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Friday, July 25, 2008


I don't see how a Rollins benching makes Jenkins or Ruiz a bad hitter. Were they any good before that?

You're missing the point. The point is performance, motivation, winning has not improved since the first benching.

With the quiet discussion on Roy Halladay that may or may not be occuring, and the likelyhood that if he is dealt it would be during the winter, is there any possibility the phillies broach a potential Halladay deal built around Rollins or Howard?

"But if playing the game right, performance and winning were the desired effect from that first J-Roll benching, it hasn’t happened for Manuel’s second-place club."

I think the desired effect was playing the game the right way. However, you don't always succeed even when you do. So hopefully Rollins will hustle more and get to the park on time, but he can still do those things and not succeed. That doesn't mean a benching wasn't the right call.

I thought we were banning "J-Roll" as a nickname? Motion for said action?

Johnny Estrada DFA'd. Will the Phils inquire? Should they?

Estrada: Didn't realized he had a bum elbow..nevermind.

I pray this benching fires him up in a good way and just doesn't add to his malaise. Additionally, can he please take a pitch or two?

From MLBTR: "The Astros are unlikely to flip Randy Wolf before the deadline, partially due to lack of interest."

I can just imagine Wade thinking "I'll get Wolf a week before the deadline and when his value increases at the deadline I'll flip him!!"

Based on various rumblings (since spring training until present) from/about Victorino, Rollins, Myers, Hamels, and Eaton I'm starting to believe this is a clubhouse in strife.

In past seasons I've always called for the firing of Charlie Manuel. I've backed off that this season, but whether it's his fault or not I'm beginning to think Uncle Chuck's charm has worn off and it's time for a change. I'm not blaming him, I'm just saying...

Shades of Richie Allen! Maybe it's time to see what Rollins will bring on the pre-August 1 trade market?

I'm not convinced they are related. I'm sorry to add this to the conversation, but maybe this is simply a case of a team falling back to earth. Does the team have it in them to make another 2nd half rally? I honestly don't know, but if we are counting on the Mets to tank again, we might be setting ourselves up for disappointment.

P.S. I remember reading a couple months ago on this board how some people were saying that the Mets were afraid of us. I thought it was funny then and hilarious now.

Take most factory workers who are earning minimum wage and they would gladly accept the same pay to play major league baseball instead of working at their tedious jobs. If nothing else, players being paid millions should be able to figure out how to get to a game on time. Charley Manuel, a reputed "players manager," was not wrong to bench Rollins. In fact, he should have done it more often this year. If you haven't noticed, Rollins is not the same player who won the MVP last year. He is playing uninspired ball and is not providing the leadership the Phils need. There may be a reason for this - medical, psychological, social, etc. When someone figures the reason out and provides Rollins a remedy, the Phils will be a much better team.

The lack of concern from Phils fans is astounding. People around the phlogsphere say it's not time to panic. Are you kidding me? Don't fool yourself into thinking the Phils are fine. This horrible brand of baseball they've been playing has been going on for over a month. That's not a slump, that's a habit.

I'm not convinced they are related. I'm sorry to add this to the conversation, but maybe this is simply a case of a team falling back to earth. Does the team have it in them to make another 2nd half rally? I honestly don't know, but if we are counting on the Mets to tank again, we might be setting ourselves up for disappointment.

P.S. I remember reading a couple months ago on this board how some people were saying that the Mets were afraid of us. I thought it was funny then and hilarious now.

Who does Ed Wade think he is, Armando Montelongo?

Hey Jason I saw you got some pub in the "Best of" in Philly magazine. Congrats, well deserved.

As to the offense, they've played some really good pitching teams in June and July. Boston, Anaheim, NY MetsX2, Oakland, Arizona, and had Texas on the tail end of a west coast roadtrip. I think yesterdays game put an end to the toughest part of the schedule. They have 2 series vs Wash, Pitt, and Atlanta coming up. They should start hitting once they start playing these teams. I really believe it's not as bad as it looks.

I think the Phillies bad stretch is more a combination of dumb luck, regression to the mean and quality of opposition.

However, a change of managers might help, if just to change the subject. Seems to have helped the Mets out lately.

Carson: I agree 100 percent with your most recent post.

