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Sunday, December 23, 2007

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1 year, $1M. Good. We could use the depth and solid bat off the bench. Where is everyone?

Cant' wait for the Daily News headline. He is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Taguchi

Also, I can't wait for the phans who think we re-signed Iguchi and why he isn't playing 3rd base.

Bye bye Roberson?

The question is: Does Taguchi qualify as Value Village? Usually VV signings don't have options attached. Probably a little high for entry into the Village. Durbin made the cut, however.

Durbin is definitely and so is Taguchi. $1 M bucks in this market for a veteran qualifies as Value Village. I would put vets at $1.5 M and up as out of the Value Village section.

Now if Gillick can just get another solid bullpen arm in here (LOOGY like Miller would do nicely) and another decent starter this offseason will have turned ok. Not great but no real backslide either.

MG: That's asking a lot in the remaining market - for both a starter and reliever. I'm no longer holding out hope for another starter. A proven reliever would be gravy.

Also - I think Stark was the only reporter to mention Durbin as a possible fit for the Phillies. No one knew anything about Taguchi, to the best of my knowledge.

An addition that makes sense, but it also means they've decided Roberson's fate as a major leaguer.

JW - Maybe but Gillick talked all offseason about upgrading the pitching and I don't see it so far. You can't talk big about something and then not deliver.

Lidge was a nice start but where is the upgrade or depth? Phils already traded Geary and it looks like Lohse is gone too. The only guys that have been added marginal guys like Durbin, Youmans, and the Rule V guys.

That just doesn't cut it when Gillick, Amaro, and others harped on this point as their key are of focus this offseason.

Plus, I want to make it clear that I was never expecting the Phils to be acquire a starer like Bedard or Haren. That would be asking too much but it is really to much to ask to acquire another legit starter who is capable of even putting up league average numbers? I say no.

This doesn't qualify as Value Village, because Taguchi is established at the role he is slated to fulfill, and not in any way a cross of the fingers. It's just a sensible, solid move.

One thing we know for sure: Taguchi can hit Billy Wagner just fine.

Exactly how were the Phillies expected to come away with a quality starting pitcher this winter? They used their one available commodity in Bourn to get Lidge. They then proceeded to state many times that there were no FA pitchers worth signing (other than Wolf or Kuroda) - which I happen to agree with. So perhaps they should not have bothered to talk so big with such limited options, but I can't fault the GMs for not rounding up a good starter given the circumstances. They got Myers back in the rotation; that'll just have to do for now.

As frustrated as I get with the Phils at times, I don't even think Giles and Monty would have the balls to raise ticket prices 20% like Wilpon has done this season with the Mets.

This in spit of coming off one of the worst seasons collapses in baseball history and being a bit player in the FA market. What kind of message does that send to Mets' fans? Even the biggest cretin Mets' fans in Queens and Nassau County have to get the message loud and clear.

RSB - Yeah the market for starting pitching this offseason was sparse but then why emphasize it as a key area of focus this offseason?

If a CEO or Sr VP of a company state that their organization is going to focus on X next year and they don't deliver, they get hammered for it usually in several ways.

How are the Phils different? Ah, schmucks. He tried hard but we couldn't get it done. Weak at best.

My question to you RSB and JW - is this pitching staff right now better than the one the Phils ended the season with? I have to say no.

MG or anyone. Just what is a LOOGY. There oughtta be a glossary for the non-state geeks.

Still don't get why they have the money for all these outfielders but not for a Riske, Vizcaino, Hawkins, or whomever.

Sorry. Meant to say folks who aren't so into stats like some of you geeks.

Speaking of wasting money, this morning I reviewed the list of FA signings and I saw that someone has agree to pay Jason Kendall 4.5 mill. Why? That guy has stolen more money in his career that Derik Coleman.

Steve- (L)efty (O)ne-(O)ut (G)u(Y)

so, taguchis signing also means the return of number 99 to a phillies uniform????? are we ready to exorcise some demons?

