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Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Is there any footage of this?

Two hits for Offerman! With that kind of swing, he'll be back in the majors in no time.

I can't wait for Kendrick tonight. I really enjoy watching this guy pitch. I especially like how he doesn't give up 5 runs in the first inning. That part is nice.

No video that I've seen so far. ESPN has been showing a still photo of the incident.

I think a still photo captures the almost comical absurdness of the event. His response was so over the top and the AP photo looks like something from an Onion article. However, I think if I were to see the video, the incident would appear a lot more brutal and scary. It's lucky nobody was seriously hurt.

There is some after the fact video here -

This quote sounds right out of the Onion:

“Luckily for Matt Beech, he was agile enough to dodge a bat,” Bluefish pitcher Mike Porzio told the Connecticut Post. “But it may have only been John Nathans taking one on the backswing in the head to have saved Matt Beech from really taking one in the face.”

Whoa, two Onion references in a row. Sorry, joe I hadn't read your post yet.

We all knew this day would come. The magic of the fake injury continues, plus the bullpen has somehow gotten fatter with the return of Zagurski. Let's hope Eaton's "inflamed shoulder" disables him until he's able to give us $8 million worth of pitching.

I love these fake injuries. I just wish they would've given Eaton something funnier, like spontaneous dental hydroplosion.

Addition by subtraction??

They should have reported the injury as a bruised ego.

I have an image of the Offerman/Beech altercation on my blog today.

Eaton on the DL, just goes to show a team can "find" something wrong with a player if they want badly enough. In this case we can't just outright release Eaton, so we put him on the DL and hope some rest does well for him both physically and mentally.

Hey all--I usually just lurk here and love the site. I'm stuck tonight in North Jersey (Parsippany--I know, feel bad for me). Any other BLers here know an establishment in the area where I can catch the game?

Oh, that's priceless. What's the official diagnosis, a bruised ego? Whiplash?

This is the third 'R & R' stint, masquerading as disabled list designations, which the Phillies have imposed this year, following Howard and Barajas. Not only do the Phillies lead baseball in real injuries, but they lead they way with phony injuries. What a nutty season.

anyone know the latest on madson...i figure he'll take zigurski's spot if healthy.

JB, you beat me to it...

@RSB -- Howard was actually hurt

Eaton on the DL


It's rather remarkable that the Phils said Manuel would likely decide by today if Eaton would make his next start... and on that same day we discover Eaton has a problem.


RSB - I like the WHIP-lashed better.

These two starters tonight are due for what is known in horse racing as a "bounce".

"The team said that Eaton has been showing symptoms of the injury for the last month, but Eaton said recently that he is healthy."

I really hate it when a bunch of strangers know I'm injured before I do.

Zagurski's ottawa numbers:
The Good
7G 9IP 2.00 ERA 3 Holds 11K 0HR
The Bad
6BB 7H 1.44 WHIP

Mike: Ideally, Manuel has gotten over putting Zags in any key spots. He seemed to do a lot better in situations with less pressure. Save the pressure spots for Romero, Mesa, Alfonseca, Gordon and Myers long before we have to turn to Zags.

Zag = 6th/7th inning LOOGY. Hard to believe that the BP is probably in better shape than the rotation now.

Dodgers are among the teams scouting Jose Contreras this week according to the Chicago Sun Times.

Please, God... don't let the Phils be one of those other teams!

Another WC contender, the Rockies, is reachign out for either Josh Towers or Steve Trachsel.

Towers or Trachsel would be an upgrade over Durbin at least. Depends on the asking price.

- Caught Dutch on THAT sports talk radio station this morning. He was very entertaining. I swear to God, I really wanted to believe him. He was totally convincing, except for the fact that common sense said don't beleive him. Who am I to say he doesn't travel in time and talk to animals? His book about all of it comes out this week. I have to admit, I'm curious.

Has there been any talk about Happ starting for Eaton (other than on Beerleaguer, of course)? I would like to see him before Durbin.

