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Friday, July 13, 2007

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"They may fall short of able bodies, but you can’t deny the Phils haven’t played hard."

Is this an intentianal double negative? They have certainly been undermanned, but I don't think that have lacked in effort (on the field anyway).

Maybe opinions differ in this area.

So appropriate to put Scott Rolen's picture up there on this occasion. He is the poster boy for everything that is and has been wrong with this franchise. Boos for him this weekend are sweet music of affirmation to Phillies' management.

I should clarify that what's 'wrong' was never Rolen himself, of course, but the fact that he's in a St. Louis uniform! And then they tried to deflect the firestorm by signing Jim Thome with the money they would have used for Rolen. Nice thought, but Thome was no Rolen. Although he did smile more, which is what was really important.

Didn't Rolen's money go to Abreu (who should've gotten his OWN $)?

That should read "have played hard." Sorry about that.

My apologize for the mistakes lately. I've really been scrambling. My schedule should clear shortly.

I like the Phils tonight only because they are facing Kip Wells. As my mother always told me, "If you don't have something nice to say about somebody, then don't say anything at." That describes Kip Wells.

If Wells somehow manages to go 6+ innings tonight, the Phils will be in trouble since the Cards bullpen has actually been half-decent of late and Isringhausen has been lights out the past month.

My secret hope for this series - Ryan Franklin busts out his "Oh Well" face when he gives us a long bomb this series. It would be poetic justice.

Kip Wells has actually been good against us in his career, including his start against us earlier this year, where he gave up 1 run in five innings

@Oneil... Abreu's signing was the Next Day after Rolen turned down his deal?? or within a few days. I think they were going to give Abreu a deal that size anyway. (Maybe not as big?) But the general consensus was that we wouldn't have signed Thome had we signed Rolen.

Hey Guys, Kip Wells is a Phillies Killer. Since 2003, his stats:
IP: 33 2/3
ER: 2
HR Allowed: ZERO
ERA: 0.53
Wins - Losses: 4-0

Looking like 10,000 is tonight.

@Mike Cunningham: Abreu was signed to his multi-year deal in Spring Training of '02.

Didn't realize that Wells numbers were that good against the Phils since '03. Ouch. Still, it will be a warm night at CBP and Wells has been horrid on the road.

Fascinated by the announcement of Rickey Henderson as the Mets' Hitting Coach. Post-Game interviews should be interesting if Rickey keeps referring to himself in the third-person.

"Rickey has been working with Carlos and giving him tips that Rickey use to use when Rickey was slumping."

Too bad we couldn't replace Dubee or Smith over the break.

Just think, we could lose game 10,000 on a Friday the 13th. That sounds about right to me. I'd have to laugh if Rolen went yard off of Mesa for the victory, with Percival ending up with the win, after pitching yet another scoreless inning of relief.

I also have high hopes for Helms in the second half. I'm not saying he'll give us a Ryan Howard-like show... but I don't think a dozen home runs are out of the question. He was certainly finding a little bit of his swing right before the break. There's no way he should be as bad offensively for us as he's been.

You know CJ that if Helms starts at third we will not get to see Nunez there much. Then we definitely will not have that much to chat about. Hes been the number 1 topic I believe this year.

Well... we'll still get to see Nunez late in the games we're winning... only to have the other team tie the score on our bullpen and Nunez coming to the plate with a runner on second and two outs in the 11th.

Then we can bitch about his weak grounder to second.

Nuni was bitched about more last year. He hasn't stunk it up as much this year, however the season is far from over.

Slocum, thanks for the positive thoughts.

It is entirely fitting that the 10,000th loss should occur under this ownersh*t group.

It is sad, however, because, while losing 10,000 games is inevitable for every baseball team that continues to operate, under competent stewardship, this milestone SHOULD be a few years away.

What really frosts me is Dave "The Puppet" Montgomery having the temerity and gall to trumpet that the Phillies are one of only five teams that have had winning seasons in 5 of the last 6 years:

OK, Bill, Dave, Claire and you other faceless cowards, lets look at your COMPLETE track record of operating a baseball franchise in the 5TH LARGEST MARKET:

Since you bought the team in 1982 (25 completed seasons), the teams record is 1985 - 2085, TWO-HUNDRED games under .500, for a winning percentage of .488.

