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Sunday, March 22, 2009


JW, you're tight on the Golden vs. Silver Ages. While both have the sae number of WFCs, the Golden Age featured 9 straight winning seasons and 6 Division titles in 8 years.

For Rollins and Co. to fulfill their desire to produce a new Golden Age, they've got a tough hill to climb.

A lot of it will probably depend on the development of the young pitching.

It's somewhat futlie to project, but the rotation in 3-4 years could look like this:

Kendrick (assuming he rebounds)

Also in the mix could be Savery and a couple of other guys in the system.

They'll need success from those pitchers for a "new" Golden Age to happen.


It was one okay game in ST.

It's clobberin' time!

Meh, Myers serves up a 2-run HR to Lowell.

Carlos "Prime Time" Ruiz breaks up the no-no with a hit.

This lineup is pretty crappy. I don't expect a win off of Beckett with this order.

We need Rollins and Vic back from the WBC. I predict they come home after tonight. No way they beat Japan.

Agreed this is definitely the 2nd best sustained run in franchise history (not saying much about the long-term history). However, as I said before though I am kind of learly "in the Phils' we trust."

This team has a new GM and minor league coordinator with no track record. Doesn't mean they will perform poorly but let's not falsely praise them either.

As for this offseason, the team clearly didn't improve or achieve one of the three primary objectives outlined by the GM in Nov. (improved pitching, improved defense, a right-handed bat).

The question is are the moves that were made enough to sustain this team's ability to make the playoffs again. I say they have a pretty good shot (at least for this season and likely for 2010 too) and that should really be the key metric of success again this season.

Some fans expect this team to go back to the World Series or even repeat. That is artificially setting the bar too high. No team from the NL has repeated getting getting back to the World Series since the '96 Braves and no team has repeated as World Series champs from the NL since the '75-'76 Reds.

Both the Braves and Reds teams were very good/great teams that were part of a dynasty. This Phils' team is a solid team but not quite at those levels.

JRoll was dead-on accurate when he said that Philly sport fans are largely a "what have you done for me lately type of crowd." While the public/media perpetuates this idealized myth that most sports fans in Philly maintain interest in the teams despite their performance, the reality is often quite different.

This team put out a poor product on the field for most of the mid-to-late 1990s and was apathetic toward the fanbase. By the end of the 1990s, this team largely couldn't buy general interest from the average Philly sports fan/media outlets.

Unless it Schilling doing something/making a comment or something Rolen-related, the Phils were completely off the rader of most Philly sports fan and it shows in the attendance figures which dead last in the NL in '97 and remained near the bottom of the NL through '02.

Reality is that the fans stopped coming to the ballpark. This was in spite of tickets that were relatively moderately priced in comparsion to the league average and plenty of availability.

Fans also stopped listening on the radio/TV (I remember ratings at the times for these games were generally lower and my cousin who sold advertising at the time in Philly remembers the Phils as being generally harder pressed to appeal to advertisers).

This only turned around again after the Phils decided to finally start investing some significant money again in the minor league system and big league club.

Even then it look several years of fielding fairly competitive teams and finally making a playoff appearance in '07 that finally brought the fans back in large numbers again (Note: '04 withstanding because new ballparks almost always draw a significant bump in attendance during the initial season).

Now, everybody appears to be a Phils' fans again. Quite anecdotal evidence but I am stunned at the amount of people I have wearing Phils' gear at the gym and around the Philly area this offseason.

Will these same fans stayed interested in the team if they struggle this with injuries and say are .500 or will they won't boo the Phils if they get out to their usual slow start again in April?

I don't think that most fans will but their will be a significant minority who would answer "yes" to both of these questions.

MG: Don't forget that in the 90's baseball was also trying to come back from a strike that nearly ruined the sport. The fact that the Phillies didn't have any sort of consistently competitive teams (or wicked ball mashers like the Bash Brothers) didn't aid this comeback in Philly. That's when Eagles football really took hold here.

It is time for baseball to take the city back and there's no time like the present. Success will just breed more success.

Every team has fair weather fans...Philly is no different. Boston wasn't selling games out at Fenway until this recent run and the same can be said for the Yankees. Outside of St. Louis, I can't really think of a team that has great attendance from year to year without great great team...and even they have won a WS in the past 5 years and have had several division titles to their name. What Jimmy said could be said of any number of cities.

NEPP - Agreed for the most part but this is this perpetuated myth that is promoted by Philly fans/media here that the support from the fanbase is solid through thick/thin and that frankly just is largely not substantiated by the facts.

Fans here are certainly more interested in pro sports in general than other American cities but you still have to put out a pretty competitive product to draw a significant amount of fans year in-and-out year just like almost every other professional sports franchise in the US.

