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Tuesday, June 23, 2009


"The Rockies dont' have much going for them"? Yeah, only a 17-1 record in their last 18 games.

Even a blind squirrel yada yada.

Actually, you caught me in a rewrite. "Don't have a great deal..."

Yeah, the Rockies are only 1 Game worse than we are, and have a better run differential.

Which reminds me. We should start winning games sometime soon.

The ALS fundraiser by the Phillies yesterday was a great event. And thank you to the kind person that gave my daughter his ticket for Jayson Werth's autograph. You made her day!

Ok. Let's just forget I wrote that and move on to the bench.

AL Rules may help us in one way- maybe Howard can DH while he regains his health.
( I was going to say regains his strength but a center field PH HR wedged between 2 hospital trips makes me think his strength never left him.)


"Who's playing first in that lineup, tommy? Dobbs or Coste?"

To answer your question, Dobbs. Costey might throw out his back if he played 1st. Can't afford any more injuries.

JW: What do you want to discuss concerning the bench?

We have what we have. Dobbs is hopefully starting to pick it up, Bruntlett is here for defense, Stairs is here for the long ball, Bako is here until the Phillies trade for a starter, and Coste is here to be mediocre.

Wouldn't be surprised at all to see Coste involved in trade deals as a throw in.

MVP: Don't look now but you're having a discussion about the bench.

Where are you, Les Walrond?

The thing that is truely remarkable is how predictable this team is. They have stretches each year that are nearly identical.

Lose in April, 6 game skids in June during Interleague play. Then the 2nd half they come alive and go on ridiculous runs. Making minor tweaks to the roster along the way.

I still remember last year when everyone wanted bullpen help (Marte and Mahey were a couple names mentioned) then they get Blanton. Everyone has a "ehhh" reaction to the move. Then the guys comes in and goes 4-0, 9-4 in games he starts. Not to mention 2-0 in the playoffs and the Phillies were 3-0 in games he started.

With that being said, I expect to come out of this skid, resume a dominate 2nd half and to make a move at the deadline. Just it may not be the "popular" move, but it hopefully like last year will be the "right" move.

JW: No disrespect, but there is nothing to discuss. Was just listing the bench players roles and why we are stuck with what we got until next year. I know alot of BLers think there is not such thing as "roles" and theya re really interchangable. But in "Real Life" roles do exist in baseball.

I honestly think that Starting pitching and the health of Lidge is much more important.

When we discuss Ryan Howard's failures against left-handed pitching, MVPTommy tells us to discuss the team's real problems, like the bench. When we discuss the bench, he says, "What's to discuss? The bench is the bench." I think the only things he likes to discuss is how much he knows about baseball and how litle the "Beerleaguer Elite" knows.

Where's RJ Swindle when we need him?

We're in Yokohama and Nashville!

The Phillies used to be good at having a very competent and productive 4th OF readily available. David Delluci, Jason Michaels, Jeremy Giambi, even Victorino and then Werth. Now, we're hoping that one of Matt Stairs (far past his prime), or John Mayberry (will he have a prime?) will rise to the occasion.

Tommy: You can't count on the Phils to "resume a dominate 2nd half" just because it's happened the past two years.

They need a No. 2 starter, a resurgent Moyer, a better bench, and a deeper or healthier bullpen.

"We have what we have"

Does that mean we should stick with what we have? I hope not.

BAP: I have ALWAYS said that the Howard thing doesn't compare to the starting pitching. I said the bench is a problem, but a problem you can not fix.

List of Phillies Problems in order

1. Starting Pitching
2. Health
3. Bullpen
4. Bench

Jack: In Milwaukee. In 2009 he has a stellar 13.50 ERA, in 3 games and 2.2 Innings. Apparently, the Brew Crew saw enough and sent him back down.

With the "health" problem, that leads to "depth" issues, which tends to mean "bench".

mvp - Don't bench players have to be somewhat interchangeable by their nature? Isn't that Bruntlett's role on this team?

As for "being stuck," it will much easier to acquire a bench player (especially after the trading deadline) if needed than another starting pitcher.

"They need a No. 2 starter, a resurgent Moyer, a better bench, and a deeper or healthier bullpen."

A #2 starter, absolutely. A better bench,I honestly am ok with it besides Bruntlett. But he is here for defense. And a bullpen, I am 100% fine with. Again it comes down to roles, a dreaded word on BLer.

When Eyre and Lidge return, everyone will finally return to their 2008 roles.

