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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Comments

I completely agree, Beerleaguer. Barajas should be gone. Today.

Well ... I'm not in favor of handing him a pink slip necessarily, but it was an appalling play nonetheless.

I saw a couple posters criticize Gillick for not signing Fultz or White.

I would like to see their off-season posts where they reccomended resigning either of these players. I remember a few grumblings abouth Weird Beard, but there was no outcry on this board when those players left.

Anyone who thinks they could have predicted the performance of either Fultz or White this season should quit this board and head straight to Wall Street.

As usual, perfect tone in the post. Very level-headed, which is maybe what we all need.

Can someone make sense of Barajas' quote on philly.com this morning?

"I didn't see anything conclusive," Barajas said. "I think on a play like that and the ball beats him by 10 feet, if he can't be 100 percent sure he's out, I don't think you can call that."

Huh?

JZ: Cooler heads always prevail in the morning-after posts. Bad ballgames bring out the worst in posters, like last night. Hit the refresh button and start new, as usual.

JZ, I think Barajas is saying that umpires usually give the player the benefit of the doubt in situations where the ball beats the player by a large margin.

A similar play is the "phantom" tag of second on a double play; umpires recognize the danger in that play, so they allow a little wiggle room.

I think Barajas is saying that "Yes, by the letter of the law, he was safe, but by baseball convention, he should have been called out."

This is something I would be interested in hearing on from people that have actually played the game at a high level. The problem I think is that Barajas took it way to far, and Ramirez was so safe that he had to call it; if you look at the Marlins' dugout, they all call safe immediately.

barajas should stop bitching and feel lucky he's making more money than sal fasano, because he's hasn't shown himself to be much of an upgrade. take away 1 great game, and barajas has just been atrocious. chooch should be out there almost every night now. he's earned it, and barajas has accomplished nothing but fanning the flames of our beloved chris coste debate. even parker has to admit that the guy could have shut up coste fans a bit with some respectable play...alas...

re: bullpen. i completely agree. there's nothing to lose at this point. you gotta keep trying with all the potential options at your disposal. if you take enough shots in the dark, there's a chance you'll hit something eventually...

There's no cooler head prevailing for me. I'm more angry this morning than I was last night because I've had more time to think about how absolutely horrible that 9th inning was.

Yes our bullpen sucks and Myers is the only trust worthy one. But he should not have been in that game.

Barajas is a pitiful excuse for a catcher. He can't hit and now he's showing he can't play defense. That my friends is what I call a worthless 2.5 million dollar investment. He was a pussy last night and is still being a pussy with his comments afterwards.

Dobbs at least had the balls to own up to his mistake. It was dumb, but I'm already on my way to forgiving him.

Yes we won. Great, back to .500. But if we continue with this lousy 'pen and dumbass manager we have no future.

I would be shocked if Alfonseca doesn't become the closer. Manuel has already demonstrated that he doesn't trust Madson anymore, and he seems to prefer to bring Geary in with men on base.

If there is any silver lining, it may be that Myers is only gone for a week, and the fill-ins perform well. They could also implode, however, making Cholly's rely *more* on Myers/Geary/Alfonseca.

THe problem is a week is not enough time to judge anything. Manuel needs to get Condrey and Rosario into some big games, and he's going to have to now.

I'm not nearly as optimistic as some of you on here about Myers' injury. I hope he only needs a few days to heal, but I foresee DL time. You must all remember the team made a huge investment in him this offseason...these are scary times right now until we find out exactly what is ailing him.

Bah to Barajas. His comment about the play seems worse than the play itself. Compare that to what Dobbs said about his ninth inning brain cramp or what Rowand said about his misplays in the previous post. At least those two guys admit they effed up. The play at the plate was to me simply a superior athlete defeating an inferior athlete. Apparently, Rod thinks the umpire should intervene and level the playing field in that situation.

How soon will it be before Mike Arbuckle says, "Zagurski doesn't have enough experience above A-ball to pitch in the majors yet. But he's on a fast track." LOL.
I can't wait until the draft is completed in 2 weeks so I can count the times Arbuckle usues the term "high ceiling." Ugh!

