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Monday, September 28, 2009


Yo, no matter what happens the Phils will have taken it down to the final game. Okay, I'm not drunk tonight and wont get all gung-ho. I understand that this hasnt been a very pleasant couple of weeks but they are merely puttering along half-arsedly at a .500 clip rather than in full bore collapse. It just seems more dire as the Braves are just not losing at all. The Phils will win 2 and the Braves drop one by Friday night at the latest. Now, once they clinch, I say forget scrapping for playoff seeding. Give the players a rest. This is the lineup the Phils should run out the final weekend. So, yep, this was a stinker
but chins up and sleep this one off. Hey, by this time tomorrow it could be down to one.

Francisco CF
Cairo 2B
Dobbs 3B
Stairs RF
Mayberry LF
Tracy 1B
Hoover C
Bruntlett SS


oh and Jack, are you saying you'd trade Berkman for Howard straight up?

So, maybe the Rox stall out and the Phils fall into the WC?

Seriously, right now, the Phils can't do anything right and the team stalking them seems invincible. That's surely got to be in their heads by now. If they can quickly gather themselves and right the ship this week, I think that's an excellent sign of their preparedness for the rigors of the postseason. If they can't, well, they just might miss the postseason. In that case, there would be the silver lining of sparing us from watching an agonizing ass-kicking of our mentally-shellacked squad in the first round.

How many steals does Berkman have?


Next 2 games are pretty important for the Phils to at least split against some really weak opposing starters. If they lose them, the pressure on them is really going to start amount to something significant.

My bet is the Phils clinch this make this a nailbiter but clinch on Sat. vs. Fish.

I'm drunk tonight a pissed off by that loss. I may have more meaningful things to say tomorrow - probs not though

Today's game might have been the most frustrating game to be at... and certainly worse reading the crud from the usual suspects... someone mentioned that beerleaguer is like the being at a bar with fellow fans... There's no way I'd have a drink with most of you... as you keep complaining that your drink is not full as you keep sipping it...

While Cole didn't have his best stuff... his line was made worse by Charlie unnecessarily jumping to the bullpen in the 7th. If you can't trust your ace to get ONE more frigging out, I don't know what that says about your team. Charging Hamels with 2 more runs (one that he IBB before being pulled, ) because Walker served up a meatball to Lee is one of the more frustrating rules in baseball. I would have let Hamels get out of that inning. But at least @bap can say Hamels sucked tonight. And @MG Hamels really gave up 5 runs but he's charged with the 6th run because Manuel had him IBB Berkman. If you are going to IBB berkman, have Walker do it... that way Walker's on the hook for at least one of the runners maybe he doesn't groove one for Lee. Still Hamels gave up only 4 runs on his watch... But that's okay... @bap is happy because he can finally say Hamels sucked tonight.

@Jack -- If Howard and Berkman's OPS+ are that CLOSE, than clearly its a flawed stat, if it's the "BEST" way to value a hitter. Because If you'd rather have the guy hitting .268 with 24HR and 77RBI rather than the guy hitting .275 43HR and 137RBI, i don't know what to say about that. I'll take Ryan Howard, thank you very much.

YAY!!! We're back to the ridiculous Berkman vs Howard debate...Big shock who starts it.

Was at the game tonight and the crowd was really trying to get the team riled up and they were live the whole time. the team just came up small tonight all around (except for maybe Victorino and Romero). For whatever reason, the Phillies want to make this more difficult than it should be.

I still think they can lock this division up by the end of this series and then we play trash against the Marlins. Maybe it takes til Friday.

Just got home from easily the worst game I have been to all season. One can always discount a bad game in July but not a game against a bottom dwelling Astros while trying to clinch the division. There is simply no excuse for it. The pitching is lousy and the hitting is crap. This team appears to be totally out of gas. Will they win the division? Probably but I don't give them the same odds I gave them all season anymore. Will they go further? I doubt it. These guys don't appear to have anything left. Time for a beer.