MG- But the answer should be will this pitching staff pitch better from start to finish, I've got to say yes.

But I think Victorino could still be used to acquire pitching as he is our only chip. Taguchi is around in case Snelling, Werth or whoever struggles. With Burrell, Werth, Jenkins and Taguchi, we can get by if Victorino is traded to get pitching.

MG: They're a click worse, which is why I said they need to get a good reliever. If they can, they will have improved.

i like the move as much as anyone can like a 5th OF.
entirly off topic but...
http://www.journalismjobs.com/Job_Listing.cfm?JobID=862785

Company: The Philadelphia Daily News
Position:
Philadelphia Phillies beat reporter
Location:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Job Status: Full-time
Salary: Negotiable
Ad Expires:
January 13, 2008
Job ID: 862785

Description:
The Philadelphia Daily News is looking for a talented and energetic beat writer to cover the Philadelphia Phillies. The ideal candidate will be a dogged reporter who can regularly break news on a highly competitive beat but also savvy enough to identify trends and provide the perspective our readership demands.

We are looking for someone who is dedicated to covering baseball for the long term and would prefer candidates with experience managing a significant beat and working sources.

The Phillies writer also will provide content beyond the newspaper for our Web site, philly.com, and make scheduled television appearances on “Daily News Live.”

Please send a cover letter, resume and writing samples that best demonstrate your skills to …

Pat McLoone, Assistant Managing Editor, Philadelphia Daily News, PO Box 7788, Philadelphia, PA 19101

or send your materials via email to mcloonp@phillynews.com

They forgot the one requirement - willing to drink the kool aid

Nutter, Very interesting. Did Marcus Hayes leave the Daily News ? I cannot imagine DN giving him a columnist position. He could barely cover the beat.

i don't know if marcus left but a few years ago he did the football beat and he requested the baseball beat for a change of pace. i imagine the baseball beat to be one of the more straining jobs in sports writing, so maybe marcus just got tired of it.

Not really a fan of the move, but if it means I never have to see Roberson again thats fine. That day in Atlanta still haunts me.

It takes me forever to write posts. While I was writing the last post, hours transpired and Jason put up a new thread. I want to share what I posted at the end of the last thread, an observation of Philly sports fans.

When I was leaving the Superdome today after the Eagles victory over the Saints, an Eagles fan was on his cellphone talking loudly and I heard this great line. He said, "The Saints fans are real nice and friendly. They're used to losing, too!" Now I see why I fit in so well in New Orleans; it's from my boyhood upbring of rooting for losing Phillies, Eagles, and Sixers teams. New Orleanians and Delaware Valley residents share common values and sports team hardships.

JW - Still disagree about the pitching. The Phils went into last season with pretty much the same pitching staff and it turned out to be a train wreck for most of the season. Basically, the Phils are going to lean heavily again on their minor system to provide them with a starter.

Early prediction, either Outman/Carrasco/Savery will make a start with the Phils before Memorial Day weekend. Once again, Gillick will have to push a young pitching arm to fill the deficiencies in the starting rotation for the 3rd season in a row.

I guess I see the Phils' pitching being average/slightly above average at best and that is assuming a ton of things go right including

1. Hamels stays healthy and gives the Phils a min. of 28-30 starts
2. Myers returns to the rotation as a solid starter
3. Moyer remains a serviceable starter
4. Kendrick proves his rookie season wasn't a combination of luck/flue and remain a legit starter
5. Phils find a serviceable 5th starter
5. Gordon remains healthy and effective
6. Madson remains healthy and effective
7. Romero is an effective enough against
right-handed batters to be a setup man
8. Lidge is at least a slightly better than average league closer
9. The Phils back end of the bullpen isn't as horrendous as it was for most of last year.

I would stay that there is a likelihood of only about 5-6 things of those things breaking in the Phils' favor this year and the result will be a below average/poor pitching staff again depending upon what happens.

Of those those ten major pitching factors, I am already writing off Gordon, think the Phils' back of their bullpen will be a sieve again for most of this year, and don't have much faith in Eaton/Happ/Durbin/??? fufilling the 5th starter spot.