Barajas should be gone. Yeah, umps sometime give the benefit of the doubt, but not on a play at the plate in a one run game in the 9th. Gillick's offseason moves are proving to be disastrous. Rod Barajas and Wes Helms are, quite honestly, two of the worst players in Major league baseball. We had NO bullpen and an excellent backup cathcer, so what does Gillick do? He gets us a 3rd catcher and does nothing for the bullpen. Has the game passed him by?

I truly wish I could go into Pat Gillick's office and ask him- How long will you allow Manuel to make poor decisions time after time? How many screw ups must he commit before you pull the plug on him? How bad must our record be before you show him the door? How much abuse and mismanagement of the bullpen is he capable of before you say "enough is enough"? My goodness man, step up and make a difference, fire Charlie then do something, anything with Barajas, just as long as he's not a Phillie much longer.

Barajas looked and sounds like a guy (1) with no post-season expectations and (2) making more money than he ever expected to make. Still, I'll bet the Yanks would give us Villone in return, and maybe even slightly more.

Well, they got the win so "we can look back and laugh at some of those plays." Yeah, I've never seen anything so hilarious. I'll be Brett Myers thinks it was hilarious too.

wes helms is a great bat off the bench, and an occassional spot start. that's it, that's all he is.

barajas is washed up.

Well I know something has to be done. But what? Gillick has sat on his hands all season. Helms and Barajas? Maybe we could get a bag of baseballs for them. Troy Percival? They'd better look at him but I'd say a comeback and a signing is a longshot. Yes Manuel should go. Who would replace him? Jimy Williams? He's no better than Cholly. I honestly believe there will be a fire sale at the deadline and all we phans will get are excuses.

Re: Barajas' comments. I know what he was saying, and I don't have high-level experience, but I can tell you this from playing in Sunday softball league games.

Umps don't call folks out because the "throw was there." They watch, and if the defender is too lazy or dumb to actually *apply* the tag, then, well, no out for you.

Barajas needs to go watch old tapes of the Baseball Bunch. Johnny Bench could teach Ride the Bench a thing or too about, you know, catching.

JZ -

For the safety of the players, umps can and do call people out on "the throw", or with a "phantom tag".

I think Mitch Williams hit the nail on the head on Post Game Live. He pointed out that the big problem with bringing Myers in with a four run lead is that you have no options if he gets in trouble.

On Barajas, he said Rod wanted to make the tag because he was afraid of getting hit. Pathetic.

Today I think I'm a little more level-headed about the situation and I still think Rod should be shown the door.

joe: sometimes, OK. But on a play like that, there's no excuse to even debate it.

JZ, I'm not trying to defend Barajas at all, just explaining what he meant in the above quote.

And Joe is right, if you don't think umps give players phantom calls when the ball beats the player, you haven't watched enough baseball.

Barajas, instead of applying the tag, apparently thought he could ease up with the expectation that Ramirez would be called out. Top say the least, that was a poor assumption.

Walt: Zagurski probably doesn't have enough experience, but when the alternative is nothing, they need to scrap conventional wisdom and give it a shot. That approach pays of so many times for other teams.

Matt Smith is pitching pretty well now, too, but I'd give Zagurski a look, rather than "old reliable" Smith.

Each time they showed the replay, I saw flashbacks of Todd Pinkston shying away from an oncoming hit, causing him to drop a perfect spiral Donovan McNabb bomb. I don't care if you get leveled and lose the ball -- at least you laid the tag on. Getting out of that crouch was pure self-preservation, and he has to go.

Back to Manuel's use of Myers. Where Cholly deserves fault is not for bringing in Myers in this game (as I said last thread, if there is EVER a situation to bring in your best pitcher in a 4-run game, last night was it), but for his previous usage.

From May 12 to May 20, Myers was used 6 times in nine days, for a total of 7 2/3 innings. his pitch counts in those appearences were:
35, 14, 24, 13, 24, 24.

