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Friday, May 22, 2009

Comments

Well, to stay on topic here, the BP is pitching well, and desrve the praise thay get.

I shudder to think how good this team can be if they get even average SP, or at least consistently get a couple starts a week where the SP goes deep into a game.

JW, actually when one thinks about it a little, the Phils, having built depth with Majewski, Koplove and Taylor being stashed in Allentown, have the ability to give the pen a break a few more times this season by carrying an extra pitcher.

AWH, you saw how good they can be last Ocotber.

I know it has been talked about before, but any chance the Phils go after Peavy? Now we know exactly what it takes to get him. Carrasco and Happ should be enough, they are comparable to Poreda and Richard. Is that giving up too much for a 28-year-old pitcher who's best years may already be behind him? Is the money too much of an issue?

I'm just thinking a rotation of Hamels, Peavy, Myers, Moyer, Blanton is pretty freakin awesome (assuming Moyer and Blanton turn it around).

I usually am one to criticize the glorification of the yanks/sox, especailly with the trophy belonging to Philly, but I must admit I am pretty excited about this series in the Bronx.

I have plenty of faith in Hamels and even think that Happ can get by for at least 5 innings, but I am very iffy on what the hell Myers is going to unleash at the new launching pad that is new Yankee stadium.

re: I told you so...

I've always been an Ibanez supporter and dont bother with the lame finger pointing, but for everyone who was on the wrong side of the argument (so far) its probably best to just ignore and not respond because the way Raul is playing, there is nothing you can argue that would make you even sound 1/12 right.

phaithful, no one is displeased at the way Raul is playing.

In fact, I believe ALL welcome it.

The argument was never about whether Ibanez was a good player. He is. It was acknowledged then even by the naysayers, and he has proven it thus far this season.

The argument regarding Ibanez was about:

1) Whether the team needed another LH bat in the lineup - whether it was a good fit?

2) Whether the length of the contract and the dollars involved would prove to be an albatross in years 2 and 3?


So let's take a look at it today:

Ibanez is hitting waaaay above his career norms. Is he likely to continue this for the rest of the season?

Is he likely to continue this type of htting is years two and three?

Ibanez has been - so far - a great addition to the team, but the jury is obviously still out on these questions.

One wonders what people will say if he slumps, regresses and hits only .270 for the season?

It's still way to early in his contract for any mature, secure person to be gloating and saying "I told you so".

Re: Ibanez

I can't remember a free-agent signing ever having as much of an immediate impact on any Philadelphia team.

Not that I was a huge Ibanez supporter before the season, but this sort of seems like exactly the time to be gloating and saying 'I told you so.'

I really shouldn't pile on mvptommy's silly post from the last thread since several other posters have already exposed its flaws, but I will add one overlooked item: Even with Ibanez's torrid start and Burrell's injury-plagued slow start, Burrell STILL has better career numbers on offense (OPS+ of 118 to 115). Tommy will say that stats don't count, of course, except when he uses them.

timr: "I can't remember a free-agent signing ever having as much of an immediate impact on any Philadelphia team."

I'd say Lance Parrish and Danny Tartabull had a pretty immediate impact on the Phillies, although not in a good way.

re: 100 RBIs

Although Chase is now the 2 hole hitter so it makes it a bit different:

Utley has been the main #3 hitter for this lineup the last three years. From 06-08, his expected RBI was:

2006: 83.6
2007: 81.3
2008: 85.6

* note that # of ABs matter, so his 07 number is lower than expected

If Ibanez stays in the 3 hole all year long, then he should have a great shot to grab 100+ RBIs.

And if he keeps up what hes doing right now, he could play for the Padres and bat ninth, and still get 100+

clout, true, and if tommy boy were getting a grade on his use of stats, he would receive an "Incomplete".

I'll say it again: Ibanez has beeb GREAT so far - better than good.