I am just keeping my fingers crossed on the other factors break in the Phils' favor because they just need even average pitching to be a legit playoff contender.

You and me both, Ben Keeler. I'll never forget banging my steering wheel and dash in Compton, CA, of all places. Still the worst loss in the last 10 years. Still can't believe they won the division three weeks later...

On Taguchi's number: He wore 6 in Japan. He wanted to wear it in St. Louis, but that's for Stan the Man. He thought about turning it upside down, but that's for Country Slaughter. He couldn't be 66 because Ankiel had it at the time, so he went with number 99.

Why do I know this kind of crap?

MG,

I think you are wrong about our pitching. Remember, we were ravaged by injuries. Myers in the rotation gives us a 3rd reliable starter and then Moyer can be number 4/5. Durbin(s)/Eaton can't be much worse than Eaton/Lieber last year and will likely be better. Kendrick will be up from the beginning and he was consistent in giving us 5-6 innings a game. Madson pitching in the 6th and 7th is way better than Madson in the 8th/9th. Romero and Lidge all year are better than Myers and ? for some of the year. Gordon, well he is a wild card. I think he'll be a train wreck but he was last year too.

So, I think the staff is better already. Is it finished? No, we need another reliable arm in the pen and I'd love to have a 4/5th starter but it is already better. I think we'll get both but to do that we'll likely need to trade some of our farm guys. But if we are unwilling to trade our young guys, then we better be willing to use them.

I think Miller is a perfect situational lefty and we might get him.

On Daily News Live this week Marcus Hayes implied he was no longer the Phills beat writer(No follow-up by host). It came up while everyone was saying goodbye to Dana P. O'Neil(spelling) & wishing her good luck at ESPN.com. I'm not positive about Marcus-wasn't announced in a official way.
I can see how being on the road would get old quickly. Probably ideal for a younger & single guy.

It's hard to argue that the Phillies' pitching is *worse* off than it was at the end of the season. They (apparently) lost Lohse, but gained Lidge. Myers replaces Lohse, Lidge replaces...Geary. And the Chad Durbin signing, underwhelming as it was, may mean Eaton's presence won't be necessary.

Is that enough? No, but I really don't see what more can be done, other than picking an up another reliever.

I wouldn't really rush to replace Eaton with Durbin, and I think that you can make a good argument that the bullpen is actually worse than it was last year, for a few reasons:

1. Lidge is something of a wild card in the closer role, and if he continues to pitch like he has the past couple seasons, won't be quite as effective as Myers.

2. There's about a 98% chance that Romero won't be nearly as good as he was last year.

3. Gordon, presumably our #1 set-up guy, can only get worse at 40 (and he wasn't very good last year).

4. Youman, who's replacing Geary and/or Alfonseca, is worse than either and a whole lot worse than Geary. There will be many games where we use up all our "good" relief pitchers and are forced to rely on this guy. Just wait and see.

After thinking more about this Taguchi signing, I like it more. I think if healthy Chris Snelling could be a great 4th outfielder and slot into the starting lineup possibly down the road. However, when trying to make it to the playoffs, it's better to go with the proven commodity (Taguchi) than the unproven (Snelling).

Gillick will get another reliever, but I'm positive at least 1 person on BeerLeaguer will hate the move. I have no idea who the reliever will be, but I know the latter part will hold true.

Tray-- What makes you think Youman will even come north? He is really AAAA material. He has about a 10% chance of makin this team. Te major problem with the pitchingis (as always) middle relief.. If Romero slides into a 6th/7th inning role (and is effective)that will be an improvement. If he is your 8th inning option, I actually think that is problematc. Still too wild for the tight situations.I think that's why people here wanted Riske or Vizcaino to deal w/ 7th/8th inning relief.

My understanding is that Hayes no longer primarily resides in the Philadelphia area. The Phillies beat would be rather difficult under such circumstances.

