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Friday, December 12, 2008

Comments

You're my boy Burrell, you're my boy!

From last thread:

I also like Werth, but to say that he's going to hit 30 HR and have 100 RBI is a little premature. That's obviously what the Phils are expecting though. (or something like that)

We can only guess if the Phils cut the cord at the right time on Burrell, but either way its sad to see him go. Its great he gets a ring on his way out of town.

I will miss Pat, especially for those excited serial-killer like looks he had in the playoffs during big moments. Who can forget his face when he met Stairs on the top step of the dugout in LA?

ah man, how times have changed. Years ago, i thought getting rid of Pat Burrell would be the highlight of 2008.

Good Luck Pat, I am very interseting to see what kind of deal he gets and where he goes.

He definitnely has a standing O in waiting for his first return in another uniform.

I was never a big Burrell guy, but I grew to like him in his final years with the team. Sad to see him go and appreciate the effort he put in.

from last thread
Tony: I agree. I think this unbalanced thing is overblown. We have 3 full time lefties. That isn't the end of the world. We will trott out 5 righties when lefties are pitching and we can always rest people against lefies as well. Plus, as someone mentioned, there aren't a lot of lefties in our division. Not sure about LOOGYs

Can anyone remember a Philly athlete (any sport) that had a career arc like Burrell? Loved then bashed (for a while) then turns it around late and is loved once again. I just can't think of anyone else that was good, went south and lost the fans, then recovered got the and got (most) of the fans back all while staying in Philly.

For the record, Pat Burrell is my favorite Phillie of all-time, and it may be influencing my opinion of the Ibanez signing. Pat is, and always will be, a true Phillie, and a legend here. So long Pat.

Vonderful, I think that the career arc point is interesting, and probably a credit to Pat. He really understood the fans, and never lashed out, ultimately b/c I think he personally wasn't satisfied with himself. He's been a standup guy.

My wife will miss watching him as well.

In my head and heart Burrell is still a Phillie that I expect to see in the Opening Day lineup against the Braves. It's going to take some time for this to truly sink in.

Baron: Love the handle. Great minds think alike. My point about Pat was about the same as yours. He really worked hard to get himself back to an acceptable level of play even after he got the big contract and IMO, alot of players wouldn't do the same. In the end (which is now) that is why the phans came back to his side. We appreciate hard work and effort more than anything else in this town.

as long as he doesnt go to the mets or atlanta i will be happy. ( please don't go to either of those two teams! )

I love Pat too. Please don't misconstrue that with my half hearted defense of Ibanez. No one cheers Pat more than Jack and I have at many a Phils game (yes we know each other in real life). You can ask the Morrison's.

Tailgating and sitting in the left field bleachers will never be the same. Nor will I ever hear the following conversation:

Me: "Yo where do you guys want to sit tonight?"

Friend: "Cheap seats."

Other Friend: "LF dude, Pat's section. Yes, dude."

Having signed yet another left-hander for their starting lineup, it is absolutely imperative that the Phillies add a few right-handed bats for their bench. Stairs is a goner and he absolutely has to be replaced with a right-handed bat. Juan Rivera, at this point, would be a good addition.

Sorry to see Pat go, although he could go through streaks that would drive fans bonkers.
Not sure about the Ibanez move, but with a championship comes a softened view of the organization. I am witholding judgment and being less critical. Werth will have some pressure as will Pete Happy as Righties.

LF will no longer be considered "Pat Country".

Either Jenkins or Stairs must go now. Stairs is cheap and would easily be traded to an AL team. We need another RH bat off the bench for sure. Bruntlett and backup catcher aren't enough.

Pat Burrell: A phillie through and through

Its been good Pat.

From the last thread:

NEPP, then Hamels is 1A.

However, check this out:

Steve Carlton '80: 27IP, 7ER, 17BB/23K, 3-0, 2.33 ERA

Cole Hamels '08: 37IP, 7ER, 9BB/30K, 4-0, 1.80 ERA


Key thing to remember here: Carlton was 35 years old in 1980...hardly in his prime anymore. I'm not bashing Cole at all, I really hope he is that good when he's 35 too.

Carson: I disagree about Bruntlett. I know his numbers are terrible but he came up big in the post-season, with a homerun and several big plays. Statistics are not everything. If the game's on the line in the 9th inning, Bruntlett is the man I want at the plate.

****If the game's on the line in the 9th inning, Bruntlett is the man I want at the plate.****

Its funny because you can go your whole life never expecting to see that phrase and BAM! there it is.

