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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

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The encouraging thing is that Hamels seems to be getting better with each start. He is obviously working hard now, which is evident from the extra bullpen sessions he has been throwing. This happened to Ryan Howard after his MVP year as well. I agree with Jason that I'm glad this is happening in April. Lock it up Cole.

Glad to hear him own up to it, and I think Cole can right the ship in his next couple starts.

"Roster-wide" complacency is a bit harder to shake though. Shows why its so difficult to repeat as Champions.

The fact that he's willing to admit this to the press 11 games into the season speaks volumes of his maturity. He recognizes that he did not prepare and that his excesses in the off season may have cost the Phillies.

Having a young ace with an internal locus of control is definitely encouraging. I think he will be able to move past this poor start.

I shouldn't have used the term "roster-wide." Not accurate. Pockets of complacency is accurate.

BedBeard: (from last thread) Unlike you, I don't think Marson is as good a prospect as Brian McCann and Russ Martin were.

And it was just announced that Shane Victorino has won the 2008 Lou Gehrig Award. It's nice that he's being recognized for his work, but I'd like everyone to just let these guys play baseball for a few weeks.

I bet Heidi made him say that.

Roster-wide would include Utley, Howard, Ibanez. Those guys came to play.

Malawi? You sure Heidi isn't just pseudonym for Madonna?

I agree this is not that big of a deal. We're around .500 with all of the distractions and issues that have come up. If we're still around .500 in July, I'll be concerned.

"BedBeard: (from last thread) Unlike you, I don't think Marson is as good a prospect as Brian McCann and Russ Martin were."

Wow, typical. I ask a question and you respond with an attack that is not true/was not said.

BedBeard: I think Clout was worried that DavThom was coming close to taking his title of Beerleaguer 'King of the Strawman Argument'

Cole can adopt the continent of Africa and go on Real World for all I care. Screw '09, it was all about the bling.

I love how Jayson Werth, Jimmy Rollins, and Cole Hamels went 'Major League II' on all of us.

Ball, Sticks and Stuff looks at the velocity of Hamels' pitches.

With no Phillies on last night, I found myself listening to the Astros broadcast while running errands and there was a crucial at bat in the bottom of the 8th inning. The Pirates were leading 4-3, there was two outs with the bases loaded. Hunter Pence was batting having already gone 2 for 3. He quickly found himself in a 0-2 hole but battled back to a full count, only to succumbe to a called strike three. The pitcher? Our old failed bullpen oxygen waster Arthur Rhodes. Arghh! I immediately thought of our Ace reliever in a similar situation last weekend giving up a grand slam.

Pockets of complacency......let's name names.....

Jason Werth doesn't have the same look of intensity.

Many of the pitchers - Madson, Blanton, Myers, even Moyer and Lidge - also seem slightly less focused and intense. At this level, it only takes a little less focus to miss your spots a couple of times, and get pummeled.

Rollins and Hamels, of course, entered the season unprepared, but seem ready now to shake that off.

Vic and Durbin just aren't quite as good as their 2008 seasons.

Ruiz, I thought, would bounce back this year. I am disappointed that so far he hasn't (extremely small sample size, I know).

Bonehead you are making assumptions based on extremely small sample sizes.

- Ruiz looked to be playing well before his injury (3-12 2B,BB,0 K .279)

- Vic is slumping, doesn't mean he can't hit .280+ this year.

Lets visit all this again in June.

Plenty of people expected the Phils' pitching to regress...don't know if it's fair to assume any struggles so far for anyone is due to complacency and not just the normal ups and downs of major league seasons/careers.

Bonehead: Sounds like the players on your list lack the eye of the tiger. They need to hang tough, stay hungry, go the distance.

I don't understand the statements of, "Player X doesn't look to have the same intensity". What does that mean? Is Werth less intense on April 21st of 2009 then he was on April 21st of 2008? Hell, I don't know. He sure hit the ball well the first week of the season, so I'm not sure how you can make that argument. I would refrain from making statements like this, because the truth is we really don't know whats going on in the locker room.

For the last time, I am NOT Chris Coste!!!

Go throw 250 innings in your back yard from April until November and then come back in March and see what your arm feels like. He'll be OK. It takes some time to get back in the groove. Gotta loosen up the scar tissue.

Notice some the pitchers who went deep in the playoffs haven't exactly been lights out this Spring? Hamels, Sabathia, Lester, Garza, Shields... These guys will be OK.

