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Monday, March 19, 2007

Comments

Chop N' Change,

"Add in a potentially NL leading bullpen (when could you last say that about the Braves); and the most prolific offensive team on the Senior Circuit and you have a real contender ."

Chop N' Change is dreaming...

Phinally, a new thread.

Mets fan here. I read those projections. Even if the Mets and Phils beat the ever lovin' crap out of each other for 6 straight months, I have no clue how they came to the conclusion that Arizona is a better team than any of the top 3 in the NL East.

Jason,

Appreciate the link.

The projections are based on the THT preview data ... which you get if you buy the Preseason annual.

Remember that these projects are for "talent" only and ignore luck, which is obviously tricky to model. Given the standard deviation (random) in baseball is 6.3 games you'll see the divisions a lot more spread out come October.

Our projection data isn't perfect by any means. This is the first year we have done them. However, it shows the East is close, which feels right. Personally I think the Phillies will do better than .500 -- but they certainly (in my view) aren't favorites.

The Braves bullpen has a lot of potential. Wickman, Gonzalez and Soriano could be the best 7-8-9 inning combo in baseball. McBride and Boyer (provided they escape the DL) are also above average options. That is a good pen in my book!

For those who missed it, BaseballProspectus has the PECOTA Projections out:

Link here:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/fantasy/dc/?PHPSESSID=785097...

They pick the Phils to Phinish Phirst, while giving up 780 runs.

I love how us Phillies Phans put "ph" in front of any word starting with an "f". We think we're so clever, like my blog's "Phillies Phlashback Phridays"...in my own mind I'm a genius.

Carson, you're not a genius, but you should be GM!!!!

I know I'm not a genius, I not only like to make fun of others, but myself too.

I should be GM dammit!

a little under two weeks of ST hell to go through. it feels like even the baseball beat writers are getting tired. God, I hate spring training.

George S asks "How are the 2006 Phillies looking?" My point exactly! They won fewer games than the 2005 Phillies. Which means Pat Gillick isn't going in the right direction so far. But the roster sure looked better on Opening Day!

P.S. to George & Bedrosian. This isn't rocket science. Dumping Abreu and Padilla for nothing didn't help the team, despite your fantasies to the contrary. And, guess what BB, if you can't get fair value in a trade for a player, you don't trade him!

"Wickman, Gonzalez and Soriano could be the best 7-8-9 inning combo in baseball"

Wow, where to begin with that? I think the part that would ask the question if everyone in Braves country all simultaneously fell off the same turnip truck, after which they all started drinking the same Schuerholz-stirred electric Kool Aid.

Apparently, Braves fans think that just because they made their bullpen so much better than it had been, it means that it is the best. Instead, one need only look at how horrendous that bullpen was last year (and to be able to point to another team's bullpen woes is refreshing for a change) to know that it is an improvement like going to a house that was ravaged by fire, and putting a nice coat of paint on the front. Might look better, but once you get inside, it's still the same unlivable dump.

The acquisition of Gonzalez was a great move (even though the hit they take offensively is one they will never recover from all season) but it was a move made as insurance for their "light's out" closer, Bob "Hey Are You Gonna Finish That?" Wickman. Fortunately for the Braves fans, their organization is less sure of that bullpen and has a back-up plan already in place.

All that being said, the season can't start soon enough...

Rather than sign a cheapo vet like Alfonseca I had hoped they'd sign someone with some upside potential like Octavio Dotel, whom I mentioned on this site back in November. Dotel signed with the Royals for 1 year, $5M (plus incentives) and has been lights out so far this spring. Obviously there's risk, it's taken him 2 years to recover from arm surgery, but I think it's less of a risk than having Alfonseca or Madson pitch setup. Borowski and Hermanson, mentioned by other posters here, fit the same category. I sure hope this failure to complete the bullpen wasn't a money issue because if it was, with this mentality, it will very very difficult to make the playoffs.

"the season can't start soon enough"- A-freakin-men!

I know we still have to hash out our bullpen crap-heap, but I'm ready for the games to mean something.

The Braves went from having nothing to having something in their pen. I'll give them that, but there's no way anyone can hold 'em up with the best. San Diego. Pretty good bullpen. Yankees. Hall of Fame closer. Angels, Oakland. Both very deep. I'd take Street, Duchscherer, F-Rod and Shields over just about anyone in the NL East.

I'd take the Batavia Muck Dogs bullpen over our's right now.

