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Tuesday, July 15, 2008



If Utley gets booed again tonight, I think he should moon 'em.

Billy Wags is gonna blow this game for the NL. I just know it.

I wonder how many BLers will watch the all star game? I haven't watched since I was wearing pajamas with feet in them. I think it's just dreadful. And the funny thing is it has to be the best of the 4 sports. I just don't get it. When the Phillies are under-represented I'm happy. Give the boys 3 days off. I suppose I'm in the minority though.

I think it's a foregone conclusion that Utley gets booed tonight after what happened last night. But I'm fairly certain you can put it in the books that he gets a massive ovation his first at-bat back at the bank after the AS break.

Continuation conversation from last thread:

Bedard: I really wonder why Bedard is belittled so much here. If it is the hip problem, I understand. If it is not the hip problem then it is ridiculous. It seems that many on here have forgotten that Bedard was the leading candidate for the AL Cy Young when he was injured last season. When he was injured with almost a full month left to go in the season, he had 221 strikeouts (Not a misprint) in 182 IP (Also not a misprint). Bedard is capable of being the best pitcher in Major League Baseball. I was infatuated with the idea of getting him in the offseason, however I'm not so high on the idea now. The only reason for that is the fact that he has lingering hip injury problems. If I think that this team has a chance to win this season, then I want a guy that at least has the chance to be reliable for the rest of the season. I just don't see Bedard as that guy. If the Phillies were bailing on this season and trying to upgrade in pitching, then I would be as ecstatic about the possibility of getting Bedard as I was in the offseason. That, however is not the case right now.

Burnett: The doubting of Burnett is also highly questionable. Every argument that says that Burnett may not work out/there is a high risk, has merit and the odds say that they are right. However, this is a situation where you have to have the mindset of a gambler, and the stomach to accept failure. Burnett has a chance to be a guy that could completely shut down any of the biggest playoff competitors. Those odds go up considerably higher when you consider that in all likelihood, all that will be required is a one time shut down in the playoffs. In baseball, as at the poker table, you win big by taking big risk. If all your risks are marginal, you protect yourself from catastrophe, but assure yourself of only marginal gains. The ultimate question is where do you want the Phillies to be at the and of the season? Potential WS Champions, or respectable also-rans?

BTW: If Bedard were not injured, I would trade Carrasco and Marson for him. There is probably no way that the Mariners would accept that alone, but I would include them for a "healthy" Bedard. Then again, the Mariners wouldn't be considering trading him if he were not injured, so it is a moot point.

Parker, I think Burnett is a better deal as well. Burnett is more likely to give you 10-15 starts in the second half.

Bedard, of course, has more upside as you said.

Parker: I agree with your assessment of both Bedard and Burnett. When healthy you have to take either in a heartbeat. I have always been in love with Burnett's arm and those numbers you sight on Bedard are eye popping. This is certainly the time to be bold. Burnett could end up being just a short term rental but I recall PG saying that was something he would actually welcome. The idea being they don't want to saddle themselves with a big salary for the next season or two (how typical, but possibly a strategy to insure enough flexibility to re-sign Pat Burrell). Bedard would be the opposite, but if you can get a number two for the stretch and well beyond, you've got to do it. Now. But still the injury/durability questions loom on both. These are exactly the types of risks that this management does not take. I think either would clearly be worth the gamble. I doubt the FO agrees. I expect some kind of Lohsian acquisition soon. Yawn.

Some interesting stuff on the Baseball Musings website with regard to the AL/NL lineups.

NL is tipped to score 7.67 runs. AL is tipped to score 6.63 runs.

But, if you flip Burrell, McCann, and Ludwick for Fukodome, Soto, and Braun, the line jumps to 7.996 runs per game.

And if you substitute Uggla for Utley, along with the aforementioned swaps, the lineup moves to 8.002. So there you have it: Dan Uggla: .006 better than Utley.

This year, Uggla certainly has a higher OPS+ so far. I'm guessing that's what the Musings' post is based. But Since 2005 Utley had OPS+ of 132, 125, 145, and 144 (this year's.) While Uggla, who didn't play til 06, has 112, 108, and 157 (this year.)

I think by most standards, Utley has a better resume. He's only a year older as well. Uggla is having a great 81 games so far though.

