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Thursday, July 12, 2007


PtBB has 236 games left in a Phillie uni. It's not like there's any talent in the system pushing him, even if the Phillies were inclined to eat that contract. FA money this winter will have to be spent on pitching.

Excellent post, Jason. I, too, do not know where this "give Manuel credit for holding the team together" lovefest began (although it seems it was Gillick's doing). I can't believe 1.) that he is still managing this team and 2.) that he has been given credit for their terrible (in my opinion) first half. Even with the injuuries (which all teams experience!), this team should be better than .500. There are no excuses for half of the things Manuel does. His moves are inexplicable and cost the Phillies more wins than he earns. I know I'm stating nothing new, but Cholly baffles me in every way possible.

The second half has to be better...right? If not, I'm an Angels fan in September. Who am I kidding, I love to hate this team.

Good post. There is no defense that can be made on Cholly's behalf, yet that doesn't stop people from trying. "He keeps the clubhouse loose," they say -- as if having a loose clubhouse some kind of end unto itself. I would think the benefit of a loose clubhouse would be that it enables the team to excel in pressure situations or high-profile games --yet these are precisely the situations where this team is at its worst.

Another defense: "Cholly isn't responsible for the terrible bullpen." No, but he's responsible for consistently mismanaging the bullpen, by overusing Myers, leaving ineffective relievers in too long, and pulling effective starters out too soon.

Then there's, "He led the team back to the .500 mark despite all the injuries." Actually, the only reason they had to fight their way back to attain the extraordinary achievement of a .500 record was because they, yet again, fell 7 games under .500 right out of the gate -- and that was before any injuries. But, to Cholly's defenders, this poor start was only because "Cholly wasn't the one striking out with runners in scoring position."

When the team plays badly, Cholly's defenders blame the players. When they do something positive, it's because of Cholly's great leadership. Sadly, Gillick himself seems to buy into this line of thinking -- or at least he pretends to buy into it, for the sake of mollifying ownership.

One of Gillick's overlooked good moves was getting something in return for the much-diminished shell of Jim Thome. While there was reason to think Thome's bat would return to something like his former level, his arm made playing the field problematic, and he has rarely done so even in interleague games since his trade to the Chisox. So he had to trade him to an American League team, steeply weakening his position. Yet he still managed to get Rowand (we needed a CF at the time, after Marlon Byrd washed out) and two minor-league pitchers while picking up half the remaining salary on Thome's contract.

So maybe there's some reason for hope on the Burrell front. The diminished playing time might make Pat more amenable to waiving his no-trade, for money and the right destination. And getting even a bit of that money off the books for next season would give us more flexibility to remake the bullpen and starting staff. I'd put the odds of this below 50-50, but there's some chance. Other than that, I'm not sure what options there are for remolding this team into a true contender.

Cholly is gone. Since there's really no way to remake the team next year, they'll remake the coaching staff.

I just traded Pat the Bat and Lieber for Alex Rios in MLB 2k7, think Gillick can swing that?

kidding of course...

Thanks, Billingsley, for reminding me of another line of defense: "He holds the team together."

What exactly is the assumption behind this statement? That, if some other manager were running the ship, the guys on the team would be tearing at each other's throats? That guys like Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, & Aaron Rowand would not be having the seaons they are having? That everyone on the team would have just gone into the tank because a few non-performing players got injured?

I've heard lots of people extol Cholly's talent for "holding the team together," but I've never once heard a definition of the phrase "holding the team together." I can point to numerous managerial moves over the course of the year which, very arguably, cost the Phillies a shot at winning a game. But, exactly which games did the team win this year because of the way that Cholly "held the team together?"

Great Post - I agree on Rowand, Agree on Manuel's Moves, I believe you must give him credit in his final year for keeping things from totally melting down.

He will not be resigned; the ownership group, will again cast off another battered shield to their years of incompetance: with people looking to Bowa, then Wade (who was doing their bidding), and this fall to Manuel and Dubee, as what is wrong, while they remain in the shadows as 3 million fans fill their coffers. The team's Payroll should be in tne 105-110 million dollar range, if Gillick can find something worth signing, as oppposed to just creating a new albatros contract - see Barry al.

Why would Manuel have to confront Garcia in the runway - where is Rich Dubee? Hopefully Dubee's son who was drafted late last year will be a throw in body in a trade out of the organization.

Burrell's current OPS is .786. While we'd all like to see him do better, production at that level still isn't that easy to find. A platoon of Bourn and Werth certainly wouldn't do it. Plus, I'd give Burrell much better odds of doing better in the second half than worse.

I'm far from having any actual knowledge of how other teams view Burrell, but the impression I get is that most teams seem to be pretty down on him. I can't help but think that this is at least partially related to the Phillies being so down on him.

I'm not against trading Burrell if the Phillies can get at least something in return. If we just unload him, however, it's not as if the Phillies have an adequate replacement on tap. Production at his level, no matter how disappointing it may be compared to expectations, still doesn't grow on trees.

For every 50 Bowa posts 4 years ago or 50 Manuel posts this year, their is 1 anti-ownership post calling them to task.

This year's 30th round draft pick LHP Jacob Diekman was just signed for 7th round money. This kind of move is so rare with this ownership group it was like a blue moon. The ownership hired Manuel.

Alby, I agree that the Thome trade was a good move. It needed to be done, in order to get Howard on the field & they got something of value in return while shedding most of Thome's salary. But I wouldn't charaterize the trade as an "overlooked good move." I think the general consensus is that the Thome trade was the high water mark of the Gillick era. And that's pretty sad when you think about it: the single best move of the Pat Gillick era was a trade where the Phillies gave away more talent than they got in return & got saddled with paying $17M over the next 2 seasons.

