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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Comments

philsphan: Earlier this month, BAP said that we'd know by Dec. 17th what the roster would be. It was then that I suggested it was fair to start criticizing the Front Office. So BAP Day is reserved for FO criticisms, warranted and unwarranted.

Re: Furcal

Considering the Braves felt they had a "gentlemen's agreement" with Furcal's agents... I'd imagine that those agents are building quite the bad reputation if they either ending up signing with the Dodgers or go back to Atlanta asking for more money.

Regarding Furcal, it makes you think why he would change his mind?? I have a theory 2 words....Manny Ramirez. Furcal knows Manny will resign there so he feels Dodgers are closer to winning than Atlanta, espically since the Peavy Trade fell through.

Regarding the Mets, they will end up with Ollie Perez, but not Lowe IMO. Why if the Wilpons may sell the Mets for 600-700 millon, would they have a payroll of close to 200 million if they got lowe and perez??

Well, maybe if the Braves rally around some great catch-phrase like "Win one for the Chipper" they will all play above themselves and be relevant. Otherwise, despite all the noise about them so far this off season, they and the Nats will be fighting over the cellar, and I, for one, couldn't be happier.

Wolf to the NYM seems.. wrong somehow.

CJ: Didn't Furcal also have a gentleman's agreement with the A's a few weeks ago? I'm pretty sure he did.

I hope Furcal goes to Oakland of LA, if on the Braves that changes the dynamics of their lineup completely.

Doubtful the Yanks sign Lowe, and the Phils already settled their rotation, so unfortunately Lowe could fall right into the Mets grubby hands.

I hope Rube doesn't settle in for a long winter's nap now. He could still improve this club with tinkering- namely a righthanded bat.

bap: That sounds right. A deal that was initially reported he would sign and then suddenly he was shopping himself around again. That's a dangerous game to play as an agent.

If the Mets get Lowe, that makes Amaro's offseason look a lot worse by comparison. They'd would still have a hole or two, but they've filled some major ones very adequately. Meanwhile, we haven't taken any major steps forward (although as I've said before, definitely some minor ones).

Of course, apparently it's BAP Day, so I hate this team and everyone who follows them. What a stupid parade that was, huh, guys?!

king myno: Now THAT's more in the spirit!

Can anyone tell me why the Cubs seem to think they have pitching problems and are in on every SP FA? Doesn't make sense to me.

As a Mets fan, I doubt we get both Lowe and Perez back. I think it's one or the other, with Lowe being the first choice, and then get a 5th starter via trade like Marquis, or pick up Garcia, Colon to compete with Niese for the 5th spot.

Drew,

Because if the cubs don't win soon, their fans might tar and feather their whole front office.

CJ - I guess Lowe AND Ollie weren't a BAP day scenario afterall. Unless Newsday is in on it.

Braves still have options if they don't sign Furcal. They would just have to spend money rather than trading for pitching.

All of the moves or lack of moves have been analyzed endlessly by now. But I think it's reasonably fair to say that the 2009 Phillies will basically be the same as the 2008 Phillies. And when all is said and done, they'll have somewhere around 90 wins. Maybe 91. Maybe 89. (Keep in mind they were 7-11 vs. NYM last year. That's not going to get much worse.) The bottom line will be whether the Mets can improve to 92+ wins. That's my non-statistcal analysis for the day.

Myers vs Lowe matchups would be painful

Eventually, Jason Donald and/or Lou Marson could add right-handed balance to the lineup, giving Charlie some flexibility with the batting order. Donald is almost certainly faster and more patient than Feliz, even though he'd probably strike out more.(Feliz was extremely tough to fan in 2008) Marson gets on base and runs well for a catcher, so he could someday hit #2.

Who knows if/when those two will contribute, but better production out of 3B and C would give Charlie a lot more options.

The Phillies will be lucky to be the best team in Pennsylvania in 2009...

"if the cubs don't win soon, their fans might tar and feather their whole front office."

It's not like they've been waiting a century.

OK maybe THAT's not even realistic...

"Myers vs Lowe matchups would be painful "

Why?

Myers proved in the playoffs he can pitch with the big boys. CC, Kershaw and Garza i believe were the 3 he faced.

I think Furcal is scared of Atlanta because they supposedly had made comments saying that they will not trade Escobar for pitching, and move Furcal to 2B. Since he has different teams offernig him the same money and years, being able to play SS is probably going to tilt his decision.