But we're barely past 1/4 of the season.

leviculus tomas preur

Also let repeat my comments from a couple weeks ago about Worley:

"Worley, as I've said before, I like. You'll get no complaints from me. The Phillies have improved his mechanics and his 4-seam fastball is now more consistently in the 92-94 area. That's his best pitch and like Drago says, it's better than anything KK has. His secondary pitches (slider and change) are improving, although nothing special. He is very tough when he gets ahead in the count, and very hittable when he doesn't. He's not a slam dunk by any means."

I don't think you'll be seeing him in The Show anytime soon, but if you live in the Lehigh Valley you should be seeing him by mid-summer.

Re Peavy the risk reward in trading prospects for expensive pitchers is attrocious. Got every Shilling their are 2 Freddy Garcia'a

from previous thread re: Ibanez-

"There was no way to anticipate he'd be hitting .341 against left handed pitching this year."

Correction: YOU didn't anticipate he would be hitting that well. The elite didn't anticipate that we would perform as well as he had. Tommy did.

If Ibanez were struggling, you all would be crowing about how right you are and that Tommy is "Sir Alden" or some such nonsense. However, when you are proven wrong, you backpedal with the "no one could have predicted..." argument, followed by the "do you expect that he'll keep this up all season" argument (something I've been hearing since the second week in April, and all last season about Tampa, for that matter).

That would make his pre-season assessment correct and JW, Clout, etc... wrong. Far be it from any elite posters to admit that baseball is more than the numbers that they copy and paste. When they're right, they're right, and when they're wrong, they'll spin it to give the illusion that they're right.

For all the "Sir Alden" talk about front office apologists, I find that BL has FAR more regular posters who will bemoan anything that the front office does, whether or not it turns out well. Reminds me of "Comic Book Guy" of Simpsons fame. I can't wait until the Phillies make their annual mid-level SP trade so I can scroll down through the predictable responses of sabermetrics and ridiculous arguments that all seem to sound exactly the same: "I'm a balding, overweight internet fan on the internet who knows more about this game than Ed Wade, Pat Gillick, Ruben Amaro and anyone other professional who does this for a living."

p.Red: The deal that was on the table that Peavy vetoed (because he wants to stay in the NL) was him for Clayton Richard, Aaron Poreda and two lesser prospects.

Richard is a lefty innings-eater type with an excellent sinker who the Sox have mostly been using in relief. Poreda is one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, a lefty who can throw 100 mph. He also has a power slider, but those are his only 2 pitches. He may not need more. He's got a K/9 of 9.8 in AA.

I think the Phils could match that offer with Carrasco and Happ (or Knapp) and 2 lesser prospects.

Jake Peavy will refuse a trade to the Philles. Period. He has a full no trade clause and has publically stated he will not go to the east coast.

Moving on...

Condrey has probably been the MVP of the entire pitching staff to this point. Used to be seeing him in a game would inspire the minimum of confidence, but now he's turned into a consistently solid option and helped provide a dimension to this team that few in baseball can boast: competent middle relief.

clout: whats more important to the 09 phillies - Burrell's career OPS of 118 over Ibanez's 115, or Ibanez triple crown contending charge from opening day until now?

Mac Tonight: Did I miss something? Has the season been shortened to 39 games? Don't we play 162? Your post is as silly as tommy's victory declaration.

Jeremy: the number of prospects who fail outweigh the number of proven starters who fail by 100 fold. You couldn't be more wrong.

Trading for Peavy isn't a slamdunk or anything, but to say that the handful of prospects you give up have a better success rate than the frontline starter you acquire - is attrocious

thephaithful: That wasn't what tommy said. He declared Ibanez the better hitter. Period. Not just this year so far.

Its is a little over 6 weeks into the season so let's calm down about Ibanez. Ibanez isn't going to hit 60 HRs+ just as JRoll would be at .230 when the season ends.

I will say though the power burst from Ibanez has been unexpected and a really pleasant surprise. A .280 AVG with 20-25 HRs would be a solid season but if Ibanez can hit around 35 HRs he suddenly becomes one of the best slugging LFs in the NL (and maybe MLB). Basically he goes from being a pretty good offensive player to an All-Star caliber LF.