The most egregious use was not last night, but against the Brewers on May 16. In that game, the Phillies didn't gain a 4-run lead in the ninth, they had been up by four going into the final inning. Hamels had pitched 6 perfect innings and the Brewers were flat. Myers had pitched in *the two previous games.*

Almost everyone questioned the move at the time, and everyone was right.

Not only is Myers still a relatively young pitcher, but he had been in the pen for less than a month! That game was the real culprit, and if Myers is hurt for any serious amount of blame, Cholly and Dubee should be gone.

kdon,

I don't know what you consider "high level" but having played in college I'll give you my take. The idea of a phantom call happens when a second baseman is coming across the bag on a throw from third or on the touch of the bag on a flip from shortand maybe he gets across the bag before the ball hits his glove . THis is done because the second baseman has his back to the runner and most likely that runner is coming in hard with his slide. The phantom call happens to save a few ACLs (I'm not being patronizing here you'll understand in a second).

Having the ball beat the runner to the bag does not guarantee that a tag is going to be applied. Look at throws down to second on steals, when I was taught to receive the throw, I was told I should plop the glove directly in front of the bag. You should never chase the runner with a tag. He has to come to you in order to touch the bag. Now you see guys doing a sweep tag on a close play because more often than not they will get the call on a bang bang play. These calls are for middle infielders not catchers.

Catchers on the other hand, should be taught to block the plate at all costs. Why else are they wearing that equipment, especially the shinguards which deflect sliding cleats quite well.

In terms of Barajas standing up because he doesn't want to take a hit: I can tell you that he never would have been a catcher for any of the coaches I played for after Babe Ruth (they used to stand five feet away and hit fungoes in the dirt so the catcher would block a ball). Putting your body in front of the plate blocks any access that runner has to that plate - by standing up and "chasing" the runner he allows for things like last night to happen with the runner splitting the wickets with his leg and being called safe. Even if you wanted to avoid a head on collision you still want to stay low as that will give you a better base. There's video of of Dutch spinning of an attempted hit on him but he does it because he stays so low. Honestly, I can't believe that Barajas could ever pull something like that and still be called a good defensive catcher.

But you don't have to take my word for it.

blame = time

Thanks YC. I really wasn't sure, that's why I asked. Barajas, however, seems to be under a different impression about the amount of leeway a catcher is givem. I have to imagine that in a 7-1 game, however, that play is called an out.

More on Myers:

In his 17 appearences out of the pen from the 8th inning on, a grand total of *4* came in games that were either tied or a one-run differential.

5 times he came into the game with a 2-run lead.

3 times with a 3 run lead. And...

*5 times he came in when the Phils had a lead of 4 runs or greater*


OPS worth watching:

Shane Victorino: .702

Michael Bourn: .741 (.406 OBP)

Carlos Ruiz: .720

Rod Barajas: .722

Thankfully, I didn't watch that nightmare last night. I saw the replay of the tying run on SportsCenter this morning and was just astonished. Short of tossing the ball into the stands, Barajas couldn't have done anything more to ensure that run scored. And two pitches later, Myers hurts himself. (Actually, it sounds like it was one pitch later--he evidently was shaking his arm out after ball 1 to Olivo.)

I'm glad they won, but that game is the perfect example of why it's as easy to hate this team as to love them.

As for what happens now, I think Jason's right that Zagurski should get a shot, so long as they believe his head is screwed on well enough to handle it. Smith, John Ennis and Anderson Garcia might be other decent options. But I don't have faith that Manuel--whose bullpen aptitude is by far his biggest failing as a manager--will use any of them judiciously.

In a 7-1 game that is most definitely called an out.

Barajas honestly should have been taught that long before he was a professional, I coached a high school team and the catcher knew to block the plate - if you don't like it don't catch. On a related note that's why you see some catchers leave their masks on after the ball is hit in play, in those situations it affords more protection in case of a play at home.

kdon: That's the nature of middle relievers: Unpredictability. But bottom line, your solution for the pen was an utter failure and your defense of Gillick's do-nothing approach this past offseason is indefensible, try as you might.

kdon: That's the nature of middle relievers: Unpredictability. But bottom line, your solution for the pen was an utter failure and your defense of Gillick's do-nothing approach this past offseason is indefensible, try as you might.