I will miss PtB a lot, I always wanted to grow up to be him as I was a big slow outfielder. I wish him the best where ever he goes with the exception of NY.

Thanks Pat.

As one of my all-time favorite Phils, I'm highly sad to think and believe that Pat is, indeed, done with the team. As much as I've always liked Ibanez, he's no Pat the Bat, so it will take time for me to actually get into him being on the team.

Hopefully Pat can end up somewhere on the West Coast and do well.

did anyone ever see any reference to why the phils didnt want PtB back? it just seems weird to me they didnt even bother.
was there any reference to them even talking? just curious. I didnt see anything.

Good luck Pat. Unless you go to Mets or Braves.

The Phillies have had some interesting characters playing the LF role going back , in my memory, to Del Ennis.He's my favorite Phillie.
Pat takes the lead on nickname and longevity and female Phan Phavorite.
My daughter and my wife will not have the same interest in baseball unless Pat is out there.

Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out, Slewfoot.

All the best to PTB. He will be missed. That standing 'O' the first time he comes back will be memorable.

I just wonder how much the supposed management/ownership coolness to him for not 'giving back' had to do with it.

The front office must have had personal issues with Pat. I can't help but think that, given the way they've handled his departure. Pat was the #1 overall pick in 1998, the same year Reuben Amaro Jr retired and joined the front office. Still, I somehow doubt this was Amaro's decision.

Maybe Dave Montgomery felt Pat underperformed his last contract...Or maybe they grew tired of his inconsistency, late nights and sometimes lacksadasical approach. Amaro's comments about Ibanez's consistency and hard-work seem to point in that direction.

Good luck to Burrell on his new team... Reminds me of when the Phillies got rid of a similar player (one of my favorites)Luzinski. Hope the fans don't treat Raul Ibanez as shabbily as they did Gary Matthews when he replaced the Bull.

Didn't we have all this "goodbye" talk after the benching against the Ravens?

Oh sorry, wrong 5.

I think anybody that comes in here and performs will be accepted. I still wish we could have resigned Pat for 2 years, but the franchise decided to move on. Pat was one hell of a frustrating player, but when he was on, he was on.

mikes77: I'm still waiting for you to provide evidence that Ibanez is a better player than Burrell. It should be amusing.

His swing was sweet, when it connected.

TK - huh?

baxter: According to a few Seattle fans i work with(i know who thought they existed?), Ibanez isnt a perfect bill of consistency either. They said he would hit slumps and hotstreaks just as much Burrell - probably not as extreme tho.

BvH, that is his intro music.

tk: i hated that he switched from Holy Diver.

From Zoleck- The Phillies are expected to sign righthander Blaine Neal to a minor-league contract.

TK, thanks for the tip. I've been to one game at CBP for the past three years. I don't think I even knew that batters/fielders actually had intro music. I must be getting old.

One thing that makes me particularly sad about Pat is the fact that he genuinely liked it here. How many Philadelphia athletes have there been that really take on the city as their own? I don't know any one who lived in center city (or just went out a lot) during the late 90's early 2000's who doesn't have a "I saw Pat at so and so bar" story to tell.

I also feel like he was terrible underrated during his time here. The walks that the 610 crowd bemoaned, were a truely valuable contribution. A guy getting on base 40% of the time is a guy I want on my team.

"Better player" is a nebulous term, but I don't think 3/30 for Ibanez is necessarily worse than 3/45 for Burrell.I wouldn't have signed Ibanez, but I wouldn't have given Pat a lucrative long-term deal either. Ibanez is not a bad player; he's just not the right-handed power threat we need.

This demonstrates the front office's lack of respect for Charlie Manuel. The same day Manuel says they need a RH power hitter to play LF, they sign a LH contact hitter. Cholly has about as much pull as we do.

Favorite Pat Burrell moment... smacking the dinger against the Mets in 2007 where the Phanatic almost caught it in the outfield. The perfect combination of my two favorite things about Phillies baseball.

The story couldn't have ended any better. Anyone else who was lucky enough to be there when the rest of the team celebrated around the pitchers mound, and Pat slowly worked his way down the 3rd base line hugging and high fiving fans individually knows exactly what he meant to us, and what we meant to him. He's been there since I came into my own as a Phan, and I envision myself telling my kids about his roller coaster ride of a career here down the line...

Won't miss Pat.

Also... JW, way to pick a shot of Pat from behind. Clearly, from his unnecessary outfield stretching routines, the way he wants to be remembered by us all.

