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Friday, September 07, 2007

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Alright Phils, CHARRRRRRRGGGGGE!!!!

Not to be all "I'm done" and all, but anything less than a sweep is unacceptable. I don't care if the Phanatic comes in to pitch the eighth.

don't give up, guys! we might be able to acquire another pitcher:

DETROIT (AP) -- The Seattle Mariners released right-handed reliever Rick White on Thursday, as the team got a rare day off while struggling to stay in the AL wild-card race.

White was added to the Mariners' 40-man roster on Aug. 23. He appeared in six games, going 0-1 with an 8.40 ERA, pitching for the 11th team in his career, one short of the major league record. His last appearance came on Wednesday, when he allowed one run in two-thirds of an inning in New York, before being ejected for arguing balls and strikes.

The 38-year-old signed with the Mariners as a minor league free agent on July 23 after being released by Houston.

batters hitting .458 off him in seattle. he'd fit right in here this year, almost like he never left.

A month or so ago, we poked fun at the Tyan Howard bobblehead where he was holding up a glove in one hand and appeared to be cupping (protecting) his privates in the other. I have another stupid bobblehead to share with you all.

I work in Houston and was given two tickets to the Sept. 11th Astros-Cubs game in Houston. I went online to see where the tickets were and saw a link for special promotion games, so I checked to see if my night was a promotion. It was not, but Sat., Sept. 15th is Carlos Lee bobblehead day. Check out this stupid bobblehead here: http://mlb.mlb.com/hou/ticketing/special_nights.jsp

My tickets are 2nd row, Club Level, 1st base side, just inside the line running from 1B to 2B. Not bad!

I meant Ryan Howard bobblehead.

So, Weird Beard is available. He can't be any worse than these other dodo relievers and at 38, he's at the right age group, still able to pitch without needing a cane to get to the mound! I actually liked him when he was with the Phillies last year.

@Lake Fred: you think we could get a Pat Gillick bobblehead like that - only with a donkey? (and maybe the donkey has Amaro's head)

Thought you guys might enjoy this post I made yesterday about the Phils trading Tom Gordon:
http://www.johnnygoodtimes.com/archives/003620.shtml

Andy, that's a great image.

I just read Bill Conlin's Richie Ashburn tribute article with his 10 favorite Richie Ashburn stories. Check out the link in the upper right side of this blog. You will enjoy it.

Another late 30's castoff, who's been released by 2 teams already....

reminder for Hobokenites:
http://groups.google.com/group/PPCH

I randomly found this on the hobokeni.com site. Not sure what Phil Phan turnouts are, but you may need some drinks while seeing if The Real Deal can actually record an out.

a batting tee for goron and his contract? we should be so lucky.

A poster on the previous thread was worried about Eaton starting against the Marlins. no need to worry now!


http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/20070907_Phils_decide_to_hold_back_Eaton_until_next_week.html

In the Inqy:

Rick Ankiel of the cards received a year's supply of HGH in 2004, but according to the daily news stopped using HGH just before it was banned.

http://www.philly.com/philly/wires/ap/sports/20070907_ap_reportankielreceivedhghin2004.html

Is any of the stuff we're watching and following real and not the product of cheating?

HGH in 2004 for Ankiel? Hmmm! If you cheat on your wife in 2004, but not in 2005, 2006 and 2007, does that no longer make you a cheater? Ask Senator Vitter.

Did you guys see theey were skipping Eaton this weekend, and everyone else was going to go on their normal rest (Moyer sat, Loshe Sunday, Kendrick Monday).

"I don't know what the reason is," said Eaton, still a little stunned and disappointed. "I'm not going to worry about it."

Adam, I have a pretty good idea what the reason is.

Karnak says: "The answer is: Because he sucks!"

Karnak opens the hermetically sealed envelope and reads the question: "Why is Adam Eaton not scheduled to pitch this weekend?"

As a pitcher, Eaton is a pretty decent hitter. Maybe he should convert to a position player, a la Rick Ankiel.

"Pirates relieve GM Dave Littlefield of duties"

Do we want Gillick or Amaro to take this position?

