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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

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Just DL him. Sit him out for 15 days (well 14 now) and call up Coste and see if Coste can make a slight difference and if the rest helps Howard.

I only saw parts of last night's game. The lack of talent in the bullpen speaks for itself (Rosario, Alfonseca). Did anyone bother mentioning that the right-handed lineup did nothing against Davis for six full innings? I watched a little; Davis wasn't dazzling with his stuff. 0-4 from Burrell? Top of the lineup - no hits?

Phillies face Micah Owings (1-1, 3.38 ERA) tonight, a product of the excellent Arizona farm system. And the Phils will counter with Adam Eaton ...

Ugh.

It was difficult to stomach a line-up including both Nunez and Helms (the butcher). Some sort of move MUST be made to try to infuse some sense of immediacy into this organization. The Phils are already more than a handful of games back in the NL East, but (and it is REALLY early to say) would still be in the thick of the Wild Card hunt if the season were winding down.

It's like everyone got a little too comfortable with their winning streak against Chris Sampson, Matt Belisle, John Patterson, etc. This is a team with real problems, glaring holes, zero consistency and a shortage of talent. Where is the talent on this team? Maybe six or seven players.

come on, guys. it's not that bad. we still have abe.

"mental fatigue" the first week of may. could our GM be any lamer at this point?

I must admit, I haven't seen much of these games recently, particularly the final innings. Based on your comments, Manuel must be doing a poor job. The changes need to start there.

This team's situation is made even more worrisome by the overuse of Hamels. Manuel can't keep sending Hamels out there for 110-130 pitches. As Hamels said the other night, he's tired. Tired arm= arm injuries. Stating the obvious, the Phillies need to pick up some relievers soon because if they don't it seems like they are willing to sacrifice Hamels' arm to stay in games.

gr: I should clarify. "Mental fatigue" isn't a direct quote, but it's what he said about Howard in so many words.

This bullpen is painful to watch. But what did we expect when the offseason fix was Jim Ed Warden, Alfredo Simon, Alfonseca, and Rosario? We are getting what we paid for.

Changes have to be made. I never jumped off the "fire Manuel" campaign, I just shut up for a while. It's time to bring it to the forefront again as the man continues to make stupid decisions and hurt, not help this team. Trades can't really be made. Sure Lieber could probably fetch something decent now, but then we're down to 2 reliable starters, and calling Lieber reliable is a stretch at that. We could trade Rowand, but then our starting outfield would have 2 homeruns (Burrell 1, Vic 1, Bourn/Werth 0). We're in deep $hit! Alfonseca is coming back to earth and showing what he is...a mediocre reliever. Howard is having a horrid year, the bottom of the offense is a black hole, we're screwed! So axe Manuel and to start with and go from there.

Carson,
Manuel is bad but do you think another manager will do much better with this team? Eaton, Helms, Barajas, Alfonseca, Werth, Dobbs, Karim Garcia and the rule 5 picks, Ed Wade could have done as much. The only pickup worth anything is Freddy Garcia and the jury is still out on him. This will not change until this team gets an owner who wants to win.

The fact of the matter is we can never know what words are exchanged between pitcher and manager in the dugout between innings, but I was totally shocked when Manuel pulled Garcia.

Here is a guy who has struggled a bit, and he finally gets into a groove. Pitches 6 strong giving up only a couple of runs, and with a man on second and no out he pulls him with only 70 thrown? Was the BP that well rested? If they were we should have seen Geary and Myers not Rosario and AA.

I have to wonder what these guys are thinking, and as much as I like a lot of the guys on this team, the lack of apparent interest among management in improving this team is begining to be discouraging.

It's such a chore to like this team. I find it hard to believe that anyone in upper management is obsessed with winning the way some in other organizations are. They all say the want to win, but do they really? Is the goal of this organization to win a games or get 40,000 butt$ in the $eats for a Chase Utley fleece blanket giveaway?

They'll make a late run, they'll come close, and they'll tease us next winter about being the team to beat.

Goosebumps.....

the season has been over for a couple weeks now, but i still find myself watching west coast games til the early hours.

if howard says he's hurt, he's hurt and needs to be dl'd. he can't continue to embarrass himself like this or he might be lost for good. see: burrell, pat.

some creative managing would have been nice last night. myers for a two inning save instead of rosario?

gillick has to get prime value for lieber, garcia, rowand, etc by the deadline and then spend some serious cash this offseason. either that or next year will be the same thing.

