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Sunday, September 21, 2008


Carlos Ruiz reverting back to Chooch and Brett Myers returning from the minors exile were two of the biggest pick-ups post All-Star break. Go Phils!

Nice win considering almost all the offense came from the 'black hole' part of the lineup.

Now all we need is a little blast or two from the big guys today.

For all the crap he takes from people, Charlie deserves a lot of credit for sticking with Ruiz.

28 k's last night between the 2 teams (12 Phils/16 Marlins) of course the offenses are going to struggle a bit.

Here's hoping Moyer can go deep today to save the bullpen a few precious outs.

Winning any game when your top five go 1-19 is fairly unbelievable. Fate seems to be smiling on the Phillies again in September.

Volstad pitched well against the Phils this year (6 IP, 0 R, 4 BB, 3 H, 3 SO) to combine with 4 RP for a 3-0, 4 hit shut-out of the Phils.

Hamels went 6.1, K-ing 7 but allowing 7 hits and 2 ER.

Hanley (1.218 OPS in 34 PA) and Jacobs (1.444 OPS in 18 PA) are the only Marlins with any history of success against Moyer. Wes Helms is actually 4-6 with a HR against Moyer. Cantu is 6-17 but they're all singles. Moyer walks Hermida at a good clip.

Uggla has a .416 OPS against Moyer.
Ross has a .410.
Willingham has one hit (a triple) in 20 PA.
Amezaga is 2-17.
Luis Gonzalez is 0-16 -- doesn't even have a walk.

Volstad faced the Phils on Sept 9th as well, when Kendrick allowed 7 ER in 1.1 IP. Volstad only threw 38 pitches (3 IP) and allowed 2 hits and 1 ER. Let's hope Freddi puts De La Cruz in this game as well.

"The bullpen as a whole was outstanding," Lidge said. "I'm a little biased, but I think that's what won the game tonight."


Last night's game had to be discouraging for the Fish. It's never over till it's over, but...

If the Phils were able to come out of the gate quick with a couple of runs early, then an add on or two, and Moyer is on his game, the Fish might start folding their tents a bit.

But if the bats are cold and the Fish stay even or get an edge, it will be a long, long afternoon/early evening.

Florida SS Hanley Ramirez (shoulder) missed his third game in a row and won't rejoin the lineup until Monday at the earliest, the team said.

Not that Amezaga and Maybin aren't a handful. Link.


Let's win the NL East and face the Dodgers in the playoffs. I'd rather face them - even with Manny - than the Cubbies. But if we continue on this hot streak, we have a good chance against either team.

Still, I'm overall glad to see Ramirez out another day or two. Tend that shoulder, Hanley. It is the key to your future and you do not want to jeopardize that.

I am not a big believer in "sophomore slump" but Chooch is in his second full season and it appears he just went through a tough streak in the first half were he was having trouble getting full contact on the ball and has ajusted and picked it up. Even when he wasnt hitting a lick earlier, he was still rocking an OBP 100 points higher than his BA. His post-break#s (.273/.366/.764 )is very acceptable from the bottom of the order and he appears to have done a good job defensively (especially with blocking some of Lidges sliders) and with pitch calling/pitcher handling.

I would take that line from a good defensive catcher every single year.

If the Mets/Phils win today (and I like both of their chances given the matchups), you can pretty much put the dirt officially on the Brewers.

They will be 3 GB with 6 games to play which means the Brewers would suddenly have to roll off 5 or 6 straight to close the season (when they haven't won that many all month) and the Phils/Mets would both have to fall about the last week and go 1-5/2-4. Either the Phils or Mets may go .500 in the last week but the Brewers aren't going 6-0 either.

Not to toot my own horn but I was the one back in June and July saying, Ruiz is essentially a second year player and he is going to scuffle a little. I said at the time- you need to weatehr the storm.

Give Charlie credit for sticking with him. I've stuck up for Charlie quite a bit around here and for all his faults he has one glaring strength that stands out among others. He believes in his guys. He plays hot hand guys, and sits guys who need a day off. But with guys like Ruiz- he basically just throws them out there as a vote of confidence. That should never be overlooked in how the players feel towards Charlie. I still say he is the right manager for this collection of guys.

I think if we can come out of this weekend with the lead in the division we have a really good chance of winning it with the Mets schedule down the stretch.

Either way- playoff magic number is 5.