Urgency. All I want is a team that plays with urgency.

I hate that I have to defend being a fan of this current club, a club synonymous with words like "listless" and "laid back."

Somebody suggested a trade of Rollins a few days back and they were laughed at on this board. I though at the time it was a little ridiculous too. Right now I am not so sure. This club needs a shakeup in the worst way. The only people who should not be considered in this are Utley, Hammels and Lidge. In my opinion everybody else is on the table.

Anyone who has ever played baseball past high school should realize that a player never forgets how to hit, or pitch, or field, or run, or hustle. So, then, why does it appear that so many of the Phils have forgotten how to do the things that got them to the majors - and all at the same time? The truth of the matter is that the Phils currently lack player leadership and the entire team currently lacks chemistry. The current roster is lacking a player catalyst to get the chemical reactions that win ball games started. Management needs to carefully look at catalysts currently available either in their minor league system or on the trade block and quickly restore chemical balance to the Phils.

Sophist- I just saw your post on the last thread for Rollins. Allow me to reply.

Your sample size is pretty selective. If instead of taking Rollins average OPS+ from 06-07, you simply place his distinct season OPS+ numbers into it then he has ONE season which is not dead last on the list you provided.

What are you trying to prove? That Rollins is not the worst SS in MLB? I conceded that, I never said he was. I just said he is a league average hitter and is performing as such. Do you really disagree with that statement?

>>The only people who should not be considered in this are Utley, Hammels and Lidge. In my opinion everybody else is on the table.<<

I'd add So Taguchi to that exclusive list, too.

Don- That was me. I also said that the Mets starting pitching was borderline dominant. I was laughed off the board for that too.

We need pitching.

I think it's fair to say Manuel is starting to lose control. Based on comments made recently, it's clear some of the players don't respect him -- or each other.

In the past Manuel's lackadaisical style has been credited with "keeping the players loose" and helping them make their second half surge. It seems like this year that style has allowed them to wallow in a worsening slump and there doesn't seem to a be a player (ie Rowand) who can step into the role of team catalyst. Even Marlon Anderson has seemed to play this role on the Mets, so it doesn't have to be a "star".

I agree that the schedule is getting easier, so these trouble might seem to be behind us in a week, but its really too bad that a team that has shown so much heart over the past few years is showing so little now.

I've taken advantage of the plasticity of the medium this morning and have been expanding the header with some points. I want to make sure I'm not misunderstood.

I'm against trading Rollins. And I think some are overreacting a bit. We're 1 game out for pete's sake. Rollins, Utley, and Howard will turn it around. Just when you think it can't get any worse they'll start to hit. Baseball is a weird sport, pretty much every team goes through these stretches.

Well said, but I think that the catalyst is, ultimately, the manager. Guillen, Scioscia, Piniella--they're not sitting around waiting for the players to motivate themselves. Or are they waiting for "hittin' season."

"I want to make sure I'm not understood."

Fair enough :)

The alternative to benching Rollins is letting him get away with it. I don't see how that works.

Part of the Phils current chemical imbalance is their lineup. Plain and simple, the Phils need a leadoff man who can get things started and keep things going. Hitting and scoring runs is infectious but someone has to get the first hit and score the first run for things to start happening. I have always liked Jimmy Rollins as a player but he is not getting the job done as a leadoff man and he has obviously become frustrated at his inability to start games off with triples like he did last season. This may be puting too much pressure on him and hurting his game. Victorino and Werth should be leading things off for the Phils until Rollins comes around. Rollins should be hitting 6th or 7th. Pitchers have much better games when they are pitching with run support and the Phils are not giving pitchers run support with the current offensive alignment.

Speaking of beat writers' opinions, here's Zolecki's:

I've heard from people that maybe this means Manuel is losing the clubhouse. That couldn't be further from the truth.

misunderstood, dang me.

PhillR, I am a patient man, I have been a fan since 1974. I try not to over react at times like this because I have seen it all with the Phils. I know there are a lot of people on this board who are smarter than I am about baseball. However, anyone who dosen't think this team is lost right now is crazy. Something big needs to happen. You say pitching and your right, but I think a postion player shakeup is maybe just as important at this point. This lineup is beat as currently assembled.

