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Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Voted for Ryan Howard.

I know his strikeouts are infuriating at times, but it's hard to ignore his power numbers. His defensive improvements from years past have also contributed to a terrific team defense.

Hope he has a great post season- he can carry a team for a series or two.

Ja(y)son Werth had a career year. He stayed solid on offense and defense. Maybe he is more of biggest surprise but I can see him as MVP of the team.

Damn, that's a hard choice to make. I'm surprised Ibanez isn't getting more love. He carried the team for months and his total numbers are as good as anyone. With that said, if I have to pick, I have to go with Utley. He's always on base, is their best base runner, hits for average and power, plays rock-solid defense and is the anchor in the lineup.

EF, on the previous thread you posted:

"One of the other between the Marlins or Braves will lose at least 2 games, not one."

How do you calculate that?

Werth has come up huge in some tight spots both offensively and defensively. Career year too. Unsung hero IMHO.

It says a lot about the team they've put together to finish in first easily without anyone having a career year or league MVP-type season. But the team MVP is Chase Utley. Best offensive and defensive 2B in the league, and a great baserunner even though he doesn't steal much.


Although you could make a case for Howard and Werth (and Raul was the first half MVP)

Chase was coming off an injury and exceeded expectations. He has played great D and been a true pro.

I don't think any of those choices really separate themselves from the rest of the pack.

I voted for Raul because of how he carried the team the first few months.

I was torn between Utley and Werth, but ultimately picked Utley. To me, Utley is clearly the best player on this team, while Werth's contributions were probably the most underrated; I don't think you could go wrong either way.

Have to say, I'm surprised Howard's getting so much love while Ibanez isn't.

My initial instinct was to vote for Utley, as he is remarkably consistent & has the highest "baseball IQ" of any ballplayer I've ever seen. In the end, however, I could not overlook the career year Jayson Werth is having. The occasional ugly K -- & a bad swing by Werth is as ugly a bad swing as you'll see this side of Pat Burrell -- aside, Jayson has exceeded everyone's expectations offensively, & remains (I believe) an underrated defensive RF. For these reasons, Werth is my 2009 Phillies MVP.

Chase Utley is the Man.

I voted for Howard. Not only are the numbers there again for him, but this has easily been his most consistent season since his (NL) MVP year, and has parlayed a more athletic physique into significant contributions as a defender and a baserunner. Werth is a close second, with Utley and Victorino right behind him. I can't rank Ibanez any higher than fifth; he disappeared for almost two months and still isn't back to being any kind of real impact player. An MVP is an MVP for six months.

I am a partisan Chase Utley guy who votes for him in any poll he is on! But this time I went with Jayson Werth. Everything from offensive power to great defense has made this a phenominal year for him. I really have enjoyed watching him this year, despite some ugly strike outs and the infamous post UFC bender game that would help cost Jamie Moyer his job in the starting rotation. But be it stealing home, diving catches, grand slams and clutch hits, Werth has done it all this season.

I abstain. Not a cop-out, but, on this squad, "team" is a mantra. 4 guys with 30hr, five all-stars, all six guys had their moments this year. to pick one would be unfair.

that said, I'd say raul was first-half mvp, howard was second-half mvp, werth was a great contributor, and utley and vic were fairly consistent all year. raul, howard, and werth had too many long, ugly stretches to be MVP, and vic didn't have mvp-type numbers. i'd say utley by process of elimination, but that doesn't reflect the fact that he often was the 4th or 5th most valuable member of the team.

awh: Because the Marlins and the Braves play each other in a 3 game series, that's why one of them has to have at least 2 losses the remainder of the season.

You could vote for any of them. This has been a real "TEAM" effort. I voted for Ibanez because of the way he carried the club during the first half of the year.

Voted for Victorino. He was the rock of the team, through the Dog Days of June and July and has been the most consistant ALL-AROUND player all year. He hits for average. He steals bases. He plays gold-glove defense in CF. He was an All-Star. He plays hard, everyday, and gives the team juice.

