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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

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A stamp on THIS October, I guess you mean.

Rollins hasn't been getting hits, but I saw a funny stat the other day. He's something like 7-9 in the 9th inning in the postseason. Anyone else see this? He has seemed to be in the middle of some of these late rallys.

I'd say IF (and I hate to even put the cart before the horse yet) the Phils make it to the WS, Happ will be the Game 4 starter (if its the Yanks). If its the Angels, I think Blanton gets the start (the Angels are righty dominant and he pitched well against LA/Anaheim in 2007 and 2008 with Oakland.

I thought Blanton looked good early but the postage stamp small strike zone finally got him in the middle innings. That umpire was squeezing both sides all night.

I agree that both Happ and Blanton would probably be more effective if used out of the pen for the rest of the post season, but who takes their place? A WS rotation of Lee, Hamels, Martinez and __________.

Perhaps Blanton and Happ should each go three innings on the same night?

Clout: I don't even really disagree with you on Wolf. My main disagreement is regarding Padilla, particularly your assertion that he is a different pitcher since coming to the NL, presumably because it is easier to pitch in the National League than the American League. You've cited Smoltz, Penny, and others as evidence.

I think Padilla's success in the NL is a product of a small sample size. Since you began defending Padilla on this site, he has pitched two gems (and frankly, looked better in his start against the Phillies than Hamels has looked all year), so maybe you're right. I would argue though that even a 10-start sample size is less significant the previous 5 1/2 years of mediocrity.

Problem is; we have to face Padilla now. Not 5 1/2 years ago.

Sometimes the return to career norms is sudden, sometimes it's gradual and in rare cases it doesn't happen at all.

So, of Nick Swisher is listed at 5'11", now tall is Jerry Layne, the home plate ump?

At first, I wanted the Phils to play the Angels in the WS mainly because I thought they would be less of a challenge. After watching the NY/Anaheim series so far, I would much rather the Phils play the Yankees. It would be much more exciting, and the Phils can beat them.
On a trivial, nit-picking note, you can not be the "Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim". Might as well be the "Los Angeles Padres of San Diego". The Angels are not in LA, they aren't even in LA County.

On a trivial, nit-picking note, you can not be the "Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim". Might as well be the "Los Angeles Padres of San Diego". The Angels are not in LA, they aren't even in LA County.

Agreed. When they switched to that a couple of years ago I thought it was the dumbest cop out. First they're the LA Angels. Then they're the California Angels. Then they're the Anaheim Angels. Then they're the LAAofA. They wanted the limelight of LA without actually totally saying FU to their actual home town?

On the other hand, they have more truth in advertising than, say the New York Football Giants. Too bad we can't call them the New York Giants of Jersey (or East Rutherford).

Wayyyy too much Mike Scioscia this October. The Bobby Cox of the AL.

I don't like being too critical of umpires, but there are some seriously bad calls in this Yankee/Angels game.

Just when you think MLB umpiring couldn't possibly humiliate itself any more than it already has, it finds a way ... un-freakin'-believable.

That said, how can a veteran umpire like McClelland look so completely incompetent? Anyone can look horrific once, but twice in two innings...

WTH? If you're not on the bag, and you get tagged, you're out, right? How are both runners not out there?

(This is the Yankees/Angels game chat, right?

DH Phils and Doohickey: I agree with both of you. It is a small sample size. But it's all we've got in the NL in the past 4 years. And Doohickey, this statement is absolutely true:
"Sometimes the return to career norms is sudden, sometimes it's gradual and in rare cases it doesn't happen at all."

Hot streaks do exist (see Ryan Howard) and no one can predict when they will end.

What'd the ump(s) do?

I can't like CC anymore. Not now he's helping the Dark Side win.

How long can Sabathia possibly last as a front-line pitcher while he's carrying that serious bulk around with him?

I was just watching the highlights of the Royals-Cardinals WS and saw the supposedly egregious call made by the ump that my dad tells me is the reason the Royals won the game/series. I gotta say, it looked like a normal ump error to me. (It was a safe call at 1B when in fact the runner was out.) Do we simply see more of this now, is that why I didn't think the call was out of the norm as I watched the highlights, I wonder?

