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Friday, June 15, 2007

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About Jose Mesa's birthdate and then having a child when he was 7...I heard this story the first time he was in Philly and I am almost positive the first 2 kids aren't his, but rather his step-kids that he later adopted which then in turn makes him "dad" not "step-dad".

Trying to search for positives about this weekend's series:
*The Phils hit righties better than lefties and Bonderman, Andrew Miller, and Verlander are all righties.
*The Phils like the fastball, and all three of those pitchers can pump 'em.
*The Phils want 1st place. Ok, I assume that, but the Phans do for damn sure.

I'm loving the classic, Kirk Gibson-esque logo. Is that tiger strung out or what?

Well if any one of those guys were lefties, we might as well forfeit the game.

Utley & Howard are going to have to light the place up.

well, curt... you're a shining star of optimism. I hope they don't bring a lefty reliever or else the umpire will probably call the game. You pretend like we've never hit a lefty before...

Phils are weird with pitching, sometimes. They can do well against a good pitcher, then some unknown guy can shut them down.

Well then we might as well just watch the Open tomorrow because Andrew Miller IS a lefty.

Who would ever thought we would get excited about the TIGERS coming to town.

This makes a decent arguement for interleague play but I wish they would be consistent in MLB and eliminate the DH or incorporate it into the NL.

I know this would never happen but why not have a DH and a pitcher hit.

I miss Polanco, dammit. Wish he was still manning the hot corner for the Phightins. Why we dumped him and kept David "GiDP" Bell ... aw hell, I can't even type his name without getting p*ssed off.

Lineups

Phils
1. J Rollins, SS
2. S Victorino, RF
3. C Utley, 2B
4. R Howard, 1B
5. A Rowand, CF
6. P Burrell, LF
7. G Dobbs, 3B
8. R Barajas, C
9. J Lieber, P

Tigers
1. C Granderson, CF
2. P Polanco, 2B
3. G Sheffield, LF
4. M Ordonez, RF
5. C Guillen, SS
6. I Rodriguez, C
7. S Casey, 1B
8. B Inge, 3B
9. J Bonderman, P

David Bell, for all his detractors, will always be remembered, by me at least, for the game he won vs. Cincinnati with two outs and a full count and put a ball deep into the seats......

There's been a bad batch of interleague games this past week. However, I'm pumped for this one. Should be an entertaining weekend.

bigmyc: Strangely enough, that's also my primary memory of Bell. The radio broadcasters sounded like they were going to pass out.

When is Ruiz coming back?

Bell's signature moment with the Phils for many (including myself) was the ground ball he booted with 2 out in the ninth against the Astros in Sept. '05, immediately preceding the back-breaking homerun by Biggio.

Speaking of him, I thought I'd post my response to Todd Zolecki, who defended the Urbina/Polanco trade on his blog:

"Polanco is the kind of player this team needed to keep and build around, and the Phillies either refused or were unable to see it. They opted to stick with David Bell, and the fact that he had no trade value isn't really a valid enough excuse for that. Wade stayed with Bell because he felt that Bell was some down-and-dirty player that would set a professional, hard-nosed example for the Phillies, seemingly oblivious to the fact that he had already acquired precisely this type of player in Polanco. If they had appreciated Polanco for what he was, he might not have been considered so unlikely to return once he hit free agency. Bell, meanwhile, not only turned out to be a bust talent-wise, but according to your counterpart Marcus Hayes, he was cited as being a negative influence on the club once he finally departed.

So yes, the Phils needed relief pitching, but check this out: Wade let Todd Jones walk away without so much as an effort to re-sign him after 2004; he went on to be a successful closer for Florida in '05. Wade's solution to fill in that gap in the bullpen? *Terry Adams*. And sure, that's hindsight, but I guess if you want to trace the evolution and circumstances of this trade, you'd have to conclude that it was a colossal series of blunders on Wade's part."

LONG one for Jimmy. Keep throwing those fastballs.

Boom boom! There's two!

