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Thursday, February 19, 2009


I live in Louisville, Kentucky and I am a huge Phillies fan, will i be able to get this at barnes & nobles in louisville?

Doubtful they'll distribute that far south. Your best bet is to order on their Web site. Delaware Valley CVS, price clubs and other stores will also have it.

RSB's in this? Next year you've got to get clout. And you say this will be for sale in my local CVS?

At the bottom of every page is a note from me: "Yo, new page"

My goal for next season- to be included in this magazine.

According to the publisher, CVS will have it.

Wow, this looks really well done. It seems to be the book about this team that I've been waiting for. I can't wait to take this down to Clearwater.

Also - Two pages of out-of-town watering holes recommended for Phillies fans, combining lists from Phillies Nation and Beerleaguer.

Watering holes? Now you have my interest, JW!


From that last thread: " went yesterday and picked up tickets for July 3rd and 4th vs. the Mets. 400 level was the best they had. When I got my six pack the 2nd day they went on sale all I could get was 400 level, as well. "

I went on yesterday afternoon and was able to at least reserve 200 level tickets for a game in May...I didn't end up buying them but I was happy to see that I could at least still get non-400 level tickets.

Just ordered it. Can't wait to read it. I am sure it will be as well done as this blog.

Looking forward to it grabbing it, that Barnes and Noble giftcard from Christmas might actually get used afterall.

Congrats, JW. Can't wait to see how it turned out!

Awesome JW, congrats!

I just bought tickets for the Phils at Blue Jays Friday and Saturday games. Tons of great seats available and there is a 20% discount due to the strength of the Greenback vs. the Loonie right now.

Great gift idea!...

Glavine signed a 1 year deal with the Braves. Another terrible left-handed SP to pad the anti-Ibanez stats.

In case you missed it, for all who are interested in the battle for the 5th starter spot

Balls Sticks & Stuff

has a good article on the movement of Kyle Kendrick's fastball and his release point.

And, as Tom Goyne is a contributor, they also feature the PHILLIES ANNUAL.

Is this available over the internet now, or will it be shipped once it becomes available in stores?

You can get it on the internet now.

Not sure how many of you read the NY Times Freaknomics blog, but they have an interesting article on Howard's performance in at bats after Utley gets hit by a pitch.

You can find it here:


Congratulations to Jason and all the contributors. I'm really looking forward to it!

Yeah, that was an interesting article.

AWH: The release point chart backs up reports that KK's mechanics were off (because he was tired?). Bad mechanics=bad release point=bad location. And with KK, location is everything.

So is the lack of a legitimate changeup...

So according to that article, Howard likeliness to a monkey is a reason for his struggles? Wheres Alby to call this guy racist?

baxter: My favorite quote in that article: "He has incredible tools," assistant general manager Chuck LaMar said.

My favorite stat: 55 strikeouts in 117 ABs in Rookie League.

While that article on kyle is interesting. His failure at the end of last year is his lack of a 3rd pitch. The book is out on him, therefore without that other pitch to go to he will not be a reliable pitcher in the MLB.

I hope he didn't spend too much time this offseason at his girlfriend bar in Olde City and more time developing that pitch, or else Mr. Park may be our 5th starter afterall. With Happ in the pen as our lefty reliever in place of Romero.

NEPP: Against lefties, you're absolutely right.

mvptommy: The book is out on you too. It has one word in it.

Clout: ok, wait until opening day and see. Just like I said 2 months ago utley will be back by opening day and everyone mocked me for that.

I am sorry you didn't get into JW's "book", but stop being in a bad mood.

thephaithful: You read that article and that's what you took away from it?


The Phillies Annual sounds great.

Nice article in the Eagle today about the PA Dutch language as well, JW.

Great stuff Jason, congratulations and I look forward to the read.

Baxter- From Jim Salisbury's column - Charlie's comments on Hewett:
'He's young," Manuel said. "I don't even go by rookie ball. He's just getting into pro ball.''

i actually was making a joke since thats all the article warrants.

Having a .471 AVG in 42 ABs is impossible, as is having a .184 AVG in 53 ABs.

So who know where these numbers are coming from.

