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Friday, January 11, 2008


This one is for Carson and Lake Fred, who needed a pick-me-up.

BTY - The article in Newsday today about the potential Santana trade debunked a few Here a few of my thoughts on this:

1. Prospects. The rumored trade of the 5 aforementioned prospects for Santana seems pretty bogus. The Twins seem to still want MLB-proven talent and there isn't a single prospect in the list who has done squat at the MLB level so far. I think this is going to be a much more difficult sticking point for Minaya to make this trade happen.

2. Time. Some of the Mets' fans seem to be advocating that Minaya be patient and that he was plenty of time. Maybe but I don't think that is the case. Minaya basically has about 3 weeks to make this deal happen. If this deal isn't done by the first week of Feb. it isn't happening. By then, teams will be getting geared up for the season and catcher/pitchers will be reporting by mid-Feb.

3. Bill Smith. Maybe I am reading the comments I am seeing from the Twins' GM in the wrong way. He seems to realizes his team already took a PR hit this season by letting Hunter walk and he has already made an interesting yet risky trade for Young.

However, trading Santana is entirely different deal. Twins' fans know this and so does Smith. It is important to remember that Smith is not a well-established GM nor does he has the reserve "managerial genius" cred that a guy like Beane has. That is really important. C-level execs realize that perception (internally and externally) is almost as important as execution.

If this deal backfires, the Twins' fans will bury Smith and he will become the scapegoat. I wouldn't be surprised if Polhad would sink Smith with it if things so south in Minn when the new stadium opens in 2010.

I still think that Santana starts the season in a Twins' uniform.

I agree with MG, especially point #1. A quick look at the rotation listed on the twins depth chart indicates they truly need at least one bonafide ready-to-go starting pitcher, and more likely need two. I'm not too sure that any of the three pitchers is(much less two of them are)ready.

If I were Smith and wanted to get two ready-to-go pitchers from the Yankees, the two teams I would publicize "serious negotiations" with would be, strangely enough, Boston and the Mets.

I also agree that Minaya faces more time pressure on making this deal than Smith.

While Santana would be a beast in the east, I'm not quaking in my boots yet.

I'm a big Utley fan along with everyone else. But in 20 years, if Utley dethrones Ashburn as the Phillies most cherished player, it will only be because people have forgotten how good Ashburn was and how wonderful it was to hear his voice all those years. He'll always be number 1 to me.

Jason - incidently, thanks for showing that we are open to conversation (even with those less well-informed of my NY neighbors who have some serious misconceptions about the quality of their hometown team). Letting them freely vent is annoying but, in the end, a good demonstration of hospitable behavior. That being said, thank you as well for beginning a new thread.

"Despite missing a month, he set a club record with 49 doubles. The NL record is 64, which he would have broken easily."

Uhh... that would be 15 doubles in a month. 15 doubles/month works out to 90/year. It seems pretty unlikely Chase would have hit 15 doubles in the time he was gone.

Thanks Weitzel, I did need a pick-me-up. And Chase Utley is my boy- in fact that's why my actual real life boy has Chase as a middle name.

Yeah - scratch that. I thought he was on pace to break it. Guess not. He was on pace to break something. XBH by a second baseman? Something like that.

Jason - he was on a pace to break the hearts of all those whiny Mets fans. But because of his injury Jimmy beat him to that. Maybe this year...

Regarding utley's doubles I thought he was on pace to break the record many did he have before he got hurt?

Chutley would have come damn close to topping 64 doubles had he not suffered the wrist injury, but we'll never know now...stupid Gnats pitcher!

By the way if Utley is a lion, does that make Howard a rhino?

As much as i would love to see Chase take it, I think Howard is going to take it again. I think Howard is going to have HUGE year. It does kinda hinge on what the big question was last year heading into the season and that is what the hell with Pat Burrell do?

Actually, when he got hurt on July 26, there were still 61 games left and he had 41 doubles. If he had kept up that pace he would have ended with 65, a new record. You were, of course, right, Mr. Weitzel.

Reed brings up a point we haven't really discussed to any great length this offseason, what do we do with Pat Burrell? It seems that if you would have asked this a year ago maybe 1 out of 10 would have been in favor of resigning him, but now I would have to think that its more like 50-50. I certainly wouldn't mind signing him to a shorter (3 years max) deal but I have a feeling he could get some big offers and they won't be coming from Philly. Any thoughts?

As much as I like Burrell, they need to let him walk at the end of this season- walk straight into the AL as a DH, Anaheim seeming to be a likely fit.

