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Friday, September 25, 2009

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Well, at least we got something out of that trade with Ben Francisco.

JK: Sorry, couldn't resist.

Although, the fact that he has worn down in the past, combined with the number of innings and pitches he has thrown this year (especially with the Phillies), does lead to a little consternation.

***the focus could easily shift to Rube's big deadline acquisition, Lee, who has been wildly inconsistent for a month***

Maybe this is why the Tribe made the deal?

Nothing like a couple of 3 run bombs to ruin your evening.

At least Lidge has settled into a groove. at least 1 ER per inning. If Manuel uses him in the 8th or earlier, I have a certain level of comfort knowing that he's likely to only surrender one run.

more than just a little consternation over here....

I haven't been here all day and just now saw that Jason used my mopey post from last night in an article...sheesh. Okay, it was negative. I was just really expressing what I personally felt and shouldn't have presumed to speak for anyone else. I do enjoy and appreciate the fact that the Phillies are an elite team and are about to win their third straight division. But that's really enough for me. If they get blown out of the division series, I really don't care. You cannot, not a single one of you, possibly, POSSIBLY have been a more insanely devoted Phillies fan than me from 1984-2008. They did the ultimate: they won the World Series. Then Harry Kalas died. It doesn't mean the same for me now and it never will again. That's just me talking. The rest of you carry on.

Great, Lee has now turned into a complete piece of garbage. You got to be thinking Cole starts game 1. So much for wrapping up the division on the weekend.

(via Lauber on Twitter): "Cliff Lee's first 5 starts for the Phillies: 5-0, 0.68 ERA. Cliff Lee's last 6 starts for the Phillies: 2-3, 6.35 ERA"

Anybody find themselves missing Sal Fasano this week?

While there is plenty out there debunking that "hot" teams going into the playoffs don't necessarily win in the postseason, I don't remember ever seeing a piece done on starting pitchers.

I would be willing to bet that if a starting pitcher has really struggled in the last 5-6 week of the season that he generally posts some mixed results in the playoffs too.

I don't want one of whatever RSB is drinking.
Or Greg V.
Gimme a shot of WTF.

Yesterday I said that Rube would intervene in the closer situation and today he did.

I'm not right very often - that's the only reason it bears mentioning. lol

I agree with Smokyjoe, from the previous thread. Athletes should be paid on a performance basis, at year's end, lump-sum. For instance, if Victorino breaks his leg, or otherwise fails to perform up to "snuff"--as to be decided by the FO--he should be paid very little or not at all. No play, no pay. Fair, no?

Smoky mentions Adam Eaton. As he says, an example of socialism par excellance. In the 06 labor accord it was mandated that Eaton be given a contract worth 30 million over three years. Gillick had no choice.

Of course, this reasoning extends not only to baseball contracts but all manner of guaranteed pay, such as hourly wages. Security only encourages sloth. Why should a janitor receive his 10 dollars if he fails to sweep a floor with the desired thoroughness? Admittedly, all of this sounds anti-labor but...my father owns a factory.

I'm not ready to give up on Cliff Lee just yet.

Security only encourages sloth? That is chilling.
And of all examples to bring up, you bring up Adam Eaton? Bad example, and there is nothing "socialist" about that.
Enough of that.

RSB - I have been as big a fan as you, but luckily for me, my devotion started a little earlier - in 1978, so ever since my second full season with them, it's been all gravy. Over the last 30 years, we have actually had it better than fans of 23 other teams. (Only the Dodgers, Twins, Blue Jays, Yankees, Marlins, Cardinals, Red Sox and our Phillies have won multiple championships over that span!)

Old phan: do you mean that a market in which employers bid, and sometimes overpay, for talent isn't socialistic? Hmm, seems as though one of us doesn't know what socialism is.

I'm as upset as anyone that Cliffy isn't pitching complete game shutouts everytime around, but let's be realistic. It was inevitable that the league would catch up with him. I hate bad starts, but in terms of playoff starts, who would you rather have starting Game 2 other than Cliffy?

Um, I for one would hope the Phils would still pay Vic if he broke his leg, because its valuable that he's around in the long term for many seasons to come, and you can't just call up a temp agency and find someone able to do Vic's job for low pay and no benefits.

Not to wildly derail this thread, but Klaus's view of capitalism is basically "owners always win." Even Adam Smith didn't think it should or would be like that. Investing capital in raw material or labor is an inherently risky proposition, which is why the capitalist class who can affford to make it are also the ones who benefit most when it pays off. Most of the time, it works out in their favor, but sometime it doesn't, and you end up overpaying for Adam Eaton.

But a system where the owners of capital are ensured that their every investment pays off isn't capitalism, its closer to fascism. Just thought I'd put your proposal into perspective there, Klaus.

Under socialism,Howard and Bruntlett would be paid the same.