Clout, you're top idea was to sign Octavio Dotel for $5M per year. That would leave us with the exact same pen we have now, except $5M in the hole.

You have an incredible amount of nerve (or, more likely, a selective memory) to comment on the pen after calling for the Phillies to sign a player who may not pitch this year.

Oh, and show me your posts from the offseason where you say the Phillies should resign Fultz and White. Until you can do that, you have no standing to criticize anyone elses opinions on the bullpen.

Good point, J.:

Victorino is 1 for his last 15.
Chooch is 0 for his last 12.

Time to give a start to our backup catcher (Coste).

Our offense is in a big funk. Chase, Rowand, and gulp, Nunez have been ok. Victorino and Rollins are horrible right now, absolutely horrible. Chooch isn't doing anything since that walk-off bomb, and Burrell, well Burrell likes to look at the pretty pitches float by.

I think we're all being a little too hard on Barajas. I mean, why should he have been expected to put his body on the line in that situation? For who? For what?

Werth has earned another start too.

For who?

ME

For what?

My sanity

Hard on Barajas Bay Area Phan? Catchers are supposed to block the plate to keep the runner from scoring, that's why he is expected to put his body on the line. It's his job.

The Rockies are 2-20 when scoring three runs or fewer. Only the Phillies (0-15) and the Marlins (1-16) are worse.

Jimmy Rollins, who once led the National League with nine home runs, is 7-for-47 in his last 12 games, including a single in his final at-bat last night. The Phillies shortstop hadn't homered since April 27. He is hitting .265 after sitting at .301 before the slide. The slump coincides with the exit of MVP slugger Ryan Howard, who landed on the 15-day disabled list with left leg injuries.

Make no mistake: The Phillies despise Marlins lefty Scott Olsen, whose antics Tuesday - throwing a ball over Chase Utley's head in the third and taunting Utley as Utley walked to first base in the sixth - made them dislike him even more. One Phillie said he screamed himself hoarse from the dugout, riding Olsen. *

*All from FoxSports

Boy, sarcasm really is not conveyed well through comments...he was kidding Paul.

And Nunez ought to hit 2nd against Willis. Check out his season line against lefties::

Player G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
Abraham Núñez 14 26 4 12 3 1 0 3 1 5 0 0 .462 .481 .654 1.135

sorry...misunderstood....too pissed off for sarcasm I guess.

you almost have to note (*sarcasm) as the end of comments to correctly portray your thoughts.

"Why else are they wearing that equipment, especially the shinguards which deflect sliding cleats quite well."

A few seconds' contemplation should provide the answer: foul tips. In the days before shinguards and chest protectors, the catcher was positioned 10 to 15 feet behind the plate.

Kdon: I didn't complain about the failure to hold onto R. White or Fultz because those moves were telegraphed immediately after the season. I assumed, as I'm sure others did, that Gillick was planning to sign pitchers who represented upgrades over the incumbents. I would have complained quite a bit if I had known the plan was to open with just 1 lefty in the 'pen. I thought we had too many last year, when we went with Cormier, Fultz, Castro and added Smith after the Abreu trade (before dumping Cormier). And I realize Fultz had been on a steady decline since his first year in Philly, which was a true breakthrough year for him. I never thought Gillick would be foolish enough to enter the season without a single experienced lefty reliever.

I'm not willing to let this debacle of Manuel as manager go. I want him gone. I know there are people on here who defend him, and I understand some of the stuff you say, but you can't honestly think he's good for this team. He isn't even that great of a hitting coach...if he were we wouldn't have players jumping away from pitches 1 inch of the plate. I hate the man. That's extreme, but that's how I feel. He is stupid, and to deny that makes you stupid.

Maybe he's too young for Rickey Watters references

Tonights card:

Rollins
Nunez
Utley
Rowand
Werth
Burrell
Coste
Helms

(Fat chance.)

Ruiz actually went 2-for-4 in his only game against Willis. A small sample size, but I'll take what I can get against Dontrelle.

