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Monday, June 16, 2008


Excellent post, Jason.

I'll watch because it's actually going to be on TV out here (tonight, anyway), and because a win would mean a win (yay!), plus it would irritate my least favorite other-team fans (also yay).

Manny Ramirez, if your hat won't stay on, maybe it's time to get a haircut.

Phillies need another 12 wins to avoid their losingest season ever.

Sorry, make that 11 wins.

Burrell has more than a few good images floating around cyberspace. Flipping the bird to Tito still ranks below his shirtless man or machine centerfold using Google Image Search.

"Red Sox Nation" is annoying because it suddenly seems that everyone in the world is a Sox fan but that happens with every team that has a good run...Its called jumping on the Bandwagon. People that jump on the Red Sox bandwagon should be forced to watch Feverpitch repeatedly until they gouge out their eyes as punishment.

I'd much rather we face BAL and TEX 6 times instead of BOS and LAA but that's how the card got dealt. I appreciate that I get to watch all 3 games on NESN though.

This is what makes our blogs so damn good. Jason, you write about how the Sox are outside your sphere, and rightly so, and that affects how you look at the series. I, meanwhile, write about how the Sox are all up in my sphere, and rightly so, and that affects how I look at the series. Two very different viewpoints, but each incredibly valid and worthy (if I must toot my own horn).

Back from a brief hiatus (probably brought on by the upbraiding he took for criticizing Pat Burrell), flipper had the following comments near the end of the last thread. They are worth reposting.

"I think that it is extremely likely that the Phils will reach the playoffs with their current starting rotation. Therefore, the importance of acquiring more SP help is really determined by whether their shortened rotation is sufficient. How comfortable are folks with this starting 8 and Hamels, Kendrick, and Moyer as their playoff starters? Trading Myers for another pitcher that wouldn't break into that 3-man rotation wouldn't be worth it."

With the playoffs being longer these days, I might quibble with the notion that we can completely get by with a 3-man rotation; I think a 4th guy would also have to start a few playoff games. But, other than that minor detail, I think flipper's comments accurately describe the caliber of starting pitcher that we should be looking for. I have nothing against Kyle Kendrick, but would you like our chances in a playoff game, with Kendrick going up against Ted Lilly or Randy Johnson? I wouldn't.

Re: "Inconsistent" offense

Sorry, this theory that the Phils are inconsistent is a fallacy. They are no more likely than the other top 4 contenders in the NL to score 3 runs or fewer in a game, and, in fact, are less likely to do so. Here's our distribution this year:

Runs: Games
0: 3
1: 3
2: 8
3: 11
4: 6
5: 11
6: 9
7: 6
8: 4
9: 1
10+: 8

We don't have a problem scoring runs. We've scored 5 or more runs 39 times this year and we've only lost 5 of those games (just 7%). Last year, we lost 18 games when scoring 5 or more runs (11%).

On the other hand, this season, we've already won 4 games when scoring 3 or fewer runs. Last year, we won just 3 total games when scoring 3 or fewer runs.

Our offense is nearly as proficient this year as it was last year... but it actually doesn't have to be as explosive because our bullpen isn't forcing us to score even more runs to win time and time again.

If we're going to complain, let's save our complaints for real areas of concern. Like Brett Myers and whether Ryan Howard has turned a corner.

In all this talk about possible trades to improve the team, I haven't seen much commentary about the issue that you hear so much about come October, namely the much-vaunted "postseason experience" of the roster. I usually discount this -- mostly because I get sick of hearing about how the Yankees have so much of it. But is it something worth considering in a trade? Does a starter who's had some postseason exposure merit more serious consideration than someone who hasn't, even if his numbers aren't quite as impressive?

Right now, and correct me if I'm wrong, I think that the Phillies have one guy with a World Series ring: So Taguchi. I have no idea what he's like in the clubhouse, but I get the impression he's not exactly Aaron Rowand.

True, all of the returning players from last year have now played October ball. Moyer and Gordon have been there a couple of times. Lidge made it to the Series but lost.

Should the Phillies make a move to pick up a veteran with that magical leadership quality that comes with an extensive postseason resume?

NEPhilliesPhan - Spot on man. I found it telling that no one really knows much about the National League teams up here in Boston. I guess focusing on the Yankees for 162 games will do that to a fan base. Back home in NJ, I find most baseball fans have a better NL/AL balance, despite what JW just wrote. Just about every family in South Jersey has a Yankees arm / leg or wing to it. In New England, it's simply all Boston all the time. Almost as bad as NY. Almost.

