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Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Great news on Eyre. I really enjoyed watching him and had confidence when he was warming up in the pen. 1 for 1 so far Ruben.

I would be happy if they signed Bradley and Sheets and took the picks for Burrell and Moyer. Seems like a reasonable plan, but I don't think there is enough payroll to accomplish this.

Presumably we're getting the Eyre who went 1.88 with the Phils as opposed to the one who went 7.15 with the Cubs.

I'm still struggling to understand why the Marlins didn't get more of a return for Willingham & Olsen. I can only conclude that they've totally overrated Bonifacio, whom they seem to think can be the next Luis Castillo. One look at their minor league stats shows this is not possible.

Miami Herald reports they are considering shifting Uggla to 3B (his original position), Cantu to 1B and starting Bonifacio at 2B, which would improve their INF defense, which was worst in NL last season.

If Sanchez has hot spring they can look to trade Cantu, who would be redundant off the bench since they just signed Helms to a 2-year contract.

Getting rid of Willingham improves their OF defense as well and they won't miss Olsen as they have 6 good SPs without him.

One thing Bonifacio can do is run. With him and Maybin at the top of the lineup, if they can get on base, a big IF, the Marlins will be a giant pain in the butt.

Eyre's 7.15 ERA with Chicago is as worthless an indicator of overall performance as his 1.88 with the Phils. Totally useless sample sizes.

Potential Marlins lineup:


Potential Nats lineup:

I like the Nats lineup better, but their pitching is still horrendous, even with Olsen. Marlins remain the better team and more likely to contend.

Presumably we're getting the Eyre who went 1.88 with the Phils as opposed to the one who went 7.15 with the Cubs.

Eyre's 7.15 ERA with Chicago is as worthless an indicator of overall performance as his 1.88 with the Phils. Totally useless sample sizes.

Plus, we all know how useless ERA is as a measure of relivers. Why, just the other day I saw someone (who was that?) post on how you really couldn,'t...oh. That was you, clout.

Jason: I agree. Most likely we are getting the Eyre with a 4.36 career ERA.

The concern with Eyre is his age, health and that's basically it. He can get wild, too, but we haven't seen it in Philly.

The Marlins/Nats trade certainly, on the surface, seems (value-wise) to be a better deal for the Nats. The Nats will get more mileage out of Willingham and Olsen than the Fish will get from a third tier 2B. Since, in the line-up, he's replacing Jacobs, it is definitely a step down. (And really, to what degree should improved defense in LF be a serious consideration in trades of position players?)

The best thing about signing Eyre is that there now are, actually, two lefty relivers in the 'pen.

Sad about Williams leaving, though.

Andy: "And really, to what degree should improved defense in LF be a serious consideration in trades of position players?"

I'd say almost none in a stadium like CBP, but a little in a stadium with a huge OF like Flordia's. Obviously, improving their LF defense wasn't a major consideration in that trade. It's just a side benefit.

clout: My only thing with Burrell would be this- how long and how high do you go with the contract. If he turns down something like 3/40- do you go to 45? What if he turns that down? With holliday off the market now apparently the only real viable option is re-signing Burrell. Provided that doesn't happen Amaro better have an ace up his sleeve. The safe route would probably be Bradley though if he doesn't become a head case again.

Couple other things:

- I'm baffled at how quickly people are ready to trade Madson for Dye. There is no logic in that trade whatsoever. The Phillies were hurting for an 8th inning guy for a majority of the past few seasons. Madson stepped into that role and was great. Throughout the playoffs he was almost unhittable. So what if he can walk after this year. If he helps get deep into the playoffs and maybe win another one- so be it. The 8th inning has been a huge hole for the Phillies during this 5 year gradual rise. Now that we have a guy who wants that role and does well why should we open it back up? If the options are losing Madson or going with Jenkins/platoon in right- I'll take my chances with the platoon option.

- Can't understand how anyone could be against the Eyre re-signing either. The fact that it is MG really troubles me. Eyre was great after coming over in August. He fits with the town and the clubhouse. Most importantly he gives Charlie a second option out of the pen so we don't need to burn through Romero so quickly in a game. Not to mention he came relatively cheap as opposed to what I think Affeldt, and Ohman will sign for. With Romero, Eyre, Madson, and Lidge locked in for this year already the foundation of our strength last year is in place again.

- I have no problem with Amaro trying to build the pitching staff and just patching holes with the offense. Towards the end of last year it was a weird feeling to have total confidence in our pitchers to bail us out of situations. It was a good feeling and I think any long run by a team is fueled by good pitching.