Owners do usually win. Not just the owners of sports franchises but the owners of sports media corporations, the sponsors, the retail concerns all the way from merchandise through dinner at the ballpark. The reason they pay these retarded, outlandish salaries in the first place is that they make inordinate amounts of money off of fans.
Before worrying about getting bilked on paying someone who doesn't have a good season, I'd worry about where all that money they're paying comes from. Think about it the next time you pay for anything the city gets a cut of (ballpark deals are expensive), or the next time you get a TV package, pay for a ticket to the game, sit at home watching a minute of commercials for every 2 minutes of coverage, pick up some merchandise, buy a beer at the ballpark, etc.

Just because we aren't making the millions ourselves doesn't mean we're getting nothing out of it. We get entertained. We're pretty willing to pay a lot for that, when you consider we buy TVs, books, stereos & CDs, go to concerts and movies, watch and attend sports events. "N" is absolutely right that we have a choice whether or not to support the sports owners/athletes, but it's hard to be a fan w/o partaking. And we get a pretty decent amount of enjoyment out of being fans. Esp. those of us whose loyalties are to a team that should go to the postseason for the 3rd year in a row.

Think we need to define our terms here. Not really advancing discussion by throwing wooly isms around.

MIL has the best OPS in the NL against LHP. Lee was also coming off his 124 pitch SO that was so hotly disputed on these pages.

Ah, I misread BR, who didn't have his latest start up. Lee's SO was two starts ago; his most previous start was the rain-shortened ATL game.

This team is physically and statistically beat up right now.

I'm gald to see that so many people ran with my tongue-in-cheek post...

KK today=win. Let's hope the Nats make a Mockery of the Braves today.

I have no doubts that they are going to the playoffs, no doubts that they have as good of chance as any team in the crap shoot called the playoffs, no doubts that this team knows what it takes to win.

Why is it that I won't breathe easier until it is officially clinched?

Timr, n, gbrett: good posts, particularly Tim's. Couldn't agree more.

RSB - save your self-congratulatory "I'm the best Phillies fan" rhetoric for your all red Phillies basement. No one really cares.

We're glad all you cared about was just winning that one WS. Some of us are hoping for a little more.

I can't believe it took til September 25th for Amaro and Manuel to officially acknowledge that other options will be necessary in the ninth inning. There are nine games left in the season, not exactly the optimal time needed to audition new closer candidates.

48 for 48 buys you a lot of goodwill, but I'd argue that Lidge has about used it up with both the fans and management. How he's treated next year will be very interesting.

With HAmels start (4 runs in 7 innings) and Less's start last night calling Happ's performance Thursday that of a "sevicible starter" and what weexpected all along is pretty lame. 5-2/2 innings and two runs (1 of which should have been unearned since Ryan just missed a low throw that never hit the ground) 7 So and 2 BB is pretty good against a Breweres tean that is 7 & 3 in their last 10 games. In Happ's last two shotened starts comming back from an injuty he has throw 8-2/3 innings w/ 3 earned runs and 6 of the innings have had 0 runs scored in them. JW, I would say if that is what you expect of just a servicible starter you may want to rethink yourdefinition of one. If everyone expected Happ to have an ERA around 3 then everyone was right. We already have Keith Law bashing the kid, don't help that idiot.

From AP:

Lidge pitched the seventh inning of Friday's 8-4 loss to Milwaukee. The Brewers were leading 7-2 when Lidge came in and gave up a run, but he still considered the outing valuable.

For now, he's more concerned about straightening himself out than he is about his role.

"Keep giving me the ball," Lidge said. "It doesn't matter, the situation. I need to get myself ready to pitch this postseason. It doesn't matter to me if it's a one-run game or we're down by seven. Work like that tonight is very productive for me."

Klaus: In the labor accord, it was mandated that Adam Eaton get $8M for 3 years, so Gillick had no choice but to pay him that? Which clause of the CBA was that in?

When the Phillies signed Adam Eaton, it was a privately owned organization making a conscious choice to sign an injury-prone, erratic pitcher, and to pay him $24.5M for 3 years. That they have to honor their contract is NOT socialism. Socialism would be if the government passed a law that said all baseball players had to make the same amount, then taxed the high-paid ones to make up the difference for the low-paid ones.

I thought Klaus' rant was tongue-in-cheek and therefore brilliant. You're telling me he was serious? Wow.

RSB: I care

Looking forward to Kendrick shutting down the brewcrew. I'm feeling a 8IP 2ER shot in the arm from 2010's 5th starter.

"In the labor accord, it was mandated that Adam Eaton get $8M for 3 years, so Gillick had no choice but to pay him that?"

BAP: I was only trying to substantiate Smoky's claim that free agency is socialistic. If the only way to substantiate the claim is to invent an absurdity, then, well, what does that say about the original claim?

Drove 200 miles and sailed another hundred on the Lake Michigan ferry to see the game last night and tonight's. Ihe best thing I can say is that the Phils sure do have an awesome pre-game practice.

Lee was getting pasted throwing his off speed stuff. The looks on the faces of the team going into the dug-out after the Brewers bottom of the first made it pretty clear that the team would just play out the remaining eight innings of the game and wait for tomorrow.

