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Wednesday, December 17, 2008


"This guy's dead"

"Cross him off then."

Hard to be critical or get excited about spring training roster invitees. Best case for these guys is they end up in Allentown and maybe get a nod if the Phils get hit hard by injuries.

You can't just give 'em the punchline...

"I've never heard of half of these guys and the ones I do know are way past their prime."

"Most of these guys never had a prime."

This does read list of some porn-star names . . Andy Tracy . . . Blaine Neal . . . Terry Tiffee

Four guys on this list are somewhat interesting to me: Koplove, Borkowski, Neal, and Tiffee. Koplove, Borkowski, and Neal all could be that "last-guy-in-the-bullpen" guy for the Phillies should the 'pen suffer some catastrophic injuries. Tiffee is a nice AAAA switch-hitter/possible pinch-hitter guy who could be kind of useful...just not on this team. Plus, didn't Tiffee play for the US Olympic team this summer?

why'd Koplove fall out of favor in Arizona? his numbers 2002-2005 aren't spectacular or anything, but they're certainly not bad. looks like he kind of effed up in 2005 and they gave up on him.

(note that I'm not trying to suggest that he's going to contribute to the 2009 Phillies. I mean, it's bap day.)

I thought Blaine Neal was on Team USA...was Tiffee there too?

2008 Olympic team did indeed include Terry Tiffee, Blaine Neal, and Mike Koplove.

Tiffee: 12/37, .324/.341/.486, 5 RBI, 4 RS

Neal: 3.2 IP, 7.36 ERA, 5 H, 2 SO, 0 BB, 2 HR

Koplove: 5.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0 H, 6 SO, 1 BB

too bad that doesn't count in real baseball.

Another year when AAA is populated almost entirely by rent-a-flops. We should have dumped our AAA franchise years ago -- it's nothing more than a waste of money.


an olympic-sized squaring off between Donald and Tiffee for F5 at LV?

So we have 5 Team USA guys on our team now...impressive, most impressive.

"So we have 5 Team USA guys..."

Team Romania better watch the ef out!

I seem to remember being more hopeful about the carp and catfish we invited last year. Does this year's crop not seem less talented in a more spectacular way?

New graphic FWIW.

In re: the graphic

Hope all that rowing gets their arms in shape.

If they are porn names they are the worst porn names ever!! That is the problem with this FO they never get AAA Filler with good porn names for us to discuss. This is why we will never win another championship while I am still alive.

great graphic favorite one of the hotstove season thus far.

Koplove doesn't look too bad (I mean as an actual player rather than a porn name; but...). And Neal is an absolute killer closer against AAA hitters. Too bad most major league teams are not stocked with AAA hitters. Borkowski, OTOH, in all those years off pitching, has never posted an ERA+ over 100. Makes you appreciate Condrey.

You really do have to wonder what goes through a GM's mind when he signs someone like J.J. Furmaniak or Justin Lehr or Ozzie Chavez. I understand that not all prospects can be Carlos Carrasco, and that it's hard to field a full AAA team without a fair number of minor league lifers. Still, even among minor league lifers, it isn't that hard to find a few guys who have shown an ability to, say, hit .300 or hit 20 homeruns -- in other words, guys who, if they ever had to get called up to the majors, might actually have some slim chance of getting a few hits now and then. Instead, one gets the feeling that there is no particular rhyme nor reason to the Phillies' minor league acquisitions. They look at the list of minor league FAs. They make their own list of guys will play for the absolute minimum salary. And they go out and sign a bunch of those guys to fill out the AAA roster. If these 10 guys had somehow gotten swept up by someone else, the Phillies would simply have picked the next 10 guys from their "minimum salary" list. I get the sense there wasn't a great deal of personnel evaluation that went into these signings.

Yeah, Clay Condrey is to Dave Borkowski as Mike Schmidt was to Abraham Nunez.

Ozzie Chavez on the Phils invitees: "Bats, they are sick. I cannot hit curveball. Straightball I hit it very much. Curveball, bats are afraid. I ask Jobu to come, take fear from bats. I offer him cigar, rum. He will come."

Jeltz: Forget Tiffee's ridiculous stats. They are bogus. The only place the ball carries farther than in Las Vegas is on the moon.

ae: Arm surgery. Gets 'em every time.

"I just think with all these teams rowing down to Florida all the time, sooner or later one of the rafts would collapse."

Actually, clout, I was wondering (in re: Tiffee) how somebody hit .370+ at Vegas and hit that few HRs.

Koplove, for instance, only got 4 ABs for Las Vegas, and he cranked one out.

My prediction--Tiffee makes the squad!

