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Thursday, May 17, 2007

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.500

I never want to see sub .500 this season again. Break on through to the other side today. A 4-game sweep would be awesome.

Phillies baseball is exciting again.

Just think if we can get a healthy Howard, Gordon, and even to some extent Madson back.

Here comes optimism sneeking up on me.

Carson: I've got to be honest. I'm not expecting anything more from Gordon this season. I just don't see a 39-year-old with that much arm trouble contributing in a significant way. Madson can, but Gordon won't. That's why Manuel needs to get some of these other pitchers going instead of using Myers up four runs at home.

I want to second something that curt, who is wrong most of the time, got right on the prior thread. Manuel is managing now as if every game is a playoff game. If he burns out Hamels and Myers, no prob, because if he doesn't win now he won't be around in September. This goes against accumulated wisdom. As Sparky Anderson once observed, "Sometimes you have to lose games in April so you can win them in Septemeber."
If Myers or Hamels are cooked by September we need to recall what's happening now, although if Gillick doesn't make a move to upgrade middle relief, it won't matter.

There is a reason why Cholly didn't give one of the stiffs in the BP a chance to step up: he needs to win NOW if he wants to be managing later this year. As a result, he doesn't really much care about wearing out Myers or Hamels, or whether they can pitch for the next 10 years. His personal interests are not aligned with the best interests of Hamels, Myers, the Phils, and the Phillie fans. He was not being dumb last night, he was doing what was in HIS short-term best interest. For that I don't blame him. It's Gillicks fault that Cholly is still there and in a position of having to manage the 40th game of the year like it's the 7th game of the world series. Heck, I wouldn't be terribly surprised to see Cholly start bringing Hamels out to pitch an inning or 2 of relief between starts.

Perhaps Charlie's limited use of craptastic players is a message to management.

All this and no discernable impact by the second-coming, Chris Coste?? Unbelievable.

Day game after a night game today. Have to assume that Barajas will be behind the plate. Curious to see what other players get some rest and how creative Cholly gets with the lineup.

This will be your standard Manuel "Rest Day" today...

I expect the line up to look like this:
CF Michael Bourn
RF Shane Victorino
1B Greg Dobbs Or Coste
2B Chase Utley
3B Wes Helms
LF Jason Werth
SS Abraham Nunez
C Rod Barajas

i'd love to see a bourn start.

going out on a limb to predict a bourn start.

"The New York Yankees, looking to upgrade at backup catcher, have reportedly inquired about Angels reserve Jose Molina, but it's doubtful the Yankees would offer the Angels a valuable enough piece for them to part with one of the league's top defensive catchers.
Posted May 17, by Ben Maller"

june 1. barajas for abreu, yanks pick up both salaries. maybe we can convince them to take werth, too. (if only the yanks were known for knee-jerk reactions........)

Wow, so many things that are irking me this morning after reading the late hour posts last night. I'll start with the most flagrant.

mw: "THey better not throw out Coles arm, or I'm going to start rooting for the A's again." Ok, mw, why don't you just go now. You define the loathesome fickle fan to start with. You obviously didnt read the post immediately before your posted by Mike Cunningham on the issue. Read, or be a Yankees (Or your beloved A's) fan. Illiteracy and Yankees fans go together very well.

Nat: Not as hacked off with you, but I have a question for you. You daid you are ticked off with management for not sitting Howard with an injury that has persisted since march. I agree, if that is the whole story. Do you not think it is possible that Howard should shoulder some of the blame for him playing? If the injury was not thought to be serious, and Howard demanded to play then what are they going to do? Not saying that is what happened, just a thought.

Myers situation generally: I dont think there is any comparison between Myers and Gordon/Rivera. They are both in their late 40's, and Gordon has a long history of injury problems. Myers is 26 with almost no history in injuries. Not saying it cant happen, but I'm not as worried about this supposed overuse as some may be. D-backs pitched Valverde in 5 straight games earlier this year. Brewers have pitched Cordero in 5 straight. Both those guys are older than Myers and have much more injury problems. It is diffficult to say that Ned Yost is playing for his job in May. After all he had the best record in the MLB when he was pitching Cordero in 5 straight. That is significantly different than the Manual situation. I dont buy the managing for today argument. There is too much of the same thing going on with teams with better records and managers with better job security.