Phils get another crack at a lefty starter tonight in Parra.

With Ibanez's great start, I wonder if Charlie will still play the matchup and get Werth into the 5 hole tonight.

I agree with those who say that, if Marson keeps hitting, you can't send him down to AAA. I also agree with those who say that Coste -- a wildly streaky hitter -- will most likely wind up around his career norms for the season. Solution: when Ruiz comes back, keep both guys and release the horrendous Miguel Cairo.

The Good Phight has a good response to Charlie:

Through 11 games this season, the Phillies are 5-6. Under Manuel's leadership, that's tied for the best record the team has had through the first 11 games. The team has a .805 OPS, which is just short of the team's first-11-game best under Manuel of .806 in 2006. Of course, the team's pitching has been horrible, but we've seen that before as well.

Follow the link for more stats and truthiness.

Albert-You're right re Ruiz sample size. I said that in my post. Re Vic, my opinion is that he won't hit .280+. Of course, this opinion could be wrong.

Albert/EFF- I didn't make up the complacency issue. Charlie is talking about complacency. Its being written about. I'm just trying to speculate on specific names. Of course, I "really don't know what's going on in the locker room". But Charlie seems to think its a problem.

The fact that the Phils are 5-6 makes me happy considering how poorly they've pitched. The offense is mostly doing the job, aside from the top of the lineup (pointed finger at J-Roll and Vic). The pitching needs to settle in and start churning out 6-7 inning efforts from the starters and have Madson and Lidge pitch like they're capable of. We've played the Rox, Gnats, and Pads so far so we should easily have a winning record, but we don't and it's not as bad as it could be.

JW - You wrote that there are 'pockets of complacency'. Then you named those you say 'came to play'. Then mock when someone speculates on the names who didn't come to play.

Same sample size for both groups,

Hey, Bonehead, I wasn't trying to attack you, mainly just the idea in general. (And I guess if you go by the name Bonehead, if anyone address you by name it looks like they're really angry).

Will point out again that we have little idea who will be good or not this year (except for the Natinals), so who knows if it's lucky to have the Padres and Rockies on our schedule so far. Two years ago, those two battled it out for the WC, and if they were on the schedule early last year it would have been 'bad luck'.

Yeah, I know the Pads are trying to get rid of $$$ players, but they do have a winning record even in games that weren't against us.

I really don't know why people are giving Victorino so much smack....here's his stats last year at this point and time....

.209 BA, .277 OPS, .256 SLG, 3 Runs, 2 RBI, 1 SB.

I'm leaning towards Vic as being a notorious slow starter (or once the weather warms up, he'll be alright). I'm not really worried about him at all.

Bonehead: I'd like to name the names of complacent players, but learned that just leads to being blacklisted from Hop Sing's.

When has Jayson Werth ever looked intense?

bap - I like your Ruiz solution.

Jason Werth looked intense when he was obviously drinking Vodka and Gatoraid out of a huge foam hulk hand at the WS parade. I like it, I like it a looooot

patthebat: As a native Hawaiian myself, I can attest that I hate being outside in Pennsylvania before the middle of May.

Here's to the hope that Vic will warm up, go on a Spam eating binge and devour NL pitching. :)

Geez! Lighten up, bonehead! I'm not digging on your post, brother, it's just that when you mention looks of intensity, my mind naturally drifts to Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger."

bap: Who replaces Cairo as the pinch hitter: Marson or Coste? I'd like to see Marson get a full season behind the plate at AAA to prepare for the show, but barring that, he'd need to get Coste's starts in Philadelphia, wouldn't he?

With all these rainouts the season will last longer than the NBA playoffs.

Regarding the value of having Marson on the big league club versus AAA. I'm not sure how much better his bat would improve by hitting AAA and AAAA pitching, as it looks to be Major League caliber right now.

The biggest issue is how his development behind the plate would be helped or harmed. I think you can see positives in both sides.

There was a note the other day before Moyer's last start, that Marson and Moyer were going over signs and they pulled the plug on Marson starting because it was a little more complicated. Moyer has like 8 pitches probably all around 65 MPH... but there's like 8 of em. :) But while some might see that as a negative, I see an interaction like that having more positives than negatives. Also, you have to look at who's going to be on pitching staff next year. Hamels. Happ. Myers? Moyer (under contract) Blanton? Carrasco? And of course catching Lidge, Madson etc.

