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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

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and let's maybe leave the contest to see who can hate ownership the most in the last thread? please?

In the daily news this is what was written

"We're still working on the outfield, third base and a couple of different things," said Phillies assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. "At this stage of the game we don't think we have a whole lot imminent, but we hope that we can wrap some things up within the next week or so."

Now they are talking 3rd baseman?

This Pete LaForest thing has gone way too far! What has he ever done? Nothing... Isn't about time we addressed some of our real glaring holes?

not sure but did Laforest even have a hit pinch hitting last year for Phils?

Sounds like some real ambiguous statements to me. But who knows what kind of stuff they may be working.

If he did have one pinch hit, it was only one, because that is how many hits total he had for the Phils (in 11 ABs)... Sad thing is, Charlie kept trotting him out there like he was the second coming of Greg Gross...

Thought he had an RBI single in the debacle on the Wednesday afternoon game in Atlanta in early September...

Last comment on the spam filter and related issues. I asked whether the ads on the sidebars had anything to do with the increased blockage, and they said no. They're implementing new spam filters and they're only triggered through text and links in the comment body.

On a related note, a new advertiser has bought up space on six long extinct posts, some dating back to January of last year. I guess the posts contain some good keywords for searches. Just a heads-up in case you see them while browsing the archives. I haven't added them yet, but if you see them down the road, just ignore them.

J.: Is it possible that the "they" you're referring to is actually "them"??

J - I'm guessing Carson's reference in the last post to "porn" (and now mine, here) will make that one (and now this one) popular some day...so everyone be sure to say something poignant.


Like "clout - "I'm often wrong.""

In the September 5th debacle in Atlanta, during the seventh inning when we seemed to get some insurance runs, Pete LaForest hit an RBI line-drive single to center. Still in that inning, Chase Utley drove him in. That was his only hit (so far?) as a Phillie. A valiant effort.

LaForest is kept, because he is a LH hitting catcher who, during one stinit out of four in the majors, hit with a little power. Either that or he speaks with a really cute French-Canadian accent. (My theory is that he sounds just like Inspector Clouseau - and it just cracks Ruben up.)

Reading on ESPN, they say one reason why Iguchi went with San Diego--in spite of a more lucrative deal from the Phillies--was where he was living.

It sucks, but I can't blame the guy. Frankly, San Diego is a very nice place to live, he's going to be closer to his family, etc. He always seemed like a nice guy, I hope he does well in the future.

When he's not playing the Phillies.

roto:

Kyle Lohse has been offered four-year contracts by the Phillies and Mets, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.

If Carlos Silva is worth $44 million over four years then his former Twins teammate figures to command at least $35 million. The 29-year-old Lohse went 9-12 with a 4.62 ERA between Cincinnati and Philadelphia in 2007.

Kyle Lohse has been offered four-year contracts by the Phillies and Mets, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.

If Carlos Silva is worth $44 million over four years then his former Twins teammate figures to command at least $35 million. The 29-year-old Lohse went 9-12 with a 4.62 ERA between Cincinnati and Philadelphia in 2007.

Hey, I got this idea...how about if the Phils sign some guy who broke into the Majors ten years ago at age 27, was never more than a mediocre middle reliever, and who's been out of the Majors long enough (say, two years) that B-Ref lists him as retired. He can "compete" for a fifth rotation spot, maybe.

I agree Vic Darensbourg is underwhelming, but it beats pinning our hopes on Matt Smith.

Hey, no need to badmouth my boy! He has a 2.36 ERA in 80 AAA innings! (And what else do you have to show for Abreu?)

Here's a perfect example of "no middle ground" regarding management, from the previous thread.

"JW, do they really deserve any praise?"

It has nothing to do with praise. I wasn't praising anyone. This regime has done a poor job overall, but they don't deserve criticism for everything under the sun. That's the point. When Iguchi takes a job to play second in a nicer city, for example. When they decline arbitration on a player standing trial for biting his wife in the face, for example. When free agent pitchers decide Citizens Bank Park isn't the best career move, for example.

These are valid points. With absolutely no room on Beerleaguer.

Andy: You're definitely wrong on how good the Phils are in selecting VV players to help.

Actually, I think management is responsible for the design and layout of Citizen's Bank Park.

"Andy: You're definitely wrong on how good the Phils are in selecting VV players to help.

Posted by: clout | Wednesday, December 19, 2007 at 11:59 AM"

One of the most hilarious responses I've seen on beerleaguer in a long time. I can almost taste the bitterness there.