General question: At what point did MLB players/ the human body break down? 15-20 years ago? Are kids these days being born with porcelin bones and Chinese rubber bands for ligaments? 20 years ago the idea that a pitcher would be throwing out his arm if he averaged 95 pitches a start would be the equivalent of blasephemy. I understand that Cole has a history of injury problems, and he probably needs to be watched more carefully than some, but Brett Myers? I mean Cole is 23, Myers is 26, the ages where the body is least likely to be suceptible to injury. Maybe someone can tell me the exact point where every MLB player became "Fragile Freddy." What year was it, and what have mothers started taking or not taking that is making bodies fall apart? I don't buy this, but it seems to be the prevailing idea in the MLB/other major sports.

Player comparisson 40 games into the season for player A, 38 for player B


AB: A 157 B 148
B Ave: A .242 B .272
OBP: A .313 B .361
Ks: A 36 B 22
HR: A 2 B 2
SB: A 5 B 14
CS: A 2 B 2
BB: A 17 B 17
2B: A 5 B 9
OPS: A .652 B .739

Player A: Bobby Abreu
Player B: Shane Victorino

I guess I wouldn't mind Bobby as a bat off the bench, but I don't think he would be very happy backing up Vic, and I don't think the team would be better right now with Bobby in RF.

I know Clout will likely kill me now, but numbers don't lie.

Oops late 30's for Gordon and Rivera (Above)

I'm slightly concerned with overusing myers, but not as much as most people. He was a starter who has come close to or topped 200innings a yr for a long time. Also, old time closers used to come into 2 or 3 inning saves and pitch 4 or 5 days in a row a lot. Myers is getting old school on them.

Count me in as in favor of a Bourn start today. For Burrell though.

I'm not as concerned with the overuse part either as much as this idea that Myers will now be called on to pitch with 4-run leads at home, as Manuel has now indicated. Because Philadelphia is now AAA Colorado Springs.

So when is it okay to get the other pitchers into a game? Up five against the bottom half of the Nationals' lineup?

Just to comment quickly on the Myers issue, I have to say my first reaction was to think Charlie must be crazy, but as I think about it a little further, I simply have to defer to the guys that know.

I have to believe a few basic principles: A. Charlie is not so evil as to put this guys long term health at risk to get to 500 in May and keep a job for a few more months, as a few posters have implied. B. Dubee has to be talking to this BP every day, and giving Manuel a list of names that he can call, and C. Brett must know better then anyone what he can and can't do, and isn't going to risk many millions of dollars in the future to ice a ball game in May for a team that is on the fringe as far as contention. I do believe Myers is a fierce competitor, and he does not strike me as a rocket scientist, but I don't think he is a total idiot either.

Lets take a win and be happy. I know I'm feeling pretty good about another series win.

Ruiz: did anybody see the look on Ruiz's face when he couldn't get to that foul ball close to the dugout last night, while Cole still had the perfect game going. To me it said a lot about what this guy. Ruiz seems to be the ultimate team player. In my estimation, he adds one more to character player on a team with a few of them.

1.) Rowand: Bulldog, will literally sacrifice his health for the benefit of the team.
2.) Utley: See comments above (for Rowand)
3.) Myers: willing to go to the bullpen after being a career starter without bitching about it like some pre-madonna star.
4.) Hamels: Seems to have the ultimate swagger, and his comments ooze confidence and an urge to help the team. (I need to win 20 games for this team, etc., etc.)
4.) J-Roll: flys around everywhere and seems. His jersey has glue on it, and team sticks on everywhere.
5.) Victorino: stealing bases, going hard after difficult plays.
6.) Nunez: say what you want about the guy, he is a scrappy guy and seems like he would do whatever it takes for the team.
7.) Garcia: has a history of being a clubhouse favorite as evidenced by Rowands sentiments (If Rowand says he is a team guy, I'm buying)
8.) Moyer: Model of professionalism. The fact that he says Ruiz has earned his respect, says a lot for Ruiz.

