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Thursday, July 30, 2009


I'm still on a high with this trade. I like Mayberry, but we aren't winning a world series with him now. Look at the upgrade on those two roster spots.

I assume Fransisco will be starting tonight in right.

Now we get to see Mayberry and Taylor at the same level. Wonder who will do better*?

*not a real question

I'm okay with Gnome staying with the big club if he's SOLELY used as a mop-up defensive replacement or pinch runner. Pay a clubhouse attendant to grind up all his bats to sawdust, or tell him if he gets to the plate, he's going to be fined $100 for every swing he takes.

RFD got a big taste and came up wanting. Register got his taste and if you blinked, you'd say "Register? What for? vote?

Brunlett needs to go. Can Rolo or Moyer or Happ play the infield?

Francisco looks tranquil(-ized).

good call slugga, perfect timing to get a guy like fransisco with vic a little dinged up. werth probably hits second now, feliz moves up to 6, and fransisco at 7? at least that's what i'd do.

Drake -- You think $100 is enough?

"Register will fill Carlos Carrasco's spot in the depleted IronPigs pitching staff."

Any chance Drabek gets called to the Pigs?

well, i just kind of assumed they paid him like a minor leaguer since he plays like one.

The BP needs to get younger so we should consider moving Happ there long term? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills. We continue to leave Happ as a starter until he shows he is unable to handle that role, something he has given zero inclination of so far. The value of a starter is SO much more than that of a reliever.
It's really unbelievable that this is even a discussion.

And I'll answer clout's irrelevant question. I see no reason, if he stays healthy, why Happ can't have a similar career to Jon Garland. What "facts" suggest otherwise?

Red. It doesn't appear that way now that Register is going down to Allentown ... (where they're closing all the factories down ...)

JW: Uh-oh. I liked the Steely Dan thread a lot better than where this is headed...

They didn't want to include Happ with Drabek so they can just move Happ to the pen?

Totally useless prediction:

Bruntlett hits .200 the rest of the way and finishes the season in the .170 range.

Brian G: You would value Rolo higher than Lidge? You could argue Lidge was league MVP last season.

Brian G: "I see no reason, if he stays healthy, why Happ can't have a similar career to Jon Garland."

My point was simply that Garland has had a pretty good career: He's won 111 games at age 29, been an All-Star and sports a career ERA+ of 104. Not bad for a guy who, like Happ, doesn't throw hard. I really hope Happ has such a career, but if we're betting, based on the track record of most prospects, I'll bet you're wrong.

Btw, I'd like to offer my impression of clout out with his wife buying a TV. Must be maddening for her.

wife: "This one looks nice, fits our needs, and also fits in our budget at $1000."
clout: "No. We're going to buy the 70" Plasma for $8000."
wife: "But we can't afford that, and we don't even watch TV that much so the improvement in quality isn't worth the price."
clout: "Why are you so obsessed with how much money we have in the bank? My concern is on having the best product available."
wife: "Well, there is the mortgage we have to pay, and with the kid starting college our finances are up against the wall."
clout: "So you consider the investment in our child's future more important the level of enjoyment we get out of the movie we watch tonight? Interesting."

Why would someone think Francisco replaces Bruntlett? Who plays SS and 2B behind Uts & Rollins? Bruntlett can only be replaced by someone who can play the middle INF spots.

I think Clout's point about salary is similar to my thinking: People worry about team payroll too much, especially what it will be in 2011 or whatever. Obviously, the Phils aren't going to be taking on contracts like they're the Yankees at their worst, but talking about an extra million here or there 2 years from now is silly. (I don't mean this as part of the Happ/Garland discussion)

Clout: Who cares what career Jon Garland has had? What matter is what we'd get from him right now. You're not getting his 20's. If you trade for him, you're getting his next year and a half, not his past all-star appearances. What matters is Happ's 4-5 years vs. Garland's next a year and a half.