Sir Alden: Define what you mean by "totally melting down." The level of angst in the Phillies' clubhouse could not have been any greater than it was when Larry Bowa was managing. Yet, in 3 of his 4 seasons, the Phillies managed to win 85 or 86 games -- the same number they won last year & only 2 fewer than they won in 2005. Does this mean that Bowa also kept the team from "totally melting down?"

The Phillies have won 85 to 88 games in 5 of the last 6 seasons. That they did it with 2 managers with exactly opposite temperaments is absolute proof that it is not Cholly's sunny disposition which is keeping the team from melting down; it is that the talent on the team, while flawed, is simply too good for a meltdown type of season.

We are more than halfway through the 2007 season & the team is on pace to finish well below where they have finished in 5 of the last 6 years. How is that keeping the team from totally melting down?

Let me try to do the impossible, according to some posters, and defend Manuel.

Bay Area Phan: The defense that Manuel has kept the team together may not sound like a lot, but it’s not for nothing. The manager’s number one job, in my mind, is to play amateur psychologist and get his team ready to play hard. To that end, there have been some major obstacles this year. The 4-11 start (which I’m not convinced was entirely causal), the piecemeal bullpen (especially since Myers’s injury), and the loss of 2 starting pitchers for the year could have been devastating blows. Obviously, Manuel doesn’t get as much credit as the players for keeping the team afloat, but then what manager is more important than his players? I can think of several managers, some of whom are much more highly regarded than Manuel, who likely would have blamed ownership, the GM, or questioned his players’ motivation, effectively losing the team and blowing the season in the process. Manuel hasn’t done that; the team is obviously still respects him and is playing hard.

I also see some problems in the argument against Manuel.

1. Tactics. I think demanding that Manuel “wins games” for the Phillies is just an unrealistic standard. Mangers just don’t have this type of influence on the game, especially once it begins. Manuel’s done a good job of riding the hot hand this year, especially in LF with Dobbs and Bourn. The same holds true, to a lesser extent, at 3B. He pulled the plug on Helms during his dreadful start, giving time to first Nunez and then Dobbs, and now, as Helms is getting hotter, is giving him more time. I have some problems with his bullpen management, for sure, but even here there are two mitigating factors. First, since May 23, he’s really had almost nothing to work with. When your bullpen consists of Sanches, Durbin, Anderson Garcia, and Mesa in your bullpen *at the same time* is just not a winning strategy. Second, are Manuel’s tactics really that much worse than the average managers? Managers routinely lose games without firing their best bullet and they refuse to use their closer creatively. For example, consider La Russa’s refusal to use one of the top two or three players in all of baseball with the game on the line on Tuesday. It’s eminently frustrating and sometimes mind-boggling (sometimes there’s a reason for the strange moves, like last Friday when Madson was unavailable). Manuel isn’t General Eisenhower out there, but I don’t this he’s much worse than league average.

2. Injuries. This is an interesting point and not one that usually comes to my mind when I think of arguments against Manuel. Manuel deserves blame on Myers’s injury to the extent that moving Myers to the pen was his decision. There’s a lot that’s unknown about the way pitchers recover and a different usage pattern, not overuse, was probably the culprit.>In the week prior to Myers’s injury, he pitched 4 innings and threw 88 pitches. Certainly not more than he’d have thrown as a starter and very comparable to what a guy like>Papelbon does regularly. I think there’s almost nothing he could have done to help Gordon miss time. His shoulder’s been hurting since this time last year and it recurred during spring training, after a robust off season strengthening plan. This was just an inevitable injury and a function of the signing. The surprise isn’t that Gordon got hurt—but that Gillick didn’t assemble the team with the recognition that Gordon was very likely to get hurt. Garcia’s case is more difficult since we don’t know to what extent the injury was new. But his is a very serious injury and the result of long-term ware, not short-term misuse. In terms of prevention, I think there’s next to nothing Manuel could have done. And it’s not as if Manuel was whistling past the graveyard on this. Garcia was telling him he was ok. In terms of skipping a guy’s rotation spot, well, you can’t really do that if he insists everything’s fine.

Look, I’m under no allusions that Manuel is a *great* manager. And I’m not a distant relative, either; I happen to think Leyland probably would have been a better choice. He’s a better strategist and his players seem to respond to him. So if the right guy comes along, the Phillies would be wise to pounce this offseason. But Manuel isn’t the main problem, not by a longshot, and the team could do a lot worse.

No what it means is that if Bowa was managing the record would have been worse than 44-44 the first half.

I loved Bowa, but if he or Lou Pinella were managing and watching these clown pitching (after 4 Major Injuries to the pitching staff)the assumption is that the offense would not have remained as loose as they have been, and lead the league in runs scored.

Here is hoping that the gang of 3 Eeyores - Bay,RSB, and Clout direct their vititrol at the Ownership Group where it belongs.

I don't think that ownership is free from blame with the recent woes of this team, but my point was that I thought the team the suits put together was good enough to win the division. Don't get me wrong, they're not a 95 win team by any stretch of the imagination, but I thought they would be a few games ahead of the Mets and Braves at the break. Again, they were ill-prepared in April and they have been playing catch-up ever since. That, I feel, is the fault of the manager and the coaching staff, not necessarily the front office. I don't care if the GM gets you no bullpen help in the off-season, competent managers do not allow their club to get swept at home in their opening series, and then proceed to go 4-11.

