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Monday, February 02, 2009


JW, Terry Tiffee???


"'s Tom Singer looks at the effects of arbitration hearings on players. He found that most players don't experience a post-hearing performance decline, but they do change teams at the first opportunity."

Is this yet another reason Ryan Howard's days in Philly are numbered?

Tiffee is a non-roster invitee. Spent last season with AAA Las Vegas where he led the PCL in hitting.


I believe "non-roster invitee" translates loosly into "AAAA filler".

If I were a Mets fan, I would not be particularly happy with this offseason. They didn't land a single impact player. Their rotation projects to be possibly better, if they get a full season out of Maine, but I'm not sure Pelfrey can duplicate his success from last year (peripherals indicate some flukiness in that 3.72 ERA) and of course, you can't count on a full season of Maine. Redding is a joke.

Obviously their bullpen is improved, but is by no means assured of being dominant. Everyone knows how fluctauting bullpen performance can be.

Offensively, they need max years from Reyes, Wright, and Beltran to make up for the likely decline by Delgado, and by the likely decline from whoever takes Tatis, Murphy, and Evans' at-bats, because they all played way above their heads last year. The more playing time they give to Luis Castillo, the better for us.

That team's core (Reyes, Wright, Beltran, Santana) is as good as any in the league, but Minaya has done a bad job supporting it. In my opinion, the difference the last two years between the Phillies and the Mets has been how much better Gillick was than Minaya at filling out the roster behind the stars.

Jack - 100% agreed. Even with the 'pen - Putz and K-Rod are big names, but I don't think they'll pitch 2-3 innings a night. And if there's an injury...

"didn't land a single impact player."

Jack, KRod and Putz don't qualify as impact players?

Jack: I'm with you. It's not like they went from no closer to K-Rod. They went from 4 months of Wagner to 6 months of K-Rod. I think Putz should be a considerable upgrade from what they had at set up, but we'll see how much better that bullpen is this year.

The rotation is unchanged, in my opinion. And the lineup is unchanged. I'm almost hopeful Castillo stays healthy all year because he's just bad these days. They'll likely platoon Tatis and Murphy in LF this year.

Your Majesty, granted, KRod is really only replacing the 45-60 days that Wagner was either ineffective or DL'd. But Putz as the setup guy will help and adds a lot of depth by giving other guys more comfortable roles. Plus, he can close when KRod is unavailable.

However, I must disagree, unles you don't think Brad Lidge was an impact player.

AWH: Good catch. I meant to say "a single impact position player or starting pitcher." Obviously, despite the good point that CJ makes, K-Rod and Putz count as impact players. And I did point out that the bullpen should be improved.

CJ, one thing we agree on is that their LF platoon is no where near as good on paper as a healthy Alou.

Jack, on that we agree.

AWH: Agreed. Tatis was WELL over his head last year as I believe Murphy was. Plus, there are questions about what Church will provide in RF this year thanks to lingering questions about his health. Castillo is a worse offensive player than Feliz. And their catcher position will likely contribute less offensively than ours will this year.

That's potentially 4 big holes in a lineup of 8 offensive players. Reyes, Wright and Beltran will all likely be studs again this year. Will Delgado match his last few months?

Jack, re: "In my opinion, the difference the last two years between the Phillies and the Mets has been how much better Gillick was than Minaya at filling out the roster behind the stars."

I actually think the Mets have gotten some good bargain guys to play over their heads (see: Tatis, Murphy, Evans). The biggest difference between the Phils and Mets the past two seasons is that our superstars have shown up in September and theirs haven't.

Boy, I just got back from surfing over at metsblog.

There's a literal posting orgy going on, because the latest thread is about the Mets potentially "talking" to Boras about Manny Ramirez.

Let's see what happens, but Buster Olney has said the Mets are fresh out of cash after the Perez deal.

Skeeter: Let's say the cores of the teams are even- Rollins, Utley, Howard, Burrell, Hamels and Reyes, Wright, Beltran, Delgado, Santana.

