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Saturday, July 26, 2008


Utley, not Burell is your best player.

Your other 2 stars are what they are- Rollins is not a gigantic power hitter (last year notwithstanding) and Howie is what he is- a future DH who HRs a lot and Ks more. But Utley is still the best. I hate to say it but he's got a big explosion coming this season.

Congrats,Jason. Well deserved.

Well deserved JW.

As for the trading rumors: I'm tired of the discussion of getting another bat. This offense is either going to have to shake out of its comatose state and pull itself up by its bootstraps or simply remain dead.

All the FO can/will do now is get a LH reliever. That's probably all they can do. I loathe the FO as much as anyone and hate the Blanton trade but if the bats we depended on in '07 don't come out its over. Rowand's presence can't be held as an excuse for poor performances by Rollins, Utley and Howard.


JW: A year ago, I would scan the Internet for Philadelphia information, with no location in mind. Although I was late to the website, I am thrilled to have come across Beerleaguer, and it has, for the last year or so, been one of my first reads at the beginning of every day. Congratulations on the well-deserved accolades.

Now, if only the Phillies could turn this around.

Once again, the Phillies are on Fox en Espanol this afternoon, so they are visible outside of Philly and Atlanta.

JW: Congratulations! I am surprised at the recognition, but it is absolutely well-deserved. The newspaper boys don't even come close. You're the best!

I think Utley's problems are due to the fact that his early season long-ball display has caused him to start swinging for the fences - hence, the changed swing. I've seen this happen to many a hitter over the last 60 years. As for the team, they only score when they hit home runs. It's rare to see sustained offense from this club. Jimmy Rollins is suffering from MVP hangover syndrome as much as he's suffering from a power shortage compared to the last 2 or 3 years. Put those all together, throw in mediocre (at best) starting pitching - Hamels and his penchant for serving up gopher balls at inopportune times excepted - and stir in a bullpen that's beginning to fray at the edges and you've got a familiar mix that's best described as the old plaintive cry: "Wait 'til next year".

jason: Congrats. But only "fairly intelligent?" The guy who wrote that has obviously never been to a Phillies message board. Or perhaps he happened to scan the BL commentary on a night when THe Dude was in one of his drunken rants.

Given the afternoon start time, the nice weather here, and the Phillies' pathetic play, I doubt very seriously I'll be watching the game today. So let me get my in-game commentary out of the way now:

"Is that really Mike Hampton pitching for the first time in nearly 3 years? You wouldn't even know he has been away. He is really dealing today."

Best sportswriter - wow - congratulations on the terrific and well deserved honor.

Congrats, JW.

"Rollins is not a gigantic power hitter (last year notwithstanding"

Rollins 2006: 45 doubles, 9 triples, 25 HR
Rollins 2007: 38 doubles, 20 triples. 30 HR

Rollins is not a power hitter (relative to the entire league), but whatever power bump he had wasn't around for only 1 season. Rollins had 21 more hits in 2007 than 2006: most were triples.

Considering how bad Utley's been for the last month or so, it's pretty amazing he's still OPS+ing 137. Tells you how awesome he was the first couple of months.

Jason, Congratulations. Terrific honor and well deserved.

Wow. Usually think that Philly Mag doesn't do much homework and picks the "usual suspects." They got it right here, though. Kudos to you.

Congrats Weitzel, well deserved. I've been coming here for a very long time (not always under GM-Carson, but around a very long time nonetheless), and this is a great blog with a great community. I'm a bit jealous honestly.

Mike Hampton pitching, day game, nationally televised...hello loss.

I'm tired of this statement- "The Phils have faced some really good pitching over that past month and a half, so naturally they'll score fewer runs."

Not every damn pitcher that pitches is good, and even the good ones have bad days, but not against the Phils. If their offense is so prolific, it shouldn't be getting shut down by good pitching all the time. Some of the time yes, but not every stinking time. I'm tired of giving the opposing pitcher credit, F' that, time to balls up and score some runs.

