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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

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Ray King would have looked good. Non-roster invitee of Washington, signed a minor league deal this winter. I would feel better about things if they had veteran southpaw in camp like King.

Ray King intrigues me.

I don't know that they can get him. He'll probably make the Nationals' roster.

I don't know much about his contract, either. If there's an out clause, and doesn't make the 25-man, he may become available.

Short version: Magic beans fail to grow, farmer Gillbuckle asks fans to skip dinner.

There is something pathological about the Gillick going a 3rd straight year without a bullpen upgrade.

Wait, I meant monetary.

Alan Embree?

King is basically a lock to make the Nats, according to Chris Needham, Capitol Punishment.

But wait! We have Wes Helms! He has value somewhere, right? Ha ha ha... I'm not falling for that a second time in two days.

At least Gillick didn't make the mistake that Toronto just made. They just signed Armando Benitez. Source: Toronto Star. Minor league deal.

Any thoughts on Yukinaga Maeda, who I believe is still out there? Might need to double check that. I know that he auditioned for about 10 teams.

I would love Alan Embree on the Phils staff!!! Billy Beane always wants a ton in return though.

It's a shame someone like Ron Mahay wasn't available as a FA over the winter!

There were some picthers available, but the Phillies needed to go after another strikeout prone outfielder and a weak hitting 3B to clog the bases.

Ben: Worry not. I assure you that Pedro Feliz won't be clogging the bases.

Yep, it'll be tough for Feliz to clog the bases when his OBP is optimistically projected at .320 and realistically projected at .301.

Way to look for those positives Mike H!!

Clout- My only point on Kendrick is that people on here seem to be saying "Don't worry about Kendrick, he's proven he'll be fine" and are counting on him to be a solid #3 starter. I don't think there's even much of a chance he's a league-average pitcher; I would probably bet money on him being a below average starter, if I were the type to bet against my own team, which I'm not. My guess is an ERA around 5 and I wouldn't count out the possibility of an Eaton-like season from him. At the least, his chances of going downhill that way seem higher, at least to me, than his chances of improving and being a good 3rd starter for us.

My point is that people seem to be worrying about the bullpen and the 5th starter, and I consider Kendrick's performance something to seriously worry about as well. That's all.

Understand difficulty in fixing up rotation this offseason given limited options but there is no excuse that the Phils are trawling the waiver wire before the season even starts for bullpen help yet again.

Funny thing is that the one role that Castro could be effective in is as a LOOGY (not a starter). Guess the Phils just don't think he has the command.

At least the Phils are honest about the lack of having a situational lefty instead of trying to praise the likes of a Matt Smith or stubbornly insisting they don't really need lefties relievers like last offseason.

Still don't think Cholly is a good tactical manager but it will be hard to fault him this season when his starters come out and he is stuck choosing among 2-3 relievers with ERA above 5.

Jack: Who's saying he's a number 3 starter? At present he's a #4 at best, but forced to be a #3 on this team just as #5 Moyer is forced to be a #4 and #12 Eaton is forced to be a #5. On the other hand, there is zero evidence -- as in none -- to suggest Kendrick will have an Eaton season this year. If anyone is going to lose it this year, my bet would be Moyer because at his age he's on borrowed time.

Marte from the Bucs would be ideal. I am not sure what the Phils could offer though. Maybe Zagurski and Snelling. Maybe add a semi-decent prospect, I don't know. Gillick effed up again with regard to the pitching staff. Shocking, I know...

MG: Back in November or even October I listed 20 free agent relievers who were avilable who I thought were worth looking at. How could it be possible that the FO didn't think the bullpen needed help then but all of a sudden now it does? This makes no sense.

Heading down to Clearwater for the games on Friday and Saturday. Does anyone know who is schedule to pitch those days or are they making it up as they go? By my estimate I should be seeing probably Kendrick on Friday and Myers on Saturday, does that sound right? I'm hoping I'll see Carrasco throw but that looks unlikely.

Anyone know of the good bars to hit at night?

"Who's saying he's a number 3 starter?"

Technically, he is the number three starter.

I assume those who wanted to sign a starter and keep Myers in the pen also believed Kendrick would make a good #3.

kdon: Really? Those people were looking to sign a #4 or #5 starter? I must've missed that.

Clout: Didn't you advocate signing a legit #2 or #3 starter, putting Myers back into the bullpen, and thus having our rotation be:

Hamels
Acquisition
Kendrick
Moyer
Eaton/Garbage

Or am I missing something?