Sure there are others, but these guys stand out to me.

yt, that comparison is idiotic. Albert Pujols has a .752 OPS - so I guess that means he's only barely better than Victorino? Scott Rolen has a .624 OPS - so I guess that means he's really, really terrible.

Parker -

It starts in Little League (tm). The pitch restrictions are absurd this year, no kid is allowed over 65 pitches in a week!

Yes, there is a problem with idiot coaches/fathers throwing kids arms into the trashcan way too early.

So, you get these hard and fast rules.

I far prefer Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken rules that limit based on innings.

I don't know what the answer is, if all coaches knew the game and how to read pitchers we wouldnt need these rules.

This type of limiting is carried all throughout baseball.

Its insane.

And, the stats just arent there to back up the limiting assertions.

Ages:
Pujols 27
Vic 26
Rolen 32
Abreu 33

Pujols hit 49 HRs last season, Abreu hit 15.

Rolens is a ++ defender even when he is not hitting well, Bobby thinks the outfield walls are made of kryptonite.

I'm an idiot? I compared 10 catagories without even looking at D and you dispute with one and say that my point is idiotic.

How many more games do you think the 2007 version of Bobby Abreu would have brought us so far?

Brett Myers threw a perfect ninth inning last night in a 6-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers at Citizens Bank Park. It was his 15th relief appearance in 28 games since he left the rotation for the bullpen. It also was his third appearance in three days. Does he think he's OK to pitch this afternoon in the series finale? "Yep," Myers said. "Ready to roll. I'm good for 100. And then I'll need four days off."

Brett Myers threw a perfect ninth inning last night in a 6-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers at Citizens Bank Park. It was his 15th relief appearance in 28 games since he left the rotation for the bullpen. It also was his third appearance in three days. Does he think he's OK to pitch this afternoon in the series finale? "Yep," Myers said. "Ready to roll. I'm good for 100. And then I'll need four days off."

I saw Don Newcombe pitch a double header when they only had 4 starters. Robin Roberts pitched over 300 innings all the time. Why is it different now then before?
I suppose if Hamels had a no hitter going he would not pitch the 9th inning? Whats the difference between 2 hits and no hits? It just shows the idiocy in some of these Mgrs in trying to help pitchers from throwing out their arms. Check how many pitchers lately have been sent to the dl? there were 4 yesterday and seems like everyday there is at least one.

Fljerry, yeah 4 pitchers on the DL yesterday, and 2 of them were on my fantasy team. Argh! (Bonderman with blisters: C-mon), (Houston Street with ulnar nerve inflamation: seems more legitimate, could be signs of the need for TJ surgery from what I hear.) Dang it.

Add me to the list of posters who are not so concerned with overusing Myers and Hamels.

By all accounts, Myers is a durable and rubber-armed pitcher. Hamels has upped his preparation to an almost crazed level. He knows what he must do to stay healthy, and I think he will do so.

I frequently disagree with Chollie's decision-making, but winning smoothes a lot of that out for me. This team is a roll, and let's hope it keeps going.

If Hamels was throwing 140+ pitches consistently, I'd be concerned. I'm not going to worry about 110.

yt, you just don't get it. let me make it very simple for you: SMALL SAMPLE SIZE. after 100 PA last year, Chris Shelton looked like the best player in baseball. tell me how that turned out.

jerry/joe - the difference between baseball in 2007 and baseball in 1957 is that the game is played on a much higher level today. pitchers cannot coast through the bottom half of a lineup any more. if Abe Nunez was magically transported back 50 years, he would be the best player on just about every MLB team - not because he is intrinsically more skilled, but because exercise, training, nutrition, etc. etc. are so dramatically more advanced today than they were 50 years ago.