Also, ThunderStix are god-awful. Perhaps even as bad as the umpiring. The combination of Fox + MLB Umpires + Buck/McCarver + ThunderStix is one of the greatest tests of fandom anyone could ever face.

Yankees had runners on at least 2nd and 3rd. Ball in play on the infield, fielder chases the lead runner back to third, but runner runs over the bag, and stands in foul ground. The runner from second is also standing off the bag, just before reaching third. The fielder tags the trailing runner, clearly off the bag, and then tags the lead runner, also clearly off the bag. Only one man is called out (the lead one, IIRC), and the other is allowed to return to third.

Both were standing and clearly no where close to touching third when tagged.

ThunderStix are bad, but better than cowbells IMO.

@GBrettfan

Honestly, I wonder if it's just that technology has made every error that much more obvious. Hi-def, slow-mo, multi-camera replay attention would all of us look bad at our jobs.

Wait, both runners were on-but-not-touching 3B? Is there some obscure rule about that? I would think at the very least, the runner would have to return to 2B, but really, seems like he should be out.

ThunderStix and cowbells are both highly desirable compared to the Tomahawk Chop.

RSB: Rick Reuschel lasted into his early 40s and he was seriously fat. Of course, he was a totally different kind of pitcher than Sabathia, which may well make a difference.

I thought the rule was that there can't be two runners on third base, and if you tag him, the trailing runner is out. But there wasn't anyone on the base in this case. It was like they were both letting the other have a chance to stay on the base. Only, neither of them were on base and they were both tagged.

And about Blanton, I'd be ok with him not starting, but like Willie Bananas asks, who WOULD start? Our choices would be Blanton, Happ, bring back Myers to start, or have Park start. The last two are not really options. Since both Happ and Blanton have been shaky in postseason and also were shaky in September, I think we're forced to start one of them and hope for the best. Sorta like Hamels. None of them has been absolutely awful, actually - well, I honestly can't remember how Happ fared, but Blanton and Hamels have more or less kept the Phils in the game and pitched at least 5 innnings. I do know our pitchers will fight through, just not sure how successful they will be.

BAP: I know all about fat pitchers and Mickey Lolich and Sid Fernandez and all that...but jeez. I mean, this guy's seriously fat. I guess pitching doesn't affect your knees the way it does if you're a position player and have to run around.

DL, I think there's something to be said for that.

But speaking of umpires, anyone see the editorial in the Sunday NY Times by Fay Vincent, former MLB commissioner? Very interesting.

Here's the link to that piece "Building a Better Umpire" by Fay Vincent:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/18/opinion/18vincent.html?em

Maybe the answer to the Blanton thing is to just give him another start? Maybe he'll be better having a second start. Wouldn't that be better than giving Happ one start - now he'll be be a spot starter like Blanton was last night.

i just noticed that Sabathia's pants are tailored like riding chaps.

Thanks for the link, GBrettfan. Maybe this is the kind of composite embarrassment that will finally effect some sort of change.

Good Lord, maybe this was posted earlier but I just saw it: Manny showered instead of watching 9th inning last night. Team player!

Just read Salisbury's piece for tomorrow's paper. It's about Charlie calling Jimmy's hit before it happened. But as an aside, Salisbury said that Manny, once taken out for defensive replacement, went inside to hit the showers, so he wasn't in the dugout to watch the bottom of the 9th.

Manny being a "Me"Man.

RSB: Sabathia has been quite big his whole career. He's also 136-81 with a 3.62 ERA in his career, and if anything, he's gotten better as he's gotten bigger over the last couple years.

I agree there may be some health concerns down the line, but his track record indicates he's a damn good pitcher and will continue to be. Even a team like the Yankees don't just blindly throw out 170 million dollars. I'm quite sure they did their homework on your exact line of questioning, and obviously were satisfied enough with the answer.

On the top of the Philly.com Phillies page it says "Thome Should Have known Better" but it doesn't link to anything. The statement is just kind of there. Anyone know what that's about? See it here... http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/

Sabathia is a horse. He may be 6'8" and 300+ lb but he's the reason the Yankees are where they are. The rest of their staff is nothing to write home about.

