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Monday, December 29, 2008

Comments

mikes77: BA gives you only one third of the picture on offense. OPS gives you a far more complete picture because it includes power and OB, two key components (most would argue the 2 most important) of offense. Here is the way to compare Ibanez and Burrell vs. LHP over the past three years:

2006 2007 2008
Burrell 1.012 .950 .952
Ibanez .663 .650 .866

That is not a "slight" difference, as you claim. It is a vast, yawning chasm, although not as big as the one between your ears.

Batting average? That's your response, Mikes77, to post batting averages? You're even stupider than I thought.

Get your pom-poms back out. You embarrass yourself more, not less, when you try to use statistics.

Oh, and Bob -- I don't kid myself that I could be a GM. But that doesn't mean I have to accept the decisions of whomever happens to be our GM in any particular year without criticism. Despite your positions, there are plenty of GMs in MLB who make stupid decisions, and it's not hard to figure out who they are. And really, unless the GMs start to come here to debate, the issue isn't whether I'm smarter than a GM. It's whether I'm smarter than you.

George S: "Ibanez was in more demand than either Burrell or Dunn for various reasons."

I'd love to see factual evidence for that statement. It seems to me we won't be able to gauge demand until we see what happens with Dunn and Burrell. If they sign for a higher contract than Ibanez then clearly your statement is false.

"Had he stayed, Manny's former agent would have earned the commission on the extended Red Sox contract, not Boras."

Where are you coming up with this, George? It is very interesting if true but, unless you have some reliable source for this assertion, I'm calling BS. If Boras was Manny's agent at the time he signed a contract extension with Boston, why on earth would Manny's FORMER agent be the one to get the commission? That makes absolutely no sense unless there was something to that effect in the original contract between Manny & his former agent.

Jason: It was a nice post by George, but for those of us who don't get our jollies by pinching management's pennies for them, kind of beside the point.

What mystifies me, and some others, is why Ibanez was offered 3/$30M, when Burrell wasn't. They're very similar players except for age and which side of the plate they hit from. It's a straight-up bet by the FO that Ibanez > Burrell. Now you can argue that Burrell would have turned that offer down, but we'll never know, because the FO had already made its decision. What reasoning they used to make it is anybody's guess, because they haven't justified it in a way that would satisfy anyone looking at it from a pure baseball (as opposed to economic) standpoint.

Unlike some pom-pom carrying readers here, for me six hot weeks, WFC or no, does not justify several years of questionable decision-making by the FO -- questionable decision-making that's continuing under that giant of a talent, Ruben Amaro Jr.

BAP: What George said is true. It's been written about extensively by the anti-Boras crowd.

Alby: That doesn't make it true.

I'm not saying it isn't true, because I have no idea if it is or isn't. I'm saying that it flies in the face common sense. If you use a mortage broker to refinance your home, the commission doesn't go to the mortage broker who got you the original mortage.

Ok, I think I figured it out. The Sox held a $20M option for both 2009 and 2010. Had they exercised that option, the commission would have gone to the former agent, since it was part of the original contract. I thought George S. was talking about the situation where Manny renegotiates an extension with Boston. THAT commission would have gone to the agent that renegotiated the extension -- namely, Boras.

Alby: "Unlike some pom-pom carrying readers here, for me six hot weeks, WFC or no, does not justify several years of questionable decision-making by the FO -- questionable decision-making that's continuing under that giant of a talent, Ruben Amaro Jr."

So when does questionable decision making become justified? How many WFCs will it take for you to give any sort of credit to the FO?

I am not a pom pom toting FO fan, but jeez, give them a break.

Alby, you do prove 1 point though, the smarter you are the more miserable you are.

****So when does questionable decision making become justified? How many WFCs will it take for you to give any sort of credit to the FO?****

4?

Seriously though, being a cheerleader for the FO is just as annoying as never giving them any credit.

