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Sunday, March 18, 2007


Myers looks real good thus far. It seems he has learned to pitch in his slimfast body.

Burrell looks downright tentative at the plate, taking late and half-hearted cuts against the left-hander Kazmir. Hopefully he can somehow find a comfort zone, but with the fans always a handful of ABs away from exploding on him, how is he going to manage it?

To this end, there is some legitimacy to what Billy Wagner, ever obsessed with his former team, has said about the Philadelphia fans. The home record over the last few years will attest to it. That's why I don't want to hear Jimmy Rollins proclaim that the Phillies are some kind of force to be reckoned with until they can demonstrate an ability to stop *shrinking* from the 'pressure' the home fans apply. It will surely be there again this year. I find it hard to believe things will be any different, but we'll see. Wagner might be an ignoramus in not bothering to examine why Philadelphia fans are so contentious, but I believe he is correct in stating they have a negative impact on the team - or more accurately, that the team *allows* them to have a negative impact.

Myers looks very sharp today - 7Ks in 6 IP.

RSB, it's real simple. They get off to a good start (i.e. not get SWEPT their first series) the fans will be fine.

I never boo at games, and agree some of it is ridiculous. I was at a game last year when Burrell hit a deep fly out to end an inning with the sacks full and he got booed mercilessly. It WAS stupid - it's not like he didn't try.

Who the fans really should be booing are ownership, for squandering the good will the franchise built in the late 70's and early 80's.

Well, I guess I didn't learn from last year: every time I rag on Burrell, he'll turn around and make me look stupid.

Right after my previous post PB hits a dinger. Hopefully we'll see that 35-40 times this year.

RSB, I'll make a deal with you. We'll live blog every Phils game. You rag on PB - I'll defend him. Hopefully we'll get the same result we did today.

It was a nice swing - he was able to turn on a high, outside fastball and hit it out to LEFT. Great extension.

The stupidest concerns/complaints that been posted on this blog were about Howard the other day. Can't believe that people are staying that Howard is struggling and that it might negatively affect his season.

First of all, it is spring training. Who really cares what Howard does. Second, Howard is hitting .300 with 2 HRS and a great .SLG percentage. Please find something else to complain about.

Still don't know why were not trying to pull off a deal with the twins. They're deep at bullpen and could use a better fifth starter than ponson....seems like a natural trade to me...why are those the ones that never happen....

Oh and another thing thats been bothering me lately: Was Placido just really bad or completley opposed to playing 3b? Cus i think if we still had placido, and have him batting fifth, things would be alot better?

2 good starts in a row...we needed that (Moyer yesterday, Myers today).

Our split-squad isn't hitting anything against the Twins today, but Johan started the game.

Burrell needs to get in a groove in spring so he can transfer that success straight into the season. He's a guy where it seems the spring stats might matter.

Danny Sandoval can't hit and now he can't field either...5 errors this spring already.

No one was 'complaining' about Howard, MG. Just expressing concern that he was starting to pull off pitches, something he hadn't been known to do to this point. If you caught Howard's interview on TV today, you'd have heard him express the same concern. No one's saying he's not going to put up big numbers this year. But don't claim that nothing that can be observed in spring training games means nothing.

er, I mean anything meaning nothing. or nothing meaning anything.

For instance, double-A Tampa Bay hitters lighting up Alfonseca like a Phillies cigar doesn't give me a great feeling about 2007.

MG: Howard, Sarge and Wheeler have all agreed Howard has been pulling off the ball. In the at bat I saw yesterday, he took three terrible swings and K'd. Nothing wrong with observations like these, but I agree he'll be fine.

Statistically, Rowand is having a bad spring, but from everything I've heard, he's scalding the ball. Go figure.

Is there a pitcher quite like Kazmir anywhere else in baseball? I don't get to see him much. I was very impressed. Surprising zip on his fastball.

mm: Placido is one of the great mistakes of the Gillick era so far. They thought he'd decline arbitration and go free agent and when he accepted they were stuck with a highly paid everyday player whose two positions already had starters (Utley & Bell). The smart decision, in hindsight, would've been to trade Bell for whatever they could get. Instead, they chose to dump Polly. I wouldn't want him batting 5th, however. He's one of the best 2 hole hitters in baseball.