It's likely that at least 3 of next years starting 5 is currently pitching for the Phillies. By catching 50/50 or 40/60 with Coste until Ruiz returns, he should pick up valuable experience with the current staff. In addition, he will pick up tendencies about National League hitters that he won't get in Lehigh.

Playing every day in Lehigh he would benefit from working on flaws in his game that clout has noted... like footwork and other defensive issues. But most would note that calling a game is more important than throwing a runner out. Which I think Wheels noted during Chris Young's start, that the great Greg Maddux never worried about holding runners on because the numbers didn't work in your advantage to do so. Basically, focus on getting the batter out, the runner takes care of itself.

My vote would be to keep Marson with the team when Ruiz returns. Let Coste take the Miguel Cairo role. Problem solved.

EFF - So are you saying that you disagree with Charlie's assessment of his locker room?

Mac: I agree that keeping Marson in the majors would be pointless if he's never going to play catcher. So he would get the starts that Coste used to get. As for who the pinch hitter is . . . it really doesn't matter. Either way, Cholly would still be covered with a backup catcher.

The 3-headed catcher solution is clearly only a temporary one. It takes care of the right-handed bat off the bench but it still doesn't solve the problem of having no backup outfielder. Still, Cairo can't play the OF either. As long as we're going to go without a real backup outfielder, I'd rather have that last bat be someone who can actually hit a little.

Phils are 5-6 (which is fortunate considering their really bad pitching so far) but you also have to way in the fact that it is likely that they will come back to kick themselves for not performing well against some below average/mediocre teams in April.

It will have been a decent April if they can finish .500 and they start to get some consistency out of their starters by the end of the month.

If Marson isnt going to play on a regular basis, he needs to be sent down. When Ruiz comes back I'd be in favor of platooning him with Marson. I think that is a prudent way to break in a major leaguer anyway. Especially at as demanding a position (mentally and physically) as catcher. If you want to keep Coste in the 25th man role I could go for that too. I don't view any of this as anti-Coste. It's just that he has a bigtime prospect on the rise behind him. I guess the big question is, would Marson be better served catching every day in AAA or about half the time in the bigs? I think he could get more benefit with the big club. If he struggles, then maybe he needs more seasoning. I just think it would be ridiculous to keep him up and give him only the day game after night game routine.

The phone rings. Cholly answers.

Cholly: "Hello."

Amaro: "Junior here. What's this crap I'm reading in the paper about pockets of complacency?"

Cholly: "Junior, some of your higher paid players aren't even showing up. I'd say that's complacency. In these tight games, the players need to be ready to play. The other night, I needed a pinch hitter and I was looking for Jenkins, but he wasn't anywhere to be found. Take Eaton (please!!) for example, I saw him at the ring ceremony, but since then he's M.I.A. A blown save by Lidge is complacency. I can't explain it."

Amaro: "Thanks, Cholly. You had me worried there at first, but now I see that its just Cholly being Cholly. Now let's get some wins. Out."

Bonehead,

I don't know who Charlie is talking about, so it's hard to know if he's right.

They seem to start every season the same, it's just this year it has a new designation as "WFC Hangover."

Definitely. Cut Cairo and let Coste fill that need. Theres no shame in having a kid take the backup C job from you when you're still on the roster as a backup and getting PH opportunities.

I'm very glad I only have to like Cole Hamels as a baseball player to be a fan of his, which is probably true for the likes of utley, werth, and myers too.

Listening to Ottawa sports talk radio I heard the Ottawa Citizen beat writer for the Lynx, Randy Millervous, say that he heard DavThom whisper to Chris Coste in April 2007: "Wish I knew how to quit you!"

With Jamie Moyer getting the start tonight to begin the Milwaukee series, it is likely that Coste will get the start, given Charlie's comments reported by Andy Martino in last Sunday's Inquirer:

"The rookie earned his second start last night, catching Brett Myers - though Manuel said that the more complicated task of catching Jamie Moyer, an especially cerebral pitcher who has developed his own signs, may not come immediately. 'He (Marson) needs to catch him (Moyer)to learn him,' the manager said. 'Am I going to turn him loose right now? No.' Marson conceded that working with the veteran required a longer tutorial than needed to catch Blanton or Myers. 'It takes a while to learn his signs," he said. "You've got to write them down and study them.' "

Thereafter this week, we could well see Marson getting most of the starting catching time until Ruiz comes off the DL this weekend -- something I do not disagree with - as I said in some posts on the last thread. But in my opinion, Marson is not ready for a permanent stay in the big leagues. We shall see.