Thoughtful commentary on their ups and downs if fairly interesting though and that's what happens here 80% of the time...much more so than other sites.

Nepp - I agree, both ends are extremely annoying. And there wouldn't be much to talk about if we didn't disagree with the FO. But come on, some credit has to be given. The FO drafted and put together a team that won the WS, period. We haven't have a Championship here for a long time. Could things have been done differently, sure, could we have picked up a better LFer, yes. But unless you have unlimited funds it is hard to put out the best Free agent at all of your need positions.

NEPP: Good post.

Alby and clown,

Thanks for explaining OPS to me. I never heard of that statistic before. But seriously...

You 2 guys really are jokes if you feel that you have the need to flex your superior baseball knowledge by explaining OPS. As if it was just invented, and you just read Moneball. Posters who disagree with you are not stupid.

And for Alby, your a bigger clown than clout. I'd rather be a Phillies cheerleader, than a cheerleader for an internet clown like clout.

Clout
You are giving OPS on both Burrell and Ibanez against lefties what are the OPS on both of them against Righties?

Alby : "does not justify several years of questionable decision-making by the FO "

what decision in baseball isn't considered "questionable"? Every move you make can be questioned. There will never be a move that has its merits based on future events that is a "sure thing".

Except signing Adam Eaton maybe.

mikes77: Let me get this straight. You are seriously arguing that batting average is a better measure of offense than OPS?

fljerry: Go back and look at mikes77's orginal post so you can see what the discussion is about.

Being pretty rough on mikes77 fellas, he likes Ibanez over Burrell, leave it at that.

I think i remember the general abuse he got when he predicted the Phillies would decline arb to Burrell, and a bunch of people told him "his track record of always being wrong remains in tact" among other insults .... and few weeks later, he was right.

Clout
Guess I came in on the end of discussion. Just saw what you wrote and wanted to see the opposite against righthanded pitchers.

Ibanez's OPS against right-handers:

2006: .956
2007: .899
2008: .822

Burrell's:

2006: .837
2007: .881
2008: .843

Ibanez's is better, but it isn't by all that much. And for those who want to keep isolating on Ibanez's 2008 numbers against left-handed pitching, while ignoring his 2006 & 2007 numbers, well, that argument works two ways. If you are using 2008 numbers to argue Ibanez's superiority over Burrell against left-handed pitching, then you must also conclude that Burrell is superior to Ibanez against right-handed pitching. And, as the FO apologists keep pointing out, there are more right-handed pitchers than left-handed ones.

Pretty certain that's it for Carrasco in Venez. His last start was Dec. 16. He leaves with a 3-0 record with 2.11 ERA and 45/11 K/BB ratio. Good job.

bap: You don't have to be a FO apologist to recognize there are more RHP than LHP ;-)

What difference does it make? Junior made it so that Ibanez is now our LF. Learn to like him for who he is. Have fond memories of Pat the Bait, that's all we'll have of him. Let's move on to another topic.

I just want to say this once for the record, so that the FO apologists don't accuse me of looking only at OPS: OPS is NOT everything & batting average is not insigificant. The .30 to .40 point difference in batting average between Burrell & Ibanez is a huge difference and a meaningful one. This difference is not captured simply by comparing the 2 players' OPS. Who is the better overall player? I would say it's very close.

Having said that, the issue has never been about whether Ibanez is a better player than Burrell. The issue is about balance. Yes, there are more right-handed pitchers than left-handed ones and, yes, Ibanez will likely get some hits against right-handers that Burrell wouldn't have gotten. But where this move will be a real killer is in the 7th inning and on, when the opposing manager has the option of bringing in a LOOGY. The lack of balance could be somewhat mitigated by having a few strong right handers on our bench but, in fact, every decent bat on our bench is left-handed. That, plus his age, are the 2 reasons why I think Ibanez was a bad signing, even though he is a fine player.

I think that no matter how well Carrasco pitches in ST he will start the season at AAA. He needs more seasoning and the Phils did just win a WFC so I'd say they will be cautious and try to get by with Happ/Kendrick.

