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Thursday, September 06, 2007


Rather than reprise any of the pain of yesterday's 611-post thread and yesterday's devastatimg loss -- I hope you enjoy Japan, Jason -- Is the Japanese baseball season on now, and if so, do you plan on taking in any games over there?

Also, this from this morning's Marcus Hayes notes in the Daily News:

"Former Phillies general manager Ed Wade interviewed yesterday for the vacant GM job in Houston, where he cut his front-office teeth. Current Phillies assistant GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is expected to interview for the same job today, according to baseball sources."


I'm still confused why that washed-up piece-of-poop Tom Gordon was in the game to begin with. I once again applaud the manager of the year Charles Fuqua Manuel for his tremendous bullpen management...brilliant!

By the way, Brett Myers = over-hyped unproven miscast closer.

Quote of the year: "My room has a heated toilet seat and complimentary sandals and kimono."

Heated Toilet seat...Hmmm I need to make an quick addition to my Christmas Wish List!

can we trade tom gordon to a japanese club for a heated toilet seat?

You got out of the country at the right time, that's for sure.

Re: choking. Myers looked fine when there was nobody on at the start of the ninth. He looked completely unnerved both when he came in the 8th and especially after the badluck high chopper that he almost threw into right field in the 9th. Couldn't throw strikes after that.

Hmmmm, Heated Toilet Seat. Would that equate to The Hot Seat? As in, who on the Phillies might be on it? In a perfect world, we would send a couple of Phillies to the REALLY hot seat, you know, the one that they hook up all those electrodes and then sends 10,000 volts surging through you. Let's start with Flash (appropiate) Gordon, follwed by Cholly, Gillick, Eaton...

I wrote a powerful blog about this game this morning. Iron Pigs Blog staff is awake, only slightly hung over, and now working on a post regarding Tom Gordon.

In fact Tom Gordon has done just fine this year when he has two days rest or more. Pitching him three days in a row and in a day game after a night game is flat out absurd.

I haven't dug into the papers yet. Did anyone write about why Roberson was out of position on the winning hit?

B Ruffin, I agree. Gordon's number speak for themselves. He's fine when rested. That blame goes on Manuel for using him instead of someone else...oh, wait...there was no one else for him to use.

That blame falls squarely on TheWalking Sphincter, the Puppet, Seattle Stew and Liar Liar!

Question for Beerleaguers:

Am I the only one who hopes Amaro gets the Houston GM job, so we don't have to listen to him BS us anymore? Maybe then they'll hire someone who will be honest with the fans.

Oops, I forgot...this is a Giles/Montgomery run team.

Hey Davey Boy, you Puppet...would you care to go on the Phillies broadcast this Sunday and ask the fans again not to give up on your team yet, you disingenuous creep?

Stuff your pockets with all the money you've made and hoard it. You'll need it to pay the mortgage on the park next year when ticket sales go down.

Actually, Gordon came in throwing 93 - 94 mph fastballs. The hits he gave up were dinks - which happens - which is not his fault. The inexcusable part in yesterday's debacle was not caused by the Flicker. The inexcusable part was that there was no bullpen in the first place. It harkens back to the days when Pat Gillick misled us all into thinking that his priority in the off-season (2006-2007) was to acquire quality relief help. In reality, his higher priority was to lower the payroll OR to use that payroll to acquire a guaranteed seat-filler (in the form of Alfonso Soriano). Since mission 2 failed, he went with cutting the payroll and handed Chollie (and all of us, incidently) the "Team Without a Bullpen" (aka the "Team Without a Chance.")

We might go on harping on the "Man Without a Curveball Anymore" or we can put the blame where it belongs.

Unfortunately, IMO, we are probably stuck with Gillick as long as he wants to be here, and stuck with anyone who has more than a one year contract. Cause that's the way Phillies management does it.

My therapist thinks stickin with the Phils should be registered in the DSM-IV.

(That's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th. Edition.)

yesterday wasn't about gordon. he pitched fine, they didn't hit a ball hard off of him. roberson played like a little leaguer in right field. that's what cost us this game.

Roberson IS a little leaguer

On the one hand:
Roberson has been been an unconsistent fielder in the minors - 11 errors in his last full year. On the other hand he has a gun (20 assists his first year). On the first hand - he's played mostly LF and CF. On the other hand we'd like him to be able to handle all three positions long term. On the first hand, he's only played 165 INNINGS of outfield at a Major League level, which probably disqualifies him from being out there in this game. OTOH, that's how people learn, right, being under pressure, etc. On the first hand, he seemed to have several bonehead moments out there. OTOH, he's a Phillie, what do you expect.

If I had a third hand here, however, I'd point out that if Gillick had provided the team (and, if you're generous - today I'm not - you might say "provided Chollie") with a BULLPEN, it wouldn't have mattered if Barajas was in right field. A six run lead would have been safe.

I'm feeling like we need to focus a bit on the failure to acquire Relief pitchers last year. Instead we got the Rod and Freddy show. (At least Gio could have been a LHP in the bullpen.)

Boy, am I ranting.

Questions for Beerleagers:

If you're Cole Hamels, would you sign long-term with this organization? You'd have to pitch your whole career in a phone booth, and you'll probably watch the bullpen blow several games that should have been "put in the win column" for you. If you're a potential HOF pitcher, pitching in this park and for this organization might cost you enough wins to jeapoardize it.