Another frustrating aspect of the Mets series is that Charlie finally seems to have figured out that it helps to break up Utley and Howard with Burrell, but they way he works that lineup won't get much of a chance if they continue to struggle in the few games they've played with that lineup.

He'll go back to the old lineup that's been struggling for a month.

When Manuel was ejected a few days ago against the Mets and Williams took over, some good things happened. Dobbs pinch hit for a struggling Feliz and got a big hit. Taguchi got a chance to make a difference and he did. Burrell stayed in the game. I'm not advocating a managerial swap but Williams did something that managers are supposed to do - manage. At times, it seems like Manuel doesn't want to hurt the feelings of his players and pinch hit for them just because they've struck out 3 times in a game and the bags are loaded. It seems like he doesn't want to shuffle a lineup because it might upset someone. The results have been more losses than the Phils should have experienced at this stage of the season. The Phils need to start realizing that they are professionals and should be expected to perform as such.

Look phans~

There's not a whole lots of positives for the team right now. And you could point to many different things as causes/reasons. But one thing is certain in my mind, we miss Rowand's leadership in that clubhouse.

We all are in agreemnet that pitching and other things are needed and needed right now. I believe Gillick is trying but I think everyone is asking for a king's ransom in return. I get to watch games on the slingbox and I gotta tell you, I've been sick of this team since inter-league play started. They've been terrible and I look at things as one big missed opportunity. They had a chance to run away and hide from the rest of the division and didn't.

Now I don't have crystal ball so I can't say that they will rebound and put it together. They could, or they could fall flat. 50-50 that either thing happens. Players are not playing nor acting like they should and management isn't doing much to help the product on the field.

Now tonight I'm going to the yard here in Richmond and watching the Iron Pigs play the Braves. So I'll get even more ill. Looking at the teams' roster, they have absolutely no one ready to help the big team. Thoughts anyone?

Not to worry much, though, on J-Roll. When he departs after the 2011 season, we got Fred E. Galvis right on schedule to take over the position.

I don't begrudge anyone for wanting to push the panic button on the Phillies season, but even those that want to have to agree that some of the overreacting is ridiculous.

The Phillies right now are 54-48. Do you know what they were this time last year? 51-48. They are not that much different nor off their pace from last year. Yes the make-up of the team has changed. But the guys who are still here have something they didn't have last year or '06, or '05. They know what it takes to get into the playoffs. They have that intangible that they didn't have before.

So while yes I'm worried about the team, and they aren't relishing a 6 game lead like they were a few weeks ago, I have faith becasue they've been here before and gotten over the hump.

Also, as good as the Mets have been of late I don't expect them to keep that up. As bad as the Phillies have been, I don't expect them to keep it up.

So while I understand the feeling to start pushing the button, I won't fall in line with that way of thought.

Man did you guys see my sweet fist pump after we beat the Phillies for the 9th time this season? Don't worry about your rotation it will be fine. You have that ace Brett Myers lol.

In other, more positive news, Greg Golson has walked 7 times in the last 5 games!

This is why you should ALWAYS trade guys like Rollins after a season like 07.

Players generally peak at 28 or 29 and then plateau before starting to decline at 31. Rollins had six remarkably consistent seasons that did not resemble 07 at all. He then has an anomaly of a season in 08 and we expect this to become the norm? That is just not sane.

More often then not he has been a below league average hitter, and he plays at CBP! The MVP was a gift from god to this team. Rollins could have netted some seriously awesome talent and probably still could if the FO would wake the hell up.

hey PhillR, just to clear this up, do you think that the Phillies should have traded Rollins last offseason? I am confused as to your opinion on the issue.

If J Roll missed the 2nd team bus by 10 minutes (he claims), that means the players on that bus could not have been much earlier than the J.
In these dire times, this team should all be at the ball park plenty early for extra BP and infield practice.

Mr Roll picked the wrong time of year to let Phillies Phans hear he was late for a game. Hope he has thick skin.

Listen, this team's synchronicities are out of whack right now. Since I am conscious of the human vibrational energy, I will alter the season if people start buying my book, "If They Only Knew." If you can get me to number 1 on the Bestseller List, the World Series is a lock.