I think the supporting cast of Victorino, Werth, Ruiz, Dobbs, Feliz, Myers, Moyer, Blanton, Madson, Durbin, Romero and Lidge (almost all acquired or put in position by Gillick) has outplayed the Mets' supporting cast of Castillo, Church, Alou, Schnieder, Tatis, Evans, Murphy, Pelfrey, Maine, Perez, Heilman, Schowenweis and Wagner.

That was my point. Consdering the advantage Minaya has in resources available, I think he's done a pretty crappy job. Basically he signed Beltran and Santana to longterm expensive contracts. That's about it. Their farm system isn't particularly strong; in fact, the Phillies' ranks above them at this point. I just think Minaya has failed at putting a championship team around a clearly top-level core of players.

I had to come to this thread to comment on this:
"Lidle's career kinda hit the wall shortly after that"
Best/worst/best again line ever posted here.

Jack: Agree with your assessment except for Pelfrey. The ERA may be a bit fluky, but I see no reason to think he won't match or better his performance. It will be his second full year and his H/IP and K/BB ratios were both stronger in the second half than in the first half.

CJ: "Castillo is a worse offensive player than Feliz."

If you add the words "last year" you'd be right. Just barely. To suggest that's been true for their careers is laughable.

If Manny doesn't put fear into, I just don't know who does. Mets aren't getting Manny though so its really a non-issue. The real question marks on both teams are the aging players...Will Delgado and Tatis be able to duplicate their numbers of 2008 for the Mets? ... and will Moyer be able to duplicate his 08 numbers for the Phils. The impact of those three players cannot be downplayed, because if Moyer slides in anyway then the Phils are in trouble because they don't have a number 3 starter anymore. Delgado, well he's the cleanup hitter so if he slides the entire lineup collapses.

clout: Last year works for that, as does "today." I believe. I have a hard time seeing Castillo approach anything close to what he did even two years ago. His bulky knees have pretty much reduced him to slapping at the ball and hoping it finds a hole. Of course, we'll have to see how Pete Happy's back holds up!

Interesting enough, Castillo and Feliz share an interesting distinction. A game-winning hit in a World Series clinching game!

CJ: "I have a hard time seeing Castillo approach anything close to what he did even two years ago."

Castillo will be entering his age 32 season. Feliz will be entering his age 34 season.

CJ: Big hits only count for guys Clout likes. Therefore, he brings up Jenkins' double, but always dismisses Feliz's GW hit.

Castillo certainly was better over his career offensively than Feliz. No one would possibly dispute that. However, he has quite clearly declined on both offense and defense, is no longer the baserunner he once was, and is signed for 6 million this year, and for two more years. Compare that to Feliz, who is significantly better defensively, posted a better OPS+ last year, and is only signed through this year for 5 million.

Given their skills and contract situations, Feliz is much more valuable than Castillo.

Trust me, we'd rather have Feliz. Every Mets fan I know despises Castillo and wants to get rid of him.

Jack: Wow, dead wrong two days in a row!

I didn't bring up Jenkins hit. Another poster did. I simply said I was surprised no one else had mentioned it. Also, I've never dismissed Feliz hit other than to say the frequent posts that his hit "made up for his entire season" are silly.

This somehow becomes "he brings up Jenkins' double, but always dismisses Feliz's GW hit." I didn't "bring up' the double even once.

Look, let's be honest here. Last off-season you were the number one Feliz booster on this board. You said it was a great signing, Feliz would hit 20 HRs, he was the best defensive thirdbaseman in the league blah, blah, blah.

Obviously, you're embarrassed by that (and should be given Feliz's season) but no need to lash out at me.

clout: Age isn't everything. Castillo has been a full-time player for 10 years... Feliz just 5 years. That's a lot more wear and tear on the body. And Feliz still plays above average defense. Castillo is barely adequate (and wasn't last year).

If you think he's magically going to bounce back offensively next year despite the multitude of injuries... well, then you have a clearer crystal ball than I!

---I had to come to this thread to comment on this:
"Lidle's career kinda hit the wall shortly after that"
Best/worst/best again line ever posted here.---

I was thinking the same thing but was going to say it a different guts, me.

Blanton's career ERA+: 101 (104 with PHI last year)
Moyer's career ERA+: 106 (118 last year)

Perez' career ERA+: 96 (100 last year)

If Moyer's the #3, Blanton is right behind him as a plausible #3 too (not that I love these labels). Is Perez a #3 too? He'd be #3/4 on the Phils.

