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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Comments

I dunno if I'm willing to believe that Lieber is throwing (pardon the pun) his chances, b/c he doesn't want to be in the 'pen.

Regarding Lieber I feel the opposite of the reader's email.

With the demand for effective bullpen arms he would increase his payday or marketability if he can prove being successful in the pen in addition to being a proven veteran starter plus historically known for strong finishes and playoff experience.

JB: I wish that were so, but look at the contracts given to mid-level starters ($8 M a season or so) vs. good middle relievers (up sharply, but only to about $4 M).

Sorry, JW and RSB, but I'm in the fire Cholly camp. It's the traditional way to shake up a team playing in a stupor, and Jimy Williams actually has a pretty good track record with teams like this -- plenty of individual talent but major flaws. Didn't he take both Boston and Houston to the playoffs, or is my memory deceiving me again?

Alby: I'm not about to argue with you if you'd like to see Manuel fired. I'm not defending him here.

Jimy Williams did indeed get the Red Sox the Wild Card in 98 and 99, but I dont think he did so with Houston.. he was fired halfway through the 04' season when Garner took over and got them to the playoffs.

Gillick and Manuel can BOTH go. Gillick was hired purely as a figurehead. He hasn't won too much as a GM in the RECENT past. Manuel is a blithering idiot (see ludicrous line-up in first two games). If he HAD a bullpen, he wouldn't be able to use it.His formulaic managing style would preclude any effort to actually WIN the damn games.

The saddest part of the Gillick situation is that we can't let him go, because the result would be aweful. Not to flop over to politics, but the obvious paralel is there. Impeach Bush, get President Cheaney. Fire Gillick, hello GM Rubin Amaro Jr. Good bye frying pan, hello fire.

OK, I finally stopped vomiting after yesterday's fiasco... the after-vomit cold sweat gave me GOOSEBUMPS.

But seriously, I supported Manuel until yesterday. Now I think we should take a page out of the '03 Marlins book and replace Charlie with Jack McKeon. Forget Jimmy Williams, only McKeon can inspire these Phils to the pennant.

"Were the team to beat, there is no other way to say it"

Way to go J Roll, u moron

i think jroll came out small yesterday. he makes those plays on d 99% of the time.

something has to be done. i guess firing manuel is the obvious move, but i don't know what it accomplishes.

i was thinking, now that brad lidge is done in houston, would it be worth bringing him in as the 8th inning guy? beside from the fact that he's terrible of late, i don't know if the phil's have what it will take to get a guy with his stuff. it's a sad state of affairs.

Well, the only advantage to firing Gillick and getting Amaro as a replacement is that it gets us one step closer to firing Amaro and getting somebody else in there.

I guess you could make the same argument about Manuel and Jimy Williams. Williams is no real improvement, but he's who we're getting when Menuel leaves, so we may as well get him in there so we can work on getting him out.

I'm still with RSB in the sense that firing Manuel won't have a damn bit of impact on this team's performance. I am not a fan of Manuel's in-game strategy but I don't see how his strategic failings have cost us this year. Playing bad baseball is what has cost us, plain and simple. This team was not prepared in spring training by a coaching staff ostensibly brought in SPECIFICALLY to work on fundamentals.

I know we're all wannabe GMs, but it ain't an easy job. I'm tired of defending him, b/c he has screwed some things up. However, do you think he hasn't tried to get bullpen help? Just b/c you want another arm, doesn't mean someone wants the junk we have in return, or even want to trade with the Phils. It's only April-teams may not be sure what they have/need yet and since there's a lot of parity in the NL, why would a team trade with the Phils? They will let us suffer on the vine for awhile.

I've defended Manuel in the past, not because I really think much of him as a manager, but because I just don't think the manager of a baseball team plays that much of a role.

even at this point, I don't think you can put this season on Manuel. even though the W-L last year was the same, I don't see a real pattern. last year, the problem was more on the starting pitchers - there was one big Fultz implosion, and Franklin/Rhodes and Gordon each blew tie games, but we were not at this level of complete bullpen futility. the offense has started slow both seasons, but I think that's more a function of baseball - pitchers are sharper in cold weather without tired arms - than anything Manuel really has much control over.

so why do I think you fire Manuel? I know it kind of goes in the face of the stat focus I usually push, but this team needs a kick in the ass. the reason it *always* needs a kick (firing Bowa, trading Abreu, etc.) is something you can debate endlessly, but for whatever reason basically nobody on this team is playing the kind of baseball he should. at some point it would be nice if this team could just play wire-to-wire without constantly needing external motivation, but there's nothing anybody can do about that right now.

there's nothing intrinsic about Williams or McKeon (or everybody's wet dream Leyland) that would instantly turn this team into a playoff contender. in fact, I bet we would have been just as bad/unlucky/whatever with anybody managing the last seven games. but if you need change to motivate this team, manager is the one spot with the least chance for negative impact (unlike, say, right field). on the other hand, the prospect of Lopes coaching this team should be terrifying. if the next Phils manager tries to turn this into a small-ball team (which sure seems like Lopes' approach), you can put us down for a 70-80 win season right now.