That is a GREAT article on KK and it backs up what many of us have been saying (well, at least what a few of us have been saying). It's something that KK did... not something rest of the league did to... to suddenly make KK a bad pitcher for 6 starts after being a solid pitcher for 43 starts.

CJ; your right, it IS something he did, which is not develop his 3rd pitch.

tommy, I really don't want to get into this with you, not because I disagree, but because I'm not sure you're capable of understanding.

The article I linked clearly showed that KK's fastball did not have the same movement on it at the end of the season.

While it may be true that the book is out on him, that is, the scouting reports are complete, there is also a book out on Cole Hamels at this point as well (and every other MLB SP who's been around for at least 2 seasons).

The last I checked, Hamels only throws 2 pitches reliably, as his breaking ball is still a work in progress. The difference in their respective success is not so much velocity, though Cole does throw a little bit harder, it's in LOCATION and DECEPTION.

But the point is - Hamels locates. He not only has control, he has movement on his pitches, and COMMAND of that movement.

The charts in the article clearly show that KK's primary pitch, his sinking fastball, lacked the same movement at during his rough period.

That HAS to explain some of the problems he had, not just the lack of a reliable third pitch, or the fact that the book is out.

That said, it stands to reason that if he can regain the movement on his sinker, he sould be just as reliable against RH batters as he was in the past.

Now, we all know about his RHB/LHB splits, so yes, you are correct that it will benefit him to develop a third pitch.

However, if his sinker doesn't move it's going to get hit.

mvptommyd: Did you read the article?

AWH: i completely agree with what you said, but I will caution that you left a huge opening for naysayers to point out. This is more of a post to derail others from pointing it out.

You're comparing Cole Hamels to Kyle Kendrick. His stuff is flat out better. There is no location or third pitch in the world that Kyle Kendrcik can physically throw that could put him on Hamels' level. At the MLB level, talent and physical ability will seperate the hamels' and kendricks' of the league, regardless of their fundamentals.

So for anyone that wants to argue, just assume that AWH meant another pitcher more on Kendrick's level that has much more success than KK because of their control and deception and not their arsenal of pitch types.

clout, the question I have after reading the article is:

What caused the bad mechanics?

Was he hurt and not telling anyone?

Was he fatigued and dropping his arm slot?

Did he just develop bad habits by trying to overthrow?

I ask, because I wonder how often it is that a pitcher like him comes along, has some success, and then appears to so significantly regress?

Great article on PA Dutch in the Eagle, Jason. I always wished my Grandma and PopPop had taught me more; they spoke fluent Dutch.

phaithful, I agree Hamels' stuff is better. I thought I had pointed that out by referencing the fact that he throws harder, but I guess I didn't put enough emphasis on it.

Point taken.

phaithful, the reason I used Cole was because he's someone that readers here should be familiar with.

Now if Happ is pitching well in ST would it be better to send KK down to AAA to continue working out as a starter or to put him in the bullpen? I would think that a guy who throws a good sinker would be a great fit in our bullpen. Now I am no expert so I would like to know if I am completly off in thinking that KK might benefit this team in the bullpen more then down in AAA.

Preacher man, that's one of the million dollar questions.

That decision, and the others like it that Charlie and staff have to make, will have an impact on whether this team wins the division again.

Reverend: There's not room on the staff for Happ, Park and KK. If Happ gets the 5th spot, Park goes to the bullpen and KK goes to the minors. Besides, I'd much rather have KK working on his changeup and release point as a starter to see if he could be a cheap back-end-of-the-rotation starter down the road. That's much more valuable than a reliever.

AWH: Those are the same questions I had. I haven't read anything about an injury so my money would be on either being tired or (more likely) getting sloppy, which led to a bad habit.

I think it is quite common for young pitchers to fall into this sort of rut. A good pitching coach should be able to correct it.

Awh: cole hamels and kendrick have nothing in common, so comparing those two is almost a waste of time. Hamels is lefty, kendrick righty. Kendrick throws with no movements, Hamels throws with tons of movement.

My point being since kendrick has no movement on his pitches, they are easier to detect and therefore he can not get away having 2 mediocre pitches. Espically when hamels has two above average pitches.So please, give me a successful pitcher of Kendrick caliber and qualities, not an ace.

