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Monday, December 15, 2008


Reading between the lines: "You already know how much we hate Ja Happ, and we'd like Carrasco to start the season in Lehigh Valley".

Wow! A Korean player. After So and Tad from the Land of the Rising Sun, the Phils have expanded their horizons. All that's missing is a player from Taiwan.

83, 66, 93, 77, 84, 27 . . . Park's ERA+ numbers as a starter since 2002.

Or, for those who prefer more traditional numbers: 5.75, 7.58, 5.46, 5.74, 4.81, 15.75.

If Amaro is even entertaining the thought of using this guy as a starter, it's the single most insane (and most offensive) move that the Phillies have ever made in the 130+ year history of the franchise. But I'm sure the move will have its defenders, who will point out that a 7.58 ERA doesn't tell you what's in a guy's heart.

Under the CBA, this fills the Phillies requirement to employ at least 1 player of Asian descent.

Guess we don't have to bring Taguchi back now.

You know, a 7.58 ERA doesn't address the amount of hard work and effort this guy puts in on the side. I hear he's really committed to staying healthy and being effective as a ignores his career .216 BAA with 2 outs and RISP.

lets piss away some more money

Another point about this move. I guess it means no Juan Cruz. Once again, the Phillies have pulled a bait and switch on their fans. They put it out there that they want Juan Cruz. Then they settle for the 80-year old reliever who they can get on the cheap. Didn't Amaro say something awhile back about wanting the team to get younger? His off-season signings so far have been Eyre (turns 37 next year), Raul Ibanez (same), and Chan Ho Park (officially 36 and probably older), and they're trying to resign Jamie Moyer (46).

Color me unimpressed with the Ruben Amaro regime.

Don't know who's got it right or not, but Zolecki makes it sound like the 5 million is what he could make with the base and the incentives combined.

Perhaps what Jr meant by "getting younger" was that he was gonna sign players that made him personally feel younger than he did last year. That would make more sense as he's currently pushing to make us the oldest team in baseball with these signings.

Is Randy Johnson available? Perhaps we could lure Julio Franco out of retirement as a spare infielder?

On the Burrell topic, one thing that really disgusts me is the handling of the whole thing by Amaro. Why not at least talk to Burrell before you commit to Ibanez to see if he'd consider a 1 yr deal considering the dearth of interest in him? Are you telling me one more year of Burrell at a $10 -$12mil clip isn't a shrewder move than committing to Ibanez for 3 years who turns 37 in June, isn't righthanded, and isn't a defensive upgrade? Just doesn't make sense to me, especially knowing how cost conscious they are.

"it ignores his career .216 BAA with 2 outs and RISP."

NEPP, Very good point. Let me add this. In 26 career ABs, Raul Ibanez's career average against Park is .125. Clearly, they signed Park so that Ibanez will never have to face him next year. That makes perfect sense and changes my entire mind about the wisdom of this move.


It is the 5 million includes the isn't a potentially 7.5 mil deal as the above makes it seem like.

the doctor:

How do you know they did not do that? Everything that happens during this process isn't public knowledge.

"Color me unimpressed with the Ruben Amaro regime."

Why - How did the first season with Amaro as the GM turn out?

That's not like brutally overpaying for a guy that likely would have been a ST invite from any other team...He wasn't even in the Majors 2 years ago for godsake...unless you want to count a single spotstart for the Mets where he got hammered.

"Is Randy Johnson available?"

Since we're not actually going to sign Baldelli or D. Young, maybe Junior would actually consider the real deal: Buttercup Dickerson.

Wait, did i miss something? The phillies did just win the WS for the first time in 28 years 6 weeks ago right? Ok, wasn't certain.

They got Ibanez and Park for the price of Burrell=smart

Rotation is going to be Hamels, Myers, Blanton, Moyer, Kendrick. With worst case being Happ inserted in place of moyer, still not bad.

Bullpen will be Durbin, Park, Romero, Condrey, Eyre, Madson, Lidge

I think regardless of Moyer our rotation will be good and bullpen upgraded because Park is better than Seanez.