Maybe Dutch can take over for the recently retired Art Bell?

I feel like Happ will be up if Durbin falters in his first start. It would be easy to replace Zags with Happ in that scenario. I think that's why they stretched Happ out the other night.

I'm sure the Phils plan to give Durbin at least one more start to see if he can handle the role before bringing up Happ or looking to trade for (ugh!) Trachsel. Apparently the asking price for Towers was too high.

Durbin had three starts in July. The first was a strong 6 innings. The second was a shutout of the Padres. The third was a disaster against the Pirates. If can get closer to the first two starts than the latter... he should admirably replace Eaton.

For the record, this means that of our awesome 6 pack of starting pitchers from spring training, two are still starting, three are on the DL and one is in the bullpen.

I think Dutch has soaked his head in Jack Daniels a bit too often.. He sounded like an old YES song-- Astral Traveller......He's a traveling circus now, Mr Mac

lineup is out is as follows


I want a sweep. No more of this winning series crap. That is nice against good teams. Wins like last nights never happen for this time as evidenced by their grand total of three wins when scoring 3 or less and records in one run games.

Who could have guessed that The Real Deal would not only become a starter on this squad, but would replace a pitcher with a fake injury that we're paying $8 million??? Only in Philadelphia....

- Maybe the Phillies ought to take a page from the Lee Thomas "So You Want To Run A Baseball Team" GM manuel and have each deal include a young arm. If the Phils had a better farm system, one in which they actually invested some serious money into, which also includes scouts placed in the neglected places around the globe that play baseball too, maybe the prospects could come from within as opposed to the free agent market.

Dan: I'd love some sweeps as well, but winning two out of every three games is gonna get us into the playoffs.

Mr Mac- actually the Phillies have an almost entirely home grown pitching staff- much more so than other winning teams. Look at the Dodgers, the Red Sox, the Yanks, or Anaheim and you will see that problem for the phillies isn't their farm system (dry as it is now, they always produce servicable arms regardless) but that the Phils only pickup 5th or 4th starters as free agents and never spend for anything better.

CJ, in theory that is correct. No way they win every series. And we have grown accustomed to being eliminated in the last few days of the season. Every year, you can point to a few games that we should have won. So essentially, a few sweeps would offset some series losses.

Anyone know how many sweeps we've got this year? I feel like we will win 5 of 7 or 8 of 10 or whatever. Am I greedy for wanting a nice 7-8 game win streak????

- Here's to hoping that Burrell's bat comes to life tonight. He seems to have cooled slightly, which was to be expected, of late. Dare I say, his clutch hitting the last couple of weeks, were a key to the Phillies recent run, while the rest of the team hopped along for the ride.

- Jason Werth is doing exactly what is being asked of him, which is, filling in for an injured starter until he gets back. I think he has done an admirable job in that role. A strong, diverse, bench is going to be even more important down the stretch. Look no farther than the '80 & '93teams, and the valuable contribution that their benches made in the drive to, and during, the playoffs and WS.

- We just need Cholly to pull the right strings, as he did last night. Do any of us believe that he can continue his mastery of the nuances of the managerial position, with similar moves, on consecutive nights? Somehow, I think I know the answer already.

Dan: Sure... the sweeps would certainly help offset some series losses down the road. I agree with. I'll never, however, get tired of just taking two of three ;-) Not after watching this team for the first month!

The Phillies love the fake DL move. They've been using it to great effect for many years. It's about the only thing that our front office seems to be good at.

The thing about the fake injury excuse is that it solves the problem for the here & now while also giving them cover when they bring Eaton back to the starting rotation in 2007. They can just say, "Well, he was injured last year & that was the reason for all his problems." That will prevent the fans from grabbing homemade weapons & storming Monty's executive suite when Eaton appears on our opening day roster.

I can already envision Ruben Amaro's quotes in tomorrow's papers. "He's been battling through this injury for most of the season, but he's a gamer and a stand-up guy who doesn't like to make excuses. But we finally decided that maybe it was time to just shut him down for awhile and let this thing heal properly so he can be back to the old Adam Eaton by next year."

