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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

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Can I use the F word? If so you can use my entire website, go for it. Ha!

I enjoyed the 2009 edition, and I'm looking forward to this one.

If I didn't write like an angry teenager I'd give a shot. This sounds like a gig for MG or BAP - sorry clout.

Among the commentariat, RSB's the best writer. After that, BAP and Sophist are good. So is Jack.

How about excessive use of abbreviations? That's always my favorite. Something along the lines of:

No MLB or NFL 2nite. WTF?

Follow each pice with a rebuttal by clout detailing exactly how the writer is uninformed and illogical.

Yeah they might be decent writers, but who is taller?

JW: Here's my scouting report:

"Theoretically, Anthony Hewitt's .650 OPS is more valuable in CF than at 3B."

Pete: The reader would be able to figure that out immediately, so my comment would be redundant.

Slugga: You mean you're NOT an angry teenager?

Damn. Had me fooled.

I'd offer up a piece, but I'm sure I'd be accused of plagarism the second I bust out my in-depth analysis:

Phillies>>>>>Mets

No clout, I'm not. Just because I prefer to have fun with my blog rather than discuss sample sizes and OPS+ doesn't make me a teenager.

Say what you will, but the important point is nobody cares.

Slugga: I've never seen your blog. Sorry.

Clout stays true to JW - very commendable.

Slugga, please tell me you don't lay awake at night stewing over something someone posted here.

I sure hope not.

Please.

awh: of course not, don't be silly.

JW, I have a piece for you. I will give you my spring training predictions and thoughts regarding new acquisitions like i did with Raul. We can also publish a mid-season reports, breaking down the predictions and how the player is performing thus far.

BLers, do you still want Madson as your closer? Or are you now facing the fact that Madson is a 8th inning guy and Lidge is the closer?

Tommy - JW asked for help in creating something worthwhile, not something with which to wipe asses. Does your inferiority complex stem from your attending a third-tier Ivy?

I let it pass at the time, because it just didn't seem worth wasting my time on. But since he's here gloating, I think it's fair to bring it up now . . .

As I was reading this morning's thread, I think the one comment that struck me most was this one from MVPTommy: "I am so happy that I was in the minority (and by minority I mean 1 of maybe 3 posters) not to totally call for Lidge to shut it down." Please note, he didn't say, "I am so happy that the Phillies won" or "I am so happy that Lidge came in & got the job done," or "I am so happy that Madson settled down and retired those last 2 hitters without further damage" (which he did), or "I am so happy that Cholly put in Francisco, who made a run-saving catch that Ibanez would never have made." He didn't even say "I am so happy that Cholly follows his gut, rather than prevailing Beerleaguer sentiment" (a statement which would have made exactly the same point, but without any gloating). No, what MVPTommy was happy about thiis morning was his perception that he had been proven right, and others had been proven wrong. The fact that the Phillies had just won a thrilling post-season series was merely a side note.

Thanks Tray.

"BLers, do you still want Madson as your closer?"

I do.

Why do you hate poodles, Tommy?

Question: why on earth would the Phillies fly all the way home today just to turn around and fly back to LA tonight?

Seriously, don't they have someone who could coordinate getting their stuff from their wives/S.O.'s and fly it out for them? Or just buy new stuff in LA?

It just makes no sense to fly from Denver to Philly and then back to LA.

Tommy, I don't agree with your statement that Lidge is the closer. Also, saying that Madson is an "8th inning guy" is not a knock on him in my opinion. Charlie actually made many good bullpen decisions regarding Madson and Lidge in my opinion. And I'm not saying that only because they won.

Charlie went with his BEST reliever in the HIGHEST leverage situation. That meant using Madson before the 9th inning in multiple occasions. Of course, it didn't work in game 4, but Howard, et al, bailed them out.

Going with Eyre in the 9th was pure genius in my opinion. Charlie identified the lefties due up and went with Eyre. At the first sign of trouble, he brought Lidge in to close it out. He finally broke out of his habit of using the "closer" in the 9th only, and all personnel decisions leading to that point as well.

I honestly don't know that Charlie consciously used Lidge "as a closer" in this series. He seemed to use the best man for the job every time. He had used Madson already, so he had to go with someone else. I think it's more a case of match ups and who is available than a "Charlie declares Lidge is closer" type of situation.

Bottom line is this: I think that if Park was healthy, he would have used Park wherever he used Madson, and he would have used Madson wherever he used Lidge.