Or, if people start believing me when I say I have actually skipped through time, I will do the same.

Trade Rollins? Are you kidding me? I agree he has had a bad year, but you have to give him a chance to really come through in August and September.

Reminder last year at this time, we were behind by more games and the mets actually were playing better than they are not until they started to fade in August.

When Utley and Burrell were on fire at the beginning of the season, it was enough to carry this team. I think Rollins could continue at around his current level of production and this team would be okay if Chase got hot again. But he is a big mystery right now. Rollins is having an off year due to injury and then the frustration at his inability (partly due to injury) to match last year's numbers--that makes sense. Chase, on the other hand, looks like he's got Lyme disease or mono or something.

PhillR - You are right that Rollins' looks different if you take his play over the entire span of the past few seasons as opposed to taking it year by year. Here's by point, though: Yes, if the entire league is your sample Rollins is a league average hitter (~100 OPS+), but when your talking about SS 100 OPS+ isn't league average. It's guys like Furcal and Rollins who are borderline/sometimes AS.

For the opposite effect, look at 1B. Rich Aurilia is ~100 OPS+, a league average hitter. Only he's well below average at his position. Ryan Howard ranks among 1B as high as Rollins does among SS. Is Howard league average at his position? No.

OPS+ isn't adjusted relative to your replacement, as VORP is, and it adjusts for park, unlike OPS. Rollins OPS+ standing takes a hit relative to his OPS standing. There's only 1 SS, IIRC, with a higher OPS since 2006, but there are 4 with higher OPS+.

My point was that Rollins is among the top 5 SS in MLB offensively since 2006. When you throw in his defense and base-stealing he is far from easily replaced. The list of replacements is short and expensive.

Chase had too-many-homers-early-in-season disease...or he is hurt.

I feel like the more spotlight on Chase, the less productive he is. He does have an ad for a energy bar in this week's SI, though.

Lots of sensible, level-headed posts this morning. I dunno though. The team has looked awfully bad.

We get to go home to play an Atlanta team that as of now can beat consistantly this year, so this series in my opinion will tell alot about this team. Also, will provide us with a springboard if we can sweep heading into a short road trip against Washington and St. Louis.

I really hope Chase figures it out soon. This year has been the streakiest I've seen him play, continuously trending downward.

I have done a 180 on The Gut since the middle of last season when I wanted him out as the manager. He seemed to have the team rally behind his hillbilly charm, allowing the boys to keep it loose on the bench and in the clubhouse. He let them police themselves and it seemed to work well for all involved. We all knew that his lack of strategy during games was questionable at best, if not downright awful. He won a few early games this year with outright luck, and he referred to them as having a gut feeling, hence his BL nickname.

In his defense, the FO has left him with a much weaker, one-dimensional bench to work with this season. They fixed the BP but broke the bench. Poor Cholly has yet to field the team he might prefer if he had any clout with the FO, which I guess is why the Pinella-types never get to manage here. I love the guy's Uncle Cholly babblings, as I have grown accustomed to his post game ramblings. I even understand him now without the aid of an interpreter or closed captioning. However if Cholly has lost his clubhouse charm as well as his player's confidence, he is as useful a screen door on a submarine.

Maybe the streaks of Rollins and Utley show you why they used to move good offensive players away from the middle infield positions.

Impossible, but fun to imagine.........Ship Rolins, Myers & Eaton to the Iron Pigs in return for Happ. Turn thr team name to the Super Egos. Buy out their contracts by makeing them the team owners .Let them earn their true value rather than be limited to the paltry alaries the Phillies can pay. MVP, Rock Star & Clueless should thrive and Pat Burrell money would be available for a contract extension.

Sophist- I admit that Rollins is one of the better SS out there, but a run from your SS doesn't count for extra.

If you can turn a 100OPS+ SS into a 120OPS corner outfielder and a pitching prospect, the team will be better for it even if you just put a 90 or so OPS+ defensive guy into SS.

MVP. They could have gotten 3-4 major league ready guys.

The worst part about backing into the playoffs last year for our brief appearance was it led to Montgomery's giddy rehiring of Charlie and the staff. It was the worst thing that could happen. I just can't believe we will get a whiff of the playoffs again with this manager and coaching staff. They need someone to take them to the next level, right now they are underachieving in every area.