Sheffield fielded that ball right as Rowand hit first base...what's he thinking...

I was a little surprised that Aaron rounded 1st, but it did show us Sheffield's arm. I'm not so sure that there's a good scouting report on him this year as he hasn't played a game in left field yet this season, or so says my reading of Baseball-Reference.com (59 games at DH, 4 in RF).

Rowand is having a good year, but he does a lot of stupid things on the field. I don't know who's more erratic, him or Victorino.

Speaking of stupid. Is this game being fixed or what?

What a dumbass.

Polanco is one of my favorite players, his natural Gold Glove position is 2nd base where Utley was coming up, just like Wolf he was not going to sign with us after that year. Possibly if the year before the Phillies were to have locked him up for serious money to play 3B while still playing Bell, but it was not to be.

The Phillies seem to be playing this game with their heads up their arses. First Lieber lets a run score when he throws the ball away trying to hold a runner who has one stolen base in the last 2 years. Then, Utley makes the second out of the inning swinging on a 3-0 count. Doesn't the coaching staff every talk to these guys about basic strategic considerations?

BAP, not to mention Rowand screwing up on the bases and dropping a fly ball after he called Burrell off. It's hard to take the Phillies seriously when they continue to do so many things to sabotage themselves.

3-0 is a fastball count Utley has the green light. 3-0 is a great count for your best fastball hitter. Utley does not have his head up his ass. If a coach told him not to take a cut on a 3-0, Utley would correctly tell the coach to bend over.

RSB: That is an absolutely superb response to Zolecki. Right on target.

SirAlden: By your logic every halfway decent hitter in baseball swings 3-0. We both know that's not true. It depends on the situation.

Yeah, Utley's gotta let Vic steal 2B there unless it was the prettiest pitch he's ever seen. Utley knows that.

And PtBB has got to move Rowand to 3B.

I did not say that Utley and all halfway decent hitters have a green light, read my post. Do not put words in my mouth and twist things. Utley did not have his head up his ass. He is the best fastball hitter on the team with the shortest swing and he has correctly been given the green light.

IF you want to take the 3-0 green light away from Utley raise your hand. That is the only thing we are talking about here.

The Phillies are being the Phillies. Let us count the errors in just 4 innings.

Wow. The game started off so promising, 2 upperdeck bombs from J-Roll and Howard. But then the dumbness set in...Rowand thrown out by a mile at 2nd. Then Rowand botches a play in the outfield. Then Donut-Eater chucks a pickoff throw to 1st with Howard not covering...I hate stupid baseball. Losing because you're outplayed with talent is one thing, but to lose because you play stupid is frustrating as hell! Hopefully they don't lose though.

If Utley is going to swing at 3-0 pitches with no one in scoring position, in the 4th inning of a tied game, I am all for taking away his green light.

Sir Alden, you're full of sh*t. The more you post, the more you demonstrate your lack of knowledge. If a hitter gets a green light, it doesn't mean he has to swing. If the pitch is ball four, you keep the bat on your shoulder. Part of the problem there is that Victorino ran with the count 3-0, perhaps distracting Utley. I'm all for aggressiveness, but pick your spots.

SirAlden: Ok, let's me see if I interpret you correctly. Utley should NEVER take 3-0, no matter what.

Howard's having a rough night out there. Victorino had a shot at Bonderman there.

Once this lineup gets into our BP, it might be a good idea to evacuate the women & children.

Like I said, I hate stupid baseball. Unfortunately that's the Phils speciality.

Bonderman with his first MLB hit...pathetic!

Here comes Lieber's infamous "big inning"...game slipping away quickly...

Jon Lieber, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas City anymore.

I know I'm being Mr. Negativity, but this is going to be a long 6 game stretch. The Tigers and Indians lineups are too much for our crappy pitching staff.

Carson, I think you're being Mr. Reality.

Too many mistakes made on our behalf tonight, and a well coached quality winning team (ie. the Tigers) will take advantage of that.