It looks like they've started putting comments as an end-of-sentence following "Philly.com Sports" on the online page. Earlier today, it said something like "Wishes game 5 were tonight." Now it's Philly.com Sports thinks Thome should have known better.

What it undoubtedly refers to is that Thome should have known to trust Charlie's intuition. There was word today (on phillies.com I think as well as Murphy's High Cheese, plus there's a Salibury story for tomorrow that is already posted) about Charlie calling Jimmy's hit last night. He and Thome made eye contact from their respective dugouts as Jimmy came up to bat. Charlie pointed to RF. Thome shook his head. Charlie pointed again or nodded, something to repeat his nonverbal statement.

Three thoughts and a question:

Congrats, Jason! Will go with a copy for sure. As a matter of fact, I think I (and probably many others) mentioned last year how great it would be to use BL as a partial basis for a book about the season.

Dodgers should have known what they were buying into with Manny's track record in Boston. Nothing against the other guys on the team, but not much sympathy. When you acquire one of these high maintenance, prima donnas you take the good with the bad.

Not loving thunderstix or any of those gimmicks, but to say what I think about cowbells would get me so far banned from this site...

Seriously, is there some rationale for the pinched strike zone that we seem to be seeing this post season, or am I imagining this? It arbitrarily changes the "unwritten" rules mid-stream, lengthens games that are already too late and too long with commercial breaks, puts more of a burden on pitchers who already are taking a hit dealing with throwing a baseball in cold weather, and throws focus on umpires vs. players at the worst time. Not asking for called strikes on pitches that aren't on the black for Cliff Lee, but c'mon.

"My main disagreement is regarding Padilla, particularly your assertion that he is a different pitcher since coming to the NL, presumably because it is easier to pitch in the National League than the American League."

Regardless of whether Padilla has pitched better because of the league switch, the park, or just plain luck, it's all irrelevant. Why? Because we're not the average NL team. We have one of the best offenses in baseball. We're the hottest-hitting ballclub this postseason. So what difference does it make if he's pitched better against inferior NL lineups? We don't have one. Nor is tomorrow's game in Dodger Stadium.

I think they should give Blanton another shot. I don't think it makes a lot of sense to shift Blanton and Happ in and out of the bullpen. Keep in mind that while Blanton didn't look great in the end on Monday night, he was very sharp early. I think, if given another start, he could come through for us. Happ is more valuable than he is in the bullpen anyway. I think Charlie needs to make a decision on issue so that Blanton and Happ know what to expect. I'm not a big fan of the idea of roles in the bullpen, but this is different. You can't expect Blanton to have a tremendous start if he doesn't know if he's starting or coming out of the pen until two days before his start.

Kendrick should Be fourth starter... Too soon?

Blanton should not come out of the bullpen, unless to start an inning. Joe can't pitch effectively out of the stretch. He looked sharp at the start of game 4 becasue there were no runners on base, but once some reached, he could no longer pitch from a windup.

Chstk:
That story about Manny is nuts, albeit unsurprising. This j@ckass once dove to cut off a ball in LF that was thrown in by his Centerfielder, once played leftfield for an inning in Boston with a bottle of water in his back pocket, and of course the Red Sox once had to hold up a game so he could use the bathroom/toke up/do whatever one does inside the Green Monster in the middle of an inning.

It really is amazing to see a player's epic collapse from being thought of as an innocuous goofball (for lack of a better term) to a genuine, bona fide team chemistry-killer. As the author of the piece posted by Chstk mentioned, there's NO excuse for skipping out on the 9th inning in the biggest game of the season for your team.

Forget whether Dodgers management should force him to be there to witness the end of the game, wouldn't you WANT to be there for the end of the game? Wouldn't you want to see your hard work come to fruition in a well-earned victory? There's something seriously effed up with you if you don't even want to be there with your team as you're about to win an incredibly vital game 4 on the road, and it goes beyond simply being a poor teammate.

Is it really as simple as the "what have you done for me lately" question? It certainly seems that as long as Manny is producing at the plate, management and his teammates can turn a blind eye to his antics, although even this might have come to an end now as his antics have reached a new, hurtful level never before seen.

Cipper, hah.

I don't know about that, diggitydave - The MLB network guys were all laughing about it last night.

