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Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Back to reality.

The steriods story a hoax?!? Too bad. I was looking forward to something different about which to read/write. We have dissected the Phils roster/shortcoming TO DEATH.
In fact, the only one who hasn't figured it out yet is Cholly

Is everyone sure Brett Myers isn't on something? Or he just f--ing crazy?

Team USA lost it's opener this morning 8-7 to the South Koreans. Teagarden got the start ahead of Marson. Donald also sat it out.

Make that "its."

Teagarden. My wife would like one of those.

PB: Unless he's been on steroids his whole life, I think he's just f-ing crazy.

Back to reality, maybe, but these remaining comments are gonna confuse anyone who wasn't here for the rest.

(A Mets fanatic posted a made up rumor that had us googling it for a few minutes. They're giddy now because their bullpen has only blown 1 of their last 2 games.)

What am I missing here about Utley?

Met kid fan made up a rumor about Utley to be suspended for banned substance.

Phans googled it, found nothing.

Kid then sent us a link to some lame youtube video of him trying to set fire to a cap and mostly failing.

Remember back in May when Manuel was a genius, our roster was deep, the lineup seemed the most potent force in baseball, the pitching was miraculous, and we seemed destined for the WS?

Then someone strapped kryptonite to Utley and Burrell, Werth ended his Willie Mays immitation, Rollins twisted his ankle and lost his will to compete, Bruntlett got off the bench, Jenkins got convinced he's swinging a golf club, Myers crapped the bed, Eaton became Eaton, Seanez became Seanez, and Gordon's arm fell off.


I found it interesting to watch Manny Ramirez go with a pitch and loft a weak run-scoring single rather than take a two-strike, all-or-nothing home run swing.

I wonder if any of the Phillies hitters took note.

EastFallowField: That youtube video was sort of like a twisted metaphor for the 2007 Mets' season. It was unintentionally hilarious from a Phils' fans POV.

this is a 500 ball club at best,the same issues,over rated hitting,better pitching than expected,to bad as we watch a division ripe for the taking

Terry: I wonder if any of the Phillies hitters took note that their ACE PITCHER continues to outhit them in games he starts.

how's Lidge's shoulder - I smell a DL stint - hahaha

Jenkins doesn't look like he's swinging a golf club. Usually golf balls go in the air.

It's either a putter or a hockey stick.

Terry Harmon - Excellent comment

I think shortening up is against team policy or something

As Jason said, it's getting tiring pointing out that our offense is inept. So the other thing that bothered me last night... our pitchers giving up valuable runs bc they were obsessing over baserunners on first. Cole gave up a hard hit to Kemp bc he was obsessing with Pierre. And then Coste begging the dugout to call a pitchout with Kemp on first even though it was obvious. And then Durbin ends up walking Kemp bc of it with Manny up next. Brilliant. I hate pitchouts.

Harmon - I've never noticed Phillies hitters take note of anything.

I would LOVE a high batting average guy in our lineup that wasn't all about OPS, just getting hits. A guy like Polanco, Ichiro, or even Aaron Miles would help this offense.

South Korea has a starting outfield of Lee(s). Yep 3 outfielders with the last name Lee.

You're right, I'm tired of getting little to no sleep over these ridiculous efforts. Why doesn't Charlie understand at this point that Geoff Jenkins is TERRIBLE, and not put him in. I can't believe he swung on the first pitch in the 9th with Werth on 2nd. What do you think of the possibility of claiming Shef off waivers? might be the help we need...although the management will not cough up $13mm on his contract.

u want a guy like POLANCO? why he is terrible. and by the way we do have guys that get hits, victorino, werth, dobbs, burrel. our offense is fine its the pitching that needs to step it up

I remember a Richie Ashburn saying that comes to mind about Cole.
"All you got to do ,kid , is pitch a shutout and hit a home run"

Johnny, have you watched this team the last two months?? The offense is NOT fine.

I know many would be opposed to Sheff, but the man still has something left in the tank in my opinion. He thrives on controversy and competition. He would love a chance at the playoffs, which Detroit doesn't really have, so he'd probably rip up for us for 1.5 months if we put him in RF most of the time. Forget the stats this year, he was hurt almost the entire season.

jonny-Hitting .313 this year and career .306 is terrible?

Carson: I'd take a chance on Bonds at this point. We need someone who can hit. Period.