A "a cheerleader for an internet clown like clout?"

mikes77 apparently missed all the posts earlier in the year, in which alby went ballistic on clout.

Ibanez was in higher demand than Burrell or Dunn. There were simply more teams interested in signing him. That doesn't mean he's a better player, but like he said, for whatever reason, his services were in higher demand.

Again the LOOGY argument has a huge flaw: what about the other 5 at bats? A bad 7th inning won't matter if you're better for the other 8. There simply aren't a lot of good lefthanded pitchers in the NL.

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BAP: Great post, I agree with everything you said.

After all of that I still think Ibanez is a godo signing tho. When you refer to balance in the lineup, you talk about the handedness of the batters. I think you should look at the batter types as well. Phillies are a low contact, high power team. Lots of standed runners. I think Ibanez's type as more of a contact hitter will help balance the offense more, and try and get away from the 'all or nothing' type swings that seem to plague the team the past few seasons.

Batting Ibanez 6th would greatly balance out the lineup and give us a good lefty bat in the bottom half of the lineup...something we lacked last year with our R/R/R order of Werth, Feliz, Ruiz.

That's the best upside I can think of on the lineup issues.

BAP,

You make very good points about LOOGY's. That I have not heard other posters argue. And your point is the most important in the argument of Burrell/Ibanez. You 1st addressed this a few threads back.

Even though Utley and Ibanez can both hit Lefties, you insist that other teams will be MORE willing to sending in the LOOGY in the late innings against Ryan Howard, because of the presence of Ibanez in the 5 spot.

While I do agree with the logic of this argument, I think it is overblown. Pat Burrell's presence DID NOT effect the other teams decisions regarding Howard. They sent in Lefties against Howard every game from the 6th inning on, regardless of Burrell. Burrell didnt command that kind of respect.

So from my view point, what is the difference? Howard will see LOOGY's EVERY time he comes to bat in the late innings, just as he has in the past anyway. And LOOGY's don't kill Utley and Ibanez, so what's the argument against a 5-6 hitter that hits 40 points higher than the guy he replaced?.

It appears that I created a monster with my 3:00 AM posting regarding Ibanez. Of course, it has morphed from an issue of Ibanez's contract to a statistical analysis of Pat and Raul to determine who is the better fit. Here are my thoughts on that front.

First and foremost, regardless of the stats I am just plain sick of Burrell. He was great when he got locked in (i.e. guessed the right pitch), but more often than not he was inconsistent and frustrating. His looping swing, jumping back on balls down the heart of the plate, and inability to score from scoring position were infuriating.

Forget OPS, the Phils needed a contact hitter. They needed a guy who can hit a sac fly with a man on third. They needed a guy who can get around the bases by taking more than one at a time. Ibanez fills that need. It is just that, as usual, the Phils look like the over committed (e.g. Abreu, Burrell, Eaton) with the contract length.

mikes77: The difference is that, after Howard strikes out, the opposing manager will be able to leave the LOOGY in the game and get another out. I agree with NEPP & other posters who have suggested that, if you bat Ibanez 6th, you can somewhat protect yourself against this. But I think most managers will just leave the LOOGY in the game anyhow, knowing that if he can at least keep the fifth hitter (probably Werth) in the park, he will get a very favorable matchup afterwards.

And again, I would add that the problem is only further exacerbated by having Dobbs, Jenkins & Stairs as our three best bench players. At least one of these guys (almost certainly Stairs) absolutely has to be replaced with a right-handed bat. Ideally, 2 of them should be replaced, although Jenkins probably can't be traded & I don't think anyone favors getting rid of Dobbs.

I have been gone for a few days enjoying the holidays and the BIG eagles win, but just to comment on some previous threads.