Btw, while the Phillies get the Fish, the Braves get the Nats. So I would say it's essential that the Phils at least take 2 if not the next 3 from the 'stros.


-Basically the entire team is in such a funk that they are all due to regress to the mean and start playing like they are capable of. When they do, it will be an awesome thing to see.

-The Phils are still in first and due to take a couple of games against some mediocrities. The Braves are due to have a couple of breaks go the other teams' way.

-Bako is starting to do the job defensively behind the plate.

- They are a veteran team that knows how to win.


-By the time they revert to the mean, it may be next year.

-Mediocrities are often inflated to Cy Young candidates by this team for some reason I have not been able to fathom for three years.

-Bako's hitting is for the most part, horrendous.

-Mitch Williams talked often last year about how this team was unlike any other he had seen in its ability to take care of business. There have certainly been flashes of this from time to time, but if they still have this trait, it has seemed far less evident, particularly in the late season.

I think the convention is to have the starter walk the guy, then turn it over to the pen. He's the guy who put them in a position where the IBB is the best move. That said, from what I was seeing, I would have let Hamels finish that inning. Close game, I want my best pitcher throwing, not Tyler Walker.

Jack, you really need to re-think your obsessive dislike for Howard.

From earlier in the year - although I doubt the ratios of the current players have changed much.


Ruth 3.80
Howard 4.18
Williams 4.19
Ramirez 4.42
dimaggio 4.44
Pujols 4.64
Mantle 5.37
Mays 5.72

Actually, Jack, Howards ab/rbi has increased somewhat since earlier in the year. He's now tied with Ted freakin' Williams (4.19)

OK, the Astros have a .667 winning percentage vs. the Phils since 2004, right? my calculations, that means we have to take the next 2 out of 3. Everything reverts to the norm.

So, time to revert Phils. Starting tomorrow.

People are getting down on Ryno? That's a joke, but since there is frustration about the way the team is playing, I'll chalk it up to temporary psychosis

Anyone who would rather have Berkman than Howard is retarded. Bottom line.

Greg, I was trying to be diplomatic, but yes, you're right.

mike c - "@MG Hamels really gave up 5 runs but he's charged with the 6th run because Manuel had him IBB Berkman. If you are going to IBB berkman, have Walker do it... that way Walker's on the hook for at least one of the runners maybe he doesn't groove one for Lee. Still Hamels gave up only 4 runs on his watch... But that's okay."

So Hamels really gave up 5 runs instead of 6 runs? Your point is? His team was in a close game at the time and Hamels let it get blown wide open.

Hamels had his chances to make a pitch in a couple of spots in the 6th and 7th innings and he didn't make it in a single one of them.

I didn't fault Cholly for giving an IBB to Berkman or matching up Walker (rigthy) against Lee.

Berkman has good career numbers against Hamels and bringing in a right-handed reliever to face Lee was the right call there. Walker didn't make a good pitch and Lee burned him.

Even Hamels after the game in his post-game comments said that he didn't pitch well and didn't make a pitch when he had in the 6th & 7th innings.

So I guess most people (including Hamels) thought that he didn't pitch well tonight and you are taking a pitch different position.

How come Jayson Werth always kept his hands held high and all of a sudden he's in a slump and the hands at his belt? I just dont get it at all.
Shane is swing out of his spikes at just about anything and not waiting for the ball deep in the zone.
Chase... I have no idea what the hell he's doing up there. And neither does he.

Greg V.: Lance Berkman career OPS+ 147 (same as M. Schmidt), Howard's is 142. This year OPS+ Berkman 138, Howard 136. Anyone who would say "Anyone who would rather have Berkman than Howard is retarded. Bottom line." is, uh, special. (Oh, yeah - Bottom line.)

Utley is a mystery. Injured again, perhaps?