I advocated signing Kuroda, among others. The fact is I've been saying all winter the team needs help in both the rotation and the bullpen. Kendrick isn't a legitimate #3, Moyer isn't a legitimate #4 and Eaton isn't a legitimate #5 at this point. That's the problem. Outside of Hamels & Myers, they're understaffed.

clout - "This makes no sense."

Sure it does. The Phils aleady had 99% of season ticket sales they are going to have and individual ticket sales have been really brisk too.

It will most amazingly ironic if the second lefty in the pen ends up being the 37 yr old wunderkind who was last seen in the NL giving up the 13th inning, 100th career HR of David Bell.

I'd be willing to take this rotation and bullpen, however, assuming everyone was healthy:
Hamels
Kuroda
Benson
Kendrick
Moyer

with Lidge as setup and Myers as closer. Gordon/Romero in the 8th, Madson in the 7th and C.Durbin et al for the final 2 garbage spots.

Please put "wunderkind" in quotes, however, since he is only "competing" for that job.

Obviously that should read Gordon/Romero in the 7th, Madson in the 6th and C.Durbin et al as mop up.

Boy, I usually don't get crude, but the topic of this thread just pisses me off.

Jason, you're right, Ray King WAS available, and very inexpensive. I was an advocate of signing him, and said so on this board.

I'm also on record as saying he stands a chance to have a better year than Romero.


Lastly, the other thing that bothers me is that King is on a team in the division.

He owns Howard and Utley.

Signing him would have taken that option away from Acta in tight ballgames.


(And instead of King we get one of the Dos Durbins and ..................................................................................................................................................

Vic Darensbourg!

clout - "This makes no sense."

Sure it does. The Phils aleady had 99% of season ticket sales they are going to have and individual ticket sales have been really brisk too.

MG, shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Giles and Montgomery don't want people to know what the real gameplan is.

Lohse "decided to do something else?"

Is he signed?

Both sides should suck up some pride and get a deal worked out. It may be the best option.

I have taken offense to the fact that some of you guys are complaining about my complaining! Just as the Phils are in Spring Training, so am I. I am just warming up for the regular season, when this team comes North and gets off to another woeful April. Wait until the 4-12 start. When that happens, I will really get fired up (as will the rest of you). I will just be in better form this season due to me practicing my moaning regimen.

The thing that upsets me is that all of this was avoidable with a little better planning. For those of you who say it is still early and this bitching of ours is as meaningless as the games currently being played in Florida, I would normally agree. Except that this all has the makings of another Ground Hog's Day scene, just like it was from the movie. In Spring Training of 06 and 07, we were the exact same situation, with the pitching staff battling injuries and depth issues.
All we are missing is Sonny and Cher singing 'I Got You Babe'. Maybe they can play that tune in the seventh inning stretch at CBP this year. My fear is that like Sonny Bono, the Phils go 'SMACK' into a tree trunk and don't recover this year.

I am going to wait and see on the pen at this point. If Lidge is fine and Gordon can contribute they are ok.

Problem is that you won't know until Lidge takes the mound in a game situation again and I have some serious doubts about Gordon.

Mr. Mack - that's a pretty bold statement that "all of this was avoidable with a little better planning." Are you saying that there was that much available this year in the FA market or via trades, that with the proper planning by the FO, people wouldn't be complaining now? I highly doubt it. Instead of people saying they don't have faith in the Durbins, etc., they would be saying they don't have faith in Ray King and Kyle Lohse.

Hey, thanks, Willard. No problem on those positives. When I realistically find a couple more for Feliz, I'll let you know. In the meantime, look for an article called "The Human Out Machine."

Tim - You are flat out wrong. Last year, most BL'ers agreed going into the FA market that Lohse coming back would have been fine with them. What, you would rather have Eaton-crap pitching as our #5? I would've bet the house that he was going to be a crap again, instead or hoping that he might come out of last season's funk, as the FO kept talking about, or rather trying to talk all of us doubters into believing.

I understand that Lohse declined the offer that was on the table, but now that they need him, the self imposed salary cap is blocking the way for him to come back, even on a short term deal. Meaning that Gillick & Co spent all of their Phillie-dollars on crap and want us, as the consumers, to pay for their mistakes, without trying to rectify their screw up by bringing in a player that might help. Furthermore, they are unwilling to admit they screwed up, which infuriates me as well as the rest of the All Bitch Team here at BeerLeaguer, because that would mean unhappy fans, and God-forbid we couldn't have that.

So why is that such a bold statement? You fail to realize Tim, that even a couple of moves that made some sense, with even the slightest chance of appearing as pre-planning entering the picture, would've sat a wee bit better with me. Instead we shipped out our CF (and got nothing in return) and our 4'th outfielder who posessed blazing speed, good defense and offensive promise, for a possible closer who is currently un-healthy (who came to us that way), which should come as no shock. If that is bold, then so be it.