Hopefully Moyer can give the Phils 6 today but I am willing to bet that off day on Thurs. is going to be critical for the Phils.

Means they will go into the Nats series with a well-rested pen while the Mets are going to play the Fish coming off a tough series in Chicago (Pinella may rest a player here or there but it has never been his style to rest large portions of his team when they have clinched early).

Credit for sticking with Ruiz? More like lack of any better alternative. Cholly has played Ruiz simply for the fact that Coste has gone into the tank the 2nd half for the most part while Ruiz has put up offensive numbers that make playing him at least viable.

Let's not forget that Ruiz was pretty awful for long stretches this summer and in the first half. Plus, he still is going to finish the year with lower stats across the board including some pretty disappointing power numbers.

Phils could live with a catcher who hit .235 or .240 but had some pop (10-15 HRs) and walked at a decent clip like Chooch has been doing the 2nd half. Chooch just hasn't delievered that though.

Cholly hasn't done anything wrong at all. Just playing the hand he has been dealt but the Phils are still going to have some decisions at C this offseason including:

1. Do the Phils think Chooch can be a full-time starter next year and catch 115-120 games? (my bet is no but they may be forced into this route)

2. Do the Phils bring back Coste as a backup/platoon catcher? (definitely not and I don't see how Coste makes this team since he defensively can't play anywhere besides 1B/C but his bat still would be useful off the bench)

3. Do the Phils think Marson is ready to be the backup catcher out of spring training (my bet is yes but the Phils bring in a backup vet cathcer to start the season)?

4. Do the Phils need to bring in a vet catcher to act as a backup to start the season? (my bet is yes but by May/June Marson is the backup)

Let's just win today and worry about the rest after today's W. Phils have been down this road like every year, chasing, leading WC or Division.l Each win is closer.

Lidge is unbelievable. Someone should check how often he has ptiched in 4-run games and compare to the saves leaders. The stat that is important is, we are what 74-0 when leading going into the 9th and has appeared in 69 games. My guess he has pitched in 4 run leads 10-15 times. Often after the Phils have added a run or two in the 8th. Compare his 34 saves and 10-15 4 run appearances to any other reliever save Rodriguez and I'm sure you'll see just what an MVP he has been.

I said during the game last night that it had the feel of a loss. In any of the past 5 seasons, I would have been right. This year, thanks to the bullpen, they have been doing a much better job at making those slim leads hold up.

This was a huge win because Florida and even the Astros (who also lost) were still hanging around close enough to contention to make me nervous. But, at 5.5 behind the Phillies with only 7 left, I think we've reached the point where we can stop worrying about them.

Clearly it doesn't make a difference as I just want to make the playoffs regardless of how the Phils do it, but it's interesting to think that - should the Brewers continue their fall from grace and the Phils either win the division or clinch the Wild Card - this will be the second year in a row when a catastrophic collapse has allowed the Phils to make the post-season.
I guarantee you if Milwaukee doesn't make the playoffs, the upcoming off-season will mirror the last off-season in terms of harping on the "choke" of the Brewers rather than the clutch performing of the Phillies.

It shouldn't be forgotten, however, that the Phillies are currently playing some of the best baseball I have seen of them of late. They absolutely deserve to be in this position, choking by the other teams notwithstanding.

I forgot to add that to further illustrate the point: Milwaukee is a pathetic 4-15 thus far in September, Sheets may not make another start this season, Sabathia will be pitching on 3 days rest from here on out apparently (even though he struggled mightily yesterday on 3 days rest), and the offense looks completely anemic..

At one point everybody was questioning not bringing back Rowand for his leadership but it has been pretty clear the Gillick was 100% right to have a pretty set limit on Rowand and be prepared with Vic as the everyday CF.

Vic has gradually improved almost every one of his stats including put a line of .289/.351/.443 vs. Rowand's line of .273/.343/.416.

Now granted Vic benefits from playing in CBP (looked at his OPS which is much higher at CBP) and bats in a much better lineup than Rowand this year, but Vic has essentially delievered enough punch of CF. Vic doesn't have quite have Rowand's power numbers but he has much better speed.

The real issue is that the Phils went out and spent decent money on a guy (Jenkins) who looks largely washed up and are stuck with him for another year at big dollars.

I can see not committing the 5 yrs/$50M to Rowand because it would have hamstrung this ownership down the road/been a likely a millstone the last 2 years but signing Jenkins is likely going to force the Phils' hand in not resigning Burrell now.

