; the extra team in each league would have to play each other.

I agree ALby, obviously a division crown is not a prerequisite to winning a World Series (nor is 84 wins, apparently!).

My point, if you refer to clout's post above, is that the Marlins, even at their best, were not a dominating team, and therefore I'm not particularly worried about a 5 year run or any "window." The fact that wild card teams routiunely win the World Series is further evidence that even IF the Marlins became dominant, the Phils would still have plenty of oppotunities to be succesful.

If we want to talk about future, would anyone here trade Howard, Utley, or Hamels straight up for ANYONE on the Marlins. Maybe...*maybe* Chase for Cabrera, but other than that, no way.

umm...alright, that was dumb. I would trade Chase for Cabrera, but I wouldn't trade our young three for any three Marlins (yes, that means Johnson, WIllis, and Cabrera)

kdon: I would trade Hamels straight up for Willis, Olson or Sanchez and Uts for Cabrera. I'd keep Howard. Being a fan doesn't require taking leave of your senses.

Alby, those teams would not necessarily have to play each other. What rule says all teams have to play on the same night? Toss in a couple of double headers (ahhhh, a memory from my youth - a twi-night actually scheduled instead of a makeup) and you could put together a schedule. Teams do take days off when other teams play.

I want to see one full year out of Hamels before I trade him for anybody - even Willis. Utley (as much as I love watching him)for Cabrera is a no-brainer. There is nobody in baseball I'd trade Howard for except Pujols - period.

Are you kidding clout? You have actually looked at Hamels numbers, right? I can see taking the proven quantity like Willis, but no sensible GM would take Sanchez or Olson over Cole.

These three make for a pretty good comparison, because none had much time in AAA (Sanchez none!)

Career Minor league

Olsen 403 IP 3.06 ERA 1.26 WHIP
Sanchez 298 IP 2.66 ERA, 1.10 WHIP
Hamels 201 IP, 1.43 ERA .95 WHIP!

In the Majors, Sanchez has had a better ERA, but WHIPs and walk rate are similar, and Hamels has a big edge in K/9. And that doesn't factor in the big disparity in ballparks. Cole got knocked around in a couple games, but statistically, he has outperformed Sanchez and Olsen throughout his career.

You get knocked a lot as a Phillies pesimist, and I had thought you were just an objective fan, but thinking Sanchez and Olsen are better than Hamels is just self-hatred, my friend.

AWH, basically the ML schedule right now means that ALL teams play Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. If you tired to give two teams a night off, *every night*, it would create havoc with the schedule.

Think about it, if the Cardinals and the Royals were the two teams without an intraleague game, they would either have to take THREE nights off, or teams would have to play one or two game series. It would be chaos. Either that, or you would have to have interleague games all the time.

Hamels straight up for Olson or Sanchez?!?

that's hilarious!

kdon, there is no RULE that says ALL teams HAVE to play on those days/nights. There are also Monday and Thursday games played.

Using all seven days of the week and I believe it could be done. 5 teams in each division means you would play 18 games in your division and 9 outside of it.

It just takes thinking outside of the box - something MLB is not known for.

I don't think I buy the "fear the Marlins" hype.

You've got Sanchez and Johnson hurting, Olsen who seems like a head case, Uggla and Ramirez IMO overachieving last year, and Willis at some risk of breaking down--again, IMO--between heavy usage at a young age and that high-stress motion. Plus a popular, successful manager who got fired because the jerk owner didn't feel he sufficiently kissed the ring. Bad karma.

That said, Beinfast is a superb GM (he's dead right on the closer question), and Cabrera's among the three best players in MLB, and aside from salary considerations I'd trade him for anyone on the Phils. But this year I think Florida is headed for around 75 wins and fourth place in the NL East.

Pardon me if I don't bow down to Beinfest's renowned psychic powers. It's all well and good if one of those 'potential' closers works out, but to hear it from some of you, it's a foregone conclusion that *someone* will just inevitably work out if you keep plugging enough people into the role. I call that crossing your fingers and not bothering to plan very well. For every Papelbon or Borowski that comes out of nowhere and finds success, there are teams who lose their closer or don't have one in the first place, whose hopes of winning are sabotaged by this weakness. What is this idea that finding a reliable closer is such a simple thing? Does anyone remember when Ricky Bottalico suddenly ran into elbow problems in the late '90s, and the Phillies ran everyone and his agent out there to try to close games for a few years before they finally broke down and got Mesa? Has the pitiful memory of Wayne Gomes and Mark Leiter and Jeff Brantley and Ken Ryan marching in there to snuff out victories been abandoned so quickly? It's not that simple, and I guarantee you Marlins fans aren't pleased about this kind of quote. Beinfest had everything work out his way last year, and it sounds as if he's just expecting it'll happen that way again. Good luck sustaining success with that kind of wing-and-a-prayer mentality.