As for in "In Amaro and Cholly we trust" has been radically overblown. Cholly still makes his share of head-scratching tactical moves and Amaro doesn't have much of a track record to blindly say he is a good GM yet.

Of more concern today is Myers' control. In 4 IP so far he's given up 5 hits (1 HR) and 4 BB's. Only 1 SO. I don't like that ratio. I can't see the game so I don't know if he's getting squeezed at all, but this sounds like Brett from 1st half of last season.

Get it together, Brett--if for no other reason than it's your "walk year".

Maybe he's working on his change or something...I'm not too concerned at this point. I'm frankly pretty tired of ST at this point and the WBC is just making it worse as we still havent had the whole team together as a result of that.

Mosebach again...they're definitely giving him a good look, which is smart. I hope they manage to keep him in the system somehow despite his Rule 5 status.

MG: agree, although, as NEPP says, the effect of the strike on attendance isn't to be underestimated. Baseball reference has the late 80s early 90s Phillies as usually 6th or 7th among the 12 NL teams in attendance, not bad considering the product on display.

"This team put out a poor product on the field for most of the mid-to-late 1990s and was apathetic toward the fanbase."

MG, not to nitpick, but it was worse than that. The losing started in 1987.

They caught lightning in a bottle one year, 1993, but every other year from 1987 to 2000 was a loser. 13 out of 14 seasons ended poorly.

This ownership group must, IMO, still has some making up to do, despite winning the WFC last season.

There was much pain and futility in being a Phillies fan for all those years. The non-fair-weather fans like myself still have not forgotten.

IMO, ownership should still be somewhat ashamed of themselves for running out the dreck they called a baseball team during that period.

Jason refers to this being the Silver Age.

Well, if the worst period to be a Phillies fan was from 1918 - 1948, a 31 year period where they had one winning season, the period from 1987 - 2000 was the second worse in team history.

It will take a few more Divisions, Pennants and WFCs to erase that part of their legacy for the Giles, Middleton, Betz and Buck cabal.

They still have a losing record since they bought the team.

MG - I would agree for the most part, but when the Flyers were the worst team in the NHL (by record, at least) and the Eagles were stinking for a while, their fans didn't abandon them. We're not all "what have you done for me lately," but we do want a little success and commitment mixed in. Keeping this team together is a good start, and I imagine if they play competitive (read: playoff) baseball again this year, the Myers/Jenkins/Feliz/Eaton money will go back into the team in 2010. That will be something interesting to look for.

Nice to see the spring training post from phargo (previous thread).

My guess would be that the series win bought the team one season of goodwill. If this season turns out to be a blowout with the Phils not making the playoffs, the boo birds and skeptics will be back, fairly or unfairly.

Did I just see a comic book reference on Beerleaguer? I knew there was more than one reason I frequented this place.

AWH - I would largely agree with that. Prior to the last few years, the Phils have generally been a pretty bad team for most of my adult life ('93 as the sole exception).

One of the more amazing things that took place this offseason was the realization that by the FO/ownership that to be profit maximizers you have to take on a bit more risk (e.g., salary in this case).

Doesn't mean you need to sign a Sabathia or Texiera but it does mean that you need to field a team that has a pretty good shot of making the playoffs. In order to do this, the Phils needed to spend a bit more more in salary but they will easy recoup this investment (and then some) if this team makes the plaoyffs again over the next several seasons.

Basically, it is like a lightbulb finally went on. You don't have to win the World Series every year (or even make it) but that having a period of prolonged success highlighted by making the playoffs a few times over several years substantially increases your annual profits and the perceived value of the team.

If the current ownership group is smart, they will look to continue to maximize the profits from this current talented core of players by hopefully getting back to the playoffs in the next year or two and then sell the team when the economy slightly rebounds a bit at a high-water mark.

--Did I just see a comic book reference on Beerleaguer? I knew there was more than one reason I frequented this place.--

I've been a comic book collector since 1965 and I thought I was in the wrong board. As Stan Lee would say: "Sheesh!"

King myno said," but when the Flyers were the worst team in the NHL (by record, at least) and the Eagles were stinking for a while, their fans didn't abandon them."

The Flyers have never had a prolonged period of down years. Their fans have no reason to abandon them. Since 1978, the Eagles were bad for about 5-6 seasons total (Marion Cambell/Rich Kotite).
The Phillies lost their fans due to a combination of factors in the late 80's and continuing thru the early 90's

1. The Phillies started losing.(13 of 14 years)

2. The Eagles had Buddy Ryan and Randall Cunningham as lightning rods.

3. WIP was born, and all they talked about was the Eagles (because the Phillies and Sixers were'nt good).

4. The baseball strike.

Everything goes in cycles. The Phillies will continue to benefit from the goodwill or the fans, as long as this group is together. The problem is... the Phillies will never overtake the Eagles in popularity, because football is easier for fans to understand and appreciate, unless you become a fan at a young age.