Whatever about charlie's approach to players in general, he has problems when dealing with the bullpen. Last year he leaned heavily on geary , madson and weird beard and used the rest sparingly. He seems to be following a similar pattern this year with Il Pulpo replacing rick white. Already he's talking about not wanting to put condrey and rosario in certain situation - but he needs to have a more robust approach than that.

Looked at in isolation, I can understand the decision to go with geary because he was very reliable last year (with the caveat that I in NO WAY agree that rowand should have been left in if you *were* going to stick with geary), but the pattern over the last seven days has been to go with the perceived 'experience' guys, and my concern is that he'll forego the necessary experimentation that we'll need to give this bullpen a chance at working.

It's perhaps here where gillick and manuel diverge most. Manuel likes perceived 'reliable' guys. gillick didn't want to overspend on perceived 'reliable' guys who might end up anything but. It only aggravates the bullpen situation even worse and doesn't suggest that we're going to have a quick solution.

I am beginning to believe that Pat Gillick is a figurehead too.
How can you come into a season knowing you have bullpen issues and not even try to address them?


oisin right on...
"it's perhaps here where gillick and manuel diverge most. Manuel likes perceived 'reliable' guys. gillick didn't want to overspend on perceived 'reliable' guys who might end up anything but. It only aggravates the bullpen situation even worse and doesn't suggest that we're going to have a quick solution."

that being said, any GM would have fired the Manager for that reason alone...
why does gillick not fire Boomhower? Cause he doesnt really care!!
he doesnt care !!!!

A commenter on my site came up with a new name for the Phillies situational hitting, he combined the two and refers to it as "sh*tting" because the Phillies are "sh*tting" really bad with runners especially with the bases loaded. That's quality humor there fellas...and we need humor right now.

Man...you know. This has very little to do with the phillies but i no some people have been calling for us to go after Joe Girardi to replace CM.

Considering he was manager of the year, and went through a whole off-season with only one job offer(and the nats at that)...that Marlins owner must have spread some bad s**t around the league about him or something. Can't understand how he couldn't get a better job offer than that.

I think Someone Like Girardi would be a nice fit here. Young(er) Team, Young Manager, i think it would work out nicely honestly. Seems like he could keep them lose, but also accountable as he only two years removed from playing so he's definitley gonna have the fire when he needs it.

I dunno...i could care less. I want David Montgomery out. Seeems like the only link between all this dissapointment with both wade and gillick, bowa and manuel, is him.

Not necessarily that Gillick does not care, but more so that he is more than likely not the one in charge (see figurehead). The way that this team has been constructed on the cheap, with Gillick serving as the pomp and circumstance to "keep hope alive" by touting big names and dollar figures out there reminds me a lot of the "construction companies" run by mafia-types. In other words, Gillick, along with the few and far between contracts given to Utley and Burrell are serving only one purpose - butts in seats. Gillick is being paid as a "name" GM to float names like Soriano and Sheffield around, while the plan in the backroom is to cut payroll and make a tidy profit.

This ownership group (who conveniently remains mostly nameless - how about *that* for a must-win mentality?) will not fire Manuel as long as it means they'll have to pay him, along with the next manager.

Phanatics Brother,

"How can you come into a season knowing you have bullpen issues and not even try to address them" "Gillick doesn't care". You're nuts.

I've been in the "fire Manuel" camp for almost a year now, so not much has changed in the past week.

I think it's more his in-game strategy that bothers me more than the motivational aspect that is important, but I agree with ae that a kick in the ass may be neccesary.

I'm not sure if the players notice it or not, but Manuel is a scared and frightened manager. Almost every move he makes is because he is afraid of something, and when he tries to go for the kill (i.e. PH Vic and Ruiz on Saturday) all it does is reinforce the fact that he didn't put the right players in the game to begin with.

You can argue that he is justified in being afraid of the bullpen, but you have to manage *as if* you think Condrey can do the job, rather than rely on the same guys over and over again. Guys like Geary and Coste were only able to get opportunities to prove themselves last year when injuries occured.

I don;t think firing Charlie automatically makes the team into a juggernaut, and any improvement will likely just be luck evening out, but this team needs every advantage it can get over the rest of the season, and the Charlie's in-game strategy just cannot be tolerated anymore.

I've been in the "fire Manuel" camp for almost a year now, so not much has changed in the past week.

I think it's more his in-game strategy that bothers me more than the motivational aspect that is important, but I agree with ae that a kick in the ass may be neccesary.

I'm not sure if the players notice it or not, but Manuel is a scared and frightened manager. Almost every move he makes is because he is afraid of something, and when he tries to go for the kill (i.e. PH Vic and Ruiz on Saturday) all it does is reinforce the fact that he didn't put the right players in the game to begin with.

You can argue that he is justified in being afraid of the bullpen, but you have to manage *as if* you think Condrey can do the job, rather than rely on the same guys over and over again. Guys like Geary and Coste were only able to get opportunities to prove themselves last year when injuries occured.