and it's all good and well to bring up a guy like Newcombe, but you neglect to mention that his career was over at age 33. if a player of his talent came into the league in 2007, he would never come close to 250 innings in a season, true - but he could probably play until he's 43.

as far as Roberts, he's clearly a unique player. 20th all-time in innings pitched, and 6 guys ahead of him were deadball pitchers (or more, depending on how you define the deadball era). for every guy like Roberts who had a rubber arm, you had guys like Vern Bickford, who led the league with 311 innings in 1950 (7 more than Roberts) but was out of baseball in three years.

oh, and another significant difference between 2007 baseball and 1957 baseball is strikeouts. in the 2007 NL, there are 6.60 strikeouts per game - in 1957, there were 4.94 per game. more strikeouts = more pitches thrown per inning (I am assuming; I don't know where you can get historical pitch count data).

I've traded Wickman and Street for offense right before they hit the DL. I had no clue either were injured, I just had extra closers and those are the 2 I chose to deal...lucky.

Barajas has to be in the lineup today. I'd think Manuel inserts Helms too, but Nunez and Dobbs have been hot. Sheets is a tough competitor, but our guys can hammer a fastball.

ae, the small sample size arguement is constantly brought up. It has merit, but is not within my control.

I was responding to hippos remark about trading for Abreu, (which was tongue in cheek I assume) not asserting that Vic would have a better career then Bobby, only that if I had a choice I would not want him back. I think we are better with Vic RIGHT NOW.

I quite enjoy this site, I don't want to shut it down until August when the sample size is more to your liking.

You brought up two names that I would trade Vic for straight up in a second (Pujols and Rolen).

Let me ask you; would you trade Vic for Abreu straight up right now?

If the Yanks cut him, and we signed him for the vet minimum, would you sit Vic 6 days a week in favor of Bobby hoping he turns it around?

ae: Thanks for the common sense response to the folks who like to cherry-pick past players to show that today's players are wusses by comparison. Pre-free agency, players were paid year to year, and there were plenty more where they came from. A few pitchers thrived; most washed out quickly.

A good comparison for illustration purposes: In 1952, 26-year-old A's lefthander Bobby Shantz was AL MVP after going 24-9 with a 2.48 ERA; he had 27 complete games. He only once threw more than 125 innings again, and completed only 29 more games in his career, which lasted until 1964.

The same year, 25-year-old Phillies pitcher Robin Roberts went 28-7, with 30 complete games in 37 starts (he also earned saves in both his relief appearances), a total of 330 IP. It was his third straight year with over 300; he eventually racked up six in a row and just missed a seventh, finishing with 297 in 1956. On the surface he was far more durable than Shantz, but he was only 1 game over .500 for the rest of his Phillies career. Yes, a lot of that was due to the declining quality of the team around him (and two really bad seasons scattered into a lot of above-average ones). But I'd argue that even as great a pitcher as Roberts was ill-served by the overwork.

The difference between then and now is that managers back then didn't know what they were doing; managers today have no such excuse. Myers should not have been pitching last night's ninth inning.

ae: Thanks for the common sense response to the folks who like to cherry-pick past players to show that today's players are wusses by comparison. Pre-free agency, players were paid year to year, and there were plenty more where they came from. A few pitchers thrived; most washed out quickly.

A good comparison for illustration purposes: In 1952, 26-year-old A's lefthander Bobby Shantz was AL MVP after going 24-9 with a 2.48 ERA; he had 27 complete games. He only once threw more than 125 innings again, and completed only 29 more games in his career, which lasted until 1964.

The same year, 25-year-old Phillies pitcher Robin Roberts went 28-7, with 30 complete games in 37 starts (he also earned saves in both his relief appearances), a total of 330 IP. It was his third straight year with over 300; he eventually racked up six in a row and just missed a seventh, finishing with 297 in 1956. On the surface he was far more durable than Shantz, but he was only 1 game over .500 for the rest of his Phillies career. Yes, a lot of that was due to the declining quality of the team around him (and two really bad seasons scattered into a lot of above-average ones). But I'd argue that even as great a pitcher as Roberts was ill-served by the overwork.