It's become pretty clear that the 2008 Phillies are not a playoff-caliber ballclub. We had a good run, fueled in large part by the fact that the entire NL East suffered a month long losing streak in June, but this will not be our year.

That being said, the time has come where we discuss the Phillies as sellers rather than buyers at the trade deadline, and that discussion begins with ridding the team of the attitude problems in our locker room much as we did when we traded Abreu to the Yankees (and subsequently improved to become contenders). Namely: Jimmy Rollins and Brett Myers.

Lehigh Valley and Reading are all but empty. If we focus our money on signing Hamels long term, picking up Sabathia in the off season, re-signing Burrell for two or three years and unloading our dead weight, we can restock our farm and remain contenders.

As much as we might not like it, J-Roll peaked in 2007 and Myers isn't going to rebound (at least not as a starter). We should get what we can for them before the rest of the baseball world comes to the conclusion that they aren't worth the headache.

JW: Congrats, again. Doing a lot of that lately.

Team: I'm sick of this effort.

You have a pitcher who wants to be a "rock star" (Myers), a SS who is making R&B albums (Rollins) and Cholly off doing a banjo solo. They should all quit baseball, get together with Bronson Arroyo, and form some hybrid hipster Rock/R&B/Bluegrass band. They could call themselves: "Uncle Cholly and the Leadoff Quitters." They sure aren't doing their regular jobs. I'm sure they would be great at selling broken records.

In case you were wondering where Joe Blanton might fit into this ensemble de futility, he would be a special tour guest, manning the jug.

This team hit a hot streak last year at the same time the Mets collapsed. Great fun, but a fluke.

The combination of Utley's first awful slump as a pro, Rollins thinking like a power hitter and Howard being the worst hitter in the NL vs. lefties will be too much to overcome. And the FO can't add players because the poorly run farm system has no depth.


Jason - congratulations - a truly terrific honor and well deserved. As for the game today.

Vic - CF
Bruntlet - SS
Dobbs - 3B
Burrell - LF
Howard - 1B
Werth - RF
Utley - 2B
Coste - C
Hamels - P

Honestly - could this line-up possibly be any worse?

Utley HAS to sit. Please. Painful to watch.

Rollins benched again? Hmmm..............??

Radioactive Rollins strikes out again.

I'm a Mets fan who reads this site often. I'm not one of the trolls. I never post....just read, honest! I have long extolled your virtues to my fellow Mets fans as someone who is honest, fair, well informed and reasonable. It's funny that as much as we may hate each other ( Mets and Phils fans) it is remarkable how alike we all are. Change the name of a few players and the posts are interchangeable. The complaints, despondency, FO bashing and heartbreak are relevant for us all.
(and please don't judge all mets fans by Metsblog posts. We find many of those people repugnant as well)
I too offer congratulations to you. I'll leave the kudos at you. Congratulating Utley and Burrell would be more than I could deal! Keep up the great work.

going to the game today, if things turn for the worse it's going to get ugly in the stands

Congratulations, Jason. I'm Predicting that Hampton pulls a Mark Mulder and doesn't make it out of the first today. Either that or he pitches 8 inning of 4 hit ball. I wouldn't be surprised by either.

If I was Bobby Cox, I'd also have chosen the Phillies for Hampton's return. Hitters who are:

*unable to hit lefties
*just bad
*all of the above

I'm ecstatic that they benched Rollins again...he needs to get it through his head that he's not bigger than the team and to stop acting like a complete arse. Utley 7th...damn how the mighty have fallen.

I'm ecstatic that they benched Rollins again...he needs to get it through his head that he's not bigger than the team and to stop acting like a complete arse. Utley 7th...damn how the mighty have fallen.

Did they pull that lineup out of a hat? ...if so, it may not have been a bad idea.

In my playing days, I once played on a team with a high powered offense. We once went into a prolonged slump as well. One day, we literally pulled our lineup out of a hat. We also played with the philosophy of manufacturing runs in all innings. It actually worked. Manufacturing runs took the pressure off of always having to come up with the "big hit". We concentrated on just putting balls in play. And like magic, those balls in play started finding gaps, and bleachers. After a game or two, we were playing loose again and scoring 10 plus runs per game.