If you're Jimmy Rollins, playing on a team that get's close every year, but you never get the cigar, would you stay, or go to another organization that actually cares enough about winning to pull all the stops out?

If you are Ryan Howard, would you sign a long-term deal with Giles/Montgomery? You're the most marketable player on the team (and maybe the whole game) - the most marketable in franchise history - but don't you want a chance to win also? A real chance? First base will be a need on both NY teams in a couple of years and you'll bet to play in brand new stadiums with great facilities. Boston could use you too. Why wouldn't you demand a trade in a year or two? Aren't you asking yourself why ownership wouldn't spend a few million more for decent relief pitching? But then, look how they treated Joe Borowski. If you want a real chance to win are you going to be able to do it with these owners running the show? Why wouldn't you do a Rolen/Schilling and demand a trade?

If you're Chase Utley, you've got your money, but hey, you're probably the most competitive player in the game. Are you going to want to stick around here if you don't really have a chance to win? If you do stick around without complaining then maybe your rep as "Mr. Competitive" isn't true. Trade request, maybe - back to your hometown in a couple of years - when it becomes apparent ownership won't do what's necessary? Jeff Kent will be gone so 2B will be open in Dodgerland.

No really good free agent pitchers will sign with your team. You know why? They don't want to pitch in a phone booth, and ownership won't pay a premium to attract the really good ones, you know, the difference makers like Santana, Schilling, Clemens - the ones who can get you to, and through, the playoffs? And there's no one, nothing, in the minor league system to trade for players like that. How good is the pitching going to be when you play for an organization that has a terrible track record at scouting, developing and trading for pitching? Instead, you get to watch expensive journeymen like Adam Eaton piss all your hard work away. Do yo really want to finish your career on a team like that, with no chance of winning? Do you really want to start every game knowing that no matter how many runs you score it may not be enough? Wanna relax with a six run lead late in the game? Hah - not on Monty's team. Has the reality set in yet? And what's even worse, there's no hope for change, because these owners actually believe that they're good at it - they really do!

Yeah, Philadelphia is a great town, but you don't live here in the off-season anyway.

Still predicting that Jimmy will ask for a trade before his contract expires.

7 runs in less than 2 innings is on the pitching, particulary the guy who walked 3. It's not on Roberson, Howard, Smith or anyone else.

AWH, I, too, hopes Amaro gets the Houston GM job, so we don't have to listen to him BS us anymore. Too bad, Ed Wade, with Houston ties is interviewing, too. I hope that Houston Astros, realizing that the hispanic population is the largest ethnic group in Houston; and that Ed Wade does not fit the ethnic profile, but Amaro, Jr., does; will select Junior as a community relations outreach move. Get him out of Philly!

On the bright side, the Phillies won't lose today....they are off!

My rant was a little more cynical. Perhaps Monty and the guys should trade off all those players for "prospects" and tell us they are rebuilding the nucleus of an exciting Phillies team of the future - that these kids will truly excel and bring a new era to...etc etc
Of course, they don't really need to get genuine prospects, cause they can tell Phila fans anything (and have) because the stadium still gets full and the mechandise still sells.


But I wouldn't really say such things cause I'm not that cynical.

The phillies aren't cursed and they aren't choking (well except maybe Myers). They just don't have pitching, and they aren't well managed. Howard can hit a 100 HR's, Utely can bat .400, it doesn't matter if you can't stop the other team.

Didn't see the plays with Roberson in right so can't comment. Seems like we could have just left Werth there and put Roberson in left, a less demanding position, since Burrell was yanked anyway.

Finally, I agree with the therapist, sticking with the Phils is disfunctional, but that's how us philly phans are. Don't have to worry about now though, after yesterday, they are done.

I think it makes sense to question whether guys like Rollins, Utley, Howard, and Hamels are going to want to stay here. They have money, these guys are going to want to win.

AWH: The bullpen problem is fixable. The phone booth problem is harder to remedy, but it's going to have to be done if the Phillies ever hope to seriously compete. Most of the pitchers you mentioned would have trouble here; like most power pitchers, they're fly ball pitchers.

Is it plausible to start a boycott of this team if nothing is done in the offseason? I don't know if we had anything to do with Ed Wade's banishment with the fire ed wade sites, so does that leave us any hope? I think we have a good nucleus, offensively; and our pitching, starters and the good ol' pen, give it up more then Jenna Jameson in all her glory. I love baseball, and unfortunately I am attached to the Phils, but I'm tired of this so-called ownership group and the 'yes men' in the front office which it employs.

Hope you're enjoying Japan. I used to live just a bit outside of Kobe, and would head to Osaka to catch games. However, the Tigers were a really popular team, and hard to get tickets for, so I generally had to settle for the crappy ORIX Buffaloes, haha. They were the "other team" that played in the Osaka Dome.

The crowds at the games are kinda weird, it reminds me more of college football in America than how our baseball fans act.


Oh, and that's not a kimono, that's a yukata. Slight difference, but a yukata is more of a "summertime" thing. It's basically a bathrobe, haha.

I never wore Japanese-style clothes while there. It just seemed... Too... Weird. Felt so tourist-y.