SirAlden: We all know ownership is at fault. So what? What's the response to that supposed to be? Back in the day, before Camden Yards, I dealt with it by attending more games in Baltimore than Philly. But now that Angelos owns the Orioles, they're run even worse than the Phillies. People post on here mainly to discuss games and strategy, not to whine about ownership.

BAP, I take the opposite view: Gillick's best move was getting a good major leaguer and two pitching prospects while unloading $17M in obligations, all in exchange for a player with no possible role in Philly.

Phil: Excellent rebuttal. Stop by more often. That was a fine post. If Manuel deserves credit for one thing, it's to get his team to play hard. They definitely do. However, I wonder how much of that is having your captains like Utley, Rowand and Rollins setting clubhouse policy.

SirAlden: I sure won't defend ownership. Every one of them is a disgrace. But that doesn't excuse your idiotic, factually incorrect posts defending Gillick.

The argument against Manuel is always a dumb one. You blame him for not getting the pitchers to pitch but give him no credit for getting the hitters to hit. It's some how his fault for all of the injuries that have happened to the Phillies this year (if true, I thank him for injuring Freddy Garcia and replacing him with Kendrick).

Manuel haters cry for Leyland and point out what he has done in Detroit. But what you tend to ignore is the powerful bullpen, one of the best rotations in the league, a great line up and a great farm system. The Phillies have one of those and none of them can truly be attributed to Manuel, as he doesn't put the team together.

"the team is on pace to finish well below where they have finished in 5 of the last 6 years. How is that keeping the team from totally melting down?"

This is a classic Eeyore comment from Bay and depressive, and inaccurate as well.

2002 39-47
2003 52-40
2004 46-41
2005 45-44
2006 40-47
2007 44-44

The record is not "well below where they have finished in 5 of the last 6 years".

It is "well below" 2 of 6.

My point remains this- in Ancient Greece after a battle that was lost to the Persians, a marathon runner ran to Athens to tell the corrupt leadership (the owners) to give them the news that their gallant but inadequetely supplied army had been lost.

The leaders responded by "killing the messenger" to keep the populous from blaming them and rising up against them for their misdeeds.

Has anyone here every worked for "old money people?", "lived among old money people and listened to them speak during lunch over cobb salad?", or "been an old money person?"

I have. If these owners do not increase the payroll on good signings to 105-110 million dollars after 3 million fans stream through the turnstiles this year (one of 3 times in 125 years), and the Eeyores out there complain and rise up with their pitchforks and farm impliments like feudal serfs to kill Franken-Manuel, or lynch Gillick, the owners, the ruling class, has won, and they will chuckle at the country club as they deposit your cash and read their bank statements.

SirAlden: OK, you convinced me. You're stone crazy.

Stark, barking mad.

We will agree to disagree on Gillick and if he has the total control you think he has with this ownership group Clout.

Time will tell if his managing of the minor league draft by not losing high draft picks works.

I believe that Gillick does his best just as we would all would do advising aging dottering parents.

The 2007 Free Agent Pitching Class had no outstanding additions, who wished to sign in the band-box our ownership created.

SirAlden: So we should use our garden implements to rise up against whom? Bill Giles? Dave Montgomery? I'm sure my roto-tiller will scare the crap out of them. I've already cut my attendance from 9 games per season to 1 or 2. So have other hardcare fans I know. It doesn't matter. The tickets are sold not to hardcare fans but to people who want a day at the amusement park. That's baseball these days.

I agree with you that free agent signings put you on a treadmill of mediocrity because they erode the farm system's ability to sustain itself. Yet the Yankees and Bosox have rebuilt theirs by drafting high school players in lower rounds and paying them over-slot money to forego college scholarships. They could pursue such a strategy for as little as $2M-$3M a year, but would suffer the wrath of Bud Selig. Do you think the anonymous Main Liners care about Bud Selig, or even know who he is? Or is it more likely Bill "Pour Me Another One" Giles and his puppet, Dave Montgomery, who worry about what that slimeball thinks?

SirAlden, when you say "our ownership," whom exactly do you mean?

Since Jason mentioned Tom Gordon in his post I'm surprised no one brought up his pitching line from last night's Rookie League contest:

1/3IP 4H 5R 5ER 0K 1BB

Ouch -- watch out Alfonseca and Co.

OK Eeeyore Clout.

Time will tell. Feel better when Manuel is gone and you are whining about the next employee of the ownership group, and the next, and the next. I think Manuel should go but who will replace him? Not Girardi.

The ownership is responcible.

Phil: That's as admirable an effort to defend Cholly as I've ever seen -- and I'm not being sarcastic. You should be a Public Defender.

This will be the last I'll say on the matter because I need to get some work done.
You do make some good points. You're right that some of the things that we criticize Cholly for are things that many other managers do -- but there's plenty that isn't. You're also right that he has the common sense to play the hot hand -- but so would just about any manager. Unfortunately, Cholly often takes way too long to notice when he has a hot hand & he also has a habit of suddenly benching a hot player for no rhyme nor reason. I can recall several times over the last 2 seasons when a player had a great game, or a series of great games, only to land on the bench the next day. When the player returned, his hot streak was, not surprisingly, over.

Many of Cholly's managerial decisions fall under the category of arbitrary. Why do all the bench players get to start on Sunday day games? Why does Jayson Werth bat second when he starts? For that matter, why does Jayson Werth EVER start? Why does the catcher hit 8th in the lineup, even when Coste or Ruiz is starting?