The difference between then and now is that managers back then didn't know what they were doing; managers today have no such excuse. Myers should not have been pitching last night's ninth inning.

yt, I don't want to debate Abreu; everything you or I could say about the subject has already been said a thousand times. I believe he was a good player last year, and (unless he is still having problems with that spring training injury or something else is physically wrong with him) I believe he is still a good player this year.

Alby,

Did you just cherry pick to support your argument as well?


/I do support the general argument that times have changed, but don't care about an extra inning for Myers. They went for the sweep and kill.

yt: how many more wins would the 2006 Abreu have brought the team? How many wins will the crap we got for him bring? The problem with people still trying to defend that trade is that it's indefensible. Oh, and ae is right. If your point is that what's happened thru the first quarter of the season is predictive of the full season, then you are an idiot.

yt: how many more wins would the 2006 Abreu have brought the team? How many wins will the crap we got for him bring? The problem with people still trying to defend that trade is that it's indefensible. Oh, and ae is right. If your point is that what's happened thru the first quarter of the season is predictive of the full season, then you are an idiot.

Not defending any trades, only saying what is done is done, and the Phils are better now with Vic in RF then they would be with your Buddy Bobby.

Way to get right down the lowest common denominator there Clout. You can call me an idiot if that makes you feel smarter, but the numbers don't lie, and they are on my side.

Offense and defense Vic is the playing better. You can't see the future and neither can I, but would you gamble and make the trade? Put Abreu in RF?

If you can answer that question without insulting my intelligence I'd be real impressed.

Still concerned about Myers overuse because he is on pace to pitch 20+ innings this month alone out of the pen. That is a ridiculous pace and no pitcher regardless of age can keep that up for long.

Plus, using Myers last night goes back to my point of Cholly not putting relievers in a situtation where they can succeed. Rosario, Castro, or Condrey are less than ideal options but you have to use them occasionally for them to be somewhat sharp.

How the hell can you expect Castro to come into a game and throw strikes to a lefty if he hasn't pitched in over a week?

I hardly think it's cherry-picking to use Robin Roberts -- an example of a guy who DIDN'T break down -- to make my point.

On the Myers issue, my biggest gripe is that if the Phillies have a less-than-4-run lead today in the 9th inning, either someone else will have to close the game or Myers will get yet another inning heaped on him. I don't care how tough the first three batters in the 9th were; even if they all hit home runs, the Phillies still would have been ahead.

i'm sorry my joke built a bridge between the tedious abreu and backup catcher debates...i promise i won't do it again!

It's not your fault Hippo, I just don't feel right if Clout fails to call me an idiot for more then a week. I brought it on myself.

One fourth of the season seems like a fine "sample" to me. 3 more such "samples," and the season is over. Besides, if anyone can complain about that sample, it is Vic, who didn't spent the first month of the season batting in front of the hottest hitter in baseball.

yt - clout's role around here seems to be chief name-caller. He must have spent his formative years being bullied. It's his problem, not yours.

yeah, Alby, that's definitely the problem. I can completely see the argument that a loss would have been devastating, and that this team has very little margin for error, so Manuel wanted to be absolutely sure that he tied up this win. but that's why you use Geary (who also could have used a confidence boost after that Cubs game), or send Rosario out on a very short leash. even with a lineup like the Brewers', it's very, very difficult to score 4 runs in 1 inning.

mostly normal lineup for phils today...Helms at 1B and Barajas at C. everything else the same

Curt: One fourth of the season seems like a fine "sample" to me. 3 more such "samples," and the season is over.

