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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

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jason,
Thanks for making '07 a great year to be a first time beerleaguer reader,final score against washington 6-1, electric atomsphere being there especially at mcfaddens during the start of the mets! game can't wait for '08 "we're the team to beat!" and with the ironpigs starting here in the lehigh valley should be a great season for phillies fans. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!!!

Just wanted to stay i've stuck to this site through everything this past yr, never really commented but wanted to say thanks to everyone on here that made 07 one to remember. Lets make and even better 08. Go Phils and happy new year to everyone!

2007 kicked arse, but I truly expect 2008 to be even better. Happy New Year BeerLeaguers!

Happy New Year to all. I don't comment much but I've been reading all the posts for the last 18 months. This is a great source for all of us out of towners.

Happy New Year everyone. Thank you Beerleaguer.

I think this year would get off to a great start if bruceg jumped on here and declared the 2008 season over already with no hope of the playoffs!

XM reporting PHils are going after Santana. Doubt it would ever happen especially since it would take a combo of Rollins / Hamels and 2 prosects to get it done.

happy new year!

ESPN has some good point/counterpoint about this year's crop of Hall of Fame candidates.

To me there's a very telling contrast between Goose Gossage and Lee Arthur Smith. Goose just missed getting in last year and is considered the favorite to make it this year. I saw both pitch and was way more impressed with Smith in his prime. But knew nothing about their career stats so I looked it up: Smith 478 saves, 131 ERA+, 1.25 WHIP.
Gossage 310 saves, 126 ERA+, 1.25 WHIP.

Pretty close, with edge to Smith. In last year's vote, Gossage got 71.2% of the vote, Smith 39.8%. Why? Because Gossage played in NY and Smith didn't.

Other guys who deserve serious consideration but probably won't make it: Bert Blyleven, who spent almost his entire career with bad teams; Jack Morris, who was incredible in the clutch; Andre Dawson, who had 438 pre-steroid HRs; Jim Rice, who had over 100 RBIs 8 of his 16 years and finished with a career OPS+ of 128.

this one's for cj...

phils don't have a shot in 08. Last year was a fluke. I'll see you guys spring 2009.

bruce yeh killjoy...

Listening to WIP yesterday, they had the audio of all of the significant moments from the 2007 Phillies season. It was amazing to reflect on the ups and downs of this past year, with the miraculous come-from-behind wins and the crippling collapses that seemed to happen far too often.
I don't think any of us will forget:
- Russell Branyan stepping up for his first at-bat and hitting a pinch-hit home run against the Nats
- Barajas' pinch-hit base hit that proved to be the winning run against the cards in that september game
- Utley's base knock against Billy the Rat to score Iguchi and complete that improbable comeback
- The cheering by the phans at the ballpark when the Mets/Marlins game went final on the last day of the season
- The called strike 3 against Wily Mo to end the regular season and clinch the division
And, to top it all off, they had Harry singing "High Hopes" after the celebration on the field and in the clubhouse.

What an unbelievable season '07 was. Here's to hoping '08 will be some of the same. A happy and healthy new year for everyone

bruceg rooools. I think we can start buying our playoff tickets now! ;-)

I saw Amaro on the Philly New Year's Show on CBS and he said that, as presently constituted, we're a World Series contender. Really disturbing.

It's really about time we stopped gnashing teeth over the merits of Pedro Feliz and took a fond look back at what the Phillies were finally able to accomplish in September. I got to relive it all somewhat when I came home for Christmas; my mother had saved all the newspapers from after the clincher and the days off before the playoffs. The Phils are IT in Philly right now, and that's pretty exciting in itself.

It's 2008 now, and camp breaks in six weeks. Time to start getting excited. I'm anxious to see if they play like a different team out of the gates this time around and get other teams chasing them for a change.

bruceg - thank you. Now, finally, we got a shot. (Just remember you have to (announce it and) tune out anytime the Phils have a one run lead and the other team has the bases loaded no out in the seventh.) (Okay? That's your job, man!)

Clout: I feel exactly the opposite on your HoF point. Gossage in his prime -- and it was a long prime -- was not merely intimidating, he was a shut-down pitcher. Look up his IP and appearance numbers sometime; nobody today could match it.