Utley is the team's best player. Howard is the team's best power player. Ibanez had the best 2 months of anyone. Rollins is the team's best fielder. But, Shane is the team's most VALUABLE player in 2009.

okay, i just voted for utley

I HATE votes like this because I don't think there is a clear cut choice.

I voted for Utley because of the power numbers, but my second choice would have been Werth - then Vic.

Uts and Vic have both have been pretty consistent.

Utley's worst month was May, when he hit .253, but he hit .342 in April so that just returned him to near his career average, where he has stayed for the last 4 months.

Vic hasn't been quite as consistent, but had an incredible July when he hit .381 .449 .562 1.011 . The Phillies were 20-7 in July, their best month, and made their big move of the season, going from 1/2 game up to 6 games up in the standings.

IMO the two occuring simultaneously is not an accident.

The last two months haven't been as kind to Shane, he's been dinged up, and IMO he's the guy in the outfield who should be rested the most if Charlie has the opportunity.

Shane's line for the year is this:

.297 .364 .451 .815, vs. a Lg Avg of .259 .331 .410 .741.

That....................from a GG CF.

Werth, OTOH, has emerged as one of the top 2 or 3 all-around players at his position.

HR - 1st. RBI - 4th. OPS - 2nd. SB - 8th, SB% - 4th. OF Assists - 5th. DP - 2nd. FPCT - 6th.

And as for consistency, while he never hit for as high a BA as Chase or Shane when at his or their best, he was amazingly consistent. His BA low for the year was May, when he hit .248. He has double-digit RBI in every month, with his best month being July when he had 23.

As mentioned before, the Phillies best month was July. IMO, the fact that Werth's best month coincides with the team's best month is no accident either.

Lest we forget, Ryan Howard has had a very good year as well.

I voted for Utley but was torn between him and Werth. The thing I love about Werth is that he always seems to get the count to go to 3-2... wearing down pitchers both mentally and physcially. If someone keeps the stats, I bet he's seen more pitches on a p/AB rate than anyone on the team... maybe even the entire national league.

"and a great baserunner even though he doesn't steal much."

Nick Leyva, Chase Utley has 23 steals on the season.

While that may only qualify him for 28th place out of approximately 390 MLB position players, he is tops when it comes to SB%.

He has not been caught stealing this season.

Not once.

Utley for Phils MVP. He's like our Pujols - you can make the case for him every single year.

I love them all, though. It's great that stuff like this is our biggest concern with over a week left in the season.

awh: Utley "has not been caught stealing this season. Not once."

Neither has Cole Hamels, who also has a 100% steal rate.

Voted for Howard. The guy is an RBI machine. Plus he's cut down on his strike outs and is playing better defense. Utley is a close second however and Victorino is the heart-and-soul of the team. Werth is the most improved player this season. Raul is the MVP of the first half. Jimmy? Well, I love his defense.

Nuff sed.

GBrett, one team could sweep that Fish/Bravos series, and win the rest of its' games.

EF posted:

"One of the other between the Marlins or Braves will lose at least 2 games, not one.

Posted by: EastFallowfield"

I took that as saying one will lose at least 1 game, and "one of the other" will lose at least two.

Now, if it was a typo and he meant "one OR the other", then he needs to clarify.

That's all.

Clout: Are you trying to diminish Utley being 23/23 in SBs? That's pretty impressive.

Tough choices. I voted for Howard over St. Utley due to Howard's HRs, RBIs and his offseason effort to be a better defender in the field. Werth has been a real surprise, but he's a notch below the top two. Vic has been steady but not stellar, he's my fourth choice. Raul was the werewolf in the first half of the season but the moon disappeared and he was an ordinary human for a long summer stretch. He's my fifth choice. I'm surprised that Jimmy even got a vote. Chooch is my sixth choice.

The lack of support for Raul's AS first half (something Burrell never did) is surprising me. I'm not saying Utley, Werth, and Howard aren't fair choices, but only six votes for Raul is interesting.

People keep saying career year for Werth but I don't know if I believe it. Certainly it's the best year he's had to date, but it's also the first year he's been a full-time player.

I'm curious if his peripherals indicate that his success is unsustainable. I would not be the least bit surprised if he meets or even exceeds these numbers next year, especially considering that he'll be playing for a potentially huge contract.