I probably wouldn't trade Howard for Berkman because of their ages (Berkman is 3 years older). At this point, Howard is probably the better overall hitter going forward, although it's certainly close, as their OPS+ for this season indicates.

But Berkman has been (and still is) a fantastic hitter for his career, certainly underrated due to having a prime that coincided with the Bonds and then Pujols era. Berkman has had 5 seasons of 150 OPS+ (Howard has 1), and has put up pretty damn good power numbers himself (avg. 35 HRs a season for his career), and while being a career .299 hitter (Howard is .279), and having a career OBP almost 40 points higher (.412 to .375).

Yeah, I don't know his ab/rbi though. Good point.

Berkman's nickname is certainly better, although he hated it and so changed it to the "Big Puma" or something lame like that.

Fat Elvis was so much better. One of the best nicknames in baseball if you ask me.

The Phillies are not yet in the danger zone, but they are sure as hell in danger of being in the danger zone.

Tomorrow is undoubtedly the braves' best remaining chance to lose a game, as Johnson is on the mound for the Fish. If Johnson can beat the Braves and we can beat the godawful Wilton Lopez, we clinch a tie and I think we'll all sleep pretty easily for the rest of the week (even if the process of clinching has been incredibly unsightly). Even without a Braves loss, I think we'll all feel a lot better if we can win tomorrow. But if the lead is 3 after tomorrow night, then this thing is starting to spiral out of control & I daresay it's gonna end badly.

Jack. Howard has average 30 more rbi per 162 game season than Berkman (and 15 more HR).

That's not to put Berkman down. His ab/rbi is actually very, very good - 5.04

Here's few more added to the list along with Berkman:

Ruth 3.795
Gehrig 4.011
Williams 4.190
HOWARD 4.193
Ramirez 4.415
Dimaggio 4.438
Pujols 4.640
Bonds 4.933
Berkman 5.040
Mantle 5.369
Aaron 5.383
Musial 5.624
Mays 5.718
Cobb 5.903

phlipper: Do you think Howard may benefit from batting 4th for all of his career, while Berkman has mostly batted 3rd? Also, do you think maybe Howard's RBI totals are helped by hitting behind Chase Utley and his .380+ OBP? While Berkman has batted behind the likes of Willy Taveras and Craig Biggio (end of his career when he was a .310 OBP guy) and Chris Burke? Do you think that may have something to do with at least some of the disparity in their RBI totals? Possibly?

I think the Phillies are doing this on purpose. They feel it's been too easy for the fans this season, so they want us to sweat before they clinch. Yup, that's it.

Don't want get into a Berkman vs. Howard argument but you certainly could throw Berkman's name into the hat for the best overall hitter of the decade.

Average per season from 2000-09:

.300, 31 HR, 102 RBIs with a line of .300/.413/.559 (.972 OPS) with a 148+ OPS.

Meant the NL. Manny and ARod have been better (can make an argument for Guerrero) too but not many.

Pujols didn't come into the league until 2001.

MG: That title will certainly go to Pujols, probably followed by A-Rod, Bonds and Manny, but I would certainly put Berkman right behind them. A great hitter, one who really gets overlooked sometimes (which was really all I was trying to say by bringing up the comparison to Howard).

In this his 9th season, if we assume he wins MVP this year (and he's going to), Pujols will have 3 MVP awards, 8 top 5 MVP finishes, and 9 top 10 MVP finishes in 9 seasons.

Player of the Decade for both leagues, no questions asked.

The worst is, if the Phils somehow find a way to blow this, it will be worse than 64 or even the Mets a couple of years ago.

I really didn't think I would be having a heartache at this point. I should have known better, eh?

This team is in big trouble. Most of us know it. A game like tonight, only fortifies it. When REAL championship teams are putting the hammer down and going into post-season play in style, the Phils are stumbling around against AAA pitchers and teams already looking forward to vacation next week. Even when they win, they don't look particularly good doing it most nights.