The bench is a problem "you can not fix," Tommy?

How about if Bako and Bruntlett were sent packing and replaced with a righthanded 4th outfielder and a utility infielder who was an absolute threat to steal a bag?

Seems to me like that would go a long way toward filling all the needed roles from your bench:

- Backup outfielder
- Backup infielder
- Backup catcher
- Righthanded threat (plus Coste)
- Lefthanded threat (x2!)
- Pinch runner

Bed Beard: True. But let's review. Dobbs playing 1st in place of Howard. Dobbs is starting to pick it up. Mayberry replacing Ibanez. Mayberry is batting .300 with 2 HR's and 4 RBI's.

That leaves a bench of Coste, Stairs, Bruntlett.

If the starting pitching goes 7 IP like it is supposed to, then the bench wouldn't be depleted. But unfortunately they can't, so you are forced to put coste and stairs in, and hope not to have to use Bruntlett.

JR King: Great, who could we get that is better than we have?

Also, remember if you want a #2 starter at the deadline you can't be eating money and spending $2 million on a new bench.

This isn't fantasy baseball. They increased payroll 30%. It's eithier a #2 starter or new bench. Take your pick. I vote for #2 starter.

I think the biggest problems on this team are Chase Utley and Cole Hamels. If they're real leaders, they need to step up when other guys go down. Utley can't just be trying to draw walks anymore. His .430 OBP looks great to nerds, but he's like Abreu right now- doesn't want to hit when it matters. He needs to be a real man and drive in some runs.

Also, Hamels needs to step up and win games. Stop being a baby and throw complete games. 8 innings and 10 Ks isn't gonna cut it anymore, Cole. He's such a whiner. The team held up their end of the deal and got that little baby a chiropractor, so now he should be able to go 9 innings EVERY TIME. With the other pitchers struggling, he needs to stop looking for Ks to try and pad his stats, and throw more innings. What a wimp.

mvp - I agree with you on the need for better pitching and the bullpen will likely improve with Eyre/Lidge return but I don't understand your obsession with "roles" in the bullpen.

Yeah bullpen pitchers have much defined "roles" in the bullpen but it is still largely a construct of the last 25 years or so.

You generally have a closer (who often tends to be your best pitcher in the bullpen) but the rest is mix/match due to the availability of relievers that day, injuries, etc. How many games do you honestly have a 7th/8th/9th with one pitcher each during a season?

Today I learned that starting pitching problems are easily fixable since starting pitchers grow on trees, but there are no available upgrades for players like Paul Bako and Eric Bruntlett.

Tommy: If Ryan Howard is not in the lineup tonight, Charlie will have Eric Bruntlett playing first. Bruntlett has 62 plate appearances on the season, 10 behind the franchise's all-time pinch hit leader.

That's a weakness. That's a weakness that needs to be addressed. It shouldn't be that hard. The Phils are one of the only clubs in the game that is willing to take on salary and bench players are easier to come by than regulars or starting pitchers.

Jack - Jeremy Giambi is blushing, as that's the nicest thing anyone has ever said about him.

That guy: I'll take Cole giving us 8 innings and 10 Ks every 5 games. As for Chase, a .430 OBP looks goot to everyone. The Phils need to be MORE selective at the plate, not less. (Look at Boston's OBP numbers.)

MG: Here's where experience comes in. I am not going to bore you with my personal experience, but roles matter. It is obvious by watching Madson close. He has a different deleivery when he closes, because the game rests on his shoulders.

I have also spoken to Mitch Williams, Ricky Bo and my friend who was a Div-1 pitcher. He said that when you are in that bullpen, you want to know when and how you re going to be used. When you know this, you will develop a strategy for that role.

MG - I agree. I know there have been pen problems this year, but it seems like Charlie more than ever is playing matchups and roles WAY too much, even with the bench. Sometimes, RHP can get LH hitters out, and LH bats can hit LHP.

"Today I learned that starting pitching problems are easily fixable since starting pitchers grow on trees, but there are no available upgrades for players like Paul Bako and Eric Bruntlett."

Did I say that? I said #2 pitcher is fixable because of our prospects. I said we won't fix the bench because we are going to use that money on the #2 starter.

"I agree. I know there have been pen problems this year, but it seems like Charlie more than ever is playing matchups and roles WAY too much"

And that is officially the most ignorant comment of the day...