As for Marson, I only want him to split time 50/50 with Coste until Ruiz comes back to keep the wear & tear down on Coste. Catchers in their mid-to-late 30s usually don't fair offensively if they are catching 3-4 games/week.

Rollins and Vic tore up the WBC, they're just slumping early. I don't see why 11 games are enough to tell you about their preparation. What, did Rollins work really hard for the WBC, then drink beer and eat doughnuts for 3 weeks?

The pitching is another story. I'm worried about Moyer, and nobody's pitching like a stopper right now.

MPn -- Stick it.

Let's not get too worked up over the record(s) so far. As it's been pointed out the phil's at 5-6 are playing about as well as they can in April, and that's with bad pitching. Also, the hot handed marlins just got blanked by the pirates 8-0 last night, so obviously the first month of the season can only mean so much. As long as your not as long as we have more than 3 wins on the board by this point, I'll take it.

Will do. I generally like to attack the idea rather than the individual, but in your case you personalize things.

If Hamels is either injured or unprepared, I'd rather he be unprepared. So this is good news to me.

Manuel seems to be in control of this team, although I don't know the extent to which I buy these arguments. The offense is actually clicking (just 11 games in) with the exception of a few players. Rollins was tearing it up in the WBC and strikes me as a diligent worker in any case.

The pitching staff may be another question.

If 'distractions' are the biggest worry with Hamels, we should all be breathing more easily.

Watching the team, I don't detect any sense of complacency, not even in pockets. They'd be doing pretty well right now if they had any kind of decent pitching and the 'pen had held leads over the weekend.

Saw the list of teams that started 11-1 on MLB network, the 2003 Giants and a bunch of 2nd/3rd place teams.

Most recent were these two:

2003 Royals: Started 11-2. 3rd place at the end.

2003 Giants: Started 12-1. 1st place at the end.

Obviously, that 13th game is key!

Wonder if they'll do 11-2 list?

Martino chimes in with more:

I won’t claim to know who he had in mind, but I can tell you that he has explicitly complimented Howard, Rollins, Utley, Hamels and Myers lately for various work ethic-related actions. But just because he hasn’t said anything positive about, say, Pedro Feliz, doesn’t mean that Feliz is part of the presumed problem. See what I mean?

BedBeard, Jonesman: You missed that entire thread about whether Marson was as good a prospect as McCann & Russ Martin? Are you saying he isn't?

Jason Knapp has 14 K's, 1 BB and allowed 1 hit in 7 innings today for Lakewood. Dude has been dealin'

EFF: Wait, are you saying that this team, which Beerleaguer posters have declared complacent, lacking fire, unprepared, distracted etc. etc. actually has a better record this year than the WFC did last year at this time? How can that be possible?

I likely think that Cholly means the complacency early in games. This team has been thoroughly outscored in the first couple of innings in most of their games and has had to rally in the 7th inning or later to win 4 of their 5 games including an improbable comeback down 7 runs against the Braves late.

Yeah Lidge blew a save the other night and Hamels gave up a game but this team has also had some incredible late rallies too just like the previous 2 years.

As much as I can complain about Manuel the Tactician. I will NOT argue how he handles the clubhouse.

We speculated about who was benched on Sunday as perhaps folks under the Manuel "complacency umbrella of suspicion". But we get Hamels standing up the next day, raising his hand, as if to say "perhaps the manuel was talking about me???"

Maybe Manuel wasn't really talking about ANYONE specifically? Maybe he was looking for a response, like this? Either way... this is one of the small reasons why Charlie Manuel is manager of the 2008 WFC.

How exactly is complacency measured?

GM-Carson: Depends on where you are. In Europe they use the metric scale.

Yea MG makes a good point. I would definitely agree that the team as a whole has been "complacent" through the first few innings of each game, maybe this is what OC means.

"BedBeard, Jonesman: You missed that entire thread about whether Marson was as good a prospect as McCann & Russ Martin? Are you saying he isn't?"

Another fake argument. No, I didn't "miss the thread" and no Marson isn't "as good a prospect as McCann& Martin".

All I ask is what YOU think of Marson. Nothing more or less there. You seem to be fairly down on him. That's perfectly fine. But, you seem more content to advance your silly strawman arguments instead of go a little deeper on what you think of Marson. That leads me to believe that you think he may actually do as well as some of the positive reviewers on him say, so if/when that's the case you can say you were never down on him.

see what happens on rain out days? We end up dissecting what Charlie says to the media. You think Charlie is sending secret messages into the media through his words?! Lets just stop.