That said, it is nearly impossible to pick a single MVP. Each of these choices has their merits, which speaks to how complete this team is and why we enjoy watching them so much.

There are many definitions of MVP, but it is instructive to see where the Phils starting 8 stands among their peers in the NL in terms of OPS. Combine that with fielding and you can see who truly is among the league's elite. Here's the list:

Ruiz: (not enuf ABs but 3rd if he qualified)
Howard: 6th
Utley: 1st
Rollins: 7th
Feliz: 9th (of 10 who have enuf ABs)
Ibanez: 3rd
Victorino: 2nd
Werth: 3rd

Jack: You couldn't see my tongue in my cheek?

So many choices, and all with merit. I guess that's what makes this such a good team. I voted for Chase in the end. He has been the most consistent performer throughout the season, he is very arguably the best second baseman in baseball, and ultimately, I think he best personifies this team. He doesn't make a lot of mistakes, he has extraordinary baseball intelligence, he is intense without being out of control, and when it was time to party he knows how to put the whole season into perspective: World Fucking Champions.

Clout: Yeah, that's why I voted for Utley. He's just so clearly more valuable because of offense, defense, baserunning and positional value. I understand this is really subjective and there's a lot of room for creating your own definition of value, but I'm surprised Utley isn't running away with it by more than he is.

I voted for Werth. There was an awful lot of pressure on him as the only big righthanded bat in the middle of the order. If he spit the bit, this offense would not have been nearly as effective. Many (including me) were skeptical that he could be the righthanded boomer in the middle, but Wow, what a year.

I went with Utley too although there were a couple of other guys who has very solid years too. Amazing thing about Utley is that it was just this March where a lot of people were (including Amaro) were talking like they hoped Utley would be able to play by end of April/early May.

Instead just another ho-hum near .300, 30+ HR, 100? RBI year with solid overall play and another AS.

When he is actually going to do something interesting like win a MVP or at least a batting title (that was just a bit of tongue-in-cheek)?

Jack: I'm not as high on Utley's defense as you are, but I think a solid case can be made. Using those same criteria, a case can even be made that Ruiz should be in the top 3.

This team is a TEAM. There's not one star - there are 8 players out there every day, contributing offensively or defensively or both. (And we're not even considering the pitching staff. Perhaps that's fodder for another thread - which pitcher is the MVP of the starting staff? Bullpen?)

Anyway, that's what's great about the 2009 Phillies. They're not dependent on one guy to pull them along. Someone always seems to step up.

That said, I thought long about who should get my vote, and I decided on Chase. He's been the most consistent and thus is always on the opposing teams' radars. If Howard (or Raul or Werth, etc.) is slumping, opposing teams know it and can play to his weaknesses. Chase rarely slumps and is therefore always a danger.

I love them all, but Chase hasn't been elevated to sainthood for nuthin.

(I'm waiting for the t-shirts with the Superman logo on them along with "SUPER CHASE." I did see one that simply read, "Chase > God.")

Most improved has to be Howard. He hasn't been as solid defensively as we was in April/May nor has he caught fire in Sept but his overall game has improved.

More nimble at 1B, a bit better speed this year because of his improved fitness, and a slightly better offensive numbers while still putting up 40+ HRs and 130+ RBIs.

Plus, I would be willing to bet that Howard is the one guy on this who has single-handedly won the most game for the Phils. There are at least 4-5 games that immediately come to mind since the ASB where if Howard didn't show up the Phils' offense would have been nonexistent.

MG: I don't know if it's reflected in the laughable UZR ratings, but Howard clearly has improved his range this season. If he could improve his throwing a bit more, he'd be a solid league-average defender.

I was also impressed with how Howard rededicated himself this offseason to get in better shape and come back with something to prove. Plenty of times you see a star athlete who gets a big contract coming off a championship season largely mailing it in at times.

awh, the phrase "one of the other" doesn't make sense. Unless followed by a noun. I don't even think I noticed it in the post; my mind read it as "one or the other." You seriously think it could mean otherwise?

