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Thursday, August 20, 2009


Doh! I hate when I write a long post and then a new thread appears. Anyway, it isn't often that I defend MVPTommy, so in recognition of this rare moment in history, I'll repost it:

I seem to recall 40-homerun predictions too. The "on-pace" point was not that he was on pace to hit 40, but that he was on pace to hit around 60 -- which was sort of a launching point for Tommy's cocksure prediction that he would hit 40.

Nonetheless, the criminal defense lawyer in me will come to Tommy's defense on certain issues/points: (1) his predictions occurred before Ibanez was injured; like Jimmy Rollins last year or Aaron Rowand a couple years before, Ibanez really hasn't been the same player since then; (2) while Ibanez has cooled off in a big way, his OPS is still .941 which is more than .100 pts higher than in each of the last 2 years, and .58 points higher than his career high; and (3) the wisdom of signing Ibanez instead of Burrell (or other alternatives, like Milton Bradley) is no longer a debatable point.

So, MVPTommy was certainly correct in his defense of the Ibanez signing and he appears "on pace" to be correct in predicting a career year for Ibanez. Now, about John Mayberry and his future stardom . . . that's an altogether different matter.

I recall reading somewhere (although I'll be damned if I can find it now) that Sparky Anderson used to load his lineup in Detroit with power hitters when they faced an ace pitcher. His reasoning was they weren't going to string hits together to beat him so they'd have to rely on homers to score. That's pretty much how the Phils scored their runs against an ace last night.

Does anyone know what percent of the Phillies runs were scored on homers this year?

Nice article JW...seriously.

Reynolds was painful to watch at the plate...really all or nothing in his approach.

One of the smartest things Gillick ever did as GM was pass on Rowand and go with Vic and Werth in the OF. Sure, we also got Jenkins but that looked like a good move at the time too. Rowand's contract would be killing us right now.

Ibanez has been awful ever since that random writer mentioned Raul and roids, which happened right before his DL stint I believe.

howard used to talk about the phillies? I can't remember a time when mike vick wasnt on my radio dial

sometimes i wish carlos would strike out more with a runner on first and less than two outs

I am not an adherent to the view that a strikeout is just an out and no worse than any other out. How about a runner on third and one out? A flyball or a groundball scores a run. For a cleanup hitter like Howard, this is a familiar scenario. Cutting down on his strikeouts means more RBIs and fewer RISP stranded. So, a strikeout is not just another out.

There are strikeouts and there are strikeouts. Good hitters tend not to swing at pitches out of the strike zone, forcing the pitcher to throw strikes. It is one thing to strike out on a pitch which is a strike, but it is another thing to be sucker pitched. Howard's greatest flaw is his general inability to resist swing at balls that are unhittable. On a two strike count, a breaking ball into the dirt or a high fastball at his shoulders is an automatic strikeout, giving rise to the question of why a pitcher would ever throw a hittable pitch to Howard in a two strike situation? If a hitter can be sucker pitched so readily, it does greatly diminish his effectiveness, and it is hard to argue otherwise. Certainly Howard produces good numbers every year, but that does not negate the fact that those numbers would be better if he learned to lay off the sucker pitch.

For the record, Raul Ibanez is on pace for 40 HR and 116 RBI.

Of course, considering how he's played recently, he'll likley come nowhere near that.

In the 51 games since May 25th (weeks before he got injured), Raul has given us this:

238/302/465 for an OPS of 767. That includes 10 HR and 35 RBI. And he's had only 3 HR in his last 28 games (116 PAs).

For comparison, in Pat Burrell's last 51 games, he's given Tampa Bay this:

219/309/467 for an OPS of 776. That includes 11 HR and 28 RBI.

I'm just sayin'.

Hitman: Um... if it were as easy as you suggest to fool Ryan Howard... then how does he remain one of the most feared hitters in the game... rank among the league leaders in HR and RBI every season... and find himself at the top of so many MVP ballots?

I mean... if it's as easy to get this guy out as you suggest...