Realistically, the Phillies don't need to do anything with the players I cited as long as they are under contract. Knowing how this franchise operates (see Borowski, Howard's off-season negotiation, treatment of Chris Coste, etc.) that's exactly what to expect.

However, the players do have some power. What Giles/Monty and the reat of the ass-clown owners care more about than anything is good PR and filling the seats. If their core players come out and say management isn't cutting it (see Schilling, Rolen), isn't doing enough to win, the the organization takes a huge PR hit and ticket sales, TV viewership, merchandise sales go down. They CAN affect the organizational wallet.

The shame of it is the team really has/had a window of opportunity to actually go to the playoffs and capture more casual fans, not just us Beerleaguer baseball nuts like us.

They're blowing it, because it's become apparent that they're really concerned about making money and PR more than anything else.

They can't scout, trade for, or develop pitching - a terrible track record at doing so. Just look where they've been ranked in the league in overall ERA the last 20 years.


Get that through your heads Beerleaguers:


But, I'm sure they actually think they've just had bad luck (injuries, you know), and that they are as competent as ... the Braves or Red Sox, for instance.

Well, Bill and Dave, what in your 20 YEAR MLB TRACK RECORD, indicates that you and your organization are competent at scouting, drafting, developing, trading for, or signing FA pitching?

I'd like to see one of the WIP guys ask them that, prefacing the question with what the track record actlly is.

(Hmm, wonder what Giles' original deal with the faceless cowards was? "Help me buy the team and I'll guarantee a cash payout every year? Oh, and the value of the franchise will also increase.")

If Manuel were Pete Rose, he'd be being investigated for betting on baseball.

Another long time lurker, first time poster.

Painful. What else is there to say? Despite Franzke's tortured cry all that remained after Wednesday's loss was silence and the collective weight of accusation. While neither Gillick nor his paint-by-numbers manager are to blame for the glut of injuries that have ravished this team, Gillick must take the full weight of responcibility for his inexcusable failure to address the crippling deficiencies in the pen. His lack of action in the off-season becomes more and more indefensible as the Phillies 'value-village' relief corps continues its daily slide into ignominy - Alfonseca and Mesa seemingly content to compe for the worst end-of-season melt-down. Mesa is sporting a heady 19.5 ERA in his last 7 starts, Alfonseca a spectacular 34.71 in his last 5. I can't help but feel this is long overdue.

J C Romero has been a nice find, but the LOOGY is now the only reliever in the pen with an ERA under 4.9. Worst of all, Julio Matteo continues to rot in the ether, a proven major league relief pitcher going to waste while we trot out Mesa and co night after night. I suppose the unexpected backlash from the signing of another pitcher who is overly physical in displaying his marital affection was too much for the PR orientated Phillies and they took the path of least-resistance. Either bring him up or let him go, there should be no middle ground.

While the record-breaking supporting cast of organizational filler yo-yos back and forth between AAA and the pen the season seems to be boiling down to one simple fact. During the most crucial part of the season and knee-deep in yet another tantilizing pennant chase, the Phillies simply do not have the arms to compete.

"what the track record 'actually' is"

I think you could get good pitchers to come here even with the phone booth. Just get guys who throw ground balls, like a Derick Lowe. Or even someone who pitches like Myers, but doesn't fall apart and lose the strike zone at the first hint of adversity. A few CBP special pop fly HR's are not going to beat you with the offense we have if you just throw strikes, get ahead of the hitters, and don't walk people.

"the Phillies simply do not have the arms to compete."

Rob, in hindsite, many here were saying that at the beginning of the season. We allowed ourselves to be seduced, yet again, by the team 'staying in the hunt', whatever that is.

But, to be truly competitive, to actually have the chance to make the playoffs and win it all, they didn't - and don't - have the horses.

After yesterday it should also be apparent to the players.

I'll feel sorry for guys like Rollins and Utley - hard workers and harder players who are desperately, but futily, trying to make the playoffs. I also feel sorry for a guy like Chris Coste - finally makes it to the majors, but on a team with no chance to let him taste the post-season.

c-13, if I were an MLB pitcher, I would want a premium to pitch in that park. Especially if I were young and had another contract coming. The park has the potential to hurt my #s and cost me money. Period.

Do you really think anyone else offered adam eaton $24mm? (ae's name is in lower case because he has really come up small).

BTW, if we're talking about the most hideous Phils losses ever (that I've seen), I'd put yesterday's loss in the top tier. It's at the same level as Biggio's home run off Wagner. Ahead of both of them are the '77 Dodger playoff game, and game 4 of the '93 WS, where wild thing came in with a 14-9 lead.

AWH: That's the thing, don't offer a premium to adam eaton, offer a big premium to someone who can make a difference, or develop them yourself. As someone stated, they offered Soriano how much money? 100 mill? These guys just don't care about winning.

lost in yesterday's debacle was Utley getting plunked on purpose. Benches will clear sometime between 9/25 and 9/27. I knew it was going to happen too because of Utley's blocking of 2nd base on a pickoff try in game 1...where Uts put the knee down into Escobar's shoulder.

Utley's staredown of Soriano was priceless.

AWH: I hadn't found Beerleaguer pre-season so I missed that particular debate. But being stuck in the UK a long way from the Phillies universe I don't know what I'd do without it anymore.

control13, I was at that game in 93. 60,000+ people were chanting "Kill Mitch". As upset as I was about the loss, I did not participate in the "Kill Mitch" chant and actually felt bad for him.