Hmmmm....

decisions, decisions...

C13, nobody really knows what the effects of HGH are on a normal, healthy athlete, or one rehabbing an injury (I believe that was the case with Ankiel at that time -- Wade Wilson, too). One drawback of making such drugs illegal is that little if any research gets done on them. So, would a growth hormone taken four years ago for a pitching injury help Ankiel as a hitter? Guess away.

Go Tigers! Although I never saw an actual Tigers game while in Osaka (Got to see the terrible Buffaloes instead, heh), the Giants just remind me too much of the Yankees or Braves. =P

Andy, that's great news. Gillick goes to Pittsburgh and Junior goes to Houston. I can dream, can't I?

we can all dream - how about if Monty sells the team to Jason (affordably) - THAT would be good news.

Iron Pigs Blog has published two posts on previous losses in an effort to make the ones this year seem not as bad.

In any event, I highly doubt that J.D. Durbin can beat anyone. Imagine how bad Eaton must be doing to get pushed back in favor of Durbin among others.

Was Rich Dubee talking to Koji Uehara before he went into the game?

Alby, you're right, it's all speculation. The story however, said Ankiel received a year's supply in 2004, not that the last time he used it was 2004. Also, I've heard one of the things Bonds used was HGH. Wasn't Lyle Alzado using HGH among other things, and he died of brain tumors.

I don't know all that much about Ankiel, his career, or his current incredible resurrection as an HR hitter. It's just that when you see a story like that, combined with what he has done lately, it doesn't look right. I think it's bad for baseball. Maybe I'm jumping to conclusions....

C13: Or maybe not. All I'm saying is that, with no reliable data to go on, your opinion is as good as anyone's. As for whether it's "bad for baseball," I notice that we all condemn Barry Bonds, whom we all hated anyway, and nobody condemns the '93 Phillies, whom we all loved. I find it easier to draw conclusions from that data, to wit: We look for justifications to dislike those we dislike, and we overlook evidence against those we like. I have a friend who still has never attended or even watched another baseball game since the '94 strike. I've never met anyone who has abandoned baseball because of steroids and other PEDs.

Steve Jeltz (Philly): Hey Jayson, I'm intrigued at the thought of Mike Lowell playing 3B for the Phillies next year -- do you think there's a good shot at this happening or will the Phillies focus all of their efforts at replacing the weak bullpen this offseason?

Jayson Stark: (1:51 PM ET ) Bullpen has to be their biggest priority. And it's possible they'll view Lowell as too pricey. But if a player that good, offensively and defensively, wants to come to your team, and you have a need at the position as significant as they obviously have at third base, you have to make a serious effort to sign that player, don't you? They're going to have money to spend, especially if Aaron Rowand leaves. And Mike Lowell is as perfect a fit as any player on the market for that team.

From Buster Olney's blog today:

The NL MVP race is wide open, with a half-dozen candidates. E-mailed Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino and asked if he wanted to make the case for teammate Jimmy Rollins, who at one point on Wednesday led the majors in total bases. This is his response: "Jimmy's role on this team has been demonstrated with what he has done this season. One who goes out each and every night and plays the game with such heart and desire to be the best. Not only has he started every game this season, but he has taken his game to the next level. Hitting for power, average, being one of the best defensive shortstops. He has definitely been our leader at the top of our lineup. I always tell him that when he goes, the team goes. The tough thing is that he is on a team who has the reigning MVP, and also his double-play teammate Chase Utley. Our team is definitely filled with potential candidates. But this season, Jimmy stands out in my mind with what he has done. The little guy can flat-out play."

Who is Shane Victorino calling little?!

But I think Jimmy's numbers this year make an even better story for his MVP candidacy. He is having one of the best years a shortstop has ever had.

alby, are you suggesting that HGH is not well researched?

That is simply not true. HGH is regulated by the FDA partly because of its link to Hodgkin's Disease and colon cancer. GH also has well documented cardiovascular and neurological effects that mandate GHs use under physician supervision.