Fine. Just thought it'd be nice to give Coste a game before leaving -- there's always the chance he might make a statement.

I'm with you on giving Coste a start. I'd give him one every 5 days.

kdon: Distort as much as you want. I didn't offer Dotel as the single answer. I said Gillick needed to make a trade, bring someone in, sign an FA. That's why they have scouts. Unlike you, I thought Gillick should've made a move.

Rollins needs a night off, soon. Nuni is the only other player on the squad who has played SS at the major league level, however, which would leave the hot corner open for Wes "Stone Hands" Helms or Greg "What was I thinking" Dobbs. Coste "I'm Getting Splinters in my Ass" Coste has yet to play 3B in the majors, and has not yet played in the field this year.

ALby, you're right, he should have signed a veteran lefty, like Villone, who couldn't even crack the Yankees terrible pen, or J.C. Romero, who has allowed 27 baserunners in 14 innings, and has more walks than strikeouts.

Or Steve Kline, who has allowed 20 baserunners in 9 2/3 innings.

Or Mike Stanton, who has allowed 28 baserunners in 16 innings

The best LOOGy I see that signed in the offseason was Jamie Walker, and while he has been very good, he has actually been better against RH.

The point is that so far, this season is demonstrating the points that *both* sides of the bullpen debate were right.

The Phils pen wasn't very good, and the available FA options were even worse.

Looks like Scott Lauber of the Delaware News Journal will have updates on Myers throughout the day.

http://www.delawareonline.com/blogs/phillies.html

Myers will get an MRI today in Clearwater, not Philadelphia as Amaro predicted.

Wow clout! Way to go out on a limb, buddy.

Gillick should have made a move! That's real nice cover for not having to stand for anything.

If you want to rip Gillick for standing pat, you have to offer alternatives. You did, and it was Dotel.

While the pen has been bad, I still stand by Gillick's decision not to overpay for relievers that are no better than Geary or Madson for the set-up role.

Geary and Madson have been pretty close to what I expected them to be...average middle relief guys. Condrey has shown both good and bad, and I haven't seen anything out of him yet that tells me he can't pitch in the 7th. Matt Smith sucked. His career track record tells me he is better than that.

Do you still stand by your desire for Dotel?

I'm with you kdon. MATT SMITH was supposed to be the LOOGY, Ryan Madsen was supposed to step up. We still needed a guy who could be setup/fill in closer for Gordon. Linebrink was the ideal guy, couldn't pry him away. Gonzalez was also available, but the Bravos sent a 30HR(last year) guy for him. All this revisionism and desire for Weird Beard, is rediculous. Granted, the Phils 'pen is awful, but half the league has a bad bullpen and is in competition with the Phils for anything that's out there.

kdon: I listed about a dozen relievers who changed teams this offseason. Feel free to selectively mention a handful who've done badly, but in fact more than 30 changed teams. Many of them are doing better than the Geary-Madson-Condrey-Sanches-Smith lineup you loved so much.

To be fair, Dotel came off the DL a few days ago and pitched in his first game last night. He didn't do so well but he's back.

BedBeard: You're an idiot. More than 30 relievers changed teams this past offseason. Gillick HAD OPTIONS. He didn't have to stand pat. Other GMs didn't.

BedBeard and kdon have adjusted their offseason positions and now admit the bullpen sucks. That's the first step toward accepting reality.

Taking a break from the captivating discussion:

Brett Myers was re-examined this morning, according to 610-WIP radio, and a shoulder strain is still the diagnosis. He will have an MRI at the Phillies' medical facility in Clearwater today and is listed as day-to-day.

Clout,

Did I say, during the offseason, that the bullpen was fine? I've been pretty firm that they needed a setup/potential future closer type. Just b/c guys changed teams doesn't mean they are worthwhile.


How's DL Dotel doing?

BedBeard: You've said Gillick did just fine this offseason. And Dotel wasn't the only FA out there. The job of the GM is to get the players needed to win. How's the Phillies bullpen doing? What's the team's record? In line with your prediction?