Lidge is getting the equivalent of a DL stint, without the 15 day limitation, simply by sitting in the 'pen rotting away while the offense continues to not put this team into a save situation. At least he has that going for him!!!

I'm for winning at all costs, so if Barry Bonds, Kenny Lofton, Shawn Green, or Mike Piazza were in baseball shape and only needed a week in the minors to get ready to go then I'd sign one. I know Lofton can be cancerous, and Bonds has the media parade, but I want to win!

doubleh, even if Bonds can't hit anymore (I'd assume he's off the juice.....), at least he doesn't swing at garbage. I'd take him for his eye, alone. We'd need to get creative with the OF and learn how to tolerate b.s. like we've never before seen, however.

I'd sign Lofton...Supposedly he was a great clubhouse presence in his last stints with TEX and CLE...tutoring the younger guys, leading by example, etc.

I don't care about team chemistry arguments anymore--this team doesn't exactly have a great dynamic to it right now anyway--so let's get Bonds. He's cheap and we don't have to give up anything to get him but a few $$$.

At the very least he would make opposing managers and pitchers nervous facing the Phils offense again.

It has become fashionable to bash batting average as a useful measure of a hitter's effectiveness. But the fact is, there are plenty of times in the course of a game when a walk won't do, and the batter just needs to get a hit -- even just a single. Batting average remains the best measure (in fact, the ONLY measure) of a hitter's ability to perform this skill.

The Phillies' team batting average is in the bottom half of the National League and the bottom third of the majors. Plain and simple, they are a poor hitting team. They compensate for this by hitting lots of homeruns. But it should come as no surprise that every time the Phillies face a half-way decent pitcher, they get shut down completely. Poor hitting power hitters are precisely the kinds of hitters who are most likely to be shut down by decent pitchers. In the Phillies' case, the problem is compounded even further by the fact that they have so many hitters whose hitting ability is almost 100% dependent upon their facing a pitcher of the opposite hand (i.e., Howard, Werth, Jenkins, Feliz, Coste).

No matter what happens this year, the Phillies' offense needs to be completely blown up in the off-season. Guys like Jenkins and Feliz add nothing to the lineup. We already had plenty of homerun power in our lineup. What we needed were some complementary players who could hit for decent average and get on base. And it's also fair to ask whether it makes sense to commit 10 to 15% of the team's payroll to a prodigious left handed power hitter who absolutely needs to be platooned, and whose defense is so bad that it's really killing the team. I can't bring myself to believe that that's a productive use of resources -- especially considering that keeping Howard & resigning Burrell are undoubtedly mutually exclusive alternatives.

What about Shannon Stewart or Aubrey Huff?...just trying to be a little more realistic...

The real answer is our two olympic heroes.

B_A_P- that's one of the best comments I've ever read on BL, so very true.

BAP: Howard doesn't "absolutely need to be platooned." He has been successful against lefthanders the last two years. He needs to adjust.
As I've said, it's a bad idea to do anything other than keep on going year to year with him in arbitration.

I just noticed that Adrian Cardenas is playing in AA. ouch

The funny thing is I dont think that Howard's defense is any worse this year despite the higher error total...I think its stayed the same and he's simply getting at least a glove on more balls to produce errors...his zone rating supports this theory.

Cardenas is now in Double A, Outman just promoted to Triple A, and the throw-in Matthew Spencer is batting .337 with a .945 OPS in A+ ball in the Oakland system. Blanton damn well better keep pitching well.

Great, now Beerleaguer is starting to sound like Metsblog.

Barry Bonds? Really?

Gary Sheffield and the $14 million he's owed next year? Really?

Are you people serious?

Who will be more productive over the next 5 years, Howard or Burrell? I'd put my money on Howard. Right now we're seeing the best of Burrell and the worst of Howard, and you need to think of it from that perspective when making long-term plans.

I really want the Phillies to resign Burrell, but I can understand their reluctance to do so, considering he just robbed them for most of his contract.

I'd lock up Howard before Burrell...depending on whether Howard still wants 8 years, 25 per though. If he does it might make more sense to trade him in the offseason and resign Burrell.

The Phillies are a "toe the line" organization. They wouldn't sign Barry Bonds, even if he agreed to pay all of Adam Eaton's 2009 salary out of his own bank account.

Personally, I am all for the idea. This "chemistry" stuff is crap. The Phillies' offense is in a nuclear meltdown. There is no chemical you could add to it that would make it worse. Of course, Bonds has only played LF, so if you signed him you'd have to move Burrell to right. That would make for a one of the more ghastly defensive outfields in recent baseball history. But who cares?

