The appointment of Chuck LaMar as a top pro scout didn’t make the front pages, but it raised some eyebrows with readers who view talent evaluation as a major hole in the Phillies' game.
According to the Phillies Web site, LaMar will work with director of Major League scouting Gordon Lakey and provide input on trades. Since adding better outside depth will be a major undertaking this offseason, it won’t hurt having another set of eyeballs picking through the haystack, trying to find a needle. However, if you had to pick one strength for LaMar, it might be his eye for raw amateur position talent, not veteran parts and pitching. Here’s what readers had to say, many of them fearful LaMar will eventually supplant Gillick:
“This move reeks of an ‘Old Boy’ network hire that fits directly in the Phils' style and has nothing to do with merit. It is hard to believe but there is now a worse possible scenario when Gillick leaves as a GM (LaMar being promoted to the GM in '09). Say what you will about Amaro but you can't really know how he will perform as a GM. LaMar had his shot and was pretty incompetent even if he wasn't in an ideal situtation in Tampa Bay.” – MG
“LaMar is a disaster. He fits right in line with the Phils ‘toolsy’ philosophy and seems to have missed the revolution in talent evaluation over the past decade. And that talent? Well, if you are picking in the top five every year, you are going to get a few good players. If you want an idea of LaMar’s ability, consider that of the 847 players in the Majors last year, only 22 were drafted by the D-Rays. That puts them at #26 in the league despite always drafting at the top. Conversely, teams like Oakland and Toronto, who favor a a stat-based approach to the draft are number 1 and 2 ... Also, one reason they had so few middle round draft picks (2-5) is because of the terrible free agent signings, and LaMar's role with the Phillies will be in scouting major league players." -- kdon
Random World Series thoughts: Colorado’s offense was held to one run for the second straight night. Take nothing away from Josh Beckett in Game 1; he turns out the lights on everyone. And Curt Schilling is one of October's best ever. But watching anemic hitting for a second night, from a group that was sizzling for a month, definitely raises questions whether there’s a thin coating of rust from the long layoff.
Still, the Red Sox were the favorites and have been the better team. That’s the story so far; the better team is winning. What else am I watching? Kevin Youkilis taking walks. My fascination with Youkilis continues. If the Phillies displayed an ounce of his plate discipline in the NLDS, they’d still be playing.
As we drift further away from that three-game sweep, the lasting memory of the NLDS is a group of over-anxious hitters, making Colorado pitching look better than they were.
The series also exposes the unfair advantage American League teams have with the designated hitter, and no team has a greater edge in that regard than the Boston Red Sox with a perennial MVP candidate David Ortiz. How have the Rockies countered? With fourth outfielder Ryan Spilborghs, batting ninth and hitless so far.
Phillies, Romero, far apart in contract negotiations: Lefty reliever J.C. Romero will test free agency, according to a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer. This is no surprise. The market for left-handed relief, and relief in general, is bone dry. Plus, the national ‘legacy’ of Romero and what he meant to the Phillies keeps growing. He did a nice job and I’d like to see him stay, but let’s get a hold of ourselves a little bit.