I'd take Kendrick over Lilly or Johnson anyday(in 2008).

Randy Johnson's latest excuse is that the Chase Field radar gun is broken.

this Phils team has spent a while playing together and has great chemistry. the last thing this Phils nucleus needs is a washed up vet with "postseason experience" telling them how to play baseball.

Before the Red Sox recent success, they were a team cursed. They'd get close, but no cigar. Their fans were loyal, but whipping boys to the Yankees, their hated rival. I was able to attend some Red Sox games in Fenway in the late 70s and early 80s with one of my college friends who lived up there. I felt for the Red Sox. I still root for them in the AL. However, Jason is absolutely right, this Red Sox Nation crap is for the birds, and there's a bunch of fair weather front-runner fans in the bloated Red Sox nation.

I really hate interleague play and the unbalanced scheduling. I believe the whole thing was to have the Yanks and Red Sox play twenty-some games each year and have the Yankees play the Mets every year. The rest of the teams suffer. Too bad! So we play the dumb gnats and fish 40 times, but a natural rival like the Pirates 6 measly games. I think fans need to start complaining about this.

This past weekend the Astros played the Yankees and ticket prices were raised for all the fans. They paid more to see the home team lose. The fix is in.

I hate the whole "Premium Game" crap that some teams do with the ticketing. Its completely unfair to have to pay more because your team is playing the Yankees or Red Sox instead of the Royals. Its also insulting to teams like the Pirates and Royals.

PECOTA now gives the Phils a 74.5% chance of making the playoffs. A 63.5% chance of winning the division and a 11% chance of winning the wild card. They put us on 92 wins for the season, 2nd in the NL to only the Cubs 99 wins.

Pirates? Bring me more Cardinals and Cubs match ups please.

Actually, BAP, I have no problem stating that Burrell is clearly proving my criticism wrong. My contention was that despite good numbers, he didn't have a good history of delivering in game-changing situations (something which isn't really revealed by RISP or other more generic stats). Since I made those comments, I've been more aware of his performance in such situations, and he clearly has come through a lot. I think he's had a number of "game-winning" hits recently. As long as he keeps it up, you'll hear no further criticism from me, even if he does stick out his butt on one of those called third strikes every now and then. And gladly so.

To pick up on the other conversation - I'm beginning to wonder a bit about my comfort level with Kendrick and Moyer. As I mentioned in the other thread, my recollection was that they both did pretty well down the stretch in high-pressure games last year. Of course, I'd like to have Santana and Burnett as the number 2 and 3 in a shortened rotation - but the relevant question is how much can we give up to acquire someone who would push Moyer or Kendrick out of a playoff starting rotation. I know it's early, but I'm pretty much banking on the Phils outlasting any other contenders in the East (which means that, guaranteed, they'll lose their next 20 games in a row). Given that I think they'll make the playoffs, I don't see the point in making any moves to improve upon Myers and/or Eaton as the #4 and #5 starters. That said, if it could be done (which I doubt), I'd give up any prospect and back end starter or reliever if it would improve their top three starters (duh).

Sorry - meant Beckett, not Burnett.

The most annoying thing about the Sawx is how their fans try to pretend that they are an underdog franchise when their opening day payroll for 2008, according to Cot's Baseball Contracts, was $133,390,035. Ridiculous.

And thanks for invoking Matt Damon (aka MATT DAMON! from Team America World Police). Ugh.

I'm looking forward to my annual near fisticuffs with Sully and Murph from Providence for Wednesday's game. Always a pleasure when these "fans" get pumped up by drinking Mickey's Big Mouths in the parking lot while listening to House of Pain's Jump Around before coming into CBP....

Now that Bavasi has been fired in Seattle, any chance we try to make a run at Bedard?

OK, I admit, living in the Boston area for some 14 years, I adopted the Sox as my "second team." I still vividly remember when the ball went through Buckner' legs. That said, I have to defend Sox fans a bit. Yeah, at this point it's kind of nuts because they've actually become a winner - but unless you lived in the area before they won the series, you just can't understand the depth to which they developed an inferiority complex. Think of the Eagles losing to the Cowboys all those years - except it was worse and for a much longer period of time.