Too many mistakes is right. The Tigers have made all the plays and the Phillies have done all kinds of things wrong in this game. Kind of highlights the competence of the respective organizations and coaching staffs. Phils hit two bombs on fastballs, then can't adjust to Bonderman's soft stuff. Predictable.

Screw this game...peace out cub scout!

Maybe I'll come back tomorrow morning a report a Phils comeback win with glee...yeah right.

Utley is one of the ten best players in baseball. He gets the green light 3-0. End of thought. Talk about something else

Well, Rollins can adjust, at least. Helps if he hangs it like that.

Rollins came to play, anyway.

No, Mark, you're wrong. The hitter still has to be selective when he gets a green light. No one's debating the green light itself, if you'd care to pay attention.

All the Phils offense is, is homeruns. Really, if we're not hitting bombs we're screwed. Case in point- Jimmy just went deep again. Don't get me wrong, I love the longball, but how about scoring in more traditional ways too fellas.

Mark- I love Utley, favorite current Phillie by far, but Top 10 in all of baseball? That's an interesting debate.

Pujols, Reyes, A-Rod, Grady Sizemore, Ortiz, Vlad, Holliday, Miguel Cabrera, Beltran, Carl Crawford are some other top notch talents.

Sir Alden and Bay area Phan BOTH posted about taking away his green light. Who is paying attention?

I agree with BAP, if you swing at a bad ball 3-0, you shouldn't get the green light next time. Manuel trusted Utley with it, and I don't blame him. But Utley made it look like a bad play because it appeared he geared himself to hit no matter what.

Mark,

I was stating a hypothetical in order to make a point. The hypothetical was: if he's going to make bone-headed decisions about when to swing on 3-0, then he does not deserve to have the green light. And the point was, it's all well & good that he has the green light, but that does not insulate him from criticism when he exercises his green light in a bone-headed fashion.

A good hitter is geared to hit on every pitch.
Utley gets the green light. Doesn't he lead the leaue in RBIs?

Mark: how much clearly do you need this spelled out?

If you get a green light 3-0, the idea is that you SWING AT A STRIKE. NOT A BALL.

EVERY hitter is geared to hit on every pitch. But with a man on 1st, 1 out & Ryan Howard on deck, the most important thing is to reach base. And, with a 3-0 count, you've got a very good chance of doing exactly that -- by taking. Other than the relatively slim possibility of hitting a homerun, what exactly could he have done in that situation that would put the Phillies in better position than 1st & 2nd with Ryan Howard at the plate?

Hoo boy. You think it's ugly now, just wait 'til Mesa comes in.

Bringing Rosario into this game was the functional equivalent of throwing in the towel.

The problem is that you're criticizing a guy
in the middle of the game-albeit out best player-now I agree and I'm sure that Mr. Utley would agree after the fact that it was a mistake to swing. Let him play! That same aggressiveness that you so quickly criticize may be the very thing that wins this game...or the next game.. or Sunday's game. Now if Chase starts to suck a la #5, I'm all for criticizing him. Give him the green light and watch him finish in the top five for MVP.

If KC can put up 17, records might be set this week.

Pointless.

No. There is a time to be aggressive and that wasn't it. And if his aggressiveness is the very thing that wins this game, well, then it will be one of the greatest comebacks in baseball history. And a comeback that I won't be here to see.

This game is a good argument for trading Rowand for bullpen help. He's extraordinarily overrated in the field and he even graced us with a stupid baserunning play. We could get a real closer for him, move Myers to the starting rotation, Alfonseca to the 8th, Geary to the 7th, and Rosario to Triple A.

mark & SirAlden are sort of a Phillies-apologist Greek chorus.

Look, there are situations where even Barry Bonds doesn't have a 3-0 green light. Like when the pitcher has thrown 11 straight balls, for example. Anyone (Mark & SirAlden) who thinks Utley gets a green light on every 3-0 count regardless of the situation doesn't know baseball. And when the baserunner has a great jump you simply don't swing 3-0, greenlight or no.