You have lost 90+ games SIX times.

You have had losing seasons in FIFTEEN of those 25 years (60%).

You have had streaks of losing SEASONS of SIX and SEVEN years.

You have made the playoffs only twice, and the first time was with an inherited team YOU HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH BUILDING.

You had a streak where you had exactly one, ONE winning season in 14 years.

If we subtract the first five seasons you owned the team, the last years of the great teams the PREVIOUS owners had built, you have had only 6 winning seasons in the last 20.

That's a 30% success ratio.

This is not a track record that inspires confidence, and if you weren't fortunate enough to own the team you would have been dismissed long ago.

What reason do we have to believe that the last 6 years you brag about aren't an abberation? Maybe you're just riding a streak of luck, and will revert to form in a couple of years. The team's record is trending that way.

Because you haven't taken the steps necessary every year (offseason and at the trading deadline) to put this team over the top, it dangles on the precipice of a losing season yet again.

Do you really want to count on Flash Gordon coming back? Jose Mesa? Barajas? Freddy Garcia?

You are very smart marketers, but unless you start making the playoffs, ordinary fans are going to start seeing through your scheme, and your revenue will suffer as your attendance drops. You were forced to fire Ed Wade because your season ticket holders revolted. Do you really think that can't happen again?

People can only be fooled by the hype for so long. It will catch up with you when they realize you are full of hype and something else.

Fans of other the teams you mentioned don't despise the owners the way you are despised. That's because they know the owners of those teams really care about winning. There is nothing in your track record that indicates you do.

When you fail all we hear is, "That's baseball".

Get a clue - you and your people stink at running a baseball operation. The day you wake up, realize it, and take steps to rectify it, we'll all be better off.

Monty's line, "We are only one of only five teams that have had winning seasons in 5 of the last 6 years" is an instant classic.

It reminds me so much of Dan Duquette's classic line while he was the GM in Boston and asked to comment about a very disappointing 2001 season:

"We spent more days in first place than any year since '95."

Well, Duquette got quickly mothballed after making that comment by the new Sox ownership. We can only hope that Monty somehow is displaced by new ownership too.

I'm no defender of ownership, I find them at the very least incompetent... but I'd like to make a few points..
1. It's pretty cynical to make the point that it was a bad baseball decision to go out and do what it took to sign the #1 free agent on the market, a guy who hits between 40 and 50 homers every year and has continued to do so(except for one year of injury). Was his marketability a factor in the decision? Of course. As it should be. Just like it was in Ichiro's recent contract. But it's never a BAD baseball decision to add that kind of force in the middle of your lineup.
2. Montgomery is an idiot for making his NBA playoff comparison or his 5 of 6 years line. You need to take responsibility for failure. That said, in like 4 of the last 5 years, we've gone into seasons with many "experts" predicting us to do well, this year being one of them. Has it worked out? No, we've always fallen short. And negligence (like not doing homework on Garcia) could be the main reason. But we've had teams that a lot of people have expected to be in the playoffs, so it's not like there hasn't been a reasonable attempt to put together a solid roster.
3. All that said, they could be pretty cheap in other areas (ie scouting). And they could be a-hole liars (I don't know, I've only recently paid attention to anything to do with ownership), but I think we've had a reasonable payroll to date. However, with the attendance we're getting this year and the revenue of baseball overall, it BETTER go up next year, or there needs to be a real good explanation why.

p.s. if anyone disagrees with this, please argue with my points. I could be wrong or misguided, but don't resort to calling me a pawn of the ownership or a gillick toadie.

Brian - spending so much money on a one-dimensional slugger exiting his prime in lieu of spending on pitching is ultimately a questionable strategy. No, it wasn't a *bad* decision. But the point is, it was a decision made more for business purposes than baseball purposes - and *that's* what's pretty cynical.

Pretty good start to this one...

Reading over what I've written about Thome, it would seem to follow that I would not advocate the Phillies offering a long-term deal to Ryan Howard, even though I was clamoring for it all winter. And I hate to say it, but I wouldn't (though I'm sure they will).