I'll always remember that look on his face after he was pulled for Bruntlett in Game 5 after getting that double...he knew it was his last moment as a Phillie very clearly.

Blaine Neal? Played against him in HS. Walked him on a 3-2 curveball. Good hitter and pitcher, but at this point, he's a Lehigh Valley guy.

Looks like the Phils PR team is at work: signing local Olympians like Neal and Koplove.

Dubs- The patience to talk walks is rare and under valued.
Charlie Manual said that he thought that by replacing Burrell with a Pinch Runner late in games he took away a lot of runs from Pat's runs scored numbers.

Also, my favorite Phillie. Mainly because more people than not hated him during theiddle of his career, so whenever he would come through, I would be able to rub it in everyone's face. Then, he just stuck. He was a Philly staple, will be a shame to lose him.

But, like Obama, i'm going to give Ibanez a break until the season starts.

Ibanez's 186 hits and 44 doubles would've led the Phillies last year.

I'm against this signing. However, I think Ibanez and Burrell would be a wash as far as productivity next year, and I think the "we needed a righty" argument might be a little overdone. Main reasons this annoys me...
1. I don't think it made sense to set the corner OF market like this. And I think Burrell could and will end up being had for cheaper than this. Like Jason said, bad use of resources.
2. Sentimental reasons. I wanted Pat back here to try and defend our title, and still haven't heard a good reason as to why that wasn't attempted.

I'll probably miss Pat the Bat like everyone else. Still it's something to see the change in perception about the man. When he first broke into the Majors, we all had dreams of him becoming, well, what Ryan Howard is for the team right now. Then came his first awful slump year, when he barely broke the Mendoza line, and a lot of us hated him. Now he leaves town as a guy we liked, but not the hero we initially envisioned.

After 2004 I never thought Burrell could be a guy to carry a team's offense, mainly because he's far too streaky. Yes, overall he's a consistent 250/260AVG, 360/370OBP guy with good power, but the poor hitting streaks were maddening. His perfect spot in the lineup is at 5th, he's made to back up the cleanup hitter. Truthfully, if he wanted 15mil/year for 3 years, that's too much for what he provides.

My big problem with the Ibanez signing is that now most of our power comes from the left side. That was the big thing about Burrell: he'd crush lefties and gave us some balance so a LOOGY couldn't mow down our 3-4-5 hitters. Ibanez doesn't seem like a hopeless hitter against lefties, but there's a big drop in his performance. And as Carson's implies with Stairs and Jenkins we now have a glut of old lefty hitters. Either Stairs or Jenkins should be flipped for a righty bat.

Truthfully, I don't love or hate the signing. I'm in a wait and see mode. I remember some of you on this site attacking the Lidge deal because he was hurt and look how that turned out (yes, I know apples and oranges, but the point is you really don't know how a player performs until Game Day).

Godfather: Some of us really liked the Lidge deal. Clout hated it because it meant Myers couldn't be the closer anymore, and Lidge certainly wasn't good enough to close games for us.

from a previous thread:

Clout:

Ibanez OPS vs. RHP: .849
Burrell OPS vs. RHP: .819

Ibanez OPS vs. LHP: .743
Burrell OPS vs. LHP: .950

Thus, small improvement vs. RHP=3 more wins
Huge dropoff vs. LHP=6 more losses.


That might work, if you believe that stats automatically translate into actual game performances - except for the fact that you completely fail to account for the reality that the Phils face more RH starters than LH starters.

I would've offered Pat arbitration, which he probably would've accepted. If Michael Taylor raked in 2009, he'd replace Pat in 2010. Pat would've had another year to prove himself, and we wouldn't be stuck with a bad contract. The problem with this logic is that 1 year of Burrell would likely cost the same as 1.5 years of Ibanez. Pat essentially costs 30% more, but the difference in their production is negligible.

The Ibanez signing means Michael Taylor could eventually either replace Werth or Victorino(with Werth playing CF) or get traded.

clown said, "still waiting for you to provide evidence that Ibanez is a better player than Burrell. It should be amusing".

Its amusing to me, that your still waiting.

Impartial party here, and I'd take Burrell over Ibanez no doubt.

I, too, will miss PtB. I never got off his bandwagon, even during the tough times. I wonder how much better a couple of those years would have been without the foot problems.

