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Saturday, August 18, 2007


Some thoughts:
Supposedly Phillies scouts aren't impressed with how F. Garcia has been pitching and don't seem excited to get that 83 mile an hour fast ball back in the lineup.

Anyone noticed Antonio Bastardo who is now 8-0 in Lakewood with a 1.81 ERA after joing team in mid-June?

Why isn't Coste starting 4-5 nights/week. He is hitting 100 points higher than Ruiz, speaks Spanish AND EMGLISH and handles the pitchers well?

And yes, J-Roll has had a great, great year but Utley still gets the vote from me. If J-Roll gets to 20 trips and his average is above 300... it will come down to who delivers in September.

Don't see what speaking EMGLISH has to do with anything.

I'm headin to San Diego on Tues and thus can't use my tickets to Phils Dodgers on Thursday at 1:05. Great seats at face (or best offer). They are $50 each for 2 tickets, which are located in Sec 137, row 5, seats 1 & 2. They are currently on stubhub, but that expires tomorrow.
email me at if interested.

I think it's time to sit the Big Guy who plays first base down for a bit. Let Dobbs get in on the action for a while. Give Ry Guy a game or twos vacation. He looks like he could use the alternate perspective.

Slocs: Bastardo needs to be moved up a level. He's old for Lakewood and we need to see him perform against stiffer competition. He's a free agent out of the Dominican and has pretty much been under the radar. I want him to repeat this performance at AA before I get excited.

You're dead on about Coste. He needs to be starting 5 nights a week until he slumps.

Final thought: Rowand is clearly having a career year. That will jack up his price. What are the odds he repeats this season next year? With Bourn & Vic on the team, does it make sense to spend big bucks on Rowand rather than pitching? Or do you re-sign Rowand and trade Bourn/Vic for pitching?

Final, final thought: Where are the cowardly posters who mocked Abreu's slow start earlier this season? Cowering in a corner I guess.

Signing off for now, Stephen A....oops, I mean clout.

I didn't know we're supposed to comment on Abreu. Abreu has turned it around-good for him. What's the point? As you know, he has been traded to the Yankees. Like it or not, he's gone. I'm comfortable with (a healthy) Victorino in there.

On the flipside: I also don't hear the Germano lovers much anymore.

rollins has been underrated all year long. the guy does it all (except walk), and the team goes as he goes.

slocs: EMGLISH? maybe you should be starting catcher with those kind of language skills...

clout: can we please please have an embargo on mentioning a***u on this blog? that horse has beaten to a pulp, and i really don't want to read repeatedly recycled posts from multiple repeated discussions 50 more times today. god save us all.

i like j-roll as the team mvp, but he will never get many league mvp votes because he doesn't have the big numbers. to understand what jimmy has done for this team you have to watch the games day in and day out. i will say that jimmy might be the most underrated player in the NL. he has turned into arguably the most complete player on the phillies.
as for garcia his potential return scares me. can the phillies really afford to find out if he can pitch at the big league level in the heat of a race? if someone starts to suck or gets hurt then he can go in, but do we need a potential disaster and a restrictive pitch count starting on september 16th at shea? also it appeared that he had little to no interest in ever pitching here.
also regarding garcia, a lot is made of the phills medical staff letting him come here. but i have a different theory. gillick knew he was an injury risk. he also knew that if healthy he would put the team over the top in a big way and that he was the only available pitcher who could. knowing this the team gambled on his health and lost. fans like to harp over the 9 mill but who cares? what they really gave up was gio gonzalez and some dead wood. we can say that the 9 mill could have gone to another starter, but who? or the bullpen, but again to who? gillick knew it was a one year medical gamble too bad it didn't work.

Obviously I meant English and my point is that Ruiz has trouble communication with the non-Spanish speaking pitchers. He also seems to me more out of sink with pitchers at times where Coste just seems to know right away what is working and what isn't working. As for me starting as catcher, not sure I can throw the ball all the way to second. Burrell could probably steal third all the way from first if I was catching with no hitter up. So Ruiz or Badarajas are still better options than Slocs.

slocs, who has complained about ruiz's so-so english being a problem?

Crazy that the Cardinals are only 3 games out of first just like the Phils. Might be easier to catch the cubs than catching the Mets.

We need to win today and tomorrow cause the next two weeks will be hard. Looks like we won't face Peavy in the San Diego Series and won't see Young until Sunday. Both face the Mets when we play the Dodgers. Although Hamels won't start until the 1st game of the Mets series.

bathtubhippo: This team doesn't complain about teammates but I think it has to be an issue. I could be wrong.

