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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Comments

I saw the Phils signed a Latin American for $200k the other day. Hopefully they don't use that as an excuse not to pay Sampson/Workman

Contreras not helping his trade value-10ER last night. Ken Williams has to be po'd

Jason, thanks for the draft update.

This is where Giles/Montgomery have to make a decision as to whether they really want to be winners, like the Yankees and Red Sox who pay above slot to get high-ceiling talents, or they want to be Bud Selig's ass-clowns.

Boys, you've had multiple sellouts at the ballpark this year. Use some of that money to pay up, and prove to us that at least YOU believe in the organization you've assembled's ability to scout, draft and develop pitchers.

Based on the success, or lack thereof, of your pitching staff at the MLB level the last 20 years, there is serious evidence to the contrary.

Incidentally, you'll also help I-Alden make his arguments about how you and Seattle Stew are building for the "future".

Yes - Thanks for including that note about the Latin American shortstop, P. I forgot to mention it. Here are two minor league tidbits:

The Phillies reacquired left fielder Jake Blalock after the Royals released him (.153 batting average). He had been acquired by the Royals from Texas in a trade. Blalock was part of the David Dellucci deal last year and is the kid brother of Hank. He's been assigned to Clearwater. He's not a prospect.

Carlos Valenzuela is the 19-year-old Dominican shortstop. The Phillies signed him for a reported bonus of $200,000 - a huge bonus.

I was reading over on Phuture Phillies that the Phils, if they're going to overpay for those two, would wait until near the end of the signing period. This way they wouldn't upset the scale for all the other teams and really PO the commish.

It makes sense - but that doesn't mean its what the Phils are doing.

If Valenzuela is worth that much, are they looking ahead and thinking he'll be a cheaper replacement for JRoll when his deal expires?

Dave, I thought under the new draft rules they have to be signed by August 25th, or they go back into next year's draft?

Jason, am I right or wrong?

AWH, with this org. you never know, but I think they should get any prospects at any position. At his age, he doesn't have to be an SS in the future, per se

Yeah, there's an August 15th deadline.

In the Phils never ending quest to acquire yet another lesser-talented brother of a MLB player:

"The Phillies reacquired left fielder Jake Blalock after the Royals released him (.153 batting average). He had been acquired by the Royals from Texas in a trade. Blalock was part of the David Dellucci deal last year and is the kid brother of Hank. He's been assigned to Clearwater. He's not a prospect."

I'd like to commend SirAlden for FINALLY admitting he was wrong... although he included his numerous caveats, as usual.

The Phillies absolutely should have signed Joe Borowski. They backed out for a terrible reason and that was Pat Gillick's decision. His signing would not have cost the Phillies any kind of compensation at all.

Now let's DROP THIS CHARADE about there being no one out there that Gillick could have signed that would have helped this bullpen.

The key paragraph in the Jim Salisbury article linked at right:

"The decision to sign these pitchers ultimately rests with club president David Montgomery, who must balance the wants of his staff with a mandate from the commissioner's office to keep signing bonuses in check."

MUST balance the wants of his staff with a mandate from the commissioner's office? MUST? WTF??? If the ignore the commissioner, what will happen? The city won't get the All-Star game on schedule? Who gives a rip? The commissioner has virtually no power. He can offer no incentive for his "mandate." Bud Selig is the only person in baseball who I'd hang with GM-Carson's favorite epithet, "ass-clown." The Yankees and Red Sox have essentially told him to go to hell. Why shouldn't the Phillies?

Okay, here's someone to sign for the bullpen now: Danny Graves, former MLB reliever, currently lingering with the Long Island Ducks of independent ball:

Graves, Danny 3-2 2.750ERA 38G 20sv 39.1IP 41H 3HR 1 9BB 19K 0 .261OPP Avg

Other than cash, it doesn't cost prospects or current players. At a minimum, he perform similarly to the back-of-the-bullpen guys there now. At worst, he fills holes in Ottawa. He had a 4.01 ERA in triple A last year.

Now, we're really scraping the bottom of the barrel.

I wouldn't take Graves over Condrey. I'd have to pass there.

It would surprise me if the Phils pay above slot. I have heard Arbuckle say he believes in the slotting system since it helps hold down draft bonuses and has long term benefits to the league. I think Selig has issued fines to teams that pay above slot. If the Phils were to break rank it would not be for the likes of a Sampson or Workman. They had opportunities to take a Boras client like Porcello if they were willing to do this.