Greg Jacobs sighting. He has entered the Minnesota game and is in RF. Some of my favorite Harry the K moments are in the "who's who" late innings of spring training games. J. Donald and B. Harman are the middle infielders in the TB game. This brings a nice big smile to my face.

Polly was Ed Wade, clout. He traded him for Ugueth Urbina in 2005.

Jason: Ooops, you're right. PG can't be blamed with that one.

Would it be nice to still have Polly? He's K'd 130 times in the last FOUR years. Career OPB of .344.

Yeah, I'd still like to have him.

Billy Wagner is a Idiot. I guess he doesn't remember that NY fans booed Carlos Beltran so bad his first season and then the first two series last year that after he hit a home run he had to be forced out of the dugout for a curtain call. They also boo Shawn Green.
If he feels the fans are to close in Philly what is going to happen when the Mets open their new ballpark which will be a smaller park? I hope he has a horrible season and the fans get all over him this year, he deserves it.

I miss Polly just because i like to hear Kalas say his name.

Flash pitched. looked ok. had a nice curve and good velocity. lost the game though

RSB and Weitzel - Point taken on Howard. I hope that Howard doesn't start trying to pull everything because he has such great natural power without having to do that.

As Clout stated, Polanco would be the ideal 2nd hitter in this ideal. A guy who hits for average and has the ability to do a couple of different things with the bat. The only good thing about trading Polanco was that it finally cleared the way for Utley to play everyday.

We also can't forget that trading Polanco and Bell's struggles convinced Gillick to sign Nunez. Funny how one bad move is often followed by yet another worse move.

Anybody have any information on Kevin Towers so we can blackmail him into trading Linebrink for Rowand? Seriously, we need help bad and I agree that Bourn is even with, if not an upgrade over Rowand offensively. He's definitely better defensively than Rowand.

Polanco's OPS last year: .693
Bell's OPS last year: .736

Polanco's OPS over the last 3 years: .772
Bell's OPS over the last 3 years: .742

Let's not be so eager to criticize the Phillies management that we ignore the facts. The much criticized David Bell hit better than Polanco did last year and he's not that much worse of a hitter overall. Factor in that David Bell is a very solid fielding 3rd baseman by just about any metric[+/- PMR] other than the less than insightful fielding percentage and I don't think this team is missing all that much without Polanco.

That said, I agree that it may have been a mistake to trade him, at least for what we got in return.

3 errors by no-talent ass-clown Danny Sandoval today...and to think people thought I was being harsh.

Alfonseca sucked!

Flash did pitch, but he gave up a run.

Our bullpen still looks like a mess after today's split-squad match-ups.

Carson, don't worry. Danny Sandoval is destined for Ottawa.

Sandoval should be destined for the bag boy position at Shop Rite.

as far as bell is concerned, or any player for that matter: I'm not a stathead. I don't ever really dig much farther than avg, rbi, hr. I'm not against it, just lazy i guess. I make my judgements based on what i see on tv, live, or read in the boxscore. Since i no longer live in philly, its basically just boxscores most of the season.

All i know about bell is that, i only watched one clutch hit from him the entire time he played in philly(and thanfully, it won me twenty bucks in a bet. Walk of HR).

Anyways...from what i watched....polanco came up with a hit in more situations where we needed one, than bell ever did. And i must have watched bell only when he made errors, cus he had some real rough games out there. I know, he had injuries, so i definitely can cut him some slack...but i don't care too much that we have a bad fielder at 3b, i just want someone who can hit. I want helms to start as many games as he can. I don't care to see nunez on the field except every fourth or fifth game.

Please, let me stress that i am not trying to knock stats. I thank all of you who bring them to my/our attention, i'm just personally always too lazy to look.

So you guys really expect bourn to step in and play CF everyday and leadoff.

You guys have some spring fever. He will be there next year, but he still need time in AAA.

Trading Rowand for 1 RP would be a mistake IMO. Our OF would be way to thin.

If we can ship him and Lieber back to CHI and get a bunch of usefull parts (MacDougal, Rob M, and a prospect) then I would say go for it. But a 1 for 1 would be a mistake at this point.

Our RPs do make me nervous, but not as nervous as putting a Rook in there and expect him to help us get to the playoffs.