Ibanez's power though is notoriously streaky as USS Mariner and others have well documented. Very easy for him to go 4-5 weeks and only hit 1-2 HRs. Bearing injury, it is a pretty safe bet that Ibanez will end hitting 30 HRs and the only question is does he suddenly become one of the league leaders in HR and .SLG among LFs in MLB.

clout: Thanks for the info. Is Poreda rated more highly than Carrasco?

CJ: I had heard he doesn't want to leave the NL, not anything about not wanting to leave the West Coast. That means he only can be traded to the Dodgers and Giants, maybe D-Backs? Seems kinda strange.

Jeremy: I don't know. On one hand, if Carrasco turns out to be a stud and Happ is a decent starter for the next 5-10 years than obviously it is a bad deal. But Carrasco could never live up to his potential and Happ could end up a younger version of Chan Ho Park. You never know. Peavy is no Freddy Garcia though, that is for sure.

Well so far in 2009 Ibanez is the better hitter - by far. That is much more important to the Phillies winning games this season, which is this biggest thing I care about right now.

I don't understand this argument over Ibanez. When they first signed him everyone including me thought what a waste (his age); but he is here now and its clear he is hitting at a torrid pace.
Just what is the difference between OPS + 118 and 115 anyway? Burrell was often good until the all star break--but never as good as Ibanez has been thus far. And I stress thus far. Ibanez seems to be a much more versatile hitter and there is no comparison between the two on the field or running around the basis. I think the nay sayers (that means you Clout) should simply lay off until "I told you so" time. Can we move on.

The thing that amazes me though about this team for the past several years has been the amount of raw power they have. While power numbers have gradually declined the past few season, the Phils' power numbers have remained constant.

We pretty much take it for granted that this team will end up with 200 HRs every year. Part of it is playing in CBP (and some of the national dopes act like any flyball hit at CBP will go out) but the reality is that this team has generally had average or well above average power at at just about every position on the field the past several years.

Even this year you have two corner OFs who are likely each going to hit at least 25+ HRs, a CF who will hit close to 15 HRs, a 2nd who will hit 25-30 HRs, a 1B who will hit close to 40 HRs. Only position that they have really below average power numbers might be at 3B (Feliz hasn't hit for much power) and slightly below C (a position largely devoid of power right now in the MLB).

Lots of things make this offense go but it is the raw power that really makes it a force just about every year when you look at the runs scored category.

All this Ibanez v Burrell talk has me wanting to go back in time and talk about Helms v Dobbs v Feliz. That was a great 2 months of debate. Then we can discuss the Abreu trade again as well. These are all topics I would LOVE to read about over and over and over again.
If this were Mets Blog they would have turned the comments section off by now.

Mac, you're bucking to make it a Quartet.

Do you and tommy have ANY reading comprehension skills?

Did you read what I posted above?

The objections to Ibanez revolved around his age, length of contract, and whether another LH bat was good for the lineup.

I'll repeat:

The objections to Ibanez revolved around his age, length of contract, and whether another LH bat was good for the lineup.


NO ONE said he wasn't a good player. Take a look - you won't find that statement anywhere from anyone.

The way you and tommy boy are crowing it looks like you think he'll hit .341 vs LHP all year. Do you?

If not, then what do you think he'll hit?

For him to revert to norm vs. LHP do you know what he'll hit the rest of the season vs. LHP?

Do the math and project out the numbers - the numbers you come up with are likely to disappoint you.

Before Ibanez is exalted as the greatest FA signing ever, remember when Flash had that great 1st half his first season here?

Then got hurt and preceded to generally put up mediocre numbers/spend a ton of time on the DL for the remainder of his 2 1/2 years here. He basically gave the Phils maybe 5-6 decent months of production over a 3-year contract.

Ibanez isn't nearly the same injury risk that Flash was but big reason why his numbers have been so flashy have been the impressive power numbers he is putting up. It is very uncommon for a hitter in his late 30s to suddenly exhibit a great power surge and a corner OF who hits .280 but has below average power/defensive liability isn't someone you pay $10M/year.