I don;t think firing Charlie automatically makes the team into a juggernaut, and any improvement will likely just be luck evening out, but this team needs every advantage it can get over the rest of the season, and Charlie's in-game strategy just cannot be tolerated anymore.

kdon, your last post was so good it needed to be up on here twice.

Sorry for the double.

WP, I think you describe Gillick's role perfectly. That is essentially what I've argued since he got here. I remember calling him a "hatchet man" after the Abreu trade which bothered a few people, so maybe "figurehead" is a nicer way to put it.

It seems sad, but a solid baseball man and once-great GM seems to be just playing out the string until the team hires Amaro or ARbuckle. Ugh.

To be completely contrarian, and thus totally un-Negadelphian, I am optimistic.

Right now it is as bad as it can possible get. To be sure, it could get worse, but than I would just give up entirely. Right now, I still have hope.

Reasons:

Hamels, Moyer, Myers (despite his last outing) and Garcia (Hope he is worth the $10 million.)

Despite yesterday Rollins is starting off great. Howard is getting his swing back. Utley will be fine. Maybe (just maybe) Burrell will prove us all wrong.

3 errors by Howard in 7 games. That's gotta improve.

Bullpen - Yeah it is desperate, but Gillick is applying band-aids as fast as he can. Its a sucking chest wound, but eventually something will happen. Either it dies and we give up on this season, or we cobble together some relievers who can manage at least a few saves.

Will we have a meteroic rise to the top of the NL East, Hell No!, but we might just be able to have some interesting baseball this year.

Glass is half full guy signing off.

As much as my emotional right-brain wants to believe that replacing the manager would be something more than a symbolic attempt to kick-start this team, my rational left-brain realizes it will have little to no direct affect on on-the-field performance.

However, remember when PG was hired there was speculation as to whether he would bring in one of his guys to manage. He stuck with Charlie (an Ed Wade hire), presumably for consistency/continuity. Maybe it's time that the franchise fully embraces the PG system and let him surround himself with "his guys" that way there will be no disconnect concerning the obtaining and use of personnel.

What's the worst that can happen? This is Philadelphia after all... a decade of rebuilding is nothing to the geologic time-scale of this franchise.

Direct quote from the only optomisitc poster here since the 8th inning of yesterdays game: "Right now it is as bad as it can possible get. To be sure, it could get worse"

To put it another way, we've hit rock bottom, but we might fall further. And this is the good news! Thanks Greg!

I could try to be positive, but it seems foolish. Although negativity can get annoying, it's what the situation calls for.

To be entirely honest- the Phillies are playing like the worst team in baseball right now. They aren't the worst team, so things will improve. However, when this improvement takes place is not known by me. Firing Manuel will not necessarily lead to improvement, but through dumb luck could trigger and effect that leads to winning again, and that's a risk I feel the organization should be willing to take.

I wasn't the "rob" that disparaged Rollins earlier.so I'll change my handle. Actually, I liked that J-Roll had the stones to set the bar high. Plus, if his teammates had started out of the gate as well as he, maybe we wouldn't be "firing" anyone.

YT: Yeah that is a little multiple personality disorder, but I guess I'm measuring two different things. The team/season could get worse, but than I would stop caring - at least for this season. So to me the 'season for me' is at rock bottom - Get better or I give up.

Come to think of it, it doesn't sound optimistic at all, but that's all I've got.

- Greg S.

Lieber couldn't be bothered to be in shape last year, won't be bothered to pitch effectively out of the 'pen this year-release him.

Look phans, we all know Uncle Cholly can't manage and we all know that since Gillick has been our GM, his track record has been poor. He's not gonna fire Manuel (though he should). He can't blame Manuel for the teams hitting or pitching problems and he shouldn't. Also, he's not gonna pull off any major trades or other deals that will work in the Phils favor. Management will not let him go over 95 million in payroll. He failed to upgrade the 'pen and RF. I've said this many times before. He's gotta blame himself. So don't look for any miracles. This team will get swept by the Mets to be 1-8 and probably lose a geme or two to Houston. A new mangager is not going to stop the K's, improve the hitting with RISP or all of a sudden transform all the relievers into Rollie Fingers. We need new ownership, ownership that is committed to winning.

I wonder if the owners would accept a bid from the BeerLeaguer comments and allow us to be joint owners (All the regulars- I can kick in a couple thousands, RSB sounds rich, Clout probably has a buck or two, AWH may have a penny and some aluminum cans waiting to be recycled, Kdon, AE, and the rest of the lot...we can scrape together enough).

No offense to anyone I mentioned, I'm just trying to make some smile.

Is it too late to hire Terry Pendleton? That's who I thought they should've gotten 2 years ago.

Scott Lauber of the Delaware News Journal had an excellent point in his blog this morning. Where was Flash in the 8th? He hadn't pitched in 5 days and with the off day today, he could have easily gone two innings.

http://www.delawareonline.com/blogs/2007/04/april-9-pen-leaks-again.html

Kdon is right -- Cholly seems like a scared kid most of the time; he certainly doesn't project an attitude of confidence. What effect this has on players I can't say, but it is an easier-going version of the same trait I saw in Bowa, who always projected a fear of losing more than a love of winning.