Why is it so hard for Rueben to get a righthanded bench bat? He ran into some terrible luck in the off season trying to get a righthanded infielder (Nomar, Wigginton, etc.). But since then he has been unable to make what should be a relatively easy trade (especially when you compare it to trying to trade for a front line starter).

Is Reuben being shut out by other GMs because he's in his first year?

Does it take time to develop relationships with other GMs to get them to return your calls?

It may be a stretch, but I have a hard time believing Pat Gillick would go this long with Miguel Cairo or Paul Bako on the roster. Maybe Gillick's years of experience gave him the ability to get another GM to send him the pieces he needed.

3 catchers , with the bullpen and other needs, makes little sense. A right handed bat off the bench was an off season need recognized by the GM - still a need . Bullpen burnout will continue unless we add more reliable arms to the pen or get starters that routinely go late into games.
Don't see how catcher #3 helps.

Also as a reminder, JC Romero you know that guy who is most likely a top 5 lefty reliever in the MLB missed 50 games this year.

That Guy - So Utley should chase the pitches out of the zone he is increasingly seeing this year and make more outs instead of taking a walk?

As for Hamels, he has been fine the past month and rounded in to form nicely. He is the least of the Phils' pitch problems.

JR: For the 10th time. If Amaro can get a bat cheap he will, if not then he won't.

mvp - Yeah I am sure guys are most comfortable in a certain role and managers would like to use certain pitchers in select spots but the reality is injuries, availability, and the schedule often prevent this.

I harp on Cholly's handling of the bullpen mainly for three reasons:

1. He largely manages a bullpen irrelevant of the upcoming schedule and available off-days.

2. He needlessly matches up (e.g., left-handed bat/left-handed pitch) even when there are 2 outs in an inning and nobody on. This needlessly burns a pitcher often.

3. He uses his closer (or one of his better relievers) even in a game where the Phils will be up 4 or 5 runs in the 9th inning even when though this increases wear/tear on his quality arms and this is almost zero chance the opposing team will come back.

4. Often gets caught with his pants down and just doesn't have a good feel for when his starting pitcher needs to hit the showers. This seems like it has improved a bit has he has gotten to know the Phils' starters pretty well but too often a reliever is warmed/ready when needed because Cholly was a step or two behind the game.

I think "that guy" is a caricature. Not serious. mvptommy, though, appears to be sincere.

mvp - Your funny man. You go back and forth between harping on those who rely upon statistics and yet you often use them to support your own posts.

You call Myno's comment "ignorant" yet why does Cholly feel the need to matchup a lefty/lefty or a righty/righty even when their are 2 outs and nobody on during an inning. This happens an awful lot and generally results in needlessly burning a pitcher.

You bring some good points to the table but it is funny how you often rip people for the same thing that you do or points that you have made previously.

MG: Utley's job is to hit and drive in runs, especially with Ibanez and Howard out of the lineup. I don't care how many stupid walks he's getting. RBIs are what count for guys in the middle of the lineup. You probably loved Abreu too, didn't you?

(tongue in cheek)

So mvp declares this, "I agree. I know there have been pen problems this year, but it seems like Charlie more than ever is playing matchups and roles WAY too much" to be the most ignorant comment of the day?

Despite the gem about Utley taking too many pitches and his .430 OBP being a bad thing.

Also this gem from mvp himself, Madson is failing becasue he isn't in his normal role. It's definitely not the fastball to Roberts that missed its spot by a foot and a half. Or the high fastball that got way to much of the plate. Nope, it's the simple fact of not being in his "role."

What you should be able to ascertain from your "knowledge," and discussions with Ricky Bo, Mitchie Poo, or your D-1 friend is that missing with pitches is just a simple fact of the game and is not really directly related to not being in some mystical role.

MG - I appreciate it.

I love Charlie to death, but it's impossible to deny that he's not the best at using his bench or his pen. Last year made it a little easier on him because a) the pen was so lights-out and b) Dobbs was a hitting machine.

This year, regressions in both areas, plus injuries, have made his issues really stand out. Hopefully, Lidge, Eyre and a bench move give Charlie a little more leeway.

I tend to agree on the ovr reliance on match-ups. Lots of managers overthink those spots and get into trouble. If a guy is rolling let him throw to the next batter. There are times to follow match-ups to the letter, there are times not to. Right now Charlie is following them in every situation, and it is hurting him more often than not.

Koplove is probably kicking himself for not staying with the Phils organization, because I'm pretty confident he'd be wearing red pinstripes right now.