People keep talking about Ibanez and how he has really tailed off since the DL stint. That is true on the face of it. However, I seem to remember that right when he came back, he seemed like he was still hot, was pounding homers, etc. I remember a game in Florida that Moyer pitched where he bombed 2 hr's, I think that was the rain shortened series where we swept them. It wasn't until 2 or 3 weeks after he came back that he really started to sag at the plate.

Werth owes Gillick pretty much everything.

CJ: What he said was that it is easy to get Howard out in 2-strike situations. In point of fact, Howard's hitting .147 in 2-strike situations.

For a guy who "can't hit" RHP, Werth is doing okay with a .821 OPS this year.

Howard's rapidly heating up...which is good because he carries this lineup when he's on.

Having never watched Ibanez in Seattle, based on the numbers, I'd wager that this is what 33 percent of his season looked like, this slump he's in now.

bap: Actually, he's hitting .153 in 2 strike situations. And, of course, most players perform poorly with two strikes (Utley .218 and Ibanez .219). The difference between Howard and those two amounts to about 15 hits in the 236 ABs he's had in 2 strike situations.

He actually hit .241 in 2-strike situations in 2006 so pitchers have obviously adjusted and now Howard needs to adjust as well (he's doing slightly better this year than in the past two).

Excuse me. Make that .153, with a .250 OBP. As a point of reference, Utley is hitting .218 in those situations, Ibanez is hitting .219, and Werth is hitting .210. Still, what can you do? Howard has some severe shortcomings, which have been hashed out ad nauseum on Beerleaguer. But he hits 40 to 50 homeruns, drives in 130+ runs, and hits for respectable batting average. It's not like such players are in abundant supply.

J.W.- I live in Washington State, in fact when I lived in Redmond, Shig Hasagawa the Mariners RP and Chad Eaton of the Seahawks were my nextdoor neighbors. I have watched Raul a long time. He tends to be pretty consistent with a few slumps here and there. He WILL come around soon. Then look out for the Phils. He did a pretty good job of carrying this team for quite a while,didn't he?

It really doesn't take any stats to tell you about Howard's inability to handle a two strike count. The difference in Howard in August and Howard in May has generally been his ability to lay off the first pitch junk, and thus enabling himself to get ahead in the count. Ahead he's the most dangerous hitter in baseball.

People forget that in 2006/2007 Howard used to get intentionally walked a lot, which is why his OBP was so high. He's never really learned patience or discipline at the plate in the big leagues because of it. Teams were so afraid to pitch to him with runners on or in a close game they usually pitched around or gave him a free pass. And when they were forced to pitch to him, he usually had a lot of pitches to hit.

I actually remember tommy staying with his 25-30HR and 100 RBI prediction as well.

I agreed on the HRs but tended to disagree that he could reach 100 RBIs.. but he stll has a decent chance to reach the century mark. Would be impressive to have our 3-6 hitters all sporting triple digit ribbies. Looks like Werth is well on his way, along with Utley and Howard.

Speaking of Howard, i think he'll take the HR and RBI crown by years end. For the 3rd time in his 4 (full)year career. That would be an outstanding feat.

Hank Aaron did it 3 times in his 21 yr career.

CJ - The knock has (and been right on the money this year) is that if you have a lefty in your pen that Howard's presence is negated. You shouldn't be able to do that to a supposed MVP-candidate.

It's simple on Howard this year late. You do three things late:

1. Bring in a lefty
2. Don't throw him a first-strike fastball
3. Never give in with a fastball even if it goes 3-2.

Basically unless Howard has worked a walk or gotten hit by a pinch against LHP relievers this year he has been utterly useless.

Opposing coaches know this too and you see that they don't ever intentionally walk Howard late in a game like they did 2 or 3 years ago. They bring in a lefty and go right after him.

Cholly compounds the fact by stupidly continuing to stack the lineup with 3 lefties in the middle of the order (Utley-Howard-Ibanez) which is completely unncessary.

I just expect that fact after watching Cholly for 5 seasons that he just gets a stupid habit ingrained into his managerial strategy and sticks with it even if it makes little/no sense. Cholly just isn't a good tactical manager but that there are other factors that are much more important in baseball as a manager than tactical strategy fortunately.

thephaithful: you think Howard can catch Pujols? 8 homers behind?