I think Manuel's firing is now a matter of when, not if, and the reason should be clear: Gillick's job is, or ought to be, on the line as well. I realize the Phillies aren't likely to pull the move Ed Snider did with the Flyers, sacking both coach and GM, but the longer this situation slips, the more likely that scenario becomes.

As Willard Preacher noted, it's about putting fannies in the seats, and a team playing .200 ball isn't going to get it done, especially in an uncommonly cold April. So unless an unforeseen winning streak starts tomorrow, the main question is whether Cholly gets ashcanned just before the next homestand or just before the one after that. Or maybe not, but if he lasts until May the hole will be that much deeper.

"I don't think they pay me to play in spring training. They pay me to get ready."
- Adam Eaton, current owner of a 13.50 ERA, a stellar example of "readiness" if ever there was one.

It seems to me that Eaton isn't the only player on the Phillies to embrace the "I'll flip a switch in April" attitude. Could it be that this team just wasn't ready to start the season?

There's been so many boneheaded mistakes made in only 7 games. Howard plowing into Nunez yesterday just takes the cake. Why exactly would a sub-par fielder like Howard cross the mound onto the third base side of the infield to catch a pop up? Doesn't he know any better?

Ryan- I often just agree and say "yes, Jim Leyland should have been our manager", but my first choice also was Terry Pendleton.

"There's been so many boneheaded mistakes made in only 7 games."

Which supports my arguement that it can only get better. Howard is not going to have 69 errors. At the same time, Jimmy Rollins is not going to have 69 homeruns. They've showed us their worst, (and sometimes there best Hamels and Myers - 15 Ks each) No it is time for everything to settle down and even out.

Carson I think you are just trying to raise money for the "Carson for Gm Campaign" discussed a week ago. If not I'll give all I have(which is $1.95). Also DaveThom73 should be able to kick in some cash, he did own a Independant League team. This would also give him the chance to make Coste the franchise player that the Phils build there team around.

Alby's right, the clock is ticking on both Gillick and Cholly. In the last thread, Alby suggested Coste as player-manager. Maybe that's Gillick's secret plan. He sends Coste to Ottawa under the old "hamstring injury" ploy. While there, Coste gets acquainted with the prospect pool. When people call for Manuel's head, be brings up Coste, pays him next to nothing to be "interim" manager. The fans love it. Gillick saves money and his own neck for another year.

Yt was right about the Bush-Cheney and Gillick-Amaro analogy protecting Gillick's job, although, I think if Cheney did have to become President, he would do a better job at it than Ruben, Jr would do as GM.

Lieber is a giant crybaby that needs to stop whining and just pitch when he's told to pitch. His performance warrants no special treatment, or else he'd be in the starting rotation or traded already.

I'm veering more towards the "Fire Manuel" camp now after seeing the multitude of different lineups over the first 7 games. That is an obvious sign that he's at the "try anything" point -- which means that if they need to fire him to salvage the season, just do it and get it over with. I like the Joe Girardi idea, but I have a feeling that that's just a dream at this point. To leave Manuel in there while they continue to lose is calling it quits on 2007 before May even gets here.

Good points all around about the preparedness of this team -- I've noticed the "flip a switch" mentality but it took someone actually putting it in writing to realize that that is 90% of this team's problems right now. They are talented, they just didn't show up in time for Opening Day.

The time to fire Cholly was last June. He's not a good manager -- obvious to everyone. I cannot see Gillick canning Cholly this month unless the Phils' record is in the neiborhood of say 6 - 20. With 5 games against the Nats and an upcoming series against the struggling Astros, I don't see this as possible. Despite the poor start (again), there are positives. The Phils have gotten good starts -- Hamels (2), Moyer, Myers. Garcia will be returning shortly and Utley and Howard show signs of breaking out. The bullpen situation needs to be addressed immediately , and I am expecting a trade in the next 2 weeks. On April 30, they will be probably be right around 11 or 12 wins (again).

The clock is not ticking on Gillick. Perhaps in the fans eyes, but do you think it's ticking in the ownership's eyes? Not on your life. Firing the GM would do nothing to change this team.

I liked Pendleton as a player, but to bring in a rookie manager? Just plain silly.

On an humorous note, Bill 1Chair was on 610 this morning and referred to Gary Matthews as "The Corporal". He demoted him.

I think we need to start referring to Hamels as "Hard Luck" Hamels. He's pitched two good games and has nothing to show for it.

Here's a little something that I found over at Will Do:

http://willdo.philadelphiaweekly.com/archives/2007/04/dear_john_phila.html#more

Funny stuff, but close too home as well.

'It seems to me that Eaton isn't the only player on the Phillies to embrace the "I'll flip a switch in April" attitude. Could it be that this team just wasn't ready to start the season?'

I honestly think these guys don't get going until late-April, May. And it's partly up to the manager to fuel the team's asses a bit.

