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Thursday, May 10, 2007

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Uh, its Brandon Medders. Now you negative posters, if an opposing announcer did that--you'd totally discredit all of his baseball knowledge. Anyone can make a little mistake.

I feel duped. Manuel looks to have switched the rotation around — Hamels is going tomorrow and Garcia is going Saturday. Sucks for me. Here's hoping for a rainout Friday, getting Hamels the start Saturday.

Good for Zagurski. Hopefully, he can keep it going. How come our prospects seem to be older than other teams'?

What! I bought tix for Saturday specifically to see Cole!

Like I needed another reason to hate Manuel he has now ruined my trip ome to Philly. (insert inappropriate four letter words here)!

Practice, we talkin bout practice. Practice?, Pracitce, We talkin bout practice, c-mon Practice? Playoffs?? Playoffs, you wanna talk about Playoffs? Playoffs???

Dont know why those comments seemed appropriate, but it always helps to get me going.

For all the Idiotic things that Mark Grace and the other guy from Arizona's announcing team said that was extremely stupid, I think their comment on what Ryan Howards live bat does to this offense was on the money. THey said that the team went from looking lethargic, having no energy or fire, to a team with killer instinct. You can ask the question: Do the Phils bats wake up if Howard does not hit the GS? There is no way to know, but up until the point where he hit it, they had like 4 hits, after he hit it thay had about 9 hits (including Howard's Bomb). All this after the 7th inning. It seems to me that this team feeds off the performance of Howard, Utley and Rollins. If any one of these guys can do something in a game, I think the Phils have a chance to win it. Hopefully this kind of hit can catapult Ryno and the Phils to get after it. That was a huge hit that probably prevented a sweep in a series that the Phils looked like they were asleep at the wheel. Go Phils!

And keeping with the negative attitude: I preicted Johnson would strike out 15 Phils, and he was 6 short. So Now I am calling for absoulte domination of the Phils hitter's during the next series. Major numbers of strikeouts, and weak popups. Make me eat my words Phils, they are so sweet when you do, kinda bitter when you don't.

Vaya Con Dios les Phillies.

Conlin's article was weak. Blaming Wade as the primary architect of the woes of this team misses the point on two main issues. Conlin did criticize some of Gillick's moves during his tenure as GM but wasn't nearly harsh enough about the total lack of talent the Phils have received in return for Gillick's trades.

Not only has Gillick traded several veteran players and has almost nothing to show for it, the Phils have also given up some young talent (e.g., Tejada) in a couple of trades. Most glaring trades were Thome and Lidle/Abreu deals. Not a single prospect from those trades is worth talking about or likely to help the Phils.

The other point goes back to bay phan/Billy Mac comments the other day. If the Phils supposedly needed to go through a rebuilding process (which I think is crap given that this core of players is decent enough to contend for a wildcard in a weak NL again this year), then why did the Phils bring in Gillick in the first place?

Gillick was only going to stay here as a GM for 3 or 4 years tops. While that might allow Gillick to build a team better positioned for the future at the major league level (which he hasn't done), it is not enough time to really make a mark on the Phils' minor league system.

If the Phils truly wanted to have changed things, they would have brought in a younger GM and make a true 5-year commitment to him. Let him clean out some of the dead wood and implement his organizational philosophies. Unfortunately, that won't happen as long as Dave Montgomery and co. are present owners.

In reponse to Mark from the previous thread-
Mark, you are a dumbass in every sense of the word. Sure, I'll give credit to "No-Hit" Nunez, in fact I've even taken to calling him "Sometimes-Hit Nunez", but even if he gets his average over .300 it means nothing. He's has NEVER been a good baseball player, even his career year in St. Louis in '05 he was average at best, and that's a stretch. You need to get a clue.

Manuel reshuffled the rotation because Lieber apparently got a bad cut on his hand, so this will give him some extra time to heal. And you can't say we didn't get anything for Thome. Rowand is playing well this year (so far), and we also got Gio Gonzalez, who we sent back to CHI for Garcia.