The offense and many of its key components are tired (and have been tired for weeks). The pitcher's best friend (Ruiz) is hurt. The bench has never been developed and now when its needed, its too late. The bullpen is in absolute shambles, with no roles defined and a bunch of guys either hurt or trying to scramble back at the very last minute to get healthy.

And now the one component of the team that has been carrying the load since June (the starting staff) is starting to show cracks with guys like Hamels, Lee and Blanton all looking like they are on fumes from all the heavy lifting they have been asked to do. Hamels should have 16 wins already, but because of shoddy relief pitching, only has 10. That wears on you, no matter who you are.

Some of these issues you have no control over. Guys like Park, Eyre, Myers, Romero and Madson having physical issues all at the same time, you can't do much about. Lidge's pathetic display this year also let everybody down and made these past 2 weeks of baseball, much more tense then they rightfully should have been. Rollins poor lead-off offensive season, has been a killer as well, on those nights when the opposing pitchers are keeping the ball in the park.

But when this 2009 season chapter is finally written, the field manager and GM will (and should) get a lot of blame, for letting things get away and wasting some great individual years, in a National League that was ripe for the picking once again. It will be sad to think "what could have been", with this collection of talent. Sticking with a closer with a 7.50 ERA, until late September, was the backbreaker that eventually broke the dam. You can only lose so many games in the 9th inning, before it effects other parts of the team. Being stubborn and stupid with that 9th inning guy, in the end, will be what this season will be remembered by. And dumb luck has nothing to do with that.

Berkman's career OPS+ is identical to Willie Stargell's and Willie McCovey's, and higher than Hall of Famers like Reggie Jackson, Eddie Murray & Dave Winfield. Of course, career figures tend to decrease at the end of players' careers since their year-by-year numbers start to decline. So we don't know where Berkman will end up. But over the first decade of his career, he has been every bit a Hall of Fame caliber player. I'm not sure why there's such a backlash against Jack's suggestion that he might be a better all-around player than Howard. He's a better all-around player than just about anybody, save for maybe 3 or 4 players.

@MG -- its a little dishonest to let Hamels final line be dictated by Tyler Walker.

Sure Hamels gets credited with the runs scored by Lee's double. But do you think Hamels is giving up that double? The only extra base hit he allowed tonight was to hunter pence. Every thing else was either bunt singles or a blooper/broken bat hits. I think kippinger had one solid hit.

Hamels had an almost 2 to 1 strike to ball ratio (with an ump's small strike zone). He was sawing off bats. Hit as high as 93 on the CBP gun. And we're complaining about Hamels.

If manuel doesn't jump out of his seat because Hamels hits 103 pitches, Hamels finishes that inning. And gets out unscathed. Doesn't matter because the offense didn't do their job. But slagging Hamels is a little unnecessary if you were actually watching the game.

For someone who kills CM on how he handles the pitching staff, i'm surprised you go after Hamels.

I can now identify denny b. posts in under three sentences.

Somewhere out there, there might be a Mets fan smiling... Nervous wreck anyone? It'd only be ironic to see you choke off your pedestal the Mets were on for a short period of time too? All you guys are worrying about who the closer is yet you haven't made the postseason yet? Isn't ironic how Mets fans were doing the same thing with Luis Ayala or Brian Stokes this time last season? Oh well... Live and learn. The Braves get the Nats for a 4 gamer to end the year. Meanwhile, the Marlins, ironically the Met killers of 2 years in a row, are all yours.

To be even more ironic either, but the same team who the Phillies beat back-to-back seasons to eliminate the Mets on the last week of the season are the three the Braves are playing.

mike - Hamels did pitch well early but his team need a really strong performance tonight and he didn't give it to them. Whether it was 5 or 6 runs in 6+ IP, that's not a decent outing and Hamels said so himself after the game.