I agree that the Ibanez discussion is lame. I liked the signing and thought Ibanez gave the Phils a different skill set than Burrell that suited the deficiencies in their lineup, but the 'I told you so' crowing is obnoxious. Similarly, the defensive responses go too far in the other direction, as if the massive production Ibanez has produced has no meaning. We should all agree on two things:

1) this signing looks a whole lot better than it did 4 months ago, and

2) there is still a long way to go on a 3 year contract

Lets hope Ibanez hits like this for all 3 years and MVPTommy can be awarded his BL debate merit badge and wear it all around the town and tell people how prescient he was.

What I want to know is if Blanton is going to be able to get through a start without hitting the wall at 60 pitches or so. I loved how Utley after the game said that Blanton was great the first 4 innings and then ran into a "bit of trouble." 5 runs in an inning and nearly giving up a 6-0 lead is just more than a "bit of trouble." More like blowing out a tire and careening off the road at 50 MPH an hour.

I bet that Happ can give the Phils at least medicore numbers (ERA of 4.50-5) out of the 5th starter spot and the Phils can even afford for Moyer to be barely passable as a starter if their bullpen remains strong/they carry 12 pitchers.

This team though can't afford for Blanton to pitch as poorly as he has and chew up the bullpen in the process. Reasonable expectation is probably about a 4.50 ERA with around 6 IP/start. Blanton hasn't even come close to that and really has been one of the worst starters in the NL. Somehow Blanton is only 2-3 and the Phils are actually 5-3 in his starts because they largely have scored a ton of runs in most of his crappy starts. On a poor offensive team, Blanton likely would be 1-5 or 1-6 right now.

In fact, if Ibanez is clearly the MVP of this team so far then Blanton is the LVP. This team can get by with mediocre numbers from Happ & Moyer but they need Blanton to step up. If not, they are going to be a starter short most of the summer and need to score at a ridiculous rate to make the playoffs again.

This team has an ERA of 5.33 and yet they are still 5 games above .500 and in first place. Then again, if this offense keeps bludgeons most opposing teams like they have so far (and keep on the '07 team's pace to score around 900 runs) it likely won't matter how medicore the pitching is for the most of he summer.

The people crowing on hear about Ibanez are doing so not because they were necessarily "right", but because of the way they were ridiculed and emasculated for thinking it was a good signing in the first place. So instead of coming back and saying "you idiots, it's a short sample, means nothing, long contract, blah blah blah", try something like "It's early, but I'm pleasantly surprised, and I MAY HAVE BEEN WORNG". That would be completely disarming, and this stupid banter would be over. However, just as some on here are completely incapable of understanding logical arguments (opinions formulated through factual analysis), others are completely incapable of even alluding to the fact that they may have been wrong. Both sides need to get over themselves.

AWH: On your point of "whether another LH bat was good for the lineup", a concern I shared, has anyone seen anything on lineup balance to know if it matters? If your overall run differential is the same, does it matter if you destroyed righties and struggled against lefties or if you were roughly even versus both? Thinking again, I doubt it does. If Ibanez goes back to career norms and we go back to splitting him and Howard with Werth, then the loogy issue becomes minimized. And if he keeps hitting like an MVP, then the loogy issue is irrelevant.

How quickly they forget.

I believe it was AWH who, during the off season, explained to me that age is a better predictor of future health than conditioning and past health.

Notice that Ibanez is playing in the field everyday while Burrell broke down DHing.

And so much for the bogus claim that the only arguments made against the Ibanez signing were his contract and his being LH.

The arguments were made in the context of Burrell-lovers being blinded by their manlove.

And other are completely unable to spell correctly...WRONG not WORNG!

"Everyday Clay" has a nice rhyme to it but Condrey's arm is seriously going to fall off sometime after the ASB if he keeps pitching at this pace.

Numbers to keep in mind for the Yanks' series:
116
122

The first is the most pitches Petitte has thrown in a start. The second is the most Sabathia has thrown. Their bullpen is incredibly right-handed.