(You don't need to reply, it's not worth it.)

I agree that it's difficult to choose a team MVP this year. I might have chosen Happ, given the entire roster. From among these starters, I vacillate among Raul who may be credited with many of our victories in the first few months, to Shane who many times got on base when Jimmy wasn't and has so much energy (and great defense), to Chase who's a model of consistent intensity and smarts, to Werth who's proven himself a great everyday player both offensively and defensively. Since I love defense, I give props to Jimmy, who actually has great numbers other than hitting for avg.

Speaking of Jimmy, Mitch Williams spoke a few weeks ago about his production numbers as compared with Jeter's. He pointed out that apart from batting average (and one other category I've completely forgotten now), their numbers are quite similar this year. Jeter is considered to be having a great year, whereas Jimmy is considered to be having a down year. His point was that avg. can be overated. Don't know if anyone else heard that, but I thought it quite interesting.

GBrettfan - I appreciate JRoll's defense and he has rebounded somewhat but his comparing his offensive production to Jeter's this year is really a stretch. Jeter is just heads and tails better.

Jeter is easy a HOF SS. JRoll has been a nice player in his career but he isn't a HOF SS.

Utley is the Phillies' best player; no reasonable person could dispute that. But I voted for Werth because, with 3 left-handed hitters in the middle of our lineup, I think the presence of a right-handed power hitter, who rakes left-handed pitching, is absolutely indispensable.

I wanna know who were the 2 people that voted for Rollins? Were they just trying to be funny?

Utley's the choice. I get all the 'no clear-cut favorite' argument. Also agree with the 'team mantra' of the '09 Phils.

But Utley is clearly the best player on this team.

What numbers is Mitch Williams talking about? I only see 3: homeruns, RBIs, and stolen bases.

Last year Albert Pujols had 36 homeruns, 116 RBIs, and 7 stolen bases. His teammate Ryan Ludwick had 37 homeruns, 113 RBI, and 4 stolen bases. I guess their seasons were equal, aside from the minor point that Pujols hit .357 and Ludwick hit .299.

BAP: Rollins had a good year, his contact hitting is down is all. He plays exceptional defense, and leads lead-off hitters in RBI's and HR's.

It's not jimmy's fault that charlie is too goofy to hit jimmy 2nd and lead off vic.

In what world do Rollins and Jeter have similar numbers this year? Rollins is better defensively, Jeter much better offensively this year. Rollins has a sub-.300 OBP. Jeter is near .400. What the hell is Mitch talking about?

mm: There is no single place in the lineup, or any other number he could reasonably have in HRs, RBIs, SBs, that could make a .296 OBP part of a "good" offensive year.

His defense, as always, is top-notch though.

Despite the similar power numbers, Jeter is slugging nearly 50 pts higher too.

A leadoff hitter with a .290 obp is a travesty. The problem is compounded by his absolute refusal to work a pitcher. A fine defensive SS is a must, but no defense in the world could cover for Jimmy's spectacular failure at the plate this year.

mm: I agree with you that Rollins' year was made to look worse by the fact that Cholly insisted on batting him leadoff. But that's the only thing we agree on. Rollins did NOT have a good offensive year, and batting him second would have been little different than batting him leadoff. Guys with .246 averages and .290 OBPs bat 7th or 8th, which is where he should have been batting for most of the season.

I'm curious what will happen in 2010 if we get a month or two into the season & Rollins is again hitting for low average & carrying a low OBP. Does Cholly view Rollins' leadoff role to be a permanent entitlement, which can never be taken away from him?

2nd half JRoll hasn't been that bad. Yeah he largely has forgotten how to take a BB (a measly 13 in 64 games):

.265/.295/.480 largely in part because of his 12 HRs and 38 RBIs

If JRoll wants to hit HRs and not take BBs, he should be hitting 6th in this lineup and not leadoff. That is an issue for next year at this point and as long as Cholly is the manager, JRoll will bat leadoff even if it makes no sense.

Utley is the easy choice, so, of course, I voted for Howard because I'm Howard's #1 fan!

Every time the Phils are on TV my wife comments on how much weight Howard has lost. That's all I need to know about his committment to that.

