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Tuesday, June 17, 2008


FYI: Randolph is out in NY.

The new manager is bench coach Jerry Manuel.

Nice W.

Thanks for the link to Hank Steinbrenner's "Boo Hoo". I would die to be able to listen to NY Sports Talk Radio this AM to hear all the Stankee fans crying about how pitchers now have to be athletes too. Too bad Hamels didn't let Colon run the bases last night -- that would have been worth the price of admission.

Repost from last thread:

Andy: That article on consistency was good, and I agree to some extent that it is important. However, I didn't really see any correlation between offensive consistency and winning (or total offense) in the actual data. For example, the Phillies were 2nd in the league in offensive consistency, the Yankees were 2nd worst, and yet they were the two best offenses in baseball, and both made the playoffs. In fact, all 4 of the AL playoff teams were below average, and all 4 of the NL playoff teams were above average. What does this mean? I have no idea. But I think it means that it's not a very important indicator of talent or success at all.

There's been some serious salt flavoring these last two posts . . . digs at interleague play, Hank Steinbrenner. The use of the word "biznatch."

A departure for the normally more diplomatic Weitzel, but I like it.

Weitzel- Is Mike Timlin the new Greg Harris? I thought he was a righty, but maybe he's gone ambidextrous on us.

Hank Steinbrenner is a dumbass. The man should have the freedom of speech ammendment revoked.

Read Buster Olney's blog on if you want a recap of how dysfunctional the Mets front office is. Really a great piece.

Even though Randolph had to go the guy they really need to get rid of is Minaya. He's doing a worse hack job then Ed Wade did here I think.

Thanks. Probably my most common mistake on beerleaguer, mixing up right and left.

Prediction: Chase Utley is in big trouble. He messed up his swing on that second strike in the first inning. After he whiffed on that high fastball, Utley looked awkward swinging the bat for the rest of the game. Teams will start pitching Utley high in the strike zone, exploiting the hole in his loopy swing. Hopefully Chase makes a quick adjustment, but if he doesn't, he might be in for a slump.

Good thing Ryno is back...J-Roll has also started to hit the ball hard...

I know they don't have room for him, but I'd love to see Randolph in bloodstripes on the bench. I think he's a guy that will get another chance at some point (not here as Manager, I hope), but to bring him here as an assistant is a nice little slap to the Mets.

(I guess the other side could say-he'd bring bad karma)

"Prediction: Chase Utley is in big trouble." Nah.

i like the bench coach idea. randolph probably wasn't in the top 10 reasons the mets are terrible this year. their players just don't care about winning.

It's difficult to measure with any certainty, but Charlie Manuel has become a better manager since Jimy Williams joined the coaching staff, and I know Williams has helped the pitchers with hitting. The sweeping changes to the coaching staff after 2006 really helped get some legitimate coaches in here with Williams and Lopes instead of using those slots to reward organizational loyalty by inserting guys like Bill Dancy. And I would think Milt Thompson must be doing a good job with the hitters.

1) Is it really that hard for a professional athlete to run? Isn't running the essence of sports?
2) Randolph's firing slightly worries me. It's the only thing that could possibly save the Mets. Not saying it will but it could.

So the Mets fired Randolph at 3:15am? Gee, what a class organization. What a bunch of pathetic cowards.

As for Chase, he'll be fine. It's a long season, and no one stays on fire for all 162. Fortunately, it looks like Howard and Jimmy are heating up – I think that's one of the things I like most about this team: it seems that when someone hits a slump, one (or more) of the other guys in the lineup is able to step it up and get hot.

Chase will be fine. I would consider resting him tomorrow in the day game, with a day off to follow. He looks tired to me.

The Mets horse isn't going to cross the river any better, now that they've changed riders in midstream. They've also disrupted their AAA club by calling up the mgr. and another coach to replace fired Mets coaches. I hope everyone's performances suffer. Maybe the gNats can overtake the Muts.

The Mets don't have a clue what they're doing. Why would you fire your manager after the team had just gotten done pounding one of the best teams in baseball? Or after they'd just won their second in a row and third in four games? Or after a week in which they'd averaged nearly 6 runs a game?

It's not that Willie Randolph has done a great job managing the Mets. The team has been under-achieving for most of the year. But why not fire him after they lost 7 of 8 in late May, or 5 straight last week? If he didn't deserve to be fired then, the case for firing him certainly didn't get stronger after they had won 2 straight and 3 out of 4.

Sometimes a managerial change can light a spark under a team, and I had been afraid that this might happen with the Mets. But, given the circumstances of the firing, I think the more likely result is the absolute opposite. Management fiddles and does nothing when the team loses, then fires the whole staff when the team wins. This sends a bizarre message to the players, and I think they may respond with some very uninspired play.

Chase Utley has a loopy swing? What a loopy post! Is this a joke? Did I miss something from a previous post?

baxter: Chase Utley has one of the shortest, unloopy left handed swings in baseball. How could you describe his swing as "loopy"?


I couldn't agree with you more. Not only does it send the wrong message to your players, but what does it say to the fans? On Friday, Omar Minaya sat in a press conference and said, "Willie Randolph is my manager and I have confidence he can change the direction of the team." The Mets go ahead and win 3 out of 4 from Friday through Monday. They beat a very good Angels team. And then the manager is fired?

Now you have a team finally playing well and the front page news is now the manager. Talk about distractions...

I tell you, complain what you will about Phillies management and ownership, but the way the Mets handled this one is pretty bushleague.

Last night's home plate umpire was excellent.