I tend to agree, but Porcello's $ and Workman/Sampson $ are a big difference. I think they really need to sign of those guys.

Also consider that Montgomery and Giles have some serious ties to the administrative end of MLB apart from the Phillies. Simply put, they do not and will not ever do anything which flies against the perceived interests of the commissioner's office. Without a doubt, the payroll restraints everyone has been lamenting for years is something which is at least partially done in the interests of MLB. The only other teams I can think of which have had these kinds of strong crossover connections and subsequent self-impositions are the Brewers and Expos/Nationals.

Not a lot of reasons to be optimistic if you are a Phils' fan tonight. Phils are going to have a tough time scoring runs tonight. Wells have been throwing the ball very well the last month. You know that Wells is on when he isn't walking guys and he is inducing grounders.

Plus, Wells has thrown the ball very well at Petco all this year. Too bad this game isn't at CBP.

As for Moyer, I can't think of many reasons to think he will pitch well tonight. Moyer has been horrendous the last 5 starts and hasn't pitched well at night this year. I would consider it a successful outing if Moyer can go 5+ and give the Phils a shot to win by only giving up 3 or 4 runs.

Since Wells hasn't been giving up many HRs at Petco (only 4 in 61 2/3 innings), the Phils are going to have to manufacture some runs tonight. Normally this might mean starting Bourn but Bourn has down nothing against LHP. So Burrell should get the start in LF and No-Hit should get the start at 3B. C is a crapshoot right now. Guess I would give Ruiz a breather throw this weekend and go with Barajas tonight/Coste tomorrow.

Close game but the Padres bullpen will make the difference tonight since both starters will be gone by the top of 7th. Call it 5-4 Padres in a tough loss.

I want to officially throw a name out there of a guy i want. Looking outside the box rather than at the round robin of scrub marginal guys currently thought to be on the trading block.

Erik Bedard. Plain and simple the guy is nasty and relatively young rather than trading for a guy that is on the tail end of a mediocre career (lohse, contreres, etc).

I know Bedard would cost at least two high tier prospects and a current major league player as well...but if you are Gillick I think its a guy that you would have to at least inquire about. Chances are even if Gillick got serious on this type of a move, he wouldn't be able to do it anyway. With no real depth down on the farm he is screwed. Damned if you do and damned if you don't. Do you give up on Carrasco to rent a mediocre guy for 2 months? but then if you don't make a move chances are you've lost the opportunity to resign Rowand based on his most recent Rolen esque statements about committment to winning being important to him as a FA. Then if you lose Rowand, you've now got two outfield positions you need to get ready to fill. LF & RF assuming that Burrell will be eventually moved and that Vic becomes the CF. Add that to the two starters he will need to fill and a complete overhaul to the pen and this offseason becomes a job for Super GM. Nobody is capable of reviving this organization's inadequacies. Not even Stand Pat. I've ripped him alot lately but he really doesn't have alot to work with.

At this point, Gillick has got to be scratching his head wondering why he took this job.

In theory, I'd love Bedard. Not sure if it's realistic(O's and Bedard talking extension, I think), but I'd be willing to part with a top tier prospect(s) to get a guy like him. Wouldn't mind them coupling that with giving more $ to the draft picks listed above. That would be good short and long term thinking. Chances of happening, not good.

I have a feeling Moyer will come back strong tonight, but we'll see.

Why would the Orioles consider trading Erik Bedard, one of the few things they have going for them? Is that any more sensible than another team "wanting" Cole Hamels from the Phillies?

yeah i know i'm just throwing a name of a guy approaching his prime rather than the most recent guys on the downside of their careers like Millwood, Garcia, Milton. With the lack of pitching out there chances are not many teams will part with an already young established pitcher unless looking to unload because of an impending salary raise aka Marlins & Pirates. I'm mearly saying we should look towards those types of pitchers and try to build from within cause going out and getting guys over 30 ain't working.

Dunno if this has been posted yet, but my friend sent me this...

http://www.themilwaukeechannel.com/mlb/13730196/detail.html

"POSTED: 1:55 pm CDT July 21, 2007

San Diego, CA -- (Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Phillies announced that pitcher Kyle Drabek, the team's 2006 first-round draft pick, will undergo season- ending Tommy John surgery on Wednesday."