This isn't to say Howard isn't valuable; he's one of the premier power threats in the game, as was Thome, and he drives in a ton of runs. If he hits 58 homers and .313, that's one thing. But that looks to me like a Dwight Gooden 1985 season; even as it was happening, people were aware it would never happen again. I like Ryan Howard and don't want to see him leave. But is Howard valuable *enough* to commandeer the portion of payroll, and for as many years as it'll take to retain him? Ultimately he's a one-dimensional player. I wonder if people here will agree or not.

Meanwhile, so much for Kip Wells' mastery of the Phillies...

Smash 'em Phils!

12 pitches in one AB - that's 6 more than Ruiz usually sees in a game.

AWM you are a God.

Phillies party like it's 9999! Wouldn't this be an awesome time to reel off a 12-game winning streak (hey, they're working on No. 2 already) when the whole world is watching.

Meanwhile, are the Cardinals the worst defending world champions in baseball history (actually, no, because as I was typing that I suddently remembered the 1998 Marlins. But still...

RSB: I wouldn't say "exiting his prime".. if that's the case, it's been a hell of an exit.
And one dimensional in baseball isn't the same as one dimensional in a sport like basketball. If it's baseball, and that dimension is as good as Thome's hitting, then it's gonna cost you some bucks bc it's pretty darn valuable. He was a beast the last two months of 2003 and carried us on his back during that stretch. Not sure what pitching upgrades were on the market the winter before that, but our pitching overall was at least decent that year.
As for Howard, you can imagine I also disagree with his being one dimensional making him not worth paying. At the same time though, we have no reason to lock him up long term for at least another 2 years after this one(since we own him another 4), and I think it'd be foolish to do so any earlier.

It's 6-0 as I type this. If the Phillies score about 4 more runs, I think the bullpen can be trusted to hold the lead.

RSB - "One dimensional?" Come'on. Maybe in the fact that he is only one of the best 10 hitters in baseball. When all is said and done I bet Howard's year will look something like this:

.280 40-45 HRs, 130-140 RBIs and an OBP near .390 or .400.

I care could less about the strikeouts. The only negative point to Howard's offensive numbers is that he has struggled with LHP all year.

Brian, agreed that it may be simplifying a player's worth to call him 'one-dimensional' if the dimension is superior. However, note that the Phillies have never had a shortage of power through all these years, but the thread running through this drought has been pitching. If the Phillies ever see fit to pursue a free-agent pitcher, they'll likely have to overpay thanks to their ballpark. Locking up yet another lumbering slugger who doesn't keep himself in the best of shape is something which will likely prevent such a pursuit from even being considered.

I know one thing: I've made my last argument that the Phillies "have to" appease Howard and prematurely reward him with a big contract. At the very least, I think it's smarter to wait and see how his next couple of years go.

Side note: What entertainment it is to observe the neverending riddle of Tony LaRussa and his glasses. He wears dark glasses during night games - yet when he leaves the dugout to go to the mound, he removes them. What gives?

I don't understand why LaRussa is worshipped, especially after his offseason issue.

On Howard.. I wouldn't mind them locking him up long term if he took something below market for the security of it. Maybe something like 6 years 50mil(u know, like Burrell's contract.. haha). And while he may not be in GREAT shape he is also just naturally a big guy, and I've read he takes working on his hitting very seriously. Oh.. and when he's going well he IS the MVP.

MG: I'm glad you could care less about the strikeouts. That's 180-200 ABs per season which are completely useless to the team. Howard's negative offensive traits do balance his positives to some degree - and then there's the fact that he can't run, throw, or field a lick.

I'm not here to knock Howard. I'm just saying, when it comes down to large contracts, do they need a Ryan Howard, or do they need maneuverability to issue more than one contract to more than one pitcher down the road? Utley is one thing. He can beat you in any number of ways. But Howard's big power numbers belie his many flaws, and I don't think he's valuable *enough* to hamstring the Phillies for a number of seasons the way they've been hamstrung by guys like Thome and Burrell.

So at what point do we start calling Kendrick "Hamels Jr." or "Clark Kent".. any ideas? I didn't try very hard on those nicknames. Anyway, I like the kid's poise and pitching IQ.