Well look on the bright side, we won't be missing Myers in the 9th.

Anyone care to start a pool on guessing the date PtBB reaches the Mendoza line? At the current pace, it'll be before the All-Star break.

(I know, I know, he walks alot.)

Curt, I was just thinking that tonight. Hard to believe things could be worse for him than they were last year, but he's outdoing himself. And yet Bourn remains glued to the bench.

Again I refer to Zolecki's argument that the Phils had to keep David Bell because he had no trade value. Fine - but did they have to keep propping him up out on the field every day? Same thing applies to Burrell. He plays because of his contract.

Okay, Ruiz is back. So why did Barajas start *again*?

I'll give you guys the benefit of the doubt and ask the rhetorical question: A player the caliber of Chase Utley is batting; the count is 3-0; a pitch is delivered. Remember that what makes a pro athlete great is the ability to perceive that he can make it happen. Do you think Chase would actually swing if he knew the result would be an out?Part of what makes Chase Utley our best player is the aggressiveness he shows. Y'all are so hypercritical. Another question: do you think upon the release of the ball Utley can actually tell if it will be a ballor a strike???

No you misinterpreted me. Utley has earned a 3-0 green light and Utley should decide when to use it.

How could you read my post and assume I said to swing every time?

I hope the Rosario experiment is over, send him to AAA to get regular work, if we lose him to the waver wire so be it.

Great stuff does not a pitcher make.

There is a much larger Greek Chorus of Philly Haters, go root for the Texas Rangers guys.

And, thanks for your wisdom, raising your hands, that as the coach you would take Utley's 3-0 green light away because of that at bat. I do not agree.

No, Mark, no hitter can tell the difference between a ball and a strike. They just close their eyes and guess.

Utley is 8 for 15 on the homestand.

rsb - Of course he's playing because of his contract. With his tools today, he wouldn't make it out of A ball in any ML organization. It's a shame Cholly can't at least find out what Bourn can do.

Pirates beat the White Sox. Shame they couldn't stick around any longer.

So Greek Chorus of Phillie haters, if Cholly burned though his bullpen with the Phillies up by 5 runs, raise your hands if you would post how great the move was.

No one here is a 'hater', Alden. It's called objectivity. Try it sometime.

SirAlden: And where in my post does it say "swing every time"? I never said that!

I'll try again, although this is probably hopeless, but apparently you think Utley should get the green light 3-0 EVERY TIME NO MATTER WHAT THE SITUATION. If your words "If you want to take the 3-0 green light away from Utley raise your hand" mean something different than that, then we need to switch languages.

SirAlden's posts have been endless excuses for Phillies management and ridiculous overrating of players' talents, but it does balance things out since most of us have been quite critical.

A green light is a green light that means he does not have to look over to the dugout, and he chooses when to swing 3-0.

I do not believe Utley should lose his all the time green light.

There is no objectivity someone says that the coaches should take away Utley's automatic green light. The Phillie Hater's are those who always post negatively, go root for the Cubs the 3 of you... lol

Yoel's moving up fast in the pecking order (not that there's much competition)

I hate to keep pointing this out, but this about game #12 where the Phillies would be tied or ahead if the bullpen had not allowed the other team to pad their lead. It is really tough to make the playoffs with a bad bullpen.

Go Yoel! Go Away Rosario...

SirAlden: Let me ask you a question. Let's say it's the bottom of the 9th, bases loaded. The reliever has thrown 11 straight balls, but the other team has no one else to bring in. The count is 3-0 to Utley. Do you green light him or signal him to take a pitch?

You never signal anyone who has earned a green light, that is how it works, you trust that Utley will know in the extreme situation of the 9th he will take a pitch on his own, you do not babysit him, or be a control freak from the dugout.

If Utley shows over time to be making bad decisions then you take away the all the time green light.

The earlier situation was not an extreme situation. Utley would not lose his green light from me because he swung with the game tied early in the game.