If the graphic is any indication, they the invitees are likely to get picked up by the Coast Guard before they reach Clearwater.

MG - It'll be just about the first time most of these guys shoulda been picked up by anyone.

Actually, my daughter's first reaction to the graphic was: "Are they really gonna go there in a boat?"

"Chestnut Hill product Mike Koplove, former Astro reliever Dave Borkowski and Pacific Coast League batting champion Terry Tiffee top the list of players washing ashore this spring."

I didn't know that Iron Pigs could float?

Terry Tiffee ain't got nothing on Greg Legg....

Clout - I live in Vegas and see the games pretty often. The ball doesn't carry here any better than most places. The air isn't thin and the stadium is regulation size. Don't know what Tiffee's splits are, but there are other stadiums in the PCL that are much more hitter friendly.

Sadly, didn't get to any games this last season so I didn't see the guy play.

I remember playing against Blaine Neal in High School. My school and his were big rivals. In a crowd ripe with major league scouts, including one from a prominent east coast college there to see me, I walked Neal with the bases loaded on a 3-2 slider. Later diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff my career ended, Neal's just was beginning. Great HS hitter and pitcher. Can't say I held him in high esteem, however. Enjoy being an Iron Pig.

Longshot prediction: J.J. Furmaniak makes the roster out of spring training and is the opening day starting 2nd baseman when Utley proves not yet ready to return from his surgery. Utley makes his return on May 10, at which time J.J. Furmaniak is leading the National League in hitting. After being relegated to the bench for awhile, Furmaniak eventually takes over as the Phillies' starting third baseman in place of a slumping Pedro Feliz. He winds up hitting .317 in 424 ABs and is the unanimous winner of the NL Rookie of the Year. In 2010, he becomes the Phillies' full-time third baseman and goes on to have a Hall of Fame career over the next decade.

Borkowski (7.50) had a lower ERA than Borowski (7.56).

bap: Who are you and what have you done with bap?

Although... BAP Day is technically over. Maybe you're participating in CJ Day.

ak- Don't miss Vic and his fiance Melissa at Madison Ave. Bar and Grill on Sun. during the Eagles game. They are hosting a toy drive to benefit children that lost a parent in the war.

Proper Met Homage to Pat Burrell

Some interesting humor and points about Burrell vs. Mets. Although Burrell really never hit that well in Shea (if you look at his career numbers), he hit his share of bombs against them.

151 G, 533 AB, 42 HR = 12.7 AB/HR which is pretty damn impressive power numbers.

"Riskiest" signing this offseason by far has to be Park and that is saying alot considering the Phils signed a 37-year old OF to a 3-yr deal and a 46-year old starting pitcher to a 2-yr deal.

I know this is lame, but the spring training invitees/minor league signings are always exciting to me. That's how I know I'm a devoted/obsessed Phillies fan.

Lets go Terry Tiffee! At 6'3 225 you would think the guy could squeeze in a few lucky home runs to supplement that batting avg... Those are weird numbers.

aksmith: I hate to contradict someone who actually lives there, but a Baseball Prospectus comparison of ballpark factors shows Vegas as the third most hitter-friendly park among the 16 teams in the PCL. The PCL as a whole is an extreme hitters league and Vegas is near the top of the list. Only Albuquerque and Tucson (both at higher elevations) had a larger offensive bias.

So while there are "other stadiums much more hitter friendly" there are only 2 of them and they are not "much" more friendly. And "the ball doesn't carry here any better than most places" is contradicted by the statistics.

I dug out the reports on Tiffee when he was actually a prospect (6 years ago). He was a 26th round draft pick of the Twins, which tells you all you need to know. He was 225, 6-3 at age 22 back in 2003 and he had several problems: he had no power at all for a big guy, was a poor defensive thirdbaseman and didn't walk much.

They projected him as a firstbaseman eventually and said if he was going to make it, his plate judgment and power would have to improve. He did have a short, quick stroke that enabled him to maintain fairly high batting averages, which was his best (only?) skill.

Alas, his power never did develop and his plate judgment actually deteriorated at higher levels. His season at Vegas bore no resemblance to anything he'd ever done before. His career minor league #s: .296, .335, .436. In 243 major league ABs he's .226, .273, .350.

Wait a minute. Las Vegas only about 2000 feet above sea level. That's about the same as the midwest.

doohickey: And your point is....?

Nothing too exciting with invites, but guess there really never is.

Anyone taking a trip down to clearwater this year? I went last year and it was a blast - still undecided about this year... i feel like it will be absolutely mobbed this year coming off a WFC.

Doohickey - What part of the Midwest?

Not Minneapolis or Chicago
or Detroit or St. Louis.