Smith benefited greatly from the adoption of the Sutter treatment -- only one inning from your closer per game -- during the early part of his career. In Goose's day, the manager still ran the team; the players didn't get to bitch about how many saves they earned.

It seems funny to me that, despite your general respect for statistical analysis, when it comes to relief pitching you put great stock in saves, probably the most bogus of all the major stats.

Tray, it's disturbing if you think Amaro really believes what he said.

I don't think he really believes it. If he does then he won't last very long when he becomes GM.

Remember, with the Phillies it's all about the marketing.

Intresting read from the Sunday NY Daily news:
I'm not sure I agree that Kyle Drabeck is on a fast track to the majors. Unlike Andy Reid-Phills aparently missed the Villanova stud pitcher

2006 - in class of own
If Joba Chamberlain builds on his sensational two months as a Yankee, he could prove to be the steal of the 2006 amateur draft, chosen out of Nebraska with the 41st pick. Or it could turn out that Chamberlain is merely one of several stars to blossom from what is destined to be remembered as one of the best pitching drafts of all time.
Of the 44 players chosen as first-rounders or supplemental first-rounders (awarded to teams losing top-flight free agents), 27 were pitchers, and several are already making a splash. No team fared better than the Yankees, who grabbed Ian Kennedy out of USC with the 22nd pick, as well as Chamberlain.
But consider some of the other names from the top of that draft:
Andrew Miller, the 6-6 lefty selected at No. 6 out of North Carolina by the Tigers, was recently traded to the Marlins in the deal for Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis. Some scouts think he could approach Randy Johnson-type dominance.
Tim Lincecum, the No. 10 pick out of the University of Washington, had dazzling moments as a rookie with the Giants last season. His ceiling is thought to be so high, the Giants have resisted Blue Jays’ attempts to land him for Alex Rios, an outfielder with huge power potential.
Clayton Kershaw, the No. 7 pick as a high school lefthander, is zooming through the Dodgers’ system. Kershaw turns 20 in March and some scouts think he could be in the majors by late summer. The Twins targeted Kershaw in trade talks for Johan Santana.
Luke Hochevar, the No. 1 pick by the Royals, began making up for lost time after sitting out a season when the Dodgers failed to sign him out of the 2005 draft. The righty had a strong first season in the minors and showed flashes of brilliance in a late-season trial with the Royals.Brandon Morrow, the No. 5 pick out of Cal-Berkeley by the Mariners, pitched his way into the Seattle bullpen last season with his 98-mph fastball, and could move into the rotation in ’08.

Max Scherzer, the No. 11 pick out of Missouri by the Diamondbacks, had a strong ’07 in the minors and could win a spot as a starter for the D-Backs in ’08.
A handful of high school pitchers from the ’06 draft also are on the fast track, including Phillies prospect Kyle Drabek, son of former major leaguer Doug Drabek.

So who’d the Mets get in that first round? They didn’t have a pick, forfeiting theirs as a penalty for signing free agent Billy Wagner. Nevertheless, they may have cashed in as well with second-rounder (No. 62 overall) Kevin Mulvey, a righthander out of Villanova who pitched well at Double-A, and is likened by some scouts to the Yankees’ Kennedy for his polish and poise.

Even with the post season disappointment that final game of the regular season is a wonderful memory. That final week was an awesome ride an indeed 2007 was a success.

Roll on to bigger and better things in '08 Phils!

Alby: Saves actually did have more value back in those days before the rules were relaxed. You had to face the tying run to get a save. Unlike today's save, that is actually a decent statistical measure. Saves today have value only as a marker for not giving up the lead. I have trouble convincing posters on here that not giving up the lead is actually the single most important thing for a reliever.

You are 100% right about how the game changed between the '70s, when a closer like Gossage might go 3 innings and the '80s when Smith went 1 inning. But in terms of an intimidating shut-down pitcher, I'll take Smith's 1 inning over 1 inning by Goose. My point wasn't that Goose doesn't deserve to go to the HOF but that the huge gap between his votes and Smith's is ridiculous when you look at the numbers (I assume you agree that ERA+ and WHIP has value).