First, how in the world is chooch ruiz, BLer of the year honors. I can name a handful of guys without even thinking ahead of him:

1. Victorino, big hits down the stretch and defensive plays that carried the team.

2. Howard, his September hitting pretty much alone put them in the playoffs, maybe the most notable was his HR in the top of the 9th i believe off Mike Gonzalez.

3. Cole Hamels, NLCL and WS MVP, thats enough for the award on its own

4. Brad Lidge

5. Jimmy Rollins, after he came back from injury proved to have another gold glove year and pretty strong offensive yr as well.

Even if you go by stats how does Ruiz get it??

Also, word has it the Phillies are in the hunt for Turnbow, thoughts?

Did the IronPigs need a washed up closer? That's the only place Turnbow could play at this point in his career...he absolutely sucks and he's a headcase.

mvptommyd: You are missing the spirit of Beerleaguer. It's never about the big star or the obvious choices. It's about that guy who could be part of your Beer League Softball team. It's the guy doing the little things... or finding redemption. It's never the obvious one.

CJ;

Wouldn't that be Stairs then?

Definately agree--Ruiz is NOT 'player of the year' he's BL of the year, a significant difference.

Ahhhh! Makes me harken back to the days of Mike Ryan and Clay Dalrymple.....

Turnbow, stinks.

"OPS is NOT everything & batting average is not insigificant. The .30 to .40 point difference in batting average between Burrell & Ibanez is a huge difference and a meaningful one. This difference is not captured simply by comparing the 2 players' OPS. Who is the better overall player? I would say it's very close."

I think this is a good post on it. Batting average is still important because a single scores the runner from 2nd and a walk does not. Like you said, there are other plus marks for Burrell that are negatives for Ibanez.

In the end, I think Ibanez will be a better fit for the regular season because I think the 30 points higher in batting average will outweigh the negatives. However, I'm not entirely sure if it makes them better for the playoffs. For the points you mentioned about balance lineup, and that a power hitter may be a bit more important in a short series.

Given that the Mets got better, I think it was a good move to try to get better for the regular season even if it is at the expense of the postseason. You need to make sure to get there first.

Guys,
A lot of great stats especially ops of pb and ri lefthanded. I love beerleaguer and the phillies, however, the way some of you snipe at each other is irritating. This isn't the first time I've seen this as I've been a reader for two years. I would like to see more writers who have the guts to take the high road and explain their position w/o rippin someone a new one. This is baseball, not politics.
Thanks Beerleaguer!
Happy Hollidays!
P.S. As always, I appreciate a free(as in free to speak your mind) forum.
P.S.S 'Keep it positive' and peace.

BAP said, "The difference is that, after Howard strikes out, the opposing manager will be able to leave the LOOGY in the game and get another out. I agree with NEPP & other posters who have suggested that, if you bat Ibanez 6th, you can somewhat protect yourself against this."

Then the argument should not be Burrell vs Ibanez. The argument should be Burrell/Jenkins vs Werth/Ibanez. IMO, Werth and Ibanez batting 5th and 6th are better than Burrell and Jenkins. Wait to see if Cholly bats Utley, Howard and Ibanez 3,4,5 before the outrage comes.

George S had a great post and nailed it on the head. Phils identified Ibanez and were going to sign him as soon as the years/dollars were palpable to both parties. Their interest in Burrell was likely next to nil.

If Burrell does sign for say 2 yrs/$17-18M, the Phils are likely to wind up with some egg on their face. Basically playing a similar player more money (Ibanez is making $8.5M this year with the $2M signing bonus) for another year and you had to give up a 1st round pick to do so.

Biggest reasons I don't like the Ibanez signing are these - giving up a 1st round pick and the $23M owed to him in 2010 and 2011. Almost guaranteed that his $11.5M contract is going to prevent them from making any kind of big moves next offseason and in 2010 as the Phils contend yet again with resigning a bunch of key players/escalating young players.