"This regime has done a poor job overall, but they don't deserve criticism for everything under the sun."

I've had enough of you being the mouthpiece for the Phillies front office.

I'm kidding about that, and I do agree that they don't deserve blame for the first & third points (Iguchi & FA Pitchers).

However, the second point is a different story. I can't figure out the logic to the initial trade. Mateo didn't get into more trouble, and his on-field performance in AAA was good enough to suggest that he'd be a positive addition to the major league team.

So what was the point to the trade?

I think I have to agree with cubehostage and Jason, while the ownership isn't the best, if you want to look at bad ownership look at Florida or even Pittsburgh.

While Cameron seems to be the failsafe if they don't get Jenkins, does anyone think that could mean another move is coming- Vic gets traded? Cameron is out for the first 25 games, so they'd also have to have someone who can step in if Vic is gone, but could there be something in the works with Pitt? Snell/McLouth? Not for Vic straight up, other pieces would have to be included, of course. I just think Cameron is a somewhat odd choice for this team.

"if you want to look at bad ownership look at Florida or even Pittsburgh."

Hold on thar, pardner. Those teams have true revenue problems. Comparing Philadelphia, with its 3 million attendance, with a small-market team like Pittsburgh or a team with a dreadful stadium like Florida is unfairly letting our ownership off the hook. That's the whole point here. For years we were told the problem was the bad deal at the Vet. Now the money is flowing in, but the same chicken-scratch thinking dominates.

With the Phils picking up all of these catchers, what does that mean for Chris Coste? He can play third, catch, first, and pinch hit with some power. Are we going to see a month's worth of "Coste Gets Screwed" postings this spring? Will this be the end of a great human interest story? Will the Phils cut him on Christmas Eve?

Good point, Alby. Let's run the numbers:

Philadelphia has the fifth largest metropolitan area in North America. The Phillies average ticket price is fifth most expensive in MLB. (Source: Team Marketing Report.) Yet, the payroll ranks 12th among MLB teams.

Every team's front office has to answer the following question every year: "Given the fan base, tickets, stadium variances, and payroll, what kind of team maximizes the chances of getting to the World Series?"

Mr. J: Don't read too far into the catcher situation. They're always adding them, especially to work out the pitchers in ST.

JW: Thanks. I've been saving my money to buy the DVD of the Coste movie. I would hate to see the hero die in the end.

Mike H.: Yes, and it's $20 cheaper than the average cost for the Red Sox (who have about 10,000 less seats to sell per game), nearly $8 cheaper than the Cubs, a $1.50 less than the Yankees (who have 10,000 more seats to sell per game), $3 less than those HUGE spenders the Cardinals, and nearly $1.50 more per ticket than the Mets (who again have about 10,000 more seats to sell per game). But, I'm obviously a heretic and a brainless backer of "them." I esp. like the "them" campaign, I feel like I am in the Civil Rights era South.

There's nothing I'd rather have than a $30 million outfield of pat burrell, mike cameron and geoff jenkins.

If the Phils traded Vic and wound up with that composition, I have no doubt that the 08 team would set a league record for strikeouts.

"Andy: You're definitely wrong on how good the Phils are in selecting VV players to help.

Posted by: clout

Actually, double B, I heard that as a very, very funny joke. clout does have a sense of humor, after all (a twisted, sarcastic, arrogant sense of humor, but...well, you get the point.)

touche, dr. c

Davex, Florida has two world series titles in a short history Phillies have one.

I'm sorry, MPN, what's your point? That there are teams out there with even more revenue than the Phils? Well, duh. My point is that our ownership/management now ranks in the top third of baseball, but they still act as if they're in the bottom third instead. Do you disagree with that?

How big is Boston's metropolitan area compared to its revenue? Size doesn't mean everything. The Redskins generate the most revenue of any NFL team (or MLB team, for that matter) despite playing in the 8th largest metro area. The RedSox are second despite being in the 11th largest metro area. Simply put - the city a team can't be used to say "well, the 5th largest area should have the 5th largest payroll." The Phils have a small out of market following unlike the RedSox or Atlanta, not to mention that they're second in their own city to the Eagles.

Second, Florida's stadium problem is entirely ownership-manufactured and they routinely spend less than they even get in revenue sharing. "Small-market" owners often just use that term to their own advantage. Teams like the Pirates, As, and Devil Rays have all been more profitable in recent years than the Phillies despite being in much smaller cities.

MPN, You're not a heretic at all. You're not brainless. Those are excellent examples you raise, too. I'm confused why you would bring up those points.