To illustrate the folly of your position, try looking up any 10 players, your choice, and comparing their pre- and post-All Star break statistics. I think very few first halves will match the second halves.

curt, it may "seem" like a fine sample, but it's not. JJ Hardy is not going to hit more HR than Manny Ramirez. neither is Ian Kinsler. Chase Utley is not going to hit 80 doubles. neither is Magglio Ordonez. Josh Beckett is not going to win 30 games.

man, it is taking forever for my posts to go up today for some reason...I didn't actually mean to just repeat everything Alby said.

Of course the sample is not predictive of the season, but to suggest that Abreu will look better than Vic when the sample is larger (which is what you all want to infer) is simply a guess. The only fact we have is performance to date.

Last night's win was exciting and a four game sweep today would be amazing. I was not a big fan of Manuel's decision to use Myers in the ninth with a four run lead. Why waste some of his bullets if it isn't absolutley necessary?

Alby, ae: Your points are correct, only they miss proving either position.

I invite you to view this page:

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/splits?statsId=5698&type=batting3

It is Abreu's splits from the last three seasons, scroll down and you will find Pre vs Post All star game stats. He is worse post in that sample (if three seasons is not a large enough sample size I don't what to tell you).

The only question is, does Vic get better or does he get worse? By the same measure the answer is better.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/splits?statsId=7104&type=batting3

But these samples are much smaller for Vic, as this is his first season as a starter.

Idiot signing off.

Curt, you're entitled to your guesses, and to answer your actual question, no, I would not trade Victorino for Abreu at this point.

I can't recall an Abreu slump lasting this long before, which suggests that he might be hurt. If not, expect to shortly hear stuff about how "not every player thrives in New York," despite the fact that just a few months ago people were saying New York would be better for Abreu because he wouldn't be under the shadow of such high expectations.

Anybody see today's lineup yet?

Also, from Jayson Stark's column today- • Best outfield arm in the National League? One scout nominates the Flyin' Hawaiian, Phillies right fielder Shane Victorino. "Probably the most dangerous right fielder in baseball to run on," the scout said, "because he has a plus arm and top-flight accuracy." Victorino's response, upon hearing that glowing review: "That's from throwing all those coconuts around the island when I was a kid."

yt: If Abreu gets worse in the second half this year, he'll be out of baseball.

Not a math genius here, but using an online sample size calculator assumming 600 AB a year, a sample size of 234 AB is needed in order to generalize the data with a 95% accuracy. Someone who knows better will probably blow this out of the water, but I thought I'd throw it into the mix.
- Greg

Another "stellar" outing from Padilla last night!

Greg, it doesn't work that way because a sample requires randomness. the first couple hundred AB of a season is not a representative random sample - but if you randomly selected 234 AB from a full season, you should (mathematically, at least) be able to extrapolate the full season results from that.

Thanks ae. That makes sense. Knew there had to be problems with my math.

yt -- the problem with using career averages is that there is evidence that Abreu has been in a marked decline since the 2005 HR derby, particularly his power numbers. Vic, on the other hand, has never been in this role for an entire year.

I think we're a mortal lock to lose tonight. Garcia's only capable of going 5 innings before he breaks down and we're going up against Sheets. After this upcoming Blue Jays series though, we'll be over .500.

let's not forget that one of the reasons the myers-to-the-bullpen move has paid off is because lieber has pitched so well out of the rotation. that was the concern with the swap, the drop-off in starting rotation production. it hasn't happened -- yet. it still may and based on the numbers by each the last 3 years, ii probably will, even if until lieber gets it together again in september.

it's paid off in the short term, no doubt. but we're talking about 4 weeks here. let's revisit this issue in late july and see where we're at.

curt: Labeling an idiotic statement (something you're very familiar with as shown by your "one-fourth sample" comment) as idiotic is not a "name-caller." It is simply a desciption of the statement in question. If I were to call you a smelly mutant toad, that would be name calling.

yt: Who suggested an Abreu for Vic trade? I sure didn't. Your point is we're better off having made the Abreu trade, based on one-quarter of this season, totally ignoring last season when we missed the playoffs by 2 games. That's simply idiotic. Sorry, but that's a fact.