Forget firing Manuel, forget even firing Gillick.

It's clear as day what the problem is. It was there with Ed Wade. It was there with Larry Bowa. It was there with Terry Francona.

It's David Montgomery.

This organization continues to straddle. They're in a big market, they have fans who WANT to treat them as if they're big market, yet they play small market. It's not just on the field.

They lollygag with decision making. Howard needs treatment and NOW. They have to find a way to get him back to normal. The Yankees, the Sox, the Braves - let's look at the Braves. If Howard was a Brave and had these problems, they would send him to James Andrews, whatever, and start looking at their system for replacements.

And in time, those replacements would thrive. And they'd become the new crux of the system. When Howard returns, he now has a better cast to support him. The pressure is relieved.

Of course, the Braves play in front of some of the worst fans in sports, but that's heresy.

The Phillies don't run themselves the way a real contending franchise should. They seem to think as long as they have "stars" and they keep bringing families back to the yard, they'll do fine. And we don't go to satisfy Montgomery and Co., we go to see Hamels, Utley, Howard, Rollins and Myers.. It's a shame. We love these few big-time players, but we all know, when it comes down to it, we're feeding the beast that doesn't take it far enough.

Are they that incompetent? Are they that lazy? I don't know. But what I do know is David Montgomery has overseen this franchise at the top since 1997. Since then, the Phils have yet to reach the postseason.

Moreover, Montgomery came into the club in 1982. Two times since have the Phillies reached the postseason - one time the remnants of a dynasty came back for one final flourish, and the other time sheer luck collided with gameness. The '93 team made them look like geniuses. They threw together that team, and they were lucky enough to have thrown together a bunch of guys who loved baseball and didn't care how they won.

Bottom line: David Montgomery is the big problem. He is the steerer of the organization, and he's taken us too far down the wrong road.

Each year we're bought into the idea we have a foundation ready to win. Recently, we've been spoonfed Abreu, Rolen, Green, Wolf, Victorino, Myers, Lieberthal, Madson, Mimbs, Machado, Collier, Burrell, Utley, Howard, Rollins and Hamels. And some pan out. But they supplement with has-been veterans - Jeffries, Van Slyke, Whiten, Gant, Tartabull, Slocumb, Leiter, Chen, Bell, Daal, Santiago, Gordon, Rhodes, Garcia, Lieber - or wild cards who have never really proven themselves (Eaton, Helms, Milwood, Milton, etc. etc.).

The bottom line is they don't see the forest. Who knows why, but they don't, and it's killing this franchise.

It's a long history. And it's beyond Gillick. It's beyond Wade. It starts with the top. And it's time the top either sees for itself the damage its done, or it should leave.

Good News- the baseball draft is being televised this year for the 1st time so we can actually watch the Phils select worthless players.

I Just don't see how this organization philosophy goes from the Ed "Wade and see" era and now the "Stand Pat" era and it still hasn't learned it's lesson.... oh wait it's the phillies... the losingest sport franchise in all of sports... of course by the time the ownership realizes that this sesaon is basically over, probably already a good bet ,it will be too late and firing cholly,.... once they see the lagging ticket sales and the bottom line it will be basiclly be a PR move more than anything, just to show the fans that they"care about winning" the question is how long will it all drag on before it happens,? Lets "wait and see".......IMO

There is no "late run", or an early or middle run, in this group. Face it, there are way too many holes to cover up for more than an occasional game, or an occasional Nat series. There are nearly 20 guys on this roster who have NO trade value, and there's practically nothing coming along in the minors.

The sad thing is that Gillick made it clear last August and last Oct (retaining Cholly) that the team would be no good this year, but we fans tried to believe in miracles.

Utley, Rollins and Myers must wake up every day and ask themselves why they agreed to those contracts.

This team is in shambles...

Dobbs needs to be playing down(up) on the farm. He's just not ready for the MLB.
Coste should be playing every day for the Phils- he can play any position, as long as he's in the lineup.

I usually don't have many bad things to say about Manuel, but last night's game in Arizona... every decision he made was the wrong one. His freakin' head is on backwards! He should go on the DL for awhile until it's sorted out. Or better yet, have Manuel in the background making the call at the games, but have another person do the opposite move in the dugout.