Since their bullpen is mostly RHPs, it may be beneficial to not send down the extra relief pitcher. Especially because the Yanks hitters have an absolutely sick ability to make pitchers work. The team P/PA is 3.91 so far. Something like four or five guys in the line-up are over 4.0.

Our bullpen will be used this weekend. Even if the starters do well.

So what is the lineup going to look like this weekend? I assume Stairs is DHing. Something like this maybe?

1. Rollins SS
2. Utley 2B
3. Ibanez LF
4. Howard 1B
5. Werth RF
6. Stairs DH
7. Victorino CF
8. Feliz 3B
9. Ruiz C

The arguing over who was 'right' on Ibanez is only slightly more tolerable than an entire thread of illiterate Met fans. Please stop already.

p. Red: Peavy has stated a preference to stay in the National League and also to play in "middle america or the west coast." Dodgers and Cubs top his list.

The other bullpen factor is that Aceves, the good Yanks RH with reverse splits has pitched 5.1 innings in the last two days, including 3.1 yesterday. Bruney has been good against both side of the plate, and Tomko's done well in just a little action.

The best thing the Phils could do tonight is make the starter work and make Joe burn some bullpen. Patience is important.

My inner cynic expects the first three batters to swing at the first three pitches.

Jimmy swing at the first pitch? Where do you come up with these wild fantasies Andy?

CJ - You don't think Peavy'd give a waiver to the WFCs?

If I knew that I'd be backed by a very good defensive team, which happens to be one of the premier offensive teams? I would at least think about it.

Plus, from a New York perspective (more mine than his), Philadelphia IS "middle America."

Andy: Ibanez wont' swing at the first pitch. He will hit 4 home runs off the first pitch he sees.

CJ
Here is the picture do go with my "middle America" assertion.

Careful, phaithful, sarcasm will only get you inducted into the Soggy Old Blanket Hall of Fame.

khaiokien - ...and run out to the right field bleachers, catch them in his teeth and spit them out at the pitcher.

Andy - it looks like you realize the awesomeness of Ibanez as well. Welcome to the dark side.

clout: Oh ok. I thought limiting it to just West Coast NL teams was a bit restricting. Still, I'm with Andy, I think he would at least seriously consider playing for the Phils. Assuming he wants to contend for a championship. Unless he really doesn't want to pitch at CBP.

I don't know how well Peavy would react to the pressure of playing in a city that's serious about winning. His career playoff numbers aren't all that inspiring, either, but it is a small sample size. Even with the jump he'd make in ERA coming to CBP, he's still better than 4/5 of our starting rotation.

RSB - it isn't only an argument about who was "right" on Ibanez.

It's also about the propensity of certain BLers to inflate their own sense of self-worth by calling other posters "idiots" because they have different opinions.

In certainly never thought that Ibanez was going to have this kind of a start - so I don't know that I was "right" except when I pointed out the flaws in the logic of the Burrell-lovers.

I had no idea what a good hitter Ibanez is in terms of his approach at the plate. Regardless of the results, he does everything you'd want a hitter to do when he's at the plate. Hits situationally. Goes with the pitch when he's down in the count. Works deep into counts yet remains aggressive. Etc.

In re: calling other posters "idiots"

There is much more of a tendency on this board toward calling posts idiotic, than there is to use ad hominem attacks. It would be interesting to do a comparison of which of the "sides" in the debate spent more time getting personal and which denigrated the post.

Phlipoper: yeah, I know. But wasn't this all laid on the table last week? And the week before?

I think he would consider it, the bigger problem is that the Phillies probably don't want to take on that salary. Although who knows - 30+ million is coming off the books next season, with about 26 million of that from Myers, Eaton, and Jenkins. Throw in a possible Moyer retirement and there's suddenly a decent amount of money to play with...

Fair enough, RSB.

Andy: I don't mean to argue semantics here, but when someone calls someone else's post idiotic, it's really the same thing as calling the poster idiotic. The posts are an extension of the poster and therefore part and parcel to the experience.

