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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

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Burrell is still my choice for team MVP this season, over Chase Utley who's having another great campaign. Remember the way Burrell looked the last time they played Boston? How Papelbon picked him apart? He was a helpless hitter ...

one thing that really jumps out at me about Burrell's season (aside from the obvious numbers) is that he's walking more than he strikes out (58 to 53). hard to believe he's the same guy who had a 1.6 K:BB ratio as recently as '05.

It's a crime if Pat the Bat doesn't make the AllStar team.

One thing that stands out to me is that he seems to have avoided his annual "June Swoon." Really - when was the last time Burrell didn't seem to have a major slump in late May and early June. He should be on the All-Star team.

Burrell and Utz are clearly carrying this team offensively. Ryno and J-Roll are also heating up... Ryno's raised his OPS by 50 points in a week!

Jason, I love the picture of Ed Wade seeming to turn and slowly walk away. Don't know where you found it but it's priceless.

This team overall does a lot less swinging and missing than seasons past. Rollins and Victorino are pretty good at making contact atop the order and Burrell has improved steadily over the last few seasons too. Now only if Howard could figure out how to put the bat on the ball more often and we might be looking at the most prolific slugger of all-time.

Weitzel- I like your Ed Wade/Burrell article, you honestly beat me to the punch on this. I was going to run a piece like this on my blog sometime soon because it's been on my mind a lot lately. The better Burrell plays the less crappy that nut-sack look-a-like Ed Wade appears to be in hindsight.

He more aggressive with pitches in the zone; he wants to put the ball in play. That's been the big difference for me, he's actually taking advantage of his ability to recognize pitches and he's taking control of the AB, not the other way around.

I don't think the performance of Burrell, good or bad, is any reason to renew judgment on Wade. Even when Burrell was going poorly, I never blamed Wade for locking Burrell up. It appeared at the time that he was going to be a sure thing, and good organizations often lock young players into long-term deals well before free agency.

Jason, your point alone from earlier in the day about the improvements on the coaching staff is reason enough to blanch at Wade's conservative, company-man approach by contrast. He was effective in some ways and not so effective in others. He gets credit for not trading Howard but he gets plenty of discredit for moves like *not* discarding David Bell - emblematic of his inability to adjust in-season after it had become clear that the ever-impressive rotisserie teams he'd built weren't actually performing. And as far as the present team goes - yes, he deserves some credit for putting it together, but he's been gone two and half years now. His tenure may be partially vindicated by the success the Phillies have sustained in his wake - but it doesn't absolve him for failing to move the franchise foward during the eight years in which he was actually present. A GM ought to be judged primarily on his ability to get results within five years, not ten.

K to BB ratio for starters:
J-Roll 17-17
Vic 24-22
Utley 42-33
Howard 97-39
Burrell 53-58
Feliz 24-19
Jenkins 40-13
Werth 38-18
Ruiz 20-14
Coste 16-7

As you can see, only Werth, Jenkins, and Howard really strikeout a ton more than walk. Not bad at all.

Since type-pad has been out, I want to take a quick opportunity to respond to Jack's response to THT article I suggested.

The reason the offensive consistency of the Phils concerns me is the pitching staff. Last year, the Phils won the division because despite terrible pitching, they continuously scored 4 or more runs. When the pitching was mediocre they usually won. This year, with the offensive scorring less than 4 more than a third of the time, they have won because the pitching has been consistently good (except for Myers away - he has an away OPS split over 1. YIKES!).

My concern is that I do not believe that the Phils staff will continue to be that consistent. And if they continue to score less than 3 runs in 36% of their games, it's gonna make the play-offs more difficult to reach.

Of course (and I mean this without sarcasm), I guess there is as much possibility that the hitting will revert to last year's numbers as there is that the pitching will. Still: last year's pitching with this year's hitting would not be pretty (since 55 of our runs have been scored in just three games).

I rarely tailgate before games. And just as rare, having any drinks at the game. And now I know why. Last night, I swear I saw, Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell both triple in the same game.

That will be the last time I drink heavily at a Phillies game, because when you start hallucinating about things like that, you know you have drank too much. Next thing someone is going to tell me, that Pedro Feliz had a walk last night?

I wonder if Fast Eddie might have his eye on PtB as an off-season free agent signing? I know his value is more as a DH, so maybe this type of series is being used as a showcase. If nothing more than to drive up the price of Burrell to the heights of where the Phillies can't afford to sign him. Being so fan-friendly conscious, and knowing that the Phaithful want PtB back for a few more years, I wonder if the Three Headed Monster (Monty/Giles/Amaro) has even entertained the thought of re-thinking their stance of not bringing Burrell back for more season's in a Phillie uniform.

RSB: I agree with all of your points.

I actually saw PtB smile during the game last night. It made me smile, too.

I wonder if Fast Eddie might have his eye on PtB as an off-season free agent signing?

I don't think even Michael Bourn is good enough to play center in the same outfield as Carlos Lee and Pat Burrell.

phargo - You're just a lecher-ess.

To expound on my last post. If the price goes too high, Burrell won't fit into their 'self imposed salary cap'. That way they are off the hook on re-signing him, and telling us that (any name here...at half the price) fits better into their team building strategy.

The inconsistent offense is due to the propensity to strike out too much still and leave too many men on base at times. It's really the same issues that they've had in recent years, but statistically more obvious to those who study such occurances.