You Trolls.

Mike: You should have said football is easier for fans to think they understand. The people who actually understand it, the players and coaches, can't even tell you what happened until they watch the game again on film.

Alby, I agree. Fans only "think" they understand football. It really is a very complicated game.

"Mike, You should have said football is easier for fans to think they understand."

your right.

The White Sox and Gavin Floyd have reportedly come to terms on a four-year, $15.5 million contract.

Once again, the baseball gods have a good laugh at the expense of those of us - including virtually everyone at BL - who approved of the F. Garcia deal.

It's no crime to be shut out by the Red Sox. Their pitching is ridiculous. The rotation at Pawtucket this year will be better than some ML staffs. Smoltz could be the #8 or 9 starter when he gets back. Any other division they probably win 110 games.

curt - define "virtually everyone;"

"I do not believe it means what you think it does." - Inigo Montoya

The Freddy Garcia trade looks like crap in retrospect, but at the time (and without the knowledge of Garcia's rapidly deteriorating shoulder) I thought it was the deal that would catapult the Phillies into first. It is now just one more reason I take a wait-and-see approach to FO decisions.

"I do not believe it means what you think it does." - Inigo Montoya

LOL. Classic line. But I thought the quote was... "I do not believe it a means what you think it a means."

Andy - go back to the archives when the deal when down, do a tally of the yeas and nays, and let me know your definition of the result

Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya, you have killed my father, prepare to die.

curt - Yeah because what kept the Phils out of a playoff spot in 2006 was the largely crummy pitching they got out of the end of their rotation for most of the year.

Most fans (myself included) though that Garcia would be able to give the Phils a capable middle of the rotation starter they desperately needed to make the playoffs.

Only reason that most fans have a real bitterness over the Garcia trade was the utter nonsense and outright lie that the Phils' FO (Gillick included) try to pass off about how teams never insist upon an independent medical evaluation of a player before a trade is completed.

It was completely absurd and 100% utter BS. Phils' just didn't do their due diligence and Williams pulled one over on Gillick and Co.

Highly doubt the Phils would have made that trade for a guy who was making significant money (remember Garcia made nearly $10M in '07) and give up 2 of their better pitching prospects too if they knew that he was potentially a very high injury risk.

Yet again JRoll as DH in the WBC. WTF!?

Can't have of great team Captain not in the field afterall...this is why the WBC is an utter joke.

On the Floyd/Garcia trade: But at least we got Tad Iguchi for basically free out of that, right?

Oh, well--I look at it this way: at least we get Rollins and Vic back when they lose tonight.

Phillies and Mets work well together--who woulda thunk it?

Rollins is 2 for 2 while Jeter is 0 for 2.


Jeter: .176
Rollins: .385

Joe Morgan is an idiot talking about DeRosa putting his left foot on the bag. For you all you youngsters out there playing 1st base. Almost always leave your glove side leg off the bag and then step towards the ball.


If the Garcia trade had been straight up for Floyd, at that point, I would have thought it was a good trade. When they threw in Gio Gonzalez - THREW. IN. - they made it into a ridiculously stupid move.

I was not on BL yet at the time, but most of what I said to anyone (except Mets' fans of course) about the trade at the time was less than supportive.

NEPP - Twenty years from now, some "tell all" book is going to claim, with facts, that Gillick went back to the Sox and said, "Um...y'all really stiffed us on Garcia; and Utley just went down; and Tad is gonna leave you for free agency at the end of this season. Fork him over or you'll never eat cheessteaks in this town again." (or something like that.)

NEPP: Iguchi was not involved in the Garcia trade.

yes clout, I'm well aware of that...I am referring to the fact that the Iguchi trade seemed like a mea culpa on the part of Williams for knowingly screwing Gillick over in the earlier deal.

Did you know that Joe Morgan's daughter goes to Stanford?

Clout: Not officially, no. But lots of people, here and elsewhere, have assumed it was a make-up deal.

They either need to change the format of this WBC so the best players actually play in it (and are ready to compete at 100 percent) or just call it what it is: an exhibition.

Because right now an entire nation is getting super excited because they think they are actually the best at the sport--and the Japanese do care a lot as evidenced by the ratings--when they aren't even facing our best. I know it shouldn't make me mad, but it does. I'm a patriot and I want the USA to win, but all of this is BS.