I don't know why we're all still talking about trading Rollins. It ain't gonna happen so why waste the typing. They'll fire Charlie first.

I do not think the manager or coaches are to blame this year. Last year and the year before we could go to at least 8 games where the coaching directly lead to a loss.

This year however, I do not see that through the first 100 games. Maybe 2 wins that have cost us due to being outcoached. I really believe that once these guys start hitting and hopefully we get a few guys by the trading deadline( If it were a perfect world would be Roy Holliday, Fuentes and Casey Blake) then we will be fine.

The manager thing is overrated. Case in point: Willy Randolph. Well, a few years ago, the Mets are in the NLCS. He's a genius. Last year, the Mets collapsed and it was all his fault. Huh? Doesn't make any sense. He was the same manager the whole time. A manager is only as good as the players on his roster.

When Terry Francona was in Philly, he was vilified. Red Sox fans want to cannonize him. Do you really think he's all that different of a manager now?

PhillR: Yeah, and if we had traded Howard after HIS MVP season (when his value was at its peak), then think of all the sweet prospects we'd have! We probably could have Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy, Jose Tabata and Robinson Cano(Utley finally goes to first, fulfilling everyone's dream!), and Rollins to the Reds for Joey Votto and Homer Bailey!!! We'd be looking at cracking the top ten in the National League! And we'd no longer bother posting at Beerleaguer, bc we'd be too busy laying out at the beach in delirious ecstasy over how great the future is gonna be!

First 65: 39-26, 5.29 R/G, .795 OPS
Last 37: 15-22, 4.32 R/G, .734 OPS

They have looked awful. Check out the teams from that 37 game stretch though. FL, STL, BOS, LAA, OAK, TEX, ATL, NYM, STL, ARI, FL, NYM. And 16 of those 37 games were decided by 2 runs or less. The Phils won 5 of those games. They were sweeped once (by LAA) and sweeped ATL.

PhillR - That seems like a fair point.

Whats is sensible and level headed about getting your garden hose(Blanton)out when your house is burning down. Give me a break!

JW - I don't if I agree with you in calling Cholly's approach in dealing with JRoll as a "stickler." While Cholly has benched JRoll twice, he has been very careful not to criticize him in public at all. Basically handling their business behind closed-doors.

Plus, you also have to see it from Cholly's point of view. There have been at least several occasions this year where JRoll's lack of hustle in games has been obviously noticeable and cited here on Beerleaguer. JRoll might not be 100% but a lack of hustle on plays is one of the few cardinal sins in baseball. Especially from a supposed team leader. You also have the comments from JRoll that have come out a few times this year that convey a sense that this team can it on whenever they please.

Basically, I think Cholly is much more frustrated with JRoll's actions on the field and his attitude off of it. When you get down to it, JRoll hasn't displayed at all what you expect from a supposed team leader. Cholly's only real recourse has been to bench him but this apparently hasn't worked either. Just look at JRoll's comments yesterday. Zero understanding or leadership there.

One last point - people seem to forget that earlier in his career JRoll would do plenty of dumb stuff on the field that would drive Bowa nuts. Fail to drive the runner over, not take pitches or a walk when needed, and not hit the ball on the ground enough. You have to wonder if JRoll's frustration with his contract and the MVP award last year went to his head a bit this year.

Rollins for Lincecum.

BB, in a second

Sophist, during that period was when they stumbled through interleague play I believe they went 3-9 or something horrible like that when we were flying from CA to TX then to ATL and all over the place.

Also, this team has a proven record in the beginning on seasons and after breaks to stumble until they get their grove back. We are 2-4 since the All Star Break but unbelievably we are 10-9 in July, which is OVER .500.

doulbeh - Your dead wrong on Francona. He was a horrible manager in Philly and Francona has publicly acknwoledged on several occasions that he learned a lot from his experience in Philly about managing (i.e., he has a weak team but he was also a very crappy manager).

Still stand by it, by Francona's tenure as the Phils' manager was the worst job of managing by any guy in the dugout in the past 20 years.

MG: I think Schilling was managing that team most of the time*

*when he was still a member of it, of course.