I'm in job moved to Houston, TX exile. Last week, the local FSN channel had a Braves-Astros night game. Chipper Jones had a 7th inning RBI single off Brad Lidge to put the Braves up 3-2. They took Chipper out and interviewed him on TV. According to Chipper, everything was wonderful with the Braves. Houston won the game as the Braves vaunted bullpen couldn't hold the lead. Final score: 11-3! So much for the Braves!

I wouldn't get too worried about the Hardball Times predictions. If you look at the rest of the league, almost everyone falls in the 78-83 range. It's like individual predictions, in that they tend to be conservative.

Still, I think there is a way better chance the Phillies win more than 81 than fewer.

I would be interested to see runs scored totals, to see if the Phils drop off next year. Considering that Abreu/Dellucci is way better offensively than Vic, and Howard, Utley and J-Roll all had career years, it wouldn't suprise me to see them fall to third or fourth in runs scored.

I'm in job moved to Houston, TX exile. Last week, the local FSN channel had a Braves-Astros night game. Chipper Jones had a 7th inning RBI single off Brad Lidge to put the Braves up 3-2. They took Chipper out and interviewed him on TV. According to Chipper, everything was wonderful with the Braves. Houston won the game as the Braves vaunted bullpen couldn't hold the lead. Final score: 11-3! So much for the Braves!

Sorry for the double post. Computer network problems on my end. Stupid computer!

Kdon, the Phillies pessimist in me tends to find merit in your last post. If they finish third or fourth, I'll be in the cardiac ward in October!

I personally feel that Wickman's due for an injury or a bad year. That's not based on anything more than an older, big-man pitcher being that good and healthy for this long.

Kdon: I know this point has been beat to death, but the Phils scored more runs in the second half w/o Abreu, and picked up Conine because Dellucci could not hit a slow pitch softball. (Maybe they will go down in runs scored, but I would bet on that haviing more to do with an Injury or one of the big 3 struggling.) (Plus Phils added major upgrade in offense at 3B, a black hole last year.)

Braves Bullpen: Ok, they have Wickman, who the Indians thought so highly of that they ditched him in favor of Fausto Carmona (love the name, pitching, not so much). Soriano may be good, but I think he has more to prove especially after taking that line drive off the dome. Gonzales is good, but if the other 2 struggle he wont make up for it. As long as the rest of the Braves pen features names like Tyler Yates and Mcbride, I am not too worried.

Geary: For all the crappiness of Phils pen this year, one guy I think goes underappreciated is Geary. First game I ever saw at the Bank, he blew the game in the 10th against the Brewers. I remember thinking at the time, Geary, who the hell is this guy, we're done in this one. And we did lose that one, but ever since then, when Geary comes in I expect him to shut down the other team. THe last couple of years he has done that. In fact, I would say he has been our most consistent reliever over the last few years. (No injuries, consistent good pitching even when probably overused). For all the uncertainty that surrounds the pen, I am glad we have Geary. I think he has become a very good reiever in a short period of time.

Parker: Geary has developed into a fine 6th & 7th inning pitcher. But he doesn't have the stuff to be setup/closer. So the question remains, who's our setup guy? Who's our closer if Gordon needs a few weeks off? The answer at this moment is Ryan Madson.

kdon: I'm with you on both counts. At least 5 more than 81 wins and probably 3rd in the league in runs scored, but offset by fewer runs allowed than last year due to improved starting pitching.

Take heart Phillies phans. Sorry, this is probably a repost.

http://espn.go.com/mlb/columns/bp/1518849.html

Parker: I agree. Personally, I think Helms will be a nice offensive addition at 3B and Rowand's numbers should tick up a bit.

Clout: Get over it. We have a difference of opinion. Go make some up some trade proposals with your stuffed animals. They may give you something of better value than the Rangers for a lazy, drunk coming off of back to back down years, who was in the last year of his contract.

Call this a mini season preview if you will. There are three areas that will be noticeably different from last season.

1). The stability of the starting rotation. There were an awful lot of stretches where Cory Lidle's turn was a breath of fresh air, just because you knew the offense would only need to make up the difference of 3-4 runs after six innings. This season, all five starters are equal or better than Lidle. With Myers, Hamels, Garcia, Moyer and Eaton, there's a good opportunity to win every game.

2). Less bang on offense, due to Burrell's declining health, the lack of power in right field and overall outfield depth. This will be a slow regression, but noticable over time. I don't expect much from catcher over what Fasano/Lieberthal/Ruiz/Coste did last season. Helms will improve the offense, however.

