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Monday, August 13, 2007


Shedding many crocodile tears for the Braves right now. Not getting a call or two, having the umpires make them actually earn their outs. After a decade or two of watching them have tons of almost strikes called strikes over the years, one lousy DP doesn't balance that out.

And if they promise not to count their runs next time they hit a CBP cheap HR, then we'll do the same.

From Hagen's article today:

"He (Mesa) hasn't allowed a run in his last 12 appearances, he had allowed only three of 22 inherited runners to score and had a 2.52 ERA in 24 games since being signed by the Phillies on June 9."

For once, I have no idea on how Mesa has been this effective given the stuff he throws. Any other posters have an idea?

Also from the Hagen article:

"For the past few weeks, this "give me your tired, your poor" collection of spare parts has pitched well enough to keep the Phillies in contention."

Personally, I prefer Weitzel's "Value Village" moniker for the Phils' bullpen. Rolls off the tongue a bit easier and I love the alliteration.

I can understand the Braves' frustration with the call at second -- it was questionable, and 9 times out of 10 the second baseman gets that call -- but bitching about the HR is just silly. The park is what the park is, and the distances are the same for both teams. If Chipper had put one over that fence to win I'm sure Bobby Cox wouldn't have complained too much. My geographical location gives me a lot of opportunities to observe the Braves on a regular basis, and they've always seemed to me to be a franchise that conducts themselves with class; so it's pretty dissapointing to see them whine about a HR that, despite Cox's claims, goes out in a lot of parks. And even if it doesn't, it *did* go out in the park that mattered last night, so get over it.

Alright, I'm not going to fool myself into believing the Brick Cit House is a pitcher friendly or even neutral park, but if it's so damn easy to hit homeruns in why didn't the Braves go deep last night and why was Howard's homerun the only homerun? Shut your cry-baby traps you little whiny losers! And as far as that "call" goes, the umps had balls and made the right shut up yet again Braves! I guess when you have a string of 14 years you get accustomed to "getting" calls, like a Maddux strike 6-8 inches off the plate.

That was an awesome win from our rag-tag bunch. I can't wait to Vic and Utley get back, this team may actually be able to do something special.

MG: Value Village was an RSB original. I only wish I came up with it.

Speaking of Mesa MG, you and I get the prize for predicting his acquisition would somehow work out, although I was ready to dump him after one or two appearances. Oddly enough, it's playing out like I thought it would. I have no idea how he's doing it, but he's doing it nonetheless, although experience is certainly one reason.

Now if Garcia comes back and helps them in September, I'll be two-for-two on wild predictions.

Maybe we should start a petition about Eaton to help Cholly make up his mind. Why not give Durbin the start and yank him for Eaton if he blows up early, say the fifth inning or sooner?

Here's my wild prediction. Scott Mathieson is added to the roster in September and gets some key outs in a relief role.

I was at the game last night - Section 211. We all looked at each other and asked "How does he do it?", when Howard hit that homerun. It was a spectacle. If that's Cox's definition of "a little fly ball" then I wonder what his definition of "a shot" is. I would wager to say that the only ballpark that ball is an out s Yankee Stadium, where it's over 400 ft. to left center. The other 29 parks - gone.

TOKevin is correct, the Braves have always conducted themselves with class - because they were winning. Now, both the Mets and Phils have teams that give them trouble, and they can't just steamroll the division anymore. And with the Phils having "The Great Equalizer" - Ryan Howard, no small lead is safe, no matter how good their pitching is.

So, let's see how classy they are when faced with a little adversity, tough competition and umpires that actually make them earn their outs.

Jason, with regard to Mesa, he's using more off speed stuff, and I don't recall his breaking ball ever being this good. On a couple of his outings it's been 'gordon-like', in reference to Flash's hook. It's dropping off Joe's table. Maybe that's enough change of pace to keep the hitters off-balance.

I like the call to give Durbin another shot. I cringe when I see Eaton's name as the starter, just like I cringed when I saw Lieber's name. But Durbin... I don't cringe as much.