MG: Well, that may be so, but he didn't really have much of a team to cover his a** here, either, did he? How much could he have improved in that time?

I think this entire team let last year and all the MVP talk and early success get to their heads--not just Rollins. "There's still time," etc.--exact same crap David Wright said last year up until the bitter end.

Who will be the one to slap some sense into them? They aren't listening to Manuel. Moyer's a pitcher. Utley doesn't talk. Howard isn't interested. Who will it be?

Joe Torre went from dope to genius when he got to the Yankees too.

Bring back Mauch.

I'm confused. Don't you get a watch when you win the MVP? Was he not wearing it?

Hey Jimmy, wear your watch!

Last year was our "lightning in the bottle" year for this decade (we get one per decade). Buckle up for about 7 years of 4th & 5th place finishes. Management doesn't care--just given em' dollar dog nites and t-shirts and the fans will keep coming

The question is this now:

- Is this team capable of making the playoffs (which means clinching the NL East) as currently constructed?

My answer is yes just because I don't think any team in the NL East is good enough right now to win more than 90 games. Phils' fan who are asking like this team won finish .500 are as ridiculous as the Mets' fan who think there team is suddenly good enough to win more than 90 games.

MG- I actually think both teams are good enough to win more then 90 games. In fact the Phills would be a lock for it if they could manaage to just go .500 against the Mets.

i've been saying this since the beginning of the season (albeit not on beerleaguer): the missing piece is aaron rowand. this offseason we underestimated his production, but most of all his toughness, energy, and leadership. he was the gut and grits of that team. he solidified the 6-hole. he played with intensity every play. he always drove forward.

now, was he asking for too much in the off season? maybe. but, would you not pay anything to have rowand back now?

Marc H - "Management doesn't care--just given em' dollar dog nites and t-shirts and the fans will keep coming."

You forgot about the Bobbleheads! You can't forget the bobbleheads...

If this team had some real gusto though, they would seriously considering moving JRoll and trying to unload some basic contracts at the same time.

Right now, this has potentially has over near $35 million in suspect contracts next year with Feliz, Jenkins, Eaton, and Myers. Basically going to cripple the new GM this offseason and prevent him from bringing any kind of impact talent or even resigning a guy like Burrell.

If Gillick leaves this team in its current shape and they don't make the playoffs, Gillick has largely been a failure here.

I have been saying it for 2 years and I stil l think that Gillick has largely stolen money during his tenure here. More a figurehead to bring in some legitmacy after the massive discontent with Ed Wade.

Mr. Mack---I have to alter my delivery to keep em' guessing

No, we would be bitching about Rowand lack of discipline at the plate and looking forward to what, five more years of decline. For the price, it was absolutely the correct decision.

MG: Rollins is signed at at least 5 million below market rate yearly for the next 3 years. We'd constantly be trying to fill that hole, and probably taking on worse contracts, if we let him go.

Brian- Defensive SS are cheap and we would not be loosing much if any offense.

MG is right, we could probably package Rollins with Eaton add some serious pop to our OF and depth to our system.

While I agree that management is not doing all they can saying things like Marc H. says I just don't agree with. (And Marc you might be kidding so don't take offense. I'm speaking to a general attitude I've heard over the past few weeks).

Management has changed this team in the past 5 years. The Phillies have been in contention for the first extended run of my lifetime (I'm 27). More often than not they've broken my heart but I like the fact that I get to watch meaningful baseball in September as opposed to the Steve Jeltzs and Carlton Loewers of the world prentending to be ballplayers.

As much as I hate the guy- Ed Wade changed that thought process when he signed Jim Thome. Prior to that we were signing the Danny Tartabull's of the world. Thome came in and instantly made the Phillies a threat which is what they still are as they've cycled in Utley, Howard, Victorino. Traded for Lidge, etc.

I wish management would do more to bump us over the hump like everyone else- but they've created a team that there is at least excitement around. I love this site and all the work Jason does, but a main reason it gets the hits it does is this team is good. We've complained ad naseum for the past 48 hours because we know this is a better team than they've been the past few weeks. I almost guarantee that if Robert Person was still our "ace" there would be the same thing on here that there was then- apathy.