Final point: I've always been pretty dubious of the totally unscientific contention that players play harder for Coach A than they do for Coach B. These guys are paid professionals whose job description requires them to play hard every day. Obviously, there are a few players out there who don't always do this. But, for the most part, I think these guys are self-motivated & play just as hard for one manager as for another. The proof is in the identical results of the last 2 managerial regimes.

SirAlden, you're taking the absurd position that because the owners suck, nobody below that level should be subject to criticism. Either defend Manuel and Gillick based on what they do or fail to do, or don't expect to get any credibility here. Several teams make the playoffs with far more restrictions on payroll than this team has. Why?

That's it, the Phillies are screwed.
Skip Bayless on ESPN just picked them to win the National League. Not the wildcard, not the division, but the entire NL!! Might as well start the fire sale now.

Alby I believe Gillick's best moves are subtle and reality based.

1) He has refused to sign marginal free agents and lose high draft picks; he has had 9 High Draft Picks in 2 years, after Wade had 6 in the previous 3 years. 4.5 per year vs 2.0 per year.

2) He has not traded minor leaguers for fringe over the hill relievers as Wade did.

3) He has salary dumped like a genius, giving us Howard and Victorino. Wade almost traded Howard for a second tier starting pitcher.

4) He made a run at Soriano, will be able to with Cabara 3B.

5) He took a smart one year 10 million dollar trade for Garcia, it did not work out, but it does not handcuff the franchise with a Denny Negle for five years and $51 million, Kevin Millwood for five years and $60 million, or Barry Zito seven years and 125 million type contract. And will be able to sign one BIG starter if he finds one worth the risk

6) He sees that the way to build a francise in this day and age is not though free-agency but from within. We now have 3 Right Handed, and 5 Left Handed Pitchers and 6 position players of note in the minors, and will have more next year.

"Burrell's current OPS is .786. While we'd all like to see him do better, production at that level still isn't that easy to find."

But with the best run-production in the NL (by 26 runs) and the highest OPS in the NL, it's not clear that the Phils need to replace all of Burrell's OPS. Instead, they'd hope whatever crew they put in LF could compete, and try and get help in the other half of the game from a trade. You know, that other half that is the actual reason the Phils aren't first in the NL East . . . not sure if there's anything out there for Burrell anyway. Here's hoping he and Helms) heat up, Myers and Gordon return, Madson and Geary improve, etc. etc. etc.

SirAlden, I'll respond before Clout does; I doubt he'll be so kind.

1) He has signed marginal free agents, just not ones he has to give up draft picks for. I suppose that's some solace for the disappointing performance of Barajas and Helms.

2) He didn't really have any minor leaguers to trade away. It should be noted that none of the minor leaguers Wade traded away have done much elsewhere, though I suppose some people like Nick Punto, a fringe utility guy, more than I do.

3) "Salary dumping" did not give us Howard and Victorino; it cleared the way for them to play. In the first case, Thome's injury is what actually cleared the way, but I agree he made a good, creative trade of a player who was no longer an asset. The dump of Abreu, on the other hand, was a joke. When an organization has as little talent as the Phillies, it cannot afford to get rid of it just to clear salary from its books. It must get talent back in return. I think the proper move would have been to have made a deal similar to Thome's -- assume some of Abreu's future salary in exchange for minor league talent. The Yankees have six pitching prospects "of note" at Trenton alone. We got a sack of crap.

4) Sorry, but Soriano sucks. We're fortunate he wasn't signed. And that's assuming Gillick made any real effort at signing him. And what makes you assume a run will be made at Cabrera, or that if we make a run at him he'll be interested? Or that it would be wise to sign a 3B who's putting on weight at an alarming rate when we have a young 1B already?

5) Why was the trade for Garcia "smart"? It would have been smart if his health had been checked; I think most of us who applauded the trade at the time assumed due diligence had been performed. It wasn't. That's dumb, not smart.

6) "We now have 3 Right Handed, and 5 Left Handed Pitchers and 6 position players of note in the minors." This statement made me cry so hard I almost laughed. "Of note"? Do you read anything beyond the newspapers? Do you realize how poorly rated our system is? I've seen no overhaul of that system since Gillick's arrival.

None of this is meant to praise Ed Wade. I thought he sucked. So far I don't see Gillick as much of an upgrade. He's brought in lots of players. Few have panned out.

Getting rid of Abreu last year fell under the "we aren't going to with with him, so let's unload him" category.

In my book, Burrell and Manuel are posterboys for that category.

We have a lot of people that we can win with - those people have been well documented. When you have those types of players/coaches, and you bring in other players, they naturally follow the lead of the winners that are already there. Gillick seems to get this with players, as evidenced by the Abreu/Bell trades. I just hope he reconizes this with the Manager.

Alby, when we rise up should I bring a pitchfork or a torch? I love this site, I think its actually made me more of a Phillies fan.

SirAlden: So much of what you write is such pure garbage I don't know where to begin, but let me ask 2 questions:

1. How in the world is Gillick responsible for "giving us Howard and Victorino," both of whom were signed under Wade?

2. Who, pray tell, are the "6 position players of note in the minors"? And what do you mean "of note"? That they can sing?

Sir Alden, one of the players he traded for Garcia is Gio Gonzalez, a much better prospect than Ed Wade ever traded. He was rated the Phillies best minor league prospect at the beginning of last year. Also the 10 mill wasted on Garcia could have been used to sign or trade for bullpen help.

Exactly Alby rise up against the owners.