I don't really get a charge out of the all star game... the last one I really liked was the one where it ended in a tie. And a lot of that was because I liked being mad that it ended in a tie. I work until 9... I may or may not turn the game on afterward. That said, I really, really want the NL to finally freakin' win one of these.

Tim Lincecum was taken to the hospital with dehydration and flu-like symptoms.

The 24-year-old will miss his first All-Star game: he'll remain at the hospital throughout the game and be monitored and hydrated. He's not scheduled to pitch until Sunday at the earliest, so this may not prevent him from making his next start.

Your telling me they can't get Cole up there by game time?

pb: That'd be awesome, but since Cole pitched Sunday, I'm not sure we'd want to see him on the mound tonight!!

Dehydration, eh? That's usually code for "hangover".

Seriously, this stinks. I like Lincecum, and was looking forward to seeing him pitch tonight and now the NL is down a player. Darn.

FWIW, on ESPN they said that Lincecum wasn't going to be available to pitch anyway because he pitched Sunday.

Sophist, I don't think anyone would actually argue that Uggla is better than Utley.

A lot of people dump on the All-Star game for various reasons. I agree with most of those opinions. One thing that I think is incorrect, is the idea that these guys don't try in the All-Star game. I can see certain players dogging it, but not Utley or players of his ilk. I could honestly see Utley bowling down a catcher (a la Charlie Hustle). I recall a couple of years ago (maybe it was last season) when Brad Penny started for the NL. He was hitting 100 MPH on the radar gun in the first inning. I also thought that Aaron Rowand looked extremely intense last season when he got the pinch hit opportunity with the bases loaded.

If nothing else, it is the only time where you will see that much talent on a baseball field at one time. That doesn't mean that all the best players are there, but most of them.

I also don't get all the dumping on the HR Derby. I know that it is just a showcase of something that MLB players should be able to do in any batting practice situation, but it has a certain charm to it. You can't tell me that you weren't swinging for the fences when you were a kid playing baseball. It is one of the things that makes the "game" of baseball great. It is supposed to be all about having fun, right? The pomp and circumstance of outrageous money and promotion, try as they may, cannot rob the event of its most basic charm.

I actually like the AS game. I'm fairly young so maybe my expectations weren't ruined by the great games of yesteryear.

From (Will Carroll):

* Pat Gillick has heard the talk about him moving back to Seattle as team president, but doesn’t seem that interested. As for the conflict of interest in the ongoing Erik Bedard discussions, Gillick has always taken a backseat to Mike Arbuckle when it comes to these and Ruben Amaro has been involved as well with prospect discussions. The deal isn’t going to get serious until Bedard gets back on the mound and proves he’s healthy. For their part, the Mariners seem ready to dump a couple guys, but it’s hardly a fire sale.

* A.J. Burnett’s contract status is holding back trade talks. Unlike pitchers that need to prove their healthy, Burnett’s status for 2009-2010 is acting as a barrier. While most talked about not wanting a player that could opt out, the contract as written is something of a safety net in case he’s injured again. One team demanded a PTNBL be included in the deal on both sides that could be thought of as salary ballast, but the Jays never got close on that.

Potentially meaningless speculation:

I heard an interview with Brad Lidge after the most recent J.A. Happ start. They asked Lidge a question about Happ, and he began his comment with "A.J." Normally I would dismiss this as merely a mixing up of the initials, however it could have been more of a Freudian slip. For one thing, Happ doesn't go by J.A., he prefers that he is called "Jay," not "J.A." I expect that Lidge was aware of this. Second, all of the A.J. Burnett rumors began right about the time that Lidge signed his extension. Perhaps the FO gave him some indication that they were going after Burnett hard, and he had it on his mind.

This speculation is probably ridiculous, but I couldn't help but think that either it was a Freudian slip, or that Lidge had not been in contact with the rookie. It looked pretty bad if it was the latter, but I'd be very happy if it turned out to be the former.

they should get burrell on a helicopter and get him to the stadium so he can hit a walk off homer.

come on hurdle, fill lincecum's roster spot with a MACHINE!

well, it couldnt be a walk off, but game winner.

parker you're finally right, your theory is crazy. Were you watching soap operas all day long?