And the benches should clear because you know that not only is Utley our best player, but it's just wrong to hit a guy with a pitch when he is trying to recover from an injury.

Rob - Where in the UK?
Loke you I am a lost soul on the wrong side of the Atlantic

You're right, not really Williams' fault in '93. It was obvious to everyone that Mitch's arm was dead, his fastball was down to 88. Yet Fregosi had to keep running him out there, like a robot, because that's what he had done all year. He just couldn't think outside the box. That made his appearance in game 6 all the more aggregious.

For all our American cousins 'loke' is a quaint 'Olde English' work for like

Control -- I agree that yesterday was brutal, but I wouldn't put it on the same plain as the Astros/Biggio game of '05. Whereas that collapse absolutely came out of nowhere and occurred in a span of about 2 minutes, this loss was foreshadowed by the rocky 8th inning. After that, I think most of us were prepared for the worst.

Reed -- I believe the benches *must* clear if the team wants to show it has any backbone at all. Utley and others have been plunked all year and no retaliation has been offered. Unless we send someone out there to retaliate for what was *clearly* an intentional plunking, teams will just continue to do it.

and 'work' is often used over here for 'word' - oh I give up

September 6, 2007 - Philadelphia, PA -

District Attorney Lynn Abraham (D), announced this morning that the city of Philadelphia
would be filing charges against a number of Phillies after the team's catastrophic
road trip, in which the Phils lost at least three games which, by all accounts,
they should have won. Said Abraham, "As of 8:00 PM last evening, as the team's
plane was arriving at the gate, the following Phillies were served warrants for
their arrests . . . Charlie "What's a double switch?" Manuel, Tom "Flush" Gordon, Steve "the
Windmill" Smith, Antonio "24" Alfonseca, Jose "Joey Table"
Mesa, Chris "Defensive Stalwart" Roberson, all twelve of their catcher/3rd basemen, and Pat Gillick.
They were charged with aggravated assault and attempted murder, in the severe mental
beating that the team imposed upon the city of Philadelphia.

Yesterday was foreshadowed by the rocky 8th. Yet, in both cases I believe, the Phils were up 8-6 in the 9th, with two outs and nobody on. That's still out of nowhere, and now that I htink about it, kind of eerie.

I also remember in Sep. 2005 the Marlins beaning JRoll and then throwing at Abreau, and absolutley nothing was done about it, even when Willis and Cabrera were on the top step of their dugout mocking and challenging the Phils. That's on the manager. You think the '80 or '93 Phils would have put up with that crap? They'd knock someone on their ass like Noles did to Brett.

scratch that, the Phils weren't up 8-6 in the wagner game, but there were two outs in the 9th with nobody on.

Sorry, should have excluded Ruiz and Coste from the C/3rd mix . . . they've been solid.

"or develop them yourself."

c-13, don't you get it? They've TRIED to develop them. They can't do it. What you see is what you get.

20 years of it - look at the track record. Get it?

In the Houston/Biggio game, with 2 outs Wagner got a ground ball to 3B which David Bell booted for an error.

Wagner lost it after that. He wasn't mentally tough enough.

AWH: Yeah, I do get it. This is an incompetent, uncaring, unfeeling, apathetic organization of country club horse-headed jackasses. They can't develop their own pitchers outside of Hamels & Kendrick (who came out of nowhere). A long time buddy of mine was saying that the Phils have had two dominant pitchers in the past 40 years (Lefty & Schilling) and didn't develop either of them.

I'll never forget Bell booting that ball either. And then Rollins should have been playing further in on Tavares, a guy with tons of infield hits. Wagner did get 3 outs in that inning, but as you said, couldn't bear down after that.

Control -- the Bell error was one of those moments when everything stands still. It was unreal. The odd thing was, I still didn't expect it to go all wrong after that. I can chalk that up to inexperience. I prepared for the worst yesterday after Myers' first pitch went to the backstop.

And as an aside, as much scrutiny is being given to the Phillies failure to develop pitching talent, equal attention (or maybe more) needs to be given to their failure to evaluate pitching talent, PERIOD. Gillick passed on Borowski because of health concerns, and now he's a shut-down closer on a playoff team. Freddie Garcia's shoulder was barely attached to his body when we traded for him, and yet he was not given equal scrutiny, nor was Adam Eaton's (3 years, 21 million) inability to..well, pitch. How many years does this have to go on before somebody actually has the balls to step up and correct the problem?

@AWH --
To answer part of your question:
"Well, Bill and Dave, what in your 20 YEAR MLB TRACK RECORD, indicates that you and your organization are competent at scouting, drafting, developing, ...?"

Jimmy Rollins -- perhaps the MVP of the league, perhaps the best SS in the league, best Phillies SS of all time
Chase Utley -- best second baseman in the game, best Phillies 2B of all time
Ryan Howard -- perhaps the best slugger in the game
Cole Hamels -- one of the best young pitchers in the league
Brett Myers -- (despite yesterday) one of the top 30 pitchers in the league, coming into this season

Case closed.

I know you are angry... but it's not like they got lucky with those players...