Don't know if y'all heard, but our favorite Florida Marlins pitcher was stun-gunned by the police after resisting arrest on DUI charges.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2944588

There has been a lot of disingenuousness on this post lately, not just from SirAlden - CJ - Gillick is not the one who nixed the Borowski deal. The collective opinion on this site at the time was that Gillick had no choice but to listen to his medical staff and that there was no way Borowski would make it through the entire year without injury - it is too early to see if those of us who didn't examine him and the Phils doctors who did are right.

As for throwing Gillick under the bus - it is too early for that as well. Until he is able to make the ultimate adjustment that a GM can - hiring a manager, we won't know how successful he has been. I would give his two coaching additions a B+: Lopes(A+) and Williams(C+). Manuel fought to keep Dubee (F) and recommended bringing in Smith (F-). Luckily they both didn't mess with Milt Thompson (B+).

Finally - DavThom get over it - Barajas almost always catches Eaton - this is not rocket science and it is not a conspiracy, they were the battery together last year in Texas and even though they continue to give up runs like they are still in the AL, I can't argue with the logic of letting your second best pitcher in the win column choose his catcher.

I agree with Verdeforce on Barajas. It seems to me that someone on the team (be it Eaton, Manuel or Dubee) believes that Eaton is most comfortable with Barajas behind the plate based on their year together last year.

On Jimmy Williams, though, I disagree with Verdeforce. I believe that Jimmy has helped Charlie this season- I believe the double switches and defensive replacements have been a result of his thinking.

I guess that explains Drabek's less-than-overwhelming performance since he was drafted -- his elbow tendon has probably been fraying since his overuse in high school. The good news is that this seldom ends careers anymore. The bad news is that it sets him back a year or more. He probably won't see CBP until late 2010 or 2011. That should please the posters who want to "build for the future."

Meanwhile, just for sh*ts and giggles, here's what Arbuckle had to say about Drabek yesterday to Scott Lauber of the Wilmington News Journal:

"We're not sure if it's just that he's cautious because he's a young kid who's never had arm problems or if there's anything there," Arbuckle said. "Hopefully it's nothing serious and we can give him some peace of mind."

What an enlightened organization. Here's a blurb on Drabek from today's Asbury Park Press:

"Kyle Drabek, 19, who pitched a simulated game earlier Friday, is lost for the season. He will undergo "Tommy John" surgery."

Good think he pitched that simulated game yesterday. At least now we have some idea of his pain threshold.

MG: I really hope you're wrong about tonight's game because tomorrow's matchup of Durbin vs. Peavy is the worst one of the week.

Thanks phila - I'd be willing to upgrade Jimy to a B-, but I don't think most of the double switches/defensive replacements have been that complex, albeit that could be more the result of the willingness/capacity of the student to learn rather than the teacher's ability to teach....

verdeforce: I disagree that it's too early to say that not signing Borowski was a mistake. The guy led the AL in saves most of the season and is 28 for 31 in save chances. The Phillies pen is 19 for 31. That's a difference of 3 blown saves vs. 12 blown saves. I don't care if Borowski gets hurt tomorrow. It was a bad decision. It's fair to say if Myers had been kept in the rotation with Borowski as closer, this team would have at least 5 or 6 more wins.

Also, I don't think Gillick gets a slide on the personnel moves he's made since he's been here. Blaming the results on the manager is a copout. Gillick's moves (and I'll be glad to list them) speak for themselves.

Dodgers beating the Mets 8-4 on Fox game of the week.

The conditions tonight are ideal for Moyer to finally put together a good game. The Padres are not exactly an offensive juggernaut & Petco Park is a great pitchers park. If Moyer gets hammered again tonight, get used to seeing the same thing for the rest of this season -- not to mention, all of next season.

Wells is exactly the kind of pitcher who gives the Phillies fits, since he's left-handed & throws a lot of junk. But I think there is an "intangble" that works in favor of the Phillies tonight. No one on the Phillies would ever admit it, but surely they must realize that tomorrow's pitching matchup gives them almost no chance to win. Therefore, I think they'll play tonight's game with a sense of urgency, knowing that they have to win to come away with a split. I'll say Phillies win 5-3 with Rollins breaking out of his slump & being the offensive hero.

Holy cow. Quite a week for Scott Olsen. Maybe Brett Myers can set him up with an anger management class.

