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Saturday, July 14, 2007

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I think Madson's a little banged up or else Cholly would probably give him a spot start.

L.A. would be the perfect place for Mad Dog to pitch, too. He's better on the road and the big yard would let him throw strikes. His problems start when he nibbles.

And 2007 results would be better than 2006 results because...(?)

Oh, I'm just saying he's a better temporary option J.D. Durbin

Hey totally, Madson would not be as bad as Durbin. Might as well. But no, Durbin will start.

We all know Cole is better in night games than day games.....so hopefully his twilight performance is closer to night.

It's about time Utley starts getting mentioned in MVP discussions.

VORP for NL Players (through yesterday):

46.4 H. Ramirez (FLA)
46.1 C. Utley (PHL)
41.5 B. Bonds (SF)
38.9 M. Cabrera (FLA)
37.7 C. Jones (ATL)
37.2 J. Reyes (NYM)
37.1 P. Fielder (MIL)
36.1 M. Holliday (COL)

Hey all you NYC-area Phillies fans:

Anyone else think it's f'ing ridiculous that the Fox-5 is playing Cubs/Astros instead of the Phillies/Cards game?

What's that about?

Birdoc, looks like most major markets in the East are getting that treatment. I'll be listening on the radio.

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. W Helms, 3B
8. C Ruiz, C
9. C Hamels, P

Cards
1. D Eckstein, SS
2. S Taguchi, CF
3. A Pujols, 1B
4. J Encarnacion, RF
5. S Rolen, 3B
6. C Duncan, LF
7. Y Molina, C
8. A Miles, 2B
9. M Maroth, P

Down here in Florida - its the Phils vs St louis on Fox

Not in this part of Florida (I'm getting Cubs-Astros as well).

Dodgers vs Astros in Toronto - thank God for MLBtv and the Roger Waters ticket I have for tonight.

Oh sweet it's on another channel...thank you hotel TV.

I missed the f*****g HR because they had to show Bond's at bat.

I'm so glad FOX cut away so we could watch Barry Bonds ground into a double play...

... and miss Jimmy Rollings hit a leadoff homerun!

Thanks for the excellent coverage, FOX!

sorry for the typo - I know it's Rollins, not Rollings.

Fox is the worst.

I'm not even wasting my time with Cubs/Astros.

How long was Victorino's fly out? GameDay shows it should have been in the 5th row of seats!

Too bad, y'all, Harry had a great (it's got a chance!") call on the radio. And now again with Howard!

Damn, the Phils are trying hard to avoid 10,000, aren't they? First blood two games in a row.

Duncan caught the ball with his back on the wall in left.

Rollins and Howard Homeruns!

Maroth leads the majors in homeruns given up.

Yes everyone was right GM Gillick should have traded with Detroit for him.

~ sometimes the things you don't do are the best decisions you make ~

People can talk about this being Utley's team and all, but thank goodness he is not alone - this is Jimmy Rollins' team and I love how he takes the heat and continues to show that he can handle the pressure. His leadoff homer here is yet more proof that he doesn't give up. In Weitzel's Home Run Derby day post, I was even able to successfully show clout that J-Roll's stats were better than the guy who unfortunately for the NL team got the call ahead of him by bonehead LaRussa - JJ Hardy. I cringed when said NL manager left Rowand in the game with everything on the line while Pujols whithered on the bench. The only Phillie who I would have kept in there with Pujols waiting are Utley, Howard, and Rollins - unfortunately for LaRussa only one of them was an All Star this year.

I had a feeling the Phils would be inspired in this series to answer all the 10,000-loss naysayers. Which only means that they'll turn around and fall flat on the west coast.

Last year, Madson pitched 8 2/3 shutout innings at Dodger Stadium.

Who is this umpire behind the plate today? On the radio feed, it sounds like a pig is being electrocuted every time a strike is called.