Jason, to get off topic, but to continue to debate your Myers starter/closer question from the last thread, I offer the following evidence for him returning to the rotation:

"Everyone assumes Hunter is gone after this winter. And it's almost certainly too late to trade him. So the first player most of our panel would deal is Nathan -- even though, in the words of a small-market GM: "He's nearly as dominant as Santana in his own way. He's just more replaceable."

It's from Jayson Stark's article here:

about whether the Twins should re-sign Santana. The panel is a group of GMs Stark polled.

Essentially, the point made is that a top SP is more valuable than a closer. If applied to the Myers situation, it means he's more valuable in the rotation as a low #1, or #2 than as a closer.

Oh! Almost forgot...Adam Eaton...could the disability he suffers from be labeled as 'mental'? I don't know the rules of using the DL, but is it feasible?

Anyone know?

bay_area_phan: oh, you are so right. It is a shame Eaton came down with that gopher-ball-itis because as Wheels would say "Adam is a really good athlete".

Eaton's problem is the one that Mitch Williams has been saying all year in every Phillies post game live show and on WIP. He isn't on top of the ball. When Dubee was asked about it, his response was "ball, what ball? Mr. Moyer I need some more help"

Agree with AWH-
closers are terribly overrated.
myers is worth more in the rotation (but only if he could do so without being terrible)

- Why are there no pitchers who throw "junk" anymore? Where have all of the knuckleballers gone? I love the idea that was posted in the previous thread (Grumpy Gramps), about rotating pitchers who throw heat with guys who rely on off speed stuff and finesse. I've always been a fan of that type of rotation.

- Not to beat a dead horse, but why not bring in a former ML'er who was a successful pitcher or catcher, who understands the mechanics and mental approach to the game? It would be great to have a coach either at the big league level or in the minor league system to help develop young arms or in some cases, revive careers (Adam Eaton, perhaps?) of pitchers who are in need of re-tooling. These are factors that the Phils management never seem to grasp.

- As an add on to my last comment, Mitch Williams, as crazy as it may sound, seems to have a great grasp on the whole pitching concept. Mechanics, mind set, etc. Wonder if he is a possible employ for the Phils? He did manage briefly in the minors. Why not give it a shot.

I just read where Prince Fielder has been suspended for three days due to his agressive argument with an umpire last Sunday. The article mentioned him as an MVP candidate due to his homer total.

I know in this blog people have cited Howard, Utley and J-Roll as MVP candidates, bringing out criticism that the MVP voters will only vote for players on playoff teams. Just for grins, I checked out the NL top tens in homers and RBIs and found that NL division and WC teams were not represented except for Milwaukee. I don't want to see Prince Fielder as the MVP. Phils gotta sweep the gNats, then the Bucs, and Ryno needs to get hot and he can win the MVP again!

Love the phantom injury for Eaton.

Zagurski is useful to this pen but only as a 1-out LOOGY specialist at this point. He does this role well but I don't want to see him pitching to right-handed bats.

I meant to type: NL division and WC LEADER teams.

I saw enough of the Z man pitch lasr time up in Houston. I hope the Phillies never use him.

This little tidbit about rising payrolls from the Stark article:

"The days of that team and the A's winning on a $30-million payroll like they did five years ago, they're over. A $90-million payroll is the middle of the pack now. Even $70 million is really hard to win with."

Applying this viewpoint to the Phillies payroll, the organization in THE FIFTH LARGEST MARKET, is now back to the middle of the pack as far as what they're spending.

It's not just the overall dollars, it's what they spend relative to the rest of MLB that will determine how competitive they'll be going forward. If they have a self-imposed 90-95MM cap, as salaries rise they won't be able to keep their best players (Hamels, Howard), and other teams will pass them by.

Also, if Johan Santana gets $25MM/yr as some quoted in the article think he will, what's Cole Hamels going to be worth when he hits the FA market?