The Phillies have reportedly optioned outfielder John Mayberry Jr. and reliever Steven Register to Triple-A Lehigh Valley to make room for the arrival of Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco.

This is going to hit the cheering section "Register's Sex Offenders" pretty hard.

"Bruntlett can only be replaced by someone who can play the middle INF spots." --clout

Precisely why we should have asked the Indians to include Jamey Carroll in this deal.

Honestly, I think Pedro should ease in as a reliever, and see where we stand in September. Hamels/Lee/Blanton/Happ/Moyer.

JW: Your assumptions in that statement are that 1. Happ would perform as well as one of the top 5 reliever seasons in history, and 2. That Happ is no better than Rodrigo Lopez. I think both of these are wrong. I think if everything falls right for Happ in the BP he'd turn into a Ryan Madson type. Madson just got 4 mil a year. Jon Garland just got 7 mil a year, and Oliver Perez got 12 mil a year. Guys that can throw 6 innings a game of league average or better for 30 starts a year are way more valuable than all but the very elite bullpen guys. The market reflects this.

Back to that wonderful day of yesterday, I was talking to my boss's boss in the coffee area. We're both baseball fans, so he brings up the Phil's pursuit of Halladay. I tell him with authority, "Toronto wants too much. The Phils are close to a deal for Cliff Lee."

Within the hour, the deal gets done. Lake Nostradamus becomes the office rumor small talk king for a day. Thanks Beerleaguer!

Too often we have guys who come on here and argue by using the present and forgetting the past. It's something that has to be considered.

Look I love Happ. The guy has been really good so far and given the Phillies a ton in his short time up with the club.

Important to remember though that this is a guy who was pegged as a fringe back-end of the rotation starter at best when he was coming up in the minors. Some scouts had him as a bullpen guy.

Right now he is 7-2 with an ERA hovering around 3. So which side is right- is he the back-end starter, or is he a guy who can continue to pitch like this the rest of his career which would make him a #3, maybe a #2 in some rotations around the league.

Is he something in the middle? Basically you need to evaluate if this guy is for real, or is someone that is going to be figured out at some point. You can't just look at his current stats and declare this a lock. You have to keep in mind what was thought of him at the start. How much you want to value that is up to you?

Happ wouldn't be the first come who pitches over his head for a while when coming into the league before leveling off.

Truth Injection: He's in the middle. Honestly, I could totally see him having a career similar to Jon Garland's, a league-average starter. He's not going to be a 3 ERA guy, obviously, but there's no reason he can't settle in around 4-4.50 ERA and have a successful career.

Obviously, if two pitchers are similar, you wouldn't trade the cheap one under your control for longer for the expensive one who can leave after a year and a half. That has to be obvious to everyone, right?

Happ is 5-2 as a starter this year, right?'s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers acquired George Sherrill for Josh Bell and righty Steve Johnson.

Hopefully this means they can't get Halladay.


The world is back on its axis after the Lee- Francisco trade .
You can tell because Beerleaguer has Eric Bruntlett posts again.

The Gnome is the leading candidate for the '09 So Taguchi award.

Lyellin: He had two wins in relief earlier this year.

Opps... apologies.

Lest we forget...Madson is a reliever because he proved to not be a reliable starter.

TI's right, of course. No one would dispute that. But at the league minimum, I think Happ is a good gamble.

Another reliever for Torre to overuse and abuse...

clout: back to the last thread about my idea of getting Bloomquist.. Now I understand why people get frustrated with you since you appear to know it all: Bloomquist might be playing "almost every day" as you said, but he has 260 some AB's this year, the most he's ever had in his career. So it's not as if he's some long time starter. And he's 32 years old. Tell me, what sort of future-and how much value-does he really have with the Royals at this point in his career? If he's traded along the lines for a Matt Maloney type-a fringe guy that most said would never make the Big Leagues (but did) I think the Royals would consider it.

