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Monday, July 09, 2007

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Ugh, I look forward to the best games, because that was depressing.

About the blown call at first against Houston in the July 3rd game, being in Houston, I watched it on the local cable FSN feed. The local Houston announcers, after viewing replayed agreed that call was wrong. The article in next morning's local paper also acknowledged that the call was blown. A few days later, I heard the ump admitted his error and apologized to the Phillies. It still sucks.

That was depressing, Jason.

As if Monday's aren't bad enough, I have to re-live some first half horrors.

Good news on the Gordon/Myers fronts, eh?

Jason - have you heard anything on what we plan to do with Rowand? Keep for the rest of the year? Keep and re-sign? Trade for a miserable retread who we then go on to sign for a 3 year, $24 million extension?

If you had your druthers, what would we do?

If the Dave Montgomery Fantasy Playoffs started today…

1. San Diego vs. 8. Colorado
2. Milwaukee vs. 7. Chicago
3. New York vs. 6. Arizona
4. Los Angeles vs. 5. Atlanta

The Phillies would not make the playoffs. Some fantasy, Monty.

John,

Funny that you brought that up. That was the worst/funniest thing i've heard from this crew. The new line is "We'd be in the playoffs if we switched the format to what NBA/NHL does!". SAD.

Mofo, you have identified the main problem with trading Rowand: We wouldn't get anything worthwhile for him. The secondary problem is that Bourn is best served, IMO, by receiving the kind of 4th-outfielder spot duty he's currently getting.

They need to wait until the 11th hour before the deadline before deciding. Right now, the market isn't great for Rowand and the Phils are still in the hunt. Between now and then, anything can happen: a key injury to a contender; the Phillies fall out of it. Who knows. Time will tell. It doesn't sound like there's much interest in resigning him, however.

I don't know what to make of Bourn yet. WTF was he doing bunting with runners on 2nd and 3rd and two outs? You're in Coors Field! Swing the bat!!

I can see what he was thinking -- with his speed, bunting for a hit is never entirely off the table. But you have to get that ball on the ground, and you have to deaden the bat enough to give yourself a chance. I don't know how good a bunter he normally is, but that one made it almost to the basepath.

For me, the 5/23 game still burns. That was just awful.

Don't forget the horrible meltdown in the Mets home opener on April 9th (also the first game with New York after J-Roll's winter caravan words of wisdom "we are the team to beat" speech). Hamels was on top of his game with the Phils being up 5-3 after 6 innings before the Muts exploded for a 7-run 8th inning, highlighted by a couple of errors and some piss poor relief pitching from Matt Smith, Geoff Geary, and Donut Boy. I don't think I ever felt the rage that I felt that day, during and after that game. Damn the Muts!

Tom, I think you've misdiagnosed the cause of your burning sensation. The Phillies won the 5-23 game on a 10th inning hit by Abraham Nunez.

Oh . . . my bad, Tom. I forgot that that was the infamous Rod Barajas stand-up-at-the-plate game.

if anyone is interested, I found this page that has up to date Phillies news feeds

http://www.dcdeal.com/phillies/

The May 28, 29, and 30 losses to Arizona also stick in my craw, since they came right after we had swept the Mets, thus killing all momentum we had achieved from that series. Also, two of those Arizona games followed an all-too-common Phillies pattern that I find particularly annoying --the pattern where we do nothing for 8 innings, then stage a furious 9th inning comeback only to fall exactly one run short. I'll bet we've had at least 6 or 7 games like this over the course of the year.

I agree with that Arizona series. He'll this road trip fits the bill, too.

I meant: Hell, this road trip fits the bill, too. I can't type worth a crap anymore!

Anyone read Mike Arbuckle's comments on some Phils minor leaguers in yesterday's Eagle? He said Clearwater's Lou Marson needs to make more contact, even though he strikes out 1 in 4.62 at-bats. He then says Greg Golson is making good strides with his swing. He's whiffing at an alarmng 1 in every 3.33 at-bats. Then Arby states Golson has "double-plus speed", yet only steals at a 74% success rate. Arbuckle needs to go back to skool and re-learn basic mathematics.

fyi, Moyer was the one who got shelled against KC

6/20 should get a dishonorable mention as well. Bottom of the 6th snowman.

Also 6/27. Moyer's no-hitter disrupted by a 6-run 7th inning.

kind of off-topic, but what was that stat about Howard going 1 for 5 w/ four strikeouts and a home run--and how rare it was?

Oops. Thanks, Ben.