Not Omaha or Des Moines.

What part of the Midwest is higher than 2000 ft?

Clout: "I hate to contradict someone..."

Somehow I'm not sure I believe that.

The difference between hitting in Vegas and hitting in a normal park is like going from a Legion ball park to the little league park down the street.

Notorious hitters park and league overall.

****What part of the Midwest is higher than 2000 ft?****

Yeah, I was wondering that too?

The Sears Tower.

Apr. 28th - Charlie Manuel BobbleHead Doll.

I hope that the head hangs down near its chest when it bobbles instead of the other normal ones.

Anyone see Frank Wren's comments on Furcal's agents? I think he's kinda pissed after they bent him and the Braves over:

"When WIFN talk show host Bill Shanks prefaced a question by saying that he knew Wren couldn't burn bridges with Kinzer and Tellem, Wren interjected, "That bridge is gone. I don't have to worry about burning it. The bridge is gone.""

haha good stuff NEPP. Its Wren's own fault for hinting that he would be looking to move Furcal to 2B. Any 2010 free agents rep'd by Kinzer? I hope all.

i'm ready to be gripped in the throes of Furmania this year.

*singing to himself*

"He's furmaniak, furmaniak, I know..."

*involuntarily gagging as song won't leave brain*

Sharin the joy:

Just a steel town girl on a saturday night, lookin' for the fight of her life
In the real-time world no one sees her at all, they all say she's crazy

Locking rhythms to the beat of her heart, changing woman into life
She has danced into the danger zone, when a dancer becomes a dance

It can cut you like a knife, if the gift becomes the fire
On a wire between will and what will be

She's a maniac, maniac on the floor
And she's dancing like she's never danced before
She's a maniac, maniac on the floor
And she's dancing like she's never danced before

On the ice-build iron sanity is a place most never see
It's a hard warm place of mystery, touch it, but can't hold it
You work all your life for that moment in time, it could come or pass you by
It's a push of the world, but there's always a chance
If the hunger stays the night

There's a cold connective heat, struggling, stretching for defeat
Never stopping with her head against the wind

She's a maniac, maniac, I sure know
And she's dancing like she's never danced before
She's a maniac, maniac, I sure know
And she's dancing like she's never danced before


It can cut you like a knife, if the gift becomes the fire
On a wire between will and what will be

She's a maniac, maniac, I sure know
And she's dancing like she's never danced before
(Repeats out)

Blame it on zp. I didn't even make that connection until his post.

There appear to be some gems in there, or at least potential gems. There may be a Chris Coste there, too. Cervanek, Neal Tiffee,Koplove, Tracy, and Lehr all show some promising stats. In some cases, good numbers last season yet let go by other organizations could provide a change in scenery that is often the difference in success or mediocrity or failure.

Altitude isn't the only thing that makes baseballs carry farther in the PCL -- aridity also plays a role. That's why the statistics out of Denver deflated a fair bit when the baseballs were stored in higher humidity.

Koplove will be on the opening day roster. Please wait until opening day to bash.

Alby - uhhhh...

Just a little wrong.

High humidity makes a baseball fly further. A high concentration of H2O (molecular weight 18) actually makes the air less dense than the normal N2 atmosphere (weight 28). The more humid the air the lighter the air - that's why riany weather is a low pressure system.

The baseballs, however, if stored in high humidity, will absorb some moisture becoming both heavier and "squishier" (less elastic).

An ideal hitters situation would be at a high elevation with a high humidity, with very dry baseballs. The Padres, who play in low hunidity just above sea-level, reap the benefits in their low ERAs and OPSs.

Love the graphic also Weitzel...makes me think of the phrase "find the little man in the boat".

Andy - San Diego on the ocean is low in humidity? I'm not doubting you, but it certainly seems anti-intuitive.

Vegas - This coming Sunday? Always hated going to bars to watch games. The smoke and having to buy overpriced food. And reports are that the Madison Ave Bar is a dive. But I'll have to consider it if Vic is going to be there.

Clout - You looked it up, so I will take your word for it. But going to games there it sure doesn't seem like that many runs are scored due to homers. It always seems more like the pitching in that league is pretty poor in general.

California is a very dry state in the Summer. Being close to the ocean does not really effect the humidity. Check out where the worst desert in South America is (Chile). And how humid is, say, Morocco?

Average humidity in the afternoon

San Diego

June 67, July 67, August 67


June 79, July 81, August 83

This is great. I come to Beerleaguer to discuss the Phillies and I learn all kinds of things.

The humidity today in Vegas is 76%, but that's pretty unusual because it snowed yesterday and it rained some today. It's usually much lower.

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