Yep...I'm stuck with Astros/Cubs in NY/NJ - I wanted to watch Hamels!!!!!!! Now I'm watching on Gameday...BUMMER

By SirAlden's logic, Gillick should get credit for every mistake by every GM in baseball since he didn't make them. But don't mention Gillick's mistakes. Sshhhhh!

@ Verdeforce - I think I'll get excoriated for this, but I can't help suspect that part of why Utley gets so much credit while Rollins does not is about race and culture. It may be analogous to the NBA's fear of "hip hop" culture.

There is no doubt that Utley has tremendous skills and is a deserving all star. But the fact that Rollins doesn't get the fan love in Philly that Utley gets is a little suspicious. Rollins plays all-star caliber baseball, and is a hell of a lot more interesting as a person, showing much more character, than anything we've seen from Utley. But Rollins is black, runs a hip hop record company, comes from Oakland, a black urban area, and wears flashy "bling."

This is no knock on Utley - I want to be clear - but why doesn't Rollins get the love? I worry that race may be a factor.

Victorino's near-HR was hit off the very end of the bat and wouldn't have been close to a HR anywhere else, including Coors. It reminded me of Beltran's cheapie here.

RSB: I noticed that too on TV. The ump appears to be shouting "STriiiikeeeeeeeey" when he calls a strike. Not "strike" but "strikey." Maybe he can't pronounce it.

strange: Since when isn't Rollins loved here? I haven't noticed any lack of love at the ballpark. I DO agree that Utley seems to be getting more attention this season, but I look at it this way: Who is having the better season? Utley, no contest.

Howard is ready for another 2nd half of domination.

Hamels needs to calm down and pitch, he's erratic right now.

Short day ahead for Hamels...we better keep scoring runs in bunches.

Proof of the old adage: "Walks will kill you."

C'mon Cole...what's going on!?!

Clout: I'm not suggesting Rollins is disliked by the fans, by any stretch. He is definitely appreciated. But Rollins doesn't get the adulation that Utley or Hamels gets, or that Pat the Bat once did.

I'm not crying out that there is egregious racism going on, but something more subtle may be at play.

not the brightest play i've seen there at 3B...

Unfortunately, strange, I'm afraid you are right. The search for the next Gerry Cooney extends to all sports....

Sounds to me like he's saying "EEEEEEEE!"

strange: I concur with your suspicion that race may be a factor with Rollins' relative lack of popularity in Philadelphia.

Well that could have been much worse.

Hopefully Cole settles down and has a couple of quick innings upcoming.

For those of you watching the game, there is a guy over the right-handed batters shoulder wearing a flowered shirt and green hat...unless there is another guy wearing that same get-up our very own Alby is on screen from time to time.

Glad to hear I'm not imagining things. Or at least that if I am imagining things, I'm not the only one.

Oh, and the ump sounds crazed on TV too. A high post-strike squeal. horrifying. I wouldn't want to be Molina or Ruiz today.

If race is a factor, how can you then explain how popular Ryan Howard is?

I think it is ridiculous to imply that race is a factor in Rollins' popularity. Maybe he's less popular because he tried to hit too many home runs rather use his speed to get on base? Maybe it's because he goes up there hacking when we need baserunners?

I'm just sayin'...

TRIES not "tried"

I also don't think and I don't think strange meant that it is just a white vs. black issue - Ryan Howard was correctly adored last year, but he is the type of African-American that Madison Avenue loves....

Why does Cole refuse to throw his curve?
It's a great pitch & I think it would make his job alot easier.

Good news for those of us not getting the game at the moment: the other two Fox games are flying by (each in the bottom of the 4th) so we may get the end of the game.

Wow that was really good commentary by Eric karros about throwing that 3-2 fastball.

Not only is that curve a good pitch but it would make the change-up that much more devastating. The only thing I can think of is that he wants to use it as a "chase" pitch something out of the zone to get a guy to go after it - it could be lack of confidence in controlling it to throw it in hitter's counts.