It's been noted many times, but Feliz was hitting .270/.320/.442 with 12 HR after 93 games (which would give him ~21 HR in a 162 game season). He hit .189/.250/.283 after that. Whether or not he's fully healthy may be an important story this year. Of course, the Phils played very well even when he was ineffective (his limitations are well known), so it may not be important at all.

CJ: I agree with your assessment of Castillo's eroding skills and also agree his contract is an albatross. However, if you're betting that Feliz has a better offensive year in 2009 than Castillo, I'll take that bet.

sophist: Do you think a half season of stats is generally a good predictor of how the player will do in the other half season?

sophist: Perhaps I should rephrase the question: Do you think Feliz ever got off to a hot start, had a good first half and then a cold second half which resulted in his career norms, like what happened last season? Or do you think Feliz was going to hit .270 with 20 HRs and .320 OB for the full year?

clout - I'm not sure, but I can name plenty of examples to the contrary. I should have mentioned this, but my assumption was that Feliz' play in the second half was largely effected by his injury. I'm not sure he would have gone on hitting .270, but sub-.190 I thought surprising.

Additionally, Feliz durability (due mostly to age. he played in almost every game from 2004 until he went down half way through 08) was a question mark, so it probably shouldn't have been surprising that he didn't play productive for 150+ games (and that he may be ineffective for much of 09 for the same reason).

I don't really want to enter this debate about last year. It just got me thinking that Feliz did live up to expectations for about 90 games last year, and could play some productive role in 09 if healthy.

clout - Feliz has had his fair share of career-norm-inducing second halves. But, even with poorer BA/OBP/SLG no. he managed to hit a fair number of HR.


03: 8/.559
04: 9/.534
05: 9/.402
06: 7/.348
07: 8/.434
08: 2/.283

****I had to come to this thread to comment on this:
"Lidle's career kinda hit the wall shortly after that"
Best/worst/best again line ever posted here.****

Yes, I agree it was in bad taste but I'll full take credit/blame for saying it. No one "Spoofed" my identity to post it.

The best measure of a player's future performance is a average of their last 3 seasons...along with secondary trends/indicators.

PECOTA is the result of this type of statistical analysis...granted all predictions are rough guestimates at best.

clout: Do you think Feliz ever got off to a hot start, had a good first half and then a cold second half which resulted in his career norms, like what happened last season? Or do you think Feliz was going to hit .270 with 20 HRs and .320 OB for the full year?

Clout, I agree with the line of thought you are pushing here but you have to admit that the injury issues greatly effected his 2nd half. Part of it was a revision to his career mean but another big part of the dropoff was his back issues.

I think he could have done a bit better than his .304 OBP if he had stayed healthy.

sophist: The clear implication of your post was that Feliz would've hit .270/.320/.442 for the full season with 21 HRs if only he'd stayed healthy.

As your own numbers above show, that was quite unlikely, which was my point. His '05 and '06 seasons began quite similar to this one (the other seasons he started off bad and finsihed strong).

2005 1st half .276/.315/.438 11 HR
2005 2nd half .217/.271/.402 9 HR

2006 1st half .274/.306/.486 15 HR
2006 2nd half .202/.248/.348 7 HR

Imagine that!

I'm shocked and humbled by the amount of solid baseball talk on this blog tonight. Don't pencil in Hudson to the Mets, please. Look at his numbers. Perception is not reality with him. His career OBP is poor. I'd rather roll the dice that Castillo couldn't possibly have as bad a year as he did last year.

I'm not pumped about Perez, except for the fact that he is lights out against the division. I would have preferred a one-year with an option year deal with Sheets, and then attack that need again next year.

11 days and counting guys! Good luck.

NEPP: He was healthy in 2005 and 2006. I know he's a Phillie but when it comes to Feliz most posters here twist themselves into pretzels of denial about what he is.

On Feliz: clout, his 05 and 07 splits show an opposite trend where he doesn't wear down or have brutal 2nd halves. Honestly, I think its quite a random split for him. He clearly was having a rough July before he went on the DL but he could have been playing with the injury. I agree that he wasn't likely to keep up that .320 OBP.