GH is not illegal, per se. But rather is appropriately regulated by the FDA for reasonable safety concerns.

There is no published data that suggest that GH is beneficial in the rehabilitation process from injury in healthy adults.

He is having one of the best years a shortstop has ever had.

ah, no.

Alby..
As great as the '93 Phils were, I do realize that guys on that team were juiced (nails), and that does cheapen it for me. I put an asterisk next to it just like Bonds.

Like most of the people here, I'm huge baseball fan, and don't want to give up the game. But I recognize that Bud Selig, the owners, the players union, etc. don't give a crap about the integrity of the game, and didn't/won't clean up this stuff unless they are forced to, as we have seen. It's sad. You can't change what went on in the past, but it could/should be cleaned up now.

- To Lake Fred: Love the Karnak skit. Classic!

- Honestly, does anyone here really think the Phillies will trade Hammels (last thread) for Santana? It will never happen. Right now Hammels comes at the perfect price for the Phillies...CHEAP. It might be a different story if he was in his negotiation year, but since that's not the case, it's a moot point.

"He is having one of the best years a shortstop has ever had.

ah, no."

If he gets to 20 triples and add that to all the other stats, he will be doing something (along with Granderson) that hasn't been done ever or in a long time (i can't remember). That might qualify for "one of the best".

"He is having one of the best years a shortstop has ever had".

ae, that is not even your conscience's quote. It's from Jason Stark, and the stats back it up, at least they sure looked like it on Stark's article. If you want to refute the stats, fine, but simply dismissing it with "ah, no" doesn't quite convince me.

Stark:

Jimmy Rollins
Leads the league in: Runs, triples, total bases, extra-base hits (tied), multi-hit games
Top five in: Hits
Scoring position: 37 for 133, .278 (54 RBIs in 156 RISP plate appearances)
About the only two people in Philadelphia who haven't gotten hurt this year are Rollins and Harry Kalas. So Rollins gets points just for being a nonstop energizer on a team that easily could have wallowed in its own bad luck. But he gets more points for having one of the great seasons by a shortstop in National League history. He's going to obliterate the post-1900 NL records for most extra-base hits by a shortstop (83, by Ernie Banks) and most runs scored by a shortstop (132, by Pee Wee Reese) -- and has a legit shot at A-Rod's modern major-league records in both departments (91 and 141, respectively). He's the most underrated defensive shortstop in baseball. His impact on the clubhouse is undeniable. And unlike Utley, who has put up much bigger numbers at Citizens Bank Hitters Paradise, Rollins' home/road splits are almost indistinguishable. So it's hard to believe how little MVP conversation this man has generated, considering the year he's had.


Stark also has a good article on how the save/Joe Borowski is overrated:

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&id=3006756

I can appreciate the argument that Rollins' season may be one of the most well-rounded/balanced/etc seasons in history. but even if you limit your range to post-integration, I don't see him ranking among the elite.

Reed, i have seen that group for Hobokenites but i think it no longer exists. I tried emailing it with no response.

THe 8th street tavern usually has the game on. It's a hole in the wall but the beer is cold.

ae, that is not even your conscience's quote. It's from Jason Stark, and the stats back it up, at least they sure looked like it on Stark's article. If you want to refute the stats, fine, but simply dismissing it with "ah, no" doesn't quite convince me.

I don't care if your conscience, Jayson Stark, Bill James, or the Ghost of Honus Wagner says it; it's just not true. since 1947, 75 shortstops have posted an OPS+ > 122 (Rollins' OPS+ right now). by no means am I suggesting that that's the be-all and end-all of offensive statistics, but as a shorthand it's a pretty good indicator that Rollins is having an excellent but nowhere near elite season.

ae, do you have stats on guys that are better? He leads the league in 5 categories, and is on the verge of breaking the runs record post 1900 and could tie or break A-rod's modern records. What more do you want? Rollins to start pitching in the 8th inning? Manage the team? Wash the jersey's?

Oh, so OPS is all that matters. I forgot. How many championships has Billy Beane won?

Pat Gillick?

OPS rules all!