The tag line this AM for Philly.com Sports is "was not showering when Jimmy won it."

Hilarious!

Manny is largely a piece of garbage on and off the field. Never understood in Boston how he would manage to do things on the field that would get call into question ever season yet ultimately get a free pass in the end.

Contrary to popular belief, he wasn't beloved by all of his own teammates either. Notorious tip stiffer and a guy who left players making 1/10 or 1/20 of what he was pulling down to pay his tab at bars/nightclubs. That went over really well with some of the players especially rookies and guys who hadn't been with the team long.

Red Sox also always had some permanently available to clean up any mess Manny off the field quickly and quietly too.

When you boil it down, Manny is a essentially grown man-child without the enduring qualities of a child. Instead, he is largely a lackadaisical, selfish individual who because of his amazing hitting abilities (including in the postseason) and his goofing nature got largely a free pass from media and fans alike.

If anything, Manny is as big as a creep and cheat as Bonds and I wonder if Bonds would have ultimately gotten a much better rap if he had just smiled once in a while, been just a bit less standoffish, and had a better career in the postseason.

One last thing - the clubhouse staff (including the traveling secretary in charge of Red Sox's road trip details) generally despised Manny too. Contrary to his goofing image, he could be a petulant hothead when you did accommodate his myriad of demands.

How about a 3-man rotation in the World Series. That way, Lee could potentially pitch 3 times, including the final if necessary. Lee, Hamels/Martinez, Martinez/Hamels, Lee, Hamels/Martinez, Martinez/Hamels, Lee

So much stuff! Manny takes a shower! Now, when het bats and strikes out, the fans should yell, "Hit the shower, Manny." He's toast. I bet he hears it big time when he first takes the field and, again, every time he bats.

In the regular season, Happ and Blanton were rocks, steady dependable performers as starters. Now, we're debating their roles. I am comfortable with either one starting; more comfortable than when hothead Colbert starts.

I think "small sample size" Padilla gets rocked tonight.

I want to see Feliz start hitting the ball with some authority.

Jim Thome said the Phillies are a "special" team.

Lake Fred - I hope the Phils' fans really get on Manny tonight about the shower thing.

Not really the time or place to discuss the offseason but I think its so great that we basically get to bring this same team back next year and without the Myers, Eaton, Jenkins baggage.

2010 doesn't hold many questions, our rotation is set and only Feliz is a question mark, but how Rube handles this offseason will have major consequences the following year when big changes will occur.

My main two worries are losing Lee, and dropping Werth after next year in favor of cheaper elite but unproven prospects.

It'd be smart to try to lockup Lee after this season if at all possible. Having Lee and hopefully a rebounding Hamels for years to come would be a great 1-2 punch base for the rotation.

Losing Werth is almost inevitable, given his numbers he'll be looking at 15M a year kinda contract but that big right handed bat to balance out Howard, Utley, Ilbanez is gonna be sorely missed (in 2011, haha, I know way too far in advance).


If money was less of an object I'd love to transition Ilbanez into a 4OF role in '11 and start Brown/Taylor with a resigned Werth and Vic.

Lets keep this championship window open as long as possible!

Would a possible 3 man WS rotation involve Pedro pitching on short rest? I don't see how that could even be considered. Like it or not I think Pedro, Blanton will be games 3 and 4 starters respectively. Are bats will have to work their magic in those games and just hope they keep us close.

How can the press be missing the real story here: Manny Ramirez takes showers?

MG - nice write up on Manny and comparing him to Bonds at the end.

I am amazed at how we banish certain 'roid abusers like Bonds, Clemens, Sosa et al, but guys like Manny and A-Rod continue to get the media "love" while our beloved Phillies are overlooked.

It looks like the World Series train will be carrying the Phillies and Yankees. I think it will be a great World Series showcase for our team. I want to see A-Rod humbled.

LF: The reason guys like Bonds, Sosa, Clemens etc. are hated while Manny and A-Rod are still loved by many is simple. The Guys in column A all denied using steroids while Manny and A-Rod came right out and apoloized. Amazing how far a simple apology goes.

Tommy: Please show me an article that quotes Manny Ramirez as having apologized for using steroids.

Yo, new thread

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