Mr. Mack: Aside from the tasteless metaphor at the end, I endorse every word of your otherwise excellent post. You'll get no complaints from me about your complaining.

Mr. Mack: Aside from the tasteless metaphor at the end, I endorse every word of your otherwise excellent post. You'll get no complaints from me about your complaining.

Tim: I'd like to think that Beerleaguers know the difference in quality between Lohse and King on the one hand and Dos Durbins on the other.

I'm just saying that there was no magical solution that would have made this complaining avoidable. If Lohse was in camp and not pitching well, he would just be added to the list of things we complain about. And Kyle Lohse - is not good! Why do you think he is still looking for a job? He is a career blow .500 pitcher. So instead of just complaining about Eaton, we would complain about having two guys that suck.

And forgive me if I don't get upset that Rowand signed a ridiculous contract on the worst team in the NL (he is way overpaid), and we traded Michael Bourne.

I am not an apologist for this FO, at all - and I hate to even sound like one. However, its not like there was a goldmine of pitching available that they refused to go after. We are talking about C and D list pitchers, who may or may not have helped this team. When I hear names like Ray King and Kyle Lohse, it doesn't exactly give me the warm and fuzzies about what could have been. You have the right to bitch, but saying the bitching was avoidable just isn't true, because after all, you just referred to yourself as the All Bitch Team.

Tim: I'll stipulate that, even if we had signed Lohse & King, I would probably be bitching about something else. For that matter, if the Phillies had traded LaForest for Johann Santana, I'd probably still be bitching about the lack of bullpen help. There's always something worth complaining about and I tend to be pessimistic by nature.

However, just because Phillies fans are compulsive complainers does not mean that any particular complaint is necessarily wrong. In fact, I would argue that the very reason we complain so much is because our front office has such a spectacular, and almost unbroken, history of screwing up.

BAP - I agree. My point was really that this complaining wasn't avoidable - as Mr. Mack had suggested, it just would have been about something or someone else, or likely about the very players we now say they should have gotten.

I was going to make the same comment about Santana that you did, we just would complain about the bullpen.

I'm not even sure if a Championship in this city would quiet the complaints in the season that follows.

Well, to echo MG and give an optimistic slant; if Benson comes back as the team plans, if Gordon and Lidge remain healthy and effective, we might have the makings of a serviceable staff to complement the offense.

Three big "if's."

The thing is that is frustrating about this is cases where the Phils' spend money stupidly (C. Durbin signing for 900k instead of signing Matt Wise for $1.2M) or blow it (losing the Howard arbitration because they tried to lowbal) and end up shooting themselves in the foot.

Then the Phils act shocked when the marginal holdovers and offseason pitching acquisitisons don't pan out in the spring. Maybe you get lucky with one but not to fill at least 2-3 spots in the pen.

One more point of optimitism:

- Given the Mets' injury woes and the question marks the Braves have had this spring so far, I am betting that no team gets out to a really strong start in April in the NL East.

I would be happy with a .500 month from the Phils at this point if Lidge can come back and Benson is ready to pitch sometime in early May. Phils just can't bury themselves like last year and be back 7-8 games of the Mets by Memorial Day again.

Let's take a crack at how those ifs might play out.

Benson has made his bread and butter by throwing two and four seam fastballs, a slider, and a curve. If he's throwing the curve with command, he's back. If he's a three pitch pitcher, he'll be serviceable in the fifth spot. If he's just relying on tailing fastballs and pinpoint control, that's a bad Jon Lieber. Cue the donuts. The eating kind.

Gordon is all about his curveball. This is not newsworthy. I'm afraid the curve turns his shoulder to goo when he has to throw it regularly. This is when I think Romero fits in better. I don't trust the sembalnce of his shoulder.

Lidge's knee has to give him the confidence he desperately needs and the ability to withstand the hard slider. We'll know before the boos start if he's bad because he will fly open and become mechanically unsound. Then he'll get shelled. Then everyone will boo. What do you think is more ego-shattering - the long home run that someone in the caliber of Pujols will hit off of him this year, or the sustained anger from the Phans?

I'm glad the Phils tried to get Schilling and Lowell early in the off season, but I think they got so caught up in trying to land the big ticket items that they forgot to make improvements to the bullpen.

It's almost inexcusable.

By baseball standard, middle relivers are low cost, low risk investments. The Phils could easily have signed three or four middle relievers and had a real competition for the last few roster spots.

Crazy thing is that spending a significant amount of money on a LOOGY is exactly the thing I team shouldn't do. I am surprised the Phils think that Castro isn't cut out for the role.