Not saying it would work for this cast of characters...and at the MLB level, but after over a month of this garbage, could it work any less than what they've been doing?

Is that really the line-up, or JMARR's wish?

Sorry guys - not an official line-up, game time still quite aways away.

Just saying, why not?

Can't possibly be any worse.

Well, so much for Casey Blake, he went to the Dodgers for Jon Meloan and Carlos Santana (not that Carlos Santana).

Must be tough to be Cole Hamels and know that you can't make any mistakes.

Congratulations JW!! I found this site last year, and as a big Phillies phan since the late 50's (thanks to my grandmother) it seriously feeds my addiction. Thanks to all the commenters too.

Enough is enough. Even if the Phillies snap out of it, they are not constructed for anything batter than 88 wins max. Pat Gillick was brought on as a trouble-shooter/hired gun in order to tweak a Phillies team constructed by Montgomery/Wade/Amaro et al that was stuck in the 2nd tier. It hasnt worked. Montgomery has to make the decision on whether he wants to run a county club or a top-tier team. After Gillick leaves, it is time for a thorough housecleaning. Bye-bye Amaro, Arbuckle, Wolever, Green (okay, he can be a luxury box meet & greet guy).Everybody having to do with the current Phillies FO from top to bottom as far as the team they field must be given pink slips and a new organization put in place. Pull a Marlins move and everybody not named Hamels or Kendrick (a fine young 5th starter) goes on the block. Yes, that means Utley, Rollins and Howard. Keep Moyer on a year to year basis and Lidge goes on the block as there is no reason for him to be on a rebuilding team. Start from scratch. If you have to totally or partially eat the salaries of Eaton, Feliz, Jenkins and Myers, for a year do it and replace them with low salary roster filler. Said roster filler couldnt do any worse and can be cleared out when talent comes up/is acquired. Make pitching the highest priority. Build an offense based on plate discipline and patience (a la Red Sox) and intelligent situational hitting (a la The Angels)and make sure that batters 1-8 fit this approach, whether they hit .320 or .250. Bring the scouting and player development into the 21st century. No more "good pitchers bodies" or "toolsy" high school kids who fizzle in A ball or slapping yourselves on the back because they got a few diamonds amongst a mountain of coal. I honestly believe the Phillies fans will give their support and be willing to put up with a year or 2 of cellar ball if palpable progress is being made. Right now, I think everybody is fed up with being stalled in the second tier all decade and would be willing to accept a rebuilding, especially if the Phillies were to make a gesture such as reducing ticket prices for a year or 2.

I'm at the point where I don't care anymore. I may or may not watch today's game.

Damn I'm depressed.

J-Dubb, congrats. Well deserved. As I have posted before, this is the forst place I go for Phils' updates and discussion.

J-MARR, actually, you need to change that lineup. I was at the horror show last night.

Utley looks totally lost at the plate, becoming a defensive 2 strike flailer. He, not J-Stroll, is the one who needs to sit for a couple of games.

My lineup would be:

Werth RF
Vic CF
Burrell LF
Howard 1B
Bruntlett 2B
Rollins SS
Coste C
Feliz (assuming no back spasms) C
Hamels P

Hey Jason - that is awesome. Oh, how Conlin will hate you now.

Beerleaguer feels like a grass-roots sort of resource, more interactive, immediate, and perhaps relevant than conventional sports journalism. It must mean all the more to be attaining serious recognition by virtue of having started this venture all by yourself, and from knowing that since there have been so many other emergent sports-related blogs, that you have set yours apart by implementing the highest standards of quality, thoroughness, and fairness. The journalistic substance of Beerleaguer deserves such accolades.

I imagine that if you wanted to, we could easliy all be reading content under your byline at in the next few years. I don't even know you personally, but I feel all proud.

"This team hit a hot streak last year at the same time the Mets collapsed. Great fun, but a fluke."


May 07: 15-13
June 07: 15-13
July 07: 15-10
August 07: 16-12
September 07: 17-11

April 08: 15-12
May 08: 17-12
June 08: 12-14
July 08: 10-10

That's quite a fluke.