Although its easy to say this now, it was easy to say it back then, too. If the team was serious about improving their bullpen, they would have made a serious offer to Speier. He's a CA native, and the Angels, despite sharing the market, spend more than us, so he was likely headed that way anyway. In a perfect world, though, would've been a much better investment than Barajas/Helms. He was ans still is the best reliever that was available on the market.

That being said, at this point, they have to make do with what they have. The worst thing, I think, would be to trade what few prospects we have for middle relief, history has shown over and over that these trades never, never, benefit the team seeking BP help. Some AAAA players might be the most beneficial to the team's overall status, both present and future. I don't really think bringing up legitimate prospects to pitch in the BP is a good idea, as they will most likely suffer from lack of development, as they'll be wasted in the BP, and such a large jump in opponent quality.

That leaves, well, no options, besides hoping that the current crew gets their act together. Unlikely, but I prefer it to selling out our future for an unlikely wild card berth.

I suspect Myers finds himself on the DL out of caution. It's time to bring up Ennis or Davis to see if they can do anything worthwhile...probably not, but who knows? That Justin Miller in the Marlins bullpen looked decent, and we had him in our system earlier this year but released him. I'm not saying he's high quality, but he's pitched 2 scoreless innings, that's better than most of our relief group. This is going to be a season long debate about the bullpen. Have no fear though, I'm sure Gillick will trade for a Mike Williams or a bag-of-crap like him coming the end of July.

I didn't see the action after the fifth inning last night. Obviously, I missed quite a bit and since I didn't see the ninth inning, I suppose that to some extent my comments may be taken with a grain of salt.

Thoughts on Myers: I don't necessarily blame Manuel for having Myers in there in the first place, but he was probably left in too long. At that point in the inning, Myers probably was trying to throw the ball through a wall, desperate to save the day and get the Phillies out of the inning. He's never had the slightest injury before in his major league career. Appearance-wise, I don't know if a case can be made that he is being 'overused' - this is a guy whose arm is more accustomed to upwards of 200 innings per season. It's hard to say. When the ninth began, it was a 4-3 game, and Myers had warmed up. Manuel is far from the first guy who's elected to still bring in his closer when the team goes up by a few extra runs after already having warmed up. Again - I tend to think it's more conservative to draw some bogus line according to the delineations of the official, statistical 'save' rule and *only* bring in your designated 'closer' if the score is 6-3 but not 7-3. Who out there would have had a word to say about Myers coming in the game if the Phils hadn't scored that seventh run? I don't see where it makes so much difference. You'd think your ace reliever is a cinch to hold the other team down up by 4 in the ninth; the other options there, since Madson had just pitched 2 innings on his first day off the DL and probably wasn't available, were Rosario, Hernandez, and Condrey. I guess I take a minority position on this 'overuse' debate. Some say Manuel is only using Myers so often because he wants to preserve his own job, but I think that accusation is absurd. Yeah - he's trying to win games. How can you say it's merely for *his* own sake, and not the team's sake? It's like the guy can't win, no matter what he does. I'm not going to fault him for having Myers in that game - only, if anything, for not getting him out of there sooner after it was clear he was imploding. When a hitter tried to do too much, he merely pops the ball up; when a pitcher tries to do too much, it can land him on the DL. The danger comes with the territory of an amped-up guy learning to close games, and if I had been told a few weeks back that Myers was going to overthrow when he got in trouble and blow out his arm, I would not have been the least bit surprised.

Dobbs and Barajas...not much to add except it's a disgrace that you'd have even that many guys on the field with a game on the line who can't mentally prepare themselves or anticipate plays in the field. That kind of downright stupid play is in line with a recurring theme which has been par for the course throughout Manuel's regine, and I'm far more willing to criticize the manager for *that* element of the ninth inning.

That said - they did win the game, they got a big 2-out hit to do so, and this resilience shouldn't be as overlooked as it's been.

Is it Willis pitching tonight? It was a 'TBA' listing at the beginning of the series...

OK...how do you say "big pussy" is spanish ??? cause thats his new nickname

And I stand by that. I'm glad they didn't throw a ton of money at another underperforming relief pitcher, like your boy Dotel, who they will be stuck with.