MG: Stats show teams have NOT been able to neutralize Howard late in games despite all his apparent shortcomings that are apparently so obvious to everyone on Beerleaguer.

Secondly, Manuel has moved Ibanez down in the order in the last couple weeks. I'm not sure we'll see Utley-Howard-Ibanez in a row much the rest of this year.

bap - Absolutely. Think if we had Pena and his .212 average. BL would explode.

sneed: I did not see Ashburn in his prime. But I've been a fan all my life and read about players past and present. Conlin's comment about Ashburn's arm is in line with everything I've read about him in the past. Have you read something different?

CJ - Howard is hitting .214 with a .753 OPS against RP this year. It is actually a slight improvement from last year.

I don't have the splits against LHP relievers but I bet you Howard isn't hitting much more than .150 against them.

Nope. Just curious how far back you go. Most old school baseball fans haven't gotten into stats the way you have.

MG: But if were really as easy as you suggest, then why does Howard have a great OPS+ in Late & Close, High Leverage and 7-9 Inning situations?

I'm amazed that everyone thinks it's so easy to neutralize the guy when the stats suggest otherwise.

JW - Good post. Frankly I never understood the obsession that Eskin (or some of the writers) had about strikeouts. They really don't matter that much even if the old diehards like Morgan and others continue to obsess about "smart-outs" which are largely myth when you crunch the numbers.

You heard that crap alot in '07 even though that offense scored runs by the bucket load and was very well-rounded including finishing the year 5th in AVG and 2nd in OBP (also lead the league in SBs and 2nd in HRs).

Basically, any way you slice it the '07 Phils offense was clearly superior to the '09 version. '07 had better offensive versions at nearly every position and a better/versatile bench.

Part of the reason they scored 892 runs while this year's team is only on pace to score 850 runs.

bap: But don't you think part of the reason many of us disagreed with the 40 HR prediction was that 37 year-olds tend to not be the most durable players in the world? The injury isn't an excuse for tommy's prediction being wrong. He got carried away by a hot start and made a ridiculous prediction. Let's just leave it at that.

Strikeouts are better than double plays, but they're easier to isolate for guys with an ax to grind like Eskin.

FWIW, Eskin admitted (ie: implied) recently that the reason he bashes the Phils is their continued reluctance to provide him access to players, coaches, and front office people.


Plus tommy said he was "on pace" for 40 homers.

He was actually on pace for 57 homers at that time, so tommy thought 40 was safe/conservative.

CJ: Probably because not all teams have an abundance of quality LHP to throw at Howard late in the game.

He can't hit lefties, that's a fact, and it makes it even more amazing all the production he gets basically vs only RHP.

Strikeouts actually correlate with better offense, not worse offense. High K guys tend to have a higher OBP and higher power numbers as well, and those things are the two biggest correlating factors with scoring runs, and that's what matters.

CJ - His numbers Late and Close actually are really solid and a big improvement from last year.

I don't have the time and don't know where you can get it but I am more than willing to bet that Howard's numbers against LHP relievers are terrible this year and much worse than Utley or Ibanez.

Anybody has Howard's splits against LHP relievers?

I'll repeat it again:

Raul Ibanez is CURRENTLY on pace for 40 HR.

Anyone want to take bets that he'll make it there?

Clout & Sneed-For what it's worth re-posted from last thread-

"clout - how old are you that you know how well Richie Ashburn could throw?"

There are a few of us on here that go back far enough to call Moyer "Young Jamie" ala Howard .

I wouldn't dream of speaking for clout but my memory of Whitey's arm was that he was very quick and accurate but used the cutoff man rather than make really long throws.
Callison , a decade or so later had the long and accurate arm but from RF.

Posted by: Bubba | Thursday, August 20, 2009 at 12:24 PM

Home runs aren't en vogue anymore, but whether it's 1929 or 2009, they still win ball games.

How many homers does Howard have in late inning/high leverage situations vs the usual suspects since 2006?


Big ups.