This is some of the stupid stuff I've ever read on here before-

From Mark Goldentyer-Went to all three games in Phoenix. Phils have a team that at least make the wild-card. Obviously, bullpen is the weak point, Myers should be the answer there. My opinion is that most of you guys are way too negative. We all know Montgomery and the band of owners are not good for us. We can choose to not root for the team. A true fan will not take that option. Gillick-obviously the pressure is on him. I think he has done a fair job-except I am most critical of him with the empty farm system. Manuel-much as I'd like to see him get canned-he made a great move yesterday throwing all his chips on the table with Howard-I think it is too early to give up on Cholly. Bourne deserves a start or two. And those of you who posted that "an appliance at third base would play better than No-Hit Nuni"; what say you now? Make me this promise: if Abe gets his average over .300; admit that you know less about baseball than the average 85 year old grandma-I was talking to Abe about this yesterday and he said-he was laughing-that this would be a good deal. I often don't read this site because of all of the overwhelming negativity. If we stay positive, this team has a good chance to at least get to the postseason-and as we all know-anything can happen at that point. I think it was the thunderous popping sound emanating from Howard's bat on that Medders that was reverberating thru my mind as I typed this. When you look up the words "that ball got out of here in a hurry"; there's a picture of that swing.

Ok, let's all collectively think positive and will our team to victory via good mind vibes.

I agree with you, MG. I'm just a little tired of the missed draft pick excuse as the reason two whole levels of the minor leagues are filled with nothing but garbage, and I'm growing steadily tired of the "homegrown talent" pat on the back. Let me see a post-season, then we'll give the organization a thumbs up.

The draft picks are a factor, certainly, but so is scouting and getting nothing in these deals. Scouting and talent evaluation are the bigger issues IMO. Between Bell, Padilla, Fasano, Cormier, Conine, Abreu, Lidle, Franklin, you mean to tell me they couldn't recognize so much as a future major-league bench player or reliever? Half the players they got in these deals are no longer with the team, and most of the rest may not even graduate out of A-ball!

The problem is this attidude like "Ah, well, it's a salary dump." Getting rid of players that were spare parts anyway, or whatever Conlin said.

Well, they were pretty important acquisitions for the teams they dealt with. It's not like the Reds were all that far ahead of the Phils in the WC standings. How about getting something back? Sometimes it seems they make trades blindly, like they've never seen, heard or researched the junk they get back. The Braves and Mets make sure they get something useful, as in, players with Major League potential, not roster filler. Look at Reading's roster and you'll know.

"Well, if only Ed Wade hadn't signed free agents."

Well, other teams do it too and their minor leagues aren't in shambles.

yt: That's exactly what I'm doing - I'm coming home to Philly for the weekend, and it just so happened Cole was slated to throw Saturday, which is the game I bought the tickets for. Now this crap happens. Stupid Chollie.

The problem is how many of the guys below are even worth getting something back? People constantly overrate our guys. Fasano, seriously? Bell? FRANKLLIN? We got something back for old/highpriced reliever Cormier, but for whatever reason he was cut loose. So there's something. Padilla had 2 injury/down years in a row, drunk, lazy free agent to be. Abreu trade was a disaster,except the major reason for the trade was to get someone else to take his contract. And we actually got something for Thome. Remember, there were some out there who thought he could be done/close to done b/c of his back/aging.

"Between Bell, Padilla, Fasano, Cormier, Conine, Abreu, Lidle, Franklin"

I think one of Conlin's key points was that Gillick really meant "contenders in 2008", then saw the Phils turn it around, and lost focus(or whatever the word is).

MG~

I couldn't agree more.

Maybe we'll re-sign Cormier who was released yesterday. But I, like most of you have little faith in PG at this point. I do think that the owners are tying his hands somewhat but that is no excuse for not doing the job.

Wade wasn't very good either. But when he tied up Abreu and Burrell long-term he thought he was doing the right thing. I can't fault him for that. He signed Thome and Bell as FA's and no can fault him for either of those moves at the time. Thome had 2 monster years here and as a result of him getting hurt, Howard is the man. However Wade gave away a lot of young talent in trades that turned out as bad ones too.

Gillick however has been around a long time and knows how to build a winner. He left Baltimore because he couldn't get along with Angelos and that makes me wonder if the owners won't let him do his jobn why is he still here.

"But when he tied up Abreu and Burrell long-term he thought he was doing the right thing."

OJ did the right thing the other 15,000 days he was on this earth before the "bad" one.

Thats an odd analogy Bed Beard, and the evidence suggests that one of the reasons his wife split from him in the first place was that he beat her up. I would contend those were bad days too.

Not a big Ed Wade fan, but my gut feeling is he has murdered at least two less people then OJ.

Sadly that might be the high point of his legacy in Philly.