It's things like your 19-year-old #1 draft pick needing Tommy John surgery that makes you really believe this franchise might be cursed. What's next - they'll find that Joe Savery's got a dogfighting ring?

I think there have been both positive and negative moves by the GM and he has not done as well as I expected of him so I am disappointed in him, but I was impressed with what he was able to pull out in Toronto and Seattle and both took a little bit of time, so I am going to continue to hope that changes. As for Borowski, I agree with clout - I wish we had him for what he's done so far even if he doesn't pitch another inning this year. However, if you remember what really happened: Gillick offered Borowski a two-year deal and the doctors checked him out and said they wouldn't sign off on that, unfortunately, when Gillick then went back to Borowski for a one year deal even after that happened, Borowski was embarrassed and took the same exact deal from Cleveland - that does not show a GM who did not want to have this production on this year's team, it is a GM who believed his doctors that the guy will be worthless next year - we'll see who is right on that front.

Here's hoping MG's streak is over - I'm going to go with a tough 6-4 win and the reappearance in a critical situation by Tom Gordon, who will somehow succeed while giving us all heartburn. See clout - you're not the only Pollyanna....

I don't blame the Phillies for passing on Borowski. If they had signed a guy who ended up getting hurt, most of us would be blasting the Phillies for signing a guy with previous arm trouble. If he stunk up the joint, most would be pointing at his generally unimpressive peripherals and proclaiming that we told them he would be this bad. As it is, his stats are still rather pedestrian save for one item: saves. Isn't that like saying a starting pitcher is good solely because he racks up a lot of wins? Isn't that Joe Morgan logic?

Also, how many of our blown saves result from seventh and eighth inning losses where Borowski wouldn't have been used anyway? Geary, for example, has 3 blown saves to his credit -- it's unlikely Joe B. have been in there in his place.

In any event, it would only take Borowski blowing back to back save opportunities once this year for a large portion of the fans to proclaim he sucked more than a Hoover. And considering Phillies lore, it would come at the most inopportune time, say, like in the middle of a sweep at the hands of the hated Mets.

I wish management had made some moves to repair the bullpen a long time ago, but as it is, I won't crucify them for Borowski slipping away. That he's having the type of year he is (and it's a weak "good" year at that) seems bad luck more than anything else.

fuzzycopper: Actually, no. ERA for relievers is a pretty meaningless stat because 3 bad games -- which is what happened to Borowski -- can mess up your stats for half a season. The guy has had 28 good games and 3 bad games. The job of a reliever is to hold the lead. No other stat matters. Unless you'd rather have a reliever with a pretty 3.50 ERA and 9 blown saves.

The stinkin Dodgers are trying to blow the game vs. the Mets. 8-6 in the 8th

Fuzzy: I'm not really on the Borowski bandwagon either. If your medical people tell you he's a health risk, I think you've got to rely on that. And you're absolutely right: if they'd signed him after he failed a physical, and he'd turned around & gotten injured, we'd be citing him on this website as Exhibit A of Gillick's incompetence.

But, while I may give Gillick a pass on the Borowski decision, he deserves no such pass on his decision to completely neglect the bullpen. The bullpen, after all, was their undoing last year & they knew that Gordon couldn't be counted on to return to health. There were numerous relievers out there who they could have gone after, including guys in Japan.

Besides, the whole Borowski situation only leads me to ask: where were those doctors when we traded for Garcia? I only wish the Phillies were as dilligent with all of their would-be acquisitions as they were with Borowski.

Clout: We already have one, though with not quite so many blown saves. His name is Ryan Madson.

That said, citing 19 blown saves is misleading; fuzzycop is right in that any blown lead by a reliever in the last three innings is counted as a blown save. It's misleading because a 7th-inning guy can accumulate blown saves while recording very few if any actual saves. A better number for comparison is number of saves blown by closers. It's not as high as 19, but it's still not pretty.

Verde & fuzzy: what's left to answer, then, is why Cleveland saw fit to sign Borowski while the Phillies did not. According to Borowski, the medical procedure was insufficient and the situation mishandled. So either the blame is with Gillick/Amaro, or with the team doctor - or there is the third option, which is to stubbornly believe that Cleveland, which not incidentally is a far superior organization, simply got *lucky*.

