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Thursday, July 26, 2007

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I blame Canada.

Ottawa was plainly going to be a joke long before the season began. We would have been much better off cancelling the AAA affiliate and putting the savings into scouting and signing players from latin america and asia. If we were contractually obligated to field a team, we should have contracted with some Indy team to do the job.

they (AAA) sure better find a path by next year! The iron pigs are going to pull in such a large crowd, that it would be silly to field anything sub-par.

alfie really looked spent last night.

i would not be surprised at all if he's in for a 15 day vacation once myers is back.

Is it just me, or do the Phils move their players through their system at a ridiculously slow pace? Golson and Outman are 21 and 22 respectively. Other teams have players this age making an impact or knocking on the door. With the Phillies, they're *just* getting to AA. Sad...

21 isn't that old for AA. But, historically, they do seem to have some older minor leaguers.

Sometimes 21 isn't old for AA. But let's look at Golson. We're looking at a guy who spent part of '04, all of '05 and '06, and part of '07 in single A ball. And we're not just talking about any Joe Schmoe, either; we're looking at a guy who was talented enough (in theory) to be a first round pick. And yet he spent three years in A ball?

I agree that they take ridiculously long to progress through the farm system.
Then you see the Braves routinely pluck guys out of their farm system and they turn out to be great players.
You have to take a chance on your youth sometimes.

We can make Ottawa a lot better by giving them the likes of Zagurski and Condrey.

The problem is that there is nothing to get in return. A Zagurski to Geary "upgrade" doesn't exactly have me on the edge of my seat. When does Myers come back??????????

I don't think I care as far as Golson goes. Baby him if necessary. His k/bb rate is terrible, but other skills show there's something there. I'm guessing they want to see him do well(enough) in one place to build confidence, then promote him.

Phils also promoted Kendrick (as well as Zagurski, who had college experience to start with) pretty quickly to the majors and Carrasco to AA at 20. I think PG is more willing to take some risks than his predecessors.

"Do you think the team's lousy record in 1-run games (last night's, of course, goes in the books as a 2-run game) might have just as much to do with lousy managing as lousy relief pitching?"

Alby - yes, that's probably a factor. but a lot of Manuel's questionable relief choices involve using a very bad pitcher instead of a slightly less very bad pitcher. in other words, it doesn't make a difference if Alfonseca or Mesa blows a game. Leyland (or whoever) can't turn those turkeys into good relievers by himself.

(last night was an exception, with Gordon apparently completely ready to pitch effectively. but then, last night went in the record books as a W for Manuel anyway.)

ae: I was thinking more about the insertion of Nunez in a double switch, instead of Bourn, which is what the announcers (and I) anticipated. Nunez was then pulled for a pinch-hitter. WTF? I wasn't thrilled to see Dobbs in there at 3B for the rest of the game.

Off-topic, but what the hey:

I think this is just a good time to say that we're pretty lucky to have really fantastic blogs covering our teams (I point mostly to Beerleaguer and Phuture Phillies. That's not to discount anyone else's hard work, of course.)

I say this cause I find myself going to Beerleaguer first thing everyday (along with Philly.com) for my Phillies fix. And Phuture is pretty damn good to check on once every few days, to see how the kiddies are doing. It's great to have devoted people passionate about the Phillies and passionate about covering them on a voluntary basis.

That's all for my sucking up.

What a mess last night... it shouldn't have been that crazy.

Hamels was great again as usual. The team got enough offense to win this game (good clutch single by Helms with the bases loaded).

Then it all went downhill. Alfonseca was terrible. It was expected, however. He hadn't pitched on back-to-back nights since June 6th and 7th (and that was actually three solid nights in a row). But there's a big difference between your 25th and 26th appearances of the year and your 39th and 40th. His stuff just wasn't there. The saddest part is we had another option. His name is Tom Gordon.

The incredible decision to bring in Zagurski stunned me. He's pitched in 8 games this month, and he's given up a walk or a hit in 7 of those appearances and been charged with runs in 3 of them. There's no way he was the right guy in that spot.

Once again, Manuel burned through our bench faster than California mountain wildfire.

Finally... the bunt? BUNT!?!? It has to be the single worst decision Manuel has made this year.

Thankfully, Jimmy Rollins decided to put that "team to beat" on his shoulders and wouldn't be denied in the 9th. Probably the most exciting play of the year... I wish I had been there. And then after pitching around Howard for a couple of at bats, he finally got a pitch to hit and he didn't miss.

It wasn't pretty, but winning close games is important, no matter how it happens. Thank god we could do it in spite of our manager.

Put it this way, back in May, we don't win that game.

Malcolm... you may be right... at least we know Howard wasn't quite healthy and hitting back then. I just had a feeling if he got a pitch to hit, he could end this game.

It's really nice having a guy like that in our lineup. And it's why as the season progresses, the IBBs will increase and his hitting opportunities will decrease.

By the way, we may be trailing Atlanta by a game, but in reality, we're tied with them in the loss column and have two games in hand. The loss column is the one that matters because you, theoretically, can control getting a win... but you can't control whether another team loses.

It's gotten to the point where Jaramillo and, I guess, Castro are the only Ottawa players in whom I have any interest. They've both been decent.

The Allentown affiliate should be pretty good next year, though, with some or all of the viable prospects now at Reading--Carrasco, Maloney, Outman, Costanzo, Golson--on hand, and I'd guess a better class of quad-A Hessians to round out the roster and field a strong team in their first year.

As for the Pigpen, it's true that they have more problems than will be fixed when Myers returns. Much as I like Manuel, he's just terrible at managing the relievers, and his decision to keep Zagurski in today against Flores in the 8th might have been his dumbest of the season.

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