Thanks for the memories Pat. I was there when they clinched the division and after the initial celebration I went down from the my 400 level seats to the first row between 3B and LF. Ryan Howard and Werth went speeding by on a security golf cart waving to the fans. Ruiz came over and gave a bunch of high fives, but missed a bunch of fans. A couple of other players that are escaping my mind came by and high fived a few hands, but missed many. Then came Pat Burrell. He took his time and made sure to high five every hand, even if it wasn't right in the front of the pack, as he made his way around the entire ballpark. You could tell that Philly, the fans and the moment meant something to him. We will miss his Met killer qualities too.

One other thought that I haven't seen anybody mention on Ibanez. There are tons of older left-handed hitters out there who were once productive everyday players, but have become useful only as platoon players in their old age. The Phillies, themselves, have 2 such players in Stairs and Jenkins. Other players falling into this same category include Jason Giambi, Darrin Erstad, Jim Edmonds, Luis Gonzalez, and probably a few others I'm forgetting. My point: when an older, left-handed hitter starts to lose bat speed, the first thing that's going to go is his ability to hit left-handed pitching. I would be shocked if Ibanez isn't a $10M platoon player by 2010.

While the love for Pat is obvious in this thread, why do so many of you constantly refer to him as "Pat the Bat" when he has consistently reminded us that he disliked that moniker?
I will feel badly for him when the team receives their rings on April 5 and he won't be on the baseline to get his.

bap: Interesting take. If that happens then hopefully Michael Taylor will be ready to platoon with him by then. (sigh)

BAP - what makes bat speed more relevant for left-handed hitters?

Here's to hoping he is NOT here to get his ring as a Brave!

"when an older, left-handed hitter starts to lose bat speed, the first thing that's going to go is his ability to hit left-handed pitching"

He could also just hate his manager. I'd tell Charlie to watch out if Ibanez starts to look silly at the dish.

Philipper: Bat speed isn't MORE relevant for LH hitters. It's relevant for LH hitters vs. LHP and for RH hitters vs. RHP. Ibanez value to the Phils decreases significantly if he struggles vs. lefties.

I'm not a fan of this move at all. I'm sure Ibanez will be a quality hitter, but how does this make us a better team? Just a few days ago Amaro was saying that we needed to get younger and more athletic as the reasons by Burrell hadn't been signed. So what does he do? He goes out and signs an older player who is slow and plays probably poorer defense than Burrell. On top of it, now we have him for three years and we lose our first round pick. I wonder if Young for Donald was dead.

I wonder if this was a panic move by Amaro. Here he is coming off a World Series victory and ticket sales are through the roof. The fans won't tolerate a medicore start from the new GM. Utley might be out till June. The Mets are the big winners of the winter meetings. Two of the favorites on this team in Burrell and Moyer are unsigned with no positive movement. He probably hasn't been given permission by the management to make a significant move for someone like Derek Lowe. Other teams are also in pursuit of Ibanez. He faces the possibility of losing Burrell and replacing him with a Jay Payton type. So he makes this move.

Again, I'm sure that Ibanez will bring a good stick to the lineup and attitude to the clubhouse, but how are we a better team now and going into the future?

Don't know if this was mentioned last thread...

Charlie Manuel was on MLB on XM Radio around lunch time. When asked about Ibanez, he stressed that nothing was final yet (he sounded almost hopeful that it wouldn't get done) and then mentioned something about how he had a lot of RBIs the last three years... and then said he couldn't say anything more. He did't exactly sound excited. Take that for what it's worth.

Len39: We'll see if the Mets end up being the big "winners" out of all this. They supposedly won the last offseason when they dealt for Johan Santana.

Although this wasn't my first choice, it does fill our LF hole and it eliminates one of the options that the Mets were seeking to fill their LF hole.

As it stands now, both teams need to fill one or two starting rotation spots and the Mets are still pursuing help in LF.

Jack: Yeah I know. Come to think of it, I think that's the only time that Clout's been obviously wrong...

To round out CJ's point the reason bat speed is important is that when batting from the same side the pitcher is throwing from you have less time to pick up the pitch and therefore make a decision whether or not to attempt to hit it. Decreasing bat speed shrinks the window of opportunity further in an already handicapped position.

My most esoteric concern regarding Ibanez: the sixth inning. In 2008 the two biggest innings (in this order) for the Phils were the sixth and the first - the sixth being by far the better.

I am not worried about Ibanez in the first. If he gets up it will probably be against a RHP or a LHP that is in trouble already.

In the sixth, however, the other team will be able to sub in a LH relief pitcher who might only have to face Werth as far as a LHB. In other words, it's not the handedness of the starter which is of concern, but the ability for the opposition to use a LOOGY as a L3OGY.