Like Gillick said, they way the market is for a RP, it's a problem that most likely will have to solved from within. Not an enticing thought, but reality.

I think Barajas was born in the US, so you can just call him that in English.

Manuel hurts this team, it's that simple. No, I don't think Jimy Williams would be a better choice, he looks like Manuel retarded brother. This organization settles for mediocrity. "We won the game"...so what?! That game was fricken horrible. It encompassed everything wrong with Philadelphia baseball. I want Manuel fired, I can't take it any more, and I certainly cannont take people making excuses for him. He's unintelligent, this much is obvious.

Barajas is from Ontario...blame Canada!

Ontario, California.

Phuture Phillies (great site as well) has some nice background on Zagurski and has even gone as far as reporting a rumor that he has been called up for Friday as Myers has been put on the DL.

Looking at his picture on the link and reading about his "girth" if he is somewhat productive he could become another cult hero in PHILLY like a Krukker.

http://phuturephillies.com/tag/players/mike-zagurski/

If you know you're only going to have one shutdown reliever for the season, and you tell me you would bring him in to pitch with a 4 run lead on May 23 in an empty stadium, all I can say is I'm glad you're not managing my team...oh wait...

Meanwhile everyone who thinks the move made sense seems to forget that Condrey managed to pitch the last inning with a mere 1 run lead.

RSB, how can you criticize Manuel for Barajas' play. Do you really think other managers remind their catchers to block the plate, or that fielders should anticipate the play.

These were just bad plays, not the result of a lack of coaching.

And you're point about Myers not being overused simply isn't backed up by evidence. Yes, he never had injury problems...as a starter pitching every fifth day. He has been in the pen for a month and Manuel was using him at an unsupportable rate.

Here is another stat for you, if the previous ones (somehow) didn't convince you.

From April 18 to May 20th, Myers appeared in *17 games out of a possible 30*!!!

That puts him on pace for...92 appearences over the course of the season.

Putting aside Solomon Torres' insane 94 appearences last year, that would be the highest total since 1979...for a pitcher who had *just* converted to the pen.

Your point about him being a 200 inning pitcher is just absurd. No one throws 200 innings in relief, not even close. By any reasonable standard of bullpen useage, it is simply empirically true that myers was being overused.

Oh, and he threw 20 innings over that 30 game stretch, which would put him on pace for around 108 innings in relief over the course of a season. This usage pattern was untennable, and the injury inevitable.

I was going to make the point kdon just did, but a little differently. If you prorate Myers' innings from April 18 to yesterday over the full season, he was on pace to pitch about 99 innings. In fact, he would have ranked 3rd in innings pitched by a pure reliever over the last 3 years.

102.3 - Scott Proctor, 2006
94.7 - Solomon Torres, 2005
105.3 - Scot Shields, 2004

Again, this from a pitcher who had just taken on a new role. It simply couldn't last at that rate, and it didn't.

Err, that should be extrapolate, not prorate.

A case can be made, but I don't know that you can definitively point to Myers' workload and cite that as the reason for his injury. In fact, you can't. In this instance, I would submit that it's just as likely a combination of having thrown too many pitches in the inning, and the particular strain he was putting on his arm given the dire circumstances. In other words - in my opinion - it could have probably happened even if he hadn't pitched for five days. Myers has been throwing pitches clocked at 97, 98 - he *never* threw that hard as a starter. The greatest risk of making him a closer was precisely this: that he would feel the need to blow the ball past people and over-extend his arm. In my mind, this was the risk present all along, and while it's true that a heavy workload probably hasn't helped, Myers-as-closer was a candidate for an arm injury at any given point.

It all comes down to the fact that the Phillies never planned this out or thought it through very well. Fail to replace an ailing Gordon and address other glaring holes in bullpen - therefore necessitate that Myers becomes closer *and* is forced to immediately assume maximum workload in new role - therefore necessitate that Myers the macho man-child try to be Superman and rapidly burn his arm out. Like clockwork. Is it merely hindsight, or a profound lack of foresight?