3). Gordon will not be able to repeat his all-star performance from the first half, and the strain on bullpen will come early yet again. Madson could have a bounceback year, but Geary will probably regress. Few remember the bullpen was pretty decent in the beginning of 2006, including Cormier. This season, they will need some rookie surprises. No clue who the closer is in September. None. Could be Chad Cordero for all we know.

Like the mini-preview. Would love Cordero. What were the Nats asking the BosSox give for him? I know it was a lot.

Any thoughts on any of these pitchers being mentioned in rumors: Kim, Fogg, Hendrickson?

The Dodgers - now here's a team with true pitching depth in a position to deal with anyone. I don't know much about him, but Hendrickson is a big left-handed horse, had a better season against righties than lefties, but over his career has been relatively tough on left-handers. Could be an uncomfortable late game at bat. Innings eater. Has spot control problems, but is probably the type of veteran treat the Phillies would be glad to have. Are there three-way possibilities with Colorado and Los Angeles?

as I posted on Cordero a few days ago: "from the Red Sox, the Nats wanted Clay Buchholz, a 22-year-old with a 93-94 mph fastball that occasionally gets up to 97. he projects as ace material. their second (!) choices were Craig Hansen, another highly-touted 22-year-old, and Michael Bowden, a 19-year-old with a lot of projection. Lieber+Germano is not even close."

the Nats simply are not motivated to trade Cordero unless someone blows them away. Nats have him under control until, I believe, 2009. I would rate him in a Phils uniform about as unlikely as Rios.

Great link Greg, although I wish the article would delve more into the individual stats of spring; to see if there is a correlation as to how players fare in the spring vs. the season. I think it would be an interesting comparison especially if you highlight those players who either start out hot (Burrell) then cool off or those habitually slow starters (Rollins) who heat up later in the summer. Is there anything like this out there that I'm missing?

lake fred - coming your way for the Fourth of July series against the 'stros...Can't wait.

Kim probably wouldn't be any worse than our other options and could even be better (tricky delivery and all). I can't imagine the Rockies are asking that much for him, although I don't think any of the rumors I've seen named their demands. I like him just because he has experience closing, even with his "choking" and all.

Fogg's pretty terrible and hasn't ever really worked in relief...pass.

Hendrickson seems like the definition of a desperation move. limited experience in relief. I don't see how he'd be any better than Germano, and we would have to give up something to get him.

Hendrickson, Kim, and Fogg all want to start and will most likely protest a demotion to the pen. Plus, they are all making pretty decent money this season. Cheapest option is Fogg at $2.75 million and I doubt the Phils will pursue a $3 million long reliever.

Bottom line, none of these guys is coming to Philly. Unfortunately, I think that Gillick will have to use his secret phone line that automatically links him to the Rangers' GM. If the Phils do trade Lieber to Texas, then the Rangers' starting rotation will include 4 ex-Phillies (Millwood, Padilla, Tejada, and Lieber). Pretty hilarious.

Trying to recreate the phils rotation.

Sound strategy.

Good luck with that Texas....

Thanks ae.

MG-Rangers's pitching staff would be like the Broncos having the Cleveland Browns' D line.

Parker, i understand that the Phillies as a whole scored more runs post-Abreu, but *a lot* of that was Howard going all ridiculous and Chris Coste and J-Roll playing above their heads.

It's pretty simple. Vic this year will not give us the production we recieved from RF last year. Do you disagree with that?

Kdon,

I know that's directed to Parker, but I agree with your question. However, the Phils starting pitching is (in theory) better than last year, so that will be of help. Additionally, David Bell has been replaced by someone who's expected (fairly or unfairly) to produce better offensive numbers. Vic is no Abreu, but he should do fine. J-Roll did up his HR/RBI's by a lot, but his OBP and hits were down from the year before. He's a solid offensive player. Streaky, but solid.

C'mon, we ALL know Shane Victorino is a superior offense force compared to the talentless Bobby Abreu.

FIRE GILLICK! HIRE CARSON! I'm getting the signs ready now so I can take them to the games with me. Anybody else want some?

Guys it is time to get some perspective on this Abreu thing.

In 2004 Bobby hit .301 with 30 HR, 105 rbi and 40 steals. The problem is it is 2007.

Last season he hit .277 for the Phils in 339 ABs with 8 HR and 62 RBI and 20 steals. Pretty nice numbers, but no where near his peak.