Also, Chase Utley's contract is going to look like a Value Village steal for the Phillies in a year, IMO. Actually, it does right now. The best player in the game at his position for ONLY $85MM?

Byung-Hyun Kim just got released by the D-backs. Any takers?

AWH, that's very, very funny.

For everyone who questioned the Lohse trade... it's looking pretty good right now. Not only bc of his last two decent/solid starts, but bc of how much better those are than Eaton. Whenever Clout and I agree on something you know it's a slam dunk.

Also, I hear a lot about the Phillies "self-imposed salary cap", as if it's something unique to the Phillies. EVERY team has some type of self-imposed cap, based on their finances. Now, you could certainly argue that the Phillies' should be spending more, especially after this year's crazy attendance, but limiting how much you spend is a fact of life. And I don't think they're gonna force themselves to stay at 95 mil while the rest of the league goes up, as they went up when they got the new park. If they do, then you can get mad.
And a lot of posters say "they'll use the 'we're still paying Thome' excuse"... it may be an excuse, but it's also financial reality, and just as much of an excuse as the fact that they have to pay Jroll or anyone else.

AWH: I'd like to see hard numbers that show mid-$90s is middle of the pack. Last time I saw a list, the Phils were in the top 7 or so in payroll which is not bad for their market-size. I'd love to see them spend more, but they hardly have the tightest purse-strings in the league.

Poor KK, he can't refuse to pitch with Helms at 3B like the more senior guys do.

Bah... Mets grab early 2-0 lead, still batting with none out in the first.

Man, their offense really looks pathetic right now. There isn't a single hot hitter in their starting 8 -- and there are a good number of very cold ones. They really need to get Utley back.

BAP: I suppose none of the hitters are "hot," but we've averaged 5.4 runs per game since August 1st and 5.3 runs per game in the last week.

Hardly suffering for runs...

Make that 5-0 Mets in the first.

I ran the payroll numbers on cot's, and here's what I came up with.

by raw payroll, not including considerations paid to other clubs or from other clubs, the Phillies are at $89.5M. that puts them 13th out of 30. the average is $82.6M.

by payroll plus considerations, the Phillies are at $96.4M. that puts them 11th out of 30. the average is $86.7M.

on the other hand, if you throw out the four sub-$50M teams (PIT, WSH, FLA, TBD), the average team payroll is $90.4M, or $94.9M with considerations. and that's still including prototypical small-market teams like Oakland and Minnesota.

why is helms playing against a rightie anyway?

Brian G, we agree, but it's also not just how much they spend, but HOW they spend it.

In their defense (I can't believe that I just typed that), Arizona has a huge flop with the Big Unit, so do the Yankees with Pavano. It's not exclusive to the Phillies.

BUT, many of us remember the horrible teams in the late '80s - eaarly '90s, (once, their payroll wasn't even $10MM PER YEAR), so it's not as if they have a long track record of overspending. In fact, it's quite the opposite.

From 1989 to now, here's where they ranked in overall payroll out of 26 or 28 teams:

21/26 1989
20/28 1993
19/28 1998
20/30 2000
5/30 2004
13/30 2007

See the trend?

The only reason payroll went up was to put fannies in the new ballpark they had to pay for.

Now, after they've convinced all the idiots that they'll spend to stay competitive, because the first 2 years in CBP they were #5 and people have short memories, they're slipping back to the middle of the pack, and, you heard it here first, BACK TO MEDIOCRITY, because making money is the first priority.

Take a look at where the Braves were relative to the reat of the league in payroll all the years they won those division titles. Then, ask yourself if you think there might be causation or a correlation.

What if you throw out the astronomical budget teams like NYY, BOS, NYM? How low does the average payroll go then?

Brian G: Helms is 5 for 16 in his career against Redding. He's one of the few players in the lineup with experience against him.

He was out by a mile.

What am I missing?

CJ: It's true. They've managed to put up decent run totals because of some timely hits -- mostly coming from unsung guys like Dobbs, Coste, Branyan & Werth. But the core of the offense -- Howard, Rowand, & Rollins -- have all been absolutely pitiful in August. And, while Burrell & Iguchi still have good August numbers, they certainly haven't been good for the last week or so.