Two Phillies split squad games today -- 32 different players saw action in a Phillies uniform today -- and Chris Coste got nary an at bat, or an inning in the field. Its a shame.

Does anyone have any insight on this? There was the Philadelphia Daily News piece in yesterday's paper under the headline -- "Coste lacking in job security" -- link:

Hey, anyone catch Zolecki's piece on J-ROll and runs scored today? It reads like a recap of a beerleaguer post from about a week ago.

Clout, you may want to check it out. I know you didn't believe me when I said J-Roll's runs scored totals mattered, but maybe you'll believe Bill James and Joe Sheenan.

kdon: Not sure you understood the debate about runs scored. I never said runs scored don't matter. I simply said it was a poor choice of a single stat to measure a leadoff hitter. Runs scored is a product of multiple variables including OB %, speed, extra-base hits and who hits behind you. If Rollins plays for the Nats and scores 75 runs does that make him a lousy leadoff guy?

I did say that Rollins scored as many runs as he had because he had more plate appearances than anyone else (I think the comparison was with Johnny Damon) and had a great lineup hitting behind him in a bandbox. Damon and several others, as I recall, scored more runs per plate appearance. I also said if he can get his OB up another 20 points he could be MVP. Both Sheehan and James make that point in the article. I think the most interesting part of Zolecki's piece is the % of runs Rollins scores once he DOES get on base. That's a testament to his base running savvy and, again, those hitting behind him. And it also emphasizes just how valuable he can be if he gets on base more.

Decent article on Rollins. Article seemed to miss the finer points about Rollins though and what really makes a decent player.

Rollins has become a better offensive player since 2004 because of two primary reasons:

1. Rollins gets more hits and subsequently has a higher average (.285 from 04-06 vs. .254 from 02-03).

2. Rollins has become a more better base stealer (85% SB success rate from 04-06 vs. 67% SB success rate from 02-03)

Otherwise Rollins is relatively the same hitter. If Rollins could collect 200+ hits this year and up his walks a bit, he does have an outside shot at 150+ runs which would be pretty damn impressive.

The only thing I hope that Rollins doesn't do is try to duplicate/improve his power numbers from last year. I am worried that Rollins will sacrifice AVG for HRs and that is the one thing that I don't want Rollins to do. Would rather have Rollins hit 10-15 HRs if it means he hits .310-.320.

MG, Rollins was on the "Meet the Phillies" broadcast before ST started. He said he'd rather hit .300 and hit 20 home runs than hit 25 HRs again. I take that as an indication he feels the same way you do.

On another note, Eude Brito pitched a scoreless inning today, which I missed because I was shoveling snow.

Can someone tell me how he looked?

if bourn turns into the man in cf, is he leadoff? PG tends to like a "true" leadoff hitter.

I'm assuming that this would bump JRoll to 5th, with Vic still hitting in the 2 hole.

regarding Coste not playing yesterday: This excerpt from from Ken Mandel's piece on the Phillies' website today:

"Not now: As if making the Phillies hasn't been tough enough this spring for Chris Coste, now he'll miss three or four days with a slightly strained right hamstring.

He saw a doctor on Sunday morning.

"I should be good to go in a few [days]," Coste said.

Coste felt something in a game March 10 against the Astros, but he kept playing. He had more problems on Saturday, when he had trouble scoring from first on a triple from Michael Bourn. As a player struggling to make the team -- despite a .328 average in 198 at-bats last season -- this injury is particularly ill-timed."


today is boring, I need some good Phillies related news to spice things up.

I am concerned like everyone is about the bullpen and I am trying to think about alternatives to what we have. Not sure if this has been discussed, but what do you think about Brad Penny? Apparently he is a head case and he is getting shelled this spring, but I would feel good about him in the 8th, or 9th if Flash goes down. I think the Dodgers are sick of him too. I know he's been a starter, but I always felt he was a closer in the making.
He may be too expensive as I am not sure about his contract, but he may be the answer.
Remember him the all-satr game - he was almost hitting triple digits because he new he was only pitching 2 innings.
Any other out-of-the-box ideas?


Bell is in no way as good a hitter as Polanco.
We really messed up getting rid of him. Your stats showed that they hit for a similar average in 2006 and in 2004-2006.
Here are the strikeout numbers:


Bell 2006: 68
Polanco 2006: 27

Bell '04-'06: 212
Polanco '04-'06: 91

Polanco puts the ball in play nearly every time at the plate. He rarely walks and is an amazing #2 hitter. Polanco also had about 200 fewer plate appearances over the last 3 years, despite half as many Ks as Bell.