Put Eaton on waivers - the guys in the minors can't be any worse.
Perhaps we can get something for him.

Howard's home run: 391 feet.

Shut up Cox.

the braves have done a lot of whining this year first their inter-league schedule and now this. get over it, your not the only team who gets unlucky breaks

Tough break for the Braves on the call at 2nd base, but I'd rather see the umps call things accurately than automatically give the out to the second baseman/shortstop.

I beg to differ regarding the Braves are a classy organization.

They might be one of the best run organizations but that is a little different.

Smoltz has often been the biggest critic of CBP when he could have taken the low road.

Cox is a team guy but will say what is on his mind and has had some negative things to say about the Phillies over the years (again probably mostly all true but not very professional).

One thing that really gets under my skin is Chipper's smirk that I have seen all too many times over the years in their dugout, especially after some embarrasing Phillies play or moves.

Let's give the talent evaluators & Cox some credit as the Braves are in a small market and deal with a different deck of cards.

Actually the Braves remind of the Buffalo Bills where they always have a competitive team and probably the more talented players but fail to win when it counted the most.

Lake Nostradamus predicts that Eaton will get the starting nod against Pittsburgh. My reasoning is that the Pirates are a cellar dwellar type team and Eaton will be given one more chance against a patsy team to redeem himself. I think Eaton's career is now on a game to game basis. Each game will be treated as a tryout to pitch the next game.

I like Value Village. The name sounds like a cheap dollar store in the shopping mall. When Hillary comes to Philly to campaign, she'll be saying, "It takes a village, a Value Village."

My take on the Village. I've come around to like Alfonseca. I'm amazed that Detroit trash heap discard Joe Mesa has been producing. Romero has come out of nowhere to quietly perform. I'm convinced that Gordon should retire and Myers should be a starter next year.

Let Cox and the Braves cry in their beer! I, for one, do not feel an ounce of sympathy for them.

Last night was a huge win. You gotta love the passion and enthusiasm this team is showing. They are fun to watch, don't give up, and have been playing inspired ball.

I really do feel bad for those Braves, that the outfield fence is pushed back when they come up to bat. It's just not fair!

Just wondering...what stadium did the Braves play in last night?

Awesome win by the Phils! Manuel needs to act like he has a set and rid the rotation of Eaton. Ride the hot hand of Happ!

Ride the hot hand of Happ!

That's not a bad idea.

From the Zolecki article (about Eaton):

The righthander is 2-4 with a 7.96 ERA in his last 10 starts. He has pitched more than six innings just once in that span, and has had just one quality start.

A couple of quick questions.

1) I went to a Brooklyn Cyclones game last night. Good times. But I'm curious as to what kind of prospects play in the "Short Season" leagues, as opposed to say the Gulf Coast Leagues, etc. Are these guys lesser prospects?

2) I saw in Zolecki's article this a.m. that Utley was seeing the hand specialist today. Has that been pushed up a week?

I am not 100% sure, but I think Utley meets with the hand specialist every Monday. Looks like he might be back for the Phils-Muts game 2 weeks from today.

there is no way that eaton is waived. we're still on the hook for 2 more years and $16 M

i don't knwo what to do with him. its nuts. he shouldnt be this bad.

and by now, it has to be in his head. maybe a 15 day rest may do him good.

short season == 1st year draftees, college kids, etc.

I would prefer to just skip Eaton in the rotation. We have an off day this Monday and next Monday - we can just go with our 4 best guys and they get their usual 4 days rest at least for the next two turns in the rotation. Look Charlie wants to give as much rest to Moyer and Hamel but he doesn't have the luxury. I'm not convinced about Durbin - he pitched fine in LA and San Diego but guys hit some long balls off hinm both nights witch would have been out here and other friendlier parks.

More over, the guys who need the rest is the bullpen - they are over used and burnt and pitching on fumes. If a 4 man rotation can consistently get us in to the 7th before we need the pen then this will help us way more.