Yeah I do think Lee gets a base hit against Hamels and drives in some runs there. Last year, I have no doubt that Cholly leaves Hamels out there in that spot to face Lee. This year Hamels has struggled at times late in games and Cholly has gotten burned by leaving him in a bit too long a couple of times.

Besides that there are several other reasons why Lee gets that hit - Lee has hit LHP well (.317), Hamels has struggled against right-handed hitters this year at times (.282 BAA), and the scouting report on Lee is that he is a great fastball/good changeup hitter who is prone to chasing sliders away which is Walker's best offspeed pitch.

Cholly did the right thing tonight vs. Lee by putting Walker in there and Walker just didn't execute. I won't fault Cholly for putting his players in the best position to succeed and then the player doesn't execute.

Here is one more thing I'm sure you'd all love. Go back to the standings on September 10, 2007 and September 10, 2008. One both of those dates, the Mets were up 7 and 3 1/2 on the Phillies, respectively.

Since September 10th, the Phillies division lead has declined more and more. The Braves were down 9 games on that date. Now they're only down 4 games. Granted that the Marlins were only 5 1/2 back, and have actually lost 2 games since.

Tyler Walker is a nobody none of you will ever remember the same way how we won't Guillermo Mota or Luis Ayala. You don't even see it happening yet. At least the Eagles are off on Sunday. On one hand, it'll prevent you from being distracted. But you might need it. Do you think you can get a stellar shutout against the Marlins on Saturday too?

Tom - 'Projection' isn't necessary a good thing. Go back to your home under the Verrazano you troll.

Wondering if the 64 Phils season would have been so painful if the 63 team had won the 1963 World Series, or the 2007 Mets season so frustrating if the 2006 Mets hadn't lost in the playoffs.

PS Love the logic that the Mets 7 game lead on arbitrarily picked date was 'smaller' than the Phils' 5 1/2 game lead on the same date.

Guess that's the logic of 4:30 AM posts.

Good Morning-

Oh Dear. This current trend is worrisome.

On an unrelated note, the park and the fans in Milwaukee are amazing- we went out for the weekend games. The Brewers fans cheered like their team was in the playoffs, and the park was full. It was great, except for the part where the Phils looked like a Double-A team on Saturday night.

What on earth is going on with them?

Have a good day.

What color is the Wild Card pennant that will fly above CBP (if they're lucky)?

Charlie's stubbornness is causing problems not just with the bullpen. Utley and Werth look dead out there. Why hasn't he given guys breathers over the past couple of weeks? I realize the bench players, with the exception of Francisco, can't play the field adequately (and Bruntlett can't hit adequately), but IMHO his death-march mentality -- you'll only rest when you clinch -- has a lot to do with this ragged play.

Alby: You just wrote my morning post.

List of pitchers the Phils have recently faced (#'s before the game)
From The Zo Zone:
*Monday vs. Houston: Yorman Bazardo (0-2, 9.50)
* Sunday in Milwaukee: Dave Bush (5-8, 6.22 ERA)
* Saturday in Milwaukee: Braden Looper (13-7, 5.12 ERA)
* Friday in Milwaukee: Manny Parra (10-10, 6.42 ERA)
* Thursday in Milwaukee: Jeff Suppan (7-10, 4.76 ERA)
* Wednesday in Florida: Rick VandenHurk (2-2, 4.24 ERA)
* Tuesday in Florida: Anibal Sanchez (2-7, 4.50 ERA)

No comments on Werth botching his throw to the cutoff man, setting up that inning for Hamels to come out? Not all on Cole.