GM Carson: You're pretty funny... 12 minutes ago you wanted us to "win at all costs" by signing Bonds, Lofton and Piazza. Now you are bemoaning the fact that we traded away a couple of prospects to win now.

Phillies fans... never satisfied...

CJ- if Sheff cost $14 million I'd be opposed, but I'd expect the Tigers to be willing to eat a large chunk of that if dealt, especially if to an NL team where he won't come back and haunt them.

"And it's also fair to ask whether it makes sense to commit 10 to 15% of the team's payroll to a prodigious left handed power hitter who absolutely needs to be platooned"

100 RBIs on August 13. Shut up. Seriously.

2008 Howard > 2003-2007 Burrell

it may be blasphamy to suggest this, but I would love to trade Howard to the AL and make a sick attempt at signing Texiera in the off season.

I'm pretty sure Texiera could hit forty points higher than howard, be within ten homers, and twenty rbis of him while playing much better defense. Plus the move could restock the organization. Not to mention break up our endless parade of lefties.

baxter: Which part of being one of the most productive right handed bats in all of baseball over the past 8 years (other than 2003) makes you believe he's "robbing" anyone? Burrell didn't break $10M until the 2007 season.

every time jenkins manages to get a ball into the air, he admires it in the box for WAY too long. just hoping that he hit a home run when we just needed a single. worthless

Career OPS+
Ryan Howard 140
Pat Burrell 120

CJ- I consider Blanton an upgrade over Eaton, but I also consider Happ an upgrade over Eaton. I think Happ is ready to be a full-time starting pitcher in the Majors. I'm still not sold on Blanton. I think he and Happ would put up comparable numbers, and we already had Happ. If Blanton goes on pitching the way he has the past 2 starts, then I'm more than happy to have shipped those 3 guys to Oakland.

Brian: What are you talking about? Howard's 2007 splits against left-handers were .225/.333/.493. His career stats against left-handers are .221/.303/.441. There isn't going to be any adjustment, except possibly a downward one -- as he is very clearly getting worse in this area. You don't even need to look at stats to realize this. Just watch him hit left-handers. He is lost. He clearly has no idea where the ball is coming from.

Howard had one good year against left-handers. His stats that year were based on a grand total of 219 PAs. It was a statistical fluke, and nothing more.

GM Carson: Sheffield was put at DH because he simply can't field anymore. Apparently, he had a shoulder injury which prevents him from throwing.

And really? We want .223/.323/.394?

What bizarro world have I entered?

I've got to remember not to stop by here during a losing streak. The insane proclamations are too much to handle.

FYI: It looks like the Reds are going to get Micah Owings from the D-Backs as part of the Dunn deal.

Burrell was coming off a career year when he signed that deal. Its completely disingenuous to pretend that Pat Burrell fulfilled expectations for the duration of his contract. He was ok in 2005, but still struck out 160 times that year. Burrell was pretty bad, in general, between 2003-2007.

"2008 Howard > 2003-2007 Burrell"

First of all, if you want to discuss Burrell's CURRENT worth intelligently, you can't bring up a season that happened 5 years ago. Burrell's season-by-season OPS since 2004 have been: .821, .892, .890., .902, and .944. Howard's 2008 OPS is .810. To say that Howard's 2008 season is better than Burrell's typical season could not possibly be more ridiculous.

Sheff isn't happening nor should it...that's crazy talk.

Lofton would make sense though as he does alot of things this team needs (high avg, good speed, can still field etc)

Amen, Baxter. If we're calling for Ryan Howard's head then Pat Burrell would have been killed in a angry mob of beerleaguers by now. How can nobody remember Pat Burrell was the team's #1 lineup problem on July 1, 2007? And now because of his career year where he's still hitting just .265 we should move Howard in order to keep him? Baffling.

CJ: I know you're one of the more level-headed ones here, but even you have to admit the offense is more than a tad anemic at this point and it doesn't appear to be getting any better.

We're just shooting in the dark right now--and many of the suggestions are zany ones--but we need a spark. I don't know that Feliz simply returning will provide that or not.


You don't know what you are talking about.

Year: OPS+
2001: 110
2002: 146
2003: 90
2004: 107
2005: 128
2006: 122
2007: 127
2008: 141

2003 was a terrible year. 2004 was only marginally better. But to suggest 128, 122, 127 and 141 didn't earn about $10M per year... well, you clearly don't know what you are talking about.