Bruntlett is most likely laughing to himself everyday thinking.." I know I can't hit a lick. But the Phillies have no choice. Who else can be an infield replacement besides me! Hahahaha"....

BedBeard: Exactly right. You'd think for a fan site, it would be all about the players. Instead, half the posters here are worried about how much profit a group of multi-millionaires will get to keep. Strange.

"The Gnome is the leading candidate for the '09 So Taguchi award."

I think it's extremely unfair to name this award after So Tuguchi. Did he suck? Certainly. But not nearly as much as the likes of Abraham "No-Hit" Nunez. Not to mention the many, many (F)utility players that the Phils have employed long before So Taguchi. The Phils have perfected the art of the wasted 25th roster spot.

Although, for years prior, they've also wasted roster spots 20-24, as well.....

Josh Bell and Steve Johnson for Sherril?

Anyone care to enlighten me as to whether the Phils could have matched that offer with their B prospects we have remaining?

I am not familiar with those two nameas.

This is going to hit the cheering section "Register's Sex Offenders" pretty hard.

Is that why so many people were going section to section and introducing themselves at the ballpark last week? And I thought they were just being friendly!

Maybe we can acquire Willie Harris from the Nationals? He's not great but he is a decent utility infielder who can play multiple positions and would certainly be an offensive upgrade over Bruntlett, although that's not saying much considering how bad Bruntlett has been this year.

Clout: Were it up to me, would the owners invest more into the team? Of course. I'd love them to spend as much as it took to make the Phils the best team possible. We're in agreement there. As stated many times on here, I never complain about how much players are making. They deserve it more than the billionaire owners. I'm also against a salary cap for this reason.

But they have a limited budget. Like any business that exists in the real world. And the budget they've laid out (130 million and counting) is certainly more than enough to win with. The way you win working within a limited budget is to utilize players like Happ, who produce value for you while you pay them very little.

You don't consistently win on a limited budget by trading those players for similar players who are getting paid 10 times as much.

Jack he very well could be in the middle. I would tend to agree with you. From reading clout's stuff over the past few years he doesn't err on the side of prospects.

And that is absolutely fine. There is plenty of data that backs that argument up. I'm not one who usually believes in prospects either. I'm big on trade guys while they still have the potential ring. That's why it is different for me to be so solidly behind keeping Drabek and Taylor.

Clout's not wrong, and neither is the other side. They just have attached different values to Happ. If you had a crystal ball and could tell clout with 100% certainity that Happ will be at the exact same spot where Garland is in 4 years- I doubt he would trade Happ for Garland.

As it is clout doesn't get too high on prospects (again an opinion that can easily be backed up) so he would want the known commodity.

pblunts: I guess we just disagree. Bloomquist is playing just about every day for the Royals. And he's cheap. I think it would take more than a "fringe prospect' to get him.

20-24 were wasted until yesterday too. Now we're up to maybe 21 players.

clout and Bed Beard:

You're both wrong.

I don't care how much profit this team makes. I understand however, that the Phillies exist in the real world, not in clout dream land. In the real world, team's have budgets. And in the real world, teams can't spend however much they want.

Only the Yankees seem to exist in clout dream land.

As I mentioned before, the Phils have at least $126M tied up in salary for next year which doesn't include either arbitration raises or how much it will cost to fill 5 additional spots on the team that cost us almost $8M this year.

In clout dream world, the Phils can trade out a $400K pitcher who's at least league average for a $10M pitcher who's at least league average, but for the rest of us, it makes absolutely no sense.

Willard- My apologies- No disrespect meant to the very honorable Taguchi-san.

"Instead, half the posters here are worried about how much profit a group of multi-millionaires will get to keep."

Is it possible that some of us just suppose that the Phillies, regardless of our wishes, will keep to a certain self-imposed number, and so discuss transactions with that reality in mind?