That Lidge succeeded where Nathan and Papelbon failed speaks most of all to Charlie's strength as a player's manager. His constant "he's my guy" comments made sure that Lidge never lost confidence in himself, and set him up for bigtime redemption.

Nathan and Papelbon are excellent closers that had great years. Lidge, not so much. But despite a largely ineffective season, Lidge still got the job done, and I think Charlie's words went a long way towards this. That Lidge remained very professional about his struggles went a long way too, in my opinion.

If you look deeper, you'll see that Charlie doesn't necessarily think Lidge is any better than Madson, even if Lidge got saves in this series. Had Lidge blown those saves, the backlash would have been enormous. "Why not use Madson" etc etc. But if he saved Madson, then he wouldn't have used Madson for the other high leverage situations. In this case, I think the risk that Lidge would blow is fair considering he had to use Madson in the high leverage situations earlier in the game.

As I said, being without Park in this series could have potentially been a HUGE issue. But Lidge did his job, so we won. I just hope that Park will be able to come back because we may not be so lucky vs. LA.

HH: Mind boggling. I was wondering the same thing. They talked about doing that but I didn't think they actuall would. ????

Did I read somewhere that Park may be back for the NLCS? That would be a huge addition to the pen. I wonder whose spot he would take...Myers? Bastardo?

hh- some of the Phillies went straight to LA today on their own. Others went back this morning/last night on the charter. my wild guess? the bachelors partied, slept in, and got the next flight out to LA. the guys with significant others and children back in Philly went back, took care of family stuff, and get clothing more fitting for LA as opposed to Denver.

The most important thing that I have learned from this blog is that law schools are all full of unbearable contentious babies who hate fun. Keep it up.

Spitz: He almost surely would take Bastardo's spot. Even if Park isn't ready, I would not be surprised to see Walker replace Bastardo, as the Dodgers present much more of a right-handed threat than the Rockies did.

doubleh: As somebody who spent the better part of seven years on the road as a management consultant, I can say that sometimes it is worth traveling great distances to spend at least one night in your own bed. Especially if you have a significant other or a family. If it restores your mind, it can be worth a lot of air time.

JW: "Who wants to be paid to do something they love?"

The Commentariat: "I'M ANGRY"

BAP- Proven wrong on Brad Lidge? Season: N = 67. Post-season: N = 2.

I want Lidge to succeed as much as any Phils fan, but whenever he enters the game,I reach for the defibrillator. We have a long way to go. Let's hope that Lidge's problem was all in his head, because a few more successful outings may restore the confidence he needs to mow down the Angels in the World Series.

Away from BL all day, so late responses.

Yes, I posted the Daily News and Inky shots, in the thread that was the new one overnight/early today.

The TBS bit that annoyed me the most: They had the info that Hammel had a really bad ERA at home, the info that Tracy says he loses it quickly. And then were AMAZED when he lost it quickly and gave up runs at home! Do they even listen to themselves?

HItman, Angels over the Yankees?

Madson is the future closer, his brain just hasn't accepted it yet.

He was WOUND TIGHT last night. Once he makes it through his 9th inning baptism, he'll be fine. Has classic closer's stuff.

I hope they can get a Series win by committee this year, it's the only way.

My 2 cents, I think Lidge is done as a regular closer. Charlie can protect him through this postseason perhaps, but not another regular season.

Hitman: That was why I chose my words carefully and said "his perception" that he had been proven right, and others wrong. As one who has debated MVPTommy for the better part of the last year, I have no doubt in my mind that he believes 2 outings, totaling 1.1 innings prove him right about Lidge. Although, come to think of it, even MVPTommy eventually came around to the view that Lidge shouldn't be closing -- so, in that sense, I'm not sure what he perceives he was right about.

BAP: Why is it unreasonable for mvptommy to draw a conclusion based on 1.1 post-season innings, yet it's perfectly reasonable to draw a conclusion from Bastardo's 0.1 post-season inning (that he clinched a job for 2010)?

Shouldn't both be reasonable or both be unreasonable?

awh- Angels in 7. Phils in 6. And Phils in 7 in the Series. I would give the exact scores but that's too much like bragging.

clout: Who said Bastardo clinched a LOOGY job for 2010? That was sure not me.

Just curious LF, did you include Randy Newman on the right because of our upcoming series, or are/were you a fan? Again, just curious; I'm not here to say Randy Newman's BABIP makes him unlikely to continue his great performances over the long run...although, his sample size should certainly be big enough to make the comparison...damn, now my sarcasm confused me.