Some time ago Weitzel pointed out that the continuation of Lidge as chief of Blown Saves is going to have a negative psych impact on the team. I agreed with him at the time and now we are seeing the fruit of the policy of keeping Lidge as closer past the point when even his teammates no doubt dreaded his appearance.
In the course of any year a good "closer" (and many of you know that I think the concept of closer is a silly idea for all but the few exceptinal arms)will blow some games 3 to maybe 5. But we know of about a half a dozen that were blown recently that could have been avoided if a different pitcher or better a combination of pitchers were used.
In other words we would now be "sharpening our blades" as Weitzel wrote above. Alas we are now stumbling across the finish line exhausted and not particularly comfortable or confident about our prospects even in the first round.
My conclusion is that this is the manager's BS as in Blown Season.

I can't even muster the energy to talk about last night's loss. Too depressing, given the other recent losses. I agree with much of what denny said.

And since it's done and over with, I'm looking to tonight. Can they, will they, win?

Jack. Yeah - of course Utley's high OBP affects Howard's RBI rate - but so does Utley's HR rate, because he clears the bases ahead of Howard a lot too. So does the fact that Howard has averaged 15 more homers per 162 game season.

The Phils have had a high OBP during Howard's career - higher than Houstson's - but Howard's lead-off hitter has had a very low OBP.

My guess is that Howard has not had historically high numbers of men on base per ab throughout his career. My guess is that it is high, but not historic-level high. Yet, his ab/rbi rate is among the top of the top of all players in the HISTORY of the game. In the HISTORY of the game, Jack.

Given that, I just think it's a bit odd to look at the year Howard's had this year and then go looking for replacement players for the #4 spot in the Phils' lineup.

Allow me to defend my esteemed friend Jack -- to a point.

Berkman is indeed underrated as an offensive force. If he played in NY he'd be a god on ESPN. And the argument put forth by flipper about RBIs is no argument at all. RBIs are in large part a product of where you bat in the lineup and who hits ahead of you.

However, this is where Jack, BAP and several other posters have a blind spot: Not all OBP+ is created equal. You can generate a quality OPS+ with lots and lots of walks. And you can do the same with lots of HRs. Which is the better weapon? I would argue for the HR.

Thus, while Berkman's career OPS+ is higher than Howard's (147-141), much of it is generated by his .412 OB. Howard's OB is only .375. In 11 seasons, however, Berkman has hit 30+ HRs only 5 times. Howard has hit 30+ HRs EVERY FULL SEASON HE'S PLAYED.

Howard hits HRs in 8.2% of his ABs. Berkman hits HRs in 5.9% of his ABs. That's a significant difference. The HR is the greatest offensive force in baseball. That's what makes Howard a better player than Berkman. And even if they were the same age, no GM in baseball would swap Howard for Berkman straight up.

Werth and his rifle arm need to calm down and start hitting the targets. It's like he doesn't think when he's out there, he's just rockets it in and hopes that the sheer force behind it scares the runner. It's like watching Francouer, who also has a cannon, but is also terribly erratic with hitting cutoff men.

Against the stiff they are facing tonight, I would play some B-squad guys. Utley and Werth need a day off. Throw in Cairo and Ben Fran and hope that Josh Johnson shuts down the Braves.

That's hilarious, clout.

First, you say this:

And the argument put forth by flipper about RBIs is no argument at all.

And then you completely contradict yourself by summarizing your point with this:

Howard hits HRs in 8.2% of his ABs. Berkman hits HRs in 5.9% of his ABs. That's a significant difference.

Once a weasel, always a weasel, clout.

I posted more roughly 2 weeks ago the importance of clinching early in order to give the regulars a blow and the bench to get much needed ABs. The longer it takes, it's painfully obvious that this race may not end till the weekend. So much for resting the weary.

I'm sure I could look it up, but wasn't there similar type posting going on last year whenever the Phillies lost games in September? I know they didn't lose many.

flipper: Explain to me how HRs contradict RBI. HRs are not dependent on baserunners ahead of the batter in the lineup. Your argument was silly and Jack rightfully dismissed it.

and awh (I think) needs to change his WEN calculation, as I don't think the Phillies will make it to 95 wins.