- As far as Moyer goes with the contract offer. Yes he is a Type A but I think just about any offer you make (short of something incredibly insulting) he will take. From his interviews I get the impression he wants to stay in Philly as long as he gets a plausible deal. But if we can get two picks for him if he goes elsewhere than we need to give him some offer.

Assuming that Amaro will concentrate on pitching, the Phils still need a RH OF, as we all know. Now that WSH has Willingham, I'm wondering if the Phils and Nats might discuss a little challenge trade -- Jenkins for Kearns? They both couldn't have stunk any worse last year but maybe one or both could make a comeback. WSH has a boatload of RH OFs. I don't think Kearns is signed for too long. Kearns gives you some defense and maybe a change of scenery could help. The Phils may have to sweeten the pot with some $, but the Jenkins money is a sunk cost anyway. At least with Kearns, there is the 1%* chance he could regain some of his lost luster. He does have only a mild platoon split. Might be a cheap alternative with the faintest hope of upside.

* Pulled that % out of my ..., well you know where.

T.I.: Good post! Good points. On Burrell, I'm on record as saying he'll get $45M for 3 years, probably from an AL team. If I were the Phillies I'd offer $40M for 3 and hope he takes a hometown discount.

Edmundo: Only problem with Jenkins for Kearns is that Kearns isn't a power hitter. Ideally, you'd want someone who could get close to Pat's 30-35 HRs and I doubt a Stairs/Kearns platoon could hit 20.

Re: Jamie Moyer, I have to admit, I like the idea of the two compensatory picks - but I don't see us letting Moyer get out of town. The only other landing spot I see Moyer going to is Seattle, and they don't seem intersted.

I think it is Philly for a 1-yr. $5.5 Million dollar deal, with a club-option/buy-out for 2010.

Kearns/Stairs probably would be short of 20 HRs, but to find a "good" replacement for Burrell then you are talking about Jermaine Dye territory, which will cost you talent and major $.

If Amaro is serious about concentrating on pitching, then it sounds like dumpster-diving is in order for a RH hitter. Kearns is going to come at low cost (talent exchange wise) and might be a vaguely interesting candidate, which is pretty much the top of the dumpster caliber player.

Did anyone see this today?

Pat Burrell's walk-off two-run HR against Brian Wilson on May 2nd was the 3rd largest WPA (win probability added) swing in baseball this entire season. It was a huge clutch AB if you remember it, with Brian Wilson humming all 95-96 mph heat. The big thing was Pat being patient early in the count and allowing Wilson to get behind 3-0. Wilson then had to challenge Burrell as to not walk him and put the tying run in scoring position. Burrell finally caught up to a 96 mph fastball and smoked it to the left field bleachers. Great game, great AB.

Jamie Moyer's base salary in 2008 was $3.5M. It climbed to $4.5M at 170 IP and $5.5 at 180 IP. He also got an additional $1.5M in bonuses for hitting 165 IP, 175 IP and 185 IP. (Total pay: $7M)

Jamie Moyer will sign a one-year deal with the Phils (with, perhaps a 2010 team option) with a salary around $5M and some performance-based bonuses.

He's not going anywhere else.

However, will the Phils offer Jamie Moyer arbitration if they don't re-sign him before that time? I wonder if Moyer would get more than $7M he got this year in arbitration.

If Kearns comes at a bargain bin price, he would be interesting. His numbers were unlucky last year and have in general taken a hit since joining the Nationals. A change of scenery might help, but it wouldn't be something to bank the season on.

Hydrant - Yes, I vividly and fondly remember that AB.
It was probably the best Phillies AB of the season. And probably the best, most professional AB in Pat's career.

Once again, why would the Nats trade Kearns for Jenkins? Jenkins has virtually no value whatsoever after last year, especially owed 7 million dollars. The Nats already have a ton of OFs, and the last thing they need is an old one who seems to be declining quickly.

Of course, this is the Nats we're talking about, so they would probably do it. Forget what I said.

CJ: "Jamie Moyer will sign a one-year deal with the Phils (with, perhaps a 2010 team option) with a salary around $5M and some performance-based bonuses."

I said this before in a thread a few days ago, but after his performance this season, why does Jamie still have to take a contract with a sizable percentage of his money set aside in bonuses? I would think he will at least get a sniff from a few other teams which may drive the Phillies to have to offer him a contract w/o the bonuses and all his money guaranteed.

I find this particularly amusing since I can't recall a 46 year old pitcher ever having this sort of contract flexibility. :)

-- Jenkins has virtually no value whatsoever after last year, especially owed 7 million dollars.
Correct on the value, and Kearns only has some comparative value because of his age. In regards to the money owed Jenkins, I wrote (not knowing the Kearns contract)
"The Phils may have to sweeten the pot with some $" to even out the transaction.