I like this signing. He will help take the load off of Durbin (who clearly wore down as the season went on) and I think he gives us a better emergency starter out of the bullpen than Durbin would have been. I'm not saying I want him starting more than 2 or 3 games all year... but I think he could manage that. These small kinds of moves are just as important as the so called big ones.

CL: Lidge
SU: Madson
LH: Romero
LH: Eyre
RH: Durbin
RH: Park
RH: Condrey

mvptommyd: I wouldn't expect Kendrick in the starting rotation to start next year unless Moyer isn't re-signed. Happ likely has a spot locked up.


Of course we don't know everything, but you don't think the Phils would have planted that info out there to reporters to save face if they really had done that with Burrell? Everything I saw, including quotes by Amaro, said that they did not reach out to Burrell's agent. I realized baseball people lie, but for what purpose would that serve in this case?


You would rather have Baldelli or Delmon Young than Ibanez?

Are you serious? First of all because of Baldelli's tragic disease he can't play even close to everyday. So you would be paying a guy half of what Ibanez got to play 95-100 games a year with not definite production, and Delmon Young is a headcase and would not be a good fit for this team.

The doctor,

To save face for what? Us fans? So you would rather save face with us and hurt Ibanez's ego and make him feel second tier than just not saying anything.

They got Ibanez so even if they did offer burrell 1 yr deal. They are going to act like they wanted Ibanez all along. Geez, what will that accomplish to come out and say basically, " Well we offered Pat a 1 yr. deal, he said no so we went with our backup plan and got Ibanez ". From a clubhouse prospective, that makes no sense.

Click here for a chance to win The Perfect Season DVD.


Yea your right instead of Kendrick being locked up, maybe Happ is. But it is going to come down to those two if Moyer is signed fighting for that last spot.

I want to clarify the following. I like the Park signing as long as he's in a Durbin type role next year. I don't like it if he's in the rotation.

Since I keep posting just as each thread ends, let me repeat the point The Doctor made above -- how does the Ibanez signing make the Phillies younger, more athletic or better in the field? Those were Burrell's major weak points, and none of them was addressed by signing Ibanez. When I asked how they'd replace Burrell's offense, I didn't mean they should replace all his faults as well.

Also, this for all you who want to get younger at ANY cost and upset with signing guys in their mid 30ties. Bottom 10 in Average age in MLB and their results last yr.

20 LA Angels 27.8 PLAYOFFS
21 Chicago Cubs 27.9 PLAYOFFS
22 Boston 27.9 PLAYOFFS
23 Detroit 28.0
24 Toronto 28.2
25 NY Yankees 28.2
26 St. Louis 28.3
27 NY Mets 28.6
28 Chicago Sox 28.6 PLAYOFFS
29 Philadelphia 29.1 WS CHAMPS
30 Houston 30

5 out of the 9 teams involved in last years playoffs were in the bottom third in average. So i have this question, what would you rather have a younger roster or more quality????

"The phillies did just win the WS for the first time in 28 years 6 weeks ago right? Ok, wasn't certain."

Is this your mantra, Tommy Boy? Because it certainly substitutes for intelligent conversation whenever you join in.



let me repeat again. They got Ibanez AND Park for the bullpen for the price of Burrell. Ibanez is almost the same as burrell in each aspect, except better in one main area, Streaks. He doesn't get hot and cold alot. Which is a big plus.

"how does the Ibanez signing make the Phillies younger, more athletic or better in the field?"


Hey smart guy, why don't you look above at the average ages in the league and see how younger works. You need the mix.


Are you kidding me? Hurt Ibanez's feelings? I think $30mil will cushion that blow to his ego, don't you? Do you think Ibanez didn't know the Phils only signed him because the DeRosa trade fell through?

Also, teams do this all the time, especially when a longtime player (I won't say fan favorite) like Burrell leaves a team, especially after a WS championship. Besides, I really don't see the upgrade here. At least if they had gotten DeRosa, it would have been way cheaper and on a one yr deal. And actually from a clubhouse perspective, don't you think it would mean something to Burrell's longtime teammates that they show him at least some respect? That goes a long way for those guys (look at the Eagles way of handling players and how resentment builds).