Along the same lines Curt, a concern I am starting to have is when does one of these guys wake up and say to themself "Scott Rolen (or Curt Schilling) was right. I gotta get out of here if I want to play baseball in October someday."

Once that happens, the vultures start to circle and we end up moving Rollins for a 40 year old starter and a couple B prospects so he can go win championships in Boston or something.

There is a window here with this group (Utley, Rollins, Howard, Hamels, Myers) if they don't see that they are going to lose them we are truely screwed.

We can hate on Rolen and Schill all we want for ditching us and leaving town, but can you really blame them? They have rings. They were right.

Jimmy will get restless after we finish 4th in the East this year, and who can blame him. Even if he doesn't, he'll probably be elsewhere soon anyway -- he's one of the few guys we can trade and get 2 legit players in return.

Coste isn't exactly a gold glover in any position. Having his bat in the lineup might be a good change, however.

BenMaller.com has a blurb from a Twin City paper that says the Twins should be looking at Coste.

Weitzel - I think that you hit the nail on the with the comment, "Where is the talent on this team? Maybe six or seven players." That was my observation this weekend when I went to the Phils' games on Sat./Sunday against the Giants.

This Phils' team is built very similarly to the Red Sox teams that Dan Duquette built in the late 1990s. Like those Red Sox teams, the Phils have a handful of very talented players around a caste of interchangeable parts.

If one of very talented players (e.g., Howard) struggles or is injured, the team is really not much better than .500. Without Howard being 100%, this team just isn't much better than .500.

DKingman: "Manuel is bad but do you think another manager will do much better with this team?"

In a word, yes. Asking Rollins to bunt, then fake a bunt, putting him in an 0-2 hole? Dumb. Not using Garcia to bunt, wasting a pinch-hitter instead? Dumb. I thought Bowa was a horrible manager -- the team hated him, he never made a move that went against "the book" -- and Manuel has me missing him.

YT: "We can hate on Rolen and Schill all we want for ditching us and leaving town, but can you really blame them?"

I have never blamed them, or hated on them. It was apparent they were right when their fights with management were going on. Unfortunately, nothing will change until Giles dies. What a wonderful position to be in -- hoping someone dies so someone else can finally try to build a winning team.

4-6 talented players that which a playoff team does not make...teams that make the playoffs have competency at every position including the bench. Teams that want to win (Billy Wagner refering to the Mets) go out and get players that will win at every position.
Not only 4 or 6 players and hope the rest, by stroke of the planets aligning, just falls into place...

aint gonna happen again in my lifetime...
unless you give them all roids..
yeah get Helmsy on some roids. Not that David Bell cheap stuff either.

Greetings Loyal Fans...
all I can say is hahahahahahha
You all are a bunch of dumazzes !
I hate this city and I only came here to give you more pain and sorrow...
viva Joe Carter !

Jason, great lead in to this thread!

Malcolm, you are partly right. The problem is Montgomery to an extent, but, and I've posted this before, HE IS JUST THE ORGANIZATIONAL FRONT MAN. The problem is Bill Giles.

A couple of threads ago, I posted some nicknames for the Phils senior mgmt. They were:

Bill "The Walking Sphincter" Giles (credit to dajafi)
Dave "The Puppet" Montgomery
Pat "Seattle Stew" Gillick
Ruben "Liar, Liar" Amaro, Jr.

I suggested then, and do so again, that anyone who reads this blog and thinks that The Puppet is really running things is either delusional, demented, or smoking crack.

The problems in this organization started way before Montgomery became the front man for Giles. It started when Giles, and the rest of the ownership group, the Bucks, Herb Middleton, Jr. et.al. bought the team from the Carpenter.

Giles has such an ego he installed himself as GM during the 80's, and the team's talent pool began to shrink then. They even fired Woody Woodward, a Gm they hired when it became apparent Giles was a No Talent Ass Clown GM himself, when he told them the farm system wasn't up to snuff.

As long as they make their money, and can have their lattes in the owners' suite, yo can forget this team winning anything. They don't have the talent, either in the ownership group or the executive suite, to get it done.

They're good at making money, but not at building a team that's capable of winning anything.

I couldn't agree more that the problems with this team orginate in the ownership. Giles and his cast of clowns have produced a mediocre team over the past quarter century, but have seen the value of the franchise go from $30 to almost $500 during that same period.