-- The Nats already have a ton of OFs, and the last thing they need is an old one who seems to be declining quickly.
Except that they are heavily RH and if they are soured on Kearns, which Wheels talked about in the last series, taking my bad guy for your bad guy might have a little appeal. Or, you can sift through my dumpster if I can sift through yours. Plus they are Washington, as you say. :)

I'd at least make the phone call if I were Amaro.

Austin Kearns is actually a guy I've always liked. He certainly isn't an adequate replacement for Burrell, but I could see him as a very valuable bench player. Speaking of Kearns, that reminds me of another guy coming off a terrible year, who was mentioned briefly the other day: Nick Swisher.

While Jermaine Dye is getting a lot of Beerleaguer ink, his teammate, Swisher, might be a more cost-effective and available alternative. Swisher had a disaster of a 2008 season -- much like Burrell's 2003 season and probably just as anomalous. He is signed through 2011 at a fairly reasonable salary ($5.3M next year, $6.75M in 2010, $9M in 2011) and his trade value will probably never be lower. In a normal year, he's an almost identical offensive player to Pat Burrell but with much better defense. I'm not sure what it would take to get him though. I'm fairly loathe to give up any of our marquee prospects because, with the hugely escalating salaries of guys like Hamels, Victorino, Werth & Howard, we're going to need to fill some key positions with cheap labor in 2010.

It must be Phillies day around the net today: Great article on Hardball Times by Josh Kalk regarding Brett Myers. He uses Pitch F/X data to chart his improvements after being demoted. Great article!

Interesting in this day and age that the World Series champs are going to return nearly intact. I think that's mostly a good thing. But as much as I like Burrell, I would like to see an upgrade in left without downgrading center and/or right.

Some things:

One, bringing Eyre back - good in clubhouse, decent LOOGY - makes sense, especially at the cost. I'll take his career #s as a LOOGY. You have to feel real happy for him, too. Get's released, picked up by and contributes to a team that wins the WS and gets a ring. That's the definition of falling into it and coming up smelling sweet.

Two, many posters here seemed obsessed with the draftpicks that can be had if the Phillies don't re-sign Moyer, Burrell, et. al.

I ask them, how do getting draft picks, which may never amount to anything given the crapshoot that is the draft, help the Phillies win during their current window of opportunity? That, and never mind that any picks don't guarantee future competitiveness.

Three, I hope they can replace Williams with someone as good. I wonder why he's leaving, really? Was there a conflict with Chollie, or was he the real brains in the dugout and was upset he didn't get enough credit? Good luck to him.

Four, IMO, keeping Madson is essential if they want to repeat. I don't think Madson would go for more than a one year deal - Boras seems to have indicated that. Besides, Boras is right: if Madson can indeed maintain his velocity in the mid to high 90's, he does have closer stuff. The only question is what's between his ears. If he's only here through '09, look for him to try and get a closers job somewhere, and a similar contract to the one Gordon signed here. Any one of us would do the same thing. Just look at the contract Farnsworth got(I'm not commenting on his effectiveness) from the Yankees to get an idea to what the perceived value is of a top 8th inning guy is to a big market team.

Five, Moyer will probably get more guaranteed money than he did in his last contract. Other teams will be interested, because it's obvious his value goes beyond what he can do on the mound.

Six, Burrell will probably be offered at least a three year deal from some team. Are the Phillies willing to match the years, or do they really think Michael Taylor is the answer? Will Burrell take less money to stay, and how important is a NTC to him?

Seven, if PB is not brought back, I am moving slowly toward the camp that thinks the 'human gameboard' would be the best option to replace him, assuming his knee is healthy enough to play LF. He won't hit for the same power PB did, but the OBP the last 5 years is a good start. I know he has been a problem personality in the past, but Charlie has some familiarity with him. Also, would the presence of other African-American stars in the clubhouse (Rollins, Howard) help contain any outbursts? Sometimes it helps to have other players who you indentify with. But, if he's brought in, does it change the umpires' perception of the Phillies? Hmmmm.

Seven, the Nats and Fish have always played the Phillies tough. I actually, as all NL East teams are currently constituted, look at the Fish being the biggest threat to the Phillies repeating as division champs. Say what you want about the Mets, but unless their bullpen improves their results will be the same.

It will be interesting to see what each team does to improve.

Oh, and one more thing: Will Chris Snelling be healthy enough to be in the OF mix in spring training?