MG - I think that factoring in that Ruiz is a second year player and how he played during the second half, he has earned the right for the starting catcher job to be his to lose in 2009. Now, if he struggles for long stretches next year, then you can consider Marson. So to your points I would say

1. Yes, Ruiz has earned starting catcher for 2009

2. Coste- Very iffy, it would depend on what veteran backup would be available in the winter

3. Give Marson more seasoning in AAA to start 2009 and let the situation next summer determine a call-up

4. As stated in 2. Depends on who is available. I cant see overpaying for a vet that may not be much better than Coste and having to pay his salary for the whole season.

So, go with Chooch and Coste and keep grooming Marson and have him ready

MG: Thanks for the much-needed injection of reality into the discussion about Ruiz. He has had one nice month, but I'm not going to start gushing over a guy who is hitting .228 with 4 homeruns.

Interesting comparison. Kyle Lohse's Phillies numbers last year: 3-0, 4.72, .276 BAA, 1.44 WHIP. The Phillies had a 9-4 record in his starts.

Joe Blanton's Phillies' numbers: 3-0, 4.45, .249 BAA, 1.41 WHIP. Phillies have an 8-4 record when he starts.

Blanton has taken no small amount of heat on this website (and I am more guilty than most). But, in the final analysis, he has far out-performed his career road numbers and has been a solid addition. Do you think the Phillies would be 8-4 in those 12 starts if Happ or Eaton had been the one starting? I don't.

diggity - Yes, the Brewers are collapsing, but for the second year in a row it's playoffs teams that are playing a large role in that collapse. The Brewers have been swept by both the Mets and Phils this month -- that's 7 losses right there.

Also, the Phils look like they'll win 16 or 17 games this month.


MG - It would be interesting to see how Lou had managed his clinched teams in the past. My bet is that a bunch of guys get rest today. They'll probably win anyway with Dempster on the mound.

A closer who only appears in the 9th inning should never be the MVP. Yes Lidge has had an incredible season but I just can't seeing given an MVP to a guy who only pitches in the 9th inning in select situations.

Look at this way - a normal closer converts at about an 85% clip and I think the odds of a team winning when they go into the 9th inning with even a 1-run lead are >90% (have to check some stats on this) and with a 2-run lead it jumps to something like 96 or 97%.

BAP - Great comparison. No way Phils win all those games without Blanton. And then Kendrick collapsed. We'd still be throwing Kendrick out there.

MG - Rowand's contract would hamstring this team for year's to come. That's a terrible contract.

BAP - Yeah. The only thing disappointing so far about Blanton has been his IP/start. He has really taxed the bullpen in some of his outings and I think he is averaging slightly over 5 1/3 IP/start.

I am not sure what the MLB average is but I bet it is slightly below it. Basically Blanton has certainly pitched better than Eaton would have (and my bet Happ too), but he has added to the strain on the middle relievers but not giving the Phils 6+. Basically another ~13 or 14 innings or so the Phils have to find out of their bullpen in his starts.

MG - I don't know how revealing those percentages are. Look at how poor the pen was last year. Look at the Mets this year. MVP, no. But I think he deserves a CY vote or three.

Here's something strange:

2007 HOU: 67 IP, 1.254 WHIP, 88 SO, 78.3% LOB, 131 ERA+
2008 PHI: 66.3 IP, 1.191 WHIP, 87 SO, 82.9% LOB, 235 ERA+

Why so much more success?

2007 HOU: 1.21 HR9, 10.3% IFFB, 13.2% HR/FB
2008 PHI: .27 HR9, 16.3% IFFB, 4.1% HR/FB

Check out his pitch selection

2007: 58% Fastball, 36% Slider
2008: 43% Fastball, 56% Slider

I would be more agreeable with MG and BAP if Ruiz had started out good and tanked, but he has certainly had more than "one nice month" and again, I will give him more leeway for this being his second full season than if it was say his third or 4th. Of course, if there is a repeat next season than its time to have Marson groomed and ready to step in.

I can't believe how bad the Brewers have collapsed this month especially given that they haven't been that particularly hard hit by injuries either. My bet is that while everyone will remember the Mets '07 collapse for years to come (because it happened in NYC), the great Brewers' collapse of '08 will largely be relegated to the the dustbin of history except in the Wisc. area.

Sophist - Love the numbers man. If there is a guy for bringing useful numbers to a thread here, it is you.