AWH: Good point. I suspect even the Nationals assistant GM when speaking in public calls his team a "World Series contender." Neither Ruben nor PG can possibly believe this team's bullpen is World Series caliber.

kells: Mulvey appears more advanced than Drew Carpenter, whom the Phils took in the second round, but he doesn't project as more than a back of rotation guy. Carpenter jumps to Reading this season and we'll find out pretty quickly whether Mulvey was the better pick.

clout - "Saves actually did have more value back in those days before the rules were relaxed. You had to face the tying run to get a save."

Based on what I can find online, that only was true for 1973 & 1974. The save rule was originally created in 1969, and there was no requirement for innings pitched or score. In 1973, that changed, and then it changed to the current format in 1975.

Additionally, saves before 1969 were retroactively determined based on the current version of the formula.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Save

Tray, I just re-read my post and realized it could be misconstrued as a shot at you. What I should have typed was:

Tray, Amaro's comment is disturbing if you think he really believes what he said.

Sorry for the lack of clarity.

It could be a long 2 months until spring training when pitchers and catchers report. The Phils have declared their roster all but determined with some slight tinkering still to be done to the pitching staff possibly. No need to debate Feliz vs. Dobbs/Helms because the latter is what we're stuck with. No Johan Santana coming to Philly, just pray for an Adam Eaton recovery!

"Kyle Drabeck is on a fast track to the majors"

Really? Given that he had Tommy John surgery in late July, I would be shocked if he pitches competitively for the Phils this year. I figured he would pitch at the earliest in Winter League 2008.

Don't believe a word of declaration, it is just a technique, GM Carson.

stjoehawk: "Additionally, saves before 1969 were retroactively determined based on the current version of the formula."

I'm not sure what that means. I know for a fact that the save stat was kept and reported in the 1960s.

clout - Perhaps you're right. I'm just citing a source that states that the save rule wasn't adopted until the start of the 1969 season. Maybe it was an unofficial stat before that, or perhaps baseball-reference has it wrong.

MG, Drabek is expected back mid 2008 and will probably repeat Lakewood.

Someone mentioned a few days back about the whereabouts of minor league vet Gary Burnham.

He is currently playing in the Mexican Pacific League (Liga Mexicana del Pacifico) for Naranjeros de Hermosillo along with Chris Roberson.
http://www.mlb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=l132&t=t_ros&cid=677

Since the Phils signed a bunch of minor league vets this offseason (Tracy, Smith, LaForest, Pascucci), I don't see Burnham on the Iron Pigs this season. Burnham is still unsigned.


Clout: The only real disagreement I have in your assessment of Gossage v. Lee Smith is the contention that it was Gossage's New York exposure that accounts for the difference in vote totals. I think that plays a role, but isn't the whole story, or even the biggest factor. Consider a few other points:

1) The cheapening of the save statistic. I'd argue that L.A. Smith, as the all-time saves leader, is the #1 victim of this. Normally it's great to be #1, but when John Franco retired as #2 all-time (IIRC), it makes a less-than-stellar selling point: "I'm better than John Franco!" Whoopee!

2) The change in relief roles. It's possible you're underestimating the magnitude of the change. Consider this: Gossage played for 22 years, Smith for 18; the main difference is that Gossage kept pitching for 7 years after losing his closer role, Smith threw in the towel after 2 years of mop-up duty. Yet Gossage threw 50 percent more innings, 1809 vs. 1289. Yes, some of that is the extra years, some the season Gossage spent as a starter (he logged 224 innings despite a 9-17 record, to illustrate how much things have changed). In 162-game averages, Gossage has 119 innings, Smith 85. It's a significant difference, because many of Gossage's appearances were for multiple innings, giving them far higher leverage than Smith, who often pitched only the 9th. In other words, Smith sometimes got saves without facing much in the way of danger; Gossage rarely pitched without facing the heart of the opponent's batting order.

3) If you're measuring peak value by ERA+, Smith topped 200 only once, Gossage three times, including an otherwordly 461 in the strike-shortened 81 season. The other two came in the two seasons sandwiched around the failed experiment as a starter.

(As an aside, I suppose says something about the value of starting pitching vs. relief pitching -- Gossage was among baseball's best relievers, if not the best, but he was a dud starting. It wasn't just the workload, either; for the four years from 1975-1978, his IP totals were 141, 224, 133 and 134, with the 224 coming the year he was in the Pittsburgh rotation.) Smith, BTW, did log over 100 innings in three seasons, all early in his career.

