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Friday, March 30, 2007

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Of the publications above, my favorite picks us to win it all, Woo Hoo!

Naturally i just read it for the articles...

I assume everyone reads Penthouse for the high quality sports journalism.

It's also encouraging that SI had one of the lowest predictions, as they are almost always wrong in every sport.

cbs sportsline power rankings have them at 5th, behind the mets.

Anyone find it funny that the local guys dont want to make any outrageous predictions, they all have us as maybe making the WC, except for Hagen who has us at 88-90 wins but 3rd place? Damn the East would have to be pretty good for that.

Didn't the Power rankings list us at 5th, or was that a different power rankings? I just remember someone posted a link to them a few threads ago.

Nevermind, gr just pointed them out.

Also glad to see the boobs......I mean dudes at Penthouse have us to win it all!

Salisbury has a 4 game range? that's a little much.

Ya kinda weak of Salisbury, I predeicted 90 wins on an earlier thread, but I would like to change my prediction to between 60 and 140 wins.

But I guess you need to do your best to leave the door open for that I told you in March column.

Tim: I agree that's a cop-out. I want to change my prediction: the Phillies will win between 50 and 110 games.

i was over on metsblog and actually looked at their rotation. wow. i knew it was bad, but i never really put it all together.

i think they could wind up being a reds/rangers team more easily than a 98 win team.

i'm officially picking them third behind the phils and braves.

Larry Flynt is the man...love me some Penthouse! Excellent hi-brow literature it is.

I thought that Larry was Hustler, not that I would know anything about that stuff *cough*

yt- you're right, I am so embarassed that I "screwed" up my porn mags...oops!

I don't get the sporting news. Why pick the PHils to finish second but make the WS?

I know WC teams do very well in the playoffs, but that still seems silly.

RSB, I saw this a few threads back (yes, I'm that lame):

"I think, in fact, that Burrell's liabilities are the entire reason why Bourn made the team over Garcia."

I think we should keep a list of the things that Burrell is responsible for: Phillies failures, global warming, Darfur, lineup constrcution, failure to find WMDs in Iraq...it could be like an anti-Chuck Norris list.

Seriously, if Burrell "broke down", they could call up Bourn and he would be there in a day. Garcia didn't make the team because he sucks.

Bill Conlin, Daily News: in the hunt.

Way to go out on a limb, bill1chair.

I'm picking the Eagles to win 8-12 games next year.

The reason to pick the Phils (or any team) to finish second in the division, but make the World Series, is the difference between a 162 game haul and short postseason series. The bench, bullpen and back end of the rotation gets exposed more over the 6 months of games, but a 3 man rotation strengthens the bullpen, and the bench won't be relied on as much in the playoffs.

I'll take credit/blame for the original Bourn/Burrell link. I wrote a couple of threads back that I think he'll see a great deal of action as Pat's defensive replacement, my thinking being that he's not on the bench to act as a pinch-hitter. Obviously he'll start games here and there, but as a sub I expect that he'll act mostly as a defensive replacement when we have a late-inning lead and a pinch-runner in close games. By which I mean he won't be doing a lot of pinch-hitting, or at least that won't be his primary bench function. So while I can't pin the problems in Darfur on Burrell, his immobility probably plays some part in the decision to carry a plus outfield defender on the bench.

ALby, that idea was actually tossed around a lot before your return. I do agree though, that Bourn is a much better suited to pinch running and defense than Garcia/Werth/Dobbs.

I thought RSB meant Bourn was better as an everday replacement for when/if Burrell falls apart. That's why I said they could always just call him up.

Predictions from ESPN.com contributors:

Peter Gammons, ESPN: 87-75 2nd in NL East
Jayson Stark, ESPN: 91-71, 2nd in NL East
Jerry Crasnick, ESPN: 86-76, 3rd in NL East
Buster Olney, ESPN: 94-68, 1st in NL East
Rob Neyer, ESPN: 85-77, 2nd in NL East
Tim Kurkjian, ESPN: 90-72, 2nd in NL East
Steve Phillips, ESPN: 90-72, 2nd in NL East
Keith Law, ESPN: 91-71, 1st in NL East
Jim Caple, ESPN: 90-72, 1st in NL East
Eric Karabell, ESPN: 88-74, 2nd in NL East

I will kick Jerry Crasnick ass!

I'd like to formally apologize for New Jersey's lack of Phillies Phaith in the ESPN poll. Apparently theres a lot more Muts fans than those of the Phightins

Deadspin too--first place.

I have a theory about why BP, Diamond Mind (have they done predictions yet? Always interesting), and other outlets always pick the Phils to win, and we never do: those models simply can't take into account the decision-making "process" that leads to atrocities like Paul Abbott getting ten starts, or A.O. Nunez or Tomas Perez getting 40-50 high-leverage pinch-hit appearances.

If the Phils simply were better at extracting maximum value out of roster spots 15 through 25, we'd be running out of room to hang the division champ flags by now.

Second theory: some of the individuals who pick the Phils every year--like Rob Neyer--have tumbled to this underperforming trend, and have adjusted expectations accordingly. I'm trying to do the same.