Sophist- I can see Lou giving his charges a rest today, but he isnt going to give them the week off and they still have to wrap up homefield throughout the playoffs. They will be there to play against the Mutts and no matter where Florida is at, they do not like the Mess and will be doing everything possible to beat them next weekend.

Yeah, I think most of us knew at the time that 5 years, $60M for Rowand was absurd. Publically, the Giants are saying that Rowand is everything they expected him to be. Privately, I can't imagine they're too thrilled. Rowand's numbers are about what you would expect from a part-time outfielder who gets 300 to 350 ABs. $12M per year ought to buy you a lot more than that.

Sophist - What I want to know is how the Phils' pitching staff has largely limited the amount of HRs at CBP they have allowed.

Basically been one of those huge hidden keys to the whole season. Moyer has improved his HR/9 at CBP and lowered his ERA in the process. Myers' 2nd half dominance in part has been keyed by his dramatically lower rate in HR/9 including at CBP. Looks like Lidge too has really cut down his HRs.

Is it pitch selection? Better pitchers? Just a statistical anomaly?

One of the hidden keys of success in 2008 for the Phils: Dramatically lowered HR/9 rate at CBP by the pitching staff (while the offensive continues to crank them out).

And the difference in his line is revealing:

2007: .219/.312/.409
2008: .191/.290/.266

The difference between the BA is sizable but not that large (54 H in 247 AB in 07, 46 H in 278 AB in 08.) But look at that SLG difference. He allowed 28 XBH last year (9 HR) and has allowed just 13 this year (2 HR.) 10 of those 13 are 2B.

MG- As far as the Brewers, not only have they collapsed this season, this will be the second year in a row that they choked their way out of the playoffs (if things stand as they are). That has to wear on a fan base for sure and with the spectre of perhaps both Sabathia and Sheets (Houston bound?) leaving next season, its not a good time to be one of the True Brew Crew

BAP - Sabean has become one of the worst GMs in MLB the last few years. Panicked and overpaid massively for Zito and did the same thing with Rowand when the Giants' attempts to draw other FA hitters last offseason failed.

Moyer's numbers against the Fish are just mindblowing. Lets see if he can keep Amezaga off the basepaths at least once today, something no one else could do yet.

My bet on players reluctance to head to SF is this - the price of housing in the city is still out of this world (median price of a home is still $780k I think last month and even more in Marin county) and you pay a crap load in state taxes and local taxes.

Basically Giants have to overpay players because of the fiscal situation in the Bay Area and having a poor team.

just rewatched last night's game - couple thoughts:
1) Ruiz has obviously gained in confidence since the beginning of the year. The hop in his step and decisiveness is markedly quicker and more aggressive than the beginning of the year when BLers were clamoring for him to step up, "be a man," and take control of games. His bat swing has gotten noticeably quicker as well.

2) Phils offense needs to continue taking quality at-bats even though they are in the lead. They seem to quiet down or lose focus once they get ahead thinking that the pitching staff will shut down the opponents the rest of the way.

3) The combination of Blanton-Durbin-Romero-Madson-Lidge threw almost 200 pitches last night in 9 innings. That's more than 20 pitches per inning which is not good news moving forward. It was probably the right call to lift Blanton for a pinch hitter in the 6th with the bases loaded and 2 outs, but that decision probably prevents the Phils from using any of its best 4 relievers today.

I just cant see any way that Sabean keeps his job after this season. They held on to building everything around Barry Bonds for too long and if they thought that rebuilding with Aaron Rowand as a centerpice was the solution, they are out of their minds.

Yeah, Moyer's GB% is up ~4% this up and his FB% is down the same. His HR/FB is down from 12% to 10% and his HR/9 is down to .98 from 1.35 last year.

His LOB% is up 6% as well.

Besides that, his numbers are largely the same. His LD% and BABIP are similar to last year. He's just producing contact that turn into outs. More groundballs and the pitches they are driving aren't leaving the park. He's throwing his cutter about 6% more often and his fastball 4% more often. The pitch he's throwing less is his change: 29% last year, 23% this year. Bad changes are certainly pitches that get hit in the air and hard.

bob - re: (3):: no wonder that game was so excruciating. Thank goodness for the off-day.

diggity: Why in the world would someone mention Milwaukee's collapse if the Phils win the division?

KoolEarl: "I just cant see any way that Sabean keeps his job after this season."

Two words: Tim Lincecum.