It's the hip-hop thing. With Rollins, I think a lot of people don't see the smile; they see the skullcap and the cockiness, and they bristle. Howard keeps a lower profile. It's not the kind of thing that's going to be obvious to everyone, but I sense that the kind of subtlety you refer to does exist, strange.

Strange - are you saying Rollins is not loved because hes black? I thought Howard was extremely loved (if thats the word you are using) so I believe your case is not valid

Steve,

This year FOX has not been cutting over to games once the scheduled game is completed.

I've seen strange discussions around here, but wondering whether Jimmy is "loved" enough is right up there.

Fljerry: I'm not sure why it is, but I fear that it is because he's black, and because he's seen as part of the "hip hop" culture. Verdeforce and RSB have made most of the points I would make in separating the treatment Howard and Rollins receive from the Philly fans in general. I think it's a little more subtle than simply who's black and who's white.

For the record, I am a big fan of both Rollins and Howard, and I'm not slighting Utley at all.

Well at least 3 of us are on the same page - anyway back to on field action, I'm glad Rollins keeps swinging - that's produced half of our runs today and his infield mates are responsible for the other two. I would argue that if this trio is kept together over a 10-15 year period they have the ability to equal the fame of Tinkers to Evers to Chance - Rollins to Utley to Howard is that good offensively and defensively....

Looks like we'll need about 4 innings from the pen. Feels like a 10-9 game.

Your right Clout Gillick should have signed Maroth....!

HR Rowand! lol

Phillies are absolutely tattooing Cardinal pitching in this series. How much longer can they stay with Maroth?

The Houston series notwithstanding, Helms still looks like a DP waiting to happen every time he comes up.

I was at the game last night and was astonished by how many runs the Phils scored without hitting homeruns (only 3 runs on 2 HRs), given the history of our park. I guess today it's back to regularly scheduled frequent HR programming.

This offense is scary.

Pat: If your listening, get this team a legit 5th starter and see what happens.

They currently need a legit #2 starter - there is no shortage of #5s....

Bonehead Larussa must be keeping Maroth in for his .300 BA - or maybe only Pujols was available on the bench....

Maroth 28 Strikeouts, walked 33 in 70+ innings with Detroit, led the league in homeruns given up... yup Gillick was a slacker in not trading for him Clout.

Sir Alden seems to be making up statistics again. Maroth is not leading the league in either homeruns allowed or homeruns per game allowed (in case you want to argue that he hasn't had the chance to reach that level).

101 pitches for Cole ... do you send your ace out in the 6th?

I agree with Manuel here:

No one on base with the pitcher up and two outs. No reason to waste a pinch hitter.

You can give Hamels a little bit of leeway here because as off as he has been today he's still better than the trash in the pen. Also maybe you give those guys an extra days rest which will certainly help as the season wears on.

Cole better be done after Duncan.

another week of hitting and we might be able to dump Burrell - maybe to the Padres for some of their pitching, we'll still need to pay most of his salary but it would be nice.

Ludwick is batting .196 against lefthanders. How bad is the St. Louis bench?

Aw, what the heck, let's see if Cole can go 9.

curt: For the record, I agreed with you. Have Cole pitch to lefthanded Duncan and then bring in Sanchez (or, if you must, Mesa). The BP sucks, but you can't burn out Cole with a 4-run lead.

strange, I don't sense that there is any racism at play as far as Rollins' popularity is concerned. IMO you're totally offbase.

Bridoc correctly pointed out that if race was a factor, Ryan Howard would not be the most popular athlete in Philadelphia - and he is.

The hiphop thing is also a non-factor. What you seem to be suggesting is that - and let me be very direct about this - white people (some of them) are put off or threatened by Rollins attire or his persona. I disagree completely.

Contrast what you say with the treatment of Allen Iverson several years ago, when the Sixers went to the finals. Iverson was/is much more "hiphop" and much more "ghetto" than Rollins, yet he was the most popular athlete in town at the time.