I agree with the calls to start Coste... it makes no sense that he's hititng like he is, but baseball is a game of streaks (for many players, at least), and it makes sense to try and ride it out.

Slocs, there are plenty of reasons to argue in favor of Coste starting. No need to bring your xenophobic imaginations into the debate.

Strange: Politics don't belong on this board. Slocs is not the first to wonder if Ruiz's limited English causes him difficulties in communicating with pitchers; there was a whole thread on the same subject a few weeks ago. I don't know if it's true or not, but it isn't xenophobic to wonder if a catcher who isn't fluent in the same language as his pitcher has trouble communicating with him. It's pretty annoying when people throw around the "racist" label to anyone who asks a perfectly valid question that the rules of political correctness say you're not supposed to ask.

Dave X, it makes perfect sense that Coste is hitting like he is. He has hit everywhere he's ever played - independent leagues and jigh and low minors. Simply put: the guy can rake.

What he's showing is that last season was no fluke, and he's even surprising supporters like me. I thought (I posted it here in the offseason) that last season was exceptional and that there would be some falloff. I had him pegged at .280 to .300 this year, not .328.

He can hit, period, and deserves to catch 5 nights a week. If he had not been mis-used by Gillick, and had the ABs, he would probably be in the top ten hitters in the league (a .311 AVG will do it), and maybe challenging for a batting title. The only question is whether the season long wear and tear would exhaust him, but there are other catchers his age or older who seem to be able to handle it.

The Rod Barajas signing was the biggest mistake of Seattle Stew's offseason moves. It not only wasted money that could have been used to sign RP, but it deprived the team of a full season of Coste, and probably cost the team 1-3 games, possibly as many as five, if you assume a quality reliever had been signed instead of Barajas.

In short, if the Phillies don't make the playoffs, the Barajas signing could be the difference.

Hey Clout I know what your saying. I'm still waiting for all those people happy about the Ryne Sandberg deal to start posting.

b_a_p - I'll talk politics when I like, thank you. In any event, it seems to me Slocs brought the politics in first. He points to no evidence to support his concern, just his own hunch. It may annoy you when people throw around the "racist label," but I find it just as annoying when people are given a free pass to make unsupported musings that are patently xenophobic in their nature. If someone does so, I'm perfectly within my rights to point out that it's happening. Moreover, I didn't call Slocs a racist, nor am I doing so now. I used precise language for a reason.

As for Ruiz' language skills, I've heard him on the radio a few times. His English is not the best, but it's perfectly understandable.

Moreover, why are we putting the burden on Ruiz (or any other Spanish-speaking ballplayer) to speak English? Why not expect that the English-speaking members of the pitching staff speak some Spanish? In fact, many of them probably do - this is major league baseball, after all, and many players are far ahead of the national average on being at least *competent* in a second language.

Finally - isn't this all a red herring? Just how much communication is going on out there in brief trips to the mound? I've never been there, but I have a hard time believing it's much more than a quick discussion about which pitch comes next, and why. They're not getting into high-level philosophical debates. Limited language proficiency is probably perfectly adequate to get the job done.

Coste's didn't hit THAT well in the minors. A career .299/.354/.447 line for someone who spent their ages 27-32 years in levels ranging from rookie to AAA means its more or less impossible for him to hit like he has without a lot of luck.

No suprise - his BABIP is almost .400.

Political Correctness is stupid! Wait, is that politically incorrect to make such a statement. Since this is not my blog, I'm not going to get into this bunch of horsesh*t, but seriously, what ever happened to things being funny regardless of skin color, religion, sexual preference, or nationality? My God...oops, I mean my goodness, can't we just all get along?!

Anyway, back to Phils. Go Phils!

i presume that no catcher and very few players are in the bigs who don't atleast speak "baseball english". whatever advantage coste has over ruiz calling a game is likely part of the carear backup/minor league catcher phenomoenon. what happens is when a guy heas nough talent to fast track it to a starting catching job (ruiz/lieberthal/piazza/etc) he never take the extra time to become a great game caller. meanwhile guys who are short on talent spend time developing skills to keep them on rosters, such as calling games well (coste/pratt/etc)and playing other positions. its likely the reason maddux always prefered the backup catcher in atlanta. it happens often.


Last 10 games = ERA = 3.05

Eaton = 7 million a year...

It is truly remarkable this team that was 4-11 has battled back to tie for the WC and they are doing it with out Utley and Vic. They have to keep it up - the schedule isn't letting up anytime soon. Would be real nice to sweep the Pirates..but we just need to focus on winning series at this point.

Was at PNC last night and will be there tonight. For those that havent been, PNC is one of the best, if not the best "new" park in MLB.

strange, why is it xenophobic to speculate that there might be a mild language barrier between Ruiz and English speaking pitchers? It doesn't logically follow. I re-read Slocs comment, and didn't find anything "xenophobic" about it.