Uggh.. Joe Buck on the PA. What ever happened to that guy that the Yankees pull out of cryogenic freezing every night? Bob Sheppard?

I don't care that Utley gets booed; it's part of the game. You only boo those you respect as far as I can tell.

I sure hope guys like JD Drew and the Rat don't think I'm booing them out of respect.

I don't think Utley was booed tonight, was he?

It sounded like the Red Sox were booed. It sounded like Wright was booed a bit.

There was a smattering of boos for Utley, but nothing compared to what the Red Sox got. Wright was booed more as well.

I heard some cheers in there for Utley, too, so not all Met fans in attendance.

Real surprised that Lefty was there--he hates this stuff. Maybe age has lightened him up a bit.

The Steinbrenner entrance was a little over the top.

mets fans can't afford clothes or remedial english classes, certainly all star game tix are out of their league.

When is the actual game supposed to start?

Yeah, I'm not so sure that theory holds a lot of water.

I doubt JD Drew tells his friends, "I can't wait to go back to Philadelphia--I'm so respected there!"

What did you expect from Steinbrenner?

It was little mafioso for me. Then again, it's NYC.

the whole thing is over the top for a stadium that was built in the 70's and is an absolute pit.

Been studying all day, came online to see if anyone scored, but noticed it hasn't started yet even though ESPN says start time of 8:00.

So FOX is treating this like the Super Bowl, huh?

I don't think Bob Sheppard (ancient Yankee PA announcer) has been well enough to do any games this year.

Jeter has them play a tape of his intro of him at their games there.

Parker: Lidge probably confused JA Happ with former Braves prospect AJ Zapp:

i live in northern mahattan and go a couple of times a year, sheppard announced the sox game on the 4th and the padres game a few weeks ago.

Chase doesn't do very well in AS Games...

At least he knocked it down with his face, keeping it in the infield.

In Utley's defense, it was hit pretty hard.

I'm sure Cub's fans loved the fact that they just almost lost their AS Catcher to an ankle injury in an exhibition game. What were those bats doing there?

Tough play. A hit.

That was a great strike three from Lee. Not sure if it caught the inside of the plate, but a great pitch nonetheless.

Wow, I don't think I have ever heard the term northern manhattan

these things always take forever to start...its just a joke that they list the tv slot 8-11

did anyone see the intros?? they had a bunch of HOF'ers standing at their old position and then they would bring out the starters...willie mays was the lone player in CF...hamilton came out there lookin to shake willies hand and he was awkwardly looking the other way...probably just by accident, but it was really strange.

chase is off to a great start...

doubleh - Manny was one deck. I would not have been surprised to see a space helmet sitting on the ground.

doubleh - Your comment got me curious as to just who does hit well in the AS game, since my suspicion is that pitching dominates these things.

Richie Asburn has the highest BA in history (.600) among qualified candidates.

Ashburn, eh? That's cool.

I know that good pitching beats good hitting, but you just always want your players to do well and represent.

Come on, Sheets! A one-out walk?

Apparently Shephard's fill in tries to sound like him.

From the NY Times a few days ago:

Bob Sheppard told The Star-Ledger of Newark on Wednesday that he would not return to the public-address booth for the All-Star Game as he tried to regain strength from a series of illnesses.

“I am not going to be physically able to perform my duties during the All-Star activities,” Sheppard told the paper. “I notified the Yankees that my backup, Jim Hall — H-A-L-L — will be filling in for me.”

Sheppard, the voice of Yankee Stadium since 1951, said in March that he hoped to be back by midseason.

Yogi Berra was absolutely hillarious... but it was all ruined by that annoying midget Joe Buck... I can't stand him one bit.

Someone's due for one of his streaks.

Utley's last 25 games: .225/.286/.402 -- 3 HR, 19 SO.

The 25 games previous: .330/.423/.670 -- 8 HR, 13 SO

Seeing Sheets in person for the first time this year...I loathe the thought of facing him in the playoffs. Ugh.

Speaking of domination, was that the same Cliff Lee we clubbed in Spring Training? What happened to that guy? Nasty stuff.

Chase made a play , yea!
Hey Dan, northern manhattan is near southern canada :)

there ya go, BB..enjoy it..just moved back to this area from NYC

yogi was def calling joe back, jack

Chalk this post under mid-season review.

