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Friday, April 25, 2008

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Graphics inspired by? Anyone?

sweet graphics.

there's just something about vintage . . .

I prefer game chat to chatter up by far, by the way.

And CJ, I cringe more when I watch Howard because Howard's only putting the ball into play half the time. Feliz is just hitting the ball at people, and I'm pretty confident his average will improve (though maybe he'll start walking less and his OBP will stay where it is).

Looks like an old Topps baseball card... not sure which year.

Yes, very cool.

1977 Topps. Phils cap taken off the head of Tug McGraw God rest his soul. And in case you were wondering, Pirates cap is from Bill Hebner.

Ditto on the coolness compliments. Great stuff.

We're giving "Chatter Up" a temporary test run inside the graphic.

By the way, if you go by Metsblog and look at their division standings graphic, it has the Mets as 1 game ahead of the Phils even though each team is one game over .500. Petty...

I'm starting to look forward to these graphics more than the games themselves...

By the way, my first guess was 1980 Topps, with the pennant and border.

1980 is awfully similar to 1977. It wasn't until 1981 with the little hats when they started breaking away from the flag style. Then in 1982, they threw the baseball card world a curveball with the Blade Runner-esque stripes down the left side. Then came headshots in little circles in 1983 (Wade Boggs rookie card hot!) followed by headshots in little squares in 1984 (Don Mattingly rookie card hot!).

Tray: Howard having far more strikeouts than Feliz is an example of why strikeouts don't matter. Howard still has a higher OBP and better overall numbers (both are awful, of course). Strikeouts are just outs. Right now, both of them are making far too many of them. Presumably Howard will start to make less of them.

Even if you say that Howard's K's cost them because he could be making productive outs, you have to factor in the times when Feliz would have been better off striking out than grounding into double plays.

Howard's strikeouts don't matter any more than regular outs, except for that they indicate he isn't close to hitting the ball hard.

All those late '70s Topps issues are similar. The issue I always liked was '75. Then they got lazy until competition finally came along in '81.

That's *Rich* Hebner, by the way.

On the matter of 'cringing', Howard vs. Feliz: I don't have time to cringe when Feliz comes up because the at-bat is finished before I have a chance. He got himself out on the first pitch leading off innings in his final two at-bats yesterday. I hate to put it like this, but it's almost as if he just doesn't care. Even Ruiz doesn't give away half as many of his ABs as Feliz.

Not to defend Mets fans or their blogs, but Metsblog always shows the standings that way. Notice that the column is "LB," meaning Losses Behind, not the usual "GB" Games Behind. They're not trying to be petty; they're just showing the standings according to that "all important loss column."

Tray: What makes you think that Feliz's average will improve and Howard's won't? Howard's career average is 34 points higher than Feliz's.

Nat's right... no pettiness from Metsblog on this one.

Jason - very nice work on the graphic today. I look forward to them every game!

JW - Excellent work on the graphic. Even better than the PtB and the Chorizo for the Brewers' series.

This season:
Feliz is batting .771 when the count is 1-0. He is batting. .500 when the count is 2-0. 1 homer each. His other homer came on a 0-1 pitch. The 2 times he has worked the count to 3-0? He has gotten hits!!!

He's 1 for 12 swing at the first pitch.

It's fairly simple, if he gets behind or swings at first pitch he's the worst player in human history.

If he gets ahead, 1-0, 2-0, or 3-0, he could he the greatest player of all time.

It's startling.

Comparing Feliz and Howard is ridiculous and a waste of time.

I think the last time the Pirates wore those striped hats was their last winning season.

Terrific graphics as usual.

MG: You mean you don't care which player is more "cringe-worthy"?

Bottom line on the Feliz-Howard concerns. I won't call it a debate, because it's like arguing about what smells worse, a subway rest room or a ride past the sewage plant by the Philly Airport? Does it really matter. They both stink!

My feeling is Howard might be pressing to prove his worth, while Feliz is feeling the heat now that he is here and knows he is un-wanted already by the fans. It's a little early in the season to start slitting our wrists (or theirs), but neither obviously have provided much help thus far either BA or OBP-wise. If they would field decently and do the other little things that help you win ball games, it might not be as blatantly painful. Rhyno's base running on Wed night was a god sign of heads up baseball, so I am trying to stay as positive as possible during this horrendous, early season slump.