Sheets is still available you know...I wouldn't mind if the Phillies tossed $5 million his way to see what happens.

Feliz is a guy who gives you excellent defense, accurate throws across the diamond, okay pop and no average. He won't take a walk and he doesn't strike out very often...nor will he make the pitcher work very often as he doesn't take pitches...and he seemed to rise to the occasion several times throughout the season and during the World Series (for which I will be forever grateful).

That's how I view him.

NEPP - It's hard to evaluate the counter-factual, but this is the point my recent post was trying to make. Here are some other norm-inducing halves from Feliz

2nd 05: 278 PA, .217/.271/.402
2nd 06: 274 PA, .202/.248/.348
1st 07: 314 PA, .234/.270/.405
2nd 08: 117 PA, .189/.250/.283

Again, the verifiable injury (leading to far fewer PA) and a greater than usu. drop in BA/OBP (06 aside) and SLG.

Look, I'm one of the staunchest 3B platoon defenders out there; but Feliz' overall 2008 no. weren't predictable from his past seasons (he played in over 152 games/yr from 04-07) unless you think his injury was age-induced. Given his age and power history, I probably would not have predicted 20+ HR but I'm not sure his decline last year can be attributed to a Burrell-like consistency.

clout - I don' think I agree it was the "clear implication" of my post. It certainly wasn't its purpose, and I apologize for the confusion. I have no idea what Feliz his in that counterfactual world where he didn't hurt his back sometime during the AS break. Given that his career line is .252/.290/.429 and that he was hitting .270/.320/.442 at the time, I'd imagine the best argument is a second-half decline.

I just don't think that's what in fact happened: he hurt his back and missed plate appearances; he lost all power (to a much larger extent than in other slump halves). I think he would have probably been a tick better if he were only slumping and not injured. He also would have played in more games. As my post at 7.40 PM showed, he didn't have HR problems even in his slump halves. I think he would have finished the season right around 20 HR.

But this didn't happen, so who really cares? We all know who Feliz is (although what his career numbers translate to in a full season playing in CBP is harder to say.) What matters: is Feliz healthy now or will he be in a month? If so, can he hit .288/.349/.496 against LHP as he did last year? Will Manuel platoon him with Dobbs? If he's hurt will who will Manuel play at third?

Some interesting Feliz splits:

Career OPS #

Total - .719
RISP - .730
2 outs, RISP - .753
Late & Close - .791

High Leverage - .751
Medium Leverage - .731
Low Leverage - .692

Its interesting to see that Feliz is indeed "clutch" and its not a fluke split as its pretty consistant across the board and its over 1,000 games of data including almost 800 starts. That's more than enough to identify trends. He definitely hits better with RISP and in high leverage situations...its not just our imagination.

****What matters: is Feliz healthy now or will he be in a month?****

From 01/30/09 (Todd Zolecki's Blog):

"Pedro Feliz was in town yesterday to have Phillies physician Michael Ciccotti examine his lower back. Feliz had surgery on the back after last season.

Everything looks good so far.

"We're pleased with his progress," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "He has made good progress."

Amaro said Feliz probably wouldn't be ready to play in the team's first spring training game Feb. 25, but could be ready shortly thereafter. He also expects Feliz to be ready to go come April 3 for Opening Day at Citizens Bank Park."

NEPP, I too, would take the risk on Sheets.

I lnow Chan Ho Park would be disappointed if the Phillies signed BS, but if Sheets gave them 25 good starts in 2009 it would, IMO, almost assure another division crown.

Then again, this is baseball. Anything can happen.

Thanks for the update, NEPP. If he's fully healed, let's hope he's managed correctly.

As for the splits, the RISP split can be partly explained by a general truth: all players, given no problems with sample size, should hit slightly better with men on base than with the bases empty. This is because of the stretch, defenders playing the bag, chances that the pitcher has lost his stuff, etc..

As for leverage, I have no idea. I find it surprising, but I suppose besides last year Feliz was equally poor against both RHP and LHP (so he couldn't be exploited by a RHP RP late in games.)