I tried to understand this
I thought that they were out of their minds
How could I be so foolish (How could I)
To not see I was the one behind
So still I kept on fighting
Well, loosing every step of the way
I said, I must go back there (I got to go back)
And check to see if things still the same
Yeah they was dancin' and singin' and movin' to the groovin'
And just when it hit me somebody turned around and shouted
Play that funky music white boy
Play that funky music right
Play that funky music white boy
Lay down the boogie and play that funky music till you die
Till you die, ya
Till you die

MG - The Phils allowed 125 HR at home last year. 75 this year.

It looks like, from a quick count, that SP have allowed ~60 of those 75.

Hamels: 14
Myers: 13
Moyer: 11
Kendrick: 10
Eaton: 6
Blanton: 4
Happ: 2

The RP have allowed the least number of HR total (home and away) in the NL this year. 4 fewer than LAD, 10 fewer than ARI. .372 SLG against. The relievers with the most home HR allowed are Durbin and Madson: 3 each, but they've also pitched more innings at home than the rest of the pen. Lidge, Condrey and Seanez have allowed 1 each. Romero has allowed 2. That's ~200 innings of relief between them and about 10 or 11 HR.

Moyer's pitched ~85 innings at home and allowed 11 HR, something we were applauding earlier.

Durbin, Madson, Lidge, Romero, Seanez are the RP that have thrown 20 IP or more at home. All told they've allowed 11 HR in 206.7 IP at home. .479 HR/9.

Here's the contrast/comparison.

Tim Lincecum has pitched 215.2 IP this year. He's allowed 10 HR. .42 HR/9.

Yeah, they've been very good at home.

$15 million per for a guy who gives league average offense, a good glove and some leadership. Thanks but no thanks. Rowand isn't worth that and its a smart play that we didn't give it to him.

Tim Lincecum is my favorite pitcher to watch. The way he coils like a cobra in the wind up and fires off a pitch is just wild. I hope someday, maybe he will lured to Phills.

Rowand obviously benefited from hitting behind lots of good hitters last year, and a small ballpark. He's a role player/solid/semi-star for a good team. The Giants are idiots.

I wouldn't be shocked to see the Yanks pick up his contract next yr. They've wanted thi guy ever since he was on Chicago and they're desperate for a good centerfielder who can hit. He'd be PERFECT there and they can afford it.

Yeah, vegas. I also should have noted that TL leads all of baseball in HR/9 and he likely will win the CY.

I pulled up stst line for Lidge and Rodriguez last night - Lidge is BETTER IN EVERY SINGLE CATEGORY that a pitcher controls - Hits, BB's and K's, - and better in ERA and W/L as well. The only thing he trails is Saves - which a pitcher has NO CONTROL OVER. A pitcher pitches regardless of the score and tries to give up no runs. give me Big Brad any day.

sophist - thanks for the research. any word on the rate our bullpen is giving up HRs compared to LA (or other)'s bullpens?

this is not necessarily a cause-and-effect study, but it always seems as if phillies players perform poorly after they are hyped up in the media. perhaps it is because performance is cyclical and when they get public acclaim for peak performances, there is nowhere to go but down, and they usually fall hard. but why do they have to fall so hard?

case in points this year:
1) utley - after all the MVP talk, he disappeared (relatively), especially after that piece about his batting practice bat (the day after which that bat broke)
2) lidge - after being hyped up and having a bunch of profiles on him about how he has fit in with the clubhouse, how his early DL enabled him to perfect his slider, he tanked for a couple weeks and has shown wildness that he hadn't shown earlier this year.
3) burrell - after the news articles about how he's the real leader in the clubhouse and how he was carrying the offense, he started slumping.
4) myers - in his start after a bunch of media acclaim about how awesome he was in the second half since his recall, especially after throwing 9 innings of 2 hit ball against a direct playoff contender, he gives up a crazy 10 ER.
5) moyer - leading up to his last start against the Marlins, everybody made a big deal (at least bigger than usual) of how effective he was against the Fish. he then subsequently goes out there and gets bombed.

now this is not a true cause-n-effect study because i'm sure there have been media hype-ups of players that haven't been followed up by dramatic downturns in performance - a la Werth (so far) and Howard (this month with all the MVP talk). But more often than not, it seems as if media attention focused on the outsized performance of a particular player leads to bad performances.

i bring this up, because moyer is once again on the mound against the fish, and i would rather not read any comments like "moyer OWNS the fish"; especially by the mainstream media.