A lot of lefty batters, especially those who throw right-handed, have a hole in their swing high in the strike zone. ESPN's broadcasters even said this after Utley struck out. Utley doesn't have a slight uppercut to his swing? What about Rollins? Even a classic lefty swing flattens out up in the zone, and holes emerge.

I know because I batted left/threw right. Try swinging a bat left-handed at a high, inside pitch. Your swing tends to flatten, and turn inside-out. Once that front elbow drops into your body, you're done. What Utley needs to do is drive those high-outside pitches the other way, like Howard does when he's hitting well. Last night, he looked like he was trying to pull those balls, and couldn't make solid contact. This is pretty basic stuff guys.

I'm sure most major leaguers wished their swing was as productive as Utley's.

Hank is indeed a dumbass

Re: Phillies and consistency. It is an interesting article, but yeah, it's pretty confusing as last year two of the winningest teams and best offenses ranked at the very bottom of the consistency list (Boston and NYY).

But even more, I still haven't seen a valid statistical case made as to where where this year's club ranks in terms of consistency. Somewhat worse than last year? Maybe - but that could still mean that they're way above average this year.

Ok Baxter, It makes sense now. All you had to do was tell us that Steve Phillips said so and you had the same problem in little league. By the way I watched the ESPN broadcast and I did not hear the part about Utley having a "loopy" swing.

Well I'm not too worried about the Mets going a tear because they fired Randolph. They have a nice core but the supporting casts is bleh and not to mention some of their key players are often injured, old, and brittle. But the way the Mets organization handled they Willie firing is disgraceful.

While that might be true, you make it sound like Utley's never faced a high pitch before and he's not a skilled enough hitter to:

B)not get into the habit of swinging at high pitches.

Even the ESPN announcers said how uncomfortable he looked...its was pretty obvious right from the outset. Who knows what it could be? But you don't become the league HR leader by doing the same thing that's not working over and over again.

Andy: I'll echo others.

Thanks for the article, but it was pointless. "Consistent" offenses included the Pirates and the Royals. "Inconsisten" offenses included the Yankees and Red Sox.

I suppose I'd rather be inconsistent.

That article simply proves there is NO correlation between "consistent" offenses and winning percentage.

I know there's a lot of talk about whether Ryan Howard has "turned the corner." I've tried to point out how dumb the discussion is... but to no avail.

Since May 5th
.266/.347/.604, 13 HR and 48 RBI in 40 games

Ryan Howard has more than turned the corner. He's now the league leader in RBI and 2nd in the league in HRs. As his BA continues to rise (as his abnormally low BABIP suggested it would), so will his OBP and his OPS.

I suppose we better trade him now while is value is so high before he goes on some devestating cold streak. I mean, what if he goes .196/.327/.326 over his next 12 games with just 1 HR? Oh, wait, that's Chase Utley. And I don't think any of us are worried that he's "lost his swing."

The ESPN announcers were so bad- when they talked about Steinbrenner's insane comments they claimed that the NL changed the rules decades ago!

Jason: great point about the coaching staff and how they've helped Manuel look better. That's one area where Gillick has certainly improved the team, in stark contrast to the business-as-usual Bill Dancy approach that went on beforehand.

What more can be said about the Mets' absurdly poor handling of the Randolph situation, except that it's just so hard to believe they wouldn't have known just how bad it'd make them look. One thing I'll predict right now is that Billy Wagner will be gone from that team before the season's over.

I said Utley needed to adjust, not that he couldn't. I'm sure he knows far better than anyone what went wrong last night- I'm explaining why he struggled to you guys, not him.

Utley: If there is one thing that Utley's swing is not, its not loopy. Recently he has had a tendency to not be able to lay off the high fastball, which has certainly contributed to his struggles of late. However, if there is one guy in MLB that I am confident can make the appropriate adjustments (and has the work ethic and determination to do it), Chase Utley is the guy.

Wilfredo Randolph: Willie, you will be missed by us Phillies fans. Unless of course Jerry Manual turns out to be completely incompetent, in which case, you should probably contact the Braves and see when Bobby Cox is planning on retiring. I think the Fish and Nats might be looking for a manager with no sense of personal accountability. Good luck on the job search, and keep it in the NL East. Much love, Phillies Fans everywhere.

When the Reds Volquez shut down the Phills a few weeks ago he said the way to get Utley out is
“Inside changeups. He’s got a little hole. You can’t throw him fastballs away.”

I'm sure every team has the same report on Chase since he literally stands on the plate. Although Colon may be shot-he still was very effective throwing inside offspead pitches to Utley. Easier said than done.

I'm a Mets fan who is just disgusted with the way this whole Willie thing went down. He definitely had to go, but the front office toyed with him for months, like a cat torturing a mouse before it kills it. You guys are right when you say that it was a cowardly, classless thing to do at 3 AM when everyone was sleeping and newspaper deadlines had passed, after they won 3 out of 4 games, and after having him fly 3,000 miles across the guys don't know how lucky you are to have a normal, mature, and unembarrassing front office...

>>you guys don't know how lucky you are to have a normal, mature, and unembarrassing front office...<<

Was this said seriously?? My immediate impression was 'no'.

So Utley and Rollins don't have a slight uppercut, or "loop" to their swing? Even Ted Williams had a "loopy swing", which he said "met the downward trajectory of the oncoming pitch". There's nothing wrong with Utley's swing; it might be the best in baseball, but there is a loop to it that flattens up in the strike zone.

Tom Nieto is another ex-Phil

Heh Howard followed up his "is he back on track?" day with a "four strikeouts in four at-bats" day.

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