Who only this year at Gillick's urging paid above slot like the RedSox and Yankees do, we cannot match 150-200 million dollar payrolls, or make long term 60 million dollar pitching mistakes like Millwood, but the ownership who writes the checks may finally be learning from Gillick that the way to build a franchise is a healthy dynamic minor leagues.

I would rather see 60 million thrown into minor league signings of 120 HS players, than one Kevin "I let my former teammates the Braves Crush us in Sept" Millwood.

Ownership is the gang of seven inherited old money. Kill them. Kill the Romanovs. They hide behind their employees.

David Montgomery
Claire S. Betz
Alexander K. Buck
J. Mahlon Buck, Jr
William C. Buck)
John S. Middleton
Bill Giles

there are many more owners than those seven

Are you telling me SirAlden does not have a direct line of communication to the owners and Pat Gillick and therefore he is writing out garbage?

Can somebody with more knowledge than me comment on this please? It looks to me as if some slightly better players are being moved closer to Philly

SirAlden: On the subject of Gillick, there's little I can add that wasn't already said by Clout & Alby & probably a few others I'm forgetting. But half the things you list as examples of Gillick's brilliance are things he DIDN'T do, like giving out foolish long-term contracts or trading away minor leaguers. By that line of reasoning, the perfect GM would be the guy who sat on his hands & never made a transaction. Your argument is logically analogous to saying: He's a great guy; he has never killed anyone.

With regard to my point that the Phillies are on pace to finish well below where they finished in 5 of the last 6 seasons, you respond by listing the team's record at the All Star break in 5 of the last 6 seasons. But just because they have improved in the 2nd half of past seasons does not mean they will do so this year. "On pace" means what it means. You are projecting a 2nd half improvement which may or may not happen -- just as you are projecting, based on absolutely nothing other than your own imagination, that all of Pat Gillick's lousy moves have been part of a subtle, but carefully crafted design to land us Miguel Cabrera.

I believe the ownership is responcible for Wade's destruction of our minor leagues.

I believe that Manuel is a terrible tactical manager who loses us 8 games a year, and counter balances that with possibly being helpful with hitting, keeping the team upbeat, and this his last year, going with the hot hand sitting players down who would never ride the pines in the past that has allowed Bourne and Dobbs to emerge. How many games does that add to us I so not know. I do believe is not dramatically below the mean or the other 29 MLB managers Ron Washington or Buddy Bell anyone? He does not have Detroit's Pitching Staff, or a decade of Leo Mazzone, or Rick Peterson he has Rick "smoke-um if you gotum" Dubee.

I believe that Gillick is a Genius is dealing with totally unreasonable bosses, and that he has turned the franchise around maing 40-50 million dollars available in the next two years.

Hopefully it is spent carefully so we are not right back with where we were 3 years ago with Wade.

The emergence of MLB EI and it's soon to be realized convergence with HDTV and 76 inch LCD will be placing WE THE FANS on the verge of free agency for ourselves. Why bother going to CB when I will be able watch the Phils at 7pm in incredible HD then at 9pm switch over to a Rockies game and later around 10:30 pm move along to a Dodger or Giants game especially to watch the last 3 innings which are usually the most interesting part of the game. How are Montgomery et al going to cope with our free agency?

People will not stop going to CBP. I'd love to start a boycott, but it's not viable.

The Yankees have six pitching prospects "of note" at Trenton alone. because?????

Ownership pays above slot.

Listen to this podcast.... on the Phillies Minors Splitcast (0711)

Read these....

Noone wanted to give up prospects for Abreu if they took on the 30 mil of salary, that is not Gillick's fault. He is a genius for getting the trade done at all and knew by trading Thome and Abreu he would create value for the franchise where there was none by trusting his instincts and giving Howard and Victorino a chance to play.

Without the trade of Thome and then Abreu neither player would have had a chance they were blocked.

Exactly how is Gillick responsible for making $40 to $50M available in the next 2 years. Burrell's contract expires on its own after next year. Abreu's would have expired after this year if Gillick hadn't given him away for nothing. Lieber's too. Even Thome's would have expired after next year, had he still been with the team. In short, Gillick has ZERO to do with the money that is coming available in the next 2 years. Besides, what good is having money if you spend it foolishly? He had $35 to $40M in last year's free agent market & the best player he brought in was Greg Dobbs, who is, in effect, a utility player.

You seem to think that not giving out long-term contracts is some kind of achievement in its own right. Reasonable minds can differ as to whether a particular player is worthy of a long-term contract, but this much is fact: top players get long-term contracts. Without long-term contracts, you will get no top players & the top players who are already here will leave.


You are certainly free to sing Gillick's praises. If nothing else, it helps the rest of us get out all of our built-up angst by writing rebuttal posts.

But please do not use the words "Pat Gillick" and "genius" in the same sentence. Albert Einstein was a genius. Thomas Jefferson was a genius. Jonas Salk was a genius. No baseball GM is a genius, least of all Pat Gillick.

Would someone please explain exactly why R. Dubee who won no major league games and had a losing minor league record is being paid by the Phils to be a major league pitching coach?

Wow, did you guys see that the Mets released Julio Franco? Is his career finally over?,0,2041038.story?coll=ny-sports-headlines

Same way Rick Schu gets a job as a hitting coach.

Vaya con dios, Julio. I hope he goes to Mexico and plays forever.

Many very bad pitchers make for good pitching coaches.

Many very good pitchers make for very bad pitching coaches.

Physical ability has nothing to do with knowing how to pitch, and with the ability to teach.