Ryan Spilborghs would be an excellent bench addition in my opinion. He's the definition of a perfect 4th outfield. Can run, hit for respectable average, can play all 3 spots, and has a little pop.

The problem with trading with Colorado is that they almost always hold out for contextually ridiculous returns on their players. Generally, they have historically refused to trade their players for anything less than 1:1.

I'd rather trade with a team that is not likely to make the playoffs, struggling economically, looking to get younger and is looking to cut payroll.

On a side note: The 2009 Phillies are playing like it's Opposite Season. Reverse splits abound. Home-Away records are upside down. Maybe they should be like that dork in high school who wore his boxers on top of his jeans on 'Opposite Day,' and start wearing their jock straps on top of their pants. Ok, that's just about the worst suggestion ever made on BL.

Koplove probably is kicking himself. I assume he doesn't have a crystal ball, but he opted out a bit early.

{TNA - I was gonna try to make that point, but you beat me to it. My version would look like this: }

I bet for Spillbourghs it would only take a package of, like, Drabek, Taylor and a couple dudes, you know, like D'Arnaud and Knapp.

Beard - The problem for Koplove, though, was he was watching from the minors and he saw, when they needed a starter they brought up Carpenter and when they needed a reliever they brought up Escalona. Meanwhile he was pitching lights out. He had to figure that somebody would notice and hire him. If I were Koplove, I would have opted out at first opportunity, too.

But yeah. Right now he would be on the WFCs for their title "defense."

For the life of me can not understand all the fascination with Koplove, Majewski, Swindle, Zagurski, Escalona, etc.. I understand they are all local guys/farm hands BUT they are all not very good thus far. I mean I have heard about Zagurski for what seems like 10 years now and the guy always gets hurt and puts up numbers that aren't that great in leagues like Clearwater, Lakewood where he shouldn't be putting up 3+ ERA in.

at what point does management have to take some of the fall for the team's very predictable patterns--slow start, June swoon vs AL, difficulties with RISP. If the same thing happens every season, you need to address preparation/coaching differently. Nice if you can count on six-week sprint to the finish but that ain't automatic.

Did Koplove even start in LV at all?

I don't blame him for wanting to try his luck, but leaving his hometown/defending champs, at his first chance, looks like a mistake. Good luck to him.

Some how McCarthy and Wheels sound even worse-- more inane and bland during a losing streak. What a difference a year makes. Who would have thought we'd have bad baseball and bad announcing this year.

Beard - No. My point was that they made several pitching moves both at the majors and between the majors and minors, but they seemed to ignore him. He could have (probably should have) thought, "if they're not bringing me up now, they're never going to."

On June 1, he had no inclination to think that he was going to get to the majors as a Phillie. So he bolted. As it turned out, it may have been a hasty choice; but it certainly is understandable.

tommy - There is a vast difference between what Zagurski has traditionally done and what Koplove was doing this year. But since you do not want to talk about bullpen and bench it obviously does not matter. We'll stop cloggin up your blog with...wait a mind.

"That Guy" is a new handle for one of our regulars is my guess, for a provocative tongue-in-cheek post. No one could be that stupid.

Koplove a starter?

Koplove has never started a major league game and his only 2 starts in the minors were in his first year.

Some really whifty posts on here today.

clout - You think Koplove is a starter? Pretty bizarre for even you.

Tommy clearly doesn't get that talking about Zagurski, Koplove, Swindle etc. is sort of an inside joke. It's what makes BL what it is. Yeah, of course it's stupid. Of course those guys are marginal talents who most likely will never contribute to the Phillies. You don't think people here know that?

Koplove is even better since he went to the Pirates AAA.
2009 Stats G W-L ERA IP H BB K SV WHIP
LEH (phi) AAA 21 1-3 1.14 23.2 15 11 30 6 1.10
IND (pit) AAA 26 1-3 0.91 29.2 16 15 34 6 1.04

From a slang dictionary:

whifty -
•A Marijuana cigerette (joint, spliff) , from the fragrent aroma secreted from the burning of the aforementioned device.
"spark up a Whifty."

Try to ignore that they spelled cigarette wrong; at least they got spliff right.

J.R.: Sorry, wifty

Function: adjective
Etymology: origin unknown
1.Ditzy, flaky.

Jack: At this point, I can't detect what is sarcasm and what is seriousness anymore. Some people use words like "Stud", "Dave Winfield" and "annual all-star" for Taylor when the guy hasn't had a full season at Reading or an at bat in Allentown yet. So from here on out, just write "Serious" or "Sarcasm" after each farm-hand post, so I can detect which is which.