Why is it that a team in a pennant race is "tired", not being energized by the adrenaline of the moment, but the out-of-contention nobodies we are playing look fresh? Sounds to me more like tight than tired.

clout - you are an idiot.

My argument was that Howard's ab/rbi rate is significantly higher than Berkman's. I also stated that a reason for that, obviously, is the fact that he averages 15 hrs more per 162 game season.

You stated that I was wrong, and then went on to say that Howard hits more homers, and that he gets RBIs in a higher percentage of his at bats.

Of course rbi rates are, to a large degree, a function of the number of runners on base when a player is at bat, and the Phils have had a high OBP during Howard's career (Houston's was very high during the early part of Berkman's career and has been less stellar in recent years).

But until you have the actual numbers of average players on base when Howard and Berkman have batted, respectively, I see no reason to assume that as an average over multiple seasons, those numbers are significantly different for the two players.

And I would certainly not assume that the average numbers of players Howard has had on base when he's batted throughout his career are at HOF levels - whereas his ab/rbi rate is at HOF level.

In short, clout, you said I was wrong and then simply repeated your argument to impress all with what a genius you are.

Genius, clout, or weasel?

sorry - I should have said: said I was wrong and then simply repeated MY argument to impress all with what a genius you are.

I asked this question a couple of games ago. When was the last time we came back to win after being down by two or more runs after the 7th inning? I know we have lost a few recently when we were up by two or more after the 7th. My memory could be faulty, but seems to be another example of tight, not tired.

Clout - the point you were contradicting was when you said that my argument was no argument...

and then repeated my argument as your own.

Good lord, you didn't even understand how you contradicted yourself after I pointed that out? Astounding.

flipper: Please show me where in my post I said this: "and that he gets RBIs in a higher percentage of his at bats."

And countless examples of situations with runners on 3rd with less than tow outs, but nothing to show for it. Tight, not tired.

And if it was tiredness, why is it that the largest player on the team (Howard) seems to be the "freshest" despite playing more games than anyone?

flipper: Please show me where in my post I said this: "and that he gets RBIs in a higher percentage of his at bats."

Clout - you're kidding, right?

Howard hits HRs in 8.2% of his ABs. Berkman hits HRs in 5.9% of his ABs. That's a significant difference.

flipper: Are you hallucinating? Please show me where RBI appears in that sentence.

My bad, clout. I thought that HRs produce RBIs

smokey, I buy into the tight vs. tired argument.

Maybe none of us knows when the last time they came back from a deficit in late innings was. I remember a few times they came back late but still fell a bit short, but to actually rally for a win late...don't know.

flipper: They do, but, unlike RBI, HRs are a direct product of the batter himself. That is why the true difference in value between Berkman and Howard is HR, not RBI, which are a product, in large measure, of the lineup around a batter.

Here's a question for you, clout.

Now, I want you to think about it real hard before you give an answer.

Why do you think HRs are a powerful offensive weapon, and does it have anything to do with the fact that Hrs (as opposed other hits) necessarily produce RBIs?

Take your time, clout.

The value of a HR, clout, is that it produces a run.

Howards' higher ab/rbi rate, even though he produces fewer hits per ab than Berkman, is because he hits more homers than Berkman.

Undoubtedly, the fact that Howard has a high hr/rbi rate is a huge factor in why he has a HOF ab/rbi rate - but the value of an HR is that it produces runs.

That is patently obvious to anyone who doesn't feel a need to state the obvious as some kind of indication that they're a genius (and I mentioned the fact that Howard averages 15 more hr per season way up thread).

flipper: Howard's RBI rate is solely a product of the fact "and that he gets RBIs in a higher percentage of his at bats"?


sorry, I should have written;

Undoubtedly, the fact that Howard has a high hr/ab rate is a huge factor in why he has a HOF ab/rbi rate - but the value of an HR is that it produces runs.

I guess I was just thrown by your stunning level of stupidity.