JW - Great graphics as always.

I apologize if this has already been discussed ad naseum, but I'm all for Werth playing more and it has nothing to do with his numbers. If his mom will promise PG to attend games were Jayson starts, I think his everyday status should be a lock.

Major Cougar alert. If anyone caught the BTN highlights last night, you'll hear Tim Kurkjian in shock over Werth's mom, and completely interrupt the highlight commentary. Hilarious stuff.

Feliz has been a marginal offensive player at best his career and is off to a slow start. Howard has struggled mightly too but comparing the offensive merits of two is just ridiculous.

Werth's mom is likely the hottest mom in baseball. I challege someone to find another choice.

Hot MILF's vs Hot Wives. Sounds like a Reality show in the making. I'm in!

Say, JW, speaking of Tug McGraw ... I am in Nashville, Tn today preparing to run the Country Music Half Marathon tomorrow. As I was perusing the Marathon Expo today, I came across an exhibit for "Team McGraw", created by the Tug McGraw Foundation. Its president, Jen Brusstar (wife of former Phillie Warren), is here too. The organization is calling attention to the McGraw Foundation's efforts to raise funds to improve the quality of life for brain cancer survivors.

Well how can a longtime Phillies fan (who was at the Vet when Tug struck out Willie Wilson to win the 1980 WS) resist? I joined Team McGraw and will proudly wear a red shirt with "Ya Gotta Believe" on the front and "45" on the back.

For all of you runners, the foundation will be present at both the NY Marathon and Chicago Marathon, too.

Kudos to Jen Brusstar for leading this effort. For more info go to: www.tugmcgraw.org

Tray: Let's be honest. Feliz could hit .205 this season and you'll declare it a good year for him.

Welcome to Nashville, Kirk. I think your addition brings the Phils fan total to a respectable 6.

Chase at 1st, Harman gets a start, Coste hitting 5th!

RF So Taguchi
CF Jayson Werth
1B Chase Utley
LF Pat Burrell
C Chris Coste
3B Pedro Feliz
SS Eric Bruntlett
2B Brad Harman
RHP Adam Eaton

Having also been at last Sunday nights game, I feel I should also say something about pedro felix. He seems to me to be a Jekyll and Hyde hitter. Sometimes he just looks stupid, other times he works the count- I've seen home walk twice in the last 10 at bats I've watched, and has gotten some nice hits. The times he strikes out, he looks atrocious! Could this guy be slowly learning how to be a ball player? Maybe he's drunk every other night?

I know this is dreaming, but Mike schmidt looked like pedro felix during his rookie year.

jobbers: If that's not a spring training B game lineup, I don't know what is.

No, clout, I wouldn't. If he hits, I don't know, .240, I'll say he was an improvement on Helms/Dobbs (although Helms is lowering the bar on how good Feliz has to be for him to constitute an improvement - he currently has a 36 OPS+). Anyway, my position on Feliz/Howard is this:

1. Strikeouts don't matter, but they do have some bearing on whether you're genuinely struggling or hitting the ball at people. Howard's doing more of the former than the latter, whereas Feliz is doing more of the latter than the former.

2. Howard's numbers will improve, just as Feliz's will - in fact, Howard's numbers will improve a lot more - but the question is who's more cringe-worthy right now. With Howard, right now, you know when he comes to the plate there's nearly a 50/50 chance of him striking out, that against a lefty (.132 OBP against them) or a good pitcher he's almost guaranteed to make an out, that after two strikes he's probably striking out. That's all pretty cringe-worthy. With Feliz, you know that he'll put the ball in play 88% of the time, that he's currently hitting the ball at people, that he'll actually take some pitches, that he hits the ball on the ground a lot. That's nothing to get excited for, but I don't really cringe when I see him come to the plate. I'd rank him fourth most cringe-worthy after Ruiz, Howard, and Jenkins.

Brad Harman lives (and gets a start)!

I know Clout, frightening eh but thats what I see!!

http://www.delawareonline.com/blogs/phillies.html

erich: You just compared Pedro Feliz to Mike Schmidt. Um... wow.

Hah! I called the lineup!

I guess it's good Eaton can swing a bat... Feliz, Bruntlett, Harman, Pitcher might be the worst bottom 4 ever.