Kdon: Your point about the lousiness of the LOOGYs available simply reinforces the point that Gillick should have tried to keep Fultz -- who, by the way, was used not merely as a LOOGY during his time here. If you're implying that I should have realized right away that no other decent lefties were available, I'm sorry, but I don't have THAT much time to devote to following baseball. But then, with all his house-hunting, maybe Gillick didn't either.

Barajas has proved himself worthy of the nickname given to Salvatore Bonpensiero of "The Sopranos".


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sal_Bonpensiero


"Big Pussy" fits. What a horrible display of character.

I don't suggest the same fate for Barajas, but he should be "deep sixed" through a trade. June 11th seems about right.

BedBeard: On this we agree. It is now too late to do anything about the bullpen and we have to hope there's a solution from within, as Myers was a solution to Gillick's (and your) do-nothing policy.

RSB: Exactly right. Where you and I disagree with BedBeard and kdon is they think Gillick couldn't have done anything to improve the bullpen this offseason. You and I know better.

The silver lining is that we won a game in which our starting lineup featured Abraham Nunez, Greg Dobbs, Rod Barajas, and a guy making his first ever major league start. In which our leadoff hitter was batting third. In which our starting pitcher threw over 110 pitches in six innings.

The fact that we can win ANY games with that lineup is pretty astonishing, if you ask me.

Dudes, Todd Zolecki is reporting that Zagurski will be the man if Myers heads to the DL.

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/breaking/sports_breaking/20070524_Phillies_Myers_is_day_to_day.html

No word on who the closer would be- I'd guess Alfonseca and Madson would share duties initially, but Charlie would give Madson the opportunity to win the job. This is all speculative and assumes Myers won't be back soon. Which is the only rational approach right now, if we want to escape this season with our sanity intact.

From Todd Zolecki: Myers doesn't think he needs to go on the DL. If he does, Zagurski will be called up.

http://www.philly.com/philly/hp/sports_top/20070524_Phillies_Myers_is_day_to_day.html

You all may not have realized this, but I predicted that the bullpen would suck this year. I knew it and I predicted it all along. And believe it or not, there were idiots out there who didn't believe me. These cretins actually though the bullpen would be OK this year. Well these idiots were wrong, wrong, WRONG! All hail the brilliant clout's bullpen prediction!

Comes the wincing feeling that Myers said that after consulting with Bruce Sutter...

Look. Denial gets us nowhere. See Gordon, Tom; Howard, Ryan. If you're hurt, don't make it worse.

After last night's absolute debacle, I hope that the Phils have at least enough brains to put Myers on the DL and prevent any long-term damage.

I still can't believe that none of his teammates, coaches, or management called out and responded to Barajas' comments after the game. If the Phils truly wanted to make a statement, they would have released Barajas today.

Sadly, I think the dominant reason why the Phils would not release Barajas outright is because he is still owed $2 million this season. No way the Phils throw away that kind of money.

Barajas' take: "Since we won the game, we can look back and laugh at some of those plays.''

- Brett Myers is surely laughing during his MRI.

If there were any justice in the world Barajas's Salary would be Taken out of Gillick's and Given to Coste.


There's no place for name calling, personal attacks and double handles here. Stick with one handle, please. Thank you.

Lineups

Utley sits against Dontrelle. Coste starting at 1b. J-Roll back at leadoff and Barajas gets back to back starts.

Phils

1. J Rollins, SS
2. A Nunez, 2B
3. A Rowand, CF
4. P Burrell, LF
5. W Helms, 3B
6. J Werth, RF
7. C Coste, 1B
8. R Barajas, C
9. J Lieber, P

Fish
1. A Amezaga, CF
2. D Uggla, 2B
3. H Ramirez, SS
4. M Cabrera, 3B
5. J Hermida, RF
6. A Boone, 1B
7. M Olivo, C
8. J Borchard, LF
9. D Willis, P

That looks like a Spring training split squad lineup tonight. And the B-Team that has to travel to Fort Myers.

I would have batted anyone else fifth except Helms - including Lieber

How can Barajas get the start after last night?? Only on a team managed by Manuel...

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