May be in the minority here but you heard Arbuckle comment that other day that Outman would be really tough on lefties as a reliever. I know that it makes more economic sense to try and develop him as a starter but Outman is one guy that it might have made sense this spring to shift him to the the bullpen.

It might have filled an immediate need a a LOOGY/hard-throwing young guy out of the pen. Plus, potentially develop as an upper echelon setup-guy or even a closer next year if Outman does well. This is the kind of creativity the Phils seemingly have been lacking this spring too.

MG: I've seen you mention Matt Wise before. This is what the Phillies were thinking, I'm sure. Wise and Chad Durbin fulfill completely different roles in the bullpen.

Wise is basically a one-inning guy, unlike C. Durbin, who is likely a 2-4 inning mop-up/laugher guy. As far as PG is concerned, the back-end of the bullpen is set with Lidge (9), Gordon/Romero (8), Madson (7). If you assume that they are right (and I'm not sure I agree), you need multi-inning guys to fill out your bullpen. When Eaton or ABE gets shelled in the second, you need the C. Durbin (or even JD Durbin) to give you two runs on four innings so that pulling the 5th starter trainwreck after he gave up five runs on five outs doesn't wreck your bullpen for a week. You also need the guy who is going to spot start in the first game of your double header in July. In other words, Chad Durbin, ideally, makes Clay Condrey expendable.

In short, I don't think the front office thinks that Matt Wise and Chad Durbin play the same "position."

Now, this analysis assumes that you have enough quality one-inning arms in the bullpen. That is, you don't need a Matt Wise to help the back end of the bullpen. Put another way, it's more pressing to bail out Eaton/ABE than it is to bail out Gordon and Romero. If you think that's true, Chad Durbin makes sense. If you think that's not true, Wise makes more sense.

Lastly, this assumes that the Chad Durbin you're getting is the 8-7 4.72 (2007) model, and not the 5-6 6.66 (2004) model. In fact, the guy pitched pretty well in Toledo (AAA) in 2006. 11-8 3.11 (1.16 WHIP).

I'm not sure where I fall in this debate. I guess we'll find out whether you're smarter than Gillick/Amaro/Arbuckle.

JAS: Your analysis is correct. The problem is, they needed both Durbin and Wise. Assuming everyone is healhty you've got Lidge at closer, Gordon at setup, Romero/Madson for the 7th and you're still 3 pitchers short: Ideally a swingman, a righty middle-man and a LOOGY. They got the swingman in Durbin but the righty and LOOGY will have to come from the likes of Condrey, Youman, Castro, Rosario et al. I think Wise would've been a nice addition.

So I've been thinking about the negativity of Phillies fans, which seems to be part of mother's milk here. Even Beerleaguer is affected. Of course, we have a reason to be negative -- one playoff appearance between 1984 and 2006, etc.

Just to cheer you up, check out this absolutely remarkable run of 31 years of absolutely hideous baseball, our Phils from 1918 to 1948. And we complain about the current ownership and Pat Gillick!


1948 66 88 .429
1947 62 92 .403
1946 69 85 .448
1945 46 108 .299
1944 61 92 .399
1943 64 90 .416
1942 42 109 .278
1941 43 111 .279
1940 50 103 .327
1939 45 106 .298
1938 45 105 .300
1937 61 92 .399
1936 54 100 .351
1935 64 89 .418
1934 56 93 .376
1933 60 92 .395
1932 78 76 .506
1931 66 88 .429
1930 52 102 .338
1929 71 82 .464
1928 43 109 .283
1927 51 103 .331
1926 58 93 .384
1925 68 85 .444
1924 55 96 .364
1923 50 104 .325
1922 57 96 .373
1921 51 103 .331
1920 62 91 .405
1919 47 90 .343
1918 55 68 .447

In 31 years, that's: 12 seasons with at least 100 losses; one (barely) winning season (78-76 in 1932); more than 60(!) games out of first place once; more than 50 games out of first place six times; more than 40 games out of first place fourteen times. In fact, in the eight years from 1938-1945, the closest the team got was 41 games away from the pennant. They lost 100 or more games in seven out of ten seasons from 1936-1945. To put it another way, the best Phillies team between the 1915-era contenders and the 1949 proto-Whiz Kids was TWO GAMES over .500!

By historical standards, we don't have it so bad. Always look on the bright side, right?

JAS - You have a point but my issue is spending $900k on Durbin (a guy who the Tigers had ZERO interest despite their bullpen issues and supposedly was only pursued by the bottom-feeder Pirates as an absolute bargain rate starter).