Why? Because the Sixers were winning. It was only when mgmt failed to provide a good supporting cast to AI and the Sixers started losing that he became less popular, because his style of play was looked at as being selfish. His run-ins with the law didn't help either.

Most fans, even the casual ones, know how important Rollins is to this team, and how good a player he is.

Performance matters, and I submit to you that if Rollins were hitting .330 with an OBP of .400, he would be getting the same kind of adulation as Utley.

BTW, he just got his third hit of the day.

Go, Jimmy, go!!!

Maybe Burrell isn't done...

Maybe Burrell isn't done...

PtBB bails out Utley & Howard. Might never be another chance to say that.

Burrell is on a hot streak. Wooo!

Reckon six runs will be enough for our pen to win this?

Well, to clout's disappointment, it looks like the Phils will have to wait at least another day for the 10,000th loss.

Well played, Phils.

Madson pitched the 7th. Now with Urbina in the 8th and Wagner in the 9th, the Phils are home free.

AWH, a good point about Iverson vs. Rollins, but one, basketball is a different animal than baseball, and fans' expectations of and reactions to players in each sport is not necessarily comparable; two, Iverson was seen as a blue-collar, hard-nosed 'underdog' who backed up his strutting with clutch performances. Is Rollins all that different than Iverson? He's small, but he isn't seen as a 'scrapper'. Philadelphia might take to him more if he had a 'tude and got in people's faces and fought.

You can name whatever reason you like - too hip-hop, too smiley, never played for a winner, not the leadoff prototype some still want him to be no matter how good his numbers - but the fact remains that Rollins has always met with certain reservations in Philly. He isn't booed, but fans have never really taken to him the way they have Utley or Howard and there's a variety of reasons why - not good ones, but reasons nonetheless. Most fans appreciate Rollins, yes. But on the whole, not enough appreciate him quite to the extent they ought to, or to the extent they've warmed to other players.

On Burrell: why would SD want him? They don't play in a park that's conducive to his game, to say the least. A lot of teams probably look at Burrell and see that he isn't even producing in CBP and it scares them.

Could it be that Rollins gets lumped in with Abreu and Burrell as a reminder of the Phils' not-quite-good-enough past?

When I talk about the Phils' young nucleus, I often say "Utley, Howard and Hamels" (and sometimes Victorino) and forget that Rollins is just as young.

Why couldn't we have signed someone like Ryan Franklin?

Heck, if we'd have brought him back, signed Borowski, and kept Germano we'd have it locked up already.

Once again, Cholly doesn't want to go near most of his BP, even with a big lead.

JR King - that might be the biggest reason of all. If and when the Phillies win, Rollins will probably start getting a lot more love.

I have to say I have really been impressed by Eric Karros today. His observations have been pretty spot-on from game management to pitch selection to even putting Brennamen in his place about trading Rowand as losing the righthanded protection and how he just isn't going to get a front line starter. I'm going to start a new website "Fire Tim McCarver" (and take Joe Buck with him).

Rowand's gonna price himself right out of Phila. with this salary drive.

Madson & now A.A. with a huge lead. I don't think you can win using the BP this way.

Seriously ... Madson and Alfonseca?!?!

What role does Charlie see for Garcia/Sanchez/Mesa?

RSB, good points. You seems to basically agreeing with me by putting Howard and Utley in the same category.

My point was that it isn't race or hiphop. If it "is", it's something else.

AWH - I am basically agreeing with you, but I don't think you can dismiss the race/hiphop element just because guys like Howard and Iverson have been popular. It obviously isn't as simple as just saying "Phila. fans don't like Rollins because he's black" - but yeah, I think that's part of the equation here.

Maybe I'll go ask Stephen A. Smith...

Hehehehehehhe...Steven A.

In all seriousness, I understand that race still plays a role in many areas of our society, but in this case I really don't think it does.