His much maligned replacement, had 415 ABs and hit .287 with 6HR and 46 RBI. A mere 4 steals.

There are a few significant differences between these two players besides the stats above. A. Vic gets too a lot more fly balls, and the differential will only increase over time. B. One of these guys is getting better, the other has been in a steady decline over the past few seasons. C. One of these guys is currently hurt, while the other is hitting well is ST. D. Another quick quiz, can you name the Phillies RFer who made 13.6 million last season and the one who made 330K from the choices above.

I miss Bobby, and I miss Schmidt. But 1986 Mike ain’t coming back to play 3rd, and 2004 Bobby ain’t playing RF in Philly this year.

i can totally see joe torre putting vic 3rd in the batting order behind damon and jeter and in front of giambi, a-rod, matsui, posada, and cano.

i'd take a look at abreu's numbers after joining the yankees - after he started giving a damn again. i'll bet he hits .300 BA, .440 OBP, .530 SLG, 30hrs, with 40 steals, 40 doubles and 130 RBI, 130 R.

of course, in a phillies lineup, those numbers would be .280, .400, .430, 2 HRs, 5 steals, 10 doubles, 80 RBI, 80 R.

Ok, I'm exaggerating his phillies numbers, but hopefully you get the point.

i like what Vic brings to the team. Hopefully he can provide a little hitting stability/consistency to a lineup that is really really streaky - all the big guns, Rollins, Utley, Howard, Burrell, are all incredibly streaky hitters.

I'm really not trying to get into the neverending Abreu argument, but yt - you're quoting incredibly misleading stats. the most important difference between Abreu and Victorino is not their batting average, it's their OBP - Abreu had a .424 OBP for the Phils, while Vic was only at .346. 80 points of OBP is a huge gap - it's bigger than the OBP gap between Nunez and Utley. on top of that, Abreu outslugged Vic by another 20 points - and, I can't help but notice, posted a much more Abreu-like .507 slugging percentage with the Yankees.

their comparative defense is almost irrelevant. we play in a small stadium, and Abreu is hardly Dave Kingman in the outfield. the gap between the two on defense does not come close to making up for the gap on offense.

also, Abreu is hardly declining. from '05 to '06, he went UP 19 points in OBP and 11 points in average, and hit 4 more doubles in 40 fewer AB. Abreu undoubtedly has many shortcomings - a lack of consistency is not one of them. obviously he's not the player he was when he was 28, but he's going to be putting up an .880ish OPS for the next several years.

I really, really don't want to resurrect the debate from the last thread - I stayed out of it yesterday, and I don't want to get into it today. Abreu is gone, that's that. but that means we need to take a realistic look about how his absence affects our outfield and how our outfield affects our chances in 2007.

yeah, tony, you're right. Abreu just didn't like hitting in Philadelphia, what with our notoriously pitcher-friendly stadium and all.

Tony said: i'll bet he hits .300 BA, .440 OBP, .530 SLG, 30hrs, with 40 steals, 40 doubles and 130 RBI, 130 R.
I'll take that bet. What is the wager?

yt, ae said most of it, but that was about the most misleading "analysis" I've ever seen.

Amusing though...

And Bobby's OPS+ in 2004 was 149. In 209 ABs with the Yankees this year it was 144. Oh, yeah, the guy is falling off a cliff.

Reverend- I'm with ya on the Fire Gillick, Hire Carson campaign...we need funding.

should've also noted that i was exaggerating the abreu-yankees numbers as well.

ae- not saying that abreu didn't like hitting in CBP. just saying that he's trying a little harder now that he's with the yanks. i mean, did you see how hard he was hustling around the basepaths as a yankee last year after being traded? he was obviously putting in a little more effort - the lifted burden of leadership totally freed up/opened up his game.

anyway, i wonder how much abreu would've resisted being moved higher in the order so that utley would've been hitting 3rd.
a jroll, abreu, utley, howard, burrell, rowand lineup might have jumpstarted things as much as abreu's departure did.

then again, it was a salary dump, so who gives a frak.

The word on the street is that ae, clout, kdon, and RSB make the big bucks. We need to hit them up for the funding.

what the f**k is "frak"?

Well I got a 5 in my pocket, so we're off an rolling. RSB have had our differences, but surely he'll see the fiscal sense and golden opportunity of hiring me as GM would be. I'll work for a low base salary with incentives for wins...makes me want to do my job the right way.