CJ- I'm not trying to start an argument with you. I know Bonds in unrealistic, and so is Lofton for that matter. I know Sheffield isn't going to happen either, I'm just sick of harping on all the negatives of this offense that I thought I'd go to fantasy land and pretend the problems could be fixed. My bad bro.

No to Sheffield, of course. But I can't see how Bonds could hurt. Last year his OBP was still .480.

You're cherry picking stats by leaving out Burrell's worst year while including Howard's worst. Not only that, Burrell is older than Howard, less consistent and more often injured.

Of course Howard's 2008 season is WAY better than Burrell's average year. Howard's BA right now is close to Burrell's career BA, and he'll hit more HR and RBI than Burrell ever has and ever will.

CJ: I'm all about level-headed discussions. But Barry Bonds and Gary Sheffield? Really? You support that kind of speculation?

Here's more on Bonds. Read it.

Only problem with Bonds is that Cholly's head would explode when he had to remove both Bonds and Burrell in the 9th for defensive replacements...

Ryan Howard's 2008 average- .236. Pat Burrell lifetime average- .259. That's 23 points Baxter.

Tray: See my post above. Read up on Bonds and then come back and tell me how he'll put up numbers for the Phillies.

Ryan Howard is a force, and I want him to remain a Phillie for the next few years. He does strikeout 1.22 per game and 33.6% of his official at bats.

I can't believe someone here actually just cited to a Wojciechowski column. He just might be the daftest sportswriter in America.

Howard needs to be platooned? On what planet?

So what non-contending team has any hitters that we might be able to get who can help us now? Any suggestions? Dunn wouldn't have been a good move for the Phils. We need a contact hitter.

I have to think that if there was anyone available in the minors who could help he would already be here, no?

Tray: It's not his words I care about. It's the baseball people. You know, people who evaluate talent for a living... not a bunch of know-it-all blog readers. If you think Barry Bonds can help this team...

I can't believe I'm actually discussing this.

Howard has been a disappointment anyway you slice it this year (just rank his stats against other 1B in the NL and he really comes out just as an average 1B at best this year) and has not played well the past 3 weeks either.

I hope he gets hot (he did for 2 weeks in early July) but it is pretty likely this is the Howard he will see for the rest of the year - a guy who finishes with some pretty impressive HR/RBI stats that cover up a woeful AVG/OBP and a disappointing number of runs scored.

baxter: When a player has had 5 good seasons in a row -- including 4 excellent ones -- it isn't "cherry-picking" to leave out a bad season that happened 6 years ago, when evaluating that player's current worth. In fact, it's quite insane to include it.

doubleh: Well, the guy I wanted was Casey Blake. He's hit .282, .270 and .290 the last three years. He's not a .300 guy, but he's a solid hitter with some pop. He can play third, first and the OF. He's a defensive liability, but that's why he's on the corners.

You're just not going to find .300 hitters on the trade market. Unfortunately. And none of them are going to clear waivers.

"Howard needs to be platooned? On what planet?"

In the .186 avgerage, .589 OPS against lefties world this season.

Lifetime- .220/.745.

Not exactly good is it?

I wouldn't love the media circus that Bonds would bring by any stretch, but at this point, who would you rather have in RF, Bonds or Jenkins? Who would you rather pinch hit, Bonds or Taguchi? I know Bonds ain't gonna happen, but just sayin'...

doubleh - AVG is overrated. This difference between a guy like Dunn this year and Howard is that while Dunn Ks a ton he has also been taking a huge number of BBs as usual.

Funny how people obsessed last year with Howard's K rate and ignored that fact that his AVG was still sufficient and he was taking a decent number of BBs.

This may be hard for most of you to believe... but since May 10th (that's the last 82 games), Ryan Howard has been the Phillies best hitter.

Howard: .894 OPS, 26 HR, 83 RBI
Burrell: .892 OPS, 18 HR, 38 RBI
Utley: .860 OPS, 17 HR, 55 RBI
Victorino: .854 OPS, 11 HR, 42 RBI
Rollins: .767 OPS, 5 HR, 33 RBI

CJ: Other than some scouts' meaingless projections, what part of that article shows that Bonds couldn't put up numbers for the Phillies? Yes, he can't play defense at all. Yes, he's a sideshow -- although that's considerably overrated. But all the evidence says that he WOULD put up pretty good numbers -- certainly better ones than Jenkins is currently putting up.