What value is there in having a "swingman" who has spotty control, doesn't strike out hitters at more than average rate, and has a frightening propensity to give HRs (in a HR-prone park)? The had to pay $900k for this? Again, it comes down to the Phils spending foolishly instead of the absolute amount of money.

My bet - Durbin is either traded/released from this team by August 1 due to his poor performance. There are only two reasons Durbin sticks that long with the team that long, the ability to start and his $900k price tag.

People bitched incessantly about Ryan Franklin two years (who actually wasn't as horrendous as people made him out to be and has turned into a decent reliever with some adjustments from Duncan in St. Louis) but my bet is Durbin posts worse numbers across the board.

Since baseball was racially integrated, the Phillies are 4727-4903, or .491.

Since the Phillies moved out of Connie Mack, the Phillies are 2919-2946, or .498

Since the current ownership group has owned them, the Phillies are 2089-2162, or .491.

Jas - The truth is, "NO", that doesn't make me feel any better. I was not alive for that era of baseball, and I am willing to bet, neither was anyone else posting on BeerLeaguer. Anyone who was around for that 1918 season that you mentioned, is surely getting three-squares-a-day and a diaper change to boot in a fine Assisted Living facility. Besides, what doe those seasons of old have to do with the price of a gallon of gasoline?

The fact is that wasted Phillie-dollars are being spent by a GM who has announced that he is out of here after this season. It is beyond me why this team insists on keeping this lame duck, glum looking, stiff signing, Hawaiian print shirt wearing, I almost want Ed Wade back, GM around for even one more day. The door can't hit him him in the rear end fast enough. How bad can the next guy possibly be?

Oops, we said that when Fast Eddie was given the boot, huh?

Hmmm...

David Murphy's projected Phillies lineup for opening day:

SS Jimmy Rollins

CF Shane Victorino

2B Chase Utley

1B Ryan Howard

LF Pat Burrell

3B Pedro Feliz

RF Geoff Jenkins

C Carlos Ruiz

RHP Brett Myers

Seriously, I like Feliz from a defensive standpoint, but it is ludicrous to bat him ahead of Jenkins.

Also projects Eaton as the 5th starter, Helms not to make the team, and Condrey and Rosario getting the last two spots.

Possible answer for the 5th spot in our rotation? From my blog this morning-
The campaign in the Keystone state is heating up. Hilary Clinton spent Tuesday morning at the Forum in Harrisburg and the afternoon at Temple University doing her shtick. Obama was in Bucks County touring Gamesa Wind Turbines. Advantage: no one. If these two clowns really wanted to impress PA voters and garner some more of the 188 delegates up for grabs, they would head down to Clearwater, strap on a pair of cleats, and throw a few innings. I would rather have a vasectomy performed by Michael J Fox than vote for either of these two, but with the recent performances of the "5th spot candidates," if either of them could throw a few scoreless innings, I would trade in my elephant for some blinders and cast a vote for the better pitcher.

*Co-Author Corey wrote that, I'm not quite as far "right" as he is.

JAS,

You state in your post of 10:12 PM last night:

"So I've been thinking about the negativity of Phillies fans, which seems to be part of mother's milk here."


I ask you, why is being critical of, or correctly identifying FO mistakes or shortcomings, necessarily being negative?

Could one not simply state that fans are making a hard, objective analysis of the organization?

Could one view it as taking an honest look at the state of the team?

I say: YES!


I consider myself a very positive person. Unlike many, I enjoy my profession immensely, and look forward to gong to work every day.

I believe in the future.

Every time I hear people get critical of the current state of out country or the political system, I recite this poem by an anonymous author which I read in an older edition of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations:

"
My Granddad viewing earth's worn cogs,
said things were going to the dogs.

His Granddad in his house of logs,
said things were going to the dogs.

His Granddad in the Flemish bogs,
said things were going to the dogs.

His Granddad in his old skin togs,
said things were going to the dogs.

There is one thing I have to state.
The dogs have had a good long wait."


Now, despite my 'sunny' outlook, I have been one of the most critical people on this board of the Phillies current ownership group, and the managers the hire.

Many others join me in that criticism.

I ask you: Is that criticism born of "negativity" as you imply, or an honest analysis of this ownership's track record?

I think you know my answer.

Until this group actually wins the WS, and/or convinces me they care about winning more than anything else, I will mantain a critical eye when viewing their activity.

They operate in the 5th largest market in MLB. They operate in the largest monopoly market. Some have said that it is misleading to cite those stats, as markets are different. Fair enough; but no matter now you slice and dice it, one glaring fact remains:

Their track record in no way reflects the resources at their disposal.

At best, they have been less than mediocre.