Jack: "Of course those guys are marginal talents who most likely will never contribute to the Phillies. You don't think people here know that?"

Yup. Some don't.

Andy: My guess is that wifty comes from whifty since the latter causes the former.

Wayne - he's now up to 27 games. ERA down to 0.82. It might be pointed out that he has twelve times as many innings logged as a major leaguer than Zagurski.

The question on peoples' minds when they talk about Koplove, however, (and I will not presume to talk about anyone else here) is whether it was a wise choice for him to choose to jump ship at his first chance, when the Phils entire pitching staff seems to be in disarray. And the comparison that people are making (I would guess/surmise) is not Koplove vs. Moyer, but Koplove vs. Taschner.

I would suggest that since Jack has no discernable L/R split of any value and that his overall performance is spotty, that Koplove could have expected to be brought up sooner or later. I also think it's reasonable, given all the moves that the Phils made, that he just figured that it was going to be later if at all.

Clout: oh, the father/son tag team is in the house. Just to let you know I will be watching the game tonight at a local establishment, so please, Mr. Phillie Fan President, don't label me a front-runner please because I am not here.

You are the one that is high on the prospects that we have mentioned. What are YOU talking about? You think Taylor is the next coming. Along, with the relief pitchers, Drabek and so on. I am impressed with 1 and count them ONE prospect. That is Kyle Drabek. Just so later when ALL the other guys don't pan out, you can't put words in my mouth.

Here we go again..interleague with a lefthander, we can look forward to Coste or GOD FORBID, bruntlett..what A DISGRACE !!!!!!!please put me out of my misery now !!! why doesnt amaro bite the bullett and just cut the two of them and be done with it..Hopefully Taylor has a nice week in AA..Thats for he can enjoy those two stiffs in the lineup

I can't detect what is sarcasm and what is seriousness anymore, either. Some people people use words like "Stud", "Ryan Howard" and "annual all-star" for Mayberry when he hasn't had a full season with an OPS over .840 anywhere.

(There's some "serious" "sarcasm" somewhere in this post.)

Dick: Um, ok so let's cut Coste and Bruntlett. Now You have to spend at least $1.5 million on replacements. Now you used money from a #2 starter in a trade on 2 NEW bench players.

So would you rather have 2 new bench players OR a #2 pitcher. Money doesn't grow on trees for a team that has already an increased payrollof 30%. This isn't fantasy baseball.

mvptommy: Yes, I am well known on this blog for praising every single Phillies prospect. No skeptic here.

tommy - Since you're impressed. How many innings has Kyle pitched at AA? How many has he pitched in the minors? But he's clearly THAT much better a prospect than Taylor. Interesting logic.

Personally, I think they're both worth protecting.

Andy: .300 AVG, 2 HR's, 4 RBI's in 20 AB's. Not a bad start....Why do I have a feeling this will be another Ibanez situation where it takes 150 AB's before anyone admits he may just be good enough?

You know those whistles that only dogs can hear? Well, Zagurski/Swindle references contain humor that only members of the Beerleaguer Elite can see.

Andy, re: Taschner and Koplove, not only that but Koplove would've been a better fit for "The Bullpen" because of his South Philly roots. So Ruben was wrong on both a baseball and a TV level.

I would like to request that tonights game thread pic be the Pat Burrell "Man or Machine" pic.

Tommy: in one post you say: Some people use words like "Stud", "Dave Winfield" and "annual all-star" for Taylor when the guy hasn't had a full season at Reading or an at bat in Allentown yet, in order to counter opinions people have about his potential.

In another post you say: I am impressed with 1 and count them ONE prospect. That is Kyle Drabek.

Why is it ok to be impressed with Drabek but not Taylor? When in fact, Taylor has had more exposure in AA than Drabek. Just curious.

Also, Taylor = STUD (serious)

tommy: I like Mayberry and LOVED the Golson-Mayberry trade the day it happened. But he's not in the Phillies top 10 as far as prospects go. The single most important thing to remember when comparing minor league stats is age.

BAP: Yea that must be the case.

R. Bill: Most Likley for the same reasons Amaro and the Phillies Scouts. Drabek is a RHP that is 3-0 with a 2 ERA in AA Reading. While Taylor is a OFer that is having a minor league career high, but doesn't play as good defense as Mayberry. AND They don't want to bring Taylor up just for him to sit on the bench when Ibanez returns.

clout: Ok, if thats true than I guess Ryan Howard coming up at 26 was destined to fail. I LOVED the trade as well, and I do remember you loving it. BUT I also said that day, he would have an impact on the team THIS year. While THAT was shot down by mostly everyone here. And look what happened, he is up and helping the team.