To truly honor BAP we must turn our critical eyes (and rhetorical excess) to the original sin: the hiring of Mr. Ruben Amaro the younger.

Anyone who grew up and collected baseball card box sets in the late eighties and early nineties will remember the subtly nauseous feeling one had as you perused the back of the Phillies players' baseball cards. Here, in unbroken succession was the most depressing collection of sub-mediocrity in professional baseball, of names and faces evincing no aura of athleticism whatsoever. Whereas the Pirates and Mets could boast svelte talent sporting gaudy numbers (30 home runs here, a 20 win season there) the Phillies represented themselves with such types as Gary Gaetti, Steve Jeltz, Kyle Abbot, Randy Ready, and yes, oh yes, Ruben Amaro Jr. 16 home runs to lead the club (take a bow Von Hayes!); our ace at 9 and 13; our record 70 something and 90 something, always always always.

Oh we rooted for them, but we knew, or at least thought we knew: that the Phillies are preternaturally awful and that talent knows no place here. There were certain exceptions--Dykstra, Kruker, Bedrosian--but for the most part, men like Ruben Amaro Jr. were the rule. And more than that, their complacent counterparts in the front office, led by the egregious Bill Giles, ruled the roost. So the pattern was set--uninspired management fielding uninspiring players--and locked, it seemed, for eternity.

But then something strange began to happen. For some reason there was a professional, Arbuckle, put in charge of a facet of the enterprise--scouting. And gradually these players began to appear--real players--Abreu, Burrell, Glanville, Botallico (humor me). And then an ambitious young man Ed Wade, always in the organization but seemingly not of it, took the helm, saw the trend and strove...to win. He stole a 20 game winner, signed a real slugger, built a real ballpark.

Wade fell short and was dismissed. But his movement couldn't be contained; Pandora's box was opened. David Montgomery looked wistfully at the assistant GM, our former batboy and player and thought, Rube your just the man we want but alas, we're expected to win now, and so I suppose I'll have to hire a winner. And so he did, Pat Gillick, twice world champion. And Gillik brought his golden touch, took the final step, and the Phillies at last accomplished what to us never seemed possible, a WFSChampionship. What's more, the team is mostly homegrown, the talent locked in, with money in the coffers. Perennial losers, the Phillies have changed their stripes, taken on the accouterments of a winner. Our future is bright.

Or is it? Are the demons banished? Or did David Montgomery, as he stood, confused and bemused on the parade float, hear in the recesses of his mind the howls of the ghosts of Gerry Nugent, Carpenter, Mauch, Giles, Dickie Thon and Pat Combs, rattling their chains, demanding to be appeased? And if he did, did he tremble, buckle and in the last moment give in? Did he say yes? Yes to the past, yes to the awful? Is the real, the absolute essence of the Phillies, recently in remission, about to reassert itself?

With the hiring of Jr. I believe we have an answer. It's quite symbolic really, this Junior, this literal second coming. Ruben Amaro Sr.: ex-Phillie, lifetime OPS+ 71. Jr.: ex-Phillie, lifetime OPS+ 80. And now we have a second, second coming--Amaro come again, meaning: sub-mediocrity come again, back in the saddle. Of course, some people point to his education and say, this man went to Stanford--he's smart; he'll do a good job. But these Cartesians forget that the mind is just a function of the body--and Amaro's body is feeble. And birds of a feather flock together. So Rube will pick players in his image, and the twentieth century will have its echo heard in the 21st. To be Hegelian about it, the Phillies will come back into itself, realize itself, re-achieve itself. And my future children will collect baseball cards and feel like I did the nausea, the anemia, of reading the stats of a desultory baseball team.

The transformation, or the reversion, you might say, has already begun. Anthony Hewitt, don't you know, is the new Jeff Jackson. And Ibanez is Lance Parrish redidivi. But the worst is yet to come. Howard and Rollins will be traded for bags of balls and Hamels allowed to walk (indeed he'll be enthusiastically shown the door!) Myers they'll keep; his 10-14 win-loss record, 4.42 ERA will look so good on the top of the 2012 team leader board. Steve Roadcap will be brought in as manager. Pasty stick figured white guys will man the infield and the bullpen and a broken down lump will do the catching. CBP will gradually morph into a forbidding concrete bowl and the Phanatic will again become the main attraction.

This is your future Beerleaguers, a future written in the eternal essence of the team. You had your shining moment, as did the lucky duckies in 1950 and 1976-83. But these are mere islands in the sea of the real--and the reality is that your Phillies really, eternally, suck.