Is it "negative" to say that.....or is it honest?

kdon: Besides the much higher chances of getting a hit vs. RHP, Jenkins actually has a little bit of speed. The Murphy lineup guarantees more walks for Burrell (with Feliz behind him) and a boatload of DPs by Feliz and then Jenkins leading off the next inning. It neuters both Burrell and Jenkins. This is the lineup that Willie Randolph and Bobby Cox would want the Phillies to use.

Jenkins career OPS vs. RHP: .883
Feliz' career OPS vs. RHP: .713

To bat Feliz behind Burrell and ahead of Jenkins vs. RHP would be an act of criminal sabotage.

Mike H:

Nice. As any self-respecting politician or economist will tell you, there are lies, damn lies, and statistics. Starting with 1947 is a clever rejoinder. Kudos (honestly).

My post last night was not intended to defend current ownership. (I, personally, think PG has been a B- general manager, which is disappointing because he has an A- track record. But it beats Ed Wade every day and twice on Sunday.) It was just to put a little perspective on things. The fact is that since the modern era began, we are living through only the third time that our Phils have had a .500 record for five straight years. In fact, we're .500 six out of seven years (and the one missing year was 80-81, in 2002). You could easily argue that, excepting the 1975-1983 teams, we are living through the best Phillies teams of all time, under this ownership group!

My point, though, is that saying that these Phillies teams are among the best of all time is like saying that this Brittney Spears album is the best one she ever did. The Phillies have, historically, been an absolutely dreadful team. It seems that lousy baseball has been our lot in life in this town, at least since Connie Mack was a youngster. I would venture to say that if you went back in a time capsule and complained to Freddie Fitzsimmons in the mid-1940s about how awful our ownership and GM are, he'd say we're spoiled rotten.

Translation: Don't kill me for being a homer. I'm just saying that things could be worse and, in fact, have been for most of our team's history.

clout - In my most rational state, I would amend your statement as follows:
"To bat Feliz ... would be an act of criminal sabotage."

But now that I'm drinking the Feliz kool-aid, I think he'll be fine just anywhere!

(j/k: Putting him anywhere but 7th in the line-up is utterly foolish. Even Chollie, I've heard it said, is not that stupid.)

JAS - Understanding history should tell us that all Philly fans have a long-earned right to be distrustful regarding the abilities and motivations of the ownership group. It's not even "What have you done for me lately?" It's "What have you done for me ever?"

I see someone wants Ed Wade back. You can never rid the world of morons.

In my short 21 years on this planet, I have yet to see a professional sports team I root for win a championship. This includes the Eagles, Phillies and the Flyers. Close, ever so close, but never over the top. So I think I have earned the right to be skeptical as well as downright pessimistic about the teams I root for. I want to know what it feels like to have your team win the Super Bowl, Stanley Cup, or the World Series (especially the WS). Its simply maddening to comprehend the things we put ourselves through for our beloved teams.

Hey Willey -

Read the quote a little closer. It said, "I almost want Ed Wade back". Almost is the key word there.

Maybe it's the morons that are half reading the posts that get themselves into trouble. Let's see if I remember an old quote correctly..."When arguing with an idiot, be sure that the other person isn't doing the same thing". Yep, that's the one.

kbless - I was 21 in 1980. It's a great feeling. Keep the torch; we all hope it's coming.

JAS - I should have gone back to 1943, when Mr. Carpenter first bought the team. But my slices of damned lies are downright mediocre considering the years between 1918-1943.

My favorite anecdote during these times was Bill Veeck's attempt to buy the Phillies and field an all black team. They would have raked.

For some reason I was checking out some baseball quotes this morning and I found this one from Pete Hamill:

"Don't tell me about the world. Not today. It's springtime and they're knocking baseball around fields where the grass is damp and green in the morning and the kids are trying to hit the curve ball."

This is a stupid question I know, but is anyone as excited as me for March 31st?

Phillies.com can't decide who's starting tonight. Earlier, it was Fabio Castro. Now it says Ryan Madson, but the picture shows Geoff Geary.

I would take Wade over Gillick.

We are all excited. It's just that we are all realists and understand the same excitement that gripped us last October before the Colorado series, last March and the March before that, is a mirage. The excitement will basically turn into another swift kick to the groin because of the FO lack of prepration again.

You see kbless, us Phillie fans are like Charlie Brown and Giles/Monty/Gillick are like Lucy. Just as we run up, all excited to kick that football, because this just might be the time that it all really happens, they yank the ball right out from under us and we end up flat on our backs. So that excitement that you aren't feeling is just tempered enthusiasm.

Given a choice between Wade and Gillick, I would take Dave Dombrowski.