Maybe Tatis can hit another 2 GS in a single inning...

RSB: Just want to point out that I enjoyed and mostly agreed with your measured assessment of Burrell's tenure. And of course, being a measured assessment, it promptly got killed.

the doctor,

Wow, if you were a GM, you would be a clubhouse nightmare.

Ok, if you were at work and your job offered someone else the job but they rejected because it wasn't enough money and then they turned around and made a public statement about it, Would your feelings be hurt??? I think so.

"don't you think it would mean something to Burrell's longtime teammates that they show him at least some respect?"

NO, they do not get caught up in each other's contracts. They just want to win, they know its a business and that these things happened. If they offered him a one year deal and he declined, they do not owe it to anyone to disclose that. As fans we are NOT due to want a sdtatement on their personnel, that is ridiculous. We do not know what happened.Maybe Burrell wanted to leave, you ever think of that?? He was shopping for homes in CA 3 weeks ago. Just because he did the politically correct thing by saying he wanted to say doesn't mean he really wanted to for less money or years. He wanted a 3 yr. deal nothing less!

Tommy: "Ibanez is ...better in one main area, Streaks. He doesn't get hot and cold alot."

Ibanez - Burrell OPS month by month, 2008

April .827 - 1.126
May .673 - .856
June .827 - .956
July .916 - .973
August 1.154 - .618
Sept. .593 - .719

Tommy: The front office, not me, claimed they wanted to get younger. Take it up with them. When you get them on the line, ask them why they keep lying to us.


Does that reflect going 0-30 as Burrell seems to do???

Like i said Burrell can go 0-30 then turn around and go lights out 25-40.

Where Ibanez will go 1-4 or 2-5 every night for the most part.

NEPP: Agree on Park. I like one year signings for most relievers, especially of this quality, but it worries me how confident he sounds(at least through translation) when saying how the Phillies see him as a starter. Let's hope it's just one of those "you'll have the opportunity to compete for the starting rotation in spring training" type things.

Ah yes, the stats mean nothing to you. What players "seem" to do is far more important.

You don't know a guy who goes by the tag "Sir Alden," do you?

Alby: You and your confounding "facts." I've had about enough of that!

****You don't know a guy who goes by the tag "Sir Alden," do you?****


when did it turn into conventional wisdom that Raul Ibanez (unlike every single professional athlete on the face of the earth) is immune to streaks? because he's, you know, not.

2008 high month OPS: 1.154, low: .593
2007 high: 1.129, low: .503
2006 high: 1.109, low: .739

okay, so in 2006 he was pretty remarkably consistent. other than that, I'm sad to say that Raul Ibanez is indeed a mortal human being.


In one sentence you talk about hurt feelings, in the next you say "they do not get caught up in each other's contracts. They just want to win, they know its a business and that these things happened". Which is it?

Besides, I believe, as do most others on this site that it'd be better to have Burrell on a 1yr, than Ibanez on 3. Do you really believe we offered that and they are just sweeping it under the rug? Yeah, that never happens (sarcasm dripping). Obviously you haven't been paying attention to how the Phils do business (remember when Rolen turned down that large deal?). I think it is you who would be the nightmare GM a la Joe Banner.

Alby: I also find it funny that people just assume Ibanez will be "less streaky" than Burrell without really looking into it. I remember drafting Ibanez for my fantasy team in '07, followed by him being a disaster for over 3 months, me finally deciding to release him, and then he goes off in August and September.

But please stop responding to mvptommy.

From May 18th to June 3rd, a 15 game stretch... Raul Ibanez was 5 for 52, getting hits in just 3 games over that time. From Sept. 15th to Sept. 28th, a 14 game stretch... Raul Ibanez was 5 for 54.

All players are prone to slumps. Ibanez has them, too.

Yes, because it is true! look at Burrell's game log and count how many 0-4 nights he had.