I think the best point made so far on the Myers issue is the one made by MG. Unless he is different than any reliever of the past 20 years, he cannot continue his current pace and still be sharp or healthy at the end of the season.

Pray tell what is idiotic about it, clout? Do you have a better comparison of our new RF vs. our old one available? The fact that you don't like what the numbers show doesn't make the comparison idiotic. The fact that you might believe that the numbers will be different at some other date is just your prejudices showing. Please enlighten us with your wisdom.

Is it in the same category that Vic is at best a 4th or 5th outfielder? Or that Nunez doesn't belong on the same field as Helms? If so, don't bother.

So is there enough "randomness" in a 1/4 season sample of the team's performance? Seems hypocritical to deny the fact Abreu is having an off year while bitching about the Phils record thus far.

Okay, a, the numbers probably will be different at some other date. Do you really expect them to stay the same? What happened between Abreu's stellar 2006 with the Yankees and 2007, do you think he's lost his swing and will never get it back? B, Clout also makes the point that we missed the playoffs by two games and perhaps would've made them with Abreu's production. Now, as I recall, Dellucci filled in very well for a while but he fell off in September; meanwhile, Abreu was hitting extremely well in New York. It's hard to say what would've happened but it would've been nice to have more protection for Howard down the stretch.

curt: This is what is idiotic: "One fourth of the season seems like a fine "sample" to me. 3 more such "samples," and the season is over."

Your clear implication is that the first quarter is predictive of the next three. That is simply idiotic. Sorry.


Tray: You made my point far more clearly than I did. Thanks.

Shh...no more bickering, it's almost win time.

joe, I'm just talking about statistics. Abreu is undeniably having a bad year so far and Victorino is undeniably having a decent one. nobody would deny that.

(lost in this arguiment is the fact that a .739 OPS - 96 OPS+ - from a corner outfielder is actually not all that great. fortunately Rowand has picked up the slack.)

Clout: "Your point is we're better off having made the Abreu trade, based on one-quarter of this season, totally ignoring last season when we missed the playoffs by 2 games."

Please Clout, if you want to argue with yourself, leave me out of it.

I know what my point is. It is that the team is better now because Shane is an everyday player then it would be with Bobby in his role. I don't think the trade helped us last season, nor do I think it is helping us this season, unless you assume that Bobby would otherwise still be here, and Shane would be backing him up.

If in fact we could go back to last season and make some changes, I bet we could have made the playoffs (knowing what we know now). But that is not how linear time works.

change subject for a minute - Mets losing 5-1 in 7th and now Washington went ahead of Atlanta 4-3 (man on 3rd still)
We can pick up a game on both if they both lose and we win

yt: If your point is simply that in the first quater of this season Vic is better so far than Abreu, there's no debate. But that's not the point you seemed to be trying to make.

Also, have you ever considered that Bobby might fare better against NL pitching? He's had to face the Red Sox pitching staff a ton of games already and they're the best in baseball.

fljerry: Did you see how hot the Nats have been of late? What's up with that?

Phillies Hot Stove News Flash

Some of you may have seen this already in the Reading Eagle. Yesterday in Reading, members of the Phillies front office, including general manager Pat Gillick, were in attendence, believed to be looking at left-handed reliever Mike Zagurski. Kyle Kendrick, a high prospect, was also starting that day, but Kendrick was lifted early so the front office could look at the left-handed reliever.

The timing makes sense. Ron Villone had just fallen off the board with his call-up to New York. They need a left-handed arm badly. Unfortunately, the game was delayed by rain and Zagurski only threw a few pitches or something.

Bottom line: Expect Zagurski to keep moving right on through the system, sooner rather than later.

Is the game not on extra innnings?

Clout
I'm still more worried about Marlins than Nats. Marlins have all those young pitchers and hitters and they have not yet put it altogether. We play them next week and lets hope they still have not gotten it together.

Your clear implication is that the first quarter is predictive of the next three. That is simply idiotic.