Utley is the best player at his position in baseball, and probably the 2nd best player in the league.

The truth is, Rollins has been about an average offensive SS this year. When you combine that with the fact that he's the best defensive SS in baseball, the net result is a very above average overall SS. Unfortunately, unlike other average offensive shorstops, Rollins bats leadoff, where his lack of on-base skills has been a huge detriment to the team. Batting a .290 OBP hitter leadoff is like keeping Ryan Howard on the bench and only using him late in the game when there's a LOOGY on the mound. In both situations, you're taking an extremely valuable player and using him in the situation that is the single poorest fit for his skill-set.

Had to vote for Howard.

Fastest player to 200 homers and in very elite company with the four 40 hr/120 rbi seasons.

Charlie Manual gets teased, excoriated, insulted for adherence to "standard baseball wisdom" regarding his use of relievers and sticking with a closer. "Think out of the box," his detractors plead, throwing in choice comments about his mental capacity. Why oh why can't stupid Charlie Manual break away from that standard baseball mentality?

But up top he decides that OBP is overrated for leadoff hitters, and he decides a first-pitch-swingin' mercurial leadoff guy with pop and swagger better suits this particular team instead of cookie cutter "highest OBP must leadoff" robotic thinking. What a dummy.

I guess he's stupid both ways. A stupid first-place, world series-winnin' fool.

I wish I could get Mitch on here to explain himself better than I can, but I surmise (judging from how he talked up Ryan Howard for MVP last year) that he looks at RBI production as huge. Jimmy also has 29 doubles to Jeter's 27, so that's pretty close - in addition to the already mentioned HRs (JR, 19, DJ 17) and RBIs (JR 72, DJ 64).

Considering how badly Jimmy did the first half, he's got pretty good numbers. Yes, he's bad at taking pitches - but that's not really new this year, is it? And you could definitely argue someone with a higher OBP should bat leadoff instead of him.

Mitch argued that it seemed incongruous to call Jeter's season a "career year" but to label Jimmy's a "bad year" when their numbers in very many respects aren't wildly different.

Hope I did Mitch justice. Too bad you missed it - you could have called in to the show (Wild Pitch)to protest strenuously. Not that it would have changed Mitch's mind any more than his thinking will change yours (those of you who are protesting vigorously).

I don't think he's the MVP of the team (I voted for Chase), but with all of this talk of surprising, breakout, and valuable players, I think Joe Blanton has been undeservingly left out. Except for his atrocious stretch at the beginning of the season, I think Blanton has been our best and most reliable pitcher. He and Cole are the only two pitchers who have made every start this year. With Cole, we didn't entirely know which pitcher was going to show up every five days. But with Blanton, I at least came to expect a quality start every time he took the mound, and I think there's really something to be said for that. Only three of his last 21 starts have not been quality starts. As great as Lee has been, he has already had three starts for us that have not been quality starts. Blanton has also finally lived up to his "innings eater" reputation, averaging over 6.5 innings in those starts. For someone who averaged under 5.5 innings per start for us last year, that's a huge improvement.

P.S. I am sorry if somebody has addressed Blanton over the past couple of days and I just missed it. I haven't read through everything.

Re: Jimmy Rollins

Since his low point around the beginning of July, J-Roll's OBP is .328 (76 games). His career OBP is .329.

He had a really bad first 69 games. AWFUL. But the rest of his season has pretty much mirrored his career, albeit with a higher slugging percentage.

Utley is a tier above everyone else. Howard, Werth, Ibanez, and Victorino could all be argued as second, depending on how you view their defensive prowess. Chase Utley has the second highest WAR on fangraphs at 8.0, Pujols is highest at 8.3(caveat: if they had defensive values for catchers Mauer would probably pass both of 'em)

Howards rangeruns according to UZR has gone up from 4.0 to 4.7, which is to say range has never really been his problem. Its much more with his arm, which really doesn't manifest itself all that often. Watching him try start a double play is just painful.

I love what Howard can do to the ball, and still feel he has untapped potential, but I can't believe he is getting any votes. Do the blind Howard lovers realize that Elias has him as a "Type B" player?