While a good ball club may hire a bad GM or a bad manager once and awhile, Good clubs don't hire bad GMs or managers over and over. And they dont take a long time to fix bad mistakes either.
Unless Gillick has some master plan that we cannot envision for next year, he is gonna pocket 3 years worth of salary, laugh hard and never set foor in Philly again.
Wait, has he set foot in Philly yet?

kuff6- When I was talking about the Thome trade, I mean that the Phils don't have a single decent prospect to show for it anymore. If this team supposedly needed to rebuild, why did they go trade for Garcia will almost certainly sign with other team next year? That was my point.

From Jayson Stark's Rumblings and Grumblings today. Apparently Phillies fans may not be overreactive miscreants.


Here's the take of one AL exec, who hadn't seen a lot of Bobby Abreu in the NL, on the half-dozen games he has seen Abreu play this year: "Last year, after he came to the Yankees, he really looked energized. But this year, he's a very passive guy. To see him come up there twice in big situations (against the Red Sox) and try to bunt, I thought, 'That's amazing.' Even in RBI situations, he's just very content to take his ball four and go to first. Look, I believe in the value of walks as much as anybody. But these were passive walks. They weren't active walks, if you know what I mean. I think I'm starting to understand why the Phillies traded him." Digest this fascinating stat: Abreu's OPS leading off an inning is .912. But with runners in scoring position, it's only .600.

Whatever. The point was I'm not going to reward someone b/c they thought they were doing the right thing.

/and I hate OJ

They still have Fabio Castro, who they got for Haigwood (Thome trade). I'm not convinced that they'll let him go at the end of the year, just yet. Especially with the age of Liber/Moyer and Myers in the pen. I'm not even convinced Garcia is anything near the old Garcia and worth keeping him around, just yet.

Mere speculation at this time, but what would we have to offer in order to get Troy Glaus from Toronto? That's a 3rd baseman!

Glaus would sure doesn't fit Gillick's original statement that the team would focus on young talent and wouldn't be a contender 'til '08. Of course Gillick's actions have over turned that original statement and an aging oft-injured player like Glaus would fit right in with a lot of the older FAs that he has signed in the last year or so. Glaus is a big upgrade when healthy, but he has already been on the DL once this year. I guess it would depend on what the Phils would have to give up to get a player that would be here to help them now and not far into the future.

Carson, for Glaus? Easy...

Helms. Nunez. Tomas Perez. Tommy Green. Terry Mulholland. Jayson Werth. Burrell. Barajas. Stacy the leftfield ballgirl. Leiber. Geary.

*Sigh* I hate to part with the ballgirl, but my goodness even an oft-injured horse like Glaus would make me happy.

If the 'Jays are thinking '08, time to make (another?) run at Rios.

"They were passive walks. They weren't active walks if you know what I mean." What idiot scout said that? Sometimes I wish Burrell wouldn't take a walk when runners are on base because he's usually followed by Helms, who you know won't drive any runners in, but in the Yankees lineup there's nothing wrong with a walk.

I think he is talking about the over all approach to the game Tray. Some guys are relieved to take a walk, others are dissappointed not to get a pitch they can drive.

It is just one guys impression of course, but I know it is what I saw in Bobby toward the end of his stay here, and I see it batting 5th right now. Collecting a check and playing baseball are two different things.

All the time Burrell should be offensive with runners on base. The guy is getting how much per year? And he was drafted at what spot? All this because he's supposed to be a mammoth run producing.

The only thing he's producing is a light aerobic workout.

I think the "idiot scout" meant that Abreu wasn't working the count or anything, he was up there looking for a walk-a passive at bat. Not something you want from a guy making $15mil or so.

I am really tired of people complaining about the return Gillick has received on his trades. Padilla - every team knew he was going to be non-tendered. Abreu - no trade clause meant he could only deal with one team and they knew it. The rest of the dreck were out of baseball (or should be, Franklin, R) within six months.

If they keep playing like they have, the real test will be what he gets for Lieber, Rowand, Garcia, and any other parts as the deadline approaches.

A passive walk is one where you take pitches that can be driven early in the count hoping for a walk. "Idiot scouts" get this, apparently idiot posters do not.

I for one am glad that Abreu is now the Yankee's problem. We got his best years, but the guy is in steep decline. His power is long gone; even the walks are way down. His OPS is much worse than every Phillie regular.

It's just too bad Gillick couldn't pawn Burrell off on the Birds at the same time.

It's refreshing to hear a few voices of realism creep into comments.