I just think there's a better way to argue without ever resorting to using words like idiot, stupid, retarded, etc.

For what its worth, ZiPS updates its projections for its players with a certain amount of regularity. They take their original projections, based on age, past success, etc. and then modify that with the player's stats this year to determine what to expect for the rest of the year. They still see Ibanez's OPS dropping 200 points to .940, which while still outstanding would require quite a long slump to get him down there. While unlikely, it's not out of the question that older players simply have career years - see Jamie Moyer last year. Of course, the predictive value of such aberrations are questionable, meaning that a really good year from Ibanez this year doesn't mean that he's going to have a really good - or even pretty good - year next year, especially given questions about his age - see Jamie Moyer this year. That being said, a lot of his success this year is driven by him hitting about 1/4th of his fly balls out of the park. The move from Seattle to CBP was obviously a big help in this regard, but it's almost certainly unsustainable given his track record. Only really, really good power hitters get it out of the park that frequently. Even Pujols hasn't broken that mark over the course of a season.

"There is much more of a tendency on this board toward calling posts idiotic,"

Sorry, Andy - that kind of reasoning is why I call clout a weasel. Of course, not infrequently he slips up and out and out insults people - but hiding behind the "I only said his opinion was idiotic, I didn't actually call him an idiot" whine is laughable and juvenile.

First - there's a clear implication that when you call someone's post "idiotic" you're also calling the poster a weasel. Especially when you do it over and over. Second, regardless, the context frequently shows that the disingenuous insulter doesn't understand the distinction between opinion and fact.

If someone doesn't agree with an opinion, they just say they disagree and why. If someone is interested in inflating their sense of self, they call someone else's opinion 'idiotic." If someone has balls, they just go ahead and call the other person an idiot. If someone is a weasel, they imply that the person is an idiot, and then say "Well, I never ACTUALLY called you an idiot, I only implied it."

At the end of May, 2008 Aaron Rowand was hitting .335 with an OBP over .400 and an OPS of .932. Beerleaguers, including I, were lamenting how much we missed his bat in our lineup. Rowand ended up hitting .271 with a .339 OBP and an OPS .46 pts below his career average of .795. This year, he's hitting .270 with 4 homeruns, and it's the Giants who are lamenting that they are stuck with him for 3 1/2 more years, at $12M per year.

So, what's my point? My point is that it is not a matter of people refusing to admit they were wrong over Raul Ibanez. It's that no one has been proved wrong yet. Raul Ibanez will not have to hit .341 with 60 homers in order for me to admit I was wrong. He will merely have to hit to career norms both this year and next. If he does that, we will have gotten our money's worth, regardless of what happens in Year 3.

For the record, I have been wrong on plenty of personnel decisions and have happily admitted it (i.e., Jayson Werth, Joe Blanton, Chad Durbin,
Wes Helms). I've also been right from time to time (i.e., the Lidge trade, the Romero signing, saying they should let Moyer go after last year, believing that Miguel Cairo was an inadeuqate bench player). And when I was proved right on these things, you didn't see me typing a long, gloating post ridiculing those who were wrong -- even though Mac Tonight was sorely deserving of ridicule for believing that Miguel Cairo "would be fine" as the right-handed bat off the bench.

Sorry - I meant "....you're actually calling the poster an idiot...."

Once again, tacit assumptions about the effects of Ibanez age, based on averages, are questionable.

Ibanez is an outlier. His conditioning are exceptional - as proven by his durability.

How I long for the days of Feliz/Dobbs debates but there isn't much of one with Feliz hitting .300 (and hitting well against RHP) and Dobbs generally MIA offensively.

Stuff that actually matters:

Chien-Ming Wang activated, available for long relief tonight.

Let's hope the Yankees run him out there in an Utley/Ibanez/Howard inning.

Re: Peavey
The thing I don't see anyone mentioning in this thread is that the Phils have always been allergic to paying huge money @ extended years for pitchers. I don't see there's any way the Phils would want to pick up that contract, considering their history and where their payroll is at. Plus, if he came here, he'd still have the NTC (?).