One overlooked slight positive though is that I haven't heard mentioned is that the Phils will actually have some could be a decent DH in those Interleague games. Every year it seems the Phils struggle scoring in AL parks and Burrell put up terrible career numbers as a DH/expressed a large distaste for doing it.

By the way... it's a great time to be a Philly sports fan. After once again watching the New York Mets choke job, the Phils go on to win the WFC. Then the Eagles humiliate their biggest rivals on the final day of the regular season en route to the playoffs while the Crygirls complete a choke of their own to miss the playoffs.

By the end of the year Werth was an everyday player vs both types of pitchers, as he should be. Jenkins was almost certainly going to be on the bench either way.

One signing that has got almost no discussion on here is Park.

General consensus what that this was similar to the Durbin signing last year. Basically a swing man who could potentially start but mostly likely will end up in the pen.

Big difference though is that Park is making decent money for a reliever ($2.5M base) and another supposed $2.5M potential in incentive money. That indicates the Phils are potentially thinking Park could be a starter.

Frankly I would love to see the specific incentives as they would give you an indication of what the Phils are thinking of doing with him. If there are a bunch of incentives geared towards IP and GS, then it is clear that the Phils are figuring that Park might be their 5th starter (nevermind the disaster that likely will ensue).

Difference between Durbin and Park is that the Phils essentially brought in Durbin on a huge discount ($900k) and were one of only two teams interested in offering him a MLB deal last year (lowly Pirates being the other).

Everyone seems to like the Park signing but unlike Durbin he didn't come with a relatively cheap price-tag and likely will be in a Phils' uniform the entire year.

I can only figure that the Phils' advance scouts did a ton of homework on the Dodgers in preparation for the NLCS and really liked something they saw in Park's mechanics/delivery.

Ibanez signing does give you some insight as to what the FO thinks about Jenkins and apparently it is that he isn't likely to contribute much next year offensively.

Basically saw a .250 hitter who has lost his power stroke and hacks a bunch at the plate. Jenkins will be their 4th OF because of his contract but I would be surprised if he sees more 200 ABs during the course of next season.

MG wrote: "I can only figure that the Phils' advance scouts did a ton of homework on the Dodgers in preparation for the NLCS and really liked something they saw in Park's mechanics/delivery."

The part of that comment that really rings true is: "the Phils' advance scouts did a ton of homework on the Dodgers in preparation for the NLCS" because the Phillies made the Dodgers look silly. They also had the Rays figured out. I think the scouts who came up with the pitch strategies deserve a heaping bunch of credit for the Phils winning the WFC.

On the Chan Ho Park part of MG's comment...let's hope he's right.

If Burrell signs for less money than Ibanez and has a better year I will feel bad for poor Armaro, who will never live it down unless Park wins 20 games.

I think ThePhaithful has a good point about Ibanez in that we do need another contact bat in this lineup and I think that had to Armaro's mindset too.

I still demand Derek Lowe. This team has the money. Just look at the ticket sales.

Also, anyone else super excited about the MLB Channel? It looks absolutely awesome. There are several replays of the World Series for us to enjoy in January too plus a show dedicated to CBP.

Is it too early for bold 2009 predictions yet? Mine will be that Brett Myers will win Cy Young in his free agent year.

I agree with Len. We need Derek Lowe. The "Kendrick-Happ-anyone but Eaton" experiment for starter no. 5 scares me.

Mets and Dodgers talking trade (re: Buster Olney). The Mets would be getting Andruw Jones ($22M contract) who would apparently supplant Ryan Church in RF. I'm not sure I get this at all. I suppose it's all about dumping Luis Castillo, but there's no way I see the Dodgers taking him back. LA would likely pick up the bulk of Jones' contract.

The best thing Beer Leaguer could do is to disable the ability to leave comments. Dear god, I have never read so much whining, complaining and 3rd grade catty girl fights between internet nerds in all of my life.

For your sakes, I hope you conduct yourselves differently in your everyday lives, because the vast majority of you are obnoxious bores who could make even the most passionate of baseball fans completely sick of the game.