I have yet to hear a convincing argument as to how Lidge was so good last year and so bad this year. There isn't any nagging injury, there isn't any difference in his "stuff" on a mechanical or velocity level, we've heard he isn't tipping his pitches - is it just a mental thing?
Lidge is still a huge question mark, as a few outs don't a postseason revival make. That said, it's pretty clear that closers in the postseason are simply not closer in the regular season. On a side note, same goes for teams...remember the RISP worries last couple months? Not such a problem in this series.
My point is that I don't know that there is as much consistency, outside of a few guys a decade, when it comes to postseason closing roles. It takes great closing to win a World Series, but where that comes from is interesting.
These are just cursory and may be wrong. Last year was Lidge, the year before was Papelbon, then in 2006 Wainwright had something like 3 regular season saves, Bobby Jenks in 2005 had 6, Keith Foulke was 32 of 39 in 2004, Ugh. Urbina turned into some sort of monster in 2003 and went from a 4.19 ERA with Texas to a 1.41 ERA with Florida where he had six saves.
So I wouldn't put any more weight on regular-season-closer-badassedness than I would on a lot of other things, outside of say, Mariano Rivera. Charlie stuck by Lidge and if that gives him the confidence to get some outs here and there that we need then great, we have other guys for the other outs and we just keep putting the right guy in according to what he can do. That's how you have a baseball team.

"The TBS bit that annoyed me the most: They had the info that Hammel had a really bad ERA at home, the info that Tracy says he loses it quickly. And then were AMAZED when he lost it quickly and gave up runs at home! Do they even listen to themselves?"

That was very odd, but not in quite the way you suggest, because I don't think they seemed amazed when he started to blow it. What was weird about their announcing there and really throughout was that, early in the game, they'd only have nice things to say about any player, only cite his good stats. But once a player started to struggle, they'd cite stats that contextualized his struggling. For instance, early on they talked about Hammel's great curve, good velocity, and that supposedly nothing he throws is straight. Then when he started pitching poorly, they very quickly began to share all the numbers that show what a bad pitcher he really is. As a viewer who doesn't know much about Jason Hammel, you want to be told about his terrible numbers before he starts pitching horribly, not once he starts pitching horribly, as this sort of pseudo-analytic "yeah, this is really typical of Player X, look at his awful numbers with men on base" crap.

Divisional Series 2009 Philadelphia Phillies Hitting

Name TEAM Pos G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG
Jimmy Rollins PHI SS 4 19 1 5 1 0 0 0 0 5 0 .263
Shane Victorino PHI CF 4 17 4 6 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 .353
Ryan Howard PHI 1B 4 16 3 6 3 0 0 6 1 4 0 .375
Jayson Werth PHI RF 4 14 5 5 0 1 2 4 4 4 0 .357
Pedro Feliz PHI 3B 4 14 0 3 1 0 0 0 1 3 0 .214
Chase Utley PHI 2B 4 14 5 6 0 0 1 1 4 3 2 .429
Carlos Ruiz PHI C 4 13 0 4 0 0 0 3 2 2 0 .308
Raul Ibanez PHI LF 4 13 2 4 1 0 0 5 4 2 0 .308

Hats off to Amaro for being candidly honest. He admitted that he had already turned his thoughts to Game 5 after the 8th inning meltdown. For a guy who seems to cultivate a "cool" image, he could have easily used all the right soundbites about always believing in the team, never giving up, etc. He could have lied like a rug, but he didn't. He owned his doubt, even though it might show a perceived lack of faith in the team. Most people, myself included, also had started thinking about Hamels, etc. There were a few brave souls here who told us all it wasn't over, and there were quite a few more in the visitor's dugout in Denver who already seemed to know that. Nearly 24 hours later, it still seems amazing.

I was just looking at Randy Wolf's splits and he was dominant against lefties this year. I know it is almost unreasonable, but any chance Manuel moves the lineup so Werth is in the 3 Hole? This would also create a situation where the Dodgers would have to use 3 relievers to get through Utley, Werth, and Howard without severe damage. I trust the lineup as is, but it is something to think about.

From David Murphy's blog:

It appears as if righthander Hideki Koruda will be added to the Dodgers' roster for the National League Championship Series.

Koruda was left off the Division Series roster after a small herniation of the cervical spine was found in his neck. Kurada had been struggling with neck pain at the end of the season.

He pitched in Arizona in front of manager Joe Torre and Torre indicated Kuroda could be ready for the LCS.

Torre did not announce a starting rotation during a media session tonight following the team's workout at Dodger Stadium.