"Oh, and one more thing: Will Chris Snelling be healthy enough to be in the OF mix in spring training?"

Has he ever been healthy enough to be in the OF mix?

I'm not that sold on the WSN has no LH OFs idea. Langerhans and Mackiowack approximate Jenkins. If WSN want a LH bat in the OF they'll look elsewhere. If they're really serious they might approach Dunn with Dollars.

And regarding draft picks:

IF you have 5 picks in the 1st rd/Comp round, you better draft well. If you do, you KEEP your window for competing open longer b/c you're constantly adding good, cheap players to the veteran mix you have.

Of course, if you let PtB/Moyer go, you need to replace them now.

AWH, in re: draft picks

In my mind there is a definite qualitative difference between draft picks in the first two rounds and the rest of the draft. Many players have been chosen 3 - 40 who have contributed. Percentage-wise, however, the best players are gone by the beginning of, say, the fourth round. So high draft picks are better...

...unless you waste them on unabashed (trash?) long shots like Hewitt.

But in the hands of Theo Epstein's staff, a first round pick and a sandwich pick are probably of more long term value than Jamie Moyer's 2009 season.

That being said, he'll sign with the Phils and it won't be a bad thing, especially if J. Happ and Carrasco get to spend some time with (Yoda-equivalent) him.

BB, "IF" you draft well. Mu point entirely.

However, what "window for competing" are you talking about? The one with Howard, Rollins and Utley as the core? Or the one that any 2009 draft picks might affect, which would, in a best of all possible worlds, start in 2011.

By then the current core of position players is likely to be in decline.

I wasn't too clear there. I meant that there are good players chosen in the third through whatever rounds, but a much, much larger percentage of those chosen in the first three rounds end up with MLB experience.

AWH - I will still be a fan in 2011 - 2015, so I hope they draft well now.

Back to Burrell:

"Those, like George S, who aree quick to say Pat should go never offer replacement solutions"

Perhaps my post was not clear. I did not say Pat should go. I said that people should not assume that re-signing Burrell solves your problem in LF, and therefore you certainly should look at other options. Pat's numbers in the second half indicated a possibly steep decline. 2-3 yrs at $14m/yr is a huge gamble.

"Please offer one realistic, specific option that upgrades ther position without tearing open another hole."

I'm not sure what hole you are tearing open by trading a player like Happ, Dobbs, Jenkins, Kendrick, Condrey or perhaps Durbin.
Anyway, there's nothing wrong with tearing open another hole if you can fill it internally. Where are the Phillies better positioned to fill a hole, in LF or in the starting rotation? If the answer is the rotation, then it makes sense to trade a starter to get a LF. If you think Happ or Carrasco can fill in, then you can offer a starter like Brett Myers to fill the hole in LF, where you have nothing in the wings.

So, you can re-sign Burell for 3yr-$40m and hope his OBP below .300 over the last 50 games was a slump and not a trend. Poor defense and lack of speed will only get worse in either case. If it is a trend, then you just wasted $40m, and have to find a LF anyway, maybe at a steeper price that what you might pay now. If it was just a slump, then the best you can probably hope for is .250 and maybe 30 HRs and that's the total contribution for the next couple of seasons for $40m.

Or you can trade for a guy like Dye (or Baldelli) for 1 year with an option for another, perhaps getting an offensive upgrade in LF and most certainly a defensive and speed upgrade, and get draft picks for losing Burrell. If you can make that trade by using one/some of the above-mentioned players, great. If you have to tear open a hole, then make it at a position where you have some solutions in the pipeline.

Wouldn't a Brett Myers trade for a decent (longer term) LF be a better and cheaper gamble than re-signing Burrell for 2-3 years?

George -
Don't have to trade for Rocco. He's a FA.

They will still be competing, with the likes of Marson, Carrasco in the lineup and Taylor/Drabek/Savery (hopefully) in the mix.

AWH: I still say if you had 4 picks that high you're bound to fall into one of them being worth it. Also, players from the draft don't have to necessarily be world burners. If their potential is high they still have value.

I'm not expecting the low era of the last 2 months of the '08 season Scott Eyre, I'm expecting the 4 something career era of Eyre and the fact that he's a lefty that Manuel will use and allow Manuel to use Romero more in a setup role like he did last season once Eyre was added. The move definitely helps the bullpen and that's all I care about. Still would like to see another useful arm brought into help because Gordon and Seanez won't be back next year and someone from the group of Madson, Condrey, Eyre, Romero, and Durbin is bound to get hurt and/or drop in effectiveness.