Also, you know what doesn't correlate with better offense? Avg. with RISP. The top 3 teams in the NL in Avg with RISP currently are the Mets, Houston, and Atlanta. Those are the 11th, 12th, and 7th ranked offenses when it comes to runs, respectively.

And yet people still continue to harp on this point. Someday, maybe, they'll get it.

Jack: Well, Ibanez has a strong track record of staying healthy in recent years, so it wasn't terribly unreasonable to assume he would miss no significant playing time.

Sure, the 40-homerun prediction was a bit over-the-top. But Ibanez is theoretically still on pace to get to 37+. There have certainly been far zanier predictions made on Beerleaguer.

Sneed: don't worry about trying to change Jack, clout, truth and AWH's minds on things. They read what they want. Just because I said " watch raul hit 40 now" or " he is on pace to hit around 40". They took that as tommy predicted raul to hit 40 which is crazy. Now let's go back to my REAL prediction before the season of 25-30 and 100 rbis. Go read the comments from all those people that even though he moved to a smaller park he wouldn't even hit more than 20.

There really aren't a lot of CF's known for their arm strength, are there? It's usually the right-fielders with the biggest arms (Vlad, Ichiro, Franceour), and the CFs are speed guys who can cover a ton of ground.

So I don't get why Conlin was making such a big deal about the arm strength. It's a point in favor of Shane, but it's not like it's the be-all and end-all for CFs to have a great arm.

Tommy: Jack will be the first to admit he underestimated what Ibanez would produce this season. All is not lost.

Like I always say, right or wrong, you keep it real.

Taylor > Mayberry

and you know it.

CJ. Not true. I think you might be making the projection based on the number of games Ibanez has played (93). But it must be based on the number of games the Phillies have played. 27 homeruns in 117 games = 37.4 homeruns in 162 games.

Although the Phillies issues hitting with RISP may be frustrating to watch, it seems pretty clear that it is much less of a big problem than some make it out to be. Look at their W-L and place in the standings for proof.

Sneed: your right, I underestimated Taylor and didn't account for his history of slow starts at new levels. It looks like Taylor will turn it around in AAA. No matter what though. I believe barring a trade Taylor and Mayberry will be teammates on the big club in the upcoming years.

bap: ESPN's player card actually projects to a full season. Raul Ibanez's can be seen here. It shows Raul on pace for 40 HR.

Sneed: Yes, I underestimated the power Ibanez is showing this year. No question. Otherwise, his BA and OBP numbers are almost exactly in line with his recent seasons.

Tommy, I'm not gonna go searching through the archives, but I can't be the only one who remembers you basically begging people to bet against Ibanez reaching 40 HRs in May or so. You were gloating about how you thought it was a great signing, and essentially guaranteeing he would get to 40. Whatever, it's not worth getting into anymore, but you were clearly fooled by his hot start and failed to realize, like most smart fans could, that it wasn't gonna last all year.

Funny story about Howard Eskin and the Phillies:

One day in September of 2007 it seemed like the Phils had about a 50:50 chance at catching the Mets. All the callers to Eskin's radio show were amped. Could they possibly come back from 7 down with 17 to play and get a pennant for the first time since 1993?

Eskin says he "doesn't care either way" because -- get this -- he's a journalist.

All afternoon people called in ripping him, calling him a liar, saying he was an a$$ for not cheering on the team with everyone else. But he stuck to his guns. Wins and losses didn't matter, according to Howard. The important thing was his objectivity.

So, the Phils win. Harry sings "High Hopes." Myers and Victorino spray fans with the grounds crew hose. Players in the locker room spray each other champaign and there ... in the locker room ... on TV ... drinking ... drenched in champaign ... is Howard Eskin (with press badge on).

I saw it on TV with my own eyes. Here's a similar picture from the WFC:

Jack: I was gloating because I was right! Why would I have gloated in may at around 20 HRs if I "gaurenteed" 40? That makes no sense. Your wrong. Just end the argument. And of course you have to take a jab at me in the end and reference me as not a "smart fan". You truely are a grumpy old man. Time to take your medicine and your afternoon nap.