He will forever be in the Phillies "clutch" Hall of Fame along with Mr. Matthew Stairs just for the 2008 playoffs.

I can't cry about them not spending money when we're gonna have a $130 million payroll in 09 but if we went to $130, can't we go to $135-138 to get a guy like Sheets?? Another playoff appearance would more than make up the difference in money...and a guy like Sheets could be the difference between making the playoffs and working on their putting.

I would rather have Cruz/Wiggington over Sheets.

According to Ken Rosenthal (probably the best connected reporter in baseball right now), the Dodgers offered Manny a 1 year, $25 million deal. That's gotta hurt...going from a -4-5 year deal in his mind to now only getting a 1 year deal...still think the money is too high.

****I would rather have Cruz/Wiggington over Sheets. ****

That would be okay too.

sophist: "Given that his career line is .252/.290/.429 and that he was hitting .270/.320/.442 at the time, I'd imagine the best argument is a second-half decline."

On that we can agree.

sophist: "As for the splits, the RISP split can be partly explained by a general truth: all players, given no problems with sample size, should hit slightly better with men on base than with the bases empty. This is because of the stretch, defenders playing the bag, chances that the pitcher has lost his stuff, etc.."

This is exactly right and it may be one of Bill James truisms. Pick 10 players at random and 7 or 8 of them will have better #s w/RISP than their overall #s.

I've also seen that phenomena explained by the assumption that hitters concentrate more with RISP.

And maybe, under pressure, it is harder to be precise with the location of a pitch than it is to hit a pitch.

I'd give anything to have a bullpen of Bazardo and Bastardo.

clout: I just figured that that is why 8% of MLB players are on ADHD drugs....

MPN: Ha! When's Selig gonna start a testing program?

skeeter, I agree with that also.

As I posted on an earlier thread, the Phils had problems with three-fifths of their rotation last season, and had to 'permanently' demote 2 starters for ineffectiveness.

The offense became inconsistent in the second half.

The one constant all season was the bullpen. IMO, it's why the they were WFC.

Signing Cruz would give the Phillies the best bullpen in the league, on paper anyway:

During Romero suspension:


After suspension:


Yes, I do not expect Park to best Happ, and yes, assuming all are healthy Condrey would become the odd man out.

I don't know, however, if he's out of options.

Not sure, but 8% of players have ADHD doctor prescribed waivers. Which is like 3-5% larger than the American populace rate of ADHD.... so either baseball has a statistically significant population of folks with attention deficit... or else, um, maybe it gives guys some extra focus. And as NEPP has pointed out before, eye surgery is probably helping out guys, too... so until Bud implements some kind of Total Recall retina scanning test...

Of course, this is baseball....anything can happen.

AWH: "The one constant all season was the bullpen. IMO, it's why the they were WFC."

I agree 100%. Looking forward, however, I do not share your confidence in Eyre. Love to have another lefty while waiting for Romero.

Rosenthal is reporting the Dodgers have reduced their offer to Manny Ramirez to one year, but upped the value to $25MM.


It's probably a tactic to get ManRam to accept the two year deal they originally offered. It's also a sign that the Dodgers don't expect any other serious bidders to emerge, including the Mets.

Alternately, the Dodgers may have made the decision to do without Manny, and this is their way of ending any negotiations.

Talk about a player and agent oveplaying their hand last summer.

Manny being Manny must be viewed aroung MLB as toxic.

That, or there really is collusion going on.

Clout, last year the NL batting average was 260. And the NL BA with RISP was...260. I don't know if this is an anomoly or not, but clearly if you pick 10 players in the 2008 NL season, you would not have 7 or 8 that hit better with RISP.

I can't deny the 'pen was a crucial part of the team's success, but I think you undervalue the offense and overstate their inconsistency. A few weeks in mid-summer aside, the offense was far from inconsistent (as a whole; certain players had their ups and downs.) I feel like I've posted this before.


to 6/13: 69 G, 41-28, .799 OPS, 373 RS
6/14 to 7/8, 22 G, 7-15, .725 OPS, 104 RS
7/9 to end: 71 G, 44-27, .767 OPS, 342 RS


to 6/13: .732 OPS against, 281 R (3.80 ERA)
6/14 to 7/8: .782 OPS against, 101 R (4.21 ERA)
7/9 to end: .732 OPS against, 298 R (3.85 ERA)

Offense as a whole was fairly constant; pitching as a whole was fairly constant. Hard to win 90+ games otherwise.

