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Monday, July 09, 2007


Love the over-the-top coverage ESPN is giving this thing, with Steve The Idiot Phillips and Krukkie in the studio analyzing. Doors are open for the Big Man to make noise.

Also, count me in as absolutely appalled that Utley is hitting 8th, while Beltran, Wright ... heck, everyone ... is hitting in better positions. I like the Reyes/Utley/Bonds/Fielder/Griffey/Wright/Martin/Beltran order.

SirAlden: You keep mentioning Joe Savery as though he's a Hall of Fame player. I'm curious: What do you know that causes you to project him as a such a future star?

Dang. Hopefully he put away the whuppin' stick tonight so it's available for the rest of the season.

Utley is going to carve up the Cards after the break.
Thanks, Tony.

clout, Sir Alden obviously thinks that because he was drafted in the first round, Savery is a lock.

As I wrote on a previous thread, and I hope I'm wrong, but I was not impressed with Savery when I saw him pitch. Didn't look like MLB material to me.

I wasn't too impressed either on Savery's perf, but keep in mind that he will now be a full-time pitcher. He seems to have the physical and mental ability with an edge.

Just keep Dubee away from him.

I think dismissing Savery out of hand after seeing 1 or 2 games in the CWS is as silly as putting him in the HOF.

Let's give the guy an opportunity to play in the minor leagues first.

I don't dismiss anyone out of hand, O'Neil. There are too many instances where, through hard work, late blooming, etc., players who no one thought would make the BIGS, wound up being pretty good players. That said, what I mean is that if I had to make a call RIGHT NOW, I would not expect Savery to get much more than a cup of coffee. Again, I also hope I'm very, very wrong.

Most people who read and post here probably do not read the sports section in The Evening Bulletin, but Dan Murphy summed up the dilemna of Phillies fans pretty well in this article:

Heck, I'm not even willing to make a projection, but that guy was a solid HS/college player and highly thought of as a pitcher and hitter, and already he'll just be lucky to get a cup of coffee.

I don't really mean to be bashing your opinion, but man that is pessimistic.

Good find with the Bulletin article.

some interesting points in that article, AWH. but on the whole, I think it's pretty close to entirely wrong.

on handing out egregious contracts: so the team didn't "go the extra mile" to get Carlos Delgado (.242/.305/.435), Pedro Martinez (DL), Moises Alou (DL)? maybe that wasn't such a bad idea. (true, Carlos Beltran is having a pretty good season, but his $120M/7 year contract has so far been worth it one out of three seasons.)

on coaching: "baseball savvy" is ridiculously overrated, and I've seen little out of Minaya - who can't even manage the racial tension in his own clubhouse - to indicate that he would turn our team into a powerhouse.

the Mets have done a great job at compressing the last decade or so of the Yankees into three years, and haven't even come up with a World Series win out of it. obviously they've still got deep pockets and more tradeable prospects than us, but to put them up as the paragon of how to run a major league franchise is laughable.

now if you want to be jealous of another NL East team, the Braves are the ones to envy. and I hate Atlanta at least as much as, if not more than, NY.

Good article on the Prospects' Game last night. Phils' were represented by Carrasco and Cardenas on the World Team.

Mr. O'Neil, as long as Bill 'The Walking Sphincter' Giles, David 'The Puppet' Montgomery, Ruben 'liar, liar' Amaro, Jr. and the remainder of the faceless, feckless, greedy, Walking Sphincter sniffing ownership group are in place, it is hard for me to not be a pessimist.

It's a con and hype with these people just to get fans in the seats - every year. I'm getting tired of being disappointed with the on field and front office performance.

ae, you missed the main point about the Muts in the article: "Fan-friendly business decisions".

If the Phillies were truly fan-friendly...

AWH - I mostly agree with you in principle, but the obligatory, self-created nicknames for the owners every single time you mention them is beyond grating.

Word on the street - idiotic comments about Brett Myers' incident at the previous all-star break notwithstanding - is that Bill Giles is a fine person. I don't see what purpose there is in calling him a 'walking sphincter'.

I didn't make up the Giles' nickname - dajafi did; I didn't make up the Amaro nickname either. Giles: the term is directed more at his competence at guiding this baseball franchise since the current ownership group purchased the team. I'm sure those who know him think he's a fine man. He's just a lousy baseball team owner. I don't view Montgomery as any better. You'd be hard pressed to convince me Monty makes his own decisions.

On another note, Shea Hillenbrand was released by the Halos earlier tonight.