First order of business, hire the actual Rich Schu...sweet jesus he's my 3rd baseman.

frak-
sunday nights, 10p, sci-fi channel

Who is this Abreu guy?

Tony: Abreu? Never heard of him. Must be a toaster. How did you enjoy Part I of Baltar's trial?

(in reference to Sunday, 10 p.m., Sci-Fi Channel)

He did look like a new man in the pinstripes. (the black ones, not the red)

“Another quick quiz, can you name the Phillies RFer who made 13.6 million last season and the one who made 330K from the choices above.”

Ae, you are right on with OBP, I ignored it and to my own peril. If anyone here thinks that I am insinuating the Bobby has nothing left in the tank, or that Vic is on his way to the HOF, I can assure you neither are the case.

But the quote from my earlier post that I left above I think ties the argument up best. We need to be realistic. Believe me I wish these tight wads would loosen the purse strings as much as anyone. If that were the case you starting line-up for 2007 might very well have an infield of Howard, Utley, Rollins and Rolen, the OF would feature Burrell, Soriano (why not?) and Abreu and you’d have Drew, Thome, and Polanco coming off the bench.

Why not a starting rotation of Schilling, Martinez, Myers, Hamels and Garcia?

Would I have rather seen Burrell go then Abreu? Of course, but if you didn’t want to see Nunez at 3b and Madson and Floyd in the rotation, and no contract extension for Myers or Utley.

Welcome to Phillies Baseball.

I hope the put that traitor out an airlock... Baltar not Abreu.

Bedrosian's Beard: You make my point for me: A talented pitcher in his walk year who went 15-10, 4.50 with 200 IP. Nah, the Phillies couldn't have used him. They had Floyd and Madson! LOL

tony -

the "abreu must bat third" thing has always kindof pissed me off. he would have made an incredible leadoff hitter, but rumor had it that he refused to bat anywhere except 3rd.

Agreed, Baltar must go. He's delusional and smells of a rat. Reminds me of a certain previous rodent-like looking GM we used to have running our club...

yt: A season is 162 games, not 81. What were Abreu's stats for the full season last year? I don't think anyone would argue that Abreu is at his peak. I do think a case can be made that trading Abreu for nothing was a poor decision and that those who say it was good for the team are idiots. Same goes for Padilla.

anybody with a BP subscription want to offer a summary of their How the Phils Can Win the WS article today? I'm not talking about a full copy-and-paste (obviously not kosher) but a brief summary.

Clout,


Padilla was done here, why can't you understand that? Those numbers don't automatically translate to the NL. Just b/c he did it for the Rangers, doesn't mean it works for the Phils. AGAIN-in his 2 previous years, he was lousy and difficult to deal with.

Meant to add: With Padilla, hindsight's 20/20. He was on a slide and other teams knew he was on the outs here. With Abreu, the trade was for different reasons.

It's opening day, today, in The Mexican League. So the question is, will Randall Simon go north of the border to Ottawa, or return south of the border. And my quess is, soon, Karem will have to make the same decision.

Clout, as I said; I would have rather seen Burrell go, but the other GMs know the score. Florida isn’t going to pick up that contract and give us Willis or another pre FA stud.

The Yanks took him because they could use him and pay him, and we dumped him for the money not the players we got. My argument is not that this is good, only that it is how things work. I am an advocate of a salary cap in Baseball, which would allow KC to compete with NYY. But it isn’t here yet.

In couple of years Howard, Myers, Hamels, Utley, and God willing Bourn are all going to be knocking on the door look for their 9 figure deals. And this will happen again. When Howard heads to NY for some prospects that won’t pan out you’ll be calling everyone an idiot again, but it won’t get him or Bobby back in blood-stripes.

also in non-Abreu news, Benitez's name keeps coming up as trade bait. he has a terrible contract (expiring this year), and he's only pitched 68 innings combined in 2005-6, but as an insurance policy he's not much worse than Alfonseca (and, sadly, maybe better). the insane Burrell-for-Benitez rumor seems to have died a quick death (luckily), but given the lack of other options, some other deal might be worth looking into.

Bedrosian's Beard: Was there something in the water at Ameriquest Park that magically transformed him? Why in the world would you think he would've had a different season at CBP? Both are hitter's parks. It was his walk year so he had huge incentive to get his act together.
Also please review his stats from the prior 2 years, which you call lousy. He was hurt in 2004 and still went 7-7, 4.53 with a 1.35 WHIP. How is that lousy? In 2005, he was hurt again and had a worse year 9-12, 4.71. But Moyer last year was 11-14, 4.30. Not a huge difference. In 2006 he was finally healthy. Bottom line: You think Padilla was done here because some dopey fan says so.

i hope the five newly revealed toasters put themselves out the airlock. can't believe that the characters hearing the 'music' are all cylons. that's bs. saul? anders? tori? c'mon now. how is saul a toaster?!

the whole abreu thing is tragic.