To be fair, Jack, you didn't like the signing at all and claimed Amaro had made a huge mistake letting Pat go and signing a lefty bad. On the other hand, tommy has lauded the signing since the beginning, which we've all concluded was a success.

Ibanez has been a streaky hitter his whole career. I know this from many years of picking him up in fantasy baseball midseason.

Honestly, WHO GIVES A CRAP?!?

Let's celebrate how great our team is playing of late, not whine about who thought Raul would have 40 HRS in May.

Two points on Vic:

- He has poor judgement on properly using the cutoff man. He has a strong arm for a CF but there are times he would be better off hitting JRoll (who is a decent cutoff man with a pretty solid and accurate arm on rely throws).

Instead Vic tries his macho man crap too often with mixed results.

- Vic has blinding speed and you can clearly tell he was a sprinter at some point. After about 3-4 steps he really flies out there. He doesn't have great judgement though on how the track of a ball even though he has been a pretty regular CF now for the past 2 seasons. He makes up for that with his speed and great closing ability but he likely won't be able to do that as well in another 2-3 years due to age.

MG: Just looked it up. Ryan Howard, in late innings of close games, has a .476 avg vs. RHP with 12 RBIs, and a .167 avg. vs. LHP with 0 RBIs.

When ahead in the count in a game, his splits are .291 vs. LHP, .394 vs. RHP. When behind in the count, he's .151 vs. LHP, .221 vs. RHP

JR King: Thanks for that. Classic.

Eskin is human and he was a huge Phils head in the 70's/80's when Bowa and Pete Rose partied with him. In fact, Eskin has always been more of a jock sniffer than a FO guy. If you pet him, he will back off. The Eagles learned this a long time ago; the Phils either don't get it or don't care. Until they became WFC it seemed like they had really screwed up their PR battle; not even Eskin bashing 162 games a year won't bring them down. The city has collectively tuned him out on this issue so he's just yelling louder.


since you post on here like 1,200 times a day I usually don't care about a lot of the things you say either, but I like to keep my mouth shut and relax.

CJ: I don't know how ESPN is doing their projections because it's pretty straightforward: (27 homeruns X 162 games)/117 games played to date = 37.4

Unless my calculator isn't functioning properly, that is.

"That left-handed pitching comes in there in the eighth and ninth inning to face those three lefties," Manuel said, referring to Utley, Howard and Ibanez. "We haven't been very successful there lately."

-UC on why he has put Werth in the 5-hole recently.

WIP is a bit much for me. I tune in after a Phillies game and everyone can only talk about why Andy Reid refuses to run the football and the deep emotional pain that resulted from the signing of Michael Vick. Its a broken record.

Ike Reese is the man, though.

MG: I have the impression that Vic's paths to balls has improved this year compared to last. Doesn't mean he's perfect, but it seems like he's getting better. So as his speed diminishes, I'd like to think he'd compensate by taking better paths to the ball.

Sneed: I like your style. I need you around here more often.

Yes, I am quite a grumpy old man. That's a fair point. Seriously though, you can think what you want, but it was clear you overreacted to the hot start. That's fine.

More importantly, at some point in the next month and a half, we'd like to see Raul get some of his swing back. His bat has looked rather slow the last few weeks. Howard and Werth are covering for him right now, but it will certainly help if he can back on track for October.

Finally, Sneed is right I didn't like the signing when it first happened, but a large part of that was the 3 years, considering how old Ibanez was. And it's not like we can make a judgement on the entire contract right now, when we're not even 1/3 of the way through it. If it had been a 1-year deal, I would've liked it way more, because it's a lot easier to see Ibanez having this kind of season this year than in 2011.

Ibanez is an extraordinarily streaky hitter--a fact obscured during the Burrell debates by the common proclamation that...he wasn't.

Here's Joe Posnanski, during the Ibanez/steroids contre-temps:

"When Raul Ibanez is hot, he’s HOT. There’s aren’t many people in baseball like him.

Look: Through 55 games, Ibanez was hitting .329/.386/.676 with 19 homers.