I worry less about the eaton/happ/warm body 5th starter than I do about our old (Moyer) and young (Kendrick) guys. I we didn't have eaton to pick on last year, we would have been killing moyer. he was a mediocre starter, with a few gems. i anticipate fewer and fewer gems as he gets a year older and the league gets to know him better. with respect to kendrick, i think it is a mistake to say that he is a solid 3rd starter. he was - in my opinion - the biggest surprise last season. if he can repeat that season, then i am sold. until then, i worry. our 5th starter will be weak. period.

as far as so goes. i can't quite explain why i like this move so much. it just makes so much sense. it is a perfect stocking stuffer for a team that will be starting two talented, but young outfielders in vic and werth. not that they are rookies, but it won't feel like a big let down if one of the starters - which will happen - gets hurt.

Wait Dana Pennett O'Neill went to ESPN.com?

That's the big story here.

I like the Taguchi signing

RSB: Your calculation is goofy. Lidge may have replaced Geary on the roster, but he replaced Myers as closer. So the comparison is Gordon/Myers back end last year versus Gordon/Lidge back end this year. You see that as a big upgrade? I don't. The upgrade is Myers over Lohse in the rotation.

I would say that move plus the addition of the good Durbin (replacing the bad Durbin and the other dreck that pitched middle relief) leaves this staff a tick above last season's. But still not good enough to make the playoffs. Counting on repeat results from Kendrick and Romero is extremely risky, and they have no reliable setup man, which is the second most important spot in the pen.

Taguchi is a good signing. Means the Phils don't have to carry garbage like Roberson or Snelling. The bench is definitely improved over last season, although there's no lefty pinch hitter when Jenkins and Dobbs start (which they will against RHP.)

Seems like a lot of folks are penciling in substitutes for Eaton, including names like Outman, who is extremely unlikely to pitch in the big leagues this season.

Here is my take: If he is healthy Eaton will get the ball every 5th day, just like last year, no matter how bad he is. He will not be sent to the bullpen, sent to AAA or cut. The Phils are paying him $24M and he will start as long as he is healthy.

On a related subject, saw this on Rotoworld:
"The Rangers have reportedly dropped out of the bidding for Freddy Garcia after getting a look at his medical records."

Sigh. Wish the Phils had been that careful.

As stated by mult. posts, I like Taguchi signing. With Vic and Werth having a track record of not being able to hold up for the season I like having a dependable vet to be able to fill in the event someone goes down. Having a solid defender to spell Burrell is a plus as well.

I think he will sign for higher than the Phillies will spend on a bullpen addition, but what are the thoughts about taking a flier Shawn Chacon? In middle relief with the ability to pitch several innings as the go-to guy when Eaton/Dourbin/Happ bombs out in the 3rd inning.

I know the preferable choice would be LH reliever, but Chacon’s a name I wouldn't be upset to see on the roster.

Thoughts?

I'm guessing Howard won't give up #6 for Taguchi.

Kinda hafta say, it ain't a bad signing. If Patty had gotten him before Jenkins I woulda been royally po'd. But post-Jenkins the OF and bench look decent. How about a good lefty 3B now to put Dobbs on the bench as the LH PH? (And send Helms somewhere for some fresh California rolls for New Gooch.) (Meet the new gooch, same as the old...I wonder if Taguchi's ever played 3b?) (We could try it - he's bound to be better than a wooden stake.)

kevmac - It depends...do we get the 2007 Chacon or the 2006 Chacon? It looks like he sort of alternates good years and bad years (and he's due for a, um, less than stellar one).

Speaking of stellar - watch to the right of the full moon tonight, Mars is in opposition and as close as it ever gets: it ought to look like a huge star wearing red, sort of Ryan Howard in the sky.

clout - if no one signs Freddy, do we get to keep him?

"Ron Guidry, dismissed as the Yankees' pitching coach after two seasons, has been sitting home in Louisiana, waiting for a job offer."

Invite him to ST. I'm sure he could "compete" for the fifth starter position.