RSB: I'm actually inclined to agree with you on Howard. To be sure, he is a tremendous offensive force but he plays the easiest defensive position to fill & he is not without some serious flaws. Plus, with his less-than-ideal bat speeed, I have always feared he might have a short prime.

I also agree with Brian: if Howard would agree to take less than market price, I'd be prepared to give him a long-term contract. And he very well might because, if he doesn't, he's going to have to wait about 3 more years to get his big money. If he's not willing to meet the Phillies half-way, I don't see any hurry to lock him up to the kind of mega-contract that he wants. Better to wait it out & see what kind of numbers he puts up over the next couple of years. This will also give us a chance to see what we have with guys like Carrasco & Outman. If they look like long-term keepers, maybe you throw big money at Howard. If they struggle, then pitching might have to take priority over doling out big money to Ryan Howard.

Oh hey. Ruben Amaro's on the air (his voice is huskier than Harry Kalas). With an update on Gordon and Myers! Here's a surpise: they're faring well! They'll be activated soon!

I don't think Howard, with the attention he's given to selecting agents, is going to be interested in settling for below market value.

7-1 Reds - Top of the 5th Maines is getting lit up.

Glad to see everyone is recognizing that Pat Gillick's philosphy of being careful and not wasting money so that when a HUGE great pitcher becomes available there will be money for the signing. Gillick single-handedly got us out of the finacial straight jacket Wade/Monty got us in. We were headed off a cliff.

I would hope the bullpen can hold it tonight.

If the bullpen doesn't hold it tonight, the Philadelphia PD better dispatch the SWAT team to Broad and Pattison...

Alden: Who exactly is recognizing this? How exactly are the Phillies not still in a financial strait-jacket? How exactly are Freddy Garcia, Adam Eaton and Rod Barajas not wastes of money? Are you not aware that Gillick's "philosophy" is to not give long-term contracts to pitchers?

Loving the way these young pitchers hit the ball.

Dobbs is starting to look like a 3B.

Dobbs was very shaky at first early on....def. getting better down there

i mean at first(early in the season) down at third base

Amaro - what a joke. Oh Manuel's great, everything is fine. Impossible to get pitching, Gordon and Myers will be back soon. C'mon! I'll bet both Atlanta and the Mets get competent pitching by the deadline. Word is that Atlanta will get Weathers and maybe a slugger, Texiera. While the Mets are trying like every for Oswalt or some other premier pitcher.

We better hope Carrasco is reading for the big time. Pitched well again in Reading - 5 innings, 1 run, no decision.

Really sick of getting guys wiped out at home day after day.

Utley shouldn't be going there anyway, with an 8-run lead. His slide was almost apologetic.

No, he shouldn't have been going, but our stellar third base coach was sending him. Steve Smith, a true man of genius.

Has anyone seen a stat confirming that we lead the world in guys snuffed at home?

Don't Start RSB, go read.

http://mlbcontracts.blogspot.com/2005/01/philadelphia-phillies_18.html

Count add and subtract where we will be in Commited contracts this winter and the winter of 2008 when Thome and Burrell come off the books.

The franchise with Thome's, Abreu's, and Burrell's contracts was in a straight jacket. Gillick has removed 2 of these contracts and if Burrell had wavied his no trade clause and gone to Baltimore (a no trade clause that Wade/Montgomery gave him), Gillick would be batting 1.000 not .667.

Gillick after getting flexibility has not signed one long term wasteful contract.

You mention his philosophy of not signing 10 year type pitching contracts and that is sound as well.

And if so, why isn't it grounds for firing --what exactly is it that you want your 3B coach to do?

Kip Wells is probably available cheap right now.

I don't know that anyone here's been an advocate for Mr. Smith, Curt.

Alden - you will not be taken seriously until you're willing to ALSO acknowledge the great many things that your hero Gillick has not done very effectively in his term here. Your analysis of Gillick is disingenuously selective.

I'm not even necessarily ready to go praising Gillick for jettisoning Abreu's contract - it's hard for me to believe that he could not have gotten more for Abreu in the '05-'06 off-season. I wasn't about to complain when Abreu mercifully left town, but this was a situation that does not appear to have been played very well by Gillick.