OK, let’s start in 2002. That year, Ibanez had a 50-game streak — June 7 to August 2 — when he hit .328/.385/.704 with 15 doubles, 5 triples, 15 homers. He drove in 54 runs. Few noticed because the Royals were abysmal that year, and it was in the middle of the season. But that stretch, you will note, is about as good as the stretch he’s on now. In some ways, it’s even better.

In 2003, he had a 55-game stretch where he hit .326/.360/.514 … not as good, but pretty damned good.

In 2004, he hit .365 over a 54-game stretch. In 2005, he got off to a dreadful start and then hit .330/.400/.524 over his next 55 games. In 2006, he hit 18 homers and drove in 57 RBIs in a 52-game stretch.

The last 52 games of the 2007 season, Ibanez hit .363/.425/.652 with 15 homers.

Last year, for 55 games, July 12 to Sept. 14, he hit .374/.435/.648 with 17 doubles, 2 triples, 13 homers. And that, you might remember, was in Seattle and a lousy hitters’ ballpark.

This is a man who, when he gets hot, absolutely tears up pitchers. I’ve seen it up close. He has had a 50-to-60 game hot streak EVERY SINGLE YEAR since 2002."

And of course, those streaks are balanced by periods of serious impotency. In 08, for example, before going on his tear, he hit .252/.322/.431 (through 56 games). And afterward, in his final month, he hit a paltry .233/.292/.301.

We see the same pattern in '07, '05, '04, '02, and, I suppose, '09.

But, looking on the bright side, it's possible that there's enough of a season left, that by September's end, we will have exhausted the coldness and seen the re-emergence of hot Raul. In which case, for the playoffs, we'd have the best hitter in baseball.

bap: ESPN projects Ibanez to get about 4 ABs the rest of the way. And he's averaged a HR ever 13.59259 ABs so far this season. That equates to about 13 more HR the rest of the way.

Ibanez isn't going to hit 40 HRs but that is completely besides the point. The issue was he going to be able to duplicate Burrell's power numbers from last year and the answer is YES.

Phils don't need Ibanez to hit 40 HRs with the other sources of power in their lineup. They just needed him to hit about 25 HRs or so and he has already done that.

Jack: The 3-year deal, plus his left-handedness, were my objections to the signing. The left-handedness has proven to be a non-issue, or at least a very minor one. The length of the contract may yet prove to be costly. Still, if we didn't have Ibanez this year, then who would we have? Pat Burrell? Milton Bradley? Rocco Baldelli? Of the names that were under discussion at the time, the only one who has had a solid year is Juan Rivera -- and his stats are nowhere near the level of Ibanez's.


Good stuff. I knew my fantasy baseball instincts had paid off. I've picked the guy off waivers at the onset of one of his hot streaks many times and it usually paid dividends.



CJ: Ah, ok. They're going by ABs, rather than games played. I would say that's a pretty dubious projection system. Surely, Cholly's going to give him a few days off between now and the end of the year -- particularly if they clinch early.

bap: Yes, any projections are dubious by nature. That's just how they did it.

I'd be happy if Rauuuuuul got to 35 HR. That would be a GREAT year for him.

My memory is the same as Jack's in that whatever mvptommy's initial prediction, a month into the season he did indeed offer to bet that Ibanez would hit 40 HRs. But I don't recall that being a huge deal.

The largest debate, which took up many more posts, happened BEFORE the season began and had to do with Ibanez reaching 100 RBIs. That was because everyone assumed Ibanez would hit 6th, that even Charlie wouldn't be stupid enough to bat 3 lefties in a row in the heart of the order.

Myself and a few others predicted that batting 6th, there's no way Ibanez could get 100 RBI because Utley, Howard & Wrth would not leave him any opportunities. mvptommy said 6th or not, Ibanez would get to 100 RBI. That is the debate I remember.

It is a debate that is moot, because he wound up batting 6th in only 31% of his starts and nearly all of those vs. LH SP. Against RH SP he batted 5th.

I think Raul's recent hitting problems are due to that big wad of crap in his chaw that he insists on using. It throws off his balance. It makes him look like a hayseed. Just like hitters will use a lighter bat to quicken their swing, Raul needs to reduce his tobacco juice load to lighten himself up.