But that's esoteric; we all know that handedness of the batter does not mean anything. So what if Bruntlett hits lefties better than Ibanez? Ibanez is our new Maven of RBIs.

(As you van tell, the Flavoraid™ is not quite going down smoothly yet.)

Clout Wrote...
"mikes77: "Ibanez is a BETTER player than Burrell."

Just for my amusement give me some facts that support that statement."

I think this shows they are amazingly similar overall, but in different ways. You could look at it this way, Ibanez is less streaky and you won't have to do a defensive switch in the late innings for him. So you save a substitution, so that is a plus.


Since 2005 by year averages
Player HR/RBI/BA/OPS
Pat 31/98/261/889
Raul 24/107/288/832

HR = Pat +7
RBI = Raul +9
BA = Raul + 27pts
OPS = Pat +57 pts

Lazarus - I get that - I'm just not quite sure why BAP is singling out that issue. Any drop in his performance would be significant - but his primary value to the Phils is how he hits against righties.

I guess the point is that the older a player is, the more likely it is that his performance will drop - and so Ibanez's advanced age is a negative factor. I agree.

But there are balancing factors: To me, primarily, it's that you have a #5 or #6 who hits for a higher average - which I'd trade for a lower OBP or OPS because walks are less useful at that position in the batting order, given who the Phils bat in #7 and #8.

That Dude: You do realize that Ibanez is as bad a fielder... if not worse, right?

Dude: Why wouldn't you do a defensive switch for him? Almost every scouting report and statistical evaluation I've seen says Ibanez is essentially as bad a defensive LF as Burrell.

Actually, I think bat speed IS more important for left-handed hitters against left-handed pitchers than for right-handed hitters against right-handed pitchers. The advantage that a left-handed pitcher gains against a left-handed batter is much greater than the advantage a right-handed pitcher gains against a right-handed batter. That's why there are LOOGYs but not ROOGYs.

Phlipper: He brought it up because so many people here have defended the signing by saying, "But he hits lefties better than Burrell does!" Besides being false... that's the reason BAP raised the issue.

No, Dude. There is a bigger difference between Ibanez and Burrell than the obvious. Ibanez HITS w men on base. Burrell walks or strikes out w men on base.

From Geoff Baker:

"Had someone else signed for much lower numbers than expected, Ibanez might have seen dollars and guaranteed years go out the window.

Instead, he took the deal he wanted when he got it. Like M's GM Jack Zduriencik does. He didn't try to leverage the perfect offer out of the Phillies. When they hit his magic target, he took it. Likely, the Angels' interest is what got Ibanez that three-year offer for the cash he'd envisioned. Philadelphia wanted him and knew what ballpark their offer had to be in to get a quick signing. Had they waited, the Angels could have stepped in next week and started a bidding war. Now, neither side has to worry."

Baker also mentions that the Cubs dropped out because they would have needed Ibanez to play RF and didn't think he could handle it defensively.

Philpper, probably because to survive as an MLB position player you can't fall below a certain point offensively even against guys pitching from your side. 10 million per is too much for a platoon player, even a lefty unless you are the Yankees. Which is what Ibanez would be if he lost the ability to hit LHP. I think you are both making the same point in different ways. The thing being when a player's batting ability declines the normal first indicator is difficulty hitting pitches from your side of the plate.

Makes sense, BAP - in a sense. It seems that reality says that bat speed is more important for lefties, because a lefty/left matchup is more advantageous to pitchers than a right/right matchup. My questions is why people think that's the case. What would the reason be?

BAP your assertion is plausible in that the ball is more likely to go into play on the first base side of the field, but that's about it.

Ugh. The one move I didn't want to see the Phils make and they make it. So basically:

1. Phils acquire a version of Burrell who is 4 years older and left-handed. Otherwise they are almost exactly the same players - liability on the basepaths and defensively. Ibanez hits for a slightly higher average and walks less.

2. For this acquisition, Phils somehow manage to loss 3 picks. 1st round pick they need to give up for Ibanez and the picks they have now lost since Burrell is signing elsewhere. Amazing how the Phils always almost manage to acquire nothing of value when they lose a valuable asset. This is one of the hallmarks of the Montgomery regime of the past 25 years.

3. Basically Cholly will use Ibanez the same way he likely did Burrell. So means a pinch-runner or defensive replacement in the 7th/8th. Means Cholly will continue to burn through his bench.