Congratulations Jason for a few years now I was wondering why I had 20 Eagles info options and nothing of value on The Phils. I found your site a few weeks ago and already my baseball knowledge has increased 10 fold. Thanks so much. You make the lifetime of soul crushing suffering better...ummm...I think....
"1st start in..." for an opposing Kiss of death. Prepare for Cy Hampton.

That should be "Feliz - 3B"

Also, I would give Bruntlett more at bats by rotating him through the infield for 4 out of six games, that is, until the regulars demonstrate they've gotten their hitting strokes back.

Are Bruntlett's career norms really that much worse Utley and J-Stroll have been any since the 20-run explosion?

Are his norms worse that Howard against LHP since then?

If Mike Hampton makes it through 2 innings, he should win comeback player of the year. 2005? That is a long time. His signing with the Braves is similar to the Phillies signing of Eaton. The only difference is that Hampton didn't pitch, and didn't have a chance to hurt the team. Eaton has made a bunch of money and harmed the team substantially. Kudos to Mike Hampton. If you can't pitch, don't.

Congratulations Jason for a few years now I was wondering why I had 20 Eagles info options and nothing of value on The Phils. I found your site a few weeks ago and already my baseball knowledge has increased 10 fold. Thanks so much. You make the lifetime of soul crushing suffering better...ummm...I think....
"1st start in..." for an opposing Kiss of death. Prepare for Cy Hampton.

JW: congrats from Tel Aviv. I doubt many other baseball blogs have such a global reach.

Why doesn't anyone mention canning the hitting coach? Does anyone think about that? Everyone knows these guys show no patience at the plate and are TERRIBLE in situational hitting. How many pop-ups on the first pitch - or 3 pitch strike-outs do we have to watch before someone says something? Don't the coaches have any input to help these guys out in situations? Christ - if someone is truly struggling - show them some game film - give'em extra BP. DO SOMETHING. Where the heck are these coaches to help these guys? WHY NOT GET RID OF MILT. Why hasn't he lit a fire under these guys A$$?? The ho-hum attitude comes from the coaches. It absolutely makes me sick to hear/read the post game quotes - from the players and coaches. I also think it's a crock that every player has the attitude that this kinda slump "just happens" Just happens? For more than a month? Why don't any of the players get upset about not doing well? Where's the emotional side of any of these PC robots? Not that I condone violence - but when was the last time someone shpowed emotion and threw their glove or batting helmet in the dugout? Even LA tried to tone down his "hit 'em in the neck" comment. Pure BS. Someone SHOULD throw at some of these bastards. Let them know your not gonna take this s*** anymore. You NEVER SEE that. LIFELESS. GUTLESS. That's what comes to mind... Why should the fans have to be the ones to say any of this s***. Wake the hell up already.

Chase Utley and Pat Burrell are soooooo not good looking. Eww.

If the Phillies were targeting a "Casey Blake" type hitter and he is gone, who does that now translate to?

Maybe they should follow the Mets lead and sign a "Fernando Tatis" type player. Can Carlos Baerga still hit? Maybe Otis Nixon can spot start for Vic. Ron Gant could hit lefties, see if he will come out of the Braves booth. He sure can't do color commentary.

The Phils continue to waste leadoff bats with Rollins. Last night's game was yet another example. His fly balls make more sense with him batting 6th or 7th and runners on base. I hope Manuel figures this out before I pack the car for another spring training in Clearwater with continued hopes of seeing the Phils win a championship before Howard becomes a free agent and leaves Philly quicker than Ex-Lax through Secretariat.

outside the parker. you can't follow our lead we spend money. if we make a mistake we go out and fix it.