I worry about Eyre/Happ as well.

Clout: Castillo probably will have a better year offensively than Feliz, although that is far from gauranteed, considering Castillo's health problems (more severe than Feliz) and his seemingly rapid decline. He has become solely a slap hitter, and as his speed deteriorates, he goes from a .300 hitter with no power to a .260 hitter with no power, thus losing most of his value.

That said, as much as you refuse to acknowledge it, offense is not the only part of the game. Do you think Castillo will be a better baseball player than Feliz next year?

clout, if you're right then maybe Park does make the rotation and Happ is used out of the pen the first 50 games.

Spitz, the comparison isn't between total no. and RISP no. but bases empty no. and men on/RISP no.

ML 2008

---: .259/.322/.411
Men On: .270/.347/.423
RISP: .266/.355/.414

ML 2007

---: .262/.324/.417
MO: .276/.350/.430
RISP: .272/.357/.423

"Do you think Castillo will be a better baseball player than Feliz next year?"

Jack, I think that question is best asked around March 15, when we see how healthy each player is going to be.

I'll give you an answer then.

Hey clout, Sergio Escalona and Mike Zagurski are both on the 40 man roster.

Maybe one of them will be the fill-in LOOGY.

My assesment of the bullpen lefty need and right handed bat situation is that Amaro will wait and see players in spring training and then eithier pick up from the scrap heap and hope they strike lighting in a bottle like romaro and victorino or go with a reliever from the minors like a big zagerski.

Also, how great was it to watch the carribean league tonight? That pitcher that had a no hitter through 6 was amazing and I just had to laugh with the big relievers coming in with a big wad of chew in their mouth. Reminded me of bartolo calon.

The RISP splits aren't fully explained by leaguewide splits as his splits for "Late & Close" and his leverage splits will show. Feliz may be a mediocre bat at best but he's a slightly less mediocre bat in important situations.

Surprise, surprise, Manny and Boras outright rejected the Dodgers new offer.

Happ will be traded before Spring Training ends. Take it to the bank.

No way in hell they trade Happ. Why trade decent cheap pitching when you have a pending free agent in your rotation?

Mac, what does your clairvoyance tell you they can get in return for Happ?

Also, if one of the starters gets hurt or is ineffective, who's the fill-in starter if Happ is no longer here?

MVP - It would be easier to take your posts seriously if you could be bothered to spell players names right (Romero / Zagurski). Then again, it's fun reading them as is...

Paul Hagen has an interesting article about the defensive prowess of the Phillies' catchers in the DN this morning.

The link is on the upper right.

It essentially supports my contention that if Coste loses his job to Paulino he'll wind up somewhere, assuming they don't stash him in Allentown. (I don't know if he has any options left).

In any event, as I've posted before, backup catchers with 99 OPS+ have value and can find a job somewhere.

The FO has been very fortunate the last couple of years in the sense that Coste's emergence as a viable backup/part-time catcher has really helped the team a lot.

I don't think they really expected him to be this good either.

I think Coste will be in in the bigs somewhere in 2009, but his drop off in 2008 and the grumblings that he wasn't a favorite of the pitching staff tend to make me think he will find it hard to stay anywhere consistently. Most backup catchers boast good defense and game calling, which I dont believe Coste holds an advantage over any other backup catchers around the league.

Do you have to pay for the MLB Network?

Orioles sign Ty Wiggington.

I think the majority knew that he wasn't going to settle for a strictly bench role. MLBTR says he'll see time at DH and 1B. Contract details weren't specified.

Nomar is starting to look like the most qualified RH bat option left on the market.

Damn....was really hoping for Wiggy. I would rather see Alou as opposed to Nomar.

phaithful, you may be right.

Still, two things have to happen.

One, Paulino needs to beat out Coste for the backup role.
Two, Coste has to be out of options (I don't know where to find that info), because if he's not he'll get stashed in AA/AAA in case Ruiz or Paulino get injured.