MG - in your list of how the Phils are only marginally improved on the pitching staff (or whatever you want to call your 1 through 10 thing) you forgot something really, REALLY important: Vic Darensbourg!!!

Hard to find any fault with the Taguchi signing, though I still have major concerns about the pitching -- especially the bullpen. I suspect that, much like last year, the bullpen is going to cost them a lot of early season games. It's not inconceivable that the Phillies may again be able to find mid-season help in the form of minor league callups (most likely Happ) or trades and waiver wire transactions. But the danger is that they'll fall so far behind that the mid-season help won't matter.

if any of you chumps want to check back about 2 weeks you'll see that I predicted this signing based upon Rowand's demands at that time. And i did it without my SOURCE's input!

Clout, If Eaton gets the ball every 5th day no matter how bad he is, then I agree that the Phils do not make the playoffs. They did leave him off the playoff roster, which gives me some hope. But when I look back at 2007 and see 8 quality starts out of 30, 30 home runs, 71 walks and only 97 Ks in 161 innings, you may be right. I still think Lieber if given an opportunity would outpitch Eaton in 2008.

'I would say that move plus the addition of the good Durbin (replacing the bad Durbin and the other dreck that pitched middle relief) leaves this staff a tick above last season's.'

Then we agree, clout. A tick above is all it is - if that - and no one could really claim differently. All I was saying, however you want to break down the comparison, is they weren't technically *worse*.

I seem to be a minority of one on Chad Durbin who, in my opinion, is absolutely horrible.

When Abraham Nunez suddenly hit .40 pts above his career average in 2005, PG incorrectly concluded that it represented a giant step forward, as opposed to a one-year anomaly. Same thing with Wes Helms after he hit .60 pts above his career average in 2006.

Before last year, Chad Durbin's career ERA was 6.14, & he'd spent most of his career shuttling back & forth between Triple A & the majors. Though he had a "decent" year last year, he is no more likely to repeat that performance than Abraham Nunez was to repeat his 2005 career year.

I hope Durbin proves me wrong and turns out to be decent. But put me on record as predicting he'll be an unmitigated disaster who won't survive past June.

By my calculations, we now have 6 outfielders signed to major league contracts (Burrell, Jenkins, Snelling, Taguchi, Victorino and Werth). If we don't trade any of them, it means we are left with only Bruntlett and the back-up catcher as other bench positions, which doesn't seem likely, especially as we have both Helms and Dobbs splitting time at third.

So who's going to be traded? Werth? Victorino?

Dantheman: Unless Gillick wants to go with a 6-man bullpen, the most likely outcome is that Snelling goes to the minors or is waived.

I have to agree with BAP. Durbin had home run trouble in one of the most spacious parks in the majors, can't strike anyone out, has mediocre control on a good year, and doesn't induce a lot of ground balls. Given the parks they've played, he's probably not even better than Condrey.

I have maintained all along that the penny-pinching ownership would never consign Adam Eaton to the bullpen or, better yet, to the minors. Of course, Eaton in the bullpen is a move that defies logic, for a pitcher who can't get through his first inning without being bombed. Eaton to the minors is well deserved but unimaginable, given his obscene contract. So, when Gillick said he was looking for starting pitching, he meant that he was looking for a bench warmer to play the role of J.D. Durbin, which is essentially to fill in when the five man rotation breaks down due to injuries. Gillick wasn't about to sign a top-of-the-rotation guy to warm the bench. So we are going to get another big dose of Adam Eaton, but the new Durbin will replace the old Durbin. Too bad they both stink.

Agreed with RSB and Clout on the "tick better." That phrase came to mind when I was responding to MG.

On Lieber, I've felt from the beginning that he would be a pretty decent option if he was still hanging around if the Phils never got around to getting a better starter. The problem is both he and Eaton probably aren't cut out for the pen, which is where one of them would have to go. That's one reason Durbin had value to them; he does both.

Chad Durbin will probably be Eaton's tag team partner, similar to Condrey last year. Condrey knew to be ready in the 5th inning during Eaton starts.