Of those five teams you mention, all five have made it to the LCS in the last 10 years. Three of those teams have won the World Series in that same time period. Even with each team's variances in seats and ticket structure, each of those teams must be allocating their payroll in a way that gets them in the dance.

Ah, but Dave X, there's the rub. One way to generate a larger out of market following is (care to guess) by winning the championship. Hmmm....

Like the Cubs or Dodgers?

"My point is that our ownership/management now ranks in the top third of baseball, but they still act as if they're in the bottom third instead. Do you disagree with that?"

When was the last time that the Phillies had a payroll in the bottom third of the league?

Jason, I see this topic sliding down the slippery slope into F/O-hating, so I'll get back to the topic of the thread:

I view Cameron as only half of a failsafe. Care to guess which half?

Plus, Dave X, the State of Florida share some of the blame of the stadium fiasco down there. But recent reports indicate that a redevelopment project would build them a retractable roof stadium in a few years, thanks to the County Commissioners.

About the Red Sox, they have all of New England to draw upon, including a regional sports network, that canalizes their revenue stream. We may have a bigger metropolitan area, but there are also rivals in close distance (just look at the incursion of the Yankees and even Mets into south Jersey).

Alby, considering that our payroll was over $100 million last year, I have to rebuke with extreme prejudice your assertion that we act like a bottom third team. Simply not true and easily dismissed with empirical evidence. I agee wholeheartedly that this ownership group did spend poorly in the 1990s after the strike, but they were also saddled with a lousy stadium deal.

My larger point was agreeing fully with Jason that a "shout down" groupthink is emerging on the board that is not healthy for civil discourse.

"If the Phils traded Vic and wound up with that composition, I have no doubt that the 08 team would set a league record for strikeouts."

As far as I can tell, the current NL record for strikeouts in a year is 1399 by the 2001 Brewers. By comparison, the 2007 Phillies had 1205 strikeouts. A full year of Howard would add to that total, but getting to 1400 might be difficult.

I guess I should say that I don't really think the ownership is doing a good job, but just agreeing with the sentiment that the "OMFG WTFZOR OWNERSHIP SUXX" posts are out of hand

Zolecki said in his blog that there is nothing to the report that the Phils offered Lohse a 4 year contract.

mpn -

but God created the internet so that we no longer had to deal with being civil when speaking with a fellow human being.

I mean, where would we be if not for the freedom to childishly call people moron and idiot without the fear of someone we know and see everyday thinking, "hey, that guy's kind of a dick."

The Phillies "them" have a bad combination; they have a self-imposed salary cap, they make very poor trades and they will not pay over slot for draft picks. That is why we have to talk about the likes of Cameron, Benson and Wise.

What are some examples of the Phillies not paying over 'slot' for a draft pick?

I'm curious to know about situations where they wanted a player but didn't draft him because of they didn't want to pay more than the slotted amount (as opposed to occasions of either bad scouting or bad luck).

"a "shout down" groupthink "

Hmmmm.... My problem with that statement is that we do not tend to all agree very often. There is not much group in our group think usually. And if there is a growing unison quality to the voice of the Beerleaguer "community," then maybe its because more of us share a particular feeling about the desire of the Front Office to field a consistently successful team.

Maybe not. But that's how it seems to me.

They didn't pay JD Drew after drafting him #1, despite being told not to draft him.

They didn't sign their 3rd rd pick last year.

hawk - it's an interesting question. How do you prove anything about discussions held behind closed doors? But this year they did fail to sign their 3rd round pick.

stjoe - Workman - 2007 draft.

Just in this year's draft they took too many college seniors with limited potential because they would sign at the slot or even for less like Mach. The only player they payed over slot for was Julian Sampson.

I've been trying to get in the debate for the past few and been seem to be permanently recognized as SPAM and this will work just to prove me to be liar.

anyone see this on MLBTR:

610 WIP and ESPN Radio report that the Phillies could be close to a deal with Seattle. Should this be any surprise since the Phils GM is Gillick? The Phils are willing to take on a large portion of Adrian Beltre's contract. The deal would presumably send Adam Eaton along with Pitching Prospect Carlos Carrasco over to the Mariners for Beltre and Horacio Ramirez. Who knows how official or close this is because other reports have the Phillies also close to acquiring guys like Javier Vasquez, Mike MacDougal, and Joe Crede from the White Sox

Reed - thanks.

We actually discussed that dreamy possibility on the last thread and pretty much dismissed it as a fantasy. There's no way Seattle would do that deal. (Ah, but, once more, just imagine Beltre in our line-up!!!)