Believe me Mack, I have been a fan long enough to understand what will end up happening to us by the end of the season. There's just something about spring and baseball that makes everything seem right. Come fall everything will start to die, most likely along with all our hopes and dreams about this season. Maybe I'm just a young hopeless romantic but there is something about this time of year that really gets me excited. It makes me almost believe that this could be the year of our redemption. Well sorry to get all sappy and emotional here lol.

If the Front Office thinks The Durbins of Hazzard can get the job done then I want whatever they are drinking.

Also the belief that Kuroda wouldn't been better than Myers in the rotation is laughable. There is nothing that says Kuroda will be better. He may be. He could be much worse. It worries me when I see scouting reports that say he has more potential to be the next Hideki Irabu than anything.

Getting Lidge was a gamble but one that will pay off- IMO. As I've said in the past- Lidge as the closer and Myers into the rotation made the pitching staff stronger. Some other moves have weakened it, but that one individual move made it stronger for whatever period of time

JW - Have you unmasked a closely held secret that Gas Can will be not only reinserted into his rightful place atop our garbage heap, but will also be considered the leading candidate for the 5th starter spot???

"I want whatever they are drinking."
TI - That's easy enough. It's sweet, red stuff from an icy, smiling pitcher, with just that little bit of secret stuff mixed in. You don't even notice being poisoned by false hope until Pedro Feliz has hit into yet another first pitch, rally-killing, inning ending, weakly dribbled double-play.

Given a choice between Ed Wade and Pat Gillick, I would take the slime mold growing on something that used to be some kind of cooked vegetables in the back of my refrigerator.

Kbless -

I understand your excitement for Spring and all. I really do. Don't let me be the one that douses your hopeless romanticism. We are all Don Quixote's when it come to rooting for this team. We all want the same thing, but in actuality, we are fighting windmills. It's just that sometimes reality rears it's ugly head, as we clench our teeth knowing that true love and a championship is oh-so painfully close, but not quite within our reach. This is about as poetic as I can get, with Cholly as my muse.

It is tough to root for a winner when the fundamentals of management have been violated - egregiously - for so long. However, even when Dem Bums were led by Branch Rickey and the O'Malleys - quite successful managers and owners - and won pennant after pennant, it was pretty damn tough for them to win the big one.

AWH: Love the rhyme.


In case any of you missed the article (linked under "Phillies News" above) about how Lenny Dykstra is an investment genius, I must share this excerpt from an interview:


Host Bernard Goldberg: "Is it true you once said you don't read books because they might hurt your batting eye?"

Lenny Dykstra: "Yeah. You got to rest your eyes, man, plus it makes you think too much."


Goldberg: "Reading?"

Dykstra: "Too confusing."


Goldberg: "Reading?"

Dykstra: "Yeah, I still don't like to read."


Goldberg: "And I'm supposed to follow your investing advice?"

Dykstra: "Only if you like money."

Here is how the Mets pitching rotation tentatively sets up for the first Philles/Mets series of the season at Shea:

Tueday: Perez
Wednesday: Maine
Thursday: Santana

QMF:
Here is how the Phils pitching rotation tentatively sets up for the first Philles/Mets series of the season at Shea:

Tueday: I could care less
Wednesday: Really, what difference does it make
Thursday: They'll play the games and whoever wins, wins

Truth Injection: Moving Myers sure made the rotation stronger. But you said the move "made the pitching staff stronger." Since the "staff" includes the bullpen please explain, using facts and figures, how bringing in Lidge and removing Myers from the bullpen made the bullpen stronger. Thanks in advance.

Clout- Not trying to speak for Truth, but I think what he is trying to say that the benefit to the rotation outweighed the detriment to the bullpen. Since you consider them a staff, you need to weigh the effects of the move on both the bullpen and the rotation and come up with a net result for the pitching staff as a whole. It is my opinion (again not Truth's) that the aggregate result of the move made the staff stronger.

Clout- It made the whole pitching staff stronger. It upgraded the rotation, and the bullpen remained the same, by your estimation as well as most other people. You have argued against Lidge being an upgrade, but you have always made it clear that all they did was stay the same in the bullpen. If they stayed the same in the bullpen, and upgraded the rotation, that makes the whole staff stronger, right? That was easy.