Dubee may or may not be a good pitching coach, but his own record as a pitcher would have very little to do with that

Agreed, District. Dubee takes a lot of heat on this board but, the truth is, we really have no idea whether or not he's a good pitching coach. The same goes for Milt Thompson, their hitting coach.

Using the term "On pace" is as misleading, cynical, depressive, and narrow minded Bay, you need to take a college level class in statistics.

2002 39-47 .453 80-81 .497
2003 52-40 .565 86-76 .531
2004 46-41 .529 86-76 .531
2005 45-44 .506 88-74 .543
2006 40-47 .460 85-77 .525
2007 44-44 .xxx ??-??

In 4 of the past 5 years the winning percentage was lower at the All-Star Break then at the end of the regular season.

Bay said "the team is on pace to finish well below where they have finished in 5 of the last 6 years". Depresive. Manipulative.

This year beacause of the Ownership is it exactly the same as it always has been in 80% of the sample. Manuel's managing this year is not worse than the norm as your statement implied.

There are and always have been solid arguments for and against Manuel; both have been well-articulated on this site. I believe he is firmly in the category of most major league managers: on balance, he neither helps nor hurts his team.

I will have to point out, BAP, that this statement - "When the team plays badly, Cholly's defenders blame the players. When they do something positive, it's because of Cholly's great leadership." - can also be inverted. When the team plays badly, Manuel's critics pile it on. When it's going well, it can't possibly be attributable to Manuel. The fairest, and probably most accuate approach here is just admitting Manuel doesn't make a hell of a lot of difference either way.

I don't think the Phillies play 'harder' under Manuel than Bowa. On the whole, they haven't played a whole lot looser, either. This decade of Phillies baseball has really been very instructive, to those who care to pay attention, that the man who comes out with the lineup card just doesn't mean much in the overall scheme of things. And it bears reiteration that Charlie Manuel is *remote* on the ranking of what ails this team.

Not incidentally, while we're using this break in the action to evaluate: Beerleaguer appears to me to be at an all-time high. The ratio of intelligent posts to unintelligent has become hearteningly disproportionate. I would imagine there are a lot of media types who read here but aren't ready to admit it.

Eeyore #2, signing off...

SirAlden: Trying to show a causal relationship between two unrelated facts is called a "false correlation."

You chastize BAP but then make an elementary school level false correaltion by saying that since the Phillies have had a higher winning pct. in the second half than in the first half in 4 of the past 5 years, they will again. One has no relation to the other. If the holes on this team are not addressed by adding new players (i.e. we have no 5th starter at the moment, not to mention legitimate closer) the team will have a WORSE record in the second half this year.

BTW, I'm still waiting for you to list those "6 position players of note in the minors"

SirAlden: Why do you believe that "ownership is responsible for Wade's destruction of the minor leagues"?

Bill Giles is not "inherited old money." Bill Giles' ownership stake is based on "sweat equity" - the others put up the money, he was managing partner, and was given increasing stakes over the years for his work.

When you say "ownership did thus and such," you should be saying, "Giles did thus and such." The other owners neither know nor care about baseball. While they might have expectations about return on investment, they are not dictating things like how much to spend on the farm system. The meddling during the '80s, which laid the groundwork for the phutility of the '90s, was all the work of Bill Giles, idiot scion of the Giles clan, late of Cincinnati.

But what do you propose doing about it? Yes, they're a bunch of rich folks who don't care as much about the Phillies as the fans do. So what? I know of no instances of fan fury forcing ownership to sell out. And, based on the Orioles experience, be careful what you ask for. The next owners could be even greedier. But that's nothing we can influence, quite frankly.

Jack Cleary: O'Neil is right. AS I said above, many of the tickets sold are to casual fans, not hardcore nutcases like us. A marginally competitive team, like the one we currently have, serves that purpose as well as a championship team would.

Simple Clout Eeyore.

1. How in the world is Gillick responsible for "giving us Howard and Victorino," both of whom were signed under Wade?

If Thome was not traded by Gillick so that Howard would have a spot in the line-up Howard would not have had a 58 Home-run MVP Season.

After Rowand was acquired in the Thome Trade, if Abreu was not traded by Gillick Victorino would not have had a line-up as well.

Gillick was totally responcible for this.

As for position players they are...

Adrian Cardenas, D’Arby Myers, Jason Donald,
Javon Moran, Greg Golson, Lou Marson,
Mike Costanzo, Jeremy Slayden, and Travis d'Arnaud, Travis Mattair, Tyler Mach this year. POD CAST

RSB: Fair point. We do pile on. And managers probably don't make a whole lot of difference either way. But they do make a small difference and, in Cholly's case, that difference is undoubtedly a negative one.

SirAlden: Wow, I not only need to take a college stats class (which I did, by the way); I'm also manipulative & narrow-minded. What is manipulative about pointing out that their current winning pct. is lower than their final record in 5 of the last 6 seasons? I believe that's a mathematical fact. It is you who are manipulating statistics by making hypothetical projections about how things will play out in the second half.

In any case, if you go back to the beginning of this thread, I believe my original point was that, leading the team to a .500 record at the All Star break hardly qualifies as some kind of grand accomplishment on Cholly's behalf. Let's assume for the sake of argument that the Phillies follow past patterns & end up with 85 or 86 wins. Well, that's exactly what they did in 3 of the 4 years that Bowa was at the helm & no one ever used meaningless phrases like "holding the team together" when talking about the volatile Larry Bowa.

Dear "baby-bums" Clout so much of what you write is garbage.

How is your Ed Wade Blow-up Doll baby-bums?