"You'd think for a fan site, it would be all about the players. Instead, half the posters here are worried about how much profit a group of multi-millionaires will get to keep"

Clout, I am not worried about salary, just realistic. This year the payroll went up about $30 Million. In 2010, we lose Myers salary of say $15 million but add the folowwing salaries:

Lee $6 million

Following players get raises of (million):

Utley 4
Howard 4
Ibanez 5
Hamels 2.3
Vic 2.4
Madson 2.5
Blanton 1.5
Werth 5
Durbin 900(K)
Dobbs 200 (k)

Have to Pay:

Jenkins 1.3
Eaton 500 (K)

Have to resign Park and Ruiz. Amoung others.

So as you see Next year for the 2010 season the payroll will most likely HAVE to be around $160 million, which is again $30 million MORE than this year. That is an incredible jump. They will nearly double their payroll in 2 years.

CJ: when i read people saying Pedro's guaranteed a starting spot no matter what he does in AAA b/c he's being paid $1mil, I think that's dead wrong-that's my point.

(I agree with you have player A and player B and they're similar, except for salary, it's smart to go with the cheaper option)

For all debates and posts going forward, please clearly state whether your argument is based on real-world scenarios that include constraints such as 40-man roster limits, salary limits, owners who'd like to make at least as much money as they could on Treasury notes, etc., or some make-believe fan world where there are no constraints or future issues to be determined...Carpe Diem. Thank you.

Bed Beard: I agree. Pedro is guaranteed nothing but a chance. He'll likely perform well enough in AAA to earn a start, however. I'm not sure how long he stick in the rotation... and may wind up back in the bullpen or looking for another team.

I, for one, would like to avoid the inevitable position that JP has found himself in, in needing to slash some payroll. There's a delicate balance between revenue and payroll when you have to negotiate salaries several years in advance without fully knowing how competitive your team will really be and what kind of revenue streams will result.

That said, this ownership group isn't exactly hurting. The self-imposed budget is far, far south of all after-tax revenue streams.

mvptommyd: The $160M number is way out of wack. This team will likely be able to put together a roster for $145M at the most... and probably closer to $140M.

mvptommy - you need to subtract Jenkins and Eaton from this year's number. So that's roughly another $15 million.

Don't forget the $3 million we'll no longer be paying Thome either...

Yeah, Tommy's numbers are way off. They would probably have about broken even without Lee and with Feliz's option.

Tommy has never let reality stop him from making a bold statement.

"when i read people saying Pedro's guaranteed a starting spot no matter what he does in AAA b/c he's being paid $1mil, I think that's dead wrong."

It's irrational, I agree. But what that betrays isn't a love of billionaires but a cynicism (to the point of irrationality) that the rapacious bastards value dollars over performance--quite the opposite of what Clout suggests.

SmokyJoe: My argument is based in make-believe fan world. I think we should sign Adrian Beltre, Erik Bedard, Rich Harden and Matt Holliday and let Feliz go and just eat the contracts of Jayson Werth, Jamie Moyer, and send Happ back down to Triple-A, since Bay, Bedard and Harden are clearly better players and that's what matters. Also, we could sign Jason Bay to be our 4th OF and RH bench bat. Also, we should sign Mike Gonzalez from the Braves and eat Romero's money too, since Gonzalez is better.

Since we're only interested in making the team better, that's what I would do.

All Sports teams inevitably pay premium dollars to players who are coming off their peak years, meaning that the largest salaries go to players on the decline. In an earlier post, someone asked why we would ever trade Werth instead of Taylor if some of the best expectations for Taylor have him equaling what Werth has already become. The answer is value: the amount of contribution given to the team in terms of money spent on the player. When Werth's contract is up next year, and there are teams out there willing to pay $10 million a year for three years on a 33 year-old player, it sure will be nice having a player to fill in at league minimum dollars for several years, even if he doesn't quite measure up to Werth's performance at first.

Jack says the players deserve the money more than the owners, yet he supports sound business decisions. To run a sound business, owners need to keep player salaries at a manageable level so they can reinvest other profits in facilities, maintenance, concessions, parking, etc.