The bottom line is Bell is a Chump and Polanco is a great #2 contact hitter. The Phillies failed to see this difference and got rid of both players.

Thank you duder....Thank You!

This ST, with so many reliever options, yet most of the candidates got bombed. I don't know if they fully pursued Segovia as an option. Reminds me of Carlos Silva who was a successful reliever after being an AA starter. Hopefully, Brito can put together 2 good weeks.

Strike outs are rarely an indicator of how great a hitter is. If that's the case, let's deal Ryan Howard for Placido Polanco.

If you're saying Polanco is a better 2 hole hitter than Bell, no one will argue that. But Bell was a better 6 hole hitter than Polanco.

I'm not a big defender of Bell, but strikeouts are possibly the single least convincing statistic you could possibly come up with. especially because Bell was never a #2 hitter, and that's basically the only situation where Ks are even remotely relevant. if the only stat you can come up with is strikeouts, that's a sign the guy's not very good.

I would rather have kept Polanco, but he's an incredibly risky player to rely on. since all he has is batting average, when that slumps everything else (OBP, SLG) goes downhill too. his 2006 season was terrible, almost as bad as anything our Black Hole has put up - .295/.329/.364. a .693 OPS is nearly Nunez-level bad.

Plain and simple- David Bell sucked, I hate him, least favorite Phillie of all-time. Harsh...yes, but I keep it real.

Carson, now THAT is the mentality that gives us Phillie fans the reputation that we have. The "edge" that all Phils must deal with at home. I love it.

For what it's worth, I couldn't agree more - Bell sucked monumentally. Parlayed an above average season/post-season in SF into a big contract that he never even half lived up to. That being said, he's gone. I'd like for him to be forgotten, too.

I would like to see a few good things in ST and we have with Bourn, Dobbs, & Moyer but I almost like it with some adversity and question marks.

If Burrell was hitting .500 with 6 HRs everyone would be questioning it and Gordon with no pain and a 0.50 ERA would have the cynics in their element.

RSB - No offense but Rich Schu was better than Bell, too bad he came along before the HGH.

I thought I read the METS were having a good spring training - glad to hear it.

We have some depth and somewhere along the line things will fall into place, hopefully the BP included.

From FoxSports rumors:

The Reds aren't going to make any announcement, but the feeling in camp is that they've found their closer. The question about Dustin Hermanson was whether his back was sound. Through three outings, several bullpen sessions and one very tough play at first, his back has been fine. If Hermanson can be what he was in the 2005 - when he saved 34 games and had a 2.04 ERA with the Chicago White Sox - one of the biggest questions about the Reds will be answered. "It would be huge for us," Reds manager Jerry Narron said.


I always like to jump in on the David Bell bashing. One thing not mentioned is that I believe Bell was making about twice as much money as Polanco, which is the main reason he was the starter. It's those kind of decisions that keep the Phils out of the playoffs. They should have absolutely dumped Bell for whatever and made Polanco the starter.

I'd like this year's team alot better with Vic leading off, Polanco 2nd and J-Roll hitting 5th instead of having Burrell/Helms hitting 5th.

in 2005, Bell made $4.7M and Polanco made $4.6M.

and everybody's just going to pretend that Polanco wasn't atrocious next season? we're just going to keep bashing Bell? okay, great. just checking.

My point was that Polanco is a great #2 contact hitter, that puts the ball in play almost all of the time. He's quick and plays good defense. What team could not use such a player? Polanco is extremely useful. I don't see the logic in trading him.

Jason, tough one on Dustin Hermanson, potential (maybe real) closer we passed on. Bummer! I guess PG is waiting until the end of ST to make cheap moves, pick up some relief slop from other teams' cuts. We'll probably get some stiffs that no one has talked about.

How would this line-up look someday:

Bourn - CF
Victorino - RF
Rollins - SS
Utley - 2B
Howard - 1B
Helms - 3B
Burrell - LF
Ruiz - C

Hard to put Howard 5th but just thinking of the fun at the top of the line-up with Bourn in there. Maybe Utley behind Howard?

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