It is obvious that this ownership group's #1 priority is making money. They are either incapable or unwilling to produce a winning team to complement their profits. Monty takes the blunt of the criticism because he is the only member of the mysterious junta of owners to actually speak to the public. Giles has made some appearences recently, but only to talk about his crappy new book.

As long as this ownership group is in place, the Phillies will never win the World Series. Hell, they won't even make the playoffs.

that is $30 million to $500 million on my last post

going to take something more than some bad nicknames to end the reign of this management.

"They are either incapable or unwilling to produce a winning team to complement their profits."

Why would they? As long as they make their money, they 'win'. Spending more money to produce a winning team is risky - What if the investment doesn't pay off? Rather than putting that money into the farm system, coaching staff, bullpen help, or anything like that, they're going to be assured of a better return if they buy a bunch of Phanatic bobbleheads or Chase Utley fleece blankets to give away.

I understand the frustration and cynicism after last night's game, but the reality is that the team has two major problems. First and foremost, is the bullpen. You simply cannot walk people late in the game. You need MLB pitchers who throw strikes. Period. The second problem is Manuel, who should probably go. Why were our hitters not making Valverde work to throw strikes last night? Why didn't Jimmy Rollins try to take second base before Victorino starts swinging recklessly away with 2 outs? A manager should not let this sort of stuff happen.

If flash can come back and fill the set-up role, we'll have three solid pieces (with Geary going in the 7th or occasional 8th). If this can coincide with Howard's resurgence, we'll win a lot of games, but the truth is we're not as good as the Braves or Mets, both of whom could win the world series, as things stand now.

Oh, and Wes Helms is not the problem. Bad defense in the win the other day, sure, but he's been hitting well recently, and in the clutch, despite his lack of homers. And Ruiz appears to have a very bright future.

Unfortunately, as long as CBP remains (mostly) full, this faceless ownership group with the profit-model business plan is going nowhere. If you owned 30 year old rental property which was consistently occupied and paying their rent, regardless of the condition of the home, would you go out of your way to gut the place and put in new floors, new roof, etc. just because that's what the neighbors are doing? Doubtful, until you start to lose that monthly rent check. The Phillies Front Office is not about "keeping up with the Joneses," its about turning a tidy profit. Afterall, why invest millions of dollars and limit your margins if you don't HAVE to? Simple business 101. As long as those "butt$" are in "$eats" don't expect anything to change (including firing/paying a lame duck manager).

Not to dissuade those complaining about ownership, but there are examples of teams with lousy ownership at least making the playoffs -- the Twins and A's spring to mind. What's discouraging about this lot is their mistaken belief -- and when I say "they" I mean Bill Giles -- that they know something about baseball. I remember the articles in the early '8os, during the early years of this Reign of Error, in which Giles exuded his golly-gee excitement at projecting what the starting lineup would look like 3, 4 and 5 years into the future, as minor leaguers took their places in the dugout. It was like watching a slow learner's eyes light up at figuring out the number after 2 is ... 3!

The difference between us and the A's and Twins is that their ownership is simply cheap and chintzy; they give baseball people a budget and get out of the way, and so an outside-the-box thinker like Billy Beane thrives.

Our boy Giles, OTOH, considers himself a marketing genius. So we sign Gregg Jefferies, rather than Larry Walker, to a 5-year contract because -- I kid you not -- he's more talkative with reporters, and thus easier to market.

In summation, lousy ownership alone doesn't doom a team. We simply have the exquisite luck to have EXACTLY THE RIGHT KIND OF LOUSY OWNERSHIP that guarantees we'll suck year after year.

We'll never solve the issue of the tight wad owners of this team, so we're beating a dead horse even discussing (yet again).

We need to figure out how to fix this team, as constructed, and put together some wins. the facts are that this team still very much has a run or two in them and can get into Wild Card contention (which probably says more about the level of competition than it does about talent). This whole team looks burned out and tired. Howard hurting, King Cole tired, etc. Chase, Vic, Bourn and JRoll continue to bust their butts on every ball in play, however. It's only a matter of time before they stop doing so. Maybe a shake up, via trade, is necessary. I say capitalize on Rowand's hot start and get something in return. We all know he won't put up those numbers all year round, might as well "sell high."

Jim, 3B is a problem, there is no way around that. Helms is not making up at the plate for what he is giving up in the field, and i am unconvinced he will.