Finally, Charlie has got to let the starters stay in if they are still pitching well. Pulling Kendrick the other night with only 71 pitches and throwing first ball strikes to the previous 9 hitters was idiotic.

Steve Smith must feel lucky that he got off the hook last night. Does anyone know how many guys he has gotten thrown out at the plate this year? Why can't we send coaches back down to the minors, just like players, when they don't perform at a major league level??

Smith had a bad, bad night last night.

Can't Jimy Williams coach 3rd?

Steve Smith will not have a job with the Phils next year.

By the way... I disagree that teams ususally get the call at second when a player does what Escobar does. He wasn't really close to the bag. It's like he was testing just how far away he could be and still get the call. In fact, he never touched it... at least most players will give it a token drag after throwing the ball.

The "neighborhood play" does not mean dancing 2 feet away from the bag on either side. If you're afraid of the take-out slide, go back to the minors and man up.

Plus, Gooch beat the throw. We didn't get a break. We played hard (Rollins hard slide, Gooch hard down the line) and it paid off. That's what good teams do.

And we don't cry about it later.

I still can't get over Morgan's "Pat Burrell can run" comment, said minutes before the best third base coach EVER sent ol' Wheelsless Pat.

Comical, but for the game having meaning and the Phils actually contending.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'd prefer to keep Manuel for another three seasons than see Steve Smith standing in that third base box ever again.

OK. I wouldn't prefer Manuel, either. They both should have already gots-a-steppin'.

Not to argue petty things, CJ, but I had thought Escobar sort of straddled the bag with a few inches on either side.. when he tried to slide his foot over the bag, Rollins was in his face, forcing him to leap over the base. He never touched it, but it looked a lot closer than 2 feet.

Can we just replace Smith with a remote-control traffic light?

Not to change the topic, but have you seen the ugly numbers on Gagne with the Red Sox? Five appearances, four innings pitched, seven earned runs, 10 hits, 15.75 ERA. Blew two 8th-inning leads, and Boston lost both games.

I like the traffic light idea, though good thing we don't have Abreu anymore, he'd still go on red.

On Gagne: well thats certainly a good sign. They were looking like the 2nd coming when that trade went down.

If I have to sit through another Red Sox/Yankees ALCS, I just may kill myself.

Sorry, just don't like either one of those teams.

We'd probably need the blinking strobe light models to hold up Burrell as well.

I haven't read the game conversation from last night, so sorry if this was already said. I watched the game this morning and while I totally agree that Smith should never had sent Burrell in the first, I thought it was a decent call to send Werth. Unfortunately, it looked to me like Werth was just jogging around third. Francoeur made a great throw, but I think many players would have scored on that hit regardless of the throw. And the dance around home plate was just a bit embarrassing.

Unrelated, I just checked out the pitching matchups against the Nats and how is it that we are facing three pitchers with ERAs under 3.00?! Granted they are all righties, so we should be able to hit them, but jeez I was hoping for some easy games.

It seems like the Braves always have to make excuses. IF it was a different ballpark, IF they had gotten the wrong call on a double-play they didn't turn. Well the ump made the right call and guess what, the scoreboard doesn't care if Bobby Cox thinks the park is too small. Remember when Chipper Jones--who is supposed to be in a position where he leads his teammates and carries himself with class--went whining to CBS that the Phillies had an easy interleague schedule? I guess he doesn't remember last year when we played the Red Sox, Yankees, and Blue Jays consecutively (and got run into the ground by all three). The Braves are a good team, no doubt, but they sure don't carry themselves like one.

@Ribbies -- the dance around home, allowed Nunez to get to second.. even though it was "embarassing" it was actually a good baseball decision.

joe: Maybe his right foot got closer than that, but it was never even really in the "neighborhood." His left foot might as well have been in centerfield.

Ribbies: Mike is right... Werth was watching Nunez as he was "dancing." It was a smart decision which followed Smith's bad decision to send him.