The major points in Smith's favor are a higher strikeout rate and a lower walk rate, precisely the numbers you'd expect to be better given a history of shorter outings.

These points might not persuade everyone that Gossage was superior, but they probably make a difference to some voters.

Alby: Good post. I'm not sure you're right about Franco. He pitched longer than just about anyone in baseball history. I can't imagine a writer thinking, "Hey Franco was just average and he finished second all time in saves, so Smith must not be very good." That's just not logical.

On ERA+, with relievers a single season isn't all that telling because of the low IP total. It's the career numbers that count. That otherworldly 461 was in 46 IP. You can also look at that single-season argument from the flip side. Throwing out their last couple seasons, Gossage was 91 or lower 4 times in ERA+. Smith went below 103 only once.

Again my only point is that even if you think Gossage was the best ever, the gap in their respective vote totals is indefensible.

Maybe there is room for Gary Burnham in Allentown, Chris Roberson was traded to Orioles for cash.

The Phils traded Roberson for just cash? What, no donuts?

I know how much you guys hate bogus rumors and unrealistic trade proposals, but 'tis the season...
What would you think of this move?
To Phils:
Chris Capuano
To Brewers:
Jason Jaramillo

This isn't a rumor, its a complete fabrication. I just combined the needs of both teams and chose dispensible players of near equivalent value. I know Capuano was an all-star last year, but he completely fell apart in the second half. Basically, this would be the 2008 version of the Millwood trade.

A deal like this would solidify our rotation, but he's a lot like Moyer and Kendrick: hittable.
Of course- if we're dealing with the Brewers, I'd prefer a larger deal involving Ben Sheets, but that definitely won't happen. Just throwing something out there...

Billy Mac - Thanks for the update on Drabaek. Considering he didn't have TJ surgery until almost the end of July though, I will still be pretty surprised he gets more than a handful of starts at Lakewood.

Also think it is pretty ridiculous to annoint him as a stud prospect too. Give the kid the proper time to heal and see what he can do in '09.

Agreed on Drabek. He definitely has the "makings" of a stud pitcher, but we need to see how he heals first. He should come back even stronger, but time will tell. The future appears bright, for now.

Funny Jessica Alba article, for anyone who cares:
http://mlbfleecefactor.com/2008/01/01/off-field-fleeces-gofer-hits-jackpot-lands-alba/

Bro- I'd do Cap for Jar in a hot minute!!!

Trading Roberson is not necessarily a good move. Not for baseball reasons, but because he is apparently Ryan Howard's best friend in the organization.

I hope that doesn't affect any L-T contract negotiations with the big guy.

Additionally, trading him for cash says everything about this ownership/management group. Roberson may not be an everyday MLB player, but he has some value.

Trading him for nothing more that money is a glaring indication of where the Phillies' priorities lie.

Trading Roberson was the right thing to do. Gillick obviously didn't like want he saw and he has pretty much been written off my the Phils' management.

I would say Roberson has an outside chance of winning a fifth OF spot with the O's in spring training. He needs to be pretty flawness though in the field/on the bases though and hit near .300 though in spring training to have a legit shot.

Still, see him as a "AAAA" player who won't be able to stick at the MLB level once he loses a step or two.

AWH - Yeah I am sure the Phils didn't mind get cash in return but I do think they were trying to give Roberson a shot somewhere else. Best for him and the Phils.

Personally, I disliked Roberson's game. Overrated as a defense player. Always amazes he at how just because some has good speed that it translates into great range in the field. Roberson had "ok" range but he certainly didn't seem to be able to have great natural defensive instincts/read balls well. Plus, his arm seemed average too.

Offensively, he is proficient at stealing bases and that is about it. Any competent MLB pitcher with even a modicum of control and an overage offspeed pitch will handle Roberson.

New thread if you'd like to re-post on Roberson.

Good for Roberson. Seemed like a good guy and I wish him well. There wasn't room for him on the 40 man roster. That leaves another move to be made soon to get to 40.

baxter: The Brewers GM would be tarred and feathered if he made that trade and rightly so. File this one under "Never gonna happen."

Rollins and Hamels for Santana is waaaayyyy too much. Waaayyyy too much.

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