Well, Happy Holidays to all. Maybe short posts work?

To me, their draft habits are one of the biggest issues. They draft too many College players in the early rounds that they know can be signed, rather than going after young arms.

BB - that was the point I was going to make about the front office. Not necessarily, about college versus non-college, but about how they "judge" talent and how we seem to keep the flops and over the past 40 years trade the best for one years worth of magic beans.

I think passing Porcello in last years draft is a perfect example of not wanting to pay over "slot". He's even almost a local kid. But "them" either didn't want to upset MLB by paying over slot, or didn't want to spend the money to play over slot.

You mean young arms like Cole Hamels and Kyle Drabek that fell down the draft to the Phillies over supposed character issues? The MLB draft is the biggest amateur sports draft craps shoot of all of the professional sports (compounded by the fact that only North American athletes are draftable). MLB would be smart to subsidize wooden bats for amateur high school and college teams so that draft picks aren't wasted on guys who can't transition from aluminum.

BB - that is the same as the slot issue, though; since to get those HS young guns, teams often have to go over slot to keep'em from going to college.

I don't mean 1st rd. Yes, it's a huge crapshoot, but to settle for signable guys as opposed to high ceiling guys isn't a way to build up the farm.

And Kyle Drabek hasn't done anything but blow out his shoulder, so let's not count him next to Cole Hamels.

I know, that's why I said it!

Well, Drabek's a young HS pitcher with upside potential. A young arm. But until someone runs the numbers I'm a little skeptical of one or two examples confirming that we are cheapskates about signing players.

Signability will be an issue until the MLBPA decide that they want guys that make it to the pros to make the bucks and not the drafted players. Once that happens signability, I think, will be a diminished factor.

Aren't the Phillies historically in the bottom 3rd in the $ they shell out to draft picks? I'll need to look that up, but I'm fairly sure I read the answer to that being "yes". They don't want to piss off Selig, so they stay in slot total.

And the "one or two examples"(not very scientific, I understand) helps show that they avoid drafting players that might be high risk, so they can sign "signable" players.

Do you really think that the players will ever discourage players of any age/experience level from making more money?

reed - thanks for bringing that up again... it is fun to dream.

"presumably" Eaton would be the deal-breaker. I'd be willing to consider taking him off my "untouchable" list for someone like Beltre.

Rickyj21, well, yes, I do. Didn't the NBA Players Association due that very thing to their neophyte players with negotiated salary caps for picks?

I wouldn't be surprised if PG inquired about Beltre. I think the M's aren't thrilled by his salary and since he is a good player, asking for Carrasco in return is reasonable. Eaton part is weird, but if it's part of a bigger trade, MAYBE, there's something to it. I won't hold my breath.

MPN - Please don't mistake the genious basketball players with the MLB players union. Completely different ballgame in more than the literal sense. Notice which sport also has a salary cap and luxery tax and salary limits, and which sport has none of the above.

True, but there have been rumblings that elements of the MLBPA would like that to happen, too. It would hurt the agents though, so that is an issue.

If they are trading Beltre for cash reasons, we'd prob need to eat some of eaton's deal, no?

If they are trading Beltre for cash reasons, we'd prob need to eat some of eaton's deal, no?

What is everyone's thoughts on Kenny Lofton? He had a fine little season here back in 2005. Lofton reminds me a little of Rollins as a guy with a motor that never quits. He has a reputation for having a bad attitude, but he sure finds himself on a lot of winning ballclubs. He is a solid, economic choice season after season after season ...

He's quick and gets on base, but is known as a bad clubhouse guy and won't run into walls. That being said, he's cheap and knows how to win. I guess you have to way the 2.

Additionally, J, did you post that b/c you heard this?"

Caller on 610(another great source) said he talked to Jayson Stark at a WaWa and Stark said "Lofton will be back in Philly next year". I'm pretty bored, so i'm "reporting this" to you guys.

Lofton would not be a bad choice at all. What is his free agent status?

Of course, my ulterior motive would be that the money presumably saved over Jenkins etc. would be applied to a)the bp and/or b)a starter and/or c)I don't know (3rd base).

I'd like to see Lofton back in the pinstripes. Good defender, plus speed, a nice slap hitter. Plus great print copy and DNL fodder with run ins with the local scribes.

Can be effective, but another underwhelming name. Not much else out there, I suppose. Would rather have Jenkins and Lofton, then Jenkins and Cameron, FWIW.