Let's not forget Octavio Dotel. He's had all of 5 appearances with the Braves, given up runs in two of them (including 3 ER in 0.1 inning) and has a blown save before going on the DL with a bum shoulder. That's what Jayson Star was alluding to when he mentioned Dotel had barely pitched after the All Star game and before the trading deadline.

It looks like the best reliever dealt at the deadline may have been Mahey, who will just kill our lefties in big spots the rest of this year.

Ah, thanks for the explanation on Werth.

Mahay was filthy the other night.

The Dotel acquisition never worried me. Glad to see he's on the shelf and the Braves' system is a little less stacked than it was on July 29th.

Espeically after seeing Davies pitch well for the Royals the other night.

Almost buried in the Hagen article today:

Heck, J.D. Durbin (who is expected to go into the rotation in place of struggling Adam Eaton this weekend in Pittsburgh) is with his fourth organization since spring training.

Is he inferring a decision has been made, or does Hagen know something the rest of us don't about Eaton?

Bedrock: Yeah... I think everyone knew Davies had talent, but he's been able to harness it consistently. I bet you he'd be in the Braves rotation if Mazzone were still there.

Think Mazzone would consult on Eaton?

Dubee doesn't have a clue how to help him.

i don't understand how Gillick could impose an explicit rehauling of our coaching staff and come up with arguably the worst third base coach in the majors and a pitching coach that couldn't even turn his own kid into a decent pitcher...

is there a precedent for firing a third base coach mid-season?

and what are mlb's rules on being a player/manager. can we formally give jamie moyer his title as pitching coach? he seems to be more effective than dubee anyway...

Moyer might be a good pitching coach, but I think Larry Andersen would be a great coach.

I'm not going to defend Dubee because I don't know what kind of effect good or bad he has on players.

I do know that Adam Eaton is to blame for his pitching woes. I do know that Kyle Kendrick has been a godsend.

I also know that the name Dave Duncan has been bandied about as a pitching guru. For the record, the Phils have a better team ERA than the Cardinals.

I think we expend a little too much energy expressing angst over Rich Dubee. At some point, guys like Adam Eaton have to pitch, or take a spot on the bench.

Eaton needs to know, in himself, that when he toes the rubber, he's the best.

If he has any doubt, like the record he's had this season, he's screwed.

Listen to the guy talk about a loss- I mean he's literally in disbelief about his stuff. He can't believe that him, the adam eaton, the first round draft pick, could pitch so badly. And he doesn't know what it will take to fix it.

He's screwed.

Also: In July, the Phils had the 7th best ERA in baseball (4.09) and in August we were 13th (4.39). This pitching improvement couldn't come at a better time as we battle with a lineup that sometimes includes 4 likely outs at the end (Werth, Ruiz, Nunez, Pitcher). Of course, some timely hitting from the bottom of the lineup has helped, too.

CJ: you have a point there, in that i can't be certain exactly what effect Dubee has on the pitchers, but i finding it striking that you never hear the pitchers credit Dubee the way Victorino or Bourn will credit Lopes about baserunning...

@ Joe: "there is no way that eaton is waived. we're still on the hook for 2 more years and $16 M"
The Phillies placed Pat Burrell on waivers earlier this month - he's owed $27 million over 2 years - he cleared.
They won't deal Burrell, but the point is that it doesn't hurt to put Adam Eaton on waivers - pitching is still at a premium in baseball.

CJ: Let's not overstate this "4 likely outs" nonsense. Ruiz and Werth are both .250 hitters. The difference between a .250 hitter and a .300 hitter is roughly one hit over the course of five games. That's not the everyday lineup, so the extra outs amount to a couple a week.

By the way, slagging Dave Duncan because of St. Louis' ERA is pretty amusing. Have you taken a look at what happened to the St. Louis pitching staff this year? They lost most of their starters from last year, they lost a couple more, including Carpenter, to injuries; their top two starters were both relievers last year (and Looper was a career reliever). And that's not even taking into account 20 or so years of past success, including taking Dave Stewart from the Phillies and turning him into a 20-game winner within a year. You really want to compare him with Rich Dubee?