Eaton is more likely to get a hit than any of the 3 above him in the line up

erich: It's Pedro Feliz, not Pedro Felix. And Schmidt was a 24-year old rookie when he hit .196; he won the NL homer title the next year. Feliz is a 33-year old in his 9th major league season. Feliz's career happened a full 4 years ago and it wasn't much better than Mike Schmidt's .196 season.

jobbers beat me to it, but I wouldn't have been at all upset if Cholly had put Eaton 6th in this lineup.

Tray: That's a dishonest and false choice. The proper comparison is a Feliz/Dobbs platoon vs. Feliz playing every day. You, and I, have no clue what Helms starting against every LHP would've produced.

This is a motley lineup to say the least but I wonder where which Adam Eaton shows up against a pretty suspect Pirates lineup. Have a feeling will be "bad Eaton" which means he gives up a run or two in the 1st, a few decent innings, followed by a meltdown in the 5th or 6th which results in 3-4 runs.

CJ: Don't worry about Harman's bat as much as his glove. His weakness is leather, not wood.

clout: I worry about anyone getting their first major league start.

Of course, this is the kind of game the offense erupts for 14 runs and everyone wonders if Ryan Howard is the problem...

It was only about a year or so ago that Zach Duke was supposed to be a superstar in waiting. I still think he will end up being a very good pitcher -- most likely, starting today.

I agree with keeping Howard out today, and this time I hope Cholly really keeps him out. If he brings him in to pinch hit & he ends up striking out, it defeats the whole purpose of sitting him. Eaton has been getting progressively worse with each start and, with this lineup, I have little expectation that anything good will come out of tonight's game. Pirates 7; Phillies 1.

A dishonest and false choice?? It's what you were advocating all offseason. Helms/Dobbs! You kept talking about how Helms would return to his career norms, he'd hit the lefties, Dobbs would hit the righties, their offensive edge would make up for their inability to play a good third base, etc. I've never said I'm against Dobbs getting 2-3 starts a week, especially when he's so hot. As for Helms, I believe he's washed up. His bat looked extremely slow last year, and so far he's not hitting this year.

Tray: False choice, yes, because he's not playing for Florida in the role he'd have here if they hadn't signed Feliz. But if you now agree the team would be better with a straight Dobbs/Feliz platoon then we agree. Your position in the offseason was that Feliz was a fine everyday player.

clout: If hitting is Harman's strong suit, then I shudder to think how bad he must be in the field. His minor league numbers are not exactly glittering.

I think if Dobbs is going to continue to hit .350, a Dobbs/Feliz platoon has to be better for the team. I think what I was saying in the offseason was that, for all we knew, Dobbs may have had a career year last year and wouldn't be as good this year. So far he's been better, so a platoon makes sense, sure. With as many struggling bats as we have in our lineup, we need to play the few hot hitters we have. As for Helms, you're right, he hasn't seen many lefties yet. So far he's just 1 for 5 against them.

Don't knock the Aussies boys. Speaking from Downunder I am glad he is getting a game. Lets hope it is a good one. Go Aussie go!!! Oi oi oi!

Not feeling this lineup at all, but I guess it doesn't really matter as the Pirates usually own us at PNC anyway. I'm just hoping we can win a series there for once; forget the sweep.

Not to mention that I can't even watch this game, b/c it's on stupid CN8--Sixers on CSN tonight, most likely losing to the stupid Pistons.

Tray: Dobbs has to hit .350 for a platoon with Feliz to make sense? I guess because of those 15 or 20 balls hit to the thirdbaseman every game huh?

Tray: And what we said in the offseason is that it would take a career year from Feliz to be a positive offensive contributor.

I love Werth's approach at the plate.

I love Utley's approach at the plate.

Normally I am less colorful but this Pirates' team really sucks. Going to be disappointed if the Phils don't take 2 of 3 regardless of how they have played recently in Pittsburgh.

Burrell really hamstrung by a couple of questionable strike calls on outside breaking balls.

I think the numbers say that Feliz makes a little under one more play per 18 innings than Dobbs does, so you could do the math on how much better Dobbs has to hit than Feliz to outweigh that. If you assume four plate appearances per game, it would come out to a difference of about .100 in OBP, so Dobbs probably has to have an OBP in the .390s against righties for it to be worth it.