George S,

Good post above. I'm VERY wary of 3 year deal for Burrell. Smart contract needs to trump nostalgia.

Clout: On the Wash-Fla trade, remember that dumping two arbitration eligibles in exchange for young talent is partial motivation in itself in Florida. That said, I have to think you could get more for either player alone than Florida got for the pair of them. Neither minor leaguer looks like anything special; Smolinski is out for months while he recovers from a significant knee injury.

I agree w/you on Bonifacio. Unless he learns to take some walks, he'll be lucky to become a major-league regular. But that speed will make him attractive to some GMs for years, even if he never learns how to walk or hit.

AWH: I posted yesterday that, given the racial history of the Phillies, the last thing they want is a "radical" black guy like Bradley (basically, a black guy who'll stand up to the frong office, like Lonnie Smith did), because they'll think he might turn Howard against the team. This sort of thinking is ridiculous, which is why I believe you'll still find it in the front office of what was long one of baseball's most racist franchises.

I think the fact that Bradley is an injury plagued madman, will probably be enough of a scare for the front office, not the fear that Bradley will turn Howard and Rollins into members of the Black Panthers or other types of radicals.

"Langerhans and Mackiowack approximate Jenkins."

OK, good point, I shoulda done my homework on their LH OFs. I didn't even notice the Mackowiack was on the roster last year. Plus I forgot about Willie Harris (who should be a super sub, not the (semi)regular LF). So they already have plenty enough enough mediocre to sucky LH OFs. They do have a lot of RH OFs too, Willingham, if he doesn't go to first, Milledge, WM Pena, Kearns, Dukes. That's a lot of OFs.

1. I'll be shocked if Burrell gets 3 years, 45 mil. Like I've been saying and Jason said yesterday, I just don't think there's that much interest in him around the league.

2. Considering Moyer is a type A, I think we should stick to a 1 year offer around the 5-7 mil he made last year, and if he leaves for something bigger then so be it, take the picks.

3. Jenkins has no trade value, unless we pay most of his contract, which would be stupid.

George S.: Reasonable minds can differ about whether it's desirable to resign Burrell &, if so, at what price and what length of contract. But no one who has followed Pat Burrell's career could seriously believe that his 50-game slump signals some kind of lasting decline. Burrell is a wildly streaky player. He goes ice cold for 60 or 70 games at a time an then he's unstoppable for the next 50 or 60 games. Since he has been doing that for his entire career, there's nothing unusual or alarming about what happened over the last 50 games of 2008.

The thing with Burrell is that, as inconsistent as he is over the course of the season, his year-to-year numbers are remarkably consistent. His full-season numbers DID decline somewhat last year, but the decline was well within the realm of random season-to-season variation. Considering he's only 32, I'd say the odds that he's going into decline are pretty slim.

On Jenkins . . . I agree with those who say he's untradeable -- which, in turn, means that Stairs will almost certainly be traded.

Recall that Stairs was signed after Jenkins went on the DL. The 2 players are essentially duplicative of each other, as both bat left-handed, provide power but low batting average, & are totally useless against left-handers. I have always liked Stairs as a player; in fact, even without salary considerations, I like him better than Jenkins. But you sure don't need 2 guys like this on your bench -- let alone 3 (since Dobbs is another left-handed bench player who can't hit righties). One of them has to go and be replaced by a decent right-handed bat. Stairs doesn't have enough value to land us anyone who can meaningfully improve the team, but at least he doesn't have negative value like Jenkins. He will undoubtedly be dealt for a B-level prospect.

I haven't heard much talk about whether or not PtB expects another FNT clause. If that's the case, lowball offer, let him walk and take the picks. I sure hope the Ruben can learn from the mistakes of his good buddy Wade.

WP: I don't think Burrell would need a FNT clause if the Phillies resign him. Next year will be his 10th in the league. If he's still with the Phillies, I believe the "10 and 5" rule would kick in, giving him the power to veto any trade. If this is correct, it's something that we've all failed to consider. But it seems to me that the automatic inclusion of a "de facto" no-trade clause would be a fairly significant consideration.

My perspective on Eyre is this - paying $2M for a guy who is basically at LOOGY might be a bit much. Best thing about the deal is that it was a one-year deal. No harm, no foul really. Given that the Phils didn't have a viable internal LHP candidate to put in the bullpen, it isn't a bad signing.

People are just overrating Eyre and what he brings. Serviceable guy who has bouts of erractic control and is a potential injury risk. If the Phils are forced to use Eyre in a bunch of high leverage situations or against righties, he is going to get exposed.