ON a more positive note, someone mentioned Leo MAzzone. I wonder if he'd be interested in taking a job elsewhere now that his best friend, Sam Perlozzo, has been fired in Baltimore. I wouldn't be surprised if he returned to Atlanta, but shouldn't the Phillies inquire about him?

Alby, I would love to have Mazzone in a Phils uni, as he is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, pitching coach in MLB. My gut tells me that his allegiance to the Braves was only slightly outweighed by that to Perlozzo. I can't imagine him going anywhere buy Atlanta, especially not Philadelphia. But wouldn't it be great having him teach guys like Hamels, Kendrick and Durbin. It would be something. Hell, wouldn't it be great to have someone other than Dubee?

One more thing:

I missed all of the games this weekend (out of town and on a flight during last night's game). Catching up via Beerleaguer is like sitting in my living room with a few buddies cheering, screaming and evaluating. Thanks for making me feel at home, even when on the road.

I cannot imagine Mazzone in Philly. He is right back in Atlanta at seasons end.

CubeHostage: To be honest, I'm not sure I hear much from anyone crediting pitching coaches. Maybe it happens, but it's probably pretty rare.

CrazyJon: There's a difference between putting someone on trade waivers and actually waiving someone. There's no way Burrell or Eaton will be waived. Period.

Alby: I didn't mean to overstate it. I was just saying that replacing Utley and Victorino with lesser hitters and considering our problems at third, that it's been important for our pitchers to step up.

And regarding Dave Duncan, I wasn't comparing him to Dubee. I was merely stating that despite his God-like status on this list, his pitching staff is pitching like hell this year. That's all. It's a fact. People can blame injuries all they want, but it's not like Dubee's pitching staff has been at all healthy. Injuries happen.

you guys are misunderstanding the difference between waiving and releasing a player. if a player is waived and picked up by another team, the new team picks up the entire remainder of his contract. if a player is released, the original team is still responsible for the entire contract, and the player can also sign a new FA contract (as we did this season with Romero and Mesa). it's possible that Eaton might not be waiveable either; I know there's restrictions on how soon you can trade a player in the first year of a contract and there might be a similar one for waivers.

additionally, I'm sure one of the reasons nobody claimed Burrell was that his FNTC allows him to decline assignment to any team through waivers, just like if it was a trade.

Alby ~ Totally on board with you. Mazzone would be a great aquisition for the Phils, but do you really think a tight fisted ownership would even consider over paying (that's what it would take) Mazzone to come here? They never pay top dollar for coaches (why do you think Cholly is still here?)The last great pitching coach we had was Johnny Podres. I still think if they hired Joe Girardi, the pitching staff, as well as the team, would greatly benefit.

As for Sloc's earlier comments - I like the 4 man rotation idea this week. Eaton skipping his next start sounds like a good move. The over-used bullpen needs some rest, and you know they won't get any as long as Eaton is pitching.

While I'm at it, am I the only one that thought Werth should have run the catcher over like Pete Rose would have? I still think the Phillies should be more aggressive when it comes to running people over and after our players get HBP. They have yet to drill anyone after one of our guys gets hit. Aaron Rowand has been hit in the double digits range, and nobody backs him up. Great way to make him want to leave a FA. When/if he leaves, be sure to remember that fact.

CJ: So it's a blanket shot at Duncan, because his team ERA is lousy? You still ought to do a little research before you throw stones. Imagine we lost all our starters for next year except for Hamels, who then got hurt after the first game. That's the situation Duncan is in. It's a helluva lot different than the injuries we suffered to Lieber, Garcia and Myers (who after all was a reliever when he went down). Baltimore has some underperforming pitchers this year; for that matter, Atlanta had trouble developing pitchers for years. Does that make Mazzone no good? Duncan is held up as a great coach not just on this board but throughout baseball, based on a 20-year track record of success. If you want to defend Dubee, you could not that pitching in a bandbox undoes pitchers wherever it happens, not just in Philly. But attacking Duncan just exposes your lack of knowledge.