"I believe it was AWH who, during the off season, explained to me that age is a better predictor of future health than conditioning and past health."

Ummmm, phlipper, you are proving once again why you are a Trio member.

Please find where I posted that and get back to me. Otherwise, you'll be inventing things............

ok to add on to the Ibanez debate, does anyone have a comparison to Burrell's best 40 game stretch? And does it come close to what Ibanez is doing now? not that I care either way I believe in numbers and instincts and as long as this team keeps playing and winning like this i won't care if Ibanez finishes the season hitting .208. I just think it would be interesting to look at Pat's best 40 games as a phil vs. what Ibanez is doing now.

phlipper: My gripe was never with those who supported the Ibanez deal. There were sound reasons for believing that Ibanez would be a better fit for our team than Burrell. I didn't necessarily agree with all of those reasons, but there was certainly a rational case to be made, and there were those who made that case rationally.

My objection was (and still is) to the intellectual dishonesty of the argument that "Stats don't prove anything" -- which, for some reason, was a popular line of argument that emerged during the Ibanez-Burrell debate. Having a baseball argument in which you assert that stats are meaningless is like saying, "This house is a great deal," only to later say, "Price is meaningless" after being told that the house is actually $200,000 more than all its comps. What you're saying, in essence, is, "I like this house. Don't bother me with the facts."

Stats are the way we measure performance in baseball. You can't even have a debate over the merits of Player A versus Player B WITHOUT reference to stats. If stats don't prove anything, then please tell me what DOES?

Of course, even the "Stats don't mean anything" crowd doesn't really mean what they say since they, themselves, used stats to argue that Ibanez was better than Burrell. When the other side responded by pointing to other stats, they went into their "Don't bother me with stats" mode, instead of addressing the argument on its merits.

MVPTommy & MacTonight were never ridiculed for supporting the Raul Ibanez signing. They were ridiculed for their method of argument: that stats don't matter, and that, "We're WFC, so you can't possibly question anything that management does."

For the record...

I have been correct on my opinion of EVERY Phillies personnel decision. And I also predicted 92 wins last year.

When do I get my award?

In terms of Ibanez in this whole debate, I think the main thing to remember is it's not just the player's performance, but their performance in respect to their salary. Since players like Burrell and Abreu were also signed this offseason and are making 1/2 to 1/3 of Ibanez's salary, it is not fair to just say that Ibanez is better than the comparables, but if his performance relative to his contract is better than their performances relative their contracts.

I'll admit that at the moment it looks like I was wrong saying that Raul Ibanez was not the right fit, he has been a great chemistry guy and not been effective against left handed hitting. I'm also man enough to admit stuff I've gotten right and wrong. I bought into Park's spring performance, I was wrong about Taguchi, Jenkins, Madson being a lock down reliever, Kendrick being a legit starter for years to come. But I think I was right about a whole lot more, with things like Blanton, Werth, Dobbs, Myers not being done, Happ's viability, Lidge, etc. Nobody on Beerleaguer calls everyone right and nobody's always wrong, it's just about using logic to make your opinions as educated as possible. When people use logic to make predictions that turn out to be better than mine, I love to give credit. I just don't like people taking credit for opinions that never had a semblance of logic with them.

Brian:

Pat Burrell's first 39 games in 2008
305/438/609/1.048, 9 HR, 31 RBI

Raul Ibanez's first 39 games in 2009
349/410/724/1.134, 15 HR, 40 RBI

Clearly Ibanez's stretch is better, but not outrageously so.

Brian:

In 2007, Pat Burrell had this 39 game stretch:

290/392/674/1.065, 15 HR, 37 RBI

vs. Raul's this year

349/410/724/1.134, 15 HR, 40 RBI

So, yes, Burrell has had similar stretches in his career, and in just the last two seasons.

AWH - apology extended. No need to search - I'll take your word for it.