A big part of me hates bringing up Fasano, Franklin, etc., all terrible players who should have never been here. The issue is ... how is it the Phillies keep getting junk? All I want is someone who could hold their own against a big league pitcher and not, say, take out-of-control hacks and knock out a catcher the way Dobbs did the other night. They're constantly acquiring players who can't play. It can't all be blamed on bad contracts and leverage. And is it a Gillick issue, or a scouting issue necessarily?

Anyway, let's move on to the next subject.

Well, the most disturbing part to me is the Fasano thing.

The time line: They dump Pratt, who was not expensive to bring in a guy at roughly the same money who can play even less, then by accident they almost trip over a catcher who can fill in (Coste), then what do they do in the off-season? Send Coste back down to bring in Barajas for more money then Pratt, Fasano and Coste combined and he is even worse!

If it were not for the fact that it is totally counter-intuitive, the obvious conclusion would be that they are actually trying to get worse.

Scarry.

Zagurski sounds interesting. You don't hear much about minor league relief pitchers unless they were college closers. Does Zagurski have mlb velocity (88 +) ? He must have an out pitch with all of those strikeouts. I love only 4 walks. Phillies are desperate for left handed relief. At 24, I agree there is nothing for him to prove dominating A-Ball players. He should be at Reading.

To give you Abreu bashers more fodder, this little anecdote from FoxSports.com:

"With the score 1-all in the fifth, Texas took advantage of New York's fielding failures. Laird hit a leadoff triple on a catchable fly that dropped behind Bobby Abreu, who slowed as he neared the right-field wall."

The link:

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6794864

The Gillick excuse-makers like BedBeard and longwood say, "oh, it's OK, they had poor Pat over a barrel, he couldn't have gotten anything if he tried."

The problem with that thinking is this: If you trade what talent you have for nothing, then how do you build a winner? Here's what smart teams do: If they can't get a fair offer for a player they want to trade, they don't trade him until they do. Duh!

The bottom line is the talent on the field. Compare Gillick's results to other GMs.

Sad day for all the Beerleaguer posters who said we should give Brian Mazone a chance rather than sign a veteran bullpen guy. My condolences.

'Here's what smart teams do: if they can't get a fair offer for a player they want to trade, they don't trade him until they do.'

Right. Meanwhile, the trade value continues to shrink as the player declines - so instead of getting fifty cents on the dollar, you end up getting five cents. Saw it with Abreu, and we'll see it with Burrell.

Burrell has no value with 27 million dollars left on his contract.

None. What were you thinking RSBlue?

The minute his contract was signed by Ed Wade he became worthless. Full no-trade clause too.

Pat Burrell of
6 years/$50M (2003-08)

$1.5M signing bonus ($1M up front, $0.25M 1/04, $0.25M 1/05) 03:$1M, 04:$4M, 05:$7M, 06:$9.5M, 07:$13M, 08:$14M

full no-trade clause

Burrell can draw walks and throw people out from the outfield...other than that, he's worthless right now. And I'm one of Pat's biggest supporters. With Burrell and Howard not getting hits, it's killing our offense.

After bringing Brian Mazone to Philadelphia for a weekday game spot start last September --- when the game was rained out, the Phillies unceremoniously shipped the guy back to AAA, without ever bothering to see him pitch to a major league hitter.

While AAA is not the NL, all Mazone had done -- last season and this season -- is succeed marvelously in AAA -- all without ever being given a big league inning by the Phillies.

The "deal" in which Mazone's contract was sold to a Korean team was arranged by Mazone's agent -- obviously after Mazone and his agent had received the message from "Seattle Stew" Gillick that Mazone would likely never get so muchb as a major league look by the Phillies,

Gillicks's preoccupation with hard-throwing pitchers -- regardless of their other defects -- and his disregard to smart, multi-pitch guys like Mazone is yet one manifestation of PG's conitinuing fgailure in talent evaluation.

Gillick richly eserves another "hit" for dumping a guy whom the Phillies had under contract -- without even taking one look at him in a well-deserved big league tryout -- without getting any talent in return.

Gillick clearly believed that the Phillies needed no pitching help . . . . . . hmmmm.

Davthom- your love for the battled and true minor league lifers is heartwarming and astounding at the same time. If I didn't know you better, I would think you were once a struggling minor leaguers toiling away year after year hoping for that one shot at the Bigs, whether it be one batter faced or just one at bat, or even a pinch-running chance. Long live the Chris Coste!