Dave Kingman there was no bull pen help to sign, they had the cash Gillick refused to give up draft picks for guys who were willing to sing with us.

Gillick got Gio and Rowand, and another minor leaguer who is was traded for the model dictator Fabio Casto in the Thome trade buy taking on 22 million dollars in contract. He got stuff because he had to take back contract. With Abreu he got a pile of rocks back because he needed to dump contract and the Yankees made it clear that even if the Phillies paid some of Abreu's remaining contract they still would not part with good minor leaguers. They refused.

Gillick then sent Gio who he obtained and head case Floyd for Garia. We all were cheering when we got Garcia who had gone 5-1 last Sept with a smoking ERA. Now we all would like Gio back (but not Floyd). I still think we may see Garcia in red pinstripes in the future.

You are really reaching with that list of prospects, SirAlden. Cardenas, ok. To be charitable, I'll even give you D'Arby Myers, even though he has never played so much as a game at Single A & is about 4 years away from the major leagues.

But Golson? You've got to be kidding. Costanzo? Only if you like guys who hit like Rod Barajas & field like Wes Helms. Marson? How excited can you get about a guy who has hit .240 in his first 2 years & is currently slugging .372 at Single A? And Moran & Donald are fringe prospects at best. Donald projects as a utility player; Moran as a Chris Roberson type. The rest of the guys on your list have all played a grand total of about 2 weeks of minor league ball in the Gulf Coast League, which really bears more resemblance to a high school All Star Game than to the minor leagues.

The Triple A link you posted Jobbers are so-so guys... the good guys are in the rookie leagues, low A Lakewood, and high A Clearwater.

AA Reading and AAA only have A.J. Happ LHP, and Mike Costanzo 3B who is leading the league in Homers but has many holes in his game. He needs 2 years of seasoning.

In the last week guys are being moved from high A Clearwater to AA Reading.

I won't go as far as say I'm "sold" on him or anything, but as far as Golson goes, i wouldn't count him out yet. There's some signs of life and he is young.

Not losing draft picks and not wasting money and getting the payroll to a place where there is room to sign good guys are moves, good moves Bay.

If you don't buy a broken down wreck of a car that is a good move. If you save up to by a Mercedes that is a good move.

SirAlden: Why do you believe that "ownership is responsible for Wade's destruction of the minor leagues"?

The Answer Go Look...

Gillick drafted 9 players in the first 3 rounds in the last 2 years. 4.5 per year.

Wade drafted 6 players in the previous 3 years. 2.0 per year.

Bill Giles is not "inherited old money." Bill Giles' ownership stake is based on "sweat equity" He is a small stake toady.

You are completely correct! He is a small stake toady.

In other sports like Basketball and Football, fans hold ownership accountable.
We should too if the Phillies have a 65 million dollar payroll 2 years from now.

Don't agree with your analysis of the hitting prospect Bay. Go read up and listen up.

The point is when Gillick arrived, there was One position prospect.

Next year there will be some on AA, High A, Low A, and the Rookies Leagues. Where Gillick is most impressive is the difference in PITCHING which he primarily drafted.

Carlos Carrasco RHP
Andrew Carpenter RHP
Matt Maloney RHP
Edgar Garcia RHP

Josh Outman LHP
James Happ LHP
Kyle Drabek LHP
Joe Savery LHP

Mike Zagurski LHP
Fabio Castro LHP
Joe Bisenius RHP
Scott Mathieson RHP
Scott Mitchinson RHP

Interesting thread at times (and mind-numbingly repetitive at others)... my only input:

It is responSible, not responCible.

That is all.

SirAlden: Ha ha ha ha ha!!!! I have to be careful, I burst out laughing when I saw your list of "can't miss" Phillies position player prospects!

Jason Donald !!!!!
Greg Golson !!!!!
Lou Marson !!!!
Mike Costanzo !!!!!

Absolutely laugh out loud hilarious. You truly, truly are clueless.


To be fair, there's no way "players of note" equals "can't miss."

Make your arguments... but no need to be disingenuous.

CJ: What does "players of note" mean?

Great post, Jason. You convinced me, the players won despite Cholly.

The Mets changed hitting coachs yesterday, even though, they are leading the division. I think changing pitching and third base coaches would reap more benefits than changing Cholly, although, Cholly needs to go, too.

I'm going on the old family vacation to Wally World near Orlando, Florida for a week. Be back in the office on July 23rd. Clout, RSB and Carson will fill in for me while I'm gone.


Exactly what it says... players of note... do you honestly believe he's declaring them can't miss prospects?

Perhaps he's overvaluing, but he hasn't suggested they're can't miss. You put those words in quotes despite the fact he never used them. That's disingenuous.

of note is a synonym of noteworthy which is defined by the american heritage dictionary as

Deserving notice or attention; notable.

Clout, you seem to be a reasonably intelligent, if not cranky, guy. Dictionaries and Thesauruses are valuable tools that I am sure you can learn use too!

CJ: Saying that "players of note" means "players of note" is meaningless. What does it mean to you?

district: Notable in what way?

Did not say can't miss Clout. I said Prospects.


I'm not sure why I even try with you. Players of note... players to take note of... deserving of attention... those we should keep an eye on...

"Can't miss"?

You're the one who put that in quotes.

That's disingenuous.

Sir alden you didn't even say prospects - you said "of note". Hell we have probably 50 players in the minors which you can say of note (whatever what "of note" means. Those 6 may or may not make it to majors, but any GM could of gotten 6 players "of note" Gillick has not done a thing that any other GM could of done and I believe other GM's would of done it better.