Parker, I thank you for sticking up for me...I'm trying to find another article that talks about Rollins season (ESPN.com archive isn't working) where it really puts his season into context against other shortstops. And ae, I'm sorry but picking one offensive stat (for a leadoff man!) really minimizes those stats that aren't reflected in it (ie steals, defense)

I can't see any way that Rollins is having a season than compares favorably with Alex Rodriguez's 2000 (.316/.420/.606/41 HR/132 RBI), Robin Yount's 1982 (.331/.379/.578/46 2B/12 3B/29 HR/114 RBI/129 R), Nomar Garciaparra's 2000 (.372/.434/.599/51 2B), Cal Ripken's 1991 (.323/.374/.566/46 2B/34 HR/114 RBI), or Lou Boudreau's 1948 (.355/.453/.534/34 2B/18 HR/98:9 BB:SO) - to pick just five post-integration seasons.

(and I haven't mentioned any of Rodriguez's other seasons, or Derek Jeter, Barry Larkin, or Ernie Banks.)

good lord, do you guys even bother reading the post? by no means am I suggesting that that's the be-all and end-all of offensive statistics, but as a shorthand it's a pretty good indicator that Rollins is having an excellent but nowhere near elite season.

I know just mentioning OPS sends people into fits of anti-statistical rage, but please.

ae: Don't forget that OPS+ doesn't take into account baserunning. If you change the search to include >= 28 SB, it drops the population to 10 players (searching from 1947 to 2007).

The crazy part is that Rollins might not even be having the best season by a shortstop in the NL East this year, as Hanley Ramirez also shows up on that list & is beating in most stats (especially if you look at them at a per plate appearance rate, as opposed to raw numbers).

Dear Pittsburgh Pirates,

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 interested in overpaid starting pitchers whose names rhyme with Chatham Seton and/or a third base coach.

Please stay in touch. I've long admired the Pirates because of their sweet old school all-yellow uniforms and Willie Stargell's old star at the Vet.

Sincerely,
JZ

I think Rollins' #'s still could qualify as "ONE of the best". That doesn't mean it is the best. Hell, if it was the #10 SS year of all time, that would qualify.

ae, I think that you are confusing "one of the best seasons" with "the best season." With a leadoff hitter what do you want? Score runs, get in scoring position. If he breaks the modern era runs record, and the extra base hits record, then is that not exactly what he is supposed to do? Did Yount/Boudreau/A-rod/Ripken bat leadoff in those years? If not then the RBI stats are skewed. I also notice that you did not mention stolen bases. Oh, I forgot, stolen bases don't matter in Moneyball Land.

BB: I realize that. I'm saying Rollins is nowhere near one of the ten best seasons of all time (stolen bases or no stolen bases).

and since I guess I have to keep repeating myself about this, that doesn't mean I don't think he's having an excellent season that's worthy of MVP consideration. (I was saying he was voteworthy weeks ago, either on here or TGP.) but I just cannot see that this is one of the greatest shortstop seasons in history.

parker, just so I'm clear: now you're saying that Rollins is having one of the best leadoff shortstop seasons of all time. forgive me for having trouble keeping up with the moving goalposts.

ae, that's not what I said at all. My point was that those RBI numbers look gaudy, but they must be considered in context. If Rollins bats cleanup for this years Phillies, and hits like he does in the leadoff spot, then things look a bit different.

I'd say Rollins is having a great season for a shortstop & lead-off hitter. I'm not going to get into the minutia of where his season ranks all-time.
The on-going raging debate between the moneyball stat-heads and the dissenters is always entertaining I have to say. It's almost more fun than watching the Phils these days.

so you would rather have Rollins 2007 playing shortstop than Rodriguez 2000? seriously?

Wow, apparently Troy Glaus has been implicated in steroid ring. Not that it is too surprising. How long before we find out that Andruw Jones is half bovine.