NEPP - if Jeter captain over Rollins makes WBC a joke, what does Jeter at SS over ARod make the Yankees? This sort of move happens even in MLB. What makes the WBC questionable is the timing. these guys aren't ready to play.

That about sums up the WBC.

Its fine to have Jeter as the captain of the squad but there is no circumstance whatsoever where he should ever be in the field over Rollins.

And honestly, the Yankees hurt themselves defensively whent they put Arod at 3B instead of SS.

I really think Stutes will be in the Phillies rotation by 2011 if not 2010.

Can you imagine the Yankees moving Jeter to first so they could have A-Rod at short?

I can't see them ever doing that politically.

curt: Most BL posters were hugely in favor of the trade (Carson was #1 cheerleader on it) because we will always favor a trade of porspects for vets (which is why the love of the Abreu trade vby you and many others was so unusual). Most fans know little of prospects and vets help you win today.

But there were some BL skeptics:
"So for $22million, Thome and Gavin Floyd, the phils have gotten: Rowand, Garcia, Castro. Right? Am I missing someone here?

I like the trade, but I'm not crazy about giving up the future for the present.

Posted by: Will | Thursday, December 07, 2006 at 07:28 AM "

And: "I realize you can't get too attached to young prospects (esp. pitchers), and Gonzalez was unspectacular in AA last year, but he's one of our blue chips...I don't like losing him as a potential player or as a tradeable commodity for a rental.

Posted by: ae | Wednesday, December 06, 2006 at 10:50 PM "

I should also confess that I liked the trade, but didn't think it was the lopsided (in favor of the Phils) deal that everyone else did because Garcia was a one-year player:

"kdon: Here's what the White Sox are thinking: Garcia's a free agent after next season and Gio is a top prospect. If Floyd gets his head straight, this could be a great trade for the Sox. Looks like the Phils are going for it next season.

Posted by: clout | Wednesday, December 06, 2006 at 10:24 PM"

The most interesting thing in the posts from that day is that nearly every poster predicted Gonzalez and Floyd would never amount to anything.

hh - not all of the best japanese players are playing. and same can be said about the korean team. the korean team in particular are missing their best hitter/position player and pitchers like Chan Ho Park and Byung Hyun Kim. the teams that were "fully loaded" so to speak were the Latin American teams, including Cuba.

the argument you make that the players aren't 100% is legit. it's obvious some of these guys hadn't touched a glove or a bat all winter; compared to, say, the korean team, whose major league shifted their entire season schedule as a lead up to the the WBC (their best hitter plays in Japan).

but it's as obvious that some of these players on other teams are no joke. the 22-year old korean pitcher made Venezuela and other teams loaded with MLB talent look silly. if you watched him pitch, it's obvious he's got MLB talent with an array of pitches and a solid, well-located heater. no matter how you cut it, the competition was serious - the DR, PR, Mexico, and Venezuela teams were fully loaded and playing for keeps. And the americans did a good job of getting through them.

that said, even if this were played after the WS, i doubt you'd get all the players you want on the team. it's kind of like the World Cup, and how a lot of club teams don't really like it when their star players risk their health playing for the national team; and the players listen and don't play.

so i don't think you can call it BS. i'm personally on the side of wanting the US to win without risking any phillies players, but that's because the WBC doesn't mean a whole lot yet symbolically. However, if Selig achieves his dream and WBC does become like the World Cup (good luck Bud), I probably wouldn't mind if the phillies players were involved.

Rhetorical question: If Jeter is such a great captain, shouldn't he have put aside his ego and let A-Roid (and J-Roll in the WBC) play short? Just wondering.

baxter: "I really think Stutes will be in the Phillies rotation by 2011 if not 2010."


i do like the carbon-fiber batting helmets the japanese team uses. those are pretty sweet.

NEPP- that's exactly my point. Starting Jeter at short over Rollins doesn't make WBC a joke unless it's your contention that MLB is a joke. I'm not defending the move; I just don't think that at all explains the problems with the event. Hold it mid-season with the best Americans at 100% and Jeter probably still starts. Veterans get that sort of respect.

I don't think starting Jeter over Rollins is a joke but I do think it's a questionable managerial decision when your ultimate goal is (or should be) to win games.

And TNA, you're right--not all of the best players worldwide are playing--an most of them are not 100%. There are so many things wrong with this event I just don't know where to start. I actually like the idea of it, though, and wish they could figure out a better way to do it.

I liked Stark's idea of making it part of All Star week somehow. He wrote an article about it on ESPN. It's worth a read.