Mr. Mac: You don't throw at the other team every time your player gets hit. You throw at the other team when one of your players is intentionally thrown at. Chase Utley and Aaron Rowand crowd the plate and dive into a lot of pitches. I can't remember many times when the opposing pitchers were intentionally throwing at them.

You can be the best pitching coach in the world but if the pitcher does not listen it is all irrevelant.

Somewhere I read Eaton's velocity is down from years past (might have been Dubee saying it) but he still tries to blow his fastball by people early in the game.

If he would use his off-speed pitches more often in the early innings it would set-up his fastball better.

Of course as clout will always be sure to drive home his location is the biggest problem.

EATON would be best served pitching during the Home Run hitting contest.

guys like Rowand and Utley aren't getting hit because pitchers are trying to brush them off (generally speaking), they're getting HBPs because they're sacrificing themselves to get on base. it's a proud tradition in baseball, from Hughie Jennings to Ron Hunt to Craig Biggio.

but the idea that our pitchers aren't "backing up" our players is baseless. Phils pitchers are third in all of baseball in HBPs.

ae - Good point.

Since we picked up Rowand it appears Utley has bought into that tradition even more.

After the last Eaton debacle he said he thinks he needs to pitch with a little more conviction. Saturday he showed none.

Conviction is what AA did last night. He wanted those Ks and pitched like hell to get em. Then he did the "El Pulpa Polka"

He rocks. I love to see someone that fired up!!

ae: Adding to the "taking one for the team" mentality, Utley's presence over the plate has been dramatically helping Vic's success on the basepaths. You will note that he leans a bit further into pitches early in the count, watching all the way. He does an excellent job of obstructing the catcher's view and (to a lesser degree) making himself a bit of an obstacle within the rules of the game. I think it is all a bit circular as well, as pitchers tend to reward his actions with a few extra inside pitches.

phanatics brother: I couldn't agree more that Alfie's ridiculous dance fires me up as well. Remember how damn annoying/ frustrating that was when he was in Florida?

I was actually a little concerned about Alfonseca's dancing. I'm no doctor, but should a man in such late stages of pregnancy be exerting himself like that? It strikes me as a bit irresponsible.

Alby: I understood CJ's point to be more a defense of Dubee than an attack on Duncan. To put it inartfully, I think CJ was saying that even the best pitching coach in the world can't turn a pile of dogsh*t into a pile of gold. I've previously made the same argument in defense of Dubee. We really don't have enough information to know whether or not he is a good pitching coach. People just reflexively blame him for all the team's pitching problems when, in fact, he has been saddled with some pretty lousy pitchers. If anything, the evidence suggests that Dubee has actually done a good job in 2007, as many of the Phillies' newcomers have actually done better than they did with their previous teams (i.e., Mesa, Alfonseca, Romero, Moyer).

My fiancee and I laughed hard and long at the comparison someone made between Alfonseca and the Star Wars Kid.

BAP: Exactly... although I'm not suggesting Dubee for sainthood, nor am I even saying he's a good pitching coach. I'm saying that I don't know. I do know that Kendrick has been as much of a positive suprise as Eaton has been a negative disappointment. It seems disingenuous to blame Dubee for Eaton but give him no credit for Kendrick.

I also can't blame Dubee for injuries to Lieber, Garcia, Madson, Gordon and Myers.


Thanks for the waiver rules recap. I was unaware of trade blackouts for newly contracted players and wasn't sure if no trade clauses still applied during waivers.

on mesa, i believe dubee gets the credit, at least some of it. when mesa was acquired, i believe dubee was quoted as saying that mesa had shortened his delivery, which had cost him a few mph. dubee said he was going to get mesa back to his rare and throw delivery, eliminating the slide step in the stretch and coil more in the windup. plus, mesa's breaking ball has come along nicely as well. when you throw 94, can hit your spots and have a good breaker, you can be successful.

would it not be poetic justice if somehow mesa -- finally -- is partially responsible for a playoff run in philly down the stretch?