Utley is in the top 5 in all of baseball as measured by most "value" metrics, including win shares and VORP.

I just saw where Lidge is ranked 9th in the NL in Saves. His ERA is an embarassing 7.24. The eight pitchers with more saves have ERAs that range from 1.88 to 3.15. I vote Lidge as the Anti-MVP!

Murgatroid brought up Blanton. He has far exceeded any of my expectations. He really has turned into a reliable work horse.

However, I still think he could be even better if he committed himself to fitness and conditioning. Going into final arbitration year and then FA, it would behoove him to copy what Howard did and get himself in better shape.

I agree with the poll for the most part.

My top 3:
1. Utley
2. Werth
3. Howard

SmokyJoe: It depends on whether you think awards should be measured simply by who has the best OPS+ or who has the best UZR. If you do, then picking these awards are pretty easy.

I don't. I think context is important and it's why these things are never so simple.

CJ: So in what "context" is Howard clearly more valuable than Utley?

Is Shane underrated?

No questions asked.

Voted for Chase.

re Howrd Type B:

That is ludracris in my mind.

The fastest player EVER to reach 100 and 200HRs and probably the fastest to 300 when he gets there.

I don't know the RBI stats, but I bet he is one of the best in that category too. And we;re talking the history of baseball, not just active players.

I agree that JRoll has not had a good season overall offensively.

However, just as Charles Dickens brought us "A Tale of Two Cities", JRoll has brought us "A Tale of Two (1/2)Seasons".

Through July 1st Rollins line was:

.205 .250 .319 .569; 329 PA, 41 R, 15 2B, 6 HR, 27 RBI, 15 SB(3 CS)

Since he hit that low point, Rollins line is:

.283 .329 .498 .827; 348 PA, 50 R, 24 2B, 13 HR, 45 RBI, 19 SB(3 CS)

At Rollins nadir on July 2nd, the Phillies were up by 1/2 game, sitting at 39-36, .520.

Since Jimmy began his rebound the second half of the season, the Phillies are 49-26, .653.

Yes, the pitching has improved, and there have been other contributors, but Jimmy's rebound has provided a certain stimulus at the top of the order.

Obama should be so lucky his stimulus works as well on the economy.

Went with Utley because he is just great all around. Good defensively, hits for power, average, swipes bags, and is just a hard nosed guy in all aspects.

Not surprised Werth is second in this. Shockingly I'll agree with BAP on something :) In a line-up full of lefties a ton of pressure was thrown on Werth to respond and be the right handed power to balance some of the lefties. Not only that- it was an opportunity for him to finally realize the potential he came into the league with years ago. After battling injuries, and being in a platoon this was the first year where he was put in the starting spot and told, "You're our starting right fielder. Go out there and produce."

I'd say a line of .273/.377/.519/.896 with a 131 OPS+, 34 home runs, 92 RBI's, and 14 stolen bases more than answers the challenge.

CJ, the dangerous thing about "context" is that it is open to interpretation, which changes from each viewpoint and perspective. It's why so many people can (reasonably) disagree about the same situation. Standardized metrics remove that perception issue.

Obviously, the problem with metrics in a game as nuanced as baseball is that no single metric can approximate the realities. Even if the statistical community continues to improve the metrics, there will always be issues. But that doesn't repudiate the value of the metrics as a baseline for performance measurement.

But to repeat the earlier, almost every sigle baseball metric out there lead to the conclusion that Utley is significantly more valuable than Howard. That seems to be a preponderence of evidence.

I can understand the reasons why folks would vote for Utley, Werth, Howard, Vic - they've all been incredibly valuable to the Phils this year and the determination of which player is "most valuable" to a team is, inherently highly subjective.

But it is astounding that Raul only gets 5% of the vote. As Hugh has said, the guy literally carried the team for a significant portion of the season. Certainly, the argument could be made that he, on an individual basis, delivered more games into the win column than any other player on the team.

Sure, he has slumped since his red-hot start, and yes, he missed a considerable amount of time - but without his red-hot start, the Phils would have been way down in the standings.