For better or worse management has created a team that is the equivalent of spinning a coin on a table. It spins and teeters on its edge threatening to fall one way or the other. Before no one bothered to even pick up the coin.

Sorry for the rant there:

Now this season. I know everyone is focused on the Mets but the Marlins worry me much more right now. They are a young team that is gaining confidence by the day. They've won a bunch of games by coming from behind. They have a bullpen that isn't great, but have an offense that can get you into a slugfest. Sounds awful familiar to the 07 Phillies.


No the team as it's currently constructed does not appear to be capable of winning the east. But it also doesn't appear that Gillick is gonna be able to bring in what is necessary to put the team over the hump. But as I've astared before, it's not for his lack of trying. Teams want too much for what they're willing to give up. That being the case, I don't think they're are any bargin basement saviors out there. Also, as I've prevously stated, this team had a chance....

Now that chance is gone. It's just not feasible to bring in players that we can't sign to extensions while trading the top players in the pharm system. So what's Gillick to do?

PhilR - Both teams win more than 90 games? Are you kidding me? Have you watched both of these teams and the numerous flaws they have? If either of these teams wins even 90 games, they will take the NL East but there is no shot that 2 teams in the NL East win more than 90 games this year.

Still think the Phils will finish around the 85-88 win mark (predicted 87 games in the preseason). Question is will it be better than the Mets and possibly the Marlins.

MG- I don't think both teams WILL win over 90, I just think both are capable of it.

MG - I concur on your Gillick appraisal.

- As for trading JRoll. No, no and no!! Here is a Phillies problem that has to be fixed. They trade away one strength and weaken another. This is the finger in the dike syndrome that constantly breaks down whatever it is that they are trying to fix in the first place.

- Some of my posts have been misunderstood. Not about hating the front office, I do, but how they do business. They sign crappy players for longer than they want to because of their self imposed salary cap and are then saddled with them for longer than they want them. Instead of cutting them loose, moving on and showing a commitment to winning, they allow them to hang around for far too long and bring in inferior players as short term solutions as we watch the opportunity for a championship wither away one bad decision after another.

- The SS is having some issues with the manager. They should be able to work it out. Cholly expects more from JRoll who annointed himself the team leader and instead of owning up, he acts like baseball's version of A.I. He should show his leadership by doing things that leaders do, not by asking for preferential treatment because of his new found success. Maybe we need Pat Croce to come in here and play moderator for these guys. Has anyone else noticed the loud silence about this from the FO? You won't. Bad PR. Another thing I hate about the FO. The old, 'If we ignore it, it might go away' approach.(Reference the Myers vs wife incident)

Charlie disagrees. He does not think the problem with this team is "wanting it", rather he believes that IT (the team? Howard? Not sure really) is not HUNGRY enough:

''Something's not in tune,'' manager Charlie Manuel said. ''We have to pick it up. I don't know if it's hungry enough.

This explanation does make a bit more sense. The Phills stay at the Parker Meridian on 57th in NYC which has one of THE BEST breakfasts in the country. Last time I was there I had a savory brioche french toast smothered in Foie Grois. I can imagine it being hard to rouse oneself from napping for warmups at 11am after that.

Each team would have to go about 35-25 to win 90. Phils obviously started 39-26, so they're capable of such a run.

Mets haven't had a stretch like that yet since last spring, though they seem to be in the middle of a good 60 game run. Even with their success of late, though, and their 10 game streak, they're 33-28 in the last 61 games.

"Last time I was there I had a savory brioche french toast smothered in Foie Grois"

Seriously, get pancakes and bacon next time. This is Beerleaguer, not Wimbledon chat.

Dave X - That is such a weak and empty excuse. Gillick has been the GM here for 3 years (including 3 offseasons) and for all intents and purposes this is his team. He no longer has the ghost of Ed Wade to blame anymore.

Way I see it, Gillick has had far more misses than hits so far during his tenure here including a pretty poor record on his bigger moves during this tenure so far. Arguably the only "big move" he has made during his entire tenure so far that could be described as a huge success was Lidge and you have to see how that turns out over the next few years.

If the Phils fail to make the playoffs this year, his tenure will have to be considered a big failure here.