Who is going to step up and correct the problem? I hate to quote Eskin on 610, but as long as this ownership is in place, they ain't winnin' nuthin, ever. Gillick was a guy with a track record for building playoff and world series teams. Most of the moves he's made have been utter failures. That's hard to square. It leads you to believe a) he is operating without reasonable free reign, or b) he just doesn't have it anymore, or c) is leaving soon and doesn't care. Remember a few months ago, when he said we aren't getting enough hitting out of the middle of the lineup, and Monty called him on the carpet and told him to shut his mouth? The Borowski, Eaton, and Garcia moves make me sick. Some moves just don't work out, but it's past that point.

Dear Houston Astros,

Ruben Amaro Jr. is a splendid candidate for your general manager opening, and it's safe to say that Phillies fans, while deeply saddened that we could lose a man of honesty, trust, loyalty and integrity, would cherish the opportunity to see such a shining star at the helm of your proud organization.

Mr. Amaro is certainly worthy of your consideration and I hope you offer him this wonderful opportunity.

And while I may not speak for all fans, I'm also curious to know if you are looking for a third base coach, set-up man and/or reserve outfielders.

Please stay in touch. I've long admired the Astros because of their generosity in 1980.


Mike C.:

Myers is a top 30 pitcher? if you have stats to back that OK, but his temperment is such that he'll never realize his potential.

Hamels looks like a stud, I give them credit for him. I think AWH's point is they can't develop or evaluate pitchers....he wasn't talking about position players, which they have produced a few good ones. But I have to agree, their track record with pitchers sucks.

I said... coming into the season he was a Top 30 pitcher. He was the ACE on the Phillies staff coming into the season. He was considered by many to be a top 30 pitcher.

C13: Last year, Myers was ranked No. 28 among MLB starters. He wasn't top 30 if you include relievers, but he wasn't much below top 40. This year, of course, is a different story.

Mike C: Don't forget to include Rolen on your list. He may be hated, but he's still a very good player.

@awf, @control -- right... I missed the pitching part there...

If Myers is moved back to the staff next year, the Phillies will have 3 of their 5 spots held by #1 Phillies draft picks. And Kendrick an undrafted Free Agent was "developed" into a major league pitcher.

You can say that was luck... but his last two seasons, he hasn't had a WIP hire than 1.23. And jumped from Reading to the big club.

That's a significant amount of success there...

The Phils lack mental toughness.
They couldn't instill it with Bowa as the manager - too overbearing.
They can't instill it with Manuel as the manager - too laid back.
Next manager needs to be somewheres in the middle.
Any thought that Mike Hargrove resigned in Seattle (partly b/c he was going to be gone at the end of the season since he and Ichiro didn't get along) to rest up before managing in 2008 with a contender - the Phils?

Nice letter of recommendation but I don't think that Drayton McLane is stupid enough to hire R.A.jr
The mental nausea that I was subjected to yesterday was deeper and more depressing than that of Sept. '64 because those Phillies weren't afflicted with a bogus faux front office and ownership.

Yesterday it happened to be Tom Gordon, yes, but the root cause of most of the team's bullpen woes is bad managerial decision making, period. This was a problem for Charlie Manuel when he was in Cleveland (which needed to unload him to get back on a winning track), and it continues to dog him (and us) here. If the Phils are going to stand any kind of chance in the post-season (assuming they get there), Manuel must be fired (regardless of the fact that it's September: he should have been fired by the end of May!), and those Clown Princes of the Late Innings, Alfonseca and Mesa, optioned for re-assignment (or yanked without hesitation the minute they walk their first batter). I'd say the jury's still out on Myers, but he is not performing on a level indicative of a team on the verge of a wild-card spot. At this point, I'd lay odds that Jason's mom, the Mayor of Kutztown, could put in a better eighth-inning relief appearance than we've been used to seeing of late. Have fun in Japan, dude!!

In Re: Phone Booth.

By the numbers, CBP is not the "joke" that Milton "Please HBP Me Before I Make An Ass Out of Myself Again" Bradley says it is.

Baseball Reference, which compares home and away hitting throughout the league gives it a rating of 103 (100 as average, anything above 100 is a hitters park). Compared, say, to the Great American in Cinncinati (107) the Zen is not so much the home run hitters paradise we portray it to be. Dimension wise, they're actually about the same.
On a more interesting note, Chase, in Arizona gets a 107 rating, too. The difference? The Snakes draft, and get through FA, the right kind of pitchers.

We shoulda signed Derek Lowe when we had the chance. And should see if Florida will trade us Mitre for Roberson (or anybody). And keep pitching Kyle Kendrick, cause he throws 3 ground outs for every air out.

It's a hitters park. But pitchers can, and often do, excel in hitters parks.

Just keep saying: Brandon Webb...Brandon Webb...

Houston's Drayton McLane is not stupid enough to actually hire RAjr but is cynical and astute enough to parade him in and out and around the Astro's executive suite as momentary eye candy and media bait for Hispanic eyeballs.

Nice to see another newcomer in Rob. Like Rob, Beeerleaguer is a lifeline to know what's going on with the team. It makes you an expert. You learn which players are golden and which are dogs; and all the players where the status is unclear is debated right here on Beerleaguer. An example of this is Chris Coste. I think he's golden, yet DaveThom takes a lot of heat from Beerleaguers for his fervent defense of Coste. Even Cholly and Gillick have their defenders on this site, however, Sir Alden has been silent lately as his alter ego is in Houston interviewing for a job.