4. Best case is that Ibanez still remains productive offensively the next 2 years and doesn't lose his power stroke. If he does, the Phils are stuck with a mediocre offensive player who is a huge defensive liability at big dollars.

5. If anyone thinks the Phils are signing another big-name starter, forget it. That is the money that went to Ibanez. Basically going to be either an internal candidates like Happ/Kendrick or a discount bargain rate guy.

6. Amaro doesn't have a coherent plan. So much for his new mantra of "pitching and defense." This move stinks of everything the Phils used to do. Sign an aging player to a mid-sized contract to appease the fans and then be disappointed when he gives you mixed results.

Would the Phils have any interest in Marcus Thames if he's non-tendered tonight?

This move has Pat Gillick's fingerprints all over it. According to ESPN, Gillick is a huge fan of Raul Ibanez.

I softened my stance after watching video of Ibanez hitting. Ibanez has a pretty nice lefty swing that sprays line drives to all fields. This guy can definitely hit. He's not much faster than Burrell on the basepaths, but he'll make much better contact.

"That Dude: You do realize that Ibanez is as bad a fielder... if not worse, right?"

"Dude: Why wouldn't you do a defensive switch for him? Almost every scouting report and statistical evaluation I've seen says Ibanez is essentially as bad a defensive LF as Burrell."

That's because playing LF in CBP is different than playing in Safeco. PtB was like The Mummy out there, whereas Ibanez (even though he is older) can move.

If you look at the Defensive stats (althought I agree they can be misleading)

in 2008 Pt2B had a slightly better FP, however Raul played in 200+ more innings (due to NOT being subbed for). Also Raul has a MUCH better range factor for the same position (2.0 vs 1.3) and that is playing in a park (safeco) that is much harder to play LF.

"BAP your assertion is plausible in that the ball is more likely to go into play on the first base side of the field, but that's about it."

Meaning - pulling the ball is more important for lefties than righties because....

It's easier to get lefties out if they hit to the right side than righties out if they hit to the left side?

Not being snarky - just trying to figure this out.

New lightning rod of controversy on Beerleaguer - Ibanez. Can he displace current whipping boy Pedro Feliz?

phlipper: I'm not a physicist but, if you watch a game, you can literally see with your own two eyes that the advantage a left-handed pitcher gets against left-handed batters exceeds the advantage that a right-handed pitcher gets against right-handed batters. I suppose it has to do with the way a baseball field is designed & the angle at which the ball comes out of the pitcher's hand. It's easier for the right-handed hitter to pick up the ball against a right-handed pitcher than it is for a lefty batter to pick up the ball against a lefty pitcher. And the effect is exacerbated by the fact that so many teams now use LOOGYs, whose delivery makes them particularly deceptive against left-handed batters.

There was a study done last year. For the 2007 season, right-handers hit .261 against right-handed pitchers. Left-handers hit .251 against left-handed pitchers. I have no reason to think that you would find dramatically different results in other seasons.

Could be possible, MG - especially since he might take ABs away from Dobbs. My suspicion is that at least a few of the prominent Feliz-bashers have man-crushes on Dobbs.

That Dude - Ibanez stinks defensively. His only position in the NL is LF. He might have marginally more range than Burrell but not much. Plus, his arm is mediocre at best and a downgrade from Burrell.

If Ibanez doesn't hit .280-.300 with 20-25 HRs next year, then his offense won't offset his crappy defense. I am worried the Phils will get a guy who will hit for a decent AVG (.280-.290) which they need but get a huge dropoff in power to say 15 HRs.

No worries Phlipper, actually it's not pulling the ball, it's hitting to the opposite field that's important. Just picture the shift they always put on Howard. He's an extreme example, but illustrates the point. An error or late play is more likely on a play from across the field than one on the same side.

Len - So you think we are not a better team today than we were yesterday?

Or do you think that We are worse off with Ibanez than with Burrell.

Obviously we are better today than yesterday. No platoon in left and a solid hitter added to the lineup.

I am absolutely convinced that the reason the Phillies refused to offer arbitration to Burrell & Moyer was because they didn't want those first round picks. For the first time ever, the Phillies busted their normal draft budget last year -- paying well over slot for quite a few draft picks. Having gone over-budget in 2008, they made a conscious decision to recoup some of those monies this year by not having a first round pick. There is really no other rational explanation for not offering these guys arbitration -- particularly Moyer.

sorry - should have said:

It's easier to get lefties out if they hit to the left side than righties out if they hit to the right side? Maybe because third basemen/shortstops are usually better fielders than first basement/second basemen?

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