RSB: Abreu declined after the trade? I missed that. The stats say otherwise. I know you've loved the Abreu trade since Day One, but, again, the result on the field contradicts you. Now you want to dump Burrell for nothing. Addition by subtraction, right RSB? Are you a secret Mets fan? Why would someone consistently favor moves that hurt the team?

davthom73: I came around to your way of thinking on Coste as a result of his performance last season. I thought he'd earned a spot and should be with the team this year. Here's where you and I differ: You think the high minors and Indy ball are loaded with aging vets who could succeed at the major league level if only they had the chance.
They aren't. Every year, dozens of aging retreads get MLB time due to injuries. The vast majority of them flop. There are rare exceptions, of course. But there is good reason why the Lou Colliers and Bret Abernathys and Jason Hills aren't in the big leagues. They aren't talented enough. Neither is Mazone.

Clout: You and I agree the Phillies never get value in their trades, but RSB has a point that both Abreu and Burrell appear to be on their way down. It's absolutely true. Abreu is having a worse season than Helms.

SirAlden: "Burrell has no value with 27 million dollars left on his contract. None."

Again, you either have the driest wit on Beerleaguer or are the biggest idiot on the Internet.

Given the current price tag on power-hitting free agent outfielders, a lifetime .842 OPS corner outfielder whose contract expires at the end of next season has more than zero value. You think Schuerholz couldn't trade him to an AL contender for a decent prospect?

Jason: The season is 162 games long. RSB said the same thing about Abreu mid-season last year. Then look what happened. Obviously, at his age, his best years are behind him, but he's still better than league average.

To defend my wise friend, clout, I once again quote Bill James from his 1988 Abstract:

"6. The chance of getting a good player with a high draft pick is substantial enough that is clearly a disastrous strategy to give up a first-round draft pick to sign a player like Rick Dempsey, Pete Falcone, or Bill Stein. "

To extrapolate from that and add to clout's comment

"Here's what smart teams do: If they can't get a fair offer for a player they want to trade, they don't trade him until they do. Duh!"

it should have worked like this:

I can't trade Abreu for anything decent, so I hold on, knowing that eventually I'm going to get a supplemental 1st round pick for him, where it's very likely that I'm going to get a player who will make my MLB roster and be useful. Because, after all, I am interested in BUILDING A TEAM FOR THE FUTURE AS WELL AS TODAY.

What the Yankees would have done if Seattle Stew had stood 'pat' we don't know, but if Abreu were still on the team there would have been or would be other opportunities to trade him for something worthwhile. The worst thing that would have happened is you get a HIGH draft pick. If the Nats, who held on to Soriano, draft well, they may wind up with a better player(s) than they were offered in a trade.

P.S. I'm no Abreu lover, but Seattle Stew should have gotten more for him.

Clout: The better time to deal Abreu would have been the offseason. Still, better than league average is a long way from where he was a year ago when most still thought he had 25-30 HR potential. Good player, but those days are over.

On Burrell, it can't be any contender; it has to be with a team Burrell agrees to go to. Honestly, I can't see any team that would make a trade for him right now, can you? Boston? No. Yankees? They didn't want him last year. LAA? At best, possible ...

Lots of good stuff about Gillick in the Philly papers today. Sounds like he is getting a little PO'ed at Helms, Burrell, and Howard.

"Borowski flunked his physical," Gillick said. "That's not my fault. If the medical people say don't do it, there's nothing we can do. People say, 'Fix the bullpen,' but I don't have a 32-homer guy like LaRoche that's going to get me Gonzalez."

Clout -- I understand your comment. My point in the instance of Mazone, was that after the great numbers and high-volume innings the guy has rung up consistently in AAA -- Mazone at least warranted a major league look by the pitching-challenged Phillies -- if not during 25-man active roster time -- then last Fall when a 40-man active roster was in place. The Phillies had little to lose in giving Mazone a MLB look -- if for no other reason to keep him interested in saying around to help keep Ottawa competitive, and to remain a Phillies' minor league property as -- to use Seattle Stew's term -- "pitching inventory."

Jason, I request that you please start a new thread about Seattle Stew's comments in the paper today. They're too "rich" to get absorbed in another thread.

AWH- I think you meant to say "the owners are too rich".

"Given the current price tag on power-hitting free agent outfielders..."

Oh, my mistake I thought we were talking about Burrell here.