Prediction Time:

Start with the "knowns" - The offense will produce. Getting around our top 5 will have to rely on a pitcher who throws offspeed junk. Those kind of pitchers will continue to confuse. The starting pitching will be above league average, the bullpen pitching, though nearly impossible to predict, will hold most leads, but blow some crucial games in spectacular fashion. Defense will be average again.

Charlie Manuel should get more credit for getting the most out of his players, but he gets the right amount of blame for in-game strategy. This puts him around the league average.

It's a forgiving schedule, compared to recent years past. A National League with a lot of parity plus a forgiving interleague schedule - no Boston or Yankees - is worth a win or two here and there. September '06 convinced me that this team ought to beat up the also rans.

90-72 is my guess. Half of me says they will win the division, 40% says the wild card, and 10% says they miss the playoffs. By May 9, those odds will hold up if they have a record around 20-12, 21-13, something like that. That was the approximate record of the Mets, Cardinals, Tigers, and Red Sox last year. (The 1993 Phils were 22-7 on that day.)

It's going to be nip and tuck with the Mets all year long.

Finally, although we may disagree from time to time, the Phils fan I disagree with the most is still a better person that the Mets or Braves fan that I agree with 100%.

With all the excitement of the upcoming season the signings of Barajas and Helms could be instrumental in making Rollins look like Nostradamus.

I was looking at some of Lieberthal's defensive stats and I am sure it was mostly on the pitchers (Millwood) and his bad knees but between 2002-2005 season he was 84 for 272 in throwing out runners. Last year he was much improved in a limited capacity going 18 for 29 (the previous year however he was 17 for 63).

While his numbers are not quite in Piazza's category this obviously puts additional strain on the defense and pitcher.

I have not seen much of Barajas this year but have heard he has a laser of an arm and thrown out alot of runners in ST and his career (around 50%) plus is very proactive with the pitchers.

Helms appears as advertised with a good stick and maybe a little bit better than expected glove and stabilizes the hot corner.

Sometimes as they say the it is the little things that make a difference.

PREDICTION: 89 Wins with WC berth and I love our chances in the playoffs with Myers, Hamels, and Garcia to win the WS.

Kdon, thanks for clarifying; I hadn't really thought about Bourn until I got back, because I too thought it made more sense to keep him sharp in AAA than to have him caddie for Burrell in Philly.

But I still have my previously expressed reservation about using him in that role: Cholly is pretty dim, even for an American League manager, about double switches. Therefore I'm forced to assume that, provided Burrell hits in the 5-hole, our extra-inning, tie-game-after-blown-save lineup frequently will read Utley-Howard-Bourn-Helms. Which means another right-handed pinch-hitter will be burned when the 5-hole comes around again, unless Bourn shows precocious ability to hit in the clutch. On the other hand, maybe this will be a reason to bat Helms 5th and Burrell 6th...not likely, of course.

Skip Bayless has us winning the East. Not sure that we can put too much merit in that. Beware of the Bayless/Steve Phillips jinx.

Hamels vs. Tavarez tonight. What can we expect? Will they stretch the starters a bit more or rest them for the most part?

Tavarez better not plunk any of our guys!

i can't believe tavarez is actually starting for boston. trade for lieber you baaaaaaaaaaaastards!

now kenny rogers is out half the year - lieber needs to get healthy so we can trade him and make everyone happy.

Don't worry Alby, the Phils have the perfect fill-in for Burrell in late game situations. Didn't you see, Joe Thurston is back!

In all seriousness, we may also see Nunez in as a defensive replacement for Helms, and therefore be treated to situations in which teams intentionally walk Utley, Howard and Burrell in order to get Abe to hit a weak groundball to second base.

did anybody see the article on werth today?

"[W]erth] still needs more live at-bats before his timing is all the way back, but if the Phillies were to trade Aaron Rowand and move Shane Victorino to center, the team wouldn't hesitate to elevate Werth right now."

i wish ford quoted a source on that.

ricado rodriguez started today for the marlins and gave up 2 ER in 3 innings, on 4 hits and 2 BBs. any type of positive contribution by him this year to the Fish would qualify him for the Lance Parrish Award, or the player who comes to philly with expectations, stinks it up, then re-emerges somewhere else and does just fine. past winners include roberto hernandez and todd jones.

Inning Endy Chavez has to be on that list.

Polanco?

The national guys generally seem to think the Phils are going to do better than the local guys. Not a surprise. Generally, the Beerleaguer posters are possibly the most pessimistic with a few exceptions.

I still think that even 90 wins will automatically take the NL East this year. Don't see the Mets winning 90+ again this year and Braves might crack high 80s if they are healthy.

King Kaufman of salon.com predicts it this way:
Philadelphia, Atlanta (wild card), New York, Florida, Grand Canyon, Marianas Trench, Washington

What is the point of a prediction if you put crap like "possible postseason"? Jeez, fall off the fence one way or the other.

Has anyone been watching the phillies this preseason. There has been a large stike out total and they have starting pitching troubles.....maybe a wild card if everyone else chokes! I think 84 wins this yr. I hope I'm wrong and we win the divison!! Go PHILLIES!

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