Time for my mid-season rant which, admittedly, has little to do with the ongoing discussion. But, after reading through the morning papers, I found myself fairly revolted at all the happy talk coming from Gillick, Cholly & even the players. All these guys liberally trot out the injury excuse & go on to express satisfaction that the team is still at .500. The one dissenter was Rollins who, for this reason alone, is my single favorite player on the team.

The mid-season happy talk was very reminiscent of the satisfaction everyone expressed when they made their unsuccessful late-season run last year, and the year before, and the year before. And it undoubtedly is the same talk we'll hear when they make their late season run this year, only to end up 2 to 5 games out of the playoffs.

From the owners, to management, and all the way down to the players, this team has always been, and will always be, satisfied with mediocrity. After every failed season, we hear everyone in Philly-land express pride over how they "fought through adversity" and "never gave up on the season." When you think about it, an athlete taking pride in fighting through adversity or not giving up is kind of like a lawyer taking pride on the fact that he never failed to show up for a court appearance. Satisfying the most minimum job requirement possible is NOT something to be proud of.

BAP, I can't agree. With the pitching staff as atrocious as it's been, it's a minor miracle this team is at .500 and within reach of first place. I congratulate the players on the team - it's taken a good amount of heart to be 'respectable' - but certainly not those responsible for running it.

From the article in phillyburbs.com Gillick said there have been no negotiations with Rowand regarding a new contract. So there you go. They want to trade for guys who are signed for '08 and '09 at reasonable dollars. They're not going to get any front-line type players. But it appears by Gillick's comments they'll be buyers, but shopping for bargains in the bargin basement. Not what I wanted to read/hear.

I'm not on board the sudden Charlie Manuel lovefest this time. We read the same things every season. "He's done so much with so little!"

Huh? When the team had six healthy starting pitchers and a fresh lineup, they stank. They started horribly ... again, and played poor fundimental baseball ... again.

Why should Manuel get credit for Moyer, Utley, Hamels, Howard, Rollins and the rest of the players who are carrying them? They're a .500 team. Whoopie.

Good point, Jason. Not to mention that Manuel hasn't exactly made the best out of a bad bullpen situation.

Weitzel - I also have been mystified by the current support Cholly is getting. It is especially odd considering how everyone buried him in April and was calling for his head (myself included).

from the last thread, clout said:
'For what it's worth, the Phillies were 40-47 at this point last season, before Howard got hot, Lieber turned his season around, Hamels settled into the rotation, Jamie Moyer was acquired and the the schedule turned softer. Not sure how to duplicate that and the schedule most definitely does not turn softer this year. But we are 4 wins ahead of last year's pace.'

I dont think the schedule is too much more difficult this year, though it is hard to project it out.

Last year we were done with PIT by this time, we have to play them 6 times. 13 more games agsinst WSH still. All time nemesis Houston is done for the year. 6 against a strugling STL team.

I think it just looks alot tougher because we have this west coast swing coming up (Mets have the same trip, just in reverse) and then SD and LA come here as well. So yeah, it is marginally harder, but just like the Mets and Braves, we all have games vs. each other and within the division. I think whoever plays the best within the NL East is going to take it. We would obviously need to play a tad better than the Braves and Mets, because we are behind now, but looking at their schedules, they have some tough games as well.

The Mets and Phillies have schedules that look nearly similar, trading Pitsburgh for us and the Reds stil for them. Braves look a tad easier - maybe someone knows a way to get the combined records of the remainder of opponents.

What do you guys think Rowand is/will be asking for in the offseason? 8-10 million a year? I like him, but he's going to get a big contract b/c of a career year. I'd be careful signing him for big money, long term.

starting line-ups for the ASG:

AL NL
Ichiro, CF Reyes, SS
Jeter, SS Bonds, LF
Ortiz, 1B Beltran, CF
A. Rodriguez, 3B Griffey, RF
Guerrero, RF Wright, 3B
Ordonez, LF Fielder, 1B
I. Rodriguez, C Martin, C
Polanco, 2B Utley, 2B
Haren, P Peavy, P

I wonder what convinced LaRussa to hit Utley 8th: the fact that he has a higher OBP than every other player in the lineup but Bonds or the fact that he has a higher slugging percentage than every other player in the lineup but Bonds and Fielder.

O'Neil: As much as I like Rowand, I'd have to say the Phillies have far more desperate needs than CF. Either Victorino or Bourn would be a decent centerfielder. I'd rate pitching as the number one need, followed by 3B and corner OF.

Clout: agreed. Rowand's a nice player, but there are other needs.

And why is Beltran (.264 .340 .477*) hitting third and Fielder (.284 .376 .620) hitting 7th?

How would you all line them up?