Bottom line: if Borowski was healthy enough to a) not spend a second on the DL from March onward, and b) healthy enough to perform servicably as a closer for a contending team the *entire season*, then he was absolutely worth whatever risk there was from the Phillies' standpoint. The Phillies were in a position where they needed to take risks. Antonio Alfonseca, after pitching ineffectively and sparingly in 2006, was a BIGGER risk than Borowski. The Phillies BLEW it. They blew it big-time. Don't cover for Gillick with weak-ass rejoinders like, oh, uh, well, saves don't really mean anything, heh. Answer this question: would he or would he not have helped the Phillies *substantially*? Answer the question.

Tough break on Drabek, but you could sense this was coming. Hard-throwing, high-school curveball pitcher who's been out most of the season. Get it done, get it over with. TJ is just a part of a pitcher's development these days. That's the attitude I'll take. There is another reality to this however. Drabek was not high on many draft boards and I didn't particularly care for the choice. He was considered too high risk. Now he's out for a year.

Great. One of the supposed best prospects in the system will be lucky to pitch again by the start of '09.

I know it is difficult to scout exactly how heavily a kid's arm has been used in high school but an injury this soon after being drafted leads to be believe that Drabek was abused by some dumb coaches in high school/Legion ball. The Phils' scouts should be been on top of this more - especially since this was there 1st round pick. Somebody in the scouting dept dropped the ball here.

Weitzel said, "TJ is just a part of a pitcher's development these days." That is an interesting point. There was an article his week in the NY Times on TJ surgery. Here is the link
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/20/sports/baseball/20surgery.html

but the important points in the article are as follows:

1. TJ surgery has come as long way but is only successful about 80-85% of the time and it does not result in increased velocity afterwards (Note: Drabek's recovery is not 100% assured)

2. Surgeons are seeing an increasing number of pitchers at earlier ages getting TJ surgery. Some of this is because of the misconceptions about TJ surgery but I also bet it has to do with kids playing baseball year round with no time off to recover/dumb coaches in high school & Legion just abusing kids arms.

In the Phils' defense, I bet it is nearly impossible to know how many pitches Drabek threw in junior high/high school but it should still be an important part of the overall evaluation. Hell, this wasn't some 15th or 16th round that you aren't investing some substantial money/resources in. Ugh.

MG: Are you suggesting the Phillies failed to conduct due dilligence before drafting Drabek? There's no way I could ever believe that.

I think SirAlden jinxed Drabek when he projected him to be in the Phils' 2009 rotation. Now he'll be likely to start in Lakewood's '09 rotation.

Likely = lucky. D'oh.

Lineups

Helms and Ruiz in starting lineup this evening.

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. J Moyer, P

Padres
1. B Giles, RF
2. M Bradley, LF
3. A Gonzalez, 1B
4. M Cameron, CF
5. J Bard, C
6. K Greene, SS
7. K Kouzmanoff, 3B
8. M Giles, 2B
9. D Wells, P

Helms and Ruiz? So much for riding the hot hands.

Drabek's drop in status before the draft -- the element that left him on the board by the time the Phillies' turn came around -- was his attitude, not worries about overuse. What's notable to me is that Conlin called this about a year ago, soon after the kid signed and had a so-so first few starts in the minors. I mentioned it at the time and everyone pooh-poohed it. The guy might have a surly attitude but he has been watching baseball for a helluva long time.

Savery, you'll notice, is also someone who dropped a lot lower than people would have predicted before the season. Just as you have to draft a bushel of high-ceiling arms to get a few useful ones, not every risky first-round pitching selection is going to work out. A word to the wise there, Sir Alden.

Alby: Excellent post. SirAlden doesn't mind forgoing a few years of being in playoffs as long as you keep your number one picks. The Drabek case is the latest in a lengthy list of reasons why that line of thought is idiocy.

Clout: The Kansas City Royals have had a long line of #1 picks, along with prospects acquired in trades of established players. Looks like they, once again, will have a high first-round pick next year. Ask their fans -- many of them have baseball analyst jobs, because KC is where Bill James lived for a long time -- how much fun that team is to root for.

Also, Clout, I notice nobody has picked up on my comment about the "simulated game" Drabek threw YESTERDAY. This was probably AFTER the MRI was taken that showed the damage. Doesn't that make you feel confident about bringing Myers back soon?

On Drabek...if he really got burned out during Hs/Legion Ball, considering his lineage, don't you think his pops might have pulled one of those coaches aside and said "Hey Buddy, I think your pitching my kid to hard/too much".