"The Phillies will be lucky to be the best team in Pennsylvania in 2009..."

Well, that's a candidate for the best BAP day comment so far!

BENTZ - You said it. Get on the Rinku and Dinesh bandwagon before it's too late.

The Indian government's crackdown on Pirates might end up badly for those two.

Klaus,

Since i am Anti-BAP day. I will counter act that whole post of impressive negativity with one retort, which is we in the 21st century have one of the highest winning percentages of baseball teams in the mlb.

The new day is upon us!

Furcal will obviously make the Braves better, but I just don't think he'd make THAT much of a difference to the team. Unless it allowed them to add Escobar to a Peavy trade package.

@ mvptommyd

There have been no talks whatsoever about the Wilpons selling the team.

Some rich dude from Long Island thinks the Wilpons are in trouble financially because of that whole Ponzi scheme thing, and says he plans to make an offer between $600-$700MM.

The Wilpons have stated that the Ponzi scheme loss will have no effect on the Mets whatsoever. They lost a lot, but they aren't exactly hurting for cash.

Bentz's comment was the best BAP-day one-liner, but it will be hard to top klaus's tirade for the most comprehensively negative post of the day.

Brett Myers similarity scores
(from baseball reference.com)

8. Adam Eaton

ouch

Yes - you have to love a team that brought in not one but two pitchers who won a reality contest in India!!

Unless its a different report then the one I read in Newsday this morning, I think JW misread it:

"To replace Oliver Perez, who had become a vital pitcher, they want either Perez himself or Derek Lowe."

It actually seems to rule out the possibility of them getting two quality SPs.

http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/mets/ny-spmets175968025dec17,0,669302.story?track=rss

BobbyD: "But I think it's reasonably fair to say that the 2009 Phillies will basically be the same as the 2008 Phillies."

Well, that's too bad. I was hoping for a better season than the underachieving campaign of 2008.

Oh wait...

I think a lot of truths are coming out on BAP day. First of all, Chase Utley is just about done. Let's face it. He'll rush back from the injury in an effort to prove he is indeed superman and will re-injure it within a week. He'll then hover around the .200 mark for about a month while he refuses to admit he is injured before finally having season ending surgery.

Cole Hamels recent comments show that his ego is out of control especially after his national fame after being on Letterman and the Ellen shows. He will probably refuse advice from Jamie Moyer and Rich Dubee. In fact, he will start to get on Moyer about "throwing harder." This will lead to a 4.50 ERA next year.

Ibanez will be a bust and hit about .260 with 12 HRs. His defense will make Pat Burrell look like Shane Victorino. Meanwhile, there will be no interest on Burrell in the free agent market. The Mets will sign him before spring training on a one year, $8 million deal with incentives. Pat will go on to hit 35 home runs and drive in 110 RBIs including 11 home runs vs. the Phillies, 6 of which come after the 7th inning.

One of those home runs will come on May 1st against Brad Lidge in the 9th. Lidge's confidence will be ruined and he'll blow 11 saves until Cholly has to replace him with a bullpen by committee.

It's not looking good. I am just hoping they add a few more dollar dog nights to get people to show up and see this disappointing team.

Klaus-
Great post- twilight zone kind of thing- I will have nightmares of it coming true from now 'till the magical "Pitchers and Catchers Report" day when hope springs eternal.

Thanks for explaining BAP Day!

I did misread that. Thanks for the correction.

LEN: Don't forget that Jayson Werth re-injures his wrist and is out for the season. The Phillies don't like the trade market so they bring up one of their top prospects a right handed outfielder named TJ Bohn originally acquired in a genius move by Pat Gillick when he was GM. The Phillies were going to sign Werth to a 5 year $50 million extension but instead give the contract to TJ Bohn. However this is a disappointment as Bohn's line of .143/.256/.249 is even worse than Andruw Jones. The poor play of Bohn causes Adam Eaton to start batting as a lefty to platoon with Bohn in RF.

Len39: Don't forget that Jayson Werth re-injures his wrist and is out for the season. The Phillies don't like the trade market so they bring up one of their top prospects a right handed outfielder named TJ Bohn originally acquired in a genius move by Pat Gillick when he was GM. The Phillies were going to sign Werth to a surprising 5 year $50 million extension but instead give the contract to TJ Bohn. However this is a disappointment as Bohn's line of .143/.256/.249 in his first season is even worse than Andruw Jones. The poor play of Bohn causes Adam Eaton to start batting as a lefty to platoon with Bohn in RF since Jenkins and Matt Stairs are traded for Abraham Nunez and Nelson Figueroa.