Lots of noise with two outs in ATL. Parr got Reyes and Murphy to start. Then walked Wright, Delgado doubled him in, Beltran reached on an infield single. He just walked Church. Castillo's up though.

That's pretty much all Castillo is good for. He worked the walk with the bases juiced.

Castillo's walk was right down the plate, Mets caught a break. I'll take it!

clout: "Two words: Tim Lincecum".

The state of baseball in SF is in sad, sad shape if Sabean gets a pass solely for drafting Tim Lincecum.

Good thing for Parr that he got the first 2 batters out or the Mets could have really blown it open.

Parr threw 40 pitches in that first inning. Hope that ATL bullpen is up to the challenge today.

In re: Sabean;
One more reason that it's likely he will keep his job. (From Cot's Contracts)

Opening Day payrolls for 25-man roster
(salaries plus pro-rated signing bonuses):
2008: $ 76,594,500

2007: $ 90,219,056

Infante HBP, 2-1 Mets

Both pitchers getting squeezed big time. Each team got an undeserved run. High pitch counts galore.

Opening Day payrolls for 25-man roster
(salaries plus pro-rated signing bonuses):
2008: $ 76,594,500

Subtract Rowand and Zito and you have some serious small market payroll

Well Parr is coming out in the 2nd inning, so at least the Braves bullpen will be used up today before they come in tomorrow.

diehard: I thought the same thing, good for the Phils, but their long man Carlyle pitched to just one better. In what was one of the stupidest moves ever Cox pinch hit for him in the 2nd inning. Although the run eventually scored with a pinch hitter, I don't see how a run in the 2nd inning is worth losing your long man over..

Anyone watching Mil-Cin? The 8 hole hitter was up with runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out - a great spot for a walk to get to the pitcher. Brewers pitcher McClueng threw a fastball at his head and missed on the first pitch, threw another pitch or two, and then threw another pitch at his head and hit him. Then was yanked for a reliever.

Pretty dirty baseball from the BrewCrew

Its September, Atlanta is out of contention and Bobby Cox has never shied away from trying out pitchers. With expanded rosters traditional bullpen uses can't really be ascribed to pitchers in the last week, I think.

DiceK is dealing in Toronto. Speaking of Boston -

Catcher 1: .228/.326/.314 ($425K)
Catcher 2: .221/.311/.365 ($10.5MM)
Guess who plays for the Sox and who plays for the Phils?

Granted one has backstopped several world series champ rotations...

And speaking of this particular catcher - there hasn't been even a peep of his off-the-field antics in the media. Like his more infamous counterpart in NY, A-Rod, both cheated (tek with a sideline reporter, got caught, and got divorced). I wonder if this is an example of responsible media or biased media.

Can DiceK throw a football? They could sure use him down in Foxborough.

what the hell is Morton still doing pitching for the Braves?

Cut through what I said however you like, bu the drumbeat here and elsewhere- even during Ruiz's beginning to get hot- was, "Coste should be starting." Charlie ignored it and stuck with Chooch.

It made it easier to stick with Chooch considering he has gotten better of late, but he has locked down the starting job this year, and should be given it out of spring training next year.

Getting Mets out is what he's doing.

Cubs lineup today: No Soriano, Lee, Ramirez, DeRosa, or Soto.

And what the hell is he doing still quarterbacking for the Cowboys?

But he better work in ST and beyond like he's lloking in his rearview, cause that's where Sweet Louie Marson is gonna be.

well, isn't the gyro pitch supposed to be thrown like a football spiral?

loved how at the end of the charlie weis article on the laptop being used in the coaching box, the reporter throws in the fact that Weis was part of the Patriots' coaching staff when they were cheating. this is the story that will never die...

karmic payback's a bitch - when bob kraft started spouting off about the organization's character as the main reason for their success - and then went ahead and signed guys like Moss and Dillon, you knew something was rotten in Denmark.

Yo, new thread

I much prefer the concussed double-play machine version of Ryan Church that is killing the Mets than the one who was knocking the Phils earlier this year

hope the cubs lineup is back to full strength tomorrow although i doubt they play all their starters consistently over the next week...thing is, you know pinella is going to keep a short leash on harden and zambrano while playing a lot of his lesser relievers. expect the worst - mets sweep...

I look forward to the Cubs struggling mightily at the beginning of the NLDS.

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