Clout: Thanks for the half-hearted defense, and I'm sorry that you now have to deal with this junk from Phlipper. He's not the sharpest tool in the shed.

As for as Berkman-Howard, it comes down to whether you value the 40 more points of OBP that Berkman gets, or the 30 more points of SLG that Howard gets (SLG reflects the higher number of HRs). Personally, i would take .410/.555 over .370/.585, but you value that power more. So be it. You claim hitters are just "padding their OPS with walks", while I would argue they're doing the most important thing in the game, not making an out.

I really find it surprising so many people thought it was ridiculous to compare the two. I guess people just really don't appreciate how good Berkman is, do they?

Jack: I agree.

Jack, I would argue the most important thing in the game is scoring runs (more than your opponent). Not making an out/getting on base is an important part of that, of course, but - as shown by the fact that we've all bemoaned the number of runners the Phils leave stranded - a player getting on base doesn't matter so much if the player(s) behind him don't move him over and in. (Unless you steal your way around or the pitcher helps you out with wild pitches and balks. But you get the point.)

P.S. Berkman is a great player. And doesn't get a lot of recognition for it.

My two cents: Howard is worth a lot more than Berkman.

I am fortunate to be able to watch all four of these Astros games on the Astros FSN network here in Houston. I was really pissed at Walker's piss poor audition for closer or fireman. He got no one out and when they zoomed in on his face when Cholly came to the mound to yank his sorry a$$, Walker's face was covered with perspiration. Obviously, this guy is not cool under pressure. He's a loser. Get rid of him.

Jack, just to be clear - I am not diminishing the quality of Berkman's career.

Once again, I just think it's odd to look at Howard's year this year and talk about the replacing him with someone who has 60 fewer RBIs. I would think that Berkman has had fewer men on base when he's batted this year than Howard - but 60 fewer RBIs, Jack.

New thread

Lake Fred - was there a DITHL behind all of his perspiration? That's the real question.

flipper: Beyond the obvious issue of who bats around him, do u think it's possible that a contributing factor to Berkman's lag in RBI is that he has 145 fewer plate appearances?

You really are your own worst enemy. You and I agree on the relative merits of Berkman vs. Howard, but you insist on using RBI to try to prove it, which is bizarre when HRs is the most obvious and direct evidence. You're like mvptommy, who's right about corner guys being tall, but he tries to prove it by saying that's so they can jump higher.

Berkman RBI Ratio

2008: expected 72.23, actual 104 = 1.44 ratio
2007: eRBI 72.57, aRBI 101, aeRatio = 1.39
2006: eRBI 71.74, aRBI 135, aeRatio = 1.88
2005: eRBI 62.09, aRBI 80, aeRatio = 1.28

Howard RBI Ratio

2008: eRBI 83.08, aRBI 144, aeRatio = 1.71(led league)
2007: eRBI 87.26, aRBI 134, aeRatio = 1.54
2006: eRBI 84.95, aRBI 148, aeRatio = 1.74
2005: eRBI 42.98, aRBI 62, aeRatio = 1.44

Berkman's 2006 year was best, but Howard has been better over the past 4 years. I won't be able to tally 2009 until retrosheet comes out.

Jack is right that Howard is given better RBI Chances, averaging around 84 a year compared to Berkamn around 72. However Howard has done much more with those chances than Berkman would have.

Essentially, take Berkman's aeRatio in 2008 of 1.44 and multiply it by Howard's 2008 eRBI of 83.08 and you can figure that Berkman batting 4th on the Phillies would have driven in ~119 aRBIs in 2008 whereas Howard drove in 144 aRBIs.

This is strictly RBI sided, not runs scored, so Berkman's superior OBP might have closed the gap in terms of runs scored.

Click my name for more explanations.

Why do the Astros look like the '61 Yankees when they play the Phils? And, when did Pence become Mickey Mantle? And, Bazardo = Whtiey Ford?????

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EST. 2005

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