They chose to eat the salary (remainder of $6.5MM), and keep the best 25 guys on the roster.

Clout you keep your Ed Wade blow up doll next to have "cuddle time" with late at night, and talk about for free-agents like
Mike Jackson 2nd Round Pick, and Rheal Cormier 2nd Round Pick, and Jose Mesa 2nd Round Pick, and David Bell 2nd Round Pick, and really helped us get over the top, and that they really had ZERO "that's ZERO" effect on the fact that our AA Reading and AAA Ottawa Minor League Clubs have ZERO TALENT IN THEM!

I would have signed and lost first round picks for Thome and Lieber.

Kiss Joe Borowski over .300 batting average against ass, and I will hang with my guy

Joe Savery, and my Pat Gillick Blow-up Doll.

Time will tell, Clout, time will tell.

If the thread running through Gillick's otherwise indecipherable legacy is to build back the minor league system - bravo. However, he inherited a team on the cusp of the playoffs and claimed it needed to get '5 wins better'. Well - if you don't have the leverage to make trades, you have to bite the bullet and sign a few free agents. There's a balance to all this.

And Gillick *has* signed more than a few, but aside from Gordon, they've all been zero-compensation guys. That strategy is all well and good if you're selecting players who can legitimately help fill needs on your roster, but Gillick has misfired on several of these pickups, most notably with Barajas, Fasano, Gonzalez, Nunez, Eaton, and Helms. The point being, Alden, that you have to *also* look at what he's done with the major league team, and there is no question he has NOT improved it a bit since he took the job. It's true that he inherited a tough situation, but if he was living up to what he was advertised as, I don't think we'd be looking at a .500 team right now.

if Gillick's building up the minors, he's doing it so incrementally that it's barely worth noting. the Phils used many picks, especially after the first few rounds, on low-ceiling filler who were guaranteed to sign at or below slot instead of drafting more aggressively - in other words, the exact opposite of what teams like NY and Boston have done to revitalize their farm teams. sure, I guess he deserves some credit for keeping his first couple picks, but given that this team is built to win now, not 5-6 years from now, even that's not an unqualified positive.

AWH, if you're trying to make a parallel between the Hillenbrand and Burrell situations, they're not remotely similar. Hillenbrand isn't signed for next season. his contract is less than half of Burrell's this year. Hillenbrand has never been half the hitter Burrel is/was. Hillenbrand is a clubhouse cancer. etc.

It sounds like Cholly is crossing his fingers and hoping Gillick brings him another legit starter (and hoping Gordon/Myers come back healthy) ...

If Gillick gives him nothing more to work with, who do you hand the ball to? Happ? Carasco? Durbin? Madson?

My choice: Give Happ another shot (though I'd love to see Madson take the ball and throw strikes)

ae, you're right. The Burrell and Hillenbrand situations are not remotely similar. I was not attempting to draw a parallel with any other player on any team. I was simply pointing out that organizations that are serious about winning put the best 25 players on the roster, regardless of salary.

In addition to Hillenbrand, the Tigers, the best team in baseball, released Mesa and ate his money.

If you want to draw a parallel between Hillenbrand and any player(s) on the Phillies, I would list Barajas, Helms and Nunez as players who, if released, you could look back at the season and see that they weren't really missed. Well...maybe Nuni's late inning defense.

I heard Randy Miller on Macnow's program yesterday say that the Phils have a good shot at trading for Kyle Lohse AND David Weathers.. I have no idea what we were sending the Reds in return.. I may have missed the start of the conversation.. Anyone else hear it? Personally ,I think Lohse is a 4th starter AT BEST...Weathers is not a bad pick-up though.

SirAlden: OK, let's assume you have magical powers and can see into the future and Savery will be a stud. And even though Borowski's record of 24 saves in 26 chances would've added at least 5 or 6 wins to a team that has 12 -- count 'em -- blown saves this year (although, as an idiot, you don't understand that), what about the relievers who were acquired during the offseason that wouldn't have cost a #1 pick? Including waiver claims and guys picked up for low-level prospects? Do you need to look at my list again?

And without help, do you honestly think this team can make the playoffs? Do you even care?

ROB: That's an interesting rumor. Lohse is nothing special, but right now the Phillies have no viable alternative. Durbin should be in the minors, Happ needs more time to recover from his injury and Madson is just now beginning to be a decent long man in the pen. Weathers is a savvy vet who's in the midst of his 3rd good year in a row. kdon will squawk like he did about what a terrible signing Alfonseca was, but those 2 guys could be the difference between making the playoffs or not.