I want to debate Gillick AFTER the deadline, unless, he's trashed now, then makes a Blockbuster deal at the deadline, which would show the reverse jinx works.

Bedroisan if you are at a place this on an expense account, what would you do? Beer and burgers are great. Love em. This place also has GREAT burgers. However what do you think Rollins was getting for room service?

Cheese Steak and a Bud Light? I dont think so.

PhillR: I don't know what I keep arguing with this bc it's been pointed out a million times why you're wrong, but "Brian- Defensive SS are cheap and we would not be loosing much if any offense."
I believe it was Sophist who said.. positional scarcity. We'd be losing a bunch of offense. Defensive SS are easy to find bc they hurt you offensively. Defensive SS that are also above average offensively (like Rollins) are incredibly valuable commodities.
But please, let me know more specifically this brilliant trade idea of yours that will upgrade the team overall, other than Rollins and Eaton for super awesome power hitting outfielder and great pitching prospect.

I hate Hawaiian Punch Pat. He came in here as a ploy by the FO to give the appearance to the fans that the Phillies were getting a winner with a proven track record in Gillick. In spite of his obstacles from the FO, he has done a less than average job here.

The reasons IMO, could be either of the three:

#1 - The front office tied his hands with their self imposed salary cap and made him take the fall for their cheap and stingy ways.

#2 - He just wanted to chill out somewhere while staying connected to baseball until the Mariners job was available, and these morons could care less, as long as a "proven winner" was brought in to heal up the bad PR left by Ed Wade.

#3 - He just isn't that good and he stole money from them while babysitting AmaroBuckle, covorting between here and his digs in FLA or wherever the hell it is that he lives.

God this is miserable. It's so hard not to get pessimistic at this point. The reality is that, of course, we can still win this division. I would still give us about a 50-50 chance. And no I don't think the Phillies can magically turn it all around. I just think the competition isn't that good. All three of the contenders in the division are deeply flawed. So flawed in fact that I suppose the Braves with all their injuries aren't even out of it yet. A lot of posters here have serious math skills. The phrase regression or reversion to the mean is used a lot and I think rightly so. The entire pitching staff, IMO, is a case in point. Our best in the majors bullpen is made up largely of journeymen. Did anyone really think this bullpen could continue to excell. I think this could have been predicted. Even Lidge might qualify as regressing to the mean. He is back to striking out 1.5 batters an inning. He was once dominant and has reverted to that. God is he fun to watch. Which brings us to our MVP shortstop. He's always been a good player but last year was insane. It should surprise no one that he hasn't been able to duplicate that performance. But man, I certainly didn't see this coming. Even more disappointing than his performance is, of course, his behavior. Totally unacceptable. Only those inside can know how deep the divide in the clubhouse has become. If it is terrible, then maybe he should be dealt. Though I believe only as a last resort. If Jimmy is a quality guy as he has appeared through most of his career, he will take his medicine and get back to being a leader. If not then he'll go the other way and quickly. That would be disastrous.

Mack, I think you have to wait until the trading deadline passes before we fully deciede what Gillick's "Legacy" if you want to call it that will be when he leaves after this year. With that said, if no moves are made besides Blanton then I would have to go with your option 1 as being the reason. I am sure the owners are barking about the salary and tie his hands in most cases, hopefully since they are so close they will be smart and responsible yet still make a winner here.

Also, I have read from Seth Everett and Ken Rosenthal that the Mariners GM Job will NOT go to Gillick.

They're talking Gillick as President of the M's, I think, not GM.

Not saying the Phils should automatically trade JRoll. That would be nuts. If you look though at assets though they have to trade that would get them something potentially very decent in return (including a frontline starter), JRoll might be that player. Still at an age and has a reasonable contract.

Do I have faith the Phils will make a savvy deal given their horrendous track record? No, but I am just saying since it is shaping up that this club is going to be facing a tough offseason this year (how convenient for the next guy to take over the GM role).

Tell you right now but the toughest job in Philly over the next 2-3 years is arguably going to be the Phils' GM. Faces a ton of questions and issues that his successor with leave without a ton of promising options. Going to take some very savvy, tough decisions and a bit of luck for the Phils to remain a prime contender in the East.

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EST. 2005

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