Great humor today. JZ's letter is classic. The Outlaw's news story got me laughing, too.

We've been on the emotional roller coaster in the past week with that classic victory over the Mets, followed in a week's time with this abysmal loss to the Braves. Both were day games, so their emotions steep in our waking consciousness for a longer period of time. In the midst of all of this, our buddy, GM-Carson, is a made a proud Papa by his wife, a Braves fan! The baby's middle name is Chase! What a great name!

Cunningham, as you noted, I was only referring to their overall track record for PITCHING - anyone could read that. They've been in the bottom half of league ERA in 17 of the last 20 years, most of the time waaaaaaaaaay down near the bottom.

Think I'm wrong? Look it up yourself and prove it.

As for Hamels and Myers et al., even a blind squirrel will find a nut once in a while. Successful anecdotes amid an overall track record of abysmal failure.

I could just as easily make the argument that they're successful DESPITE the "development" they received in the minor leagues.

Besides, for every Cole Hamels or Brett Myers you cite, I'll raise you a Gavin Floyd or Brandon Duckworth. 3 0r 4 guys in 20 years and you think they're successful?

And whose the 3rd #1 pick occupying a spot in next year's rotation? adam eaton? Do you want to make an argument on this board that that is an indication of success? You'll get 'eaton' alive by some of the people who post here and make a fool of yourself in the process.

If you're going to make an argument come with one you can support with facts, and don't misrepresent what I or anyone else posts just to make a vacuous point.

Case closed.

Mike C, don't know why the ESPN player site lists Kyle Kendrick as undrafted, but the Cube has him as the 7th-round pick in the 2003 draft out of Mt. Vernon, Washington, High School. Yet another Pacific Northwest pitcher made good.

Jason's mom is the Mayor of Kutztown?

Vail, I live and work in Houston during the week. This is a strange sports town. They used to have the Oilers, but they are gone. They build nice arenas, but not good franchises. I can easily see McLane signing Amaro. With the influx of Latin American talent in MLB, Amaro makes perfect sense for a team without a clue, firing a manager with no pitching staff less than two years after he took them to the World Series. Can you see the Phillies breaking ties with Dallas Green?

Phils drafting track record is pretty good too, despite what you'd think.

As the phrase goes, it's the "B" players the Phils have been terrible getting. They've got the "A" and "C" level guys down. They need good compliments.

Sorry -- off-topic, I know, but for new arrivals to beerleaguer: Yes, Jason's mom is the Mayor of Kutztown. Elected Nov. 2005, still toughing it out and doing a fantastic job! The Phils should be so lucky to have such effective leadership. And those rumors about her being a closet Mets fan are completely unfounded . . .

"drafting pitching track record"

Lake Fred:
Thanks for the local perspective; I hope your analysis is correct. RAjr's departure from Phila. would certainly be a small step in the right direction for the Phillies. The disturbing aspect is your implication that correct ethnicity would be more important for Houston than core baseball knowledge.

Hey Philly fans....yes i am a mets fan, but i didnt come here to start trouble. All i wanted to say was keep your heads up. Things will get better very soon for your team. I can see the phillies in the playoffs next year and im certain they will make the playoffs 2 seasons from now. In a couple years your team is going to be great, and your core players will just be hitting thier prime....

All you guys need to be in the top class of the NL is some pitching ( you guys already know this) After you get some pitching its gonna come down to the philly's and the mets every year like it should be...( no more of these fu*king braves teams getting in our way!)

Anyways...just wanted to say that this is a great site and to cheer up. your time will come, your a good team a few years you will have a great team....hell you could have a great team next year if your GM plays his cards right.

I wish your team Good luck . And i hope you guys somehow win the wild love to meet you guys in the playoffs..that would be a hell of a series!

Cool Breez

Regarding Gordon's performance yesterday:

- It was pretty ridiculous that Cholly was using him for 3 straight days especially considering it was a day game after a night game. Cholly did this a lot more often earlier this season and guess he has totally given up on Alfonseca or Joe Table.

- Gordon was throwing 93 or 94 MPH but he wasn't locating well and it was a very straight fastball. Without his curveball, Gordon is a one-trick pony and any decent MLB should be able to sit on his fastball. Might be useful in some spots but not as you primary setup guy.

I believe Bridoc and others are Hobokenites. Just found this link on

I'm going to hit the freakin' wall next time I hear Gillick/Amaro whine how they know we need relievers but no one's available, meanwhile the Brewers are trading for Ray King, the Sawks are signing Erig Gagne, etc. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!

- Here is a riddle or sorts, that has me completley puzzled:

If this ownership is so PR consciense, which I believe it is, why do they not play fan favorite Chris Coste more? For that matter, keep him up on the 25 man roster all season long? He has done nothing to hurt the club. He has more than a few fans in the seats, and has the entire 'Rocky' image that Philadelphian's adores. I could see Coste jersey's being donned by fans at CBP (I actually have seen a few). Do you ever see Ruiz or Barajas jersey's being worn? Hell, I don't think Barajas's own kid's would be seen wearing his jersey. Every fan of the team and the players loves Coste. Everyone except for Phillies management. Baffling.