Not sure if this has been mentioned anywhere else since the site has been down for me all day, but from watching the CSN interviews in the locker room after the game, Ryan Howard appears to have a Philadelphia Inquirer headline that says "Big Brown Delivers" taped to his locker. I cracked up when I saw that.

Phargo - Your right. I forgot that a Three Toed Sloth could outrun both Burrell or Lee. Of course you might ask: "When was the last time a sloth hit a triple?"

Andy, I gotta admit he is kinda cute, but in my defense, it was actually pointed out to me by my husband! (I had looked away from the TV for a moment.) Meaning Pat actually did it twice, as he was straight faced when I first looked back, then cracked yet another tiny smile. It's nice to know he was having some fun, too.

In any case, I could never give up my boyfriend, Jimmy Rollins (it's okay, the husband knows about us).

Mr. Mack- you saw it, too! It was, in fact, when he was on third base.

So who would win a 100 yard (or meter?) dash- Howard or Burrell? Assuming no sloths were entered.

Am I reading this right? Are we feeling nostalgic for Edward Wade?

Let's not forget that is the SCOUTS who draft these players, the GM has little to do with drafting many of them. Like QB's, baseball GM's get way too much of the credit and blame...

I'll take Pat Gillick and Isaih Thomas over Ed Wade any day of the week and twice on Memorial Day.

Never been an Ed Wade fan here. That Dana Carvey-looking weasel, now residing in Houston, is just far enough away as far as I'm concerned. I did, once upon a time on BL, give him credit for some of the faces that the Phillies currently put on the field, and was crucified for even the smallest hint of a Wade acknowledgemnet what-so-ever. Lesson learned.

Mr. Mack: "The inconsistent offense is due to the propensity to strike out too much still and leave too many men on base at times. It's really the same issues that they've had in recent years, but statistically more obvious to those who study such occurances."

Um... huh?

The Phillies hit .280 with RISP, second in the league to only the Cubs at .281. The NL w/RISP does .259/.354/.402. The Phils go .280/.390/.483.

As Jack has pointed out NUMEROUS times, it only seems like we fail to hit with runners in scoring position because we're so prolific, we have lots of runners in scoring position.

On top of that... the Phils are doing much better regarding K's this year. Last season, they struck out 7.4 times per game, down to 6.6 times this year. Their K/BB ratio has climbed from 1.7 to 1.9. Sorry, but strike outs aren't our problem either.

I'd refute this point: "but statistically more obvious to those who study such occurances.", but I don't know what that means.

Phargo asks: Q. Who would win a 100 yard dash, Howard vs Burrell?

A. It's like spitting on a fish. Why bother?

CJ - LOL. For the record, I was just having some fun. I didn't mean it to be too serious.

Quick question:

Anyone know whats going on with the outfield grass? Did Monty cheap out on the Grubex applications this year?

Mr.Mack: Then well done, sir. :-)

@wristbands -- Jimmy Buffet concert this weekend.

I don't know why it wasn't asked why there wasn't a similar affect after the Police concert from last year.

>>Anyone know whats going on with the outfield grass? Did Monty cheap out on the Grubex applications this year?<<

Concert the day before, they say. Replacement pieces of turf were placed in the bad spots. Apparently, no green paint was in the stockhouse.

There's always a little less grass to be found after a Jimmy Buffett concert.

Ah yes. Gotch. Friggin Parrotheads.

This brings up an interesting point – if the Phillies don't re-sign Burrell (which I think they should, btw), who do they sign? Looking at the 2009 FA list at Cot's, I've got to say that there's nothing in the OF list that particularly excites me. Given the numbers that Pat has put up over the last year, it's a pretty big hole to fill.

There's always a little less grass to be found after a Jimmy Buffett concert.

Posted by: RSB

Fringe benefits for the clean up crew.

I'm predicting gramps to be heavily into the Ben Gay by the 5th inning tonight. Fortunately, Rollins and Ryno are going to light up the scoreboard, too. Phils 9, Sox 8.

@Mike Cunningham - I don't know why it wasn't asked why there wasn't a similar affect after the Police concert from last year.

It rained pretty good at the beginning of the Buffett show. I'm half-ass guessing that it didn't before/during/after the Police show, and thus the difference.

BTW the concert was awesome. But I still prefer to see baseball at CBP instead of concerts. That's what the E-center (or whatever its called now) is for.

May be out of order on this thread, but what an ugly display of ineptness by Phillies catcher Ruiz and by the battery. 6 steals in 7 attempts including a 6th inning double-steal.

To be fair, Pedro Feliz missed that one tag...Ruiz's throw was right there.

Also, what is a 'hot mess'? Is that a new catchphrase?

There's another certain quality Burrell has that I've very much come to respect. A lot of today's players tend to point fingers when their own play is in the gutter. Pat's had many months where his play his awful and it seems to me he just takes the blame and works his way through it.

Two years ago, I never thought I'd say this: The Phillies are definitely a better team because of him.

Will you please stop mentioning Ed Wade. He's a fucking IDIOT!

Pat Burrell seems to be playing for a contract year, and just extended it a bit because he thought he might be traded.

I'd give good odds that, once he signs another 80 million dollar deal, he'll go back to sucking for five years.

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