Brian G: "But it's never a BAD baseball decision to add that kind of force in the middle of your lineup."
Well, it's a bad decision when it doesn't work out, no? By your definition adding Danny Tartabull was a good baseball decision. And using your logic with pitching, signing Freddy Garcia was also a good decision.

Anyone notice Franzke doing radio PBP in the 6th? Did the Phils cut LA to only one inning of PBP over the break?

SirAlden believes that baseball success should not be measured by wins and losses. It should be measured by dollars and contracts.

Kind of hard to feel badly for Burrell when he does crap like that.

With an 8 run lead, I'm trying to think of 1 reason why PtBB is still in LF.

dc fan - Mr. Smith is just more evidence how unserious the Phillies are. The Dodgers replaced Eddie Murray, and we don't even address an obvious, and easily fixed, weakness.

SirAlden: By the way I meant to correct this in the last thread. Outman was drafted in 2005. You said that was under Gillick. Gillick did not join the Phillies until November 2005. The draft was in June. Wade was GM.

Burrell is 7 for his last 16 ABs with 3 HRs, 4 walks, 4 Ks, 5 RBI, 8 runs scored. not that anyone here would notice.

Wow. Utley's outdoing himself here.

RSB: Utley will be an MVP in this league someday and maybe sooner than we think.

Mm, sorry clout, that .216 average is a bit more noticeable...

Thought I'd be perfectly happy to notice if he keeps up that pace for more than a week at a time.

(Though, not thought)

is it safe enough for mesa time yet?

RSB: That .216 was .205 not long ago.

By golly, I'm ready to give Anderson Garcia a 2nd chance.

nope, in fact, we need to use a guy that's been almost effective for us to protect this tiny lead.

curt: If ever there was a time, this is that time.

good thing we didn't put in mesa or garcia! that would have been a record-breaking 9-run HR.

Yes, bc Danny Tartabull is the same as Jim Thome. C'mon. And Thome didn't work out? Maybe in the sense that we didn't make the playoffs(but that logic makes every Phillies move for the last 13 years a bad move), but his contract has now gone 4 and 1/2 years and he's only had one bad year, which was due to injury(and that can be expected over 6 years). Other than Howard being available, Thome was exactly what we expected and has produced exactly to the level he's being paid for.
Freddy Garcia would've been good if we checked his health and it was ok.

All that said, stop taking my quickly put together and not perfectly worded post and taking the literal meaning of it when everyone else here knew exactly what I meant... that adding an MVP caliber player is not a waste of money.

Overmanage much, Cholly?

I get more impressed with Kendrick every time out. He does need to work on lefties a bit, though. 5 of the 6 hits off him tonight were by lefties and he had a .928 OPS against them coming into the game. But he kills righties.

I think Manuel was making a point there with Romero. He seemed pretty pissed that Romero walked Duncan.

It's an embarrassment that Jose is still in the uni.

@clout: you're absolutely right, i was thinking the same thing. also, i'm really impressed by all the ground balls he gets (and the corresponding DPs). what a concept!

Brian G: That was what the whole discussion was about. ae, Alby, O'Neil and myself agreed that signing Thome was a smart business decision (for reasons cited in the earlier post) but not so hot as a BASEBALL decision, in that you tied up $85M for 6 years, got only 2 good years out of him and then traded him for 50-cents on the dollar. Was the IDEA behind signing him good? Yes. Did it work out? No! Not for the Phillies. Worked out great for the White Sox, though, and if that's what you meant to say, I agree.

Tell you one thing I'm conviced of: Kendrick is a good sight better than Lieber. Talk about a blessing in disguise.

Measured by setting up the future with sound long term baseball decisions. Kevin Millwood and Vincent Padilla - 93.75 Million Dollars of Contracts. Lets sign them. LOL

Gillick tried to sign flyers like Gonzalez who failed, but they are one in ten chances, do you guys like the signing of Gregg Dobbs?.