I think it's not Rollins, it's that Utley and Howard are the recognized stars on this team. Rollins is appreciated to an extent, just not on the same level as MVP/candidates Howard and Utley, and Hamels, the Phils pitching savior. It's tough for mid level star to compete with superstars.

I agree with P. O'Neil. I think Rollins is just on a slightly lower tier than Howard/Utley. Howard hit 58 homeruns and was the MVP. Utley is clearly the best 2B in all of baseball.

Rollins is one of the best shortstops in baseball, but he's not as good as Jeter/Reyes. More than race, I really think it's that Howard and Utley are viewed as "elite" players while Rollins is just "very good." I don't know if that makes sense to others, but that's kind of the way I see it.

As to the Rollins question, I think it may be because of the way he has gotten to his current level of play. He has gradually gotten better every year that he has been with the team, and maybe he is still seen in the light that he was when he came up. On the other hand, Burrell, Howard, Utley, and Hamels all came up and had very good years the first year or two in the majors.

Not to make this into a sociological forum, but AWH, how many of those 40,000 white fans per game do you suppose are fully color-blind? How can you pretend that race is an issue in 'society' and not in a ballpark?

Rollins *is* an elite player. It's time to start acknowledging that. Reyes can steal 80 bases, but can he drive in 100 runs?

As for the game: stay hot, Phillies. I'll be the first to admit their performance the last two days should not have been buried beneath this debate on Rollins' popularity. It's so pleasurable to watch them pulverize LaRussa's team like this.

Ben/Jeltz/O'Neil: All good points.

Combine these reasons with the fact that we'd like to see our leadoff hitter steal bases a la Reyes and there are more reasons than just his race or hip-hop persona.

RSB:

I don't think anyone is arguing that race isn't a factor. We all root for players that remind us of ourselves.

For me: I'm a righthander with long sideburns, so I always find myself rooting for Madson and hoping he succeeds (d'oh!).

JR King, you once again illustrate an essential point.

Reyes: 18 2B, 9 3B, 5 HR, 36 RBI, 63 R
Rollins: 23 2B, 10 3B, 18 HR, 56 RBI, 73 R

And yet "we'd like to see our leadoff hitter steam bases a la Reyes". Well, maybe Met fans would like a guy who's hit 22 career leadoff homers. You can't have everything. It's ridiculous to criticize Rollins for the few things he doesn't do - especially when comparing him to others who can't do nearly as many things as he does.

'Steam bases'? Sorry for the misquote.

RSB:

I'm talking about perception and the perception of Reyes is definitely helped by the fact he plays in New York. If he played for the Royals, there would probably be a lot more people who percieve Rollins as the better player.

And by calling him "very good" instead of "elite" I wasn't criticizing him; I was just trying to delineate how I think he's viewed by fans (both inside and outside of Philadelphia).

It looks like feast or famine for Philly hitters

Going up:
- Rollins is 9 for 14 in the last 3 games
- Utley is 12 for 24 in the last 5
- Howard is 4 for 9 in the last 2
- Rowand is 7 for 10 in the last 2
- Burrell is 9 for 15 in his last 5
- Dobbs is 7 for 13 in his last 4

Going down:
- Chooch is 1 for 17 in the month of July
- Helms is 2 for 12 since the Houston series

Of course, momentum is only as good as the next day's pitcher, so we'll see what Eaton does tomorrow.

this little debate sort of recalls my comment on mother's day, when the game commentators thanked baseball moms for 'cleaning uniforms' and 'cooking up meals after practice and games' and were totally oblivious to how tremendously sexist they were being. i mean...what? and those comments elicited a couple comments on here but were mostly ignored. you don't think the same stuff goes on with race in baseball? there's a lot of little things, subtle comments and perceptions, etc., that float on underneath the surface. the diamond isn't an island.

what was the double move by charley when he let nunez run 4 bourn no one on this team can run 4 bourn theris no ultimatium

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