Frankly, that really sucked to see a team give up so easily, not simply because the wife and I were there, but because professionals getting paid big bucks ought not perform so lethargicly. The team sure did not show any sense of urgency coursing through their veins.

As to Klaus, and economic Darwinism in baseball, BAP said most of it, because there isn't much one can say to a guy who would boast about ones father's economic accomplishments instead of his own, other than to point out it reminds one of George W. Bush. You know, that guy born on third base but still thumps his chest thinking he hit a triple.

GO PHILS!

btw the best line of the night heard last night was when Lee threw to first on a pick off move and nearly threw the ball away. some guy wering a phils #26 utley jersey shouted out "Cliff! you don't have to throw a curve to first!"

That was funny!

Klaus: Ah, ok. I did not read the prior thread & didn't realize that you were being intentionally ironic.

Wow...talk about a gap in postings!

I try not to put too much stock into body language, expressions on faces, and stuff like that because it can't be measured and some geek with a calculator would it's irrelevant because it can't be quantified, but last night certainly seemed like a game where you could tell the team was defeated just by their body language from the get-go, didn't even have to look at any stats to see they lost.

I think it just blew everyone's mind how many people responded to Klaus as if was being serious.

And one thing to keep in mind about that magic number, if we only get to 3 (Braves losses plus Phils wins) and end up tied, we still get in the playoffs (without having to play an extra game) if both teams finish ahead of the Rockies.

But my prediction is we win one of the next two against the Brewers, Lowe gets lit up by the Nats tomorrow, Hamels outduels Bazardo on Monday, and Happ manages a win over Undecided on Tuesday (a game to which I just happen to have tickets) to clinch it.

I'm getting antsy for this clinch. Seems like it's never going to happen.

At the time it seemed like gravy getting that 2nd win in the last Braves series, but I would be pretty nervous right now if they were only 3.5 back considering their remaining schedule and how hot they are.

rsb -

I care, but I think I know what you mean, kind of, sort of.

Last year and for a couple of years before that, I remember fretting all the time about the games, whether the Phils had won or not. I saw the talent on the roster and the incredible nucleus and remember thinking these are good guys and certainly good enough players to win a world championship, but that it might or might not happen. The window never stays open long. There are many, many deserving players who never won a WS. The idea that Chase, Ryan, Jimmy, and Cole might not be part of a championship team in Philly seemed like a terrible thing.

Last year, as they got closer and closer, the anxiety level rose, thinking about how near to the goal the team was getting. But there was always the fear that they could get so close, and still have it slip away.

It was kind of a catharsis when they won. Now I hope they go all the way again, for sure. It would be great. But, the fact is, they have reached the top, and if they put forth their best effort and it doesn't work out this time around, well I can live with that.

Everything had to go right for them to win last year and it did. To catch lightning in a bottle again would be unbelievable and I would celebrate with everyone else. But I realize, in my heart of hearts how stacked the odds are against that happening, and it's still all good.

They're an elite team, with good guys, fun to watch, no bad actors among them. A couple of superstars, one of the best players in the game locked up on a long term contract who is a real part of the City, a few lesser stars, and some decent role players. How good is that?

The deeper they go into the season, the more wound up I will get. But that incredible joy, hope, fear, everything that goes into being a Phillies sports fan (one who cut their teeth on 1964 with his Dad to boot). That has mellowed out for me some. I'm enjoying the ride at this point.

As someone who was around for Gene Mauch and 1964 I say they will clinch. But given my experience trust me when I say:
1.CM is not a good manager although he is a nice guy. His teams win despite him and not becuase of him. He routinely is unable to prepare the team for tthe season and we all know he can't manage (90% of the psots here areabout second guessing him).
2. As I have written and posted in the past a closer is someone who is lights out (Rivera, Lidge 2008). Absent such a pitcher a manager needs to calculate which pitcher is best for the given situation. Its not about Freud and the psychlogy of closing its about pitching skills. If it was about the former we would be having discussions about which pitcher has the psychological makeup to close his own game and w don't ever engage in such nonsense.

The fact that it feels like the Braves aren't going to lose another game is what makes it feel like this is taking so long. They got hot, and they happened to get to play the Mutts and the Nationals. And they have the Nationals again next weekend? Time to start rooting for the Fish so that they still have something to play for against the Bravos ...

And of course, the fact that we are Philadelphia fans gives us that underlying gut feeling that something disastrous is going to happen namely to US, despite last year, and despite the fact that all the percentages are against it. Phils are just going to have to go ahead and win three or four games themselves, go figure ...

I was on vacation with no internet access for the past week so I'm a bit behind. So has anyone mentioned that Brad Lidge sucks? I mean, what's it gonna take to end it?

We won't make it out of the first round with him in the BP.

I'm beginning to think we should have gotten Halladay instead. He's proven he can pitch against the good offenses.

Phillies Notebook: Phillies acknowledge it's time for alternative to Lidge

As read with this playing in my head. Eureka!! Cholly and Rube finally got it!

Agree with you completely, Bob. Good post.

And the game chat thread is up.

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