Kuroda last pitched Sept. 28 in an 11-1 loss in which he allowed seven runs (three earned) in four innings.

He faced the Phillies once this season, allowing no runs and two hits over six innings in a no-decision in June.

Good ole' Cholly messin' with somethin' that ain't broke?

You must be kidding yourself, AL.

Wolf has always been tough on lefties because he has an excellent curve ball. Plus, they have Kershaw, who is just murder on left-handers. With our lefty-heavy middle-of-the-order, we will be getting a taste of the same medicine that we used against the Rockies. One big difference, though, is that Utley and Ibanez both had better numbers against lefties this year than they did against right-handers. Still, whatever their 2009 numbers might say, I don't love the matchup of Ibanez & Utley against tough left-handers. I wouldn't be opposed to giving Francisco a start, maybe against Kershaw.

Kuroda owns the Phils. Of course, the Dodgers want him back if they can get him.

Hope he allows 7 ER when he faces us. It's time to reverse some trends.

Today was an incredibly historic day for the internet in general and espn.com specifically. espn.com had chats from both Joe Morgan & Joe Buck. In the same day. Actually just hours apart. I'm in complete awe. (Warning: Read the chat wraps at your own peril).

Something I'm worried about in this series that goes beyond stats is the revenge factor LA will be playing with.

We sat here stewing over the '07 Rockies sweep in the NLDS, and that's two years and a WFC later. Werth even mentioned wanting revenge at one point. Imagine the animosity these guys must be feeling for ripping their hearts out at home last year, especially after Russell Martin getting his panties in a wad over...well, I forget what. It doesn't matter, really. These guys are going to be out for blood.

Iceman: Phils were out for blood in 1978, too, and they didn't fare any better than in 1977. Revenge might be a motivating factor, but sometimes that can cloud your abilities. Phillies have had targets on their backs all season long; why should this postseason be any different?

Every game is just another hurdle to jump.

The author of the Sporting News blog post linked above is my buddy Dan. I've known him literally since I was in kindergarten. He does a podcast, if anyone is interested:
http://www.onthedlpodcast.com/Blog_Podcast/Blog/Blog.html

I love THIS picture of JRoll and Vic!


Do you think they want to win?

I like the opportunity to see this matchup again. Respect them, yes. Fear them, hell no. They should be a stronger opponent this year than last.

Thanks SmokeyJoe. This comment from Morgan is really fascinating in its bizarre illogic and non sequiturs to me:

Shane (Knoxville): Joe, honestly... if you were the manager of the Phillies, would you have had the confidence to go with Lidge those last two games?

Joe Morgan: I said this at the beginning of the postseason - the only way the Phillies can win the championship and repeat is if Lidge is closing the games. You can't do it with someone knew to the situation. Lidge has proven that he can do it in the past. My answer is yes, because that's the only way they can do it. You can't win the championship without an established closer. It shows you how great Mariano Rivera is and has been throughout his career.

Other than that, the chat wasn't too nutty at all. I'm convinced, as the guys at Fire Joe Morgan were towards the end of their run, that Joe has brought in an intern to give him pointers during these things.

about the lefty matchups... i love what howard did last night, but torre is a smart manager. i think he goes to a lefty in that situation and if he does, percentages tell us there's a good chance it's a different outcome. the lefty relievers scare me quite a bit in this upcoming series. accuscore has the dodgers as pretty high favorites.

Bollocks to the lefty matchups. I get that they are there and we're not going to get the same looks and same production from particular parts of our order, but the game doesn't come down to having a lefty to face Ryan Howard.
We're all over the Dodgers in a lot of places. I'm not afraid of their lineup outhitting our lineup. My personal feeling is that the surprise of this series is going be the starting pitchers for the Phillies. Between Lee and Pedro I think we win three games, and I'd be surprised if we don't have another one in us via Hamels, Happ, or Blanton. You heard it here first.

Realized yesterday that the Phils are now 8-7 in 'postseason' series since I've been around. Go team go!

(Of course, my pa was around for the Whiz Kids so he's stuck at 8-8).

ALERT ALERT ALERT

tommy provocation coming.......


Phil Sheridan wrote something rather silly this morning:

"To his immense credit, Amaro conducted business this year as if the Phillies were still trying to break that 28-year drought. He replaced streaky Pat Burrell in the lineup with steady Raul Ibanez."


Ummmm, Phil, I love Raul, but who exactly were you watching this season?

(Link provided by Jason on the right.)

Yo, newer thread

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