Instead of outside the parker.It should be clueless parker.I was wondering are you about twelve.Because that's all you sound like when you try to talk sports

I wonder what Manuel said to the team yesterday behind closed doors. I hope the message that he conveyed through his slow West Virginia drawl was meaningful and is still in the process of creeping through the brains of his players and entering their memory banks. The season's starting to look pretty short. I hope Manuel or someone else finally says something that gets some results in the very near future.

did anyone else see Amaro yesterday say in the pre-game panel that (and i paraphrase) the Phillies understand that when it becomes "time" they will be OK? sounds like Rollins attitude. that whole, "come crunch time..." crap. all 162 games count.

Maybe it's time for another mantra that has no known basis in reality. "It's Halladay. It's Holliday. It's a Phils championship." Maybe if Gillick keeps repeating this mantra, they will come.

It makes me sick to see all these "cat" articles. WTF? I'm all for animals and all - but come on. Am I the only one that cringes when he sees these things? Gimme a break already. You play professional baseball - Christ...

Besides that - Everybody knows that the best way to take care of pussy is bat control and consistent "hitting". Get with the program Chase.

It's Gillick legacy time and time for the Canadian to take a close look at his roster. It's hard to envision the Phils going anywhere this year when the bench and bullpen are overgrown with players that Manuel is afraid to use. The September roster expansion should give the Phils a few more arms and a few more bats, but the Eastern Division could be long decided by then unless the Phils improve in a hurry. One dramatic bat, i.e. Matt Holliday, and one dramatic arm, i.e. Roy Halladay, may be all that it takes. Add one decent lefty reliever and the Phils could take home all the marbles this year. If Holliday is out of the question, I would give serious consideration to Philly-killer, Randy Winn. If Halladay or a left reliever are out of the question, I would call up Happ post haste. He has shown that he can start, and for the rest of the year, he could certainly help the Phils out of the bullpen.

now that the phillies will be sellers.Do you think they would trade myers for castillo.They like hurt cheap players.

There are a multitude of problems with this team and almost all of them are performance related. Things I think are happening:

1. Rollins' ankle is still hurting him and consequently hurting his game.

2. Utley got carried away with the HRs and it has lengthened his swing. He is also wearing down for some reason.

3. Rowand's right handed bat and leadership are both sorely missed. His bat balanced out the lineup and his lockerroom presence was huge. Vic might be just as good a CF but he isn't a righty and he isn't a leader.

4. Ruiz and Jenkins are both in prolonged slumps. A lineup can't absorb slumps from so many players at once and it is showing.

5. The bullpen is starting to wear down this month...I predict an implosion in August if something doesnt change. Right now Hamels and Moyer are our only 2 legit starters.

6. Our starting rotation is 1 #1 and 4 #4s...that won't get it done in the playoffs...even if they DO make it.

Other than all those things, we're doing fine. The talent is there, they just have to start playing like they are capable.

In support of my "more ABs for Bruntlett" position, I offer this:

Jason posted Utley's #s since the 20-2 outburst above, but for wase of comparison, here they are again, alon with the rest of the infield(since the 20-2 game):

Howard .275/.338/.587
Utley .225/.294/.380
Rollins .250/.314/.400
Feliz .243/.287/.421

However, Howard, vs LHP in 2008 is a whopping


From 2005 to 2007, vs. LHP Bruntlett was


IMO, it's simple. Howard sits vs. LHP, and Bruntlett rotates throughout the infield 4 times a week.

Why? Think about this for a minute...

because the rest of them aren't playing any better right now than a career backup like Bruntlett.

Chollie might as well give them a day off every 4-5 games, because they way they're playing now it certainly won't hurt the team and they look like they could use the rest.

Admitting Howard is a platoon player isn't ever gonna happen with this team so we might as well give up that line of argument. I made the comment a month or so ago of "Hey why not get Sexson to platoon with Howard as Sexson is batting .330 against lefties and has a good career split". Ironically the Yankees did that very thing for Giambi (another brutal defensive 1B with a high OPS). Of course, I'd kill for Howard to have the same plate discipline as Jason Giambi.

Couple of points:

- Why do people want to bench JRoll again and play a guy (Bruntlett) who would be a clear defensive and offensive down grade? Chalk it up to misplaced fan angst. I could see starting Bruntlett for giving Utley a breather this afternoon though.