Reyes
Utley
Bonds
Griffey
Fielder
Wright
Beltran
Martin
Peavy

* padded a bit by his performance against Phils AA pitchers in that last series I would think. That series was perfect evidence that the 90s power surge had everything to do with poor pitching)

I agree with Jason. You won't see me attending the Cholly Midseason Lovefest. I've been a Phillies fan for a long time and I realize how rare it is to have a Rollins-Utley-Howard combo along with a once in a generation starter like Hamels. For a team with that as it's core, an assemblage of journeymen (which is what the rest of the team is) should still be better than .500.

Gillick should get the bulk of the blame for the poor player roster, and Cholly should get the blame for poor game management along with the suck ass coaching at pitching and third base.

I retract my asterix comment as I thought Beltran's HR came off Happ-Madsen and Durbin. He hit two off Hamels who, though HR-prone, is no scrub.

Sophist, that lineup makes a hell of a lot more sense to me. but then, we're not Baseball Geniuses like Tony LaRussa, so what do we know?

I would agree the Phils have much more pressing needs than CF but I am concerned that Rowand will walk this year and the Phils will only get a compensation pick.

Unlike SirAlden, I am not udderly sold on the value of a mid-to-late first round pick for a legit MLB fielder.

LF: the bulk of this team is far worse than journeymen. I'm no fan of Manuel, but when I'm assigning blame for this season he's not at the top of my list.

Jason,

Couldn't agree more. When the Phillies go on a nice run & get themselves back into contention, Cholly's apologists always credit him for holding the team together through the tough times. But when they go through those tough times, the apologists always say, "Cholly's not the one who struck out with RISP or gave up the 9th inning homerun ball."

I concede that Gillick, not Cholly, is the primary author of the Phillies' mess. But, if that's your logic for why Cholly should stay on the job, then the same would hold true of Rod Barajas & Brian Sanches. In other words, no one except Gillick would ever lose his job.

I guess LaRussa didn't like Chase's technique at tarp management....He and Shane were having a tough time with that thing it looked like.

I would think that LaRussa would have a little more sense than to bat All World Utley at eight...especially since his three hitter is hitting sixty or so points less than Utley.

Perhaps he's batting Utley 8th as a way of putting him up in the order later in the game? After all, lead-off batters for the most part only lead-off to start the game. Perhaps in the second or third Bonds batting 2nd will come to the plate with Utley on 3rd and Jose on 1st. . .

Perhaps he's batting Utley 8th as a way of putting him up in the order later in the game? After all, lead-off batters for the most part only lead-off to start the game. Perhaps in the second or third Bonds batting 2nd will come to the plate with Utley on 3rd and Jose on 1st. . .

RSB:

The Phillies have had some injury issues, but so has every other team. And let's face it: other than Myers, all of the injured guys were absolutely pathetic even before their injuries. Besides, the Gordon & Garcia injuries were entirely foreseeable by management.

But, even if the injuries are a valid excuse, I still can't accept being satisfied with mediocrity. Both players & management have a responsibility not to make excuses & not to accept satisfaction with mediocrity under any circumstances. When management expresses satisfaction with mediocrity, it trickles down to the players, so that even team "leaders" like Aaron Rowand are now putting rosy spins on the team's first half performance.

I guess my frustration is that the statements in this morning's paper were just so eerily similar to the statements which everyone made at the end of the last few seasons. Everyone in Philly-land always seems to be perfectly happy merely to "give it our all" and fall short.

While I would not attend "Chollyfest," I do think Cholly is a better manager than some of the other clowns the Phils have had as managers the past twenty years.

Nick Levya was terrible but my money on the the worst Phils' manager was Terry Francona. He has been better in Boston but he was just dreadful.

I think it was Buster Olney who wrote a column last week saying there will be fewer trades because what's being offered for guys is worth less than the compensation they'll receive in the draft.

Unless we get a real offer for Rowand, he's worth more to us when he leaves in free agency.

ae, our entire bench are journeymen, so is our RF, 3B and catchers. I guess Burrell and Rowands aren't. I'd classify our entire bullpen, Eaton, Moyer, Kendricks and Whoever as journeymen. Moyer qualifies due to his age. Myers, Lieber and Garcia are hurt, so I didn't consider them. Maybe I should called them "journeymen and unproven talent."

Due to my location, Houston, TX, I've been learning about the Astros through osmosis. They are a terrible team, yet they are similar to the Phils in strengths and weaknesses. I'm inclined to believe the Astros will have a better post All Star Game record than the Phillies.

I hate to say it but this team has no chance in 2007. It's time to trade anyone who can bring value in return. 44-44 is not the record of a contending team.

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