NEPP - Joe Morgan's daughter goes to Stanford? So you're saying that she'll be hired by Amaro Jr. after she graduates... Great. Can't wait to get those genetically gifted brains on the team.

Well, Rollins is 3 for 3 with a BB in 4 plate appearances, so at least he showed up to play tonight.

Hope this carries over to ST when he and Vic head back tomorrow. YAY!

prediction - vic hits three run HR.

terrible prediction....longoria took Vic's spot in ondeck circle.

davey johnson is a moron

terrible call... EVA sucks

Well, at least DeRosa made it more respectible even if Johnson is making some questionable managerial decisions tonight.

Hey look guys, Jeter made another bonehead play. Why again isn't Rollins at short?

rollins makes that play blind folded

DeRosa would've looked good in a Phillies uni. And fit in with the whole flexibility shtick.

"Forced error", Joe Morgan? Really? That was just a godawful throw on a seemingly routine play.

Yes, DeRosa would have be a preferable utility guy to anything we have been throwing out there.

Jeter's a first ballot HoF'er--it comes with benefits. Hopefully, someday one or more of our own Phils get treated with the same respect.

Hah. Good old Adam Dunn.

Adam Dunn = DH

MVP up to bat

Well, it WAS respectable for about 5 minutes. Now the score is embarassing.

I would hate to be a yankees fan. Jeter and A-rod are the reasons 10-year contracts are pure stupidity.


Also, J-roll makes Jeter look like trash

Rollins was awesome tonight. Too bad he's going down with the ship.

Now we know who our DH is for IL play.

Just kidding, of course!

Just stopping in to admit that I, and other Mets fans (who I do not speak for), have severely underrated Jimmy Rollins as a hitter. I learned a big lesson today about statistics. Rollins' stats may not be the best on paper for a leadoff hitter, but its clear to see he can play. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have a big p.o.s. like Adam Dunn, who is a sabr favorite, and it is quite clear, the man cannot play baseball. So for that indiscretion, I apologize. See you in April.

J-Roll may have had a decent showing in WBC - but all I gotta say is that he better get in shape before opening day because he's definitely carrying a few extra pounds and it looks more like he had his share of the victory spoils from last year.

That's right. As a Phillies fan, I'm never happy. But seriously, as WFC, the Phillies set their own standard; being compared favorably to Jeter means nothing.

So J-Roll, sorry team USA lost. Welcome back to Clearwater. Hit the gym with Howard and Mayberry and get in shape.

btw, i bet vic is going crazy over being taken out of the ondeck circle to be replaced by a guy on the team that he beat in the world series last year. why take the bat out of the guy who is a proven game-changer? why not use longoria to pinch hit for jeter who's done butkus with the bat in the WBC?

anyway, looking forward to korea-japan final tomorrow and to seeing rollins and vic back in clearwater.

final thoughts on team USA -
you always wonder what the pecking order is for elite players and WBC gives a roundabout way of showcasing who holds up to snuff. all i gotta say is that i'm glad we got j-roll and vic; it's clear they're winners who have the ability to rise to the occasion and are definitely in the upper echelon at their position in the sport. vic especially. his meteoric rise could be seen as shocking to those who didn't see it coming. a couple of years ago, he was a part-time player who brought speed off the bench; someone incapable of playing a full season and someone who couldn't handle MLB fastballs. Well after being able to hammer several Randy Johnson and Sabathia sliders and a Wade curveball (and leading the Phillies in postseason RBI), he's definitely a big-time difference maker.

if you didn't realize it before, you've gotta realize it now - the phillies are loaded with winners.

Fish throw a combined no-no in ST against the Tigers today (well, technically yesterday).

The Marlins' rotation, pending health risks, is probably one of the best in the NL. It's like when they had Burnett, Beckett, Penny, Pavano and Willis. They have a good chance to be better than that group. Nolasco, Volstad, and especially Johnson all have a chance to put together special years. I still remember Volstad going head-to-head with Hamels last August and shutting down the Phils bats with authority. Miller and Sanchez are more than serviceable back of the rotation guys.
Too bad their bullpen and defense is terrible.

TNA - Yeah kind of why it is hard to see the Marlins really contending this year. Teams with suspect defense and crappy bullpen pitching almost always tend to be home come Oct. 1.

If anyone here was still wondering about Good Brett/Bad Brett Myers, at least Rich Dubee seems to understand and have his finger on the problem.

From this morning's srticle on

"Of Brett Myers, for example, Dubee said: "The challenge is trying to keep Brett on the same page every day. On a mental level, Brett fluctuates, and that's what we're trying to avoid."

Hmmmmmm, does Dubee post anonymously one BL?

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