Now THAT is a valid argument. I'm not sure it's that impressive to say there are 6 new players of note... or even to say that there are 6 prospects of higher quality than we've had in the past. Gillick's had plenty of time to do that. If he hadn't at least done that much, he'd be giving even more evidence of his incompetance.

I never said there were 6 players of note - Sir Alden said it, and gave names. He was stating Gillick did a good job in acquiring them. I am agreeing with Clout and stating that "they are not great prospects"

SirAlden, CJ, district: It seems I misunderstood the meaning of the phrase "players of note." I took it as a promotional endorsement of those players as future major leaguers. Thanks for correcting me.

Virtually any young player is a "prospect." It's a fairly meaningless term. If you are saying the Phillies have 6 position playing "prospects" I certainly can't disagree, although I'm not sure how that makes Pat Gillick a genius and a savior. There were tons of prospects in the minors under Ed Wade. Most were untalented fringe players as is the case with this group of position players. But if you want to believe that, that's cool.


And I'm agreeing with you...

Notable - to watch - Prospects which we now have because of Gillick's Style as Opposed to Wade's Style.

The Pitchers are impressive now when he arrived the cupboard was bare.

Gillick was responsible for Howard and Victorino getting a chance to play, and for not losing high draft picks as was Wade's pattern.

You seem to be supportive of Wade.

SirAlden: About half the position prospects you listed were drafted under Wade. But my point is this: The quality of those prospects is not a sound argument for Gillick's genius.

fljerry: Thanks. That was the point I was trying to make. SirAlden and CJ think there's too much criticism and negativity here, but reality is reality.

Clout Eeyore -- "Virtually any young player is a "prospect."" is not correct.

I prospect is generally assumed to be someone who has a chance play in the major leagues.

On a minor league team it is lucky to have 2-3 players on that team that experts view as a prospect. Clearwater has 6.

Chris Roberson of AAA Ottawa was once a considered to be a Prospect. He no longer is a considered to be a Prospect.

Take a look down the left side of this Website.


I hate to keep correcting you, but I've never said there's too much criticism and negativity here. I merely pointed out that you were obscuring the argument by putting words in someone else's mouth (which you are again doing with me).

As I've said numerous times, Gillick has failed this team. The bullpen is only the most glaring example of that.

SirAlden: A large number of players have a "chance" to play in the major leagues. I mean the team could all die in a plane crash, right?

The question is quality. Do the Phillies have position player prospects who you can say today project as players who can conmtribute over a full season either as regulars or on the bench?

In that regard, some of the names you cited are laughable.

CJ: It's hard to keep everyone straight, sorry. There have been several postyers here who have said the board is too negative, posters aren't giving the team or Gillick enough credit etc. I was pretty sure you had a post like that, but if not, I apologize. It sounds like we agree on the quality of SirAlden's "players of note" and Gillick's performance.

clout: I'm not sure many of the players are given enough credit considering the hand they are dealt. Rollins, Howard, Utley and Hamels are a young core that many teams would love to build around. Brett Myers is a plus arm wherever he ends up. Victorino looks like he could be the real deal, especially if he ends up in CF where he seems to be more suited. Carlos Ruiz has a future.

But what else have they been given? Jose Mesa? Jayson Werth? Sure, Greg Dobbs has been a very pleasant surprise, but other than him, and a solid stretch of success from Alfonseca that may or may not continue, this team provides no real future for our great core.

I would never suggest that Manuel or Gillick deserve more credit for anything.

Clout there is B.G. and A.G

Before Gillick and After Gillick

Gillick has a very different style than Wade had and where there were no prospects in the system previously there are now many prospects who are being followed by experts.

Oakland is a perfect example of a team that follows the same philosophy that Gillick follows.

I will say this... Can't we all agree that none of us want to trade Pat Gillick for Ed Wade?

Doesn't say much... but at least it's something.

Carlos Carrasco RHP
Josh Outman LHP
Kyle Drabek LHP
Joe Savery LHP
James Happ LHP
Adrian Cardenas 2B
D’Arby Myers OF

A nice group of prospects. next year there will be more, thanks to Gillick's philosophy.

Going off on my own subject here, and looking toward next year...
With the possibility of Rowand leaving via free agency after this year, and the need for a potential power corner outfielder, what would people think about going after Carlos Quentin? Quentin was a hot prospect, and though still a decent prospect this year's struggles combined with the presence of Justin Upton in the D'Backs system almost makes Quentin expendable. Is there something the D'Backs need that Philly could give them in a trade for Quentin? I like Quentin: good size and power (his current doubles power should translate into home run power in CBP and as his body continues to develop). In the minors he hit for average and demonstrated a .420+ OBP on three different levels over three years, with an OPS naturally over .900.

With all the talent the D'Backs have in their system, what could the Phillies possibly offer if such a pursuit were to happen? Only thing the D'Backs need is pitching, but the Phils aren't stocked with exciting pitching prospects.


That seems to be the saddest part of this whole tragedy... who can we trade to anyone? Can't we give the D-Backs Pat Burrell?

Josh: the D'backs would be insane to trade Quentin. They seem to be running a pretty savvy operation there.

SirAlden: That's a much better list than your earlier one. Myers is a total unknown who's barely gotten his feet wet, so the jury's out on him. The rest I like. Keep in mind that Howard, Utley, Rollins, Ruiz, Bourn, Victorino, Hamels & Kendrick plus half the prospects on you latest list came under Wade. I look forward to seeing if Gillick is as successful.

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EST. 2005

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