Clout- yes, Burrell has been a power-hitting corner outfielder in the past, but right now he's merely a walk or out type of player (only 6 doubles and 1 homerun on the year)...not much power there. Do I think he'll suck that bad power-wise the entire season? No, but only "no" because I don't want to believe Burrell is shot.

Burrell has no value with that contract and that no trade clause.

Phillies traded Abreu b/c of his salary. They weren't going to hold on to him and let him go as a Free Agent b/c that means they would have to pay him all that money.

Edwin Encarnacion demote by Reds. Anyway we could pick him up? I assume it wouldn't be cheap.

You're right Bedrosian. Better to use that $14M to sign Adam Eaton & Rod Barajas & Wes Helms.

Chances are pretty good that, by season's end, Abreu's numbers will look reasonably similar to how they usually look -- which is to say pretty good. At that time, it will be a lot more difficult to defend this indefensible trade.

The Phillies are a confounding, feast-or-famine team, and have been for several years. Entering yesterday, they were first in the league in on-base percentage (.358) and third in runs (169). Yet they had stranded 290 runners, by far the most in the league.

Clout - I have to disagree about Burrell having alot of value right now. Unless Burrell can show that he still has a decent power stroke, no one is going trade for a lousy defensive outfielder who hits .260-.270 , walks alot, and is owed $20+ million through 2008.

Gammons wisely writes today:

For a franchise that is chronically psycho-analyzed, this is not a matter of personality flaws or bungled managing or attention deficit disorders. It's about pitching.


Their starters have 17 quality starts, better only than the Nationals and Marlins, and the .791 OPS against them is better only than Colorado. Their starters are 13-12, 4.85, an ERA that betters only Washington and Florida. The bullpen is 2-7, 4.08, an ERA better only than Cincinnati and Colorado.


The Phillies had to take their Opening Day starter, Brett Myers, and make him a reliever because of the uncertain physical status of Tom Gordon, whose only help was the reliable Geoff Geary. Now, in a home park where 8-6 games are pitching duels, Antonio Alfonseca is third on Charlie Manuel's bullpen speed dial after Myers and Geary, which -- as it gets hot -- is another problem.

Without the HRs , Burrell is a younger Scott Hatteberg who strikes out a lot. I still can't imagine a healthy Burrell who is playing regularly won't hit 25 + HRs this season.

My instinct was to agree with Carson that they're just a feast or famine offense. I even wrote several posts the other day, noting that, despite their high run total, they have 11 games in which they've scored 3 or fewer runs.

I did some further research & it turns out, the Phillies' 11 low-scoring games are right in line with what other high-scoring teams have. The Brewers & Braves each have 12 games of 3 or fewer runs. The Mets have 11. So, though it may seem like it, the Phillies, in reality, are no more "feast or famine" than any other high-scoring teams.

The difference, however, is that the Brewers have gone 5-7 in the 12 games where they scored 3 or fewer runs. The Braves have gone 4-8 in those games, and the Mets have gone 3-8. The Phillies have gone . . . get ready for this . . . 0-11!

Of those 11 games, the bullpen got the loss in 4 of them and it had a contributing hand in a couple others. So Tray is right: it's the bullpen, not a feast or famine offense, which is at the heart of the Phillies' problems.

bay_a_p, based on Gammons observation that the starters have the third lowest number of quality starts in the league, I would say they have some responsibility also, not just the bullpen.

It's certainly not what was expected from a rotation that at the beginning of the year was thought of as one of the three best in the league, the rotation on "the team to beat".

I really like the idea of trading for Glaus, but I don't think we have the guys to get that done with Toronto unless the Phils are willing to part with Victorino (which I'm guessing they aren't, and understandably so).

What I could see, in theory, is some kind of three-way deal in which guys like Rowand and/or Garcia and/or Lieber and/or Madson are shipped out for prospects, and those prospects plus a Bourn or Maloney or Segovia are sent north for Glaus. But I'm not sure Gillick has the creativity or attention span to swing such a complex move.

The problem with the starters can be pegged directly to the struggles of Eaton and Garcia. If these guys can pitch to their ability, the starting rotation should come around. As for the bullpen, that is another story entirely.

To get a real hitter behind Howard, I'd trade Victorino is a second.

AWH,

Yes, to be sure, the starting rotation has been far less than advertised. I was really just focusing on the 11 games where they scored 3 or fewer runs. In all but one or two of those games, the Phillies' starter actually pitched well enough to win. They might have won a good 4 or 5 of those games if the bullpen had done its job.

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