Joe & Crazy Jon: I think you were talking about two different things. When a player is placed on waivers, if another team claims him, the original team can do 1 of 4 things: let him go for the waiver fee, work out a trade, release him or withdraw him from waivers. I think what Joe was saying is that they wouldn't release him, which is correct. Big contract guys are often put on waivers with the idea of clearing them, which makes it more possible for a trade to be done. You could make an All-Star team out of players who've cleared waivers.

Here are some(all?) that have cleared:

About Mazzone:

I'm sure he's good, but I doubt that just getting him alone would do it. A lot of people give him credit for the success of the Atlanta rotation. I'm sure he helped, however isn't some of that credit due to the actual pitchers?

The real proof may be in how Baltimore's rotation is doing. 17th of 30 with 4.46 team ERA. Seems to me that Mazzone alone will not pull it through for you. You need to have some studs too.

Of course, if you have the studs, do you need Mazzone?

This reminds me of the debate about if Casy Stengal was really a great manager or could anyone have won with the Yankees?

CJ - I'll go along with that, but a few up and in's, a little chin music, never hurts a team's state of mind. Besides, knowing your guys even notice that sort of thing helps morale. I think it is a tight knit group anyway, but it brings a respect issue home, that's all. I am not advocating turning it into a hockey game, just let the other team know you're aware, something our manager isn't always, it seems. Let them know you're not asleep at the wheel. Utley and Howard getting hit back to back is not my idea of NOT throwing at someone. Even if it WASN'T intentional, retaliation HAS to happen there!!

Part of me agrees with you Mr. Mac, but they lost Utley in that game, if the Nats retaliate to the retaliation, what if another player gets hurt?

Mr. Mac: Two things...

1) If a player wants retaliation, all they have to do is ask. We've got enough old souls on this team that if something needed to be done, I'm sure it would get done.

2) Retailiating after Utley and Howard got hit would have been dangerous because multiple suspensions would have resulted... not to mention the possibility of a bench-clearing brawl and we don't want to see anyone get injured in that. Everyone but the umpire knew that Lannan wasn't intentionally throwing at anyone. When you start retaliating against bad pitching, you open yourself up to a world of trouble.

How bout this... after Lilly threw behind Rollins in the Cubs game, Hamels responded by coming in on Derrek Lee and Ted Lilly. That's when it's appropriate to respond, and Hamels did so. There is a code, and it's important to follow it.

JB: Anyone who has ever watched a baseball game can see that Eaton's problem is command. But don't take my word for it.

From Marcus Hayes, 8/6: "His stuff's there," manager Charlie Manuel said. "Every time we talk about him, it's his command."

would it not be poetic justice if somehow mesa -- finally -- is partially responsible for a playoff run in philly down the stretch?

And his biggest victory comes on the day he applies for his senior citizen discount card?

This place is hoppin today! I was home for the weekend, went to Saturday night's game. Sat in the fifth row in 116, which is directly in front of the players coming in from the dugout. Eaton got absolutely absued. My mom felt bad for him...she was not happy that her son was taking part in the verbal vitriol, but he deserved it.

Was anyone else disgusted with ESPN's broadcast? I know we're all biased, but 1) giving John "the name dropper" Smoltz an entire inning and more face time than the actual game was ridiculous..2) the aaron tribute to bonds was still playing when the braves got within a run 3) Joe Morgan is getting worse by the week. A few of his gems...."burrell's a runner with speed" "starting pitching is important to a rotation" and thanking smoltz for "enlightening us on a lot of thing"

Did anyone get a number on how many runners we've had thrown out at home??? Have to be tops in the league. I know Smith is a standup guy but come on, he's gotta go.