Also the corners in the outfield are a problem. We need a guy with power at one of those positions, we can't go anywhere without an upgrade or a resurgance of Pat, which seems less then likely at this point.

in fairness....jefferies was only given a four-year deal ($20 million).

whers Nick Punto when you need him?

Discovering howard was injured has pretty much finished me off on gillick. I've sat and expected gillick's 'steals'(werth, dobbs, helms - barajas doesn't count because we knew what we were getting there) to show some positive sign, but the guys ability to assess talent is clearly in the bin.

The inability to pursue any kind of imaginative deal on the relief front suggests the same again.

So consider another 'reasonable, cautioned voice.' down. And whilst I won't call time on the season definitively, I'm monumentally pissed that our GM will not recognise AND quickly rectify his mistakes. He'll recognise them plenty when they're still hurting us in june, and get back conine.

If this team wins anything, it will be despite a foolish and age-addled GM. I don't care that the guy doesn't love sabremetrics - if his talent assesment gets more hits than misses, I'd be happy enough. (Scheurholz seems to do a passable job). I don't even care about the abreu trade anymore, if he'd done some more hard work in the offseason. But gillick reeks of a guy happy to punch his card and the attitude to howard proves it. He sits there and says he's collected the guys for manuel to win with, and looks at his fingernails while manuel struggles to cope.

Its beyond heartbreaking. It's just plain tedious.

I definitley think its time for Howard to have 15 days off. He needs it physically and mentally. Also, a little reassurance about getting the money next year if he produces after coming back from injury would help.

I'm also tired of hearing about Coste. Yes, the organization kind of screwed him. Guess what, he's just the newest in a long line of players this team has screwed, and this guys even more of a nobody than some of the previous victims. Its a shame, but until Giles and Co are no longer owners, i think it will be biz as usual. Barajas is adequate as a backup catcher. He's not out there to hit. Ruiz should be getting 90% of the starts.

In the meantime...

Trade Lieber. Preferably to a team who can give us a live arm or a live bat, or both. Then call up happ. Its time to see if this kid has it or not. And i think he will have it. Sadly that will mean a rotation of Hamels, Moyer, Eaton/Garica Happ, but, oh well. (garci could be 2, 3, or 4 depending on if he can get over whatevers holding him back-time will tell)

Move PB into the cleanup role. Maybe he will play well under the pressure, maybe not. Who else is going to hit cleanup: Uts?
Ruiz? Rowand? Helms? The last three just won't work out and I always hate it when Utley cleans up. He's just so effective hitting third, why screw it up.

The bottom line is We have to see what we got. Its going to take some drastic changes to get this team where it needs to be. So we might as well give it a shot. At least then we can see if PB can return to being a power hitter(whose shown some patience as of late, woudln't mind him getting some walks), if happ is the real deal, or if we even have a chance of making a playoff run at all.

If not, then let's rebuild. And this time, let's actually do it right, with everyone from montgomery on down getting a pink slip, PB outta here, the old timers out of here, and Moyer as the Phillies new Pitching Coach(I'd love to see this at some point. Guy just strikes me as having a really positive attitude and is a master of his craft-Heck, we can even have him a player/coach if he's still got the stuff for a fifth starter next year-would be fun).

Dunno, just dreaming...we all know what the reality will be.

I can't really put it any better than the depressing and dead-on correct comments throughout this thread. But I can summarize:

1) The fish rots from the head, and bad process leads to bad outcomes. The bad stuff unquestionably starts with Giles, who should be put in jail for what he did to a great franchise (while making unfathomable money!), and Montgomery, who seems sufficiently dumb it's a wonder he can dress himself. Regardless of what you think of Charlie Manuel as a manager (myself, I think he's about average--his positives and negatives more or less cancel out), he was hired because the team's best player at the time loved him. That's no way to do business. And Gillick, though sort of an outsider, seems to be the epitome of the 1970s/early '80s mindset that has suffused the organization ever since.

2. The roster is unbearably top-heavy. I'm working on something for TGP to more fully tell this story, but it's hardly an original observation that this team has about 5-7 really valuable players, a similar number who are fine for now... and another dozen guys who are stealing money. Incredibly, this has been the case for three years now.

3. None of this is likely to change. Great players will come, bearing hope, and leave, trailing bitterness. Near-great players will come in and suddenly stink. The front office will be characterized by indifference, proud ignorance, and near-transparent contempt for the fans. We only get released when the schmucks sell, and they won't do that until Giles dies.

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