Who replaces him? Maybe Jenkins, free agent, trade...who knows.

Thanks Jason, you've given us a chance to salute a guy who's given the fans a reason to show up at the Bank everyday, no matter who the opposing team is.

It will be a long time before we see an infield with the likes of Ryan, Chase and Jimmy again- most likely not in our life times in Philadelphia. I've enjoyed the heck out of the ride so far, and I hope it continues.

With the way the Eagles are preforming, these three have a chance to become the face of Philadelphia sports. I'd love to see it. When I was back home, I loved driving on 95 and seeing the Tastykake ad with Chase.

just like to say, as a mets fan from ny going to school in philly, it's a disgrace to see some of these mets fan(most who are probably from south jersey) delivering low blows and just being complete idiots. This is a great rivalry that started last season and hopefully one that will continue for a while. And being only 2 years removed from new york. I can say that phillies fans hate the mets A LOT more than mets fans hate the phillies.

this ownership is wasting valuable time as these guys start getting older. now (actually, more like last year) is the time to pump some dough into this squad. but "the budget" will barely move from the last few years. Phillie Phans should file a class-action suit against this ownership if they do not open the wallets or sell the team.

I think Burrell would take a 3-year extension as he loves Philly...or so it seems. Opposing right-handed pull-hitters are hoping for that too.

Great filler post...seriously. That about sums it up for our second baseman spot for a long time.

I agree, the minutae is simply fodder much like talk about the weather or something to discuss from Discovery Channel that was on the night the end, as it is from the beginning, it all comes down to the ability to just play, doesn't it?

Utley is the embodiment of this.

Nevermind the 64 two baggers...I was looking for Utley to be the first 60-30 man ever. Now, that would have been a fine feat. Or, as my Atlanta Braves loving boss once said, "he'd be bad to bone if he could pull that off."

ulysses: As a Phillies Phan living and working in NYC I would have to disagree with your statement that "I can say that phillies fans hate the mets A LOT more than mets fans hate the phillies."
I am around Mets fans everyday and these guys hate the Phills as much if not more then I hate the Mets, and I really hate the Mets. Most just severely dislike Philadelphia, but the Phils even more espicialy after last season.

Green's Jock - There is also the yankee factor here. A lot of the folks where I am (Staten Island) are profound Mets-haters. Last year at one point I was at a SI yankees game. A score was announced that the NYYs were beating the Red Sox and a cheer went up. Then they announced that the Phils were beating the Mets - the cheer was louder.

So, maybe Met's fans hate the Phils; but they probably, for the most part, hate the Yanks worse.

Bigmyc: 60-30?

Mets are no longer interested in Colon, which is a shame because I was looking forward to the prospect of him getting lit up for a few games against us this year.

chat with amaro has started

Amaro sounds content with going into the season with two platoons at different positions, I can say for sure I'm not.

Reed: Here's the thing on Burrell: If you have an alternative, you let him walk. If you let him walk and your alternative is "who knows?" then you are an idiot.

In any event, now is not the time to think of that. We need to figure out how to get some bullpen help.

OK, all those who think that Amaro will say something newsworthy, please raise your hands? Anyone? Buehler?

At least we know from the chat that we've likely seen the last of Mesa. Amaro is apparently pretty high on Snelling too.

clout, once again you focus on the business at hand, not the stuff that should be discussed in November.

I might listen to the Amaro chat if he actually had something to say that merited my interest and attention as a fan. Given the likelihood of that happening is nearly 0%, I will pass.

Amaro said the two pitchers who are most likely major-league ready are Mathieson and Outman.

clout, I'll bet he says they're a WS pre... err... contender. that's newsworthy isn't it?

The picture they have of Amaro on the chat perfectly illustrates what I imagine him doing when some of these questions pop up. "Derr... uhhh... err... um..."

yeah that pic is terrible. I mean, he is taking questions from like 2 dudes, prob phils employees.....I submitted 5 legitimate questions and no luck.

Lidge may not be ready for workouts when pitchers and catchers report Feb. 14, but could be ready for the first game Feb. 27.

Probably the most important discovery in the conversation. Other pitchers who got late spring starts included Garcia and Gordon.

Brewers sign Mike Cameron.

I guess it's cool Ruben took the time, but i'm sure there were more than 5 people who sumbitted questions.

Lame chat, although he mentioned that they're continuing to have discussions with Boras over Lohse. Interesting as I thought Gillick deep-sixed that talk.