So far I see that things people hate that Gillick has had control of, his signing of marginal guys for the bench, Chris Coste vs. Micheal Bourne or Werth on the roster,
and hating the signing of Barajas (thinking the money was not spent on relievers which is false - there is a ton of money available Gillick was not willing to lose draft picks and Ruiz had had shoulder issues last August).

These are very minor things...

Oh people think we should have gotten more for Abreu, and every expert knows that noone was willing to offer anything - they don't in salary dumps of over 30 million dollars.

Oh Garcia should have had an MRI when the articles clearly show that what was seen in his MRI in June shows notmal wear that would not have stopped the trade.

And if you go look at the mid season records of free-agent relievers you will see how there was not a one reliever who wanted to sign here who has been pitching well.

Going out on a limb here: Cards won't repeat.

SirAlden: What about all the relievers who WEREN'T free agents? The ones acquired in trades? The ones signed on waivers? They don't count? Naw, Gillick couldn't have done a thing to help the bullpen, you're right.

And the Phillies are first in the league in smart contracts and that's all that counts. Wins and losses don't mean a thing. You're right SirAlden, I just don't know why the rest of us can't see it your way.

Memo to SirAlden: a great number of free agents - particularly relief pitchers! - do not require teams to lose compensatory draft picks. You think the bullpen this season has been a 'minor thing'?

so why do we carry 12 pitchers again? has there ever been a better situation for the use of the 12th pitcher than this?

Rollins 56 RBIs is unreal.
Rowand, with his nice season is only at 45.

I just don't think that at the time it was as one sided in the business direction as some others.
And I think the only reason it looks bad in hindsight is that an MVP just happened to emerge out of nowhere at his position.

Using 3 relievers in a game you're winning by 10 runs after the 7th is ridiculous. I know it's the game after the All Star break, but still. There's always a chance Eaton could get shelled tomorrow and you might actually NEED relievers. Just let Mesa pitch the two innings tonight and get it over with (not that Mesa should be pitching in the majors but if so, this is the ideal situation for him). In the grand scheme this probably won't effect anything but it's just another example of poor decision making.

bathtubhippo, that's the best question of the night. Marlon Anderson rots in waiver-wire limbo while Anderson Garcia is chained to the bullpen phone.

We have about six 12th pitchers. Durbin's performance here is as bad as it gets.

....just as chris coste has trotted around the eastern and intl leagues all season while was chained to the same phone....

that said while [insert 12th pitcher scrub here]

(didn't like my arrow brackets)

Jesus. Just sign Victor Zambrano. At least he's won a few games in the majors.

And to think that Durbin is in line to start one next week.

Waiver-boy making it look easy. Can't wait for him to start Tuesday's game. Charlie likes his composure. Mesa, Romero, Durbin, Anerson "I can only throw one pitch" Garcia. What a joke. Oh my god, he ws warming up Alfonseca. Better make sure he is warn down in case we need him in a close game.

Alden, you never, ever get it, do you? Where is it written that he had to dump all of Abreu's salary? You might be right, maybe ownership dictated that move -- but you have no proof of that. So until I know otherwise, I have to judge it as a baseball move -- and as a baseball move it sucked. Clout keeps pointing out to you that keeping Abreu and Lidle might have brought enough wins to get them into the playoffs. I'll give you a second scenario -- trading Lidle alone might have gotten them a player they could use down the road. Lidle was used as a sweetener to dump Abreu's salary, meaning they had to trade both players just to unload the future obligations.

As Clout has noted repeatedly, most of the moves you cite in support of Gillick are things he DIDN'T do. Make a list of his positive moves and his negative moves. If you include what you term "minor" moves, there are more negatives than positives. If you list only major moves, the positive list is pretty damn short.

I cannot believe that the Phillies organization plans to go with Durbin as the #5 starter the rest of the season. As good as the offense is and with the potential to be in the division race to sabotage it by failing to go out and get a 5th starter would be a monumental disgrace.

Why in the world wouldn't you pitch Anderson Garcia in a game like this? If ever there was a time, this was it. If you won't even use him in a blowout, then why in the world is he on the team? We're playing with 24 men.

Essay question: Didn't Durbin just pitch himself off the team with that disgraceful 9th inning? If not, why not?

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