But i guess some of you want to keep Burrell, for his sweet "3rd strike shuffle".

Ibanez is a better option.

I heard Ibanez didn't even need to get a plane ticket to Philly...he flew on his magic angel wings...and when confronted with getting across the Schuylkill, he simply walked on top of the water.

Raul Ibanez's worst streak in 2008 was 0/16; Burrell's was 0/17. Ibanez's second worst streak in 2008 was 0/12; Burrell's second worst streak was 0/12. in the interests of full disclosure, Burrell had five streaks of at least 0/10 and Ibanez only had two.

point being that Ibanez--like every other baseball player--does have his ups and downs. pretending that he doesn't is crazy.

"In one sentence you talk about hurt feelings, in the next you say "they do not get caught up in each other's contracts. They just want to win, they know its a business and that these things happened". Which is it?"

You are a knucklehead. The player whose the 2nd options feelings are hurt feelings. The other players in the clubhouse do not get caught up with each others contracts.

When Raul Ibanez was in the alps,
Fighting grizzly bears,
He used his magical fire breath,
And saved the maidens fair

I just can't wait until the phillies score more runs with less homeruns, then you all will be running out to buy a Ibanez jersey.

Just like last year when all we heard was "Werth, Victorino in center, dobbs a has been? Way to be cheap Phillies, Fire Gillick!!"

How did that turn out????

About the Park move on

He said the Phillies expected him to start, despite reports that have said the team sought Park to help boost their bullpen.

"I was a little worried about the Citizens Bank Park, the home of the Phillies, which is hitter-friendly, but as they considered me as a starter, I signed with Philadelphia," he said.

So, if Utley is out until June/July, Brunlett is the regular 2nd baseman?

I would hope they would at least "try" J. Donald at 2B in that scenario.


Where did you get that from, that is worst case scenario. He is already going out in the city and feeling fine, he will be back by the latest may.

This is from the Cincinnati Enquirer:

"Jay Bruce, by the way, has been lobbying Jerry Hairston Jr. to return. Bruce said Hairston is also considering Seattle and Philadelphia."

mvptommyd is an orthopedic surgeon with access to Utley's medical chart. story on Park ends thusly:

When asked on how close the Phillies were to re-signing Moyer, Amaro Jr. said the club will "have an announcement later today."

$2.5 mils seems like a lot to replace Condrey and/or Seanez...I really hope he doesn't end up taking one of our prospect's spots this spring.

at least the Mets haven't made any significant improvements this offseason, or then I would be worried about Chan Ho Park being our flagship pitching FA.

Tommy also likes to point out Ibanez' superior BA with 2 outs and runners in scoring position. That part is true.

But in the situations Baseball Reference logs as "late and close," as well as in game-tied situations, Burrell is well ahead.

Late & close OPS: Burrell 1.078, Ibanez .813
Tied game: Burrell 1.000, Ibanez .813

You get the same offensive player, except bats LH instead of RH, and no improvement in speed or defense. Yes, he is cheaper than what Pat wanted, which allowed us to pick up a guy who didn't impress me when he pitched against us. I would have preferred to use that money to pay the first-round draft pick we no longer have to worry about.

Speaking of which, where's Sir Alden to complain about that lost draft choice?

...other than KRod and Putz.

wait, NEPP: you mean teams are actually allowed to address their problems during the offseason?

I've been saying it since he got hired: what exactly did Amaro do to earn this job?

Arbuckle ran the draft; Gillick did most of the free agent signings; Amaro did...?

It's nice the Phillies took a lesson from the Flyers and decided to keep some of their former players in the organization, but at least hire a GM with some sort of a track record.

Like others, I'm not down on this signing if Park's coming out the 'pen, but if he gets a starting gig, Montgomery should show Amaro the door immediately.

NEPP: Yes, if Utley is out a significant amount of time(over a month), I am all for giving Donald a shot at second base.

****wait, NEPP: you mean teams are actually allowed to address their problems during the offseason?****


Good catch, EFF. I read right past that sentence in the article.