But it was one of the Burrell-lovers who did so - and who typically only looked at one side of an argument to tip the equation, formulated an opinion, and declared it as "fact."

Just like they ignored the specifics of what constitutes and OPS average (i.e., to what extent is it comprised of hits vs. walks, and what that means for a #5 hitter with weak hitters to follow), or the advantages of LH hitters against 2/3 - 3/4 of the league starters, or the lack of LH closers around the league, or the fact that the way Cholly handled Burrell would continue to deplete the bench, etc.

Which are all attributes of the Ibanez/Burrell debate that you failed to mention in your summary.

CJ: Flipside of those stats--what about Burrell's and Ibanez' slumps? How bad was the worst stretch for each?

I'm not so naive to think that Raul will keep this up all year without a slump; just about every hitter in baseball is streaky, save maybe Ramirez and Pujols.

Thanks for the info CJ I did kind of think that, I think many people lose the fact that for the first 40 games last year Pat carried the team. I'm not taking away from Ibanez but I think this arguement is one of those things where both sides have some valid points and need to recognize that...

It is interesting though with the numbers you show, how similar Ibanez and Burrell actually were at the plate... thanks again CJ!

phlipper, please read above where I said Ibanez has been a great addition .......so far.

Let me be clear: WE ALL love the way the guy is playing. But some posters here act like he's going to hit .341 vs. LHP all season. If they think so - they should say so. If they don't think so or are not willing to stick their necks out, then maybe they should wait until the end of the season - or the end of Raul's contract - before they verbally strut around lick pompous asses.

We're not even finished 1/4 of the season and people seem to be annointing him the second coming of Ted Williams.


Sheesh.

Umm, that should say "like" pompous asses.

BAP - There is a distinction to be made between "stats don't matter," and "stats are selectively used by some people to justify opinions and assert that they are facts."

I think the perfect example of that is that clout is still using OPS as a blanket measure to compare Burrell and Ibanez - without considering what the specific metrics of the respective OPS's are and how those metrics are relevant to the context of hitting #5 in the Phils' lineup.

I'm just repeating myself, but (1) OPS is a less relevant stat for comparing #5 hitters than, say, leadoff or #1 or #2 hitters because it weighs a walk and a run-delivering base hit equally and - not to say it isn't relevant, only that it has that weakness and, (2) we saw many instances in the past where Burrell would at least look like he was intent on getting a walk - even with runners on base - only to see weak hitters that followed him fail to knock runners in, hit into double plays, etc. In those cases, I'd rather have a #5 hitter whose OPS might be equivalent or somewhat lower, but who built his OPS on hits as opposed to walks.

Alright. I agree. I'm sick of this discussion too.

MG made an interesting point about Flash Gordon - he was awesome for his first half year and then fell off the shelf - WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE FIRST MONTH OR TWO OF THE SEASON LAST YEAR - THE YEAR THE PHILLIES WON THE WORLD SERIES.

I was never a huge Gordon fan, but I find it funny how people forget that Madson didn't come on until part way through last year - it was actually Tom Gordon who did a great job setting up Lidge in the beginning of last year until he got hurt. The horrible thing is that if Gordon would have shown up to the ring ceremony he would have gotten booed. He was part of the reason they got there.

In re: Idiocy
I will admit that I am disinclined to call even anyone's post idiotic, for the most part. I try to be civil in my discourse, even with those with whom I disagree.

I reserve the beerleaguer right, however, to denigrate, insult, and otherwise defame any Mets' trolls who drool on our site. It's sort of personal.

Andy: Well, trolls are a beast of an entirely different nature. They come on here with the intention of getting called an idiot and they usually succeed.

The one thing being left out of the Ibanez / Burrel argument is that it was said by many that Ibanez's fielding in left is no better than Pat's. I'd never seen Ibanez. My observation is that I've seen him get to at least a few balls Pat would've never gotten to. I also saw him play one ball he should've let bounce into a triple. But on the balance, I'd say he's a better defensive outfielder that Pat - so that has to be factored in as well.

Gordon helped out late in 2007 too.

Yo, new thread

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