- This is one of those games where advance scouting/coaching is going to a larger role than normal due to Hampton's start. Given the lack of chances to see what Hampton actually has left, it is going to be interest to see if Hampton can even hit 90 on the gun anymore. I bet it is pretty unlikely. Also, imagine it might take him some time to get the feel for his offspeed stuff too.

Curious to see if the Phils take a "wait-and-see" approach initially or if they come out swinging at some early count fastballs. My bet is that they try to be aggressive early on today and not let Hampton settle in to a comfortable rhythm. In particular, I hope the Phils look for fastballs early in the count that should be in the zone and hittable pitches.

- Hamels has dominated the Braves this year and pitched really well of late. Hope the stupid 4 start doesn't throw him off because the Phils need 7 strong innings from him today.

- Given that the Phils have Hamels on the mound against a team he has owned this year and a guy who will likely be happy to go 5 innings, there is no reason the Phils shouldn't win today (or tomorrow either). My bet is that show some life today and tomorrow and win the series. Just a hunch.

Admitting Howard is a platoon player isn't ever gonna happen with this team so we might as well give up that line of argument. I made the comment a month or so ago of "Hey why not get Sexson to platoon with Howard as Sexson is batting .330 against lefties and has a good career split". Ironically the Yankees did that very thing for Giambi (another brutal defensive 1B with a high OPS). Of course, I'd kill for Howard to have the same plate discipline as Jason Giambi.

Some of the post are starting to reach what I call "punch drunk" fan logic? Playing punchless .240 Bruntlett 4 times a week? That's a winner.

Same for some of the ridiculous trade talk. Acting like a team will give you more some magic beans at this point for Myers given his salary next year ($12M) and his horrendous results. If the Phils are going to move Myers, they have to hope he shows some value the rest of this season and they can move him in a patented "junk-swap" this offseason.

In particular, I hope the Phils look for fastballs early in the count that should be in the zone and hittable pitches.

You can absolutely count on the first part, but forget about the 2nd part.

Here is the lineup I wouldn't mind seeing the Phils go with today:

CF Victorino
RF Werth
1B Howard
LF Burrell
SS Rollins
3B Feliz
2B Bruntlett
C Coste

Less than ideal by any means and I don't know if Feliz is available either.

I can not wait until this time next weekend when the Phillies have started to turn it around and show some life and a bunch of you clowns are on here saying, "We have a shot at taking this divison again. The Mets stink. Blah Blah Blah."

Must suck to jump on and off the wagon as often as some of you guys do. You either go all in or you might as well not even sit at the table

Its funny but I actually hope that Feliz's bat is in the lineup today. He has hit LHP well this year and it doesn't make sense to start Dobbs against a lefty on the mound.

"6. Our starting rotation is 1 #1 and 4 #4s...that won't get it done in the playoffs...even if they DO make it."

I understand it's hard to come around to, but Moyer isn't pitching like a #4 pitcher this year. His ERA+ is 119, and his away ERA is 2.93 in 11 starts. His ERA has decreased every month this year.

This teams does need to get a "Casey Blake" type though who is capable of giving them an offensive lift and subbing in at a few positions.


If Rollins ankle is a problem, he needs to go on the DL. If he is just playing for some sort of self satisfaction, he needs to come off of it. I don't see him limping. He doesn't seem to have any problems with it when he is stealing bases. I'm not sure if that is the issue. Once again, if it is, he needs to go on the DL and go away for a while.

Someone mentioned it the other night, and I thought it was very insightful. Rollins seems to have lost most of his power. He hit a couple of balls the other night that I was sure were HR's. They were hit solid off the barrel of the bat, yet ended up well short of the fence. Last season, the same swing sent the ball sailing. His hits are flying like they did last season. He was hitting, boring, line drive HR's, but he is not doing that this season. He is still hitting line drives, but they have nothing on them. Maybe it is the ankle, but again, he needs to get out of the lineup if that is the case. Let someone else play and sleep in all you want. Maybe he could get some kind of ergonomic gas pedal put in his car so he can rehab his ankle while he is stuck in NYC traffic.