Just a thought

Great Gwynn tribute

RSB, you and I usually agree, but I have got to take umbrage with the absurd point you just made: that Cleveland is a far superior organization to the Phillies. I would take our history and our here and now over the pathetic Indians without blinking an eye. The only way they could become superior is if the Phils re-up Charlie Manuel after 3 years which is the point at which the Tribe learned he was no good and let him go.

In the last 15 years each team has been to the World Series once and lost. In their histories, each team has won one Championship, except that the Phillies' was in most of our lifetimes unlike Cleveland's. Recently, the Phillies have not had their fans on a roller coaster from the perspective of winning to horrible losing seasons, in fact the 3 cornerstones of this franchise, Rollins, Utley, and Howard have never had a losing season in the majors. Also, with the exception of Borowski, Philadelphia upgraded every time they got a piece in comparison to Cleveland - would you rather have Jason Michaels or Jim Thome, etc. I'm happy and proud to be a Phillies fan and not a Cleveland fan!

How bout that Ryan Howard???

verdeforce: I was with you until you got to Jason Michaels. Gillick traded J-Mike to the Indians for Arthur Rhodes. I think we know who got the better end of that trade.

MG wrote: "Phils are going to have a tough time scoring runs tonight."

I just don't buy that... the Phils don't have a tough time scoring runs in general... unless you count the top two or three pitchers in the league (of which Wells isn't even close).

A team that leads the league in runs doesn't have a hard time scoring.

Verdeforce - The Indians have definitely been a better run organization over the past 15 years than the Phils. Not only have Hart/Shapiro have accomplished more with less resources but they have done so in a more competitive league.

Ryan Howard - the great equalizer.

MG: I agree... Cleveland has been a better run organization over the last 15 years. It's very hard to argue otherwise.

Moyer used to throw strikes. With his junk, he can't be working from behind...even against a team that can't hit like this one.

Just realized that was another homer off a lefty for Howard. Great to see.

My point was that we let them have guys that we don't need anymore, although in that trade neither team lost anything they wanted anymore, as for Jim Thome, clearly they still wanted him.

Great catch by Rowand!

Verdeforce, please. First of all, there's no team with a worse history than the Phillies; the Indians are above .500 all-time. But beyond that, I'm talking about the organizations as they presently exist. Not only do the Indians have an impressive recent history - they've been in the playoffs six times since 1995, and with two (not one) World Series apperances; even more impressive, they vaulted from 68-94 to 93-96 in just two seasons when their core group of 1995-2001 had dissipated, and presently own one of the best records in baseball. The Indians have set a high standard in the game ever since they came up with a homegrown roster of stars and were the first team to prematurely offer long-term contracts to these young players well before they were eligible for free agency. There is no comparison between the successes and reputations of each franchise, even in the past 25 years.

MG - The Phillies were better at the beginning of the 15 year span and at this end of it, I will concede that the Indians were better in the middle. The Phils have had winning records each of the last 3 years, while the Indians have been losers.

Tough inning for Moyer... lead off walks always hurt, certainly his fault... but the two hits practically rolled through the infield.

Sometimes it's not how hard you hit them, I guess.

Verdeforce...

I'm sorry... it's really not that close. Six playoff appearances to one? How can anyone argue the Phils have been run better?

Sorry - the Indians have had losing records in 5 of the last 6 years and the Phils have had winning records in 5 of the last 6. FYI - The current Phillies are built around homegrown talent - they just need a couple of more pitching pieces and/or better health.

If you all would rather root for the Tribe, might I suggest: www.letsgotribe.com/

Oh and by the way, we have Ryan Howard - rookie of the year and MVP - nice homer #2!

and ryan howard will now be walked for the rest of this series.

he's in form.

Ryan Howard.

What can you say? 12 of his 27 homers now against left handers this year. That one a bomb to the opposite field.

He's a monster.

Oh... and that Aaron Rowand guy is having quite a year, too.

Howard 4, Pods 1.

Yes, the IBB's can't be far away.

Veredeforce...

Whatever, man... I love the core of players the Phils have now... but over the last decade and a half, we have 1 playoff appearance. It's hard to argue a team with the payroll ability of the market this size can only manage one playoff appearance.

We haven't been well run in a long time.