If Phils re-sign Jamie, the off-season is basically complete.

mvptommy: First off, streaks aren't an important main category. They're made up. Do you have any evidence that Ibanez isn't as "streaky" as Burrell. There are, of course, a few actual, you know, facts that are in Burrell's favor. Age, for one. OBP, for another. Slugging pct, for one more.

Look, Ibanez is a good player, who hits for a good average, has decent power, and has shown an ability to drive guys in. That's good. He's also old, a bad defensive player, and doesn't have the plate discipline or power that Burrell has. You keep saying that it's ok, because he's cheaper than Burrell, and so with that extra money saved we also were able to sign Chan Ho Park. Let's see what Burrell signs for because we say Ibanez was cheaper. What will be your argument defending Ibanez if Burrell signs for cheaper?

the thing that bugs me about signing Chan Ho Park (I mean, other than the fact that he's simply not that good) is that you don't build a successful bullpen by chasing guys who were good last year. Chad Durbin & JC Romero are a great example of that; you find guys who are cheap and good bets to bounce back, not guys who are expensive and likely to regress.

but at least Park will improve the rotation of my 2009 Phillies twist team on whatifsports.

Mets addressed their problems?

Well, they still have to figure out 2/5's of their rotation (like we do) and maybe another OFer, and trying to dump Castillo (like us with Eaton).

Sure, they went out and got a couple closers but it's hard to kill the Phillies for having already got their closer set before the offseason.

mvptommy: Since you asked earlier in the thread . . . Burrell himself said he never received an offer from the Phillies. It's in today's paper & on MLBTR.

matt: That's pretty unfair. Like you have a clue whether or not Amaro is qualified. He's been involved in baseball for many years, served as Gillick's understudy for the past 3 years, presumably was involved with most moves and learned a great deal from him, and the Phillies believe he has the right characteristics to be a successful GM. Give the guy a chance to succeed or fail before you right him off as someone who got promoted due to being a kiss a$$.

Ed Wade continues to sign ex-Phillies...Astros inked Jason year, $750K

ae: It's pretty clear that the Mets had more problems to address than the Phils. One team won the World Series... the other missed the playoffs.

The Mets lost Billy Wagner to injury, hence needing K-Rod. They also had one of the worst bullpens in baseball, hence needing Putz.

They still need at least one more bullpen arm (from my count) as well as two rotation spots (lost Perez and Pedro) and perhaps a LF (unless they believe in Fernando Tatis) as well as an upgrade at 2nd, which seems unlikely since no one wants to deal for Castillo.

I don't think it makes much sense to compare one team's moves to another since the needs vary so greatly.

Brian: Can we point out that he got promoted for being a kiss-a$$ provided we don't write him off while doing so?

no, the Mets certainly haven't addressed all their problems. but they've done more so far than the Phillies have. I maintain that the Mets right now, even given their holes, are in a better position for 2009 than the Phillies are.

EF: That's some pretty confused logic. With the worst bullpen in baseball, the Mets were just 3 games worse than the Phillies last year. With even an average pen, they would have been about 10 games better than the Phillies. So they have gone out and added the best closer in baseball plus, potentially, the best setup man. They DO need to find 2 starting pitchers, but they are working to resign Oliver Perez and they're rumored to be going after Lowe who, I am shocked to say, no longer appears in the Phillies' plans. Meanwhile, the Phillies' already dysfunctioanl lineup became even more dysfunctional with the addition of another left-handed bat to replace Burrell. Plus, in the apparent belief that it's better to give up on an old player two years too late, as opposed to one year too early, they are working to give a 2-year deal to a 46-year old pitcher who, by their own admission, will likely be nothing more than a No. 4 starter this year.

In short, barring injuries or other unforeseeable circumstances, the Mets have more than made up a 3-game difference this off-season.

Alby: You have some evidence suggesting that's why he was promoted?