If you'd told me at the beginning of the off-season that we'd resign Lieber to be our fifth starter, I'd have been horrified. If you told me that today, I'd be . . . well, not exactly happy, but happier than I was yesterday.

Dave X: Here's why Durbin is better than Condrey: He can start. Condrey can't. If they are equally bad, then Durbin gets the edge because he gives them more flexibility.

BAP: I agree. Snelling was a long shot to make this team before the Taguchi signing. He's only signed for $450K so the Phils would have no problem waiving him if he refuses a minor league assignment.

Not to toot my own horn too much here, but I advocated this signing back in the first week of December (www.beerleaguer.com/beerleaguer/2007/12/phillies-select.html#comments_

I'll repeat now what I said then - Taguchi is a solid 4th or 5th outfielder who can step in as a late inning defensive replacement. Taking it for what it is I obviously like the addition.

A tick better? Maybe but that really comes down to Myers returning as a solid starter and Lidge pitching well as the closer. Anyone who thinks this bullpen is decent is crazy and I am willing to bet that either Moyer or Kendrick will struggle next year.

Kind of misses the entire point though that is pitching staff still isn't going to be that good though. At best, it will be around league average.

On the upside, I would be shocked if any team in the NL East gets out to a strong start and runs away with the NL East lead by Memorial Day. The Phils just have to not come out and bury themselves by 6 or 7 games by the second week of May. If that is the case, it might be a long season since I think the Phils' chance of making the wildcard are slim and none. Basically need to win the East again if they are going to return to the playoffs next season.

BAP - Me too on Lieber. Spectular - no but a pretty good bet to keep the Phils in most games and throw an occasional start where he wins a game by himself.

I would definitely take him over the less than thrilling options of Happ or the Amazing Durbins to start the season.

I'd say that the rotation is a tick better, with Myers and a full season of Kendrick replacing Lohse/Lieber/Garcia, and the bullpen is definitely a tick or two worse. Overall it's a wash.

Eaton and Lieber were seen at Dunkin Donuts gorging on a dozen donuts this morning. They were laughing about how they combined to make $16 million last year and combined to give us 42 starts 240 innings and 5.78 era and 13-16 record.

Then again, that's IF the Phillies management considers it a detriment from all the groups coming out of their holes to criticize them about it.

Never mind, Mateo's gone.

Speaking of holes, Brian, how about climbing back into yours.

Lieber won't be back. He handled his 'bullpen' situation poorly (albeit no more poorly than the team itself handled it)and broke down two years in a row.

I agree with RSB on Lieber.

I agree with MG on this: "I think the Phils' chance of making the wildcard are slim and none. Basically need to win the East again if they are going to return to the playoffs next season."

Merry Christmas!

I agree with RSB on Brian.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

I look for Adam Eaton to have a lot better year in 2008. I think the bullpen overall is better than last year. Vic Darensbourg may surprise. I watched him pitch for the Marlins for a couple seasons and he's not bad. He has the ability to burn up some innings. I don't know what the current situation is with Jon Lieber but I say, if he's healthy, let him pitch. I like him.

Merry Christmas to all!

Darensbourg is a GREAT minor league signing. He could surprise and become the 2nd lefty out of the 'pen, or he could implode and be forced to stay in the minors...I am actually happy about that signing.

Taguchi, Jenkins, and Durbin aren't awesome by themselves, but the bottomline is that they are an improvement to the 2008 roster.

I agree with RSB on all his obvious politically correct points.

Both the bullpen and rotation is definitely better than what was left off from last season. Eaton can't do any worse. Myers is back where he belongs, which means they found a real closer to do the job. What really worries me is Kyle Kendrick. I have a good feeling, although I've been wrong before, that this is about as good as he'll get and his trade value never will be higher. I'd also love to see this team have the brains to sign Livan Hernandez, a rubber armed innings chewer.

Also, good riddance to Kyle Lohse, although I can also thank him for pitching the best baseball of his career while with the Phils.