I can certainly see the argument against signing him -- plus it's kind of pointless to discuss it, since we all know that it will never happen. But, given the Phillies' offensive woes, I hardly think the idea is so asinine that it warrants a condescending response.

Its funny but it looks more and more like the Phils needed to get either a 3B or corner OF bat than anything else. Phils knew Feliz's status was questionable for the rest of the year and Vic's back injury just compounds things right now.

Really, the Phils have to hope that Burrell snaps out of his funk or that Jenkins has one semi-hot streak left him in this season. Otherwise, there aren't a lot of options offensively.

I doubt highly that Howard's .189 BA against lefties qualifies as "success." He has 100 RBI on Aug. 13, but he also has 107 hits on Aug. 13.

The platoon conversation has come up a lot recently, and rightfully so.

It's also quite insane to suggest to platoon a guy who was the quickest ever to 100 home runs. Bat him down in the lineup against lefties? Sure. PLATOON HIM? That really is as stupid a suggestion as there gets on this place.

It's also quite insane to suggest Pat Burrell has been 'excellent' 4 of the past 5 seasons. If that were the case, Pat Burrell would have been an all star 'snub' in every year rather than only this year.

Sorry for the tone of this post. I'm having a crap day and I'm taking it out on BL.

Out to go for a run, I'm training for a marathon in November. I intend to meet my goal unlike the Phils have been doing offensively. I'll be back to read all the comments later, have fun in the meantime.

PB, I'm assuming you're Pat Burrell and you're interested in playing 1st base?

MG: I think AVG is only overrated when the majority of your team can hit for it save only the power hitters. When all of your hitters are all or nothing type hitters who take very few walks and can't make productive outs, than AVG is no longer overrated.

In 2007, the Phils were tied for third in all of baseball in OBP with .354. In 2008, the Phils are 15th with .333.

Where are those 21 points coming from? Ryan Howard, obviously, is a problem. He's 70 points below last year and 60 below his career number. Are catcher and third base also part of the problem? Probably. Maybe not catcher so much since Ruiz wasn't an OBP machine last year either. At third, we settled on a defensive wizard who gets out 7 out of every 10 times at the plate. He's at least lived up to the second half of that expectation. And his replacement, Eric Bruntlett hasn't been much better.

GPG: Let's say that each weekend, you and your buddy go fishing, alternating between 2 lakes. In Lake 1, you regularly catch 20 fish in 3 hours. In Lake 2, you might occasionally catch 1 fish in 3 hours and, more often, none. According to your logic, you should just keep doing exactly what you're doing, which is to go to both lakes. After all, you're averaging nearly 10 fish caught per week. Your logic makes no sense.

bap: What evidence is there that Barry Bonds, after sitting out for almost 12 calendar months... and coming off injury and steroids... could produce offensively? And why do you dismiss all of the other factors? You don't find it curious that NO team wants him? Hell... the Astros manager said he'd quit if they signed him. That's all irrelevant to you?

Burrell's lifetime average .259
Howard's lifetime average .278

TK - Just because I don't want to empty the bank on a guy who fails to make the right adjustments, stubbornly hits into the shift, and looks downright awful trying to judge pitches doesn't mean I want Burrell to play first.

Yeah, and the people who evaluate talent for a living basically said that he's really old (didn't seem to hamper him much last year), could struggle from the long layoff, can't field (a problem, but true of most anyone else we might bring in to add some outfield production), is a surly guy, and would attract a ton of distracting media. The defense is a problem, but all that other stuff is just fluff.

Tray: He hasn't swung at live pitching in a year! How long do you believe it will take him to get into playing shape?

TK - don't you think there is a bit of a double-standard when we talk about lefty-righty platoon situations at RF and 3B when at the same time Howard has been putting up terrible numbers against lefties? All I'm saying is that he shouldn't be immune. I'm not saying Burrell should be our future 1B either.

CJ: The evidence is this: .276/.480/565. Those are his 2007 numbers. Perhaps even more compelling evidence would be his 2006 numbers: .270/.454/.545. Those nummbers were posted after having missed all but the first 14 games of the previous season.

Teams don't want Bonds because he's a pain in the ass and is under indictment. But I'm fairly sure he could still hit .250 with good power numbers and a .400 OBP.

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