It seems to me that you're either overly sensitive to the issue and looking for xenophobia where there is none, or you can't make the logical distinction between discussing language barriers and irrational fear of foreigners.

To wit, is it xenophobic of you if you say: "I can't really communicate with that guy from Poland (he lives in Bridesburg, you know), because he doesn't speak English vey well."

Dave X, Coste is on record as saying he changed his swing a couple of years back, to try to hit for more power. That might have something to do with it.

As I said, his performance is truly a surprise. I expected .280 -.300 from him this year in sharing the duties, but in my book that's OK for a part-time catcher.

Also, he may come back to Earth a little. He hasn't had that many ABs, and it is a small sample size.

Strange: This is a baseball blog, not a political one, so I'm going to move on -- after one final rebuttal.

I don't detect any distinction between calling someone a racist & calling someone xenophobic. Both words mean the same thing & they're both just labels, devoid of any ideas & thrown out just to assert one's moral superiority to the other.

Slocs is a regular on this board & this issue about Ruiz has come up more than once before. Is it speculation? Of course, it is -- but people speculate on this board all the time, especially when they're trying to justify their point. It seems to me that calling someone a racist or a xenophobe is a pretty serious allegation & the person making the allegation bears a heavy burden of proof before he makes it.

Yes, you are "within your rights" to call someone a xenophobe. But I'm within my rights to be offended when you do so recklessly.

ok AWH I agree with you

anyone out there in beerleaguer world think Iguchi could play 3B when Chase returns?

Adam: Thats the million dollar question for when Chase returns. I'm pretty sure everyone hopes he can, but we're not sure yet.

Oh and it seems that whenever says anything remotely politically incorrect that "strange" pops up to be offended by it. I agree with Slocs Ruiz and the pitchers probably do have a language barrier. Also I've never heard a pitcher compliment Ruiz on his calling of games, but I'm constantly hearring it for Coste. Obviously this year and last Coste is showing he can hit better than Ruiz. So why not have him be the starting catcher?

strange may have overreacted a bit, but I think he's right to criticize the idea that Ruiz's ability to speak English is what makes him a less effective catcher than Coste. I highly doubt the 'language barrier' is what the issue stems from. What's more apparent to me is that Ruiz is simply not all that skilled in pitch-calling, and if you watch him hit, it becomes that much more apparent that he has trouble thinking along with the pitcher. Ruiz was a relatively late convert to catcher, and while he does possess decent defensive skills behind the plate, he doesn't seem to have come around to handling the pitch-calling aspect of the position.

I agree with RSB, and to some extent, strange as well.

I have seen absolutely no suggestion that Ruiz's ability or inability to speak fluent English has been a problem whatsoever.

It doesn't matter what language you speak when you're putting down one or two fingers.

I think it's a ludicrous suggestion based on zero evidence.

RSB, exactly, couldn't have said it any better than that.

I dont care if Coste only speaks Chinese...he is a better catcher and hitter for this team right now and should be getting the bulk of thr starts.

Mr. Keeler, I think you just ended the discussion.

Wes Helms just won the gold glove for the Marlins in my MLB 2K7 Franchise

Speaking of Helms: I wouldn't be surprised if he gets the start at 1B tonight to give Howard the day off.

I'd rather see Dobbs get the start, even against the lefthander, but thats just me.

I wouldn't vote for Rollins. If the Brewers make the playoffs, Fielder will win - if they don't, he still might, but right now my choice would be Hanley Ramirez. Plays a great shortstop and he's as good a hitter as anyone in the NL. Though I could see voting for Utley if he comes back and has a great September.

About Abreu. Everyone knows he always finishes with good numbers. He's a good hitter - who could probably win a batting championship if the rest of the league agreed to start the season in June. Personally, I've enjoyed seeing Victorino, Werth, and whomever else has played right field make a few plays within 20 feet of the wall.

I find it humorous that you refer to me as a xenophobe. In 1993, I founded a company that specializes in sending people abroad to learn languages. I myself lived in Guatemala for two months and took intensive Spanish courses to learn the language and I've traveled and lived abroad in about 30 countries. To date 28,000 people have particpated on language and cultural immersion programs offered by my company. Based on these factors, I don't think I am your typical xenophobic person, but you are entitled to your opinion. Help out, what is the word for a person who characterizes another person negatively because they don't share the same opinion?