I predict we hear news of a Dustin Hermanson deal being struck today.

"Has the pitiful memory of Wayne Gomes and Mark Leiter and Jeff Brantley and Ken Ryan marching in there to snuff out victories been abandoned so quickly?"

RSB, I now dislike you. After many year of intense, expensive, and evergy sapping psychotherapy I had gotten over the nightmares, and had been able to repress those memories of abuse into the far corners of my feeble mind, hoping and praying that they would never manifest themselves again. Now you have triggered them again. Wayne Gomes and the others now dance about in my head, haunting me as they once did on the mound.

I'll send you the bill for the sanitarium after I'm released.

marlins WS champs 2008 ?
that would make 3 WS championships in the same time the phils have 0. not a 5 year dominance. more like 1 year of dominance every 5 years.

kdon: Injuries, my man, injuries. I love Hamels and agree that based on that modest sample he's got better numbers. I hope he stays healthy his whole career, but someone who's had chronic injury problems plus a degenerative disc is high risk. Choosing between high risk/high reward or less risk/slightly less reward, I'd take the latter if I were a GM. Again, that's looking at this objectively not as a passionate fan. If you ask me as the passionate fan, I'd say hell no. It's good you left Willis out though, it shows you can be objective too sometimes. :-)

RSB: I don't think the Marlins success is totally Beinfest. I'd say it is 60% scouting/prospect development and 40% Beinfest.

The key to the Marlins is that they draft and trade for position players like Willingham, Ramirez, Uggla, Cabrera, Hrmida and Jacobs while the Phillies are drafting and trading for Goose Golson and C.J. Henry.

Pitching-wise I'd say the Phils do a good job, but it remains to be seen if Happ, Outman et al wind up being as good as Johnson-Olson-Sanchez-Tankersley.

I'm with the posters who wish that Marlins management will break up the team as the players become arb eligible. Maybe we'll spend enough to grab a couple of them.

There is absoultely no way that I would ever think that a trade of Hamels for any of Willis/Olsen/Sanches. Olsen is a total headcase, and in any event has a lower ceiling than Hamels. The only argument is that Hamels might get hurt. Willis' unorthadox throwing style has many experts thinking he will break down early in his carrer. Besides, he was not great last year. Not that last year is a guarantee of future success, but I predict a downturn for Willis soon. Sanches, who the heck is Sanches?? Ok, so the guy threw a no hitter, big hairy deal. There are so many average/below average pithers that have thrown no hitters that it is comical. The Marlins didnt even want Sanches in that trade with Boston, they wanted Lester. THe Sox would not give the Marlins Lester, but were more than happy to toss in Sanches. He had a decent year last year, but I am definitely not going so far as to say he has even close to the potential of Cole Hamels. When one team takes him as a bcakup choice in a trade and the other team is happy to give him up, unless he has the pitching mind of Gregg Maddox, he is going to play down to his ability.

RSB, the problem with your analogy of the late 90s Phillies is that those teams didn't have any good pitchers. It wasn't like they had a bunch of great arms, but no one with closer "ability", they just didn't have good arms.

The Marlins *do* have good pitchers, so finding someone to closer won't be a problem. It is about talent. Gomes, Ryan, et. al. were not bad closers, they were just bad pitchers.

Clout, all I said is that I can see a valid argument for trading Hamels for Willis, not that I would actually do it. Injuries are a concern, but so is salary. Hamels is still getting peanuts for a few years and then some $4-7M arb. years, while Willis is about to go all Zito on the league. If I were Gillick and the Marlins called with a straight up deal, Hamels for Willis, I would *not* do it.

kdon, that's highly debatable. Taylor Tankersley had a good rookie year as a set-up man, and Nolasco had a mediocre year as a starter. Owens and Lindstrom have three major-league innings between them. Good arms, perhaps, but that doesn't always translate into 'closer ability'; all would be facing a trial-by-fire situation. I know you're not big on having experience in the back end of the bullpen, but to me a team that expects a bonafide closer to emerge from this quartet practically screams that it isn't ready to compete with the better teams in the division.