"and the Phils have had winning records in 5 of the last 6. FYI - The current Phillies are built around homegrown talent - they just need a couple of more pitching pieces and/or better health."

Now that is a Dave Montgomery-esque quote.

Make that 2 off a lefty for Howard, CJ - and in back to back at-bats!

This guy's on fire.

(not trying to correct you, CJ - just adding on in my excitement... and I didn't see you had posted again before I did, sorry)

You know we're raking when even Wes Helms goes yard. (Shouldn't this guy be getting regular ABs now... he's clearly better offensively than Dobbs or Nunez).

Looks like the Yankees watched Barajas play behind the plate for the Phillies last night -- See, the following transaction:

New York Yankees
Acquired C Jose Molina from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in exchange for RHP Jeff Kennard.

link: http://www.beerleaguer.com/beerleaguer/2007/07/myers-getting-c.html#comments

strange... no problem... it bears repeating. Howard is back.

Ruiz should not be allowed to swing at the 1st pitch until further notice.

Of course, wrong link posted above -- the coorrect link is:

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/transactions/index.jsp

Ruiz -- 0 for 2 -- and 3 for July -- has seen a total of three pitches tonight -- the guy is obviously pressing, and has temporarily forgotten how to work a count.

Why does Ruiz get the start tonight, anyway? Because Durbin did well with Coste behind the plate earlier this week?

I don't like how Monty has run the team and I will concede that there are teams I would rather have the Phils run like - say the Red Sox or Angels. But my issue is the preference for the Indians. I guess it depends on what your goals are - the Indians did have a pretty high payroll right after they got a new stadium and they made it to the playoffs repeatedly, but each year their fans knew they weren't getting past the Yankees, except in '95 when they did win one league pennant - the Phillies have won 3 in the last 27 completed seasons - I'd rather make it to the World Series and be at least competitive than make it to the playoffs each year knowing that my team is going to be down 0-2 when they get that one home playoff game.

My prediction for a 6-4 Phils win is on track - Helms got us to 6 and now we need to hold on.

boy is Tony Gywnn a classy guy!

curt: It's clear Ruiz is pressing at the plate. Thankfully, our offense is good enough that we can afford to give him some time to work through it. If it ends up that he can't, well, at least we'll know.

Ryan Howard! A second gone yard ball! Helms even hits a homer.

Well, I'm back from Florida and the family vacation. The best story was our day at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon. We had been back at our chairs reapplying sunscreen. Then we left to go on a tube ride. While my daughters were up ahead, my wife asks me, "Did you see that woman back at the chair area changing into her bathing suit?" I said that I had not. My wife continued with, "She had her whole top off. You could see everything!" The highlight of my trip and I didn't see it!

Let's hope Moyer doesn't get exposed this inning. He's got a five run lead.

Moyer's going to be lucky to get 5 in. He may get the win, but he's certainly not back.

Verdeforce - you simply aren't paying attention if you think the Phillies have a better organization than the Cleveland Indians. And you seem to have forgotten what happened in 1997, as well.

Verdeforce... wait a sec... one playoff appearance from 1984-2007 is okay for you because we happened to get to the WS that one year? You have awfully low standards, I guess.

He'll be back - Manuel and Dubee are still in charge.

Pads announcer just pointed out the Phils have zero men left on base at this point in the game.

Ruiz's start tonight -- while Coste is kept on the bench -- is particularly incomprehensible conisidering the fact that it is well-established that, "catcher Carlos Ruiz . . . is playing on a sore right knee."

link: http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/20070717_Old-fashioned_whipping_for_Moyer.html

CJ - You can adjust numbers to try and make your point, but in the 27 years I was referring to the Phillies have won 3 pennants - once every 9 years, by the way we are due - Gillick get to work!

The Phils clearly got the better of this octagenarian fight - adios Wells - glad you met Mr. Howard! 5 RBIs!

All I know is I'd give anything for a fifth starter and a couple of relievers right now. This team could do anything with an adequate pitching staff.

Here, here Tray.

Verdeforce:

That's fine... the Phils had two playoff appearances in four years between 1980 and 1983 when they were a well-run organization... and they've had one playoff appearance since as they've been a poorly run organization.

The remarkable thing about this offense is that everything MG cited when he predicted we'd have trouble scoring tonight is true. This might not have been a favorable scoring situation... and yet the Phils are crushing tonight.

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