MG: Vic is not good against lefties. He should be down in the order today.

MG, no angst here, and no one said BENCH J-Stroll. You really need to read what I posted IN ITS' ENTIRETY, and in context.

I said rest him once every 4-5 games along with every one else in the infield because they:

"aren't playing any better right now than a career backup".

Now, if you want to be Master Of The Obvious, of course you return to normal once the players' performance does.

NEPP, you're correct that "Admitting Howard is a platoon player isn't ever gonna happen with this team", but my point was to illustrate that in 2008, he is hitting no better than a platoon player.

I would never expect Chollie to admit it, though. A lot of managing, it seems to me, is juggling players and waiting/hoping they'll come out of slumps. They're your regulars and you have to play them. But right now, Ryan Howard is killing this lineup vs. LHP.

AFish - Yeah but there isn't much of a difference between JRoll and Vic this year against LHP.

Honestly it is kind of hard to criticize Cholly right now with the lineup given the lack of production from just about everyone. Only thing I don't want to see if Utley/Howard back-to-back in the lineup or something really dumb like giving Taguchi a start.

Trade Howard and Utley for Reyes and Wright. Put Rollins at 2B.

Go Eagles.

AWH - I can see giving Bruntlett a start for Utley and against a lefty where Bruntlett has ok numbers. However, let's not go overboard. Bruntlett's numbers against RHP are pathetic and he just doesn't bring any strong tangible asset offensively to the table.

Can't bunt, not a good contact hitter, no power, and at best moderate speed. He is just a guy that has no business in the lineup more than 1-2 days a week max. Bruntlett's real value is that he can play multiple positions in the INF and OF if necessary.

"Punch drunk" fan logic. I like the phrase. It calls it for what it is, but in a subtle way, it pins the blame on the Phillies themselves -- since their atrocious play is the reason we're all so punch-drunk.

I have to agree with you, MG, about Bruntlett. I know he got 3 hits the other night. I know Utley & Rollins have been awful and awfuler (if I may invent a word). But having Eric Bruntlett in the lineup surely isn't the answer. As I've said before, I really have no idea what Bruntlett is even doing on the team. Jason Donald is almost certainly a much, much better hitter, and plays the same positions. His defense is probably not as good as Bruntlett's but, considering that Utley & Rollins almost never sit, the utility infielder's main duty is to be a pinch hitter. It's more important to have Donald's bat than Bruntlett's defense.

Think it's just as possible that Utley messed up his swing trying not to hit so many HRs.

He might be thinking that hitting so many fly balls is not his normal stroke.

The bullpen shouldn't be worn down, they've pitched fewer innings than every team or almost every other team.

If the Phils don't win today though, it will be pretty hard not to get a bit down. Phils just haven't won enough times with their aces on the mound this season. Plus, they are facing the definition of a "reclamation project" in Hampton today. No excuse the Phils don't win this game outright today.

"Also, I would give Bruntlett more at bats by rotating him through the infield for 4 out of six games, that is, until the regulars demonstrate they've gotten their hitting strokes back."

I actually really like this idea. Brutlett does a good job for us when he gets some regular playing time. Other than that one fill-in for Rollins several days ago I can't even remember the last time the guy got an at-bat.

If you're only going to play 22 guys on your 25 man roster, why not tell the the other 3 to go home, and save on the hotel expenses and laundry bill?

Then you might consider adding a few guys who might possibly actually play a couple of times per week.

Un-Truth Injection, who's off the bandwagon?

Most of the posts I've read here today are suggestions to improve the team's performance.

Did you get some KoolAid from Dave Montgomery?

BTW, this team is 2 games out and has a shot at taking this division, period, not "again".

You obviously have a very short memory and/or attention span (too many video games?), so I'll repost what I wrote after the second Mets loss on Thursday:

"""All that said, I can't believe the negativity from some of the posters. If I didn't know any better I'd think I was reading Metsblog 30 days ago.

There is still plenty of season to go. They Phillies are in better position than they were last season being only one game out. Their offense isn't as good, but their pitching has been better.