Reverend: I think KK has more value (to the Phillies or as a tradeable asset) as a starter. If Happ wins the 5th spot, I'd send KK to Allentown and hope he can improve his command and work on a 3rd pitch.

awh: yeah i got you, just was dreading someone replying with something smallminded like, "oh so you're saying KK will be better than Hamels if he straightens out his armslot?"

mvptommyd: "Kendrick throws with no movements, Hamels throws with tons of movement."

And that my friends pretty much tells you all you need to know about tommy's baseball knowledge.

Ummm, tommy, have you seen the charts on Hamels fastball and how much movement it has?

I'm with you Jeltz.

Its been well documented that KK flew through the minors and has been forced to work out his kinks at the MLB level. If he does not make the rotation, I would rather him compile innings there than sit in the pen.

And vice versa for Happ. Theres not much more he can really do in the minors, so if he can't make the rotation, he can at least still be useful as a lhp reliever.

Neither Happ or Kendrick are going to open the season in the bullpen. Either they win a job in the starting rotation or open the season in Allentown.

3 of BP's top 8 PECOTA breakout candidates play for the Nats: Elijah Dukes, Lastings Milledge and Ryan Zimmerman.

Anyone worried that the Nationals could emerge as a Rays-type threat this season? They've been horrid since they left Canada, but they've been quietly solidifying their roster and have a ton of young talent.

Adam Dunn is a huge addition, that could also prompt Austin Kearns to return to form. Even he doesn't, they have a lot of solid outfield options with Dukes, Wily Mo Pena, Milledge, Josh Willingham, Kearns and Dunn.(with Nick Johnson at 1B) Adding those guys to Christian Guzman and a healthy Zimmerman could give the Nats a respectable lineup.

Their bullpen is extremely shaky, but unlike any other team, the Nats feature three lefties in their rotation.

I'm not worried about the Nats competing in the NL East, but with Lannan, Olson and a much improved lineup, they could play us tough all year.

I could see Dukes in a Penal League at some point in the next few years...but I'm not too worried about the Nats.

don't get me wrong, i'm not WORRIED about the Nats, I just think they could be better. Their pitching is the worst in the division, but their lineup could potentially be 3rd.

I would put the ceiling for the Nats at the Rangers more than the Rays. A team that could rack up the runs but not the Ws.

I would remove WilyMoPena away from the word solid, far far away. But Dukes Milledge and Willingham have plenty of potential. Nick Johnson is never healthy, but when he is, I can't see him on the bench. He is a proven great hitter. Look for Dunn to move to the OF and one of the younger guys to sit when Johnson can play 1B.

I believe PECOTA has the Nats out of the cellar in 09, which is pretty optimistic already.

Dukes fathered a bunch of children and threw a water bottle at a girl. I think he can probably still hit a ball with a stick.

baxter, PECOTA also has the Nats finishing ahead of the Fish this season, which I don't see happening.

Now I know why - they're projecting them to have 3 of the top 8 breakout candidates.

the way i see it:

not a bad lineup

The way I see it: Lannan, Cabrera, Olsen, Hill, Balester.

A frightfully bad starting rotation.

Only question with the Nats if just how bad their ratings and attendance are this season and if they lose 100 games.

There starting rotation is a mess and now the bullpen is a big weakness too. 2 years ago they had a very solid bullpen that was the bullwark of the team.

This year it will be full of largely journeyman and marginal guys not good enough to make the rotation. They will be bad. Only difference Dunn made is that they will at least some power this year in the center of the lineup.

It will be a good year for the Nats if they win even 70 or 71 games.

Flores seems to bug me more than most Nats. Not sure what the exact numbers say, but I can remember him hurting us with big hits more than most, and never look forward to him coming up with men on.

That's why the Nats should have made a big push to have signed Derek Lowe. They could've pushed for 81-82 wins this year and waited for Strasbourg to be ready and make things interesting in 2010, `11, and `12.

This is nothing really much to like about the Nats. They have some players who are incredibly difficult to root for, don't really have a "face of the franchise" type guy, and are below average in every major part of the game. Plus, I heard the new stadium isn't all the great either especially compared to the new parks.