I'll repeat what I said on the last thread: The rotation is fine, the hitting is fine. The bullpen is a disaster. The time to address it was last winter, when rosters weren't set and you had tradeable commodities and money to spend. The Gillick-excuse makers are wrong, as usual.

Now it is much tougher. To quote Greg S. on the bullpen: "Gillick is applying band-aids as fast as he can. Its a sucking chest wound, but eventually something will happen. Either it dies and we give up on this season, or we cobble together some relievers who can manage at least a few saves."

I think that's about right. Either Rosario or Bauer or Alfonseca or some waiver wire player to be named will get hot and be a solid setup man or the 'pen will kill this team's playoff chances.

TJ - you mentioned experimentation of cholly, and it's true, he's been using the first week to chop and change line-ups a bit. Fair enough. But I see no signs of that with the bullpen, and that's what has me concerned.

Gillick speaks like he supplies the tools, and charlie decides which ones he's going to use. This is fine well and good, but a) you need to be on the same wavelength as your manager with regard to what you and he think is useful and b)get your manager the guys he thinks he needs.

Kdon - I'd half agree with you. right now cholly is looking at that bullpen, and he doesn't know what to make of it - and I think he is responding fearfully. We often accuse cholly of a preference for veteranacity, but I think it's down to who he sees as reliable. If a hitter has sound mechanics (and he knows who does and who doesn't) that guy will get trotted out through the worst of a slump.

Look at the shift in attitude to burrell this year - he didn't want to double switch bourn in for burrell in the 8th because he wanted to get to burrell's bat. He's starting to go with burell because he's convinced that back foot is okay, burrell's stance is okay, ergo his mechanics are in good nick.

But no way cholly understands pitchers anything like as well, so once he gets his favourites, he's sticking to them. It bugged me during the clean sweep of coaches last year that Dubee stayed in - because I think for two years now he has not been the guy to give proactive feedback on the pitchers to allow charlie to pick 'em better.

Am I shifting blame from cholly to dubee? nope. it's a definite weakness of manuel's game and a better manager would have a more fundamental understanding of his bullpen. Like Jason said a bit back, sometimes left vs righty splits are the only things cholly seems to go on.

Having said that, if it *is* a weakness, go get him a new pitching coach, pat. Charlie doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who's going to bitch and moan if the coach ain't great but ain't *bad* - if charlie thinks the players are happy, he's okay with it. But that coach is there to help the players, and help the manager assess the players. And I don't think he's doing that.

rod . . . rod barajas. this is the phillies problem. i blame rod barajas. because look: can anyone disagree? lets say we didnt sign barajas. i think we would have been great at catcher with coste and ruiz. AND it would have saved the 2.whatever million barajas is getting for some quality middle relief desperately needed. barajas and adam eaton: poor general managerial moves. moves for the movings sake. & i dont blame charlie manuel all the way because poor starts and lacklustre performance driving in runs predate him in the bowa years.

Rod Barajas is not the reason this team sucks right now. He does suck, though.

"Not to flop over to politics, but the obvious paralel is there. Impeach Bush, get President Cheaney."

Dude, u realize there are peeps on here who are on the other side of the house as it pertains to politics right?

First timer here. With a bullpen trade unlikely and Lieber an unhappy reliever, I think they should do what Boston did with Papelbon or Atlanta with Smoltz. Put Lieber back in the rotation, make Myers the closer, and move Gordon to the 8th innning setup role. Yes, Myers is a better starter than Lieber, but him at the back of the bullpen makes the whole pen better. Lieber can be a serviceable innings guy, and it's just a matter of time before the offense wakes up. I'd rather have Lieber give up 6 runs but have Myers close it out than Myers give up 2 runs and have the bullpen implode again. It seems to me they have the solution in-house, but it's going to take some creativity.

Keith: It could come to that, using Myers in the pen. They'll tinker for a little while longer because they'll make a trade or test some in-house options, but Myers in bullpen is certainly intriguing. When asked, he seemed excited to do it.

Firing Charlie Manuel will only put a band-aid on the bullet wound that is the Phillies organization. David Montgomery and his junta of owners are the ones who are responsible for the past quarter century of medocrity.

The Phillies will NEVER win the World Series as long as Monty and his boys are running the team. They have proven they are not capable of producing a winning team.

From the Fox.com power rankings: "Another slow start for the Phils. The main culprit has been the rotation: Philly starters have a 5.86 ERA on the season, and they've yet to record a quality start in 2007."

I mean, come on. Knowing about baseball is this guy's job!! I'm sure he could take a little time to at least skim over what's been happening in these games.

You watch, the Phillies will rip off like 11 of 13 everyone will get excited again and we are suckered in. There is a reason that happens, they aren't money players. Although, to be fair, I think they have rid themselves of those guys for the most part, with the Bullpen it comes down to talent or lackthereof.

Thoughts on Lieber:

It is clearly is in Lieber's interest to pitch well as a starter to get one last decent contract next year. He could easily secure another $10-20 million before he retires.