These guys need to start hitting because this team isn't goint to win a lot of 3-2 games & there aren't going to be too many games where Russell Branyan hits a game-winning pinch hit homer.

at $115M, the Mets' payroll isn't really astronomical - there's five other teams within $10M. if you throw out the Yankees and Red Sox, the average drops to about $84M ($89 with considerations).

on the other hand, in my opinion that's less valid than dumping the four cheapskates. the Phillies are actually competing with teams like New York and Boston to sign free agents, so the size of their payroll is relevant to how much the Phils spend. the sub-$50M teams are really, in a sense, not playing the same game as everyone else.

Damn Ryan... he was there, throw the damn ball.

Smooth Howard...

Let's see if Kyle lets that get to him. The umps blew one call and Howard blew another.

had an extra zero there - knock about $2M off the average with-compensation numbers.

"the Phillies are actually competing with teams like New York and Boston to sign free agents"

ae, you're joking, ...right?

If not, you've just joined the Alden Psycophant Society.

Okay, Ryan... we're even. Don't let it happen again.

Gonna be hide to overcome awful corner defense if we're not scoring a ton.

geez kendrick is gettin squeezed.

KK's slider not working tonight or what? Watching on Gameday from the office ...

what are you talking about, AWH? obviously Philly isn't going to be in the running for the guys who pull down $20-25M a year. but last time I checked, that's only a few players. the majority of both the Yankees and the Red Sox are players that we could reasonably bid for in free agency.

Somebody was saying Werth has no power. Ok.

haha... and werth responds to beerleaguer.

RSB - you watching? Response?

Werth reminds me a lot of Corey Hart. Not proven like Hart, but in terms of general appearance, batting stance and defense.

Beerleaguers rarely pass up a chance to say, "I told you so." But, in defense of RSB, one homerun does not disprove his argument about Jayson Werth.

Beerleaguer Slow-Pitch Softball team on the field tonight.

Helms / Burrell / Howard / Werth.

Rowand probably would fair well on that team as well.

BAP, guys with no power do not usually hit it out of RFK. Werth is no superstar, but at the same time he was supposed to have that kind of talent. Injuries hampered him, but maybe we are starting to see something from him playing everyday.

All of a sudden, these Gillick castoffs are about the only thing left of our offense. Scary. Bring back Brajas!

Matt Morris helping his own cause. 5-2 Mets.

RSB - Just yanking your chain, buddy. I said last night that I also believe Werth is at best a 5th outfielder and has been playing over his head since Vic and Bourne went down.

Rowand is playing his butt off this series on D.

I think we can all agree that Rowand is out of his early season defensive funk.

Parker: My point really had nothing to do with Jayson Werth. I was just needling the posters who wasted no time in piling on RSB after Werth's homerun.

Werth's history suggests that he has more power than he has shown this year & more power than RSB is giving him credit for. But one homerun -- no matter where it is hit -- does not prove this point.

That was a loooooong run to the ball by Aaron. Great play.

More good stuff from Kendrick. Too bad he left that ball up to the Nats' pitcher. Otherwise, he's been very good...again.

Okay, let's get some more hits here.

I totally agree. I do however, really like what I have seen from Werth. There were many doubters of Shane Victorino, but he has proven himself to me. I think Werth has a great chance to prove himself here. If he is able to continue this type of play, the bench will be one of the strongest in the NL. Something that was a major question mark at the beginning of the season. Werth has done everything right fillling in and I for one have a lot more confidence in the "black hole" with him in it.

why did charlie start batting burrell third on an away stretch? he's batting fricken .228 avg away from CBP.

Why do we always struggle in late-season series in DC? I can't deal with this crap.

why aren't we destroying this team-they suck!

I didn't mean to start a game 20 questions.

I think I said this before, but it really does bear repeating: this offense just looks like absolute crap.

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