Merry Christmas to all.

The Marlins signed Jose Castillo.. Surely an upgrade from Cabrera :) Merry Christmas to everyone!!!

So there is a team out there with a far worse 3rd base situation than the Phils.

I had to laugh at the report of the Castillo signing.

If you recall the Fish wanted Wes Helms for a RP, AND wanted the Philes to pick up some of his salary!

We complain about the Phils ownership quite a bit on this site (I am one of the most 'vocal'), but on this Christmas Day I think it is appropriate to recognize that it could be worse, and to give thanks that Jeff Loria is not the owner of the Philadelphia baseball franchise.

Although the Fsh have won the WS under his stewardship.

The pieces are now in place for the Fish to continue their upgrade on 3rd base and fork over the dough for Abraham Nunez, which will provide them with a formidable platoon situation.

So-So-So! Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, Beerleaguers! Did the Fat Man leave a lefty reliever in Pat Gillick's stocking? That would be a Christmas miracle... And if you did get coal this year, here's hoping its anthracite from Northeastern PA.

Merry Christmas!

Has anyone heard if Leiber is back home at the North Pole yet? Hope he had a safe, round the world trip.

P.S. I am a true non-Leiber fan, but I would laugh with glee to have him as a fifth starter instead of he-who-cannot-be-named on Christmas.

Merry Christmas to all!

Hopefully the LH reliever will be Trevor Miller. Hope everyone had a great Christmas. Maybe PG Can upgrade 3B and get a starter as well.

I got a red Chase Utley jersey and a Phils Mr. Potato Head for Christmas...'tis the season to be jolly!

Merry Christmas! Sifl Claus is here with a list of 2008 Phillies predictions!

1. Howard hits 60.
2. Burrell hits 40.
3. Utley wins the batting crown.
4. Rollins learns to walk and steals a lot more bases.
5. Myers, not Hamels, wins 20.
6. Helms surprises, Dobbs bombs.
7. Coste keeps his fairy tale going a little longer.
8. Lidge is great as closer, Gordon gives us heartburn but hangs in there, Romero winds up reminding us why so many teams cut him before. Bullpen bright spot: the Durbin brothers (and their Phan club, the Durbins in Turbans).
9. Kendrick and Moyer both collapse, and much of the season comes down to whether either Outman or Carrasco is ready to play.
10. Adam Eaton bounces back against all odds, and he wins back our hearts with his Sunday afternoon solo bomb for the only score in a 1-0 complete game shutout.

And Santa Claus does exist!!

Cool stuff, although you'd have to admit the fan club for the number 8 prediction would probably receive some serious backlash, mainly by those who would never talk about a Phillies game let alone attend one.

And....if all those things DO happen, the Phils win the division in a landslide, regardless if Moyer and Kendrick tank.

How many So Taguchi's could you buy with this bill? haha

http://mlbfleecefactor.com/2007/12/25/luxury-doesnt-pay-for-the-yankees/

Does signing Taguchi improve the odds of signing Otsuka? Otsuka really seems like the guy who could solify the bullpen. And in thinking about a little belated christmas present, I was thinking about third base. So for the heck out of it, I thought about what are lineup would like look with Pat Burrell at 3rd (ignore how unlikely it is and the potential defensive liability). And the lineup looks beautiful.

1. Rollins SS
2. Victorino CF
3. Utley 2B
4. Howard 1B
5. Burrell 3B
6. Jenkins LF
7. Werth RF
8. Ruiz C

I'd be highly amused by Burrell at 3rd base...then I'd puke!

B-Mac: Next Christmas, have another egg nog but, DO NOT POST. Burrell at third to get Werth in the lineup? You would have done better to suggest Coste at third and an outfield of Burrell, Vic, and Jenkins. Oops! My mistake! Your post was on 12/26.
DO NOT POST past your bedtime!!!

Burrell and Howard in the infield maybe the worst defensive corner infielders in major league history. mostly because Burrell would be the biggest joke of a 3B ever. please with that garbage.

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