Posters though on this site are being a little critical on Lieber. I am certainly not a big Lieber and his comments in spring training about his performance last year were pretty foolish (yeah he pitched okay the last 2 months but what about the rest of last season?)

Lieber wasn't sharp yesterday and certainly looked disinterested. But can you really blame him? The entire team looked deflated and dejected after Rollins' error.

As for not looking sharp, Lieber just came off the DL and didn't throw much in spring training. It was a horrible situation to place him in for his first outing back.

I am skeptical that Lieber is going to excel in the bullpen but criticizing him for yesterday's outing is kind of pointless.

Y'all can throw around all the names you want, but I can't see the front office going outside the dugout, especially after making the point of hiring two (originally three) ex-managers for coaching jobs.

We should also remember that a managing partnership that will choose players for marketing purposes will certainly take such matters into account in changing managers. When they hit 1-8 on Friday, even a sweep of the Washington-Cincinnati homestand won't quiet the boobirds or bring them back to .500. Plus, a firing Friday afternoon will set up the new guy with a relatively soft homestand to build momentum.

"Dude, u realize there are peeps on here who are on the other side of the house as it pertains to politics right?"

Um, I think the comparison was understood by all. I won't go deeply in depth on my political opinions, but I will give Bush some credit, as long as he keeps his approval rating way up in the 30th percentile, he'll have more support then Cholly.

"Although, to be fair, I think they have rid themselves of those guys for the most part" (I assume you mean Abreu?)

Dude, you realize that there are A LOT more people on this board that disagree with this statement than your opinion on impeaching the president?

Myers vs. Papelbon: Boston's top three starters (Dice-K, Schilling, Beckett) make putting a hard-throwing kid a good choice as closer. Putting Myers in the pen leaves Phillys with a top 3 of Hamels, Moyer and Garcia. Not exactly the same firepower.

One guy that has seemingly escaped criticism for yesterday's debacle was Geary. Maybe Geary was tired, but he was generally awful yesterday. Couldn't even throw a strike the last few batters.

I wonder if Geary was just tired or if his hamstring is really ponder him alot. Seems like Geary had troubling planting yesterday and I bet that is due to his hamstring problems. Only reason I can think that Geary missed so badly on that pitch that flew over Ruiz's head to the backstop.

Myers in the pen is not an answer. He's likely our best starter. I'd much rather see them give a Rosario a shot at the closer role before going to Myers, who - by the way - may have a lot of trouble emotionally adjusting to a new role.

What's wrong in the pen is fixable without going to drastic measures. Right now, Madson isn't getting it done. Period. Geary deserves another shot or two at being a setup guy, Gordon deserves another shot or two at being closer, Smith deserves a shot or two at the LHS role. It's not panic time yet out there. But they must address the need at hand.

zach: Dayn Perry does the FOX power rankings. And I don't pay attention to anything he says. He's one of the worst. And that just shows it - considering in seven games the Phils had pretty much four quality starts.

Using Myers in the bullpen is a recipe for disaster. The guy can barely control his emotions in mid-game situations! The last thing we want is a guy out there in clutch spots, game after game, who decides he can blow one past whomever happens to be standing in the box.

Sure, you see this "excitable" guys like Zumaya and Jenks get the job done in some clutch spots, getting amped up by throwing heat, and you think, wouldn't it be nice to have a tough guy like Myers up there to just mow down the other team? A guy who can really ride that adrenaline and overpower hitters? Has Myers really shown that he has that kind of potential? I don't think so. We keep talking about it and hearing about it, but not actually seeing it. Instead, what we see is a young pitcher trying way too hard to be the ace.

THe ball that Rollins Booted was prbly a double play ball. Geary would have gotten out of the 8th without any damage.

I think Alby's right on the timing. it's hard to predict something like this, but we've all suspected that Manuel was on a short leash this season, and a bad week in NYC could be all Gillick (or whoever's pulling the strings) needs.

also agree with MG that you can't read too much into Lieber's futility yesterday. I'm not convinced that he has it in him to become a good reliever - and his negative mindset is a big reason why not - but you need to see more than his first performance coming off the DL in an incredibly unfavorable setting to know for sure.

speaking of Lieber's mindset, I thought the "Smoltz, Wagner support Lieber" column this morning was interesting. hearing support from guys like that (even though Smoltz sounds kind of like a jerk) could help get his mind in the right place if we can't do that in house. of course, it's profoundly depressing that we have to rely on our opponents to give our players a psychological boost, but what the hell - whatever works.

"Um, I think the comparison was understood by all. I won't go deeply in depth on my political opinions, but I will give Bush some credit, as long as he keeps his approval rating way up in the 30th percentile, he'll have more support then Cholly."
Oh it was understood by all, no argument there, but why fan the flames of politics here? We are already all po'd over the Phils, no reason to ratchet it up.

"(I assume you mean Abreu?)

Dude, you realize that there are A LOT more people on this board that disagree with this statement than your opinion on impeaching the president?"