We're facing a lefty on the mound tonight, how about we argue over what tonight's lineup will be.

Think Ibanez's hot bat will keep him in the 5 spot above Werth vs Parra?

Why not throw Werth in the two hole? Move Vic down to 6th?

BedBeard: All I know is what I read and what I see. I haven't seen much of him, although enough to suggest he has some work to do on defense. In terms of what I read about him in various scouting reports, he has a nice bat and strikezone judgment, little power and some questions about his defense.

This, and his place on various prospect lists, led me to conclude that he's not as good a prospect as McCann and Martin, which is what one poster asserted. If you have a different view I'd love to hear it.

I expect Werth to be in the 5 hole tonight, with Ibanez batting 6th.

I'd hate to be an advocate for a Tony LaRussa idea, but I wouldn't be opposed to moving the pitcher to #8 and batting Victorino 9th. The way he's been hitting, it won't make much of a difference, but at least it puts a bit more speed on the bases for the top of the order when he does get on base.

Jason Knapp today out after 7: 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 3 HBP, 14 K. 0-0 No decision.

According to Baseball Prospectus, the Phillies are 10th in the majors in complacency right now. But they've also played only 11 games which is the least in the majors. On a per game average, their complacency actually ranks 5th in the majors. And even that is a bit misleading, since their roster includes Ibanez and Park, who didn't win WFCs last year and, hence, have no reason to be complacent. Ibanez is the 4th least complacent player in the majors right now & Park is the 8th least complacent player. If you removed these 2 players from the roster, the Phillies would be 2nd in the majors -- behind only the Rays -- in complacency per 9 innings.

I need a link for that, BAP ;-)

BB: The link seems broken, for some reason.

Clout: Sounds pretty fair.

Come on guys, Marson's a .500 hitter. Surely we can sacrifice a little defense and experience for that kind of production. He's no Chad Durbin...but then who is?

This is from PhillyTurkey:

Hamels to Adopt Kendrick
April 21, 2009 – Phillies ace Cole Hamels yesterday revealed that he and his wife, Heidi Strobel, were looking to add a third member to their family: Lehigh Valley IronPigs pitcher Kyle Kendrick. “We were looking to adopt from Malawi, but the rules over there are really restrictive,” said Hamels, 25, of the impoverished African nation, which requires that adoptive parents live in the country for 18 to 24 months. “But Heidi and I are totally committed to giving a better life to someone less fortunate. And who’s had it tougher than poor little Kyle?”

Kendrick, 24, once projected as a mainstay of the Phillies rotation—but now languishing in the rugged wasteland of triple-A—seemed cheered by the star’s benevolence. “It would be very nice, to live with them,” he said shyly at his mud-encrusted locker, gnats buzzing around his eyes. “Please, Cole… please to take me away from this place.” IronPigs manager Dave Huppert seemed touched by the display. “I would be most unglad to see Kyle go,” he admitted, chewing on a fatty hunk of goat meat in his dimly-lit, spear-filled office. “But the poor fellow has had a difficult time, truly… and I don’t see things getting very much better for him here.”

Critics, meanwhile, wondered why Hamels and Strobel were looking to adopt so far afield. “There are so many in the Philadelphia area who need to feel loved and cared for—why go all the way to Allentown?” asked PA Adopt’s Teri Willingham. “Why not adopt a member of the [Camden] Riversharks, for example? Most of them won’t ever make it [in the majors], either.” Hamels, though, seemed determined to take the suffering, noodle-armed righty into his home. “Kyle will never know what it’s like to be a bona fide stud, or to have people wear shirts with his name on the back,” he said, pursing his lips as he fought back tears. “We may not be able to give that to him… but we’ll give him a chance to be close to it. It’s all we can do.”

MIL has had a rough start (4-8, against SFG, CHC, CIN, and NYM) and is batting .224/.315/.397 as a team. Their team ERA is 5.16 (13th in the NL).

Parra has had a rough start of it himself (0-2, against CIN and SFG).

CIN: 6 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 HR, 4 BB, 4 SO, 6-10 GB-FB
SFG: 4.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 3 SO, 6-10 GB-FB.

Although he has faired much better against RHB than LHB in his career, his splits so far this year are much different.