Clout: I'll answer that for him. The bullpen for all intensive purposes is the same as last year if you assume that Lidge=Myers. Now since the bullpen is the same as last year, and the rotation is now stronger because of Myers it means the pitching staff is better. The bullpen doesn't have to get better to improve the pitching staff, it just has to not negate the improvements made to the rotation, which it hasn't.

haha answered twice before me, nice

phargo -

Here is some more from the same HBO Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel episode featuring Lenny:

Lenny Dykstra might not have read books, but no one ever doubted his smarts. The former Phillies star was a savvy leadoff hitter who could work a contract negotiation as cleverly as he worked a rookie pitcher.
Retired now and 45, Dykstra, whose baseball career occasionally was marred by messy excesses - driving too fast, gambling too much - has transformed himself into a big player in the investment world.
He lives in Wayne Gretzky's old mansion, has a private jet, a string of successful car washes, and a growing reputation as a stock-market guru.

Goldberg voice-over:

"Jim Cramer is the host of Mad Money on CNBC and (also a Philly guy, born & raised) like Lenny, he's also a little nuts. . . . Except, unlike Lenny . . . Cramer went to Harvard. . . . He worked at Goldman Sachs on Wall Street . . . and he started his own hedge fund . . . and made a fortune. And one day, out of the blue, he got an e-mail from someone who said he was Lenny Dykstra.

Cramer: "I e-mailed him back, I said, 'OK, listen, Lenny,' you know, 'quote Lenny.' And he goes, 'No, it's me. Lenny Dykstra.' And I go back, and I said, 'OK, what years did you play for the Phillies?' I'm thinking it can't be him. And the next thing I know he says, 'Let me show you my ideas.' And he sends me ideas, and I went to the editor of the TheStreet.com and said, 'Look, I got to tell you, a guy who is applying the same skills to money that he applied to sports. It's brilliant.' "

Goldberg: "You know, he doesn't sound like those guys at Goldman Sachs."

Cramer: "If I didn't know any better I would tell you that everything you hear from Lenny is an act. Because there's no way that he would ever, that you would ever feel like he's as smart as he really is, if you listen to him. Now, there are probably four or five people in the world who, if they sent me an e-mail, told me to learn a stock, I would actually take them seriously."

Goldberg: "And he's one of them?"

Cramer: "He's one of them. He's one of them. I think people don't think of Lenny as sophisticated. But I am telling you, Bernie, that not only is he sophisticated but he's one of the great ones in this business. He's one of the great ones."

Goldberg: "Lenny Dykstra."

Cramer: "Lenny Dykstra. Lenny Dykstra."

Goldberg: "The one . . ."

Cramer: " . . . Lenny Dykstra, I know. It's like, 'Lenny Dykstra? Now come on, Jim, Lenny Dykstra?' Yeah. Yeah."

Pretty amazing stuff actually, huh guys? A funny thought occured to me while I saw this interview playing out. If you would have asked me back in 93 to predict who might be the most financially successful player from that team 15 years later, and which guy might be talking to animals and/or time traveling with aliens, I definitely would have had it completely backwards.

Clout- I've explained it to you before but you kept changing the discussion and it amounted to you saying Lidge was considerably weaker than Myers, and Myers is not that big an upgrade over whoever we would've gotten free agent wise.

You were wrong then and you're still wrong now.

Kbless, Jack, and ZT all get the point I am trying to make.

Even if you want to claim Lidge is a huge step down from Myers (he isn't- and depending on what version of Lidge you get he's a mild upgrade) that is offset by the step up of Myers from anyone else on the free agent market.

As a whole it helped the staff from top to bottom. In the end though it comes down to how you view the Lidge move, and what you porject him to stat wise. I think his upside this year is bigger than you do. I base that off all the scouting reports I heard about him last year. Sorry that I'd rather take a scout's word over clout's word.

That is the perfect formula...If we all assume that Lidge=Myers, then yes, the pitching staff is stronger, I agree. However we must also assume then that:
+ Lohse - Eaton would create an even better scenario. All we need now is A Beautiful Mind.

+ Benson - Eaton > + Lohse - Eaton - and that is what I am hoping for, and I believe that is what the FO is hoping for.

Jack: Lidge, based on his stats from the past 2 seasons and compared to Myers bullpen stats last year, is a downgrade. And my question was "how bringing in Lidge and removing Myers from the bullpen made the bullpen stronger"? A pitching staff is made up of both a rotation and a bullpen.

Truth injection: So, just as I thought, you have no facts or stats to back up your opinion. Fair enough.

Clout: No one said it did make the bullpen stronger. So you're question is to no one.

Brian G: If that's correct, then we are all in agreement. Perhaps I misinterpreted the "staff is stronger" with Lidge and without Lohse sentiment.

No matter where you put Myers, adding lidge made the staff stronger.

Why do you need stats to prove that? Isn't it obvious?

Well, you added Lidge and subtracted Lohse, no? Myers is an upgrade opver Lohse in the rotation and Lidge is a downgrade over Myers in the bullpen. Overall, a slight upgrade, but not to the bullpen.

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