This is what happened. He said he didn't receive a formal offer. Therefore the phillies offered him 2 yrs/22 awhile ago before winter meetings. He said no. He said he wanted 3 years at least, the phillies said no because they did not give him an formal offer is different because they already offered him 2 yrs/ 22 and he said he wanted more so the phillies moved on. Obviously his agent isn't wise enough to see that when the phillies were going to get ibanez to call them and say listen we will take 3 yrs/ 28 to just stay in philly. That didn't happen so now we got ibanez and burrell is still screwed.

I was thinking, does this signing mean we now have two hitter-friendly Parks?

Also, even if the Mets go with one of their present arms as the 5th starter, it's virtually inconceivable that it could be a downgrade from Pedro Martinez. Martinez was every bit as bad as Adam Eaton last season. The Mets will literally upgrade the position by doing nothing.

mvp: Thanks for clearing up what actually happened with Burrell. It's nice to hear it right from the mouth of someone who was actually there, as you apparently were.

ae: Well, reasonable people can disagree on that. I'll wait to see how the rest of the off-season plays out. I don't anticipate Carlos Delgado or Fernando Tatis coming close to last year's production. I also think their rotation as it stands now is significantly weaker than ours (do you trust John Maine coming off surgery?). And I think our bullpen as a whole is still superior.

bap: Well, color me surprised that you see greatness in the Mets and failure in the Phils. It goes against everything I've known about you ;-)

Most indications are the Mets AREN'T players for Derek Lowe. It seems more likely they're looking at Randy Wolf. That's the latest in the Daily News. We'll see if they actually sign two starters instead of leaving the 5th starter to Jon Niese.


No, its something called reading the papers and the quotes he provides.

I espically like the one where he said he wanted 3 years and after he rejected the phillies 2 yr/ 22 mil offer a month ago, he went house shopping in CA. Maybe you should know of all people since you live out there, or you can rely on some people here to deliever the news in between stat crunching to try and prove points.

yeah, bap--what's your problem, trying to prove points using things like evidence. jerk.

CJ: No, it was just a wise-a$$ comment based on the wording of Brian's post. I don't have any particular problem with Amaro, though as you're well aware, others here do.

Tommy: If you would actually read the story instead of trusting your intangibles, you'll see that the 2/$22M offer came during the season. Don't let the facts ruin your narrative, though.

Stats are so overrated it isn't funny.

They prove to be over and over again. Holiday had better stats than rollins and look who won mvp. It happens almost every year that the guy with the most offense related stat doesn't always win the award.

bap: So the Mets would have been about 10 games better and won about 100 games if they had an average bullpen? The Mets did well by addressing their biggest weakness, sure, but let's not overstate things.

The Phillies won the World Series, and if they resign Moyer will have raised their payroll over 20 million to maintain essentially the status quo personnel-wise on the playing field. I can live with that.

They prove to be over and over again. Holiday had better stats than rollins and look who won mvp. It happens almost every year that the guy with the most offense related stat doesn't always win the award.

and this proves that...sportswriters don't pay very much attention to statistics? QED, I guess.


True but it was never taken OFF the table. Kinda like cc how the yankees off wasn't taken off the table.

Alby: You nicknamed him Ruben "liar liar" Amaro, but you "don't have a particular problem with him"? Come on now.


No it means sportswriters actually watch the games and realize there is more than fantasy team numbers.

"So the Mets would have been about 10 games better and won about 100 games if they had an average bullpen?"

Correct, even if the question was asked sarcastically.

OK, I'm now coming around to the belief that "mvptommyd" isn't actually a human, but a computer program designed to generate posts that will annoy Phillies fans. Can we find whoever wrote the program and deploy the same one over on Metsblog?

Who needs stats when I have my eyes?

Brian: That was AWH, not me.

bap: That makes you crazier than a Metsblogger. Even they only saw a 3-5 win increase with a better bullpen.

"No it means sportswriters actually watch the games and realize there is more than fantasy team numbers."

Just uncanny. You're wrong once again. The MVP voters are beat writers for the league's teams, meaning they see their own team's games. Very, very few -- and I know a few of them who can verify this -- go beyond that to watch games around the league.

I'm wondering how a person can be this wrong. What do you do for a living -- hedge fund manager? Weatherman?

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