LHB: .429/.556/.714 (only 7 AB)
RHB: .188/.278/.344 (only 32 AB)

not sure what that's all about.

MIL relievers are 13th in OPS against, 14th in WHIP (1.66), 15th in K/BB, in the early going. Coffey and DeFelice have pitched well. They are both righties. Mitch Stetter is their only leftie in the pen as far as I can tell from B-R.com. In 3 IP his WHIP is 3, and from his career numbers he's effective against lefties but has control problems:

RHB: .200/.388/.350
LHB: .167/.318/.278

Phils haven't really faced Stetter, or Parra for that matter. Parra faced the Phils once in each of the last two years and has taken the loss both times (in 07 in relief). In 08 he started and didn't make it out of the 2d inning:

Those September days in 2008

9/13/2008: 1.1 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 3 BB, 3 SO

So lets see....Cholly, who's in the clubhouse everyday, says he sees complacency on his team with some players. But, he doesn't really have any specific players in mind.

And besides, Cholly's observation cannot be correct in the first place, because it cannot be objectively measured and published as a statistic.

Therefore, this topic is something that should not be discussed on a Phillies blog.

Bonehead - It's only a joke. Chill out. These sorts of rumblings have been discussed on BL as far back as the Howard Eskin incident, and probably much much farther. This entire thread is full of such talk with a few people noting the solid offensive play to this point and directing our attention to the game tonight.

TUESDAY, JUNE 28, 2005

One part passion, two parts performance

Balancing heart, skill, other.

"An ongoing concept being revisited is the idea the Phils play without passion, focus and determination, which was the subject of Todd Zolecki’s morning Inquirer article. We’ve read this piece twice this season going on a hundred."

It goes on.

clout - that is hilarious.

sophist: My impression of Parra from last year was that he was a reverse lefty who was hit harder by lefties than righties, but his career numbers say different:

vs. RH .282/.359/.410
vs. LH .233/.311/.373

Mac: I always thought that if I had the opportunity to be a ML player,I would be a true team player and do what was asked of me,but if my manager batted me 9th,I would probably just walk out.

Bonehead: Geez, man, lighten up. How do you know I wasn't making fun of stat-heads for believing that, if it can't be measured, it doesn't exist? In actuality, I wasn't making fun of anyone; I was merely trying to amuse myself. With no game last night, there isn't much baseball to discuss today.

BAP: I thought your post was great. Very informative. You mean there isn't really a complacency stat? A lot of thin skin around here today huh?

In limited appearances, the Moyer/MIL matchup does not favor our leftie:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/shareit/rdRD

bap - there is a price to be paid for amusing yourself in public.

Brewers vs. Phils - series of the crappy starting pitching? Always wondered how the pundits liked the Brewers to have a good season again this year and contend for a playoff start when they lose their top 2 starters from last year and came into the season with less bullpen options/depth including a huge question mark at closer. One of the teams I took "under" at 85 wins before the season began.

MG - I agree, although I'd give them an edge tonight. Those numbers against Moyer are scary.

Actually, maybe the Phils have an edge. If both teams have crappy starting pitching, it may be more about the bullpen.

"Actually, maybe the Phils have an edge. If both teams have crappy starting pitching, it may be more about the bullpen."

but the brew crew has RJ Swindle!!

MG:

You forgot the rule of pundits: Pick the defending champions, unless the Mets finished second again, then pick them

Sophist - Yeah. The Brewers' bullpen is pretty damn mediocre right now with Riske and Hoffman on the DL. Since the only other lefty in the pen is Mike Stetter, there is a good chance we will see Swindle too as a LOOGY at least once this series.

I will miss not seeing Ned Yost though in the Brewers dugout. It was always fun to have a manager in the opposing dugout who made even more headstratching decisions than Cholly. No more Ned Yost to kick around (although the Rockies still have Clint Hurdle thankfully and the Giants have Bruce Bochy).

Mitch Stetter. I am a diehard baseball junkie and even I couldn't tell you anything about Mitch Stetter except that his name sounds like a factitious name of a frat house guy in a movie.

It's those "crappy" pitchers that usually make our bats look like t.p. rolls.

Ned Yost. One of the Phils MVP last year.

Sophist - It was amazing to watch some managerial moves in the Brewers-Phils games last year including that epic sweep which ultimately cost Yost his job and propelled the Phils into the playoffs.

Why do I feel like Stetter has some good stuff?

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