So, what gives with the 5%? How many times have you voted, clout?

I just looked at the poll.

Jimmy Rollins currently has 5 votes.

I'll bet I can guess who they are:

1 - Jimmy
2 - his fiancee
3 - his Mom
4 - his Dad
5 - his agent

awh - Good point and kind of mirrors what Hamels has done since the ASB:

17 GS, 5-5, 4.87 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 5.76 IP/GS, .293 BAA and Phils were 9-8 in his 17 GS

12 GS, 5-4, 3.06 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 6.58 IP/GS, .232 BAA and Phils are 7-5 in his 12 GS

Basically the 3 things that were really hurting the Phils in early July were JRoll, Hamels, and Lidge.

2 of those 3 came around and the Phils cruised to an NL East title as a result (Lee trade played a big role too since the Phils are 8-1 in his 9 GS)

phlipper- I'm sure Ibanez gets more than 5% of the credit for the Phillies season with his early contributions , but when voting for 1 player as most valuable for the year so far Raul isn't it.

SmokyJoe: And the dangerous thing about statistics is that they can be manipulated in many ways. We've had plenty of arguments on here in which statistics were used to deliver two different conclusions. And in many cases, the statistics themselves are flawed.

Believe me... I'm as likely as anyone to break out a bunch of stats to make a case. And I'm not trying to suggest that they have no value in these discussions. I'm merely saying that it's not enough to just point to a stat and say, "See, he's more valuable!"

I don't have any problem with someone arguing that Chase is the team MVP. As I said earlier, he could probably win it every year.

Perhaps there are Mets' trolls voting for Jimmy cuz they love him so much.

I went with Worth because of the value of the RHB and his hitting in clutch spots.

philipper - Because while Ibanez was stellar those first 2 months, he has generally been more of what you would expect since then:

April - 1.151 OPS
May - 1.026 OPS
June - .870 OPS (missed 11 games)
July - .884 OPS (missed 10 games)
Aug. - .594 OPS
Sept. - .849 OPS

Nice season and worth every penny - definitely. Team MVP - not a chance with the missed time and generally mediocre production since the ASB.

This team has pulled away in the NL East but it didn't really have anything to do with Ibanez.

To get back to substantive baseball talk:

Someone earlier (maybe the previous thread) that it's too early to discuss who's on the postseason roster. Well, we're exactly two weeks away from the first NLDS game. I don't think it's too early at all to look. The fact that we have no idea who's going to be in the bullpen isn't a sign that it's too early; it's a sign that we have a lot of question marks and not enough answers.

I almost forgot my daily post:

------------------ B*L W.E.N. ------------------

5 more losses to 95 wins!

Blanton is probably the most underappreciated. His peripheral numbers aren't that great but he has been a really solid starter and on the end of some tough-luck losses (in 5 of his 7 losses he has allowed 3 runs or less and had 3 no-decisions where he allowed 1 run or less).

With a bit of better and more timely run support, Blanton would likely be 13-5 or so.

mm: J-Roll's contact hitting may be down, but his walk rate is also down. As is his SLG.

flipper: Ibanez "on an individual basis, delivered more games into the win column than any other player on the team."

I'd love to see a stat to back up that assertion.

Clout: So are you saying J-Roll hasn't had a "good" offensive year? But someone said he was basically having the same year as Derek Jeter.

Jack: I think it was Brad. His point was not that such discussion was premature, but that it's virtually meaningless, since there are so many unknowns on the injury front. He's right but, then again, what else are we gonna discuss?

Kutztown :)

Speaking of Met trolls and the Mets, I was thinking about Johan Santana the other day.

I was wondering what he was thinking about being a member of the Mets right now.

According to Cots, this is what he's dues for the length of his contract:

08:$19M, 09:$20M, 10:$21M, 11:$22.5M, 12:$24M, 13:$25.5M, 14:$25M club option ($5.5M buyout)

Given that the Wilpon family took a 9 figure hit in the Madoff swindle, and that the Mets' attendance is down 813,333 this season (@ $25/ticket that's $20MM+), and given that his contract is going to eat up a caontinually bigger chunk of the Mets' payroll, I wonder whether (money aside) he regrets signing an extension with a club that has so many holes to fill, and is unlikely to be more than 'competitive' next season.