Utley's streaks:

First 23 games: .385/.453/.835 -- 10 HR
Next 21 games: .221/.322/.416 -- 4 HR
Next 25 games: .330/.423/.670 -- 8 HR
Last 25 games: .225/.286/.402 -- 3 HR

Pujols was totally safe.

Pujols was safe, but how sweet would it be to have Ichiro leading off for the Phils?

apparently, nobody can hit good pitching.
Utley's stats above call for a hot streak in october if my math is correct :)

Our friend Milton gets nabbed for being greedy, a la Reyes.

Good job, Holliday!

Now I guess we can't b*tch about Holliday starting, but we can still damn well bitch about Wright getting the extra spot.

Nice stroke by Uts!

Utley with a nice hit! Pulled a little more and he'd have XBH and an RBI.

yeah Chase!!!!

Yes, Utley gets a HIT!

One of those funny things about RBIs. Berkmann gets more credit there than Utley does.

The Duke doesn't look ready for prime time.


"it has never been easy for the yankees" He did NOT just say that..WTF? who else has it never been easy for? The Queen?

I like seeing Chase hitting second.

This new NL lineup is not as scary as the previous lineup.

Someone tell Joe Buck that Hamilton was drafted in the Rule V draft 2 years ago. not this year.

doubleh: Lol, "Laaa-rrry!"

I believe that is the first, and hopefully, last time I ever see that uttered on Beerleaguer.

NL pitching holding its own.

I was only doing it to harass him since he struck out.

It's more fun doing it in person at the bank, which I have done on a many an occasion.

doubleh: Oh, I wasn't watching. I was assuming it meant that he did something good.


Most Career HR among players never to make AS game

Tim Salmon 299
Eric Karros 284
Kirk Gibson 255
Todd Zeile 253
Matt Stairs 250
Jose Valentin 249
Deron Johnson 245
Pat Burrell 241
Adrian Beltre 233
Rob Deer 230

You'd think Burrell would be third on that list by season's end.

Gibson never made an All-Star game? I'm not familiar with his career stats, but I think he should have been an honorary invitee after the hobbled HR. Classic.

ESPN note: I love the J-Roll/Scott Van Pelt commercial.
BTW: Has anyone heard Van Pelt's Harry Kalas impression on Sports Center? It is the best IMO.

Actually, I may be more surprised with Beltre. Not even his 50 HR season? Wow.

I was going to post something about the last ASG shutout, but didn't want to jinx anything.

Josh Groban at the ASG?!? WTF? Does...not...compute.

Best non-AllStar careers, position players

-------------------- ------
Richie Hebner 349.1
Tim Salmon 333.8
Kirk Gibson 319.0
J.D. Drew 309.4
Tony Phillips 292.0
Bill Doran 266.2
Kevin McReynolds 256.1
Bob Bailey 249.1

I'd have guessed Gibson had made an All Star team at some point considering he won an MVP and had some decent years in Detroit as well. Then again, J-Roll was MVP last year and didn't make the team last year so it happens like that sometimes.

Corey Hart sucks.

Oh, look who overslid a play...Corey Hart!

Volquez stinks. j/k

McCarver: Volquez probably has he best changeup in the game.

Timmy, only because Cole Hamels was criminally excluded from participation.

BTW: Who closes for the NL? Lidge?

Nice to see Corey Hart holding up the fans' vote emblem quite well.

Parker: That's what Gudel said on SportsNite--Lidge was getting closing duties if the NL gets there.

Well, sh*t. Nice job, Volquez. Friggin' Drew, too. Just awesome.

Knew that was coming.

F-U Drew!

Based on this and his last few starts, it appears Volquez's honeymoon is over.

Reason number 1,203 to hate JD Drew

Looks like we're headed to another tie.

Damn volquez

I guess we never get a day off from the perpetual nightmare that is being a Phillies fan. F----! jd drew.

Tie? Wagner has to pitch.

Guess Volquez isn't ready for prime time, either.

Just hope Lidge doesn't get stuck pitching more than one inning if this thing goes extra innings.

Do the NY fans want the AL to win this game or not? Wow.

Okay, I'll root for Uggla.

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