CJ: On the two major areas of concern--

First, I think that some of the analysis provided in recent days proves that the shift is indeed killing Ryan Howard. His slump is almost isolated to at-bats with nobody on base. A secondary effect seems to be the frustration that drags his other numbers down by a bit, but not by a whole lot. What's the solution? How about having Burrell bat in front of Howard? That would mean (combined with Utley in front of him) nearly 50% of the time Howard would bat with runners on base.

Myers just does not have it to be a starter. The man did love being a closer, and he probably knows as well as anybody that his ADHD or whatever hinders his ability to start games. I don't think he'd complain at this point at being made a set-up man to Brad Lidge--that would make one heck of a bullpen. Then, I don't care if we trade the entire Reading and Clearwater teams, let's just get another top starter from somewhere. This is the year, and Patty G. wants to go out on top.

I posted in the begining of the season that Myers would be a complete bust going back into the rotation. I felt then as I do now, that Myers' heart is into being a closer. He feeds off of the attention, being in the spotlight 3 to 4 times a week as opposed to only every fifth day. His mental makeup is too fragile, meaning in simple terms that he is a complete headcase. What I did not count on is that Eaton has far exceeded what we all expected out of him (could it have gotten worse?) up to this point in the season. Other than his bad inning every start, I have more confidence in Eaton to have a good outing much more so than Myers. I would have bet the house that I would never utter that line in my life time, but there it is. Both Myers & Ryno should be visiting the same Shrink right now. If you would have given me both of their stats up to this point in the season in April, I would have guessed the Phils to be in 3'rd place right now. If they get going at all, they can run away with the division. We can only hope.

Rangers put Sidney Ponson on waivers... would you pick him up?

If the shift is killing Howard's average, and can only be employed without baserunners, Rollins's OBP correlates directly with Howard's AVG.

When opposing defenses effectively employ a shift against your monstrously powerful cleanup hitter, its even more important for your leadoff hitter to get on base. Jimmy Rollins lead off every game he started, right?

In 189 at bats, Rollins has only 17 walks. His on base percentage is only .332!
I think its time to let Rollins "mature into a run producer".

I'm starting to realize that Ryan Howard is not the problem; its Jimmy Rollins.
Howard's production is off, but he's still among the league leaders in home runs and RBIs. Jimmy Rollins, by comparison, is well off last year's pace, or even his 2006 form. Rollins only has 82 total bases this year, after 380 last season.

In some ways the whole Red Sox Nation thing is way over the top. But hey, they were the AL's version of the Cubs until the past couple of years. It's tough to hate the die hard's, it's all of the band wagon jumper's that make me ill. Now everyone is a lifelong Red Sox fan. It's a load of crap, but people love a winner. If the Phil's were able to go on such a streak, I am sure that all of us in Philly would be reviled by others around the country for our obnoxious fan behavior. What's that you say? We already are? I'm shocked!

Adam: Short answer, NO.

Long answer, Sidney Ponson has problems, real problems, in his head. If you think Brett Myers has a ten-cent head, then Sidney Ponson is, at best, a nickel. If the Rangers (in the middle of a playoff chase) are willing to dump a guy with a 3.88 ERA, then we don't want him anywhere near our roster.

not to mention his horrid peripherials that suggest that his 3.88 is all smoke and mirrors

People better get used to the idea that SPs don't grow on trees and if the Phils want to pick one up, it's gonna cost us prospects. If it was to pick up Sabathia or Bedard I'd say sure. This year and next are our best chance of winning it all and if they could get one of those guys then it would be great.

I doubt you can get much for Myers at this point. Your just going to have to hope he turns it around. He is the best option out there if you ask me. I hate hearing all this talk about giving him a 15 day 'holiday'! What BS! The man is making millions of dollars and he can't keep his head in the game? Best thing at this point is to skip him a couple of starts and let him stew on the bench. I'll bet he comes back firing after being snubbed. Disabling him only plays into his head games.

Durbin has earned a start. Let Myers sit in the pen and suck his thumb for a couple of weeks.Maybe it will help his fastball,I guess that is what you call it.

most diehard redsox fans would never use those words "redsox nation" thats how you tell the real ones from the bandwagon ones ...wait till the cubs win the series and they'll be dealing w/the same stuff. oldschool sox fans have been dealing w/ this since we won in 2004...and no i don't see my team as losers anymore...i also don't see them like the yankees either. hope its a good series i always watch a few phillies games on mlb during the year because its fun to watch ryan howard and chase utley play ....

Is it too early to say? But it sure looks like Howard's turned the corner; 9 for 18, 4 homers, 13 RBIs and Average up 20 points in his last 4 games.

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