My thoughts on both Jenkins and Cameron are pretty much the same in why would you pay for them? Is signing either of them going to put us over the top and make us a contender? Unless you are talking about, as a few other people have mentioned, contenders for the most strikeouts in a single season ever then i do not think so. I mean really what is the difference between 82 wins and 86 wins when 89 makes the playoffs? Throw Benson in that group too, why not take a chance on someone that actually has the upside to make us a contender or at least close to one in Prior or Colon or something along those lines. Anyways there is a great article over at baseballanalysts.com about pretty much this exact situation that anyone interested should take a look at.
http://baseballanalysts.com/archives/2007/12/why_spend_big_b.php

But, would rather have Jenkins and Ensberg...

For what they need - I'm tempted to say Lofton makes better sense than Cameron for sure, and might be a better fit than Jenkins. Radio hosts won't like it because he doesn't run into walls like Rowand did. Anthony said this on his goober radio show. But they'd get a good on-base presence, a lefty bat, a nice No. 2 hitter with speed. No power, but that's not an area I'm all that concerned about. From the Phillies' perspective, they seem to like Vic in right field. He does track down a lot of foul balls out there.

Rollins
Lofton
Utley
Howard
Burrell
Vic
Dobbs/Helms
Ruiz
P

This keeps Werth on the bench and can spell Burrell in the later innings when we have a lead instead of having to use [gulp] Chris Roberson or Snelling.

Kenny Lofton...the answer is Astros, Indians, Braves, Indians, Giants, White Sox, Pirates, Cubs, Yankees, Phillies, Dodgers, Rangers, Indians

Rollins
Lofton
Utley
Howard
Burrell
Vic
Dobbs/Helms
Ruiz
P

Werth on the bench. I like it.

From Zolecki, quoting Bill James Handbook: Abraham Nunez's range factor (3.27) -- if he had played enough games at third to qualify -- would have been the best in baseball.

From Stark's ESPN.com column (sidebar):

The Phillies continue to talk with the agents for both Geoff Jenkins and Mike Cameron about two-year deals. While the club seems to favor Jenkins slightly over Cameron, it's amenable to signing whichever one says yes first -- assuming either of them does. The Phillies also have kicked around Kenny Lofton as a fallback option if they land neither.


Free-agent pitching options the Phillies have looked into: Akinori Otsuka, Byung-Hyun Kim, Roberto Hernandez, Kris Benson, John Parrish, Sidney Ponson and Chad Durbin.

They've stayed in the bidding on Kyle Lohse and Jeremy Affeldt, but they don't appear interested in the four- and five-year contracts those guys seem to think they've earned.

from the district: Have you ever heard Howard Eskin on WIP? Radio predates the Internet.

Don't know if anyone has posted this yet...
Mets just inked Wise. (per MLBTR)

Why not both Cameron and Jenkins?

Don't know if anyone has posted this yet...
Mets just signed Wise. (per MLBTR)

Another servicable reliever gone to someone else...

clout, yes i have. Yes, the radio does predate the internet. And to take your point even further, incivility, in general, predates both mediums.

gah spam filter.. my apologies on the double post.

Kenny Lofton is intriguing. I remember Charlie mentioning that Victorino needs to have a break every so often because he gets worn down and unfocused. I'm interested in what his terms are. Texas paid him six million last year.

I’ve always liked Lofton, but I think he only works in a Bourn roll at this point, unless you play Lofton in center and I don’t like that idea. That’s not based off anything other then I want to watch Victorino in center everyday.

I want nothing to do with Cameron. I just don’t like him at all… I don’t like his numbers, I don’t like his swing, I like none of it

Jenkins would be my first choice followed by Lofton. After that, I’m not sure how much I’d want to deal with anyone else unless they would sign a minor league deal.

I’d like Otsuka for the pen as well, but I’m a gambler.

Cameron whiffs too much, is on line for a power decline, but he is STILL a terriffic defender. Lofton is a prototypical lead off hitter, only strikes out about 50 times a yr.. Gotta wonder why he's played for half the teams in baseball though. Platrooning Lofton and Vic isn't a bad idea..

I don't know how crazy he would be about playing in Philly again but you could sign Lofton to a probably sign him to a 1-year deal with decent upside in incentives.

State to Lofton that the Phils are will trade Victorino if he signs with him to give him a legit chance to achieve his incentive targets.

Use Victorino and maybe a prospect to trade and grab another starter. Victorino definitely has trade value has an everyday CF and if the Phils are willing to give up a decent pitching prospect I think they just might be able to shake look a semi-decent starter.

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