Thanks, Cool Breez. I genuinely appreciate the sportsmanship. It's just frustrating to see our team still lacking what we know we've needed for ten years now. A decade of "we're only 1 or 2 seasons away" has bred a little cynicism in me LOL! I don't know if I can hang on like those old timers in Boston did for 80 years... I might die before the future we're building for ever arriaves.

BTW... I'm new here, and I really like this site! I've been searching for a board where I can kick sports w/o poltics and poor sportsmanship polluting the conversation. I'm looking forward to chatting it up here

I don't think yesterday's loss was a 'choke', unless you want to say Myers choked. Marcus Hayes made a point to emphasize that Myers wasn't prepared to come into the game - citing that he normally does not come into a game during the same inning in which he began warming up - and for sure, he looked seriously off-kilter. So, without making excuses for Myers (he has plenty of those without my help), I would say the primary reason he blew the game was due less to 'choking' than to simply not being ready to answer the bell - though that is kind of a fine distinction. In any case, you can hardly call it a 'team' choke. The Phils did leave tons of men on base, but they scored 8 runs and tacked on 3 in the 7th right after the Braves had scored their first 2 runs, to seemingly put the game away.

Myers wasn't ready, and Roberson isn't ready for prime time (to say the least). That's pretty much the story. We have all day to now sit back and compare to all-time worst Phillies losses. (The one to Houston in '05 was far worse. And how about the one last September in Florida where they left 20-plus men on base and lost in extra innings? That was a beaut, too.)

@Michael: It's hard to hang on as a fan year after year, when there's the sense that the top brass isn't really trying that hard to get into the playoffs, let alone win a world series.

@MC: Adam Eaton is a poor example of a home grown pitcher, 1st round or not. Kind of proves the point they suck at evaluating & developing pitchers. I think they did get lucky with Kendrick to some degree, he was brought up here as an emergency starter, basically. No one in the organization was looking for him to be on the staff this year, I don't think.

@AWH: I totally agree w/ you about the pitching. Not to butt into anyone's business, but we don't have to be so vitriolic here. You can if you want, but I think it's a better place when we don't rip the crap out of posters whose opinion differs from ours, even if you think they are way off. I realize some nerves may be raw after yesterday.

Remember..."this team won't compete until 2008."

Why do you people keep forgetting that?

@RSB: If Myers wasn't properly warmed up before being brought into the game, that is totally on Manual then. I mean, you've got to pull out each and every stop to win that game, like he did against the Mets. You don't need a crystal ball to think "hey, Gordan may not have it today. If that's the case, Myers is coming in right away". So then you have him warming up to start the inning. I don't know.

I don't know if anybody's mentioned Salisbury's article on yesterday's implosion, but if Manuel's quotations are any indication, he's not going to be much of an asset in helping the team bounce back. Most of his quotations on the game were "It makes you sick, "I can't believe it," "I've never seen anything like it," etc. etc. When asked specific questions about the game (Roberson's positioning/jump on the ball), he simply replies "I don't know." Now I understand it was a tough loss, but under the (correct) assumption that he brings nothing to the table strategically as a manager, isn't he supposed to be the guy keeping everybody upbeat? Where's the good ol' Uncle Cholly patting everybody on the back, telling them it's going to be okay? If it was such an inexplicable collapse, you'd think he'd come out slapping guys in the back of the head and saying "It's just one game, we have to put it behind us." If you ask me, he sounds like he's already packed it in.

Conversely, all Rollins said was "You saw it, write what you want." Judging by his reaction after the collapse on Sunday and now this quote, he's pissed -- as he should be. With three more triples he'll have a season the likes of we've only seen twice since people started hitting a ball with a stick. He's backed up his talk, and now he feels powerless.

Another note -- Salisbury says this game 'may be' the worst since Game 6 of the 1993 World Series. I'm sorry, but if you're putting it in that category, you just haven't been following this team for the past three years. Biggio's HR in '05 is inarguably #1, with the non-call on Utley's HR in Washington in '06, *insert Marlins game here* from September '04 all lumped in behind it -- all significantly worse than this. Those were games that made you question why you follow sports at all; yesterday's game was pretty bad, but it was more of a joke than anything.

c-13, since when is pointing out to someone that they are making a foolish argument vitriolic?

BedBeard, if the Phillies ""drafting pitching track record" is pretty good", then why aren't there more good young pitchers on their MLB staff, getting hitters out? Why does the team need to rely on Alfonseca,
Gordon, Mesa and, if reports are correct, perhaps Bob Wickman - pitchers who are past their prime? Where are the studs in the minors who can be brought up to replace a Myers, Madson or Gordon when they hit the DL?
Why has the team's ERA been so horrible the last 20 years?

Eskin just asked callers for a name for the Phillies pitching staff....RSB I believe that is your clue to introduce the rest of the world to the Value Village. But good luck dealing with him, I can't believe I'm actually listening.

RSB - Losing a game when you are up 6 runs going into the 8th inning is the definition of choking. Phils didn't lose that game yesterday due to a bad call or one fluky play. They lost because their two supposed best relief pitchers didn't get the job done and their defense let them down.

Iceman - Thanks for bringing up the Salisbury article. I think Cholly was just disgusted by the performance of his players but it amazes me that he can't seem to recall such important things as positioning Roberson in the outfield.