The Phillies are spending as much as they can right now. They have the 7th highest payroll in Baseball. Because of demographics, it is likely impossible for them to ever be ahead of either NY team, the Red Sox, Cubs or Dodgers.

And the lack of a regional sports network.

Jack: You're being childish again.

I wonder how many pitchers on the Phillies have a higher batting average than the Gnome who is currently batting .125 with as SLG of .188 and OBP of .198?

Answer: BA SLG OBP
Hamels - .147 .235 .171
Myers - .222 .278 .263
Durbin - .200 .200 .200
Park - .154 .385 .313

sneed, I'd possibly add both the Angels and White Sox to your list. However, I don't think it was always so with Boston. I don't necessarily believe that they have the same demographic advantages as the other teams listed. They built up there market strength over time, and have largely become a National draw as much, if not more than, any other team in Baseball. I could see the Phillies being able to do that some day, especially with a shrewd ownership group that could couple other aspects related to the game (media, real-estate, etc.) to their holdings.

I agree with everyone. I admit my numbers were skewed I forgot to subtract out the $15 million owed to Jenkins and Eaton difference between this year and next. So we will be between 130-140 million next year. Still not shabby for a franchise that USED to go no higher than around 90-100 million.

Smoky: Boston has all of New England as a fan base, as well as a very valuable asset called NESN. They've changed ownership and management, but since the explosion of player salaries in the last 15 years, they've been consistently on the short list of big spenders. When you are sold out all season, it's hard not to be.

Don't waste your time discussing Garland. There's no chance the Phillies will trade for him, whatsoever, nor should they. Don't need him, don't want him and won't get him. Forget Garland.

clout: CJ already said it. It's not that anyone cares about how much profit the owners make. It's simply an acknowledgment that, in the real world, teams have budgets and need to plan accordingly.

When people show up and propose that we trade Kyle Kendrick and Andrew Carpenter for Roy Halladay, you're the first to point out that the poster isn't living in the real world. But, when you propose transactions which carry huge colossal financial implications, and you pretend those financial implications don't exist, or that they're an irrelevant consideration, you're no more living in the real world than the guy who proposed that we trade Carpenter & KK for Roy Halladay.

"Jack says the players deserve the money more than the owners, yet he supports sound business decisions."

Actually he states that 1) he supports business decisions that maximize the return on the limited resources invested by actors over which none of us have control. You're saying that he 2) supports the limit those actors impose.

There's no contradiction between 1) and a generic preference that players receive the bulk of the revenue.

sneed, I've read stories in marketing journals that have shown that a large portion of southern and western New England is split between the Sox and the Yankees. The total regional fan base for Boston is on par with that of Philadelphia. Now the owning their own sports network thing is huge, but I don't understand why a future Phillies ownership group wouldn't be smart enough to find such symbiotic assets and branch out.

Klaus- Players do receive the bulk of the revenue already, what are you talking about? My point was that the Phillies are both spending as much as they can and using sound business principles. The quality of the product and the size of their budget are inter-related, no? He made it seem like owners keep all sorts of money for themselves at the expense of the players. Since the players salaries' account for more than half of leaguewide revenue, this isn't true.

I invite people to scroll back up and read my last post about clout. It will help you understand where he is coming from.

Cubs seem on the verge of acquiring Grabow and Tom Gorzelanny from the Pirates.

Clout - the point you are missing is that the finances matter, not because we care about the thickness of the owners' wallets, but because we don't want to see the team blown up down the road or unable to compete due to expensive contracts making needed changes or additions impossible. You think the Vernon Wells contract doesn't negatively affect every decision they make, for instance?

"BedBeard: Exactly right. You'd think for a fan site, it would be all about the players. Instead, half the posters here are worried about how much profit a group of multi-millionaires will get to keep. Strange."

Smoky: It's as big as Philly, they have nationwide appeal (higher merchandise sales), and NESN. The Phillies may have that soon enough, but not yet.