Chat finished. None of my questions were answered. (Whether he believed Gordon could be a setup man for an entire season, what they'll do with Eaton if he fails again, whether they're looking at a backup catcher, how close they are on Howard, health status of Eaton, Gordon, Hamels.)

Jason, thats funny because i asked the exact same questions about Gordon and Eaton...also asked about where Jaramillo fit into long term plans and what the deal is with these Rule 5 pitchers...and I asked if he would be the Phillies GM in 2009, knowing full well it wouldn't be submitted...but i love how the "we need a 3B, Feliz rules" question got through

Are you going to write up a re-cap of the Amaro call?

Clout/AWH, agreed, although improving the team should be the task at hand 365 days a year. Bullpen is definitely an area begging for help, but opportunities to improve the all-around team present themselves at different times. I am not saying extend Burrell or not. Just brought up how important Burrell was before last season as protection for Howard. I think Howard reverts to 06, but a lot hinges on The Bat.


Thanks for the words on Chase - an upbeat way to start the weekend after the Santana jolt, followed by the comments by the trash talking Mets fans. He's my son's (and my) favorite player and there are a million (well, maybe not quite that many) worse choices he could make. It's a happy day for me when I take him to the game with his Utley jersey on.

Not to carp about the same old subject, but when I look at that Utley, Howard, Rollins, Hamels nucleus, I see a group of young players that deserve to be surrounded with complementary pieces to enable them to have a legit, competitive shot at a World Series berth.

Would be interested in what Beerleaguers who know far more than I think, but it is my perception that having a core of this caliber talent intact for several years is a fairly rare occurrence. It would be a crime to see this window close without really going all out for the brass ring. In my view, by winning the East, this team did its part last year, overcoming all the injuries, the poor start, and hanging in to ultimately capture the title. It's time for management to step up to the plate and do their part.

I didn't think anyone would ever beat out Mike Schmidt as my favorite Phille, but over the past few years Chase Utley has done just that.

Anyway, a transcript of the Amaro Q&A would be awesome, if anyone has it.

Hey J: Since i saw you have Common and Mos Def on your Picks List, have you heard the New Lupe Fiasco "The Cool".

If you haven't, you need to. I think you'll like it. The whole album burns from start to finish.

The Chase comments are great. The Phillies offense this year will be amazing if Rollins, Utley, and Howard all have MVP-like seasons. I agree with the previous comment that Howard will have a big year - we may be under-rating his potential. I think he will come into spring training in great shape (no banquets this offseason). Watch him cut down on strikeouts (I'm sure setting the K record stung a bit). If he posts numbers like .295-50-140 he'll be MVP again.

I think Howard will have a great year because of a big year from Pat the Bat behind him. Pat's just gotten used to the contact lenses or Lasik surgery that he got mid-season last year, and should be pretty consistent this year.

Jason, to answer your Q from the previous thread it was Sports Illustrated that picked Chase to win the MVP in 2008.

Yes, SI, in one of the last two issues, did pick Chase to win the MVP in 2008. From the tone, it seemed there was a bit of tongue in cheek to the prediction, but there is too much reality there and he is too good of a player for it not to be taken at least somewhat seriously. Three potential MVPs in three consecutive years, and three different players - a quite possible scenario. We're even debaitng whether Howard might outshine Utley. And J-Roll hasn't gone to sleep. Yet, the team, rather than being feared as were the late 70's/early 80's Phils, remain at the cusp of being a great team as opposed to the solid, generally competitive team they are now.

Anyway, after Friday happy hour, the more I am inclined to agree with Reed. The ownership needs to pump some money into the team NOW (or as soon as there is an opportunity to take a quantum leap rather than make a small splash in a big puddle or a big splash in a small puddle or whatever the corporate analogy was). The window is probably not opening any longer, it is more likely at the top or starting to close. If the folks in the front office don't understand and make a reasonable effort to implement this, they should realize that they are selling the players and the fans miserably short.

I full well understand we cannot compete $ for $ against say, the Yankees.
But if you are going to choose to allocate your investment dollars to a sports team, I believe you need to understand going in that there may come a time when you need to take off the green eyeshades your bean counter snapped around your head and rise to the occasion. If you don't you will be detested, and in my book, rightfully so. It isn't like owning a share of a company that makes widgets. If you can't understand this and don't want the heat, have your advisors put your $ in a hedge fund.

Enough for tonight.

Just reread the previous post. Sorry for the tirade, guys. But it IS Friday night, and the site IS BEERleaguer.

Nice take on the Man. Chaes Utley inspires confidence. The ultimate Phillie!

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