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Monday, February 02, 2009


extremely disappointing interview....

he didnt sound like chris rock at all.

Mayberry Jr. is probably not ready for the MLB level, but if Rube can't find a righthanded bat he might see time on the roster this season. It might do him some good to work with Charlie. The kid obviously has a body built for power, but needs better strike zone judgement and pitch recognition.

Carson: Agreed. Based on his performance last year at 2 levels (106/34 K/BB ratio) he needs at least a half season at Triple A and probably more. His career minor league BA is .255, which projects to Rob Deer country as a major leaguer and while he won't strike out as prestigiously as Deer he won't walk as much either. If rushed I could see something like .215 with a .270 OB but good HR power. That isn't going to be all that helpful. Keep him in Triple A until he masters the strike zone. The rest of his game, including defense, is just fine. One worry: This is his age 25 season. If he doesn't show progress then we're probably looking at a Quadruple-A type player.

I think he's got a decent shot at sticking as a 5th OF if he has a good Spring. Its a long shot but the lack of other options for a RH bat make him a solid possibility.

He definitely needs more time in the minors though.

Clout: I think you mean "prodigiously"; not much prestige in all those whiffs.

Hope: Good catch!

From last thread: "I mean seriously, is this site really a comedy blog?"

If is when you visit, Tommy.

One of the many bizarre posts tommy made was this: "Abreu had the worst angle on balls I have ever seen, never wanted to make plays against the walls like victorino and werth do, also doesn't have the best arm."

Abreu played RF for the Phillies for 8 1/2 years. Tommy may have not watched games for the first 7 of those years, but the fact is Abreu's arm was one of the better ones in the NL and his range was well above average until maybe his last year here or so. His wall fear was never an issue at the Vet that I can recall. I think NEPP has it right: The GG is a joke, but for nearly all of his time here Abreu was clearly an above average fielder.

Ba tum dum.

****I think NEPP has it right: The GG is a joke, but for nearly all of his time here Abreu was clearly an above average fielder.***

Should I celebrate that clout and I agree on something Phillies related? I think calling Abreu a "butcher" has got to me some of the most ridiculous criticism I've ever heard. If he had been a lifelong Yankee instead of having his peak years on teh Phillies, he'd be bandied about as a possible HoF due to his stats. He'd also have far more AS appearances than he does and a ring or two to show for his efforts. He didn't like crashing into a hard ass metal fence wall...can you really blame the guy that much? He annoyed me when he wouldn't go all out and dive for a ball but honestly he was making the smart play and making sure it didn't get by him...thus preventing a single from turning into a double or even triple. How many players have a career line of .300 avg, .400 Obp, 300 SB, 200 HR? Not too many. The answer is 3... IIRC.

Man it really chafes my britches when people speak so poorly of Abreu. I can understand him not being your favorite player, or disliking his seeming aloofness in the field at times, but the man is a damn fine all-around talent. To deny that is moronic.

If Abreu plays 5 more years and stays close to his current level of production (+/-35 2B/yr) he will probably end up un the top 15 career leaders in the category.

Go to and take a look at the list.

Only 4 of them are not in the HOF:

Luis Gonzalez

Pretty impressive company, as Rose qualifies for his on field accomplishments, Biggio will probably get the nod, and BBonds would have been a HOF player if he had retired at the end of the '98 season before he allegedly started juicing.

Bobby B will be like Gonzalez. Very, very good player, but not quite good enough to get in.

Since everyone is on abreu's jock. It is pretty funny that his stats "say" he is a hofer yet he can't get a deal by anyone. Hmmm, another case of stats being overrateed?

And as for abreu being a good outfielder. I remember being at the vet mumbling to myself for yet another ball going over his head or for him getting a late jump on a ball and letting a single to become a double. And I was there 25 games a year so don't tell me he isn't that bad. Plus he stuck out way too much, kinda like a burrell. Until this year everyone wanted him gone, wow, imagine the change on heart now.

***Hmmm, another case of stats being overrateed?****

Yes, because stats are magical numbers that confuse the weakminded. Its not as if they're merely quantifying what happens on a day to day basis on the field...oh wait.

"Sure, the stat line says he went 3 for 4 with 2 HRs but he did strike out that one AB so I feel he had a bad game...he sucks".