And so, yt, the solution is......?

Clout: clearly you're in love with Padilla. Those numbers don't wow me. Nor do Moyer's, but i'm not tooting Moyer's horn anyway.

AL+NL are different leagues. Maybe his numbers would've been better in the NL. In any case, you can't just magically put his totals from one team/league to the next.

Bedrosian's Beard: Actually odds are Padilla would've had a BETTER year in the NL. No DH and all. You do follow baseball, don't you?

Ameriquest Park is now Texas Ranger Park thanks to the slide in high-risk mortgages.

I blame the Padilla trade.

I did say "maybe his numbers would've been better...". Again, you can't just convert numbers. Considering 14 was his previous best, I don't know if I would've counted on him to do better.

Probably a better chance of him getting more DUI arrests after an evening at Dave & Busters, though.

Aside from a salary cap?

I think the coaches they added this year were improvements over the guys they replaced. Though I'm not sold on Dubee.

I think it is time to gut the scouting and AGM positions from top to bottom. There seems to be too much emphasis on organizational loyalty, and to little on results.

Aside from that, barring a change in ownership from the current shadowy suspects to a crew who is less concerned about a bottom line and more concerned winning ball games there isn't much.

This isn't a small market team, and the truth is if this team plays in October 2 years in a row they'll sell out for a decade.

Clout is the Simon Cowell of Beerleaguer or so he thinks.

I'm an unabashed Padilla fan and I do believe that he could've gotten us the wild card. Obviously he was much better, even in 2005, than our fifth starters/spot starters. Think about all the struggles the starting rotation had early on.

had to chime in here,

Count me as a Padilla fan, but if you remember back to the time of the trade, the writing was on the wall that he was a goner. Doesn't mean give him up for nothing, but I thought Rodriquez would be a little better.

How about that new Braves blog?

"i'd take a look at abreu's numbers after joining the yankees - after he started giving a damn again."

Tony, assuming you're right about this, do you realize the implications of what you just wrote?

You also wrote this:

"i mean, did you see how hard he was hustling around the basepaths as a yankee last year after being traded? he was obviously putting in a little more effort - the lifted burden of leadership totally freed up/opened up his game."

You are definitely wrong about that. He was no longer the senior guy who set the tempo, as he was with the Phils. What, IMO, motivated him was a desire to keep Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada out of his face if he dogged it the waqy he had been doing in Philly.

Speaking of coaches, I am still wondering why Dubee is around. Doesn't seem to enjoy a great rep and figured he would have gotten the ax last year.

Curious to see what develops with him this season - especially if the bullpen is a disaster even though it won't be Dubee's fault.

i think abreu just got a little complacent after being in the same place for so long. a little too comfortable.

i think jeter, posada and giambi have little to do with his motivation. i think the change of scenery and league had more to do with it. in philly, his legacy and reputation were pretty secure and probably not moving much either way. in new york, he's not only "competing" with jeter, a-rod and other current players, but also all of the past greats who played at yankee stadium. basically, he was like a minor league kid getting called up to the bigs for the first time.

ae, the BP article was a disappointment.

Goldman begins by stressing that he's not a Phillies fan. He goes on about how he had to watch boring Phillies teams growing up in central Jersey. He proceeds to question the loyalty of Phillies fans. Hey Goldman, the article's titled "Hope and Faith," not "F*ck Philadelphia!"

Following his 700-word intro, Goldman calls three of the starting infielders the best Phillies ever at their positions. (Hint: Wes Helms is not one of them.) Burrell is hated, but is an overall plus to the team. Victorino good; Rowand, right field options, bullpen bad. Eaton is prone to injury. Moyer and Gordon are old. Lieber is fat and old. Great insights.

He thinks the Phils have at least as good a chance to win the East as the Mets, citing the latter's shaky rotation as a major factor. Every team in the division is flawed, but the Phils have fewer questions that the Mets and Braves and will win it by a slim margin.

Meh. I expect better from BP. A lot of posters here could have written it with more insight (and less failed humor) than Goldman, who just doesn't seem to care for or about the Phillies.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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