This debate about whether Rollins is having one of the greatest years ever reminds me of the argument about Hall of Fame players, longevity (or quantity) vs. quality. You play a long time, you amass a lot of everything (see Henry Aaron). You have a lot of ABs, you amass a lot of everything and wind up leading the league in several categories. OPS mesures quality while raw totals measure quantity. I happen to think the ability to play every day or for a very long time at a high level is every bit as important as the ability to achieve great feats in fewer ABs.

You're not asking me this question, but i'll answer:

No, I wouldn't rather have 2007 Rollins, than 2000 AROD, but Rollins is pretty quietly having a monster season in his own right.

BB: yes, I agree.

The sad thing is that JRoll's quiet monster season is being wasted on this team with no pitching. As I think Weitzel said, this dude belongs on the field in October, not watching or playing golf.

Not sure if this had already been brought up on here, but MLB did the coin flips for the tiebreaker games.

If there's a tie for the NL East, the Phillies would host the Mets.

For the wild card, the Phillies would host the Cubs or play at the Padres, Dodgers, Rockies or Brewers.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070907&content_id=2194382&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb&partnered=rss_mlb

Did they not enter the D'backs into any of the WC scenarios since they are first? Kind of dumb if you ask me considering they are a game up with 2 games in hand. By Sunday they could be back in the WC standings. Might as well flip all the reasonable scenarios, no?

I'm not familiar with all the great shortstop seasons, but I'm just happy Rollins has become a great player. A few years ago he was pretty mediocre at the plate and all anyone talked about was his refusal to bunt and hit the ball on the ground. A lot's changed since.

JZ: LMAO.
thanks for trying to get us to focus on the important stuff.

be sure to write to Houston, too.

- Parker, you're shot at Billy Bean is way off base. Although he has not won it all, he consistently has put up a formidable club together on a shoe string budget. Moneyball, since you probably didn't read the book, was about how a new wave GM, on a crappy payroll budget, kept constantly fielding a winner (which we can't seem to do) that made (or nearly made) the playoffs every year. With a Boston or Yankees budget, Billy Beane would probably be mentioned with Cashman & Epstein as the best. It's easy to be great, when you make a mistake you just chalk it off and go out and buy your next free agent. If we only had him here...

- JZ, nice letter. Maybe you could send one to all the MLB clubs. There is life beyond our universe, less intelligent life is what I'm hoping for.

- Beside JRoll, who else would we consider MVP worthy candidates? In my mind, there is no clear cut front runner. Why not JRoll compared to some of the others? Wright, Fielder, Webb? He's just as valuable in my opinion.

@Birds:

"alby, are you suggesting that HGH is not well researched? That is simply not true."

Here's what I wrote: "nobody really knows what the effects of HGH are on a normal, healthy athlete, or one rehabbing an injury." I stand by it, unless you have some abstracts you'd like to pass me the links to. Its effects and side effects have all been studied, to my knowledge, on people who have actually had deficiencies of it or related hormones. Note, again, what I said: STUDIES on HEALTHY ATHLETES.

Birds: "HGH is regulated by the FDA partly because of its link to Hodgkin's Disease and colon cancer. GH also has well documented cardiovascular and neurological effects that mandate GHs use under physician supervision."

Yep. See above.

"GH is not illegal, per se. But rather is appropriately regulated by the FDA for reasonable safety concerns."

If you're a doctor, say so. If not, who are you to determine whether safety concerns are "reasonable"? The world is full of morons; if they want to take substances on which little data exists (and I'll stand by that, too -- nobody is doing large, double-blind studies on any of this stuff), well, it was once a free country. There's a sucker born every minute, and you can fool some of the people all of the time.

"There is no published data that suggest that GH is beneficial in the rehabilitation process from injury in healthy adults." Yes, and there haven't been a whole lot of studies of that sort done, because of the potential side effects. Circular reasoning, anyone?

Any links you'd care to provide would be welcome, BTW.

- I love off days. The array of subjects that are covered on BeerLeaguer is always a great read. I find it amusing when guys misquote other bloggers. Either they don't, or can't read, or they just read what they want to. The amazing thing is, even though it's in print, they get misquoted. Beautiful.