****I was there 25 games a year so don't tell me he isn't that bad.****

Game attendance=expert knowledge of baseball.

Forgot about that caveat, and you're hardly the only person on this board to attend Phillies games on a regular basis in the last 10 years.

I noticed Abreu was wall-shy back at the Vet -- it just wasn't noticed as much because he had to run farther to get there. But that's pretty much his only defensive liability. Besides, we're talking about him vs. Ibanez in LEFT field, not RF. His range and arm would both be above average there.

The evidence that Ibanez was overpaid -- now bordering on vastly overpaid -- increases by the day. Burrell would have come much cheaper; if you don't care about the lefty-heavy lineup, so would Abreu. It's now so glaring that even our FO must have realized it from the first (it might not be collusion, but I doubt all those GMs independently decided not to offer arb to all those players all in the same year).

So, just like some BLers, the FO is banking on Ibanez's "intangibles" and "clubhouse presence" to make up the difference. I hope all those intanglibles are worth that many millions.

Ok, how about a new topic?

Last year the true surprises were Jayson Werth, early/mid season Chad Durbin and the late season Mad Dog.

Anyone have any predictions for the top surprises of 2009?

Surprise I see happening:
*Ibanez puts up numbers like he has the past few years and shuts most of us up. (We'll still be pissed about his contract, but not pissed that he's a Phillie).

*Shane Victorino becomes and All-Star.

*Joe Blanton wins 15+ games.

*Brad Lidge blows a save.

Chan Ho Park=Cy Young Winner

Sure, I predict Werth won't cut it as a full time player, Durbin will be bad all year, and Madson won't be successful as the setup man.

I predict a batting average above .275 for Ryan Howard...and an overall bounceback year for him at the plate.

Raul Ibanez.

Oh, and with regard to Burrell and Abreu, get real. Imagine your boss firing you, and then offering to rehire you at 1/2 of your salary. I doubt you'd go crawling back, and you definitely wouldn't be a happy camper if you did. Even if your boss was willing to rehire you at 1/2 price, he'd be an idiot to do it.

What, like what happened with Veritek? or with Giambi going back to Oakland? or any number of other players that return to teams? Your analogy doesn't work for baseball, curt.

Giambi wasn't fired by Oakland, and is lucking anyone is paying him anything.

Varitek crawled back, will be an unhappy camper, and Boston is an idiot for bringing him back.

***Giambi wasn't fired by Oakland, and is lucking anyone is paying him anything.***

Abreu wasn't fired either...he was traded because he made too much money and Gillick wanted to free up some money for the next off-season.

Quasi Phillies News:

Jim Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer talked to Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr., who said the team is still involved in contract negotiations with Ryan Howard's agent Casey Close.

This is Howard's second arbitration year; he's requested $18MM while the Phils countered at $14MM. A panel of three people will decide whether Howard earns $18MM or $14MM in 2009, unless the two sides reach an agreement prior to the hearing. Salisbury believes the hearing is scheduled in the February 9-13 range.

ESPN's Jayson Stark wrote last week that the previous request record for a second-year arb player was Derek Jeter's $10.5MM in 2000. Howard is in uncharted waters once again.

fired, dumped - semantics

From Jim Salisbury: "There were indications last winter that the Phils were willing to give Howard a contract in line with the seven-year, $85 million deal that Chase Utley got in January 2007. Howard's side has likely set $200 million as its target."

Only $200 million, Ryan? Well that's downright reasonable. Would that be over 8 years, or 10? Either way, its a ridiculous Scott Borasesque request for a contract...Personally, I'm stunned that Howard isn't a Boras client.

I don't think Abreu is a good example in that discussion. Burrell is more appropriate.

A lot of free agents would love to return to their former teams for 1/2 last season's salary.

The issue with Abreu is the cognitive dissonance caused between reading his aggregated statistical line and watching him play every day. They say that one's eyes lie, but with Abreu, by how much? I know with me it was the little things about him that bothered me -- particularly when we moved to the Bank and he started alligator-arming balls toward the fence, misreading fly balls, etc. Does this mean that he is a bad player? Hardly. He's a great rotisserie player or great when he is a supporting actor, but he's no leading man.

I dont think anyone here has ever accused Abreu of being a leading man...he's a great complimentary player and he always has been.