I dont know, I would think being rid of Abreu, Bell, Lidle(rip) even Delucci for that matter helps the clubhouse from the standpoint of having too many guys are are just happy to get their stats and collect a check.

the Phils didn't "pretty much" have four quality starts - they *did* have four quality starts: Myers on opening day, both of Hamels' starts, and Moyer. (a "quality start" is defined as at least 6 innings and no more than 3 ER.) so unless Perry has his own personal definition of quality start, he's objectively wrong.

Hey Hey Now...Remember what your mothers taught you. Theres two things that you never discuss in Polite Company: Politics and the Phillies Front Office.

MM, That Dude. You are correct.

I often think I am saying something funny when in fact, not so much. I'll try to keep it strictly with the sports analogies.

See that is the problem with citing stats this early in the season. Houston must be doing great because their starters have a 2.72 ERA. Or, Jimmy Rollins is going to hit 23 inside the park homeruns this year.


"From the Fox.com power rankings: "Another slow start for the Phils. The main culprit has been the rotation: Philly starters have a 5.86 ERA on the season, and they've yet to record a quality start in 2007."

Apparently, it's not just Beerleaguer who is engaged in speculation:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/jon_heyman/04/10/scoop.tuesday

I've been checking beerleaguer throughout the day hoping to see a big headline.

Like some others here, yesterday became the tipping point for me in terms of firing Manuel. I'm the first to admit I'm not an expert, but when I can see moves he's making are clearly wrong, it means its time for him to go. He's an impediment on a team that can't afford to be shot in the foot from the dugout.

It's dissapointing that Howe left. I don't think he is a great manager, but he is average and that's all the team needs right now.

If anyone wants to seriously analyze Manuel's performance, ask yourself this:

If he were fired today, would any team ever hire him to be their manager?

What game does that power ranking go through? Because after yesterday, I get an ERA of 5.46 for the starters, 5.51 for the bullpen.

Kdon, thanks for setting the bar high-"average and that's all the team needs right now".

kdon, if Grady Little can get a job (and a good one!) after making one of the most obviously wrong managerial decisions in maybe the entire history of baseball, I wouldn't rule anything out.

Part of me thinks the Smoltz/Wagner thing is more about them bad-mouthing the Phils than anything. They do this a lot, the two of them.

Yt, I don't think you need to apologize for your Bush-Cheney analogy. You weren't injecting politics. You could have said Clinton-Gore and the same analogy fits in that the head guy keeps his job when his heir apparent is even less popular than he was. Love him or hate him, Clinton was more popular than Gore, the same goes for Bush over Cheney and Gillick over Amaro, Jr. It's not about politics.

Now for Cholly, who is his heir apparent sitting in the dugout with him? Who is more popular? I smell blood in the water. Cholly needs to right his ship in a hurry or he's a gone pecan. He won't last past Memorial Day if things continue this dismally.

I would generally agree with you Malcolm, but I think Wagner's been pretty agreeable in the last couple days. of course it's easier to be a good winner than a good loser, but still.

I'm listening to the Astros game on the radio. Ex-Phillie Rick White (Weird Beard)is pitching. He was just clocked at 93 mph. The announcers are saying he lost 20 pounds in the offseason, came to ST as a non-roster invitee and he's now one of the Astros set-up man. As I write this, White has set down five in a row. He just hit 91 mph. Six in a row! Woulda, coulda, shoulda been retained as a Phillie!

Get out of here with the Rick White revisionism! Think he would've lost 20lbs if he knew he was staying here?

if there's any surer bet in baseball than an ex-Phillies reliever, I'm not sure what it is.

(I exaggerate, but still. Franklin, Fultz, Cormier, and White all with 0.00 ERAs?)

ThatDude: You may be one of the last posters on here to perpetuate the idiocy that Abreu was a bad clubhouse presence, only played for stats, dragged the team down etc. Of course you have no facts to back that up and statements from teammates and Charlie himself say the opposite.

Manuel addressed it before, but for idiots who persist in believing a fantasy here's Charlie again on Abreu (Daily News last week): "People are quick to look at Abreu because he was such a good player, and that when we traded him, they said that really helped our team," Manuel said. "That wasn't it. It was other players on our team that changed the chemistry of our club. Not Abreu."
Abreu, Manuel contended, worked hard, had a pleasant, non-oppressive personality and would have meshed nicely with the newly comprised club.

White isn't a great pitcher. Neither is Fultz. The thing that baffled me this offseason though is that the Phils actually managed to lose depth in the bullpen.

Not only did Gillick not address the issue of coming up with an alternative option to Gordon, but he actually got rid of some potentially useful veterans options such as White and Fultz. The only guy that Gillick acquired to bolster the pen was Alfonseca.

Now, Gillick is desperate and scrambling to bring in pitchers like Rosario. This is one of the few times that I agree with the yahoos on WIP. Gillick totally failed to address the bullpen situation and is entirely desiring of the harsh criticism he is receiving.

"A good ol' boy, Manuel also never seemed like a good fit for Philly. As the Indians hitting coach, he sometimes retired to the clubhouse when his team was in the field. To date, no one's ever really given a good explanation of what qualified him to be a major-league manager."