The season will hinge on whether offense can improve some, and the pitching can stay relatively close to where it is today.

They've been losing because they haven't been scoring (they scored once today), mired in an almost teamwide slump.

The Mets and their fans can feel good about where they are in the standings today, but there is a lot of baseball left, and if the slumpers on the Phils all pick it up at the same time, the Mets will be very, very worried.

Posted by:AWH the RBP | Thursday, July 24, 2008 at 10:30 PM """

If that's jumping off the bandwagon, then I hesitate to think about what you think being on it constitutes.

Because giving lots of playing time to the likes of Taguchi and Bruntlett is just flat out foolish. If the Phils had any kind of competent minor league system or spent some cash, Taguchi would have been DFA at least 3 weeks ago if not sooner.

Bruntlett should start today but this notion of him 4-5 times a week is purely retarded. A guy with a .600 OPS against RHP who would be a defensive downgrade from either JRoll or Utley? This makes sense how?

Now that the Phillies are sellers.Who do you think will be moved I hope they keep Jenkins,Condrey,sneaz.

Apparently Giles may be back on the block... he's not having quite as good a year as Nady, but he's a way more consistent on-base guy. .410 OBP outside of Petco this season. That could really help this team. Of course, we'll never pay the price Giles would command.

Congrats JW - Very much deserved indeed!

MG, you can't be that thick. Really?

Once again (with CAPS for EMPHASIS), it makes sense because they:

"aren't playing any better RIGHT NOW than a career backup".

Please explain how, if the players in question keep putting up the numbers I posted above, how Bruntlett is a serious downgrade RIGHT NOW.

Also, please explain how, if the players in question keep putting up the numbers I posted above, it could possible hurt to give them a day or two off?




1. rollins
2. victorino
3. utley
4. howard
5. burrell
6. werth
7. bruntlett (3B)
8. coste
9. hamels

Official lineup:


Congratulations, JW. Well deserved.

Braves lineup

1. G Blanco, LF
2. Y Escobar, SS
3. M Teixeira, 1B
4. B McCann, C
5. O Infante, 3B
6. J Francoeur, RF
7. M Prado, 2B
8. M Kotsay, CF
9. M Hampton, P

A lot of negativity and over-reaction as usual (where's CJ and sophist for some intelligent objectivity?), but I do want to clear up one bit of falsehood that the usual suspects keep bringing up from time to time: There is ZERO evidence that Abreu was a problem in the clubhouse. Every time a Phillies official has been asked about it, they have denied it. His teammates denied it. The writers who covered the team denied it. When you ask about David Bell (who was traded the same week), you get a no comment. The Abreu trade was a salary dump accompanied by extremely bad judgment on the prospects acquired. He was not a problem in the clubhouse. I'm not sure Rollins is either, but drama queens dominate this board so let them screech about dumping him, sick of his act, it's easy to get as good a shortstop etc. etc. etc. Maybe Cashman would give us C.J. Henry straight up.

Yet another team trades to improve themselves: Dodgers acquire Casey Blake. Somewhere, in another dimension, in another universe, the Bizzarro Phillies have a front office that gives a sh*t.

There is the other brain surgeon clout.The partner of outside the parker. two clueless sports nuts who know nothing. They are hired by the phillies to praise the phillies,They get free tickets to go on blogs and make the team owners look like they care. losers

Phillies just made a trade C.J.Henry for Hamels and cash the team can't make payroll. ha ha . lets go mets

joey: Sigh. As much as I hate to feed the trolls, why wouldn't you want to stick to your Mets blog? Do you think anyone here would pay serious attention to your childish ramblings? That collapse last year must've stung you bad for you to keep coming to a Phillies blog.

Congrats Weitzel!

Thank God, Mark Grace is in the sudio today! I don't think I could have taken it listening to him during such a crucial game for the Phils!

Btw, wholesale changes should be made if we can't hit Hampton today!

Flipper: You are 100% dead-on right. It makes me sicker than anything to see other teams make smart trades while the Phillies stumble and bumble as if they can't competently judge either their own talent or another team's.

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