I wonder what we'd have to give up? The Reds biggest holes are catcher, firstbase and starting pitchers. Would they want something like Ruiz & Happ? The Phils have no firstbase prospects and Jaramillo has become a fringe prospect at best so I doubt they'd settle for him instead of Ruiz.

I need to correct a stat in my post to SirAlden. Borowski is 25 for 27 in saves. He leads the AL.

Clout: My thoughts exactly on who the Phils would need to give up. At least one top pitcher in their system, and you mentioned their need for catcher. I don't think the Phils would show much hesitation in dealing Ruiz, especially after taking that catcher so high in the draft.

clout-- At least when you trade with the Reds, you're dealing with a very similar ballpark to CBP.. Lohse's WHIP is 1.33-- not awful.. He gives up more hits than IP 124-114.. He also has a 70/29 K/BB rate.. almost identical numbers to Jamie Moyer all around..... I think I would trade Ruiz and Happ (or Kendrick)

Rob D, why would you trade Kendrick. He's a cork plugging a hole in the Phillies leaking sinking ship, you can't trade him.

I think the "ship" has sailed.. What you have (record-wise) now is what you'll have in Oct. whether you plug Happ in where Kendrick is or not.. To me, Myers has to be healthy and able to start againin order to even THINK about playoffs.Since this probably won't happen, Weathers can be the closer, Lohse can be 4th starter and then either Happ OR Kendrick can pitch the rest of the way

Hmm. I just don't see Weathers and Lohse being enough to get us to the playoffs, so I'd be pretty reluctant to give up Ruiz, who's to say the catcher we drafted turns out to be any good. Lohse has been pitching well recently but he has given up a lot of home runs in the past, that wouldn't help in our park. Weathers would be nice, moves Alfonseca back to the 8th, Madson et al. back to the 7th, but the problem hasn't been blown saves so much as it's been the set-up crew, and even then you'd just have 2-3 good relievers. I really think our bullpen is so shot you'd need to trade for at least 2 relievers, or trade for 1 and bring Myers back sometime soon to close, to have a shot at the playoffs.


I've been hired to be SirAlden's agent & he authorized me to answer the question you posed -- which was: do you honestly think the Phillies can make the playoffs?

Yes, I think the Phillies can make the playoffs. Remember that we've been without Jayson Werth -- our five-tool superstar in waiting, whose talent only Pat Gillick was brilliant enough to notice.

Also, while our bullpen has had some troubles this year, I would expect that to change in the second half. Francisco Rosario, our flame-throwing reliever whom Gillick cannily acquired for nothing, has been injured & is ready to return with a vengeance. Jose Mesa, yet another fantastic acquisition, has not pitched well so far, but he is an experienced guy who has saved more than 40 games in a season 4 times. We all know he'll eventually come around. And we still have Fabio Castro waiting in the wings. He had some control problems earlier this year but, under the wise tutelage of Rod Barajas -- one of the game's best signal callers and another fantastic Gillick acquisition -- I expect Castro will soon fulfill his potential and become one of the top relievers in all of baseball.

The injury to Matt Smith really set us back because he was clearly turning into one of the top relievers in baseball. It's hard to believe our GM was somehow able to pry him and 3 other high-ceiling prospects from the Yankees, at the cost of only Bobby Abreu & Corey Lidle. And he did it all while simultaneously managing to save the ownership group enough money for each of them to buy new yachts.

Even if we don't make the playoffs this year, the most important thing is that, thanks to our incomparably wise GM, we now have $72M in salary flexibility for the year 2017. This is all because Gillick, our savior, was wise enough to do things like pass on the totally overrated Joe Borowski in favor of those two Rule 5 relievers whose names I forget, but who both had ungodly potential and only cost us a total of $50,000. Not every move can work out, but you've stil got to appreciate the fact that we have a GM who is out there pounding the pavement to make this team better.

What a bizarre thread...

1) On Savery, people are honestly suggesting he's a bust already. Really?!? You people kill me sometimes.

2) On Hillenbrand, last time I checked, he lasted the entire first half of the season and was unloaded for reasons beyond just his inability to play baseball. Additionally, the Angels had two players ready to step into the roles Hillenbrand filled. Remember, the Blue Jays cut him in 2006 when he bad mouthed the front office and the Giants had no interest in keeping him around after they picked him up. Finally, although not earth-shattering, Helms' OPS is 100 points higher than Hillenbrand.

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