Well in fairness to Mazzone, Erik Bedard has put up Cy Young-worthy numbers this year, no one saw that coming. Jeremy Guthrie's also gotten a lot better... he hasn't, however, straightened out Daniel Cabrera and Chris Ray's gone backwards.

CJ - I thought about another player getting injured too. I do agree on that code point that you make too. I tend to get a little suspicous though when guys are drilled at an alarming rate. It seems like at least once a series to me. Stats may prove me wrong here, but why does it always seem our better guys get hit?

As for Dubee, I'll ask again: Can anyone tell me what his credentials are? I am always suspicious of who the Phillies management brings in here to captain the ship. They too, always seem to be guys who they can get at a bargain basement price. dollar store, five and dime, ,straight off of the sales rack clearance, kind of coaches and managers. I want Joe Girardi here, but you and I know he will be asking too much money for the Phillies to pay him. Although I will give bringing in Davey Lopes as a coach a huge thumbs up. They still missed keeping Art Howe here. He would have been another good addition. Why did he leave?? Was it $$ perhaps?

Shane: I would argue that Stengel was instrumental in the Yankees success. He was ahead of his time in the way he used pitchers.

Teams of that era had 4 starters and they each pitched as deep into the game as possible, usually 2 or 3 of them logging 250 IP. Stengel used just about everybody to both start and relieve to keep their arms fresh. The '57 team, for example, used 11 different starters and only 1 of them logged more than 200 IP (although that's a bit misleading because Ford was hurt that year and he normally logged 220.) All but 1 of those 11 starters was used in relief at various times.

The top 5 starters on the 1960 team ranged in IP from 200 to 149 and every one of them pitched in relief. In fact, Ford led the team with 29 starts, which would be a small number today.

In regards to Steve Smith, there is only 1 solution. In "Forrest Gump" Alabama fans hold up a sign & scream "STOP" once Forrest scores a TD. It worked. Season ticket fans down the 3rd base line need to copy this technique. Beerleauger could sponser the sighns-just like the old MAB paint hat days.

From Rich Dubee's bio on the Phillies home page:

"2007 is his 6th season in the Phillies organization and 3rd as a major league coach ... Was named the pitching coach on 11/17/04 ... Phillies' bullpen posted the 3rd-best ERA (3.79) in the NL in 2006 ... In his first season, the Phillies' pitching staff lowered their ERA (4.45 in 2004 to 4.21) and their walk total (502 to 487), while increasing their strikeouts (1070 to 1159) ... Under his supervision, the starting rotation increased their win total (54 to 63) and innings (922.1 to 957.0), while lowering their ERA (4.91 to 4.20) ... Previously served as the Marlins pitching coach from 1998-2001"

For those wondering about the "credentials."

I'm saying place Eaton on waivers and see if anyone will claim him.
If not, and he clears, perhaps someone would be interested in making a deal since pitching is still a premium.
Eaton may be a guy that benefits from change of scenery - but he's going to continue to suck for the Phillies.

Now that it appears Eaton is headed for the pen, or at least a seat on the bench for a while, who are our best options? Obviously Durbin is the easiest option, but will they reach down to the farm and bring up Happ? Is there anyone out there who could still be traded for (like Moyer was last year) after the non-waiver deadline?

any chance freddy garcia can be activated and take eaton's spot?

Durbin or Happ, at this point. Towers from the BJ's, but you'd have to give up something(crappy)for him.

So, in other words, Dubee was the Fish's pitching coach during the years they DID NOT win the WS, or even have a winning record.

I'm with you on Dubee, CJ. The Phillies' pitching sucks & no one gets to see Dubee's work, so he's a very easy target. But there is definitely some selective criticism going on. People criticize him because guys like Eaton, Castro, M. Smith, & Gavin Floyd were all failures. But when Kendrick, Hamels, & to some extent, Durbin, come in & exceed expectations as rookies, everyone gives the credit to Jamie Moyer.

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EST. 2005

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