If he's out of options then the Phillies may look to move him in order to get something in return.

Of course, he could aleays accept the minor league assignment, though I view that as unlikely.

Agreed that Coste offers a different skill set than most backup catchers. The norm is an offensively-challenged catch-and-throw guy. But his biggest problem at this point is the normal aging process. He doesn't have many miles on him, because even in the minors he wasn't a full-time catcher for that many years. But he's at the age where even normal deterioration of eye-hand coordination starts setting in. Hey, he had a nice run with us, and got a book out of the deal, but I don't see him going north with the team unless Ruiz or Paulino gets hurt.

skeeter, Wiggy was never headed to Philly.

He wants playing time, and, quite frankly, based on his performance should get some.

The limited role the Phillies have would not appeal to him.

I think that's why Nomar is considering retiring. Having been "the man" is Boston at one point, and an All Star, accepting the fact that he's only be a backup at this point in his career has to be emotionally difficult for him, especially if he thinks he can still play.

IMO Maddux retired in part because he didn't want to hurt his legacy.

He's the best non-PED pitcher of our generation, he doesn't need the money, and I'm sure he wants people to remember him at his best.

My bold prediction for 09: Paulino will beat out Coste for the backup role...Coste will have to have another historic ST for him to avoid being released/traded to another club. He'll land on his feet though as he's a good RH bat and an above average backup catcher. He'd be great on a team like the Twins where the backup doesnt need to play very often (assuming Mauer is healthy) and could be used as a pinchhit guy.

Personally, I would be happy if I was a role guy on a team...even had I once been great. I've played on hockey teams where I was a 4th line guy who got maybe 10 min of icetime a game but for that 10 min, I busted my ass, slid in front of shots, dove, did whatever it took...I didn't care. I've also been on teams where I was a top line guy...and the work ethic doesnt change. Nomar should continue to play in whatever role he can take just for love of the game.

That's a reason I respect guys like Rickey and Julio Franco so wasn't about the money at the end of their careers, it was about playing.

NEPP, excellent point.

It's about the love of the game for some. For others, sadly, it's about other things like money or foolish pride.

Hmmmm, I wonder if Peavy would reconsider coming to Philly?

I also wonder what the Pads would want in exchange?

Carrasco, Happ, and who else?

I'm not certain the Phils will stash Cost anywhere, if he doesn't beat out Paulino. If it happens, I'm sure he'll be shipped out for "future considerations". They have Marson, if an emergency happens.

Maybe it's about spending more time with Mia Hamm. If I didn't need the money, I know what I'd rather play than baseball...

Alby: Nintendo, Atari? I need more info...

Jack: "Do you think Castillo will be a better baseball player than Feliz next year?"

If both are healthy, yes. I do agree that Castillo's contract is far worse.

AWH - I don't think they'd be interested in a package which did not include Carrasco, but the Phils have got to be looking at Carrasco as untradeable. The Pads would be looking at young pitching - guys who can pitch in the majors for major league minimum for several years - and Happ, Kendrick and just about anyone from the minors except Carrasco will not swing the deal. They'll just hold him until someone is desparate at the trading deadline.

If Rube wants another started he should just sign Sheets; he'll never be this cheap again.

Andy: At this point it seems he'd also be cheaper than Peavy.

Luis Castillo had 11 extra base hits last year. 11! To put that into perspective, the Gnome had 12.

Andy, I agree. The only advantage of having Peavy is cost certainty for the next few years.

If I were the Phillies FO, I'd make a phone call to Sheets' agent just to check in.

Maybe they can do something creative.

A healthy Sheets in the Phillies would only disappoint Chan Ho Park.

Along that line of thinking, I wonder if Park's contract has an "out" clause if he doen't get the chance to start?

No chance the Phils get Peavy.

My guess is that next year the Phils will sign a pitcher for $10 mil plus. That pitcher could be Brett Myers depending on how he does this season. If he has a disappointing season, the club will look elsewhere (John Lackey? Tim Hudson? Rich Harden? Justin Duchscherer? Erik Bedard?)

Duchscherer could actually be an interesting name during this season. He was great last year and being in the last year of a contract with the A's automatically puts you on the trading block.

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EST. 2005

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