Sorry, clout. The clear statement and "implication" was that 1/4 of the season is a significant sample size. A 3rd grader knows better than the "implication" you now pretend to see. You are inventing your "implication" to hide the fact that there was no substance behind your name-calling. No surprise there.

To comment on some of the previous posts about how pitchers are babied today vs yesteryear as far as pitch counts are concerned, remember one thing:

The mound was lowered, and that was done specifically by MLB to increase scoring. IMO, the periferal effect is that it puts more strain on pitchers' arms. No leverage downward.

Everybody stop being a bitch. Burrell just hit one out.

Everybody hop aboard the Burrell Bandwagon!

Look out if Burrell gets hot.

looks like Ryan Dumpster is falling apart, a few games too late for us.

Hm, nice scoop there Jason. That's about the first I've heard of Zagurski. The Phillies are essentially wasting three roster spots right now on Rosario, Hernandez, and Castro. You'd figure something may have to give. And I'd still like to see them give Bisenius a shot - there's just not much to lose.

I'll ask again, is anybody picking this game up on MLB extra innings? Is it on a national network? I'm not getting it, and I am especially pissed that I missed PtB's HR. Damn it.

curt: Huh? You label it a "significant sample size" and then pretend you weren't using it as predictive? Then I guess you had no point at all.

Well what's a "significant sample size" if not a reliable predictor of the larger set of results it's drawn from? For instance, a poll with a significant sample size is supposed to tell you who the nation as a whole will vote for. Victorino's definitely been better the first quarter of the season, but what's the point of even making the comparison if you don't think it has some predictive value for the whole season? I could also say, Nunez is hitting better than Scott Rolen so far. Prince Fielder has been far more productive than Albert Pujols or Ryan Howard. J.J. Hardy so far is the best hitting shortstop in baseball and one of the best home run hitters in the game. And probably none of that will hold up, so why even bring it up?

There are not many things as entertaining as watching steam coming from Lou Pinnella's ears.

RSB: Mike Drago had the scoop, and one of my colleagues at the paper elaborated on it at today's R-Phils game (R-Phils lost 3-2). Bill Dancy, Steve Noworyta and one other official/scout type were at today's game. Nothing to see today, really.

Cubs blow a 4 run lead in bottom of the 9th. Ryan Dumpster finally falls apart. Knew it was coming, but wish it had been agains the Phils and not the Muts.

How bout watching the Mets lose? I'd much rather see the latter.

The Cubs just blew a 5-1 lead in the bottom of the 9th. Say thank you, Mets.

Jeez, hold the bat still when you're around to bunt, Garcia.

The Phils never seem to win these BP specials. It would make quite a statement to not let up here and win the fourth game against a tough pitcher. But I don't like the odds with ol' Freddy out there; he just doesn't inspire a lot of confidence that he'll go very long without getting whammed.

RSB, what normally inspires your confidence?
Good career numbers starting in the American League? No.

Last two starts a lot better than previous starts? No.

I guess your name has to be Hamels to inspire RSB's confidence. That is questionable though.

Ben Sheets hasn't been anything special this year. Numbers are similar to Garcia's.


Parker, I'm glad you have confidence in Garcia being able to out-pitch Sheets. I happen not to. Why don't you just leave it at that. Why does everyone on here have to be so goddamn antagonistic?

First of all it wasn't my comparison. yt made the comparison to say he was happy we had Vic in RF now. I responded to someone who suggested that the stats weren't a significant sample. My small point was that 1/4 of the year is significant, not that the first quarter determined the rest of the year. It is enough information to form a judgment that Vic is the better RF now.

RSB -

I thinks its idiotic that you think everything on here is antagonistic... I'm sorry, but that's the facts and they cant change.

(tongue firmly in cheek)

I'm with RSB - Garcia has no fast ball - at least Moyer has a changeup that keeps hitters off balance - garcia doesn't show me much

Gabe Gross? Come on.

And is this the inning Freddy falls apart?

5th inning, right on time.

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