Now THAT's aggressive baserunning. I like it.

Getting a timely extra base hit early in the game that isn't a HR? That a pleasant break from the norm this season.

Yee-ha! Chris Coste!

Tray: I'm curious, how do you come to the number of 1 extra play per 18 innings?

CJ - agreed on the tough calls in that Burrell at-bat. Three solid pitches - and, of course, taking on anything close is a good call when the two batters in front of you were walked on less than 6 pitches.

Love Coste in the 5th spot already.

Those Pirates uniforms are ugly.

I have nothing against Feliz but with this lineup right now Dobbs should be starting 3 times a week at 3B. Phils' need his bat more than they need Feliz's glove.

Against LHP, Feliz should start at 3B. No issues with him getting the nod tonight against Duke.

I don't necessarily feel strongly either way, but I'd love to hear someone make an argument for why Carlos Ruiz should be starting more games each week than Coste.
Coste is such a solid hitter

Coste also needs to be starting 3 times a week too. Ruiz is doing nothing at the plate and his defenese has been shaky behind the plate at times.

it looks really weird seeing utley catching the throw to first

We're getting a glimpse of life after Ryan Howard in a few years...Utley at 1st

One guy who does nothing for me right now starting so much is Taguchi. I like him as a 5th OF who pinch hits and comes in as a sub late in games but that is about it.

Well, I don't think you'll see much of Taguchi once Victorino and Rollins get back.

i'd like for the phillies to look into moving jenkins for a decent reliever and hand the full-time job to werth, but i see little chance of that happening. heck, the brewers fans still love 'em, send him back there!

Well, his range factor per nine innings has consistently been up in the 2.9's for the past four seasons, whereas Dobbs, at the moment, is down at 2.49. So half a play per nine innings is one per 18... of course, range factor isn't a perfect stat, but I don't think it's that flawed when you're comparing two players on the same team.

Kirk- if for some reason you're still reading this and not enjoying BBQ, please suggest to Jen and the McGraw Foundation folks that they'd sell a bunch of said shirts on their website- I'd proudly wear one.

I know Victorino struggled at the plate but getting him back will be a nice lift because Bohn (who I still don't think brings a single attribute to this team including speed or defense) will go back the minors and Taguchi's playing time will take a big hit too.

To me, it's a bigger concern that Coste is relegated to spot duty when Ruiz is struggling as terribly as he is.

drake - it's a little early to crown Werth. Yes, he's hot right now and Jenkins is cold, but I still like the idea of a Jenkins/Werth platoon. It's a long season. If he's still hitting well in June or July, maybe then it could be considered.

Chase Utley is having a nice audition for 2011.

BTW, the photoshopping on this OnlineTickets ad for Sixers playoff tickets is just horrendous. Jason, why don't you show them how to use Photoshop?

find that man a full time job!

WERTH!

Is his mom there?

Boy, that Werth sure is Werthless, eh?

is it possible that out of the 6-9 hitters tonight that adam eaton is the best one?

Heads up play by Pat pays off.

Who cares when the top of your lineup is on fi-ah!?!

Burrell with two solid baserunning events in one inning.

Machinista! Great hustle by Burrell the whole time - Phils take advantage of Pirates poor play.

Wow, I really wish I would have put Coste into my fantasy lineup for today.

find coste a full time job too while we're at it!

There's nothing better than seeing a good team doing what it needs to do against a bad team making bad team plays.

Tray: If every one of those plays saved a run, you'd be right. But you're not even close.

Makes a big difference with a real hitter at #5.

Coste shouldn't start everyday. He would wear down and he would get exposed a bit. The best thing to do with him right now is start him about 50% of the time. It would keep Coste fresh enough while giving Ruiz enough playing time to still put things together.

smart play, pete happy

No, I am right. Why should the plays have to save runs as long as they save hits? Every hit or walk that Dobbs gets doesn't lead to a run. They're the same thing.

Brad Harman everyone

Ruiz is in a funk but, when the season-ending numbers are in, Ruiz's won't be significantly worse than Coste's. They might even be better, especially in the power department. And he's a much, much better defensive catcher than Coste. But you've got to go with the hot hand -- especially since we have so little firepower in our lineup right now. Until he cools off, Coste should be making at least half the starts.

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