Sheesh. Ryan is 5 for his last 25, with 14 Ks. And 3 dingers.

Sir Alden: Utley should not have swung at that pitch, which is what the point of this whole discussion was.

curt: One thing about Ryan is he needs to lay off breaking pitches out of the strike zone. Mostly he gets himself out these days.

That isn't how it works, Alden. No hitter in baseball history has ever had an unconditional green light in all situations, with no managerial intervention. If Utley is so deserving of this green light, perhaps you can explain why he went out of the strike zone to swing when he got it. Utley is a good hitter, but not an elite hitter. The only hitter with ironclad knowledge and discipline when it comes to the strike zone is Bonds, maybe Ortiz and Pujols. Utley isn't of that calibre.

No. If you recall, the discussion was that anyone swinging on that count in that situation has his head up his ass.

Utley used his 3-0 green light hoping to see a fat pitch.

Game set match. The Greek Chorus of Phillies Haters believe that Utley is not of the calibre of Bonds, Ortiz, and Pujols.

I disagree.

Stop whining and go root for the Washington National.

WTF Happened in this game. I am pissed i miss this one. Was this Bonderman and Liebers worst start of the season?

I'm sure Moyer will shut these guys down tomorrow...(maybe for an inning).

"Utley used his 3-0 green light hoping to see a fat pitch."

Uh, but he didn't see a fat pitch. Therefore, he didn't use it well.

You disagree that Utley doesn't have the plate discipline of the three I mentioned? Let's see if you agree with the statistics that back that up, much less the MVP awards.

But I certainly see your point that because most of us feel it isn't good baseball to swing at a 3-0 pitch out of the strike zone, we hate Utley, the Phillies, even the color red, and should root for another team - though you're going to run out of teams to tell us to root for before too much longer. I've already counted the Cubs, Rangers, and Nationals on this thread alone.

RSB: It's beginning to dawn on me that SirAlden in 9 years old. We shouldn't be so hard on the kid.

Yeah, Utley doesn't have the strike zone judgment of Bonds, Ortiz or Pujols... or even Pat Burrell for that matter. Anyway, it turns out the game was lost when they chose to bring in Rosario. At this point he simply can't be used unless it's an 8-run game, one way or the other. Mesa actually got 5 ground-outs so I guess the jury's still out on him, maybe he can be the second-to-last pitcher in the bullpen.

>The reliever has thrown 11 straight balls,
>but the other team has no one else to bring
>in. The count is 3-0 to Utley. Do you green
>light him or signal him to take a pitch?

clout,

babe effing ruth, in his prime, gets a TAKE! from the skipper in that situation.

I 2nd the Yoel stay Go Away Rosario debate.
Rosario has no idea where his pitches are headed.
Howard seems to get gimself out. He was up 3-1 against Boderman & he just threw him junk in the dirt & he chased. ryan just take the walk.
Bottom line: Up 2-0 you cannot give a good team like the Tigers 2 runs. Rowand-I know Pat has cement in his shoes but he would have caught that ball.I'm praying that barajas pulls a groin-PLEASE GO AWAY! Please start Ruiz for the remainder of the sean if he is healthy. Ruiz came back in style tonight.
I'm hoping the Yanks can win 2 out of 3 & the Phills can somehow go 3-3 vs the Tigers/Indians.
Screw you Gillick!

I wonder if Isringhausen could be available. The Cards have the worst run differential in baseball, gave up 17 to the Royals and 14 to the A's tonight, seems to me like they might opt to pack it in. He'd probably come at a cheaper price than some of the other names on the market.

Isringhausen has been a pleasant surprise this season coming back from a career threatening injury. I'm not sure what it would take to get him from the Cards, but it's probably more than we have to offer.

Our dazzling pitching staff came shining through last night...thanks again Patty G!

perhaps I'm missing the point, ya'll, but all of this Utley second guessing is really just moot if Leiber could just put together two focused outings in a row and a bullpen that wasn't constantly shuffling to find their roles......

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