MG: The Nats new stadium, I think, is very nice and a good place to watch a game. They've just overpriced some of the seats. They don't have a face of the franchise, but winning could change that... and bats alone aren't going to do that.

CJ: That also tells you that tommy didn't read the article.

MPN - I am headed down this year to DC to chat a Phils-Nats game already. I am interested to see the new stadium but my friend/buddies who are season ticket holders haven't said good things. Almost universally prefer other ballparks including Camden Yards.

MG: It's a little different. What I really like is the low hanging deck over RF (kind of reminiscent of old Tigers Stadium) and the wide, open concourses around the park that aren't cluttered and canalized like at CBP -- which is my only complaint against our Park. Also, the Metro interface on the Green line works well. (If you are in the District I recommend you go to Clyde's at the Verizon Center and grab a beer and some food there first and then hop on the Metro. Clydes's has an AWESOME, huge painting of Babe Ruth in the front of the place that any baseball fan will like.)

CJ: That also tells you that tommy didn't read the article.

Posted by: clout

clout, I also went to the core site where Coyne got his charts.

Now, mind you, I watch enough baseball, especially the Phils, to know (and I'm going to use tommy's favorite tactic) "what my eyes tell me".

I already knew that Kendrick's fastball moved more than Hamels. But just for kicks I went to the site and took a look at a few games from last season, and concentrated on Kendrick's games early in the season when he was performing well.

The game charts confirmed what my eyes already told me:

Kendrick's sinker does indeed have more movement on it than Hamels fastball.
Apparently, in addition to needing reading comprehension classes, tommy also needs corrective eyewear.

Looks like the Dodgers have ink'd O-dog for $3.4mil (4.6 wih incentives). Easily one of the better 2Bmen in the field and at the plate.

Dodgers do lose a pick, but steal a decent peice from a division rival. I still think where Manny lands (SF/LA) will be the determining factor of who is the favorite out of the gate in the West.

I agree with board consensus: Nats lineup could do seriopusly Damage (although hernandez won't last as leadoff hitter. He'll be around .250 with bad OB as an everyday player).

Also agree that their rotation is horrendous. Don't see them beating the Marlins, assuming Marlins rotation is healthy.

clout: That's why I asked if he did read it. If he didn't, he's just ignorant. If he did, he lacks reading comprehension skills.

The thing is... none of us are saying that Kendrick wouldn't benefit GREATLY by the addition of a changeup... even a modest one. The issue is whether that lack of a third pitch is really the reason why he suddenly couldn't be an effective starter.

It's interesting: in the Zolecki article on Hewitt, everyone--Charlie, Gillick, LaMar--seems to take comfort from the fact that Hewitt has barely at all played baseball--at all. Does anyone else find that strange? It's as if, because someone hasn't done something in the past, they're assured to do it the future. Speaking from my own experience I can say that that's rarely, rarely the case.

As for the Nats, Zimmerman's a curiosity. Is he really only a league average hitter?

@ thephaithful:
"Flores seems to bug me more than most Nats"

That's because of his former employer.

Elija Dukes will be a breakout player this year. He was lost at the begining of last year, but he seemed to figure it out in the 2nd half. He has some serious financial issues to take care of so that should give him proper motivation to continue getting better.

Re: Kendrick. AAA pitcher. Too scared to throw strikes. Said so himself last year on their trip to Los Angeles. It took a couple poundings to bring him to reality. He was'nt good before, but runs were'nt scoring in 2007. He woke up out of the dream, thats all.

Oh all-knowing-mikes77, lets hear some numbers to go with Dukes' breakout 2009

mikes77phillies: "He was'nt good before"

2007: 20 starts, 119 ERA+

That is all.

Elijah Duke is definitely not the type of guy to go and get himself in more trouble...right?

Nats stadium is a big swing and a miss. I had (partial) season tix last year and I went to about 4 games. Their owner is a developer and his idea for a stadium is a concrete jungle. It's ok overall, and better than RFK, but they could've done much better. They had a potential face of the franchise:Soriano. He actually was willing to stay (if paid, of couse), but they chose to let him walk.

NEPP: Elija Dukes is the kind of guy to get himself into trouble. That is what is holding him back. If he doesnt get into trouble, he could be a breakout player. Thats what i meant to say.

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