Mac: Hey... thanks for stopping by. Nobody forces you to read any of this.

hey, i'm new here and had a ??. since you guys seem to have all the answers. how much do you think the bosox would give the phils for ryan howard??? a ton?? they are so pissed at getting killed by the yankmees that i think they would give us bucholtz/masterson/ and 2-3 or their top prospects.we know that we can't(won't) sign him long term and i don't think there will be a better time then now???

panicindetroit:

1) I can't imagine the Phils will get that much from the Red Sox. I think their fans are pissed, but the front office isn't that concerned. They already have Youkilis at first (although I know they can move him to third, but then what about Lowell?).

2) The Phillies will NOT be trading one of the major faces of their franchise and one of the greatest power hitters in the game in the offseason after a World Series... especially considering he's under team control for another three seasons.

Yo, new thread.

Re Jenkins, more important than his 200 ABs will be his slap on the backs. He was certainly the team MVP in that area. Not bad for a few million.

I don't like the Park signing much because Park has always been prone to giving up HRs, not something you look for in a pitcher at CBP. For that reason, he should be pencilled in only as a mop up pitcher in middle relief, if they use him at all.

Nor did I like the Ibanez signing, although he's not a bad player. I thought someone like Nick Swisher would fill the bill better and for less money. He's younger, a good fielder, a swich-hitter with power and a high OBP.
Then I realized I had made a mistake, had fallen into a trap. I was assuming that the Phillies wanted to replace Pat Burrell in LF. To be more specific, I assumed they wanted to replace Burrell's strengths: power, RHB, high OBP.

But suppose the Phillies decided they wanted to go in another direction in LF? They didn't want another Burrell, with the same skill set. They wanted something different. Perhaps they wanted more defense, at least enough that they could use one player for 9 innings in LF (the fact that CM preferred to have Bruntlett's glove in LF late in close games rather than Burrell's bat should tell you something). Perhaps they wanted someone to put the ball in play more often, which can result in more RBIs. (Ibanez puts the ball in play 80% of the time, Burrell and Howard only 70% of the time). Perhaps they wanted someone who didn't pull the ball so much (45% of PBs hits are to LF, only 35% to RF for Ibanez). They were willing to give up some HRs to get that, and a LHB was ok as long as he was good enough against LHP to keep himself in the everyday lineup.

In that case, I shouldn't be comparing Ibanez to Burrell. They are two different types of players with two different roles to fill in the Phillies planning. I don't expect Ibanez to hit more HRs that PB, or have as good an OBP, but I think he will move runners better and drive in more runs. He will spread the field better. He will probably require fewer pinchrunners and defensive substitutions.

As for the fear that opposing managers will be able to use LOOGY relievers more often because of LHB Ibanez, I think the problem lies with CM, not Ibanez. If CM continues to bat Utley and Howard back-to-back as he did all last year, that will continue to happen no matter who follows Howard in the lineup. Werth should be put between Utley and Howard if you want to limit the use of LH relievers late in games.

Ibanez is a better hitter then Burrell. How can anybody in there right mind say he isn't?

seriously, how can a .300 hitter with 190 hits be better then a .250 hitter with 134 hits?

Then people want to compare OPS with a player at CBP to one at Safeco Field which is even more rediculous.

Its like saying Rollins isn't a good leadoff hitter because his OBP isn't high enough. Didn't you clowns learn your lesson yet?

Because if we are going off of OPS to judge a hitter, then I guess Burrell is better then Longoria, Morneau, Adrian Gonzales, Ordonez, Soto, and Mauer. I am not buying on that.

Anybody who thinks Burrell is a better hitter then Ibanez must be criminally insane.

Ibanez dominates RH pitching and only hits .10 points lower vs. LH then Burrell. You will face 3 times amount of RH pitching then LH pitching.

This team is going to dominate RH pitching, and when the mets throw their RH dominate pitching they will have no shot.

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