- Jon Heyman sums it up nicely.

"People are quick to look at Abreu because he was such a good player, and that when we traded him, they said that really helped our team," Manuel said. "That wasn't it. It was other players on our team that changed the chemistry of our club. Not Abreu."

Right, the other guys-Utley/Rowand/Howard/Hamel's moxie stepped up. Pressure was taken off them. It became THEIR team.

MG-I've been listening to 610 all day. They have criticized PG for not bringing in guys, but also added there wasn't a whole lot out there and they tried to trade Lieber/Burrell/Rowand....

you know whats really been bugging me lately: Why in god's name did we trade away Tejeda and then pay 30 million dollars for Adam Eaton? Does eaton really show that much more promise than a guy like tejada? I thought Tejada had some great games in philly and granted, some bad ones, but i think with another season he would have been at least a reliable no 5? Or was there just not room for him because of Hamels?

I dunno, i know the moves are two seasons apart but...what was up with that?

Thought you guys might be interested to hear this. I couldn't stand seeing Burrell strike out again looking, so I did some research to see how often it happens. I went into Retrosheet and took a look at the game files.

In 2006:

131 Strikeouts
61 of them were looking

That's 46% of the time.

That's got to be some kind of record. Where's Jayson Stark when you need him?

mm, as you said, the moves are 2 seasons apart. At this point, I won't be surprised if Eaton is a bust, but I'm willing to give him a few starts. This one coming makes me nervous.

BedBeard: And your point is, what, that they wouldn't have played as well if Abreu had stayed?

"ThatDude: You may be one of the last posters on here to perpetuate the idiocy that Abreu was a bad clubhouse presence, only played for stats, dragged the team down etc. Of course you have no facts to back that up and statements from teammates and Charlie himself say the opposite."
Clout, let's do the compate and contrast game with Chase Utley and Bobby Abreu.

Would Chase Utley go flying into a wall to make a catch or back off?

WOuld Chase Utley bust his ass to beat out a grounder not only int he hole, but anywhere?

Would Chase Utley be someone you would want up to bat in a tight situation?

The point being, do I think Abreu willfully or in an open way brag in the clubhouse that "he got his" and to hell with all else? I doubt it, but actions soeak louder than words. All that said, I am not an Abreu hater, in a clubhouse with stronger personalities, where is not the man, his demeanor won't hurt you, in fact it may help. In a clubhouse where is is "the man" or close to it, his demeanor will permiate the rest of the guys.

One more thing, I do like Abreu and for that matter even Pat the Bat, however these are guys who need to be led and as long as they were the leaders or even perceived as such it would build the wrong kind of climate.

A lot of pessimism here. I really believe that as presently comprised we've got a .500 team, not a .143 team. We are going to start winning some games. However, to make the playoffs, we have to

(a) somehow acquire some major bullpen help (Rosario and Bauer do not count as "major bullpen help" - Capellan, Lidge, Hermanson, Rincon, Chad Cordero, or Jon Rauch might)

and (b), fire Manuel. Regardless of whether these losses are his fault, it can only help, and we all know that over time he will cost you a few games with his strategic blunders.

It would be nice if we could (c), somehow jettison Rowand and find ourselves a better corner outfielder, moving Victorino back to center, but I don't really see that happening.

Gillick"s "wish list" since last DEC. went from Soriano/Sheffield to Rosario/Bauer today.. Somewhere in between the Bulls**t of the former and the grim reality of the latter, PG has let the bullpen dissolve and the manager is left to twist in the wool that he pulled over our eyes

Can someone explain how Abreu could be so negative on the Phillies, then goto the best franchise in professional sports and goto the playoffs? Why didn't Abreu 'infect' this team?

Obivously these are all retorical questions. The Abreu trade was a salary dump. No more, no less.

Let's not forget Cormier -- Gillick GAVE him away last year, and then does not go out and get anyone to replace him this year. This is completely unacceptable. Gillick has to know the market...If he is going to be unable to replace Cormier (and get NOTHING in return), you can not trade him.

Gillick is the anti-wade. Instead of saddeling the team with long-term contracts, he just is trading anyone with a contract. Maybe we can pay our bullpen by the hour to save some cash.

That Dude: Let me see if I can get your bizarre thinking straight: The reason the Phillies didn't make the playoffs is because Burrell and Abreu's "demeanor" would "permeate the rest of the guys" and cause Chase Utley or anyone else not to play hard? Man, I've seen some pretty dumb posts on here, but this might be an all-timer.

Clout, the trade of Abreu and PG declaring the Phils not contenders until 2008 took the pressure off the Phils. Yes, the schedule helped, but they were a new team after. I do like Abreu and am starting to wish they got more for him, but I'm not buying what you're selling. End of story.

Greg, you make a good point about Gillick slashing costs. When Gillick jettisoned Abreu and others last year (in the name of payroll flexibility for 2007 and 2008), they also slashed roughly $6M in payroll for 2006. So although the payroll is roughly the same at the start of 2007 as the start of 2006, the Phillies ended up way under budget for 2006.

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