The point of my first post was as follows - Coste speaks two languages and can communicate with BOTH Spanish-speaking and English-speaking pitchers. Ruiz's English skills are limited. Therefore I questioned Ruiz's ability to communicate with the entire pitching staff. If you think communication between a pitcher and catcher isn't important well I don't agree but I won't mis-characterize you.

As for who should try to learn the other's language. Last I looked, the majority of our starting pitcher's native tongue was English. Further, the USA's official language is still English and thus the impetus is on Ruiz to learn English not for Moyer, Durbin, Myers, Kendrick, Hamels, etc. to learn Spanish.

my predicted line up for tonight

nunez (moyer pitching need defense)

Coste to start at 1b to give Howard the night off against the left hander, what do you guys think?

Slocs: I never called you a xenophobe, and based on your background, it appears wise that I did not. I simply said that your imagination, based on no evidence (as you admitted), that Ruiz was having problems communicating with the pitchers, was a xenophobic imagination.

Even though I feel that my original statement was accurate, I might have been willing to issue an apology and retract my statement. Until your last post, in which you wrote: "Further, the USA's official language is still English and thus the impetus is on Ruiz to learn English not for Moyer, Durbin, Myers, Kendrick, Hamels, etc. to learn Spanish." If anything, this solidifies my criticism.

For one thing, your assertion that English is the official language of the US is patently false. The United States does not have an official language. I challenge you to prove that it does. Many people in the US speak English, but that does not make it the official language.

More importantly, your suggestion that Ruiz should learn Spanish because he is in the United States is a hallmark of xenophobia - or at least a very strong indication that you believe foreigners should change to accomodate "us," and not the other way around. Why not a compromise position?

At any rate, this discussion is rooted in absurdity because you have offered no proof that there is in fact a failure to communicate based on language barriers between Ruiz and the pitching staff. It is mere speculation. I agree that Coste deserves more starts than Ruiz, but for other, provable reasons: offense, defense, and ability to call a good game.


I did not call Slocs a racist or a xenophobe, and I will not do so. I simply said that his fantasy (remember, the one he has no evidence for) that Ruiz' language proficiency has caused a communication barrier with the pitching staff sounded like a xenophobic imagination. Go back and look for yourself if you don't believe me.

As for your claim that "Both words mean the same thing & they're both just labels, devoid of any ideas & thrown out just to assert one's moral superiority to the other," well that's just ridiculous. Words are useful because they represent ideas. And I trust you have a dictionary and can parse the difference between xenophobic and racist.

Finally, I don't bring this up to assert anyone's moral superiority. I bring it up to point out that some comments have damaging or insulting implications. I know this is a baseball blog, but I'm interested in baseball for a lot of reasons. Mostly I think it's a fun game to watch. But I also think baseball is an interesting microcosm to notice and discuss a lot of social issues. My thanks to you, Slocs, RSB, CJ, AWH, Bathtubhippo and anyone else who participates.


It's not xenophobic for someone to say they have a hard time communicating with so-and-so from Bridesburg. But it might be xenophobic to speculate (your word), idly, and with no evidence, that the reason Ruiz can't call a game as well as Coste is because Ruiz can't speak English well enough. How do we know? It's the speculation that seems a dangerous.

Sorry for the multiple posts - I've been away from the computer but wanted to reply. I'll quiet down now, I promise.

Strange- you say "why not a compromise position"- why should we comprise? Everybody's ancestors who came here had to learn the language (cept I guess the English), all the sudden liberals like you want me to learn a different language.

Yes, I am getting personal, and political. You were politely warned off earlier, but you didn't get the hint. This is a Phillies blog, not liberal politics. Please try Keith Olberman's blog to discuss your radical politics.

Strange: I stand corrected and I thought it was Americans insisting that everybody, everywhere speak English to us was the problem. Good to know it is their responsibility to learn my language when I'm there and our responsibility to learn their language when they are here. Seems kinda strange but after that is your user name.

I'm talking about being practical and logical. Climb back up on your mountain and smite down us poor ignorant folks.

Hey Squatter and Slocs: I'm not really concerned with what languages you guys speak, or what languages you wish "they" would speak.

Getting back to baseball, I'm suggesting, as a practical matter, that English speaking pitchers might find it in their practical interest to learn a little Spanish. Especially if the catcher's first language is Spanish. And I bet most of the guys pitching in the bigs have done so. So much so that Slocs' suggestion that Ruiz and the starting 5 somehow cannot talk to each other about what pitch comes next is something plucked out of fantasyland.

Despite ample opportunities, Slocs has offered *no proof* that language is the cause for Ruiz calling a worse game than Coste - just his speculation. So all this meandering about "us" and "them" is an absurd distraction. Nonetheless, I think it has clarified how you feel.

AWH; i think rod barajas sucks too.

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