BenFran will spell him tonight.

Clout: You and other stances were not ONLY batting 6th. It was no matter what Ibanez wouldn't get 100. And I said no matter what, he would. Stop trying to weasel out of every debate you are wrong about. First Garland, not this. Just stop.

Lake Fred- That last post sounds like a T-Mac and Sarge in depth topic

Howard Eskin story:
Back 20 years ago, my brother-in-law, a state policeman, pulled Howard over in his car for going over 50 in a 35 mph zone. After running checks that came out ok, Howard asked him if he know who he was. My brother-in-law told him he never heard of him and wrote him out a ticket for over $100.00. Howard was mad and drove away cursing. My brother-in-law knew exactly who he was and to this day says it was the most pleasure he ever got out of issuing a speeding ticket.

clout - Yeah that was the major debate and I thought Ibanez wouldn't get 100 RBIs either if he was used in the 6th hole most of the year.

It was because he was hitting so well that Raul was moved to 5th in the order.

Beerleaguer: Where people can debate about the debate over and over and over again.

CJ: That's ironic

mvptommy: You are lying. Go back and look at the thread. The original point was that hitting 6th he couldn't get there.

MVP: No, clout never categorically claimed that Ibanez would not get to 100 RBIs. Why would any rational person say that about a guy who has knocked in 100 or more runs 3 years in a row? The debate was over whether he would get 100 RBIs batting primarily out of the 6th spot. I remember this distinctly because I wrote countless posts in which I expressed the view that the reason few No. 6 hitters reach 100 RBIs is not because of the spot they bat in the lineup, but because there simply aren't very many dynamic hitters who bat sixth.

But, I agree with clout. The argument is moot, since Ibanez has spent so much time batting 5th.

Yes, it was hitting 6th he wouldn't get there, not NO MATTER WHAT.

I countered saying that some recent Rockies teams had 4 guys with 100 RBIs as did 1 or 2 of the late 90s Yankees teams. Its possible but very difficult to do it.

Clout: I DID read the original thread. I said 25 homeruns and 100 rbis. You and a bunch other called me "crazy", "stupid", " not understanding career norms". I am reading it now. NOWHERE in there does it say your stance of "only batting 6th he can't hit 100 rbis".

Werth has a shot at 100 this year batting a lot of 6th -with some 5th & 3rd mixed in.

I think Mike Lowell also did it a couple years ago.

Nah Nah Nah Nah! Why don't you guys settle this at recess.

Speaking of great lineups, I saw on ESPN today that 8 of the Angels starting 9 are hitting above .300, and the other guy is hitting .275--thats pretty impressive. For some reason they worry me more than the Yankees as a potential WS matchup (not to get ahead of myself, of course).

Klaus: I remember seeing that article. I like a lot of Joe's work in general, and that one in particular was very good.

I am just so tired of people espically clout changing his stance. Like the other day with Garland he said that his debate was that he said it would be "outrageous to trade Happ for Garland". But you can bet your bottom dollar if Garland pitched better than Happ this year, clout would say he was right. Now he is changing this stance.

The Angels have a very good and dangerous team. Though I think great starting pitching would trump their lineup in the it has the last couple years.

Yo, new thread.

mvptommy: So the RBI discussion contained no mention of Raul batting 6th? And yet 4 separate posters here all remember the whole point of the debate was his spot in the lineup and how hard it would be to get to 100 with these guys in front of him, when he batted cleanup in Seattle. How do you explain this? Mass hypnotism? Or bad recollection on your part?

Clout: simple answer. All those people agreed with you that he couldn't do it. I am reading it now. You guys were wrong.

sneed: yes that would be my prediction, since Pujols is getting pegged more times then he actually gets a basehit lately.

And Howard's septembers are a thing of beauty, especially in this offense, where the RBIs will pile up much easier and the protection looks legit with Werth and even a cold Ibanez still must caution most pitchers.

Its a homerish prediction, but i'm a homer so oh well.

Yo, new thread.

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EST. 2005

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