Kdon: I know you said *maybe*, but, well, I'd never trade Chase for anybody.

I hope he retires in Phillies blue in 2028. Yes, I mean Phillies blue. But let's not start up the whole uniform debate again.

First of all, what the hell is "closer ability"? I'll believe in it, RSB, if you can list me 10 or 12 pitchers who perform at one level as set-up men but fail in the closer role. And I don't mean cases where a guy gets 10 or 15 games as a closer and blows three of them and never gets a chance again; a sample size that small means next to nothing. One thing the Phillies of the '80s did right was get good bullpen arms (Holland, Bedrosian) and turn them into closers. They didn't sprinkle closer juice on them; they just gave them a better chance than they had gotten before. (As an aside, Mark Leiter wasn't all that awful as a closer, at least not until he wore down late in the season. Check the stats -- he was used for multiple innings far too often for a 35-year-old who never closed games before.)

On the "who would you trade to the Marlins" question, I wouldn't be so quick to swap Utley for Cabrera. Judged purely by on-field standards, Cabrera is superior, but he has been something of an attitude problem in Florida, a clear contrast with Utley. Hamels for Sanchez, maybe, but there you're simply gambling on which one's arm blows out first. The guy I would trade -- sorry for the blasphemy here -- is Howard, and I would trade him even-up for Cabrera in a heartbeat. Hear me out here. First of all, Howard is unlikely to ever repeat last season. Even if he does, he's likely to hit his decline period within three or four years, because he brings an old player's skills to the table, and guys like that tend to age quickly. He's FOUR YEARS older than Cabrera, who has a good chance of getting even better than he already is; Cabrera also plays a more demanding defensive position. Would I actually make that trade if I'm the Phillies' GM? Of course not; I don't want to be tarred and feathered any more than the next guy. But do I make that trade if we're playing Stratomatic baseball? In a heartbeat.

AWH, there's a reason the schedule looks the way it does -- travel. You can't have teams taking days off willy-nilly, not if you want to complete the season in anything like the current timeframe. And do you really think owners would give up Sunday games just so teams wouldn't have interleague games every day? Not likely. Give it up; either the leagues stay imbalanced, two more teams are added (or two subtracted), or we play constant interleague games. I'm ready to scrap the interleague stuff -- I'd rather see the Cardinals and Dodgers more than once a year. But again, the owners won't give up the extra attendance they get for rivalry week.

I can think of think of a bunch of names off the top of my head who have been effective set-up men but who proved to be considerably less effective closers: LaTroy Hawkins, Gomes, Arthur Rhodes, Braden Looper, Chris Reitsma, Kyle Farnsworth - just as I can think of plenty of guys who were given a shot as closers and came through, such as Brantley, John Wetteland, Rick Aguilera, Jeff Shaw, Tom Gordon. When you take a guy with 'great stuff' and expect him to work out as a closer, I figure there's a 50/50 shot he'll actually work out in that role. Guys with good, but not great stuff but who have pinpoint control or a certain aggressive fearlessness can succeed in the role. Guys who are frsh out of the minors, no matter how great their stuff, have far less of a 50/50 chance of stepping right in and becoming a viable closer; how many instances have there been of this? It happens now and then, but my point is a team is asking for trouble if it's *counting* on it, or of someone 'stepping up' out of a group of live young arms. Being a good closer is, and never has been, simply a matter of having a good arm. Do I really need to explain that to you, Alby? If it was, we would have seen Fred Toliver and Vicente Padilla as closers for the Phillies. Teams reach into the unknown and hope for the best; sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. If you go into a season expecting it to work, having blind faith instead of hard evidence that someone on your roster can suddenly close games out in the ninth inning, you're playing with serious fire - particularly when you're choosing among four guys with either limited or no major league experience.

I'll be getting back to you after some research, but yes, you do have to explain it to me, because I think it's fantasy. Fred Toliver wasn't a good pitcher, period. I'll look up Padilla's numbers in the role, but I don't think they're out of line with his numbers in any other role. But let me look it up first to be sure.

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