When you read that column by Jayson Stark about the MVPs the Phillies have 3 in the top 10 including Utley who would be the MVP if the season ended today. The pitching has to be historically awful for this team to not be in first place let alone the wildcard.

The Phillies relief squad, like diapers, have to be changed frequently - and for the very same reason.

Now, you know the Phils will storm back and win 7 of their next ten. The d*ck tease just isn't complete unless they come back with a vengence after falling so far behind and give us a glimmer of hope, only to lose out by two games at the very end. :D God, I love these guys. We need to CRUSH the Marlins. Why do we have such a freakin' problem with them??? I hate them. Except Scott Olsen... he's my home-boy. I hope he's traded to the Phils next year.

BTW there was a card show set up at Wilkes-Barre mall today, and I scored a Chase Utley autographed card for 35 dollars. If my wife ever finds out I spent 35 dollars on a baseball card she'll kick me in the nuts. But come on... it's a CHASE UTLEY! I couldn't pass it up.

ae, before you compare Rollins' 2007 season to those of any other shortstop, don't you think it's reasonable to wait until they play the last 23 games and all the data is available?

It seems to me that anything else is somewhat speculative?

Also, your selective use of stats in your post(i.e. no HR, RBI or R totals for Garciaparra; no R for Ripken, etc.) above could be construed as an attempt to mislead.

Since I know you would not purposely do that, I would suggest that in the future you include all stats for all players cited, and format them in columns to make make it easy for the gentle readers on this site to follow.

BTW, I agree that there are other SS that have had monster years, but if Rollins gets to 20 triples, he's going to have done something that less than 4 players in MLB history have managed to accomplish. That would be pretty impressive. If he doesn't get there...well, it's been fun discussing it.

J. Roll is Jose Reyes with power. I'd take him over any SS in baseball. Call me a homer, but I can't think of anyone who is clearly a cut above Rollins. If he doesn't get a Gold Glove, there is no justice.

Michael, I agree on the Gold Glove. He has played GG calibre defense for several years now, and the separation (difference) between the top defensive shortstops in the game is so marginal that it could be any of them in any given year.

Besides, because the award is "voted by the managers and coaches in each league" (Wikipedia) it's somewhat of a popularity contest.

After all, they gave one to Bobby Abreu.

Well tonight is my last day of Phillies detox. Going to catch some HS Football and hope Real Deal can retire a batter. I still need one more day off after what I saw on Wednesday.

@Mr. Mac: I have read Moneyball and I thought that it was interesting. I don't even disagree with a lot of the philosophy contained therin. What I do know is that Beane is potentially on the outs in Oakland because their farm system is completely barren right now. They have no huge prospects in the works. It was reported by Buster Olney that they were thinking about trading Haren, Houston Street, and Rich Harden just to rebuild their system. My point is, if he is such a great GM, and is building the organization from the ground up via prospects, where are they? That is what he is trying to do, right? And their payroll is only $10 million less than the Phillies, so it is not like he is working with chump change, or at that huge of a disadvantage to the Phillies. Its not like they are operating under Tampa Bay's budget. Coincedentally, Tampa is loaded with young talent in their system, yet I don't think that they are adhering to the Moneyball system. If you can explain the quandry that exist with the Beane system and the actual results, please do.

Diamondbacks signed RHP Bob Wickman for the remainder of the season.

Gillick feels pretty good about the Phillies bullpen the rest of the way and sees no need for an upgrade.

parker: I'm not sure about the current state of the A's farm system, but I am quite aware of the young players it's produced since Beane took over. I'm also aware of the quality players Beane got on the cheap over the years, as opposed to, say, a team whose acquisitions are consistent failures. Can you guess which team that would be?

I'm also aware of the won/loss records of Beane's teams since he's been in Oakland and how that record compares to another team, which has not made the playoffs in 14 years. Can you guess which team that would be?

Meanwhile J.D. "I-Told-You-I -Was-Like-SDort_of-Sometimes-the-Real-Deal" Durbin has failed to pull an Eaton. 1-2-3 first.

Did he just throw at Utley? They need to put one in Cabrera's ear.

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