NEPP: Yes, but when he was here he was seen as a/the leading man... when he wasn't... so that is part of the problem, for some. I'm talking about perceptions now, not rationality.

"A lot of free agents would love to return to their former teams for 1/2 last season's salary"

Possibly, but not likely. But in any event their former teams don't seem to be lining up to hire them back at any price.

Shane Victorino becomes and All-Star.

*Joe Blanton wins 15+ games.

*Brad Lidge blows a save

Actually, Carson, none of the above should surprise anyone.

Very good point, MPN.

To curt, that smells distinctly like does this entire off-season outside of a few moves.

Funny how everyone wanted Abreu to be traded until they got nothing in return.

The worst part of that trade was that WE had to throw in a pitcher to get what we wanted. Granted Lidle's career kinda hit the wall shortly after that but it still was ridiculous at the time...An AS RF and a legit starter for 4 longshot prospects???

"that smells distinctly like collusion"

Huh? That teams don't want to hire back guys they fired? Sounds like common sense to me.

I think JW may want to set up a separate message board/chat room for the ongoing Abreu trade discussions. It manages to seep into any and every discussion.

NEPP: On collusion, this is where blogs may help the owners. Between Cots contracts and MLBTradeRumors there is a ton of transparency on deals, rumors, etc. Unless the owners are keeping a database of salary bands, it'd be tough to prove.

I think Blanton winning 15 games would be a bit of a surprise.

BB - I doubt there's anything that could be said about that transaction that hasn't already been said a 1000 of times.

Yeah I know that's not going to stop 1001, but still...

NEPP: I was the one talking collusion (not sure anyone here agrees with it). Maybe not in legal terms, because the Yankees clearly are not on board, but there's a very clear pattern of players in certain categories all getting similar offers.

The funniest part of Tommy's anti-Abreu rag is the GIDP part. GIDP, last three years -- tell me which player is which: 13, 11, 14 vs. 13, 14, 13.

Curt: So I suppose every player who returns to his team for a lower salary is a disgruntled time bomb waiting to go off? Maybe where you work, but then I doubt anyone where you work is dealing with the hardship of going from, say, $16M to $10M.

One thing you must admit is impressive about Abreu...he NEVER gets injured. He's never had a full season where he's played less than 150 games...he's usually in the 155-160 range.

I didn't know Gillick drafted Mayberry, so thats why we traded for him.

Nepp: you 100 percent correct. And you know why he never gets hurt? Because he never takes chances in the outfield. He always takes the safe route even if it harms his team.

Or he's just really durable. MVP, we get it, you despise Abreu for whatever reason. Perhaps its something personal like why my cousin HATES Pat Burrell (Pat stole his girlfriend at a bar in S. Philly back in 02 or 03...back when Burrell was doggedly trying to nail every decent looking early 20's girl in Philadelphia) or maybe you are mad that he was never the star he seemed like he should have been. Abreu as a very very good player for a long time and he is still a very good complimentary guy. As for going to games and thus having a personal view of things...I too was a season ticket guy back then (96-00, 04) and I will admit that he doesnt care for the wall too much and he would lay up on balls instead of diving but he played a very good above average RF. He could have been a stellar RF had he taken more chances but he is what he is...and his statistics show just how good he was back then.

Alby, I guess we'll never know because players who get fired rarely get rehired soon thereafter for a fraction. But in my experience the number of zeros doesn't change human nature. Rationality has little to do with it. You dis someone, and he's going to get even one way or another. You dis someone bad, and they'll never stop trying to get even. And I expect that is even more true among highly competitive pro atheletes.

I agree, there should be an independent, eternal Abreu/Thome/Burrell thread.

All threads lead to Abreu.

That should be BL's unofficial motto. If this were a message board, that would be in my signature block.

Nepp: your right it is personal. The guy never hussled. Is it too hard to ask to hit run and catch or at least cut off a ball instead of letting it bounce off the wall? That's why rowand and utley are always ok in my book. Because they ran out every play and gave their all.

We got Bobby Abreu for Kevin Stocker.

It is perhaps the greatest trade in Phillies history.

Abreu was GREAT for the Phillies while here, but I was not sorry to see him go as I felt something needed to be done to shake this team up. We got robbed in the deal (horribly) to the point that what we got back was less than Kevin Stocker (and we threw in Lidle!).