Tommy: You have no idea how much payroll the Phillies are willing to take on. And we don't even know who this new starting pitcher will be (or if there will be one at all), let alone what he's going to cost. You don't feel like talking about the bench today, so you are just inventing reasons to talk about something else. I find it extremely hard to believe that a team with a $130M payroll, and the highest attendance in the National League, would turn away a chance to get a starting pitcher because he costs $1.5M more than they budgeted for.

mvptommy: I agree that Taylor doesn't play as good defense as Mayberry AT THE MOMENT.

Mayberry is 2 years older and has 2 more years experience. Taylor has more raw speed than Mayberry and as good an arm, right now. Taylor has a higher ceiling and I think will be better offensively and defensively in two years than Mayberry is now.

I also agree that Taylor needs to remain in the minors this year.

BAP: Actually BAP, they increased their Payroll 30% to closer to $140 million. They ate contracts of Eaton, Jenkins, Garcia as well. Also, it wouldn't be an extra 1.5 than budgeted it COULD be more like 8 Mil just for a #2 pitcher PLUS 1.5 to eat Bruntlett and Coste's contracts PLUS an EXTRA 1.5 to get 2 new guys. But that math we are now up to $150+ Million. NOT GONNA HAPPEN. Your stuck with Bruntlett and Coste. Gonna get a #2 pitcher at the deadline.

Clout: Ok, so we agree that the Phillies are doing the right thing. But disagree on the future of Taylor, I can accept that.

Kyle Drabek has already started more minor league games than Cole Hamels.

mvptommy: "clout: Ok, if thats true than I guess Ryan Howard coming up at 26 was destined to fail."

That is a nonsequitor. What I said was the most important factor in gauging minor league stats is age. Thus we see that at age 23 Ryan Howard was .304/.574/.514 at High Single A, Mayberry was .235/.311/.474 at A and AA and that Taylor is .329/.392/.565 at AA.

Get it?

Yeah, there was ample evidence Howard should have been playing in the big leagues before 2005. He was blocked by Jim Thome and Ed Wade.

Clout: I get it, but once again. You can't judge a player solely by stats. You go on more than that like experience, arm strength, baseball IQ and your favorite, route running.

That is all fine and dandy, great numbers. Unfortunately, Johan Santana is different than Billy from Kentucky pitching to you.

Get it?

Jack: Actually he was blocked by the Bank opening. The owners wanted a big name in here to draw fans so they got Thome. No one would have been impressed if their marketing Campaign was centered around a 26 year old 1st baseman coming up from the minors.

speaking of Ryan Howard, Lauber and Murphy just tweeted that he's arrived in Tampa.

Wow, so "great numbers" don't matter? X hit 330 with 35 HRs, 120RBIs, 25 SBs, but his "baseball IQ" is piss poor, so he probably won't work out in the pros.

Clout: You're saying you think Taylor could be a stud in the Majors come 2010 or 2011?

I would tend to agree with you if that is the case. I think he could really help the team next year and most def in 2011 - that is if they don't trade him.

If Taylor pans out bye bye Werth.

Tommy: So Mayberry is one of those magical forces of nature who will do better against Johan Santana than Billy from Kentucky?

I love that Tommy's evidence that Mayberry is better is based off 7 games at the MLB level, while he dismisses Taylor's season and a half of tearing up the minor leagues as just "a career high".

Bed Beard: Did I say that? I said they look at those things. It's called scouting.

Beard - Well...he might make it if he can learn how to be "scrappy."

For me, though, I'll just take some "whifty."

I don't know if Amaro can get the starter he wants. He may be able to get a bullpen arm. The reason "the bench is the bench" as has ben pointed out, is that Amaro didn't get the RH bat he needed in the off-season. Everyone he targeted (Sheffield, Wigginton etc.)signed elsewhere. That's because the Phils either A)couldn't offer playing time (or didn't want to), or didn't want to meet salary demands. In Sheff's case that's point is moot because he would have only cost 400k. He'd look good spelling Ryan at 1st against LH pitching. They didn't want to give Wiggy the 2-year deal he got. They didn't trade for DeRosa (and I wouldn't have for the asking price). But now Amaro has work to do and it shows.

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