MG- Agreed on Blanton-
Lee & Pedro bring Cy Youngs.
Cole has a WS MVP
Jamie - a ton of career wins
Happ - a ROY possibility
Joe B. just goes out and pitches well most every start.

Jack: Here's my take on Rollins' offense: He's having a bad year as compared to his last 5 seasons. In other words, a bad year for Jimmy Rollins.

Compared to his peers at SS, however, he's having a middling year.

A lot of meaningless baseball is getting played in a lot of empty stadiums this month.

I'm guessing there are going to be a lot of disappointed free agents this winter.

bap - The "Minaya Can O'Meter" which has increasing levels every day as the Mets continue to go through the motions in Sept. (7-15 so far and now the worst record in the NL with the exception of perennial bottom feeders like the Pirates and Nats).

If the Mets only win another 2-3 games over the next 2 weeks and don't even win 70 games, I bet that Manuel and Minaya both get fired because the fan base up there has gone so apathetic.

Almost going to force the Wilpons to do something to appease their season ticket base who likely won't be as crazy about paying those really high ticket prices at Citifield next year.

In general, while the Phils are almost certainly going to look very similiar next season at the beginning of the year you are likely going to see some significant churn with every other team including I bet a completely new management regime in NY (although with several new faces again), a new face in the dugout in ATL, and some decent roster churn in DC and Florida.

I'll take Werth (6'5") over Howard (6'4"). The rest are too short to be MVP.

mg - a bad team has no incentive to win games. The races are over. Only diehard fans are showing up. The only thing left to be decided is draft slots.

curt, Peter Gammons said as much in a recent column about baseball's economics.

Two of the 5 biggest money franchises, the Yankees and Mets, have both suffered delining attendance this season, probably due to the meltdown in financial services in NY. (Of course, raising prices 'didn't' have a thing to do with it).

That won't deter the Yankees because their falloff hasn't been that great, but the Mets have had to have suffered at least a $20MM drop in revenue just from the sale of tickets, never mind concessions, etc.

I could go down the list to provide support, but suffice it to say: You are correct. Except for a few truly elite players, "I'm guessing there are going to be a lot of disappointed free agents this winter."

I'd love to see a stat to back up that assertion.

The stat is WPA, found at fangraphs. And the team leader is Ryan Howard. Ibanez is third.


SS having worse offensive seasons then Rollins:Betancourt(by far the worst everyday player in the majors), Renteria,
Cabrera, Guzman.

SS with better offensive seasons then Rollins: Hanram, Jeter, Bartlett, Tulowitski, Escobar, Scutaro, Tejeda, Andrus, Aybar, A. Cabrera, Theriot, Peralta, Drew, A. Ramirez, and maybe Furcal.

This is not middle of the pack offense.

Ruiz is back in Philly getting examined by Ciccotti. I wonder if the source of the pain is structural or soft tissue. Inflammation and inflammation due pain in the wrist doesn't go away very easily because there are so many moving parts but I hope it is nothing too serious.

It's no contest, as it's been for the last 3 years for the second best player in the NL over that period of time.

Werth's been excellent and surprising but he's not the key player.
Howard's been up and down, when he's on he carries the team but his downs drag the team down. Plus I literally cringe every time he slings his arm to throw. Maybe some off-season throwing lessons this year?
Ibanez was the first half MVP but was a millstone on the offense for a month + and plays an easy defensive position.
Having Rollins on that poll was a joke despite his excellent defense; Ruiz should have been the 6th name.
Victorino is a good, fun player. Probably a bit overrated as a defender -- has he ever not thrown home? :) Occasionally dumb.

How do you not vote for someone who gets on base at an outrageous clip, has good-to-excellent power, could be the smartest player in the game, hits for a highish average and is an excellent defender? All this at a premium defensive position? It's a no-brainer IMO.

Sophist, that same chart has Blanton as the worst, worse than Bruntlett or Moyer. I'm not sure what to make of that.

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EST. 2005

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