SmokyJoe: I'd have to see the actual population numbers, but I'd bet the Boston-area fanbase has more people than Philadelphia. They have Maine, NH, VT, all of MA, RI, some of CT and some of upper NY.

The TV station is obviously the biggest difference. Yes, a future ownership could do similar things in Philly. But the point is the owners here now don't, and seem to have no plan to sell the team. So for the foreseeable future, we should not expect a similar business model as the Red Sox have.

Uh oh, Mets have now won 5 in a row and are within remote reach of the wildcard. If this keeps up, Mets Trolls may start showing up here again.

Three potential playoff rivals have made it a point today to acquire left-handed relief pitchers. I wonder which team they have in mind?

And by three I, of course, mean two.

I love all the talk about managing a couple million dollars and how it is going to be used. I'm sure i'm not the only one here who barely has enough for a pack of smokes at the end of the week. It's easy to throw some numbers around when it's not your money. Let's get back to the game on the field and bashing the Gnome. It's a lot more fun.

"I invite people to scroll back up and read my last post about clout. It will help you understand where he is coming from."

TI, I see where clout ALWAYS comes from. He HEDGES everything, so years down the road you can't come back and say he was wrong. So he gives opinions, then gives another set of opinions to be in the middle of the original comment.

SmokeyJoe, I guess it's time to put out the Troll traps. I'll get the bait.

SmokyJoe: Werth will be 31 when his contract is up. Don't remember the full context of my Werth/Taylor comparison, but I agree that it'll be a tough decision what to do with Werth at the end of next year. Might have to make the Eagles-like decision of letting a performing veteran guy go.

I hope I don't offend NEPP, but there may be more people living in South Jersey than Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine combined.

clout does hedge everything. Either that or he calls you a pseudo offensive condescending name or answers a hardball question with a question of his own. He makes this interesting for you guys though, you'll give him that. Without him you'd have nothing to aspire to.

The difference between the Red Sox fan base and the Phillies fan base isn't the size of the local fan bases, it is the fact that people in Nevada, Oklahoma, Florida, etc are part of the Red Sox fan base, Philly just doesn't have that nationwide fan base that Boston does.

Clout definitely has some cred on this site, which he must have earned, otherwise he wouldn't have received so many responses to an argument that was tantamount to trolling.

Sneed: I don't know, I think I am taking clout's title as Bler villian.

As to the issue of budgets/ 2007 the Phillies had revenues of $183,000,000 and likely, based upon trends since 2006 will break $200,000,000 in revenues in 2009.

The club has plenty of money.

I'm going to have to agree. clout has cred mvptommyd has notoriety. Sorry mvp

smoky and tommy: Agree with both. Tommy you are his polar opposite villain though. You also say a lot of things you're convinced you are right about, except sometimes you're just way off - according to the wisdom of the crowd. But you keep it real. Props.

"Players do receive the bulk of the revenue already, what are you talking about?"

Obviously that fact has nothing to do with the intelligibility of the preference. What's difficult to understand: I prefer that there be criminal statutes for murder. There are criminal statutes for murder. I say, good.

"My point was that the Phillies are both spending as much as they can and using sound business principles."

That's a fine sentiment, if true (and you'd need to show me that ownership is "spending as much as they can", because I have a hard time accepting that at face value.). The problem is, that isn't Jack's point. Jack's saying that Amaro should maximize the return on the resources given to him. That's all! Nothing in such a statement commits him to supporting the actual cap the ownership imposes.

The contradiction you accused him off doesn't exist. I'm sorry.

Players making more money than ownership? Pish-posh!

Kuvasz: Big deal, large Revenues DO NOT EQUAL money. There is something in business called EXPENSES that need to be taken away in order to get your total profit.

Can we relax with all of the money talk? Did you know there is a game tonight? Pretty good one too.

I'm still partly convinced that mvptommy is someone doing performance art. I think it's a character.

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