Also don't know how much of a workload he can bear. Could easily see Cholly blowing his arm out if he is asked to pitch more than 50 innings next year.

Willard: The FNTC for Burrell is irrelevant, as CJ's made the astute point that he'll be a 10 and 5 player in a year and have it anyway.

Yeah, Burrell's 10&5 kicks in next year if he's with the Phils. That gives him the power to veto any trade at any time. It might actually be an incentive to take a home team discount since he's seemed so opposed to getting dealt in the past. No team out there will give him a FNTC.

I'll try and find it... but I actually saw someone write that the Phils will attempt to fill LF next year with a combination of Jenkins, Stairs and Dobbs. I'll say this... there is next to zero chance of that happening.

Other than Jason and AWH, I haven't seen many posts on Ji(one m)y. Anyone care to speculate that his leaving voluntarily is connected to Smith's involuntary departure?

Whatever the reason, the effect won't be good. I agree with Jason that Jimy probably took Charlie from bad to mediocre as a decision maker. As much as Charlie will go down in Phily lore, I don't think he gets there without Williams and this was not an insignificant loss.

Does anyone know how Mathieson figures into the pitching mix? (if at all)? I know people were high on him at one point.

Mathieson - Long, long shot to contribute at this point given his injury history.

PhillyPSU: If Mathieson ever makes a meaningful contribution at the major league level, it will be a bonus. To expect anything out of him would be a mistake. Too many surgeries, too much time.

AWH: As someone else said, we're all going to be fans of this team beyond the "Utley, Howard, Rollins" core, so to ignore drafting because they won't be around is ludicrous. A good franchise is able to both succeed in the short-term and plan for the long-term through good drafting and smart management. Apparently you don't think we should bother considering that there will be a team after 2011? I'm sure glad you aren't in the front office.

PhillyPSU,Mathieson had his second TJ surgery last year. He won't be throwing till Aug 09 if ever.

What about the continuing chatter of Manny to the Phils?

Now there's new quotes from Charlie Manuel talking about how great Manny looks and how sure he is that he'll be a dominant force for a couple more years.

And most baseball insiders continue to allude to some big deal the Phils may put on the table for him.

BedBeard: There are plenty of cover stories they can turn to if they want to explain why they're not interested in Bradley. They'll never admit what I'm accusing them of. Rest assured, they will never, NEVER, offer a hot-headed black guy a contract. Never.

Alby, Who is "they"? Amaro ? Montgomery ?


That's a pretty sinister motive.

I'm more of the camp that doesn't want a known locker room miscreant, and on field hothead, injury risk on my team.

regardless of color.

Montgomery, along with anyone else still there from the Giles-Carpenter years. At this point it's institutional.

There's a reason Curt Flood refused to report when traded to the Phillies. And it wasn't the cheesesteaks.

Alby: We're really suggesting racism will keep Milton Bradley from becoming a Philadelphia Phillie?

Sorry, just don't buy it. That was 1969. And he was the one complaining about racist fans... it wasn't the team being racist against Flood. I just don't see how it has anything to do with Milton Bradley.

This is a city that embraced Allen Iverson for crying out loud.

Joe: I don't think it's sinister. I think it's continued, lingering fallout from the Dick Allen fiasco, along with the fact that Philadelphia was the Boston of the NL in adding black players to the team.

I'm not saying they're racist per se. I'm saying I think they're scared of angry black guys. It's pretty much the same reasoning you're using, just different language. In all sports, there are some teams that have no problems with guys like Milton Bradley, and others that have huge problems with them.

"This is a city that embraced Allen Iverson for crying out loud."

I don't think too many white fans embraced Allen Iverson. Besides, basketball has a much larger black fan base than baseball does.

You folks don't have to agree with me. Just see if they make an offer to Milton Bradley.

Alby, So to be clear -- you are accusing David Montgomery of racial prejudice and involvement in player decisions beyond salary. And everyone involved in baseball operations at the Phillies, including Amaro, Manuel, and Lamar agrees to it, or looks the other way.

Billy: I've said pretty clearly what I'm saying. If you have reading comp problems, that's on you. I said they're afraid of angry black men. They can call it anything they want, as can you.

The proof is in the pudding. If you want to disprove my theory, try listing all the angry black guys who have spent time on the Phillies' roster over the years.

Extra credit question: How fast was Lonnie Smith's ticket out of town punched?