My b-a-p day prediction:

Amaro in a stunning move actually acquires Lowe before the end of the year. It is not until Spring Training, however, that the pitcher he acquired as actually Johnnie Lowe from the White Sox organization.

"that he discovers" that the pitcher....

errrr...

Chan Ho Park wins the 5th SP spot. CBP mysteriously burns down after his first start. The Phillies hastily rebuild Connie Mack Stadium (renaming it Adam Eatom Stadium) in it's original location (which takes only a month while the Phils play all their games on the road posting a record of 26-3 during that time).

The Phils begin their season in Adam Eaton Stadium by losing their first 30 games. The team renames it the Darren Daulton Spaceport and the Phils win all the rest of their home games.

After winning the NL EAST by one game on a So Taguchi (who is resigned August 31st when the Phils release Shane Victorino who is hitting .117) grand slam on the last day of the season.

The Phils lose to the Washington Nationals in the wildcard in the NLDS. Charlie Manuel commits suicide.

King Myno is later arrested for arson but later released due to lack of evidence.

THose are my predictions and I stand by them!

There is talk in at least one part of the NY media that Wilpon might have to sell his share of the Mets...

NYTimes...

Perhaps most troubling is the possibility that losses incurred by Sterling Equities could put pressure on Wilpon to raise money by selling other assets. Because Sterling invested money directly with Madoff, Wilpon may have to come up with money to reimburse some of his own investors for losses. That may cause him to sell valuable assets, including a portion of his ownership in the Mets.

Andy - Haha. Another trade between the Phils-White Sox certainly could happen.

Even if Braves get Furcal, they still need a lot of pitching help in the rotation and bullpen. If the Braves got a Peavy-type caliber, they start to become interesting again otherwise they have the look of an 85-win max team next year and more likely fighting for .500.

Klaus that post was a thing of black-minded beauty.

My BAP Day Post:
Due to injuries in the Starting Rotation this is my expected opening day rotation
Blanton
Moyer
Park
Eaton
Freddy Garcia

Replace Moyer with Kendrick and you've perfectly captured the spirit of the day.

Could we trade & get Wes Hemls back?
That would fit the BAP day Phollys

it appears assistant GM Chuck LaMar is rebuilding the Lehigh Valley roster and trying to provide the Phillies with more depth and insurance against injury.

Here's the list:
Borkowski (13-20, 5.87 ERA in 181 major-league games)
Koplove (15-7, 3.82 ERA in 222 major-league games)
Neal (5-4, 5.08 ERA in 133 major-league games)
RHP Justin Lehr (4-3, 5.31 ERA in 66 major-league games)
INF Mike Cervenak (.311/10 HR/66 RBI at Lehigh Valley last season)
SS Ozzie Chavez (.232/4/33 in the Brewers' farm system last season)
INF J.J. Furmaniak (.186 in 29 career major-league games)
3B Terry Tiffee (.378 average for Dodgers' Class AAA team last year)
1B Andy Tracy (.288/22/85 at Lehigh Valley last season)
OF Chris Walker (.257/1/27 for Class AAA Salt Lake last season)

Rosenthal says Furcal will re-sign with teh Dodgers. I'm sure the Braves are real happy right now...

Another year . . . another team full of almost complete retreads at Allentown. It seems like the Phils though has lost some of their fascination with the Indy Leagues guys though this offseason.

wayne: That is not a happy list. The only guy there who could remotely have a shot at helping is Koplove and he's a long shot.

Retreads at Allentown (and to a lesser degree) at Reading are expected. It is just the amount of minor league FA starters the Phils have signed to play at Allentown/Reading past few years which indicates the farm system just isn't as good as advertised.

It is fitting that the Phillies made those 10 minor league FA signings on BAP Day because, if that list doesn't supply ample grounds for pessimism, I'm not sure what will.

you beat me to it bap...such a poetic beauty that that list of neverbeens and neverwillbe's is announced on BAP day...

how many unearned runs will carlos give up with the likes of them behind him.

and koplove is the jewel? happy bap day everyone!

MG: what advertisements of the farm system have been incorrect? ie, who has said that we're so loaded with major league ready prospects that we don't need to sign a bunch of retreads to fill AAA spots?