First warm day in weeks in the Philly area . . . has me excited to get out for a run later and some spring training a few weeks.

MLBTradeRumors has the Mets close to resiging Oliver Perez. I'd much prefer that to Ben Sheets.

Its a slow day at work so maybe a rare post is in order. As long as we are talking bad trades like giving up Abreu-who I always liked, but things have worked out okay since he left-I am not only old enough to remember that we didn't get much for Ryne Sandburg, or Julio Franco, and lets not even talk about Ferguson Jenkins. Still, it wasn't a bad year last year.

mvptommy: So you liked it when Rowand ran into the wall and broke his nose and missed a month after? You liked it when he collided with Utley in Wrigley Field and missed another few weeks? Did you love it when Utley got hit by John Lannan and broke his wrist and missed 4 weeks? I love those hustle plays as much as anyone, but it seems to me guys like Rowand, Utley and Abreu are good enough players that they would be much more valuable in the lineup every day than to make one great play and then miss a bunch of time. You could argue that Rowand's missed time in 2006 cost us a playoff berth.

But hey, what do I know, you obviously know so much about baseball you don't need anyone else or any numbers to tell you anything.

Jack, he goes to 25+ games a year...he's an expert.

Jack; fair point. However on the other side of the coin. Did you like seeing rowand dive and catch a ball that was going to be a double, did you like rowand taking back a hour ball? Do you like seeing utley diving and snagging a huge ball in the world series? Do you enjoy utley running into the outfield just to catch a fly ball?

There is 2 sides to every coin, so yes I do enjoy the player that actually cares than lazy abreu who would rather play 150 games a year then save his team a few runs.

Jack, that Rowand catch single handedly won us that game. You're also just pointing out the plays Rowand got hurt on....what about all the other great plays he made that didn't result in injury? If you are saying you'd rather have Abreu in the field over Rowand because of injury risk I think you might be crazy.

Skeeter; thank you, finally a man of reason.

NEPP: "Granted Lidle's career kinda hit the wall shortly after that but it still was ridiculous at the time..."

IS everyone gonna whiff on this fastball?

Bad taste hall of fame. There's always this one:
What color were his eyes? Blue - one blue this way, one blue the other

FINALLY...I thought no one was gonna catch it.

I don't know, I'm guessing we would probably win more games with Abreu's Age 28 season (151 OPS+) than Rowand's Age 28 season (86 OPS+). I could be wrong was a really good catch.

NEPP: Those are stats you posted. As we've learned, statistics don't tell us anything. It's a 25 game sample with your eye balls that is needed to make an accurate interpretation.

You're right of course, CJ. you just think it's a coincidence that the Phils became contenders immediately after Abreu was traded? Also, do you think everyone is just making up the fact that Aaron Rowand's clubhouse leadership helped this team believe they can win?

Don't get me wrong....Bobby had some nice years when he was in Philly and I thank him for his years of service here. But I'd rather have Rowand or Ibanez over him.

****Also, do you think everyone is just making up the fact that Aaron Rowand's clubhouse leadership helped this team believe they can win? ****

Which is why he was a key member of our WS champion club...oh wait. Your theory is that the ghost of Aaron Rowand helped us win the World Series??? Perhaps it was his career year at the plate in 07 that helped instead of his "great clubhouse attitude/presence". Character is great but it takes talent to win too.

NEPP, I agree. But certain players fit on certain teams. Abreu doesn't fit this team. For this team, I would rather have Rowand. Now if I was talking someone like Seattle, Abreu would be a great fit there. We have enough big bats that an intangibles guy is what makes this team better.

I'll put it this way, I dont see us winning the WS with the 08 version of Rowand in CF. Maybe the 07 version but alot of moves don't happen if we had coughed up the $55 million Rowand was asking for. Moving Vic to CF made us better defensively at that positon and as it turns out, offensively in 08 as well. It also allowed Werth to become a fulltime player and gave us money to go and get guys that we needed like the Lidge trade and Blanton, Stairs, etc. just changed the scope of the argument. Weren't we talking about Rowand vs. Abreu?

I have no idea what we're talking about at this point to be honest. I think we segued (sp?) into Rowand due to his "playing hard" vs. "great stats" of an Abreu type.

Yo, new thread

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