One of the greatest things about the Phillies success this year was the likability of the team. In fact, many times to the team's detriment, the Phillies usually have a decent bunch of guys on the roster. Milton Bradley is as cuddly as a rattle snake. Throw in a voluminous injury history and you have a guy the Phillies wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. His race has absolutely nothing to do with it. In a perfect world, I'd love to see them resign Burrell. As many have suggested, 3 years around 40 mill sounds about right. Even at 3 years you will probably be over-paying by the last year of the contract. But I think I'd do it anyway. Failing that, a Jenkins/Baldelli platoon wouldn't be totally horrible. That assumes Baldelli is up to it physically. He's a nice player. But if you face back to back lefties and he can't ring the bell then he isn't a viable option.

Just because they don't make an offer to Bradley doesn't mean they are racist. Milton is injury prone and has the reputation of being a head-case. Two very good reasons to not sign him.

I am not saying your wrong, I am just saying don't jump to conclusions.

Alby: You are entitled to your opinion. I think it's incredibly small-minded and doesn't come close to representing what the Phils have been in the last 20-plus years.

Milton Bradley has documented attitude issues. None of them, from what I can tell, have anything to do with the color of his skin. There have been plenty of white head cases out there as well. The Phils recently have tended to avoid head-cases of any race. If they decide to pass on Milton Bradley it won't be because of race. It will be par for the course when it comes to their M.O.

But you are free to continue to believe there is institutional racism in the Phillies organization while citiing cases from 1969 and 1981.

With 4 African-American players on the 40 man roster at the end of the season, the Phillies were actually above the MLB average. Relative to the average, they had far fewer Hispanics and more Whites.

"His race has absolutely nothing to do with it."

An unprovable assertion. As I noted, there are plenty of other reasons to ignore him. I listed the reason that, if he had no injury questions, would be the deal-breaker for the PHils. You people prefer to call it a clubhouse problem, for which there is no evidence -- his teammates haven't had problems with him so much as his management has.

That's the kind of guy the Phillies will never touch if he's black. They'll put up with a white clubhouse cancer for far longer, especially if he's talented.

I think that if Myers were black, he would have been traded the weekend after the Boston incident. I can't prove that, either, but I've been watching this team for 45 years now.

I agree with rjm08, you can't point the finger and yell racist at the ownership/front office if they don't offer Milton Bradley a contract. There's plenty of legitimate, non-racial reasons not to make him an offer as has been pointed out by other posters.

I can't say I know whether or not in 2008 if there is institutional racism in the Phillies ownership group/front office. I do know they just hired a Hispanic guy over a white guy to be the G.M. so it seems to me that it's not an issue. But I may be wrong.

They may not make an offer for Bradley b/c

1) They sign Burrell.
2) He's an injury risk.

Has Bradley left a wake of angry black ballplayers on each team he's played?

Alby: The Phillies won't sign Jeff Kent, who is an angry white guy. Does that make them racist vs. white people too?

@ thephaithful

Yea, they're afraid that he's going to make all the other white guys crazy.

The Phillies have more black ballplayers than most MLB clubs. Their first three draft picks last year were black. They have a black hitting coach and a latin general manager. I don't defend the front office often, but this suggestion of racism is ridiculous.

So is the suggestion that "not many white fans embraced Allen Iverson". A more accurate statement would be "not all white fans embraced Allen Iverson".

CJ: "Milton Bradley has documented attitude issues. None of them, from what I can tell, have anything to do with the color of his skin."

Well, then, let me enlighten you. These are Milton Bradley's quotes from 2005, when he had a blowup with teammate Jeff Kent:

“The problem is, he doesn’t know how to deal with African-American people. I think that’s what’s causing everything. It’s a pattern of things that have been said — things said off the cuff that I don’t interpret as funny. It may be funny to him, but it’s not funny to Milton Bradley. But I don’t take offense to that because we all joke about race in here. Race is an issue with everything we do in here.”

“Me being an African-American is the most important thing to me — more important than baseball,” said the 27-year-old center fielder, whose voice never went beyond his normal speaking level. “White people never want to see race — with anything. But there’s race involved in baseball. That’s why there’s less than 9 percent African-American representation in the game. I’m one of the few African-Americans that starts here.”

Care to reconsider?

Lincecum wins NL Cy Young Award

"You Peole"...Questionable wording in this conversation, wouldn't you say?

I'm not accusing them of racism. I accusing them of avoiding any and all black players with "attitude problems."

And I frankly don't give a damn whether any of you can see it or not. AS I said, it's an easy case to disprove: List all the black guys with attitude who have played for the Phils. It's not hard, because it's not a long list.

"You Peole"...Questionable wording in this conversation, wouldn't you say?

No, I wouldn't. I meant you BLers, as should be obvious.