Either there is a serious deficiency in scouting game reports by the Phils or Cholly doesn't focus that closely on intricacies of the game. I believe it is the later fact and explains why Cholly is such a terrible game manager at times.

Supposedly Jimy Williams was suppose to address this problem as the bench coach but it doesn't seem to be the case. In fact, the only coach brought in this year that seems to really have had a positive impact on the team is Davy Lopes.

If the Phils don't make the playoffs yet again and Cholly is fired, it is going to be real interesting to see what position coaches skip around. I wouldn't mind seeing Lopes and Thompson stay around but a new manager is probably going to want to bring in his own coaches. Going to be one of the more interesting story lines probably this offseason.

How in the hell are they going to compete in '08 with Adam Eaton occupying a rotation spot and 8 mil of their budget? I'm sure this has been discussed here before, but is this season the norm for Eaton, or is there maybe something really wrong with him? We know we can't trust the team to tell the truth, or even to handle an injury properly if there is one.

Well, Myers doesn't usually come into games in the eighth inning. That was an emergency measure, and Myers simply didn't responmd well to it. I don't know if that's Manuel's fault. I think he made the right move putting Myers in there, I sure wouldn't have wanted to see Alfo or Mesa coming in to relieve Gordon. It just didn't work out.

Also kind of harsh to criticize Manuel and others for their post-game comments. That was a brutal ambush, and I think they can be given more than a little slack for appearing shellshocked. It;s not like Manuel said, "Well, that's in, man." He said, "This'll be a test." Fair enough. I mean, would the rest of you want to be judged by *your* slightly hyperbolic post-game comments?

A conversation between RSB and Eskin would be pretty amusing.

Eskin is right about one thing and that this team will not spend a penny over their budget. It goes a long way to explaining why the only relievers that Gillick has added during the season (Romero, Mesa) were guys who were outright released. This way the Phils only had to pick up a prorated portion of the MLB veteran league minimum. "Value Village" indeed.

"that's in" = "that's IT".

MG, call it a choke if you choose, but to me there's only two players on the team who messed up. Gordon faults himself but I sure don't. He made his pitches; he didn't walk anyone or throw any to the backstop. The only two guys you can legitimately point fingers at are Myers and Roberson, or perhaps by extension the coaching staff for not properly positioning Roberson. As Phillies fans, we should all have the proper definition of choking down by now. That was more of an ambush than a choke job. Sometimes things happen, and it's not always a matter of doling out mandatory credit or blame.

AWH look at that link i posted, and compare the Phils to the rest of the league, then pose your questions.

Lost in all the discussion about the defense in right field yesterday is this:

The manager put a career minor leaguer in right field, in one of the most important games of the year.

RSB - Myers was put in a tough spot by Gordon's poor performance and Cholly's questionable decision-making but he has to get the job done. He didn't.

As for not criticizing Manuel - are you kidding me? I understand he was disgusted and exasperated but he has to expect that sharp reporters are going to ask him some tough, detailed questions about his decisions after the game. Instead, Manuel really didn't address them.

Maybe he was a bit flummoxed but I also think that he just doesn't pay close attention to the game at times and explains some of his head-scratching decisions.

/and as much as i'm intrigued by some of the minor leaguers, i'm passing that research on, not saying the Phils pitching pharmhands are that good, they just compare better than you think.

I'm not sure I'd characterize Roberson as a "career minor leaguer." He's just 27. BUT: to this point he mostly is a career minor leaguer with a minor league career fielding percentage worse than Burrell's MLB fielding pct. In other words - a not-very-good-defensively minor leaguer.

BedBeard, I looked. The analysis is incomplete because it only focuses on the 1st and supplemental round.

Even conceding that the Phils are middle of the pack successful in the 1st round, please explain how that has translated to success at the MLB level.

Go to, and see where the Phils pitching has ranked in the league for the last 20 years.

@Bed's Beard:
it is a very good comparison. It basically shows that NOBODY does particularly well in picking future MLB pitchers.


RSB made a comment yesterday along the lines of, "Hard to believe just a week ago the Phils were celebrating like the Braves are now."

While I think RSB was just posting it as an observation, it really made me think that, despite how crushing yesterday's loss was, this team still has a shot. The odds are against them, but the Mets turned things around quickly after three devastating losses in a row.

We'll see how strong and tough this team is over the next week. The Marlins won't roll over, and the Rockies are still in it, but I still see the potential for a very good homestand. As usual, it comes down to pitching. Guys like Durbin aren't reliable rotation guys, but if they can string together two or three good outings this month ...

Stranger things have happened.

"Gordon faults himself but I sure don't. He made his pitches; he didn't walk anyone or throw any to the backstop."

Give me a break. You can't possibly defend Gordon. Maybe Roberson could have made a good play on those balls hit in the 8th inning but I don't blame Roberson there.

The only pitches Gordon made yesterday were the ones that landed for hits in the outfield. Gordon has occasionally made some guys miss since his return from the DL but his numbers have been just awful.

It is a shame the Phils' insist on keeping up this charade that Gordon is still a legit quality bullpen arm. He is still only on this team because he is making a boatload of money and there is no way the Phils eat $6 or $7 million on his contract.

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