Furcal and his agents really burned a bridge with Atlanta.

We might whine about our off-season but look at the off-season that Frank Wren has had:

1. Jake Peavy almost comes to Atlanta but the deal collapses at the last minute.

2. Frontrunner for Burnett for a couple weeks only to watch Brian Cashman vastly overpay for him..."loses" again (blessing in disguise most likely though)

3. Furcal agrees to a deal and they schedule a physical and press conference only to find out he's still talking to the Dodgers and he then screws them to go back to LA.

I mean, ouch.

Brian G - Arbuckle touted the amount of talent at Reading and Clearwater last year. Granted Phils made a few moves and traded some of that talent but the reality is that there are only a handful of players from the Clearwater team and above last season who would be considered decent prospects.

Reading team almost can't be any worse than last year (when the team essentially quit playing hard at times during the 2nd half of the season) but still going to be kind of threadbare too especially it looks like on the pitching side.

Going to be interesting to see how the Reading team pans out this season. Last few years have been pretty poor and Phils have had to resort to signing a ton of players to fill gaps at AA. This is never a good sign.

Conlin's article on Ibanez signing was interesting. For a change, Conlin actually decided to make his points with some real-reasoned arguments for a change instead of just hyperbole. You can disagree or counter them but glad it wasn't another rambling column about the shortfalls of Burrell.

We had some very good talent in Reading in 08 but the coaching absolutely blew....Marson, Donald, Carrasco etc.

~read the Conlin article~

Wow...is he reading BL now?

Good sound analysis and realistic expectations from Conlin.

Wow. I was just looking at the Iron Pigs roster from last year. With that talent, I don't think they could even beat the Pirates.

NEPP - But they were the exception and not the rule. A team doesn't finish as bad as a record as the Reading Phils did last year because of the manager/coaching staff. There was some talent as you cited there but it generally didn't put up great numbers.

Hey guys, havent been on this site in a while. I figured it would be all optimism and cheerfulness after you won a world series.

I dont get the negativity about Raul Ibanez. The guy has been nothing if consistent his whole career, and his defense is about equal to Burrell's. And you have a small outfield, and one of the best defensive outfielders in the game (with a cannon) patrolling CF.

Hamels was goaded into his comments by our radio guys. He didnt just come out and say "By the way, the Mets are chokers."

Hamels-Myers-Moyer-Blanton is a strong rotation, something I thought was the Phillies glaring weakness going into 2008.

I used to think you phans were hypocrites for bashing Reyes, while cheering on Victorino for the same thing, until a Phillies fan on gamefaqs.com mentioned that the team scolded Victorino for his actions, so yeah, kudos for that. And if you hate Reyes, youre really gonna hate K-rod, who acts like he just won the World Series after recording a 3-run, 1/3rd ip save.

I think the Mets are going to add Lowe/Wolf or Perez/Garland and another lefty reliever, b/c Feliciano alone cant pitch to the heart of your order.

Jimmy Rollins (unnecessarily) made some comments about the Mets team not having the teamwork to win. Well the starting pitching and offense did. The bullpen just REALLY wanted to lose. So we're all hoping the guys dont suck as much as last year's losers. Also it'll be nice not having a closer who gets *****slapped in Philadelphia every time he goes out there.

The Mets still need to find a solution for left field. The insane "spend big money" fans (read: former Yankee fans) want Manny. Nostalgic guys like me want the Yankees to sign Manny, so they can trade Nady to us. The sensible fans realize that Murphy/Tatis make a nice platoon.

We're all still pining for everybody's favorite cancer, Luis Castillo to get the hell off the team, but of course, no team in baseball is dumb enough to take him off of our hands. Its a shame too because Orlando Hudson has expressed interest in being a Met, and I think he would be perfect for NY. Pretty much the Mets' answer to Rollins, great defense, decent bat and a big mouth.

Interesting fact, Luis Castillo is the only player on the Mets to have a losing record in games that he plays. Think about that for a second, the Mets may have 2 straight epic collapses, but they still had a record way over .500, and castillo himself has played in more losses then wins. He may actually be the single worst player in baseball.

Well thats all from enemy lines. Hope you guys enjoyed the writing.

P.S. Brad Lidge is awesome. The single greatest season a reliever has ever had (Gagne was perfect too but he was juicing, and didnt win the WS) and I havent heard a peep from him. The definition of class.

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