By the way, "Look at all the black people we employ" is the defense every company uses when purged black troublemakers are put out at the curb.

And you know what, even if the Phillies classified Bradley as an angry black man - as Alby has already - if that factors into their decision of not signing him, so what? If bradley is going to make people who know absolutely nothing about him and never met the man in their entire life (Alby) call him an "angry black man", then its his own fault and has no right to complain when people look the other way when he's available.

I've said for a while that I would sign Bradley, but there's no way that this front office will. I don't think it has to do with his race as much as Alby does, but the fact that they are unwilling to take the PR risk based on his image, which is of an angry malcontent. Some of that image may have to do with his race, I don't know. It certainly wouldn't surprise me, but there's no way of knowing.

Everyone just calm down, Alby isn't calling anyone a racist, he's merely implying that race may play a part in the decisions that institutions make, something that may or may not be right, but shouldn't be dismissed out of hand. I don't think it's as strong as Alby claims, but I also happen to agree there's no way they take a chance on Bradley, and it has more to do with PR and his image than anything baseball-related.

I can't believe we're seriously discussing this. It has to be one of the dumbest things ever brought up on Beerleaguer, and that says a lot.

What I've discovered about Milton Bradley (none of which seem driven by race):

In 2003, he had run-ins with Los Angeles catcher Paul Lo Duca and Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi. Bradley also threw his helmet and bat in the direction of plate umpire Bruce Froemming.

Bradley had baseball cards of Lo Duca and Giambi above his locker the next spring.

In February 2004, Bradley was sentenced to three days in jail for driving away from police after being stopped for speeding.

In April 2004, Bradley failed to run out a dropped pop up in spring training. There was a dugout run-in with the manager and the Indians vowed to trade him days before the season started. He was dealt to LA.

In 2006, as a member of the A's, after screaming at Red Sox blowhard Curt Schilling for drilling Nick Swisher, Bradley turned his attention toward the fans behind the visitor’s dugout. There was much shouting and finger-pointing, and the next time Bradley came off the field, he subtly saluted said fans by grabbing his crotch.

This season, he charged up the stairs to the broadcast booth to go after a Royals announcer.

There's a reason he's been on 7 teams in 9 years... and that's not even counting the fact he's played more tha 101 games just once in his career.

If the Phils pass on Milton Bradley, it will because of something other than the color of his skin.

Alby: List all the black guys with bad attitudes currently in MLB. Here's who I can think of off the top of my head:

Mitlon Bradley
Delmon Young
Elijah Dukes

Maybe there's more, but it's never made baseball sense for the Phils to acquire any of those 3 guys since they've been in the league.

This just sounds like you want to create an issue whether it's there or not.

You lost me.

I also agree with Jack. If anything it will be a PR-motivated decision not to sign a guy with attitude issues, not racially-motivated.

Hypothetical discussion of racism aside, the most appealing thing to me about the idea of adding Bradley is having another switch-hitter in the lineup. The Phils seemed to have trouble getting runs off the other team's bullpen at times, mostly because lefty-righty matchups could neutralize the middle of the order.

Alby: No, I don't.

Phaithful: I don't disagree. I was posting in response to those who would make the decision to acquire Bradley based on his on-field contributions alone. I just don't think they'll ever, ever, ever sign a black guy with his off-field history. They normally won't sign a white guy like that, either. I think the only difference, race-wise, is that they might reluctantly sign such a guy if he's white, virtually never if he's a minority.

Which is why I don't believe they'll make an offer for Manny, either.

Some teams scoop up bargains by acquiring and dealing with "head cases." The Phillies are not now, and probably will never be, one of those teams.

"I just don't think they'll ever, ever, ever sign a black guy with his off-field history. They normally won't sign a white guy like that, either. I think the only difference, race-wise, is that they might reluctantly sign such a guy if he's white, virtually never if he's a minority."

And yet... you have absolutely no evidence to back this up.


Me thinks the Sixers are racist not the Phils. Where are all the angry white players on the Sixers? I think they are afraid of angry white players.

CJ: I see. A guy saying "White people never want to see race — with anything. But there’s race involved in baseball. That’s why there’s less than 9 percent African-American representation in the game."

Yeah, you're right. Your hunches are much more important than his quotes. Extra credit in that his quote is about, basically, you: "White people never want to see race -- with anything.

CJ: No evidence other than the fact that they never have. Whereas your evidence is -- what?

Ah... forget it.

Stupid discussion anyway.

Alby: Where is your evidence that the Phils would sign an angry white man with attitude problems while not signing an angry black man with attitude problems?

Just give me some examples. I'm listening.

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