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Thursday, November 05, 2009

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Well said! I'm very proud of this team, we'll be back next year.

Thanks, JW

Thank you, Jason. This Phillies team has been a true pleasure to pull for, and it has only been better because of Beerleaguer.

I, for one, have a feeling next year will be even better.

Cheers to the Phillies on a great season.

Congratulations to the Yankees as World Champions. They earned it.

Thanks to JW and all posters here for giving food for thought and space to vent.

Great stuff as always, Jason.

Repeating is a near impossible thing to do, and I'm proud of this team for the way they fought to pull it off. The entire season was a wild ride I won't soon forget.

Congrats to the Yanks. Now when do pitchers and catchers report?

Tonight CONCLUDES a historic run by a proud Philadelphia franchise???

This run ain't over yet. Not by a longshot.

Well put sir. Thank you for your continued coverage! Already looking forward to next season!

phillies should sign chone figgins and kick pedro to the curb, high on base, speed, switch hitter who can play 3rd and lots of places.

To add insult to injury, one of your Google ads is advertising Yankees World Series champs gear. Oh the irony...

I have always contended that young men get three true loves in life. First, a sports team. Second, a band. Third, a woman.

For myself the the first was the Philadelphia Phillies. The second was the Stone Roses. The third is out there somewhere.

As my screen name hints, I missed last year's championship. I was living in Yokahama, Japan. There I watched the Baystars replicate the exploits of Ricky Otero and Garrett Stephenson. All the while I tracked the Phillies from afar and assumed my annual role of eternal optimist assuring my friends of our heroes' ability to catch the Mets and Brewers. When it all worked out the way it always should have, I got a ton of e-mails asking if I rooted for a Series loss so I could witness the big one in person. But I never did. I would have liked to, but rooting against the Phillies is still impossible to me. I identify with Keith Shepherd the same way I identify with Cliff Lee.

This year I was finally back in the GREATEST CITY IN THE WORLD for the majority of the season. The Phillies did what they had to do. They marched through the playoffs and put up a good series. They let the world know that last year was no fluke and they were contenders.

We can, if we really want to, dissect the season and postseason. I personally don't want to. I would take all 25 of these guys back next year and have no issue with it. I know there will be some minor tweaks to the roster and I agree with most of the likely moves. Still that is a conversation for a later day.

Right now I can't help but think about how much this team represents this city so well. I could go on and on about how baseball is the most urban of sports and how it represents the rise, fall and rise of American cities more than any other sport, but instead I'll go on about how this team represents us so well.

Philadelphia was on it's death bed for the better part of the 80's and 90's and so were the Phillies. 1993 offered a brief reprieve and the culmination of Rendell era opitism. Still we weren't at the end of the road. There was a ton of work to do. The Philadelphia of 1993 is not the Philadelphia of today (thank god). We have made it through the dark years and slowly, like the Phillies, built a winner. I know there are a lot of suburban reader who will disagree but this is a great time for the city and by no coincidence the Phillies. Next year can and should be even better.

GREATEST CITY IN THE WORLD!!!

The Yankees are a very good team (albeit one that has bought a lot of stars). The Phillies are a very good team too. Games 3 and 4 were critical and could have been won but weren't. Feliz and Victorino had really bad games tonight - I guess that can happen. My main complaint with Charlie whom I really like as a manager was his use of Happ in the post season. I felt Happ should have been in the starting rotation for the whole post season. I think starting pitching is the most critical aspect of post-season baseball and Happ more than earned a regular spot. I think he would have kept us in a couple of games we could have won. I hope Happ doesn't have the same yo yo ride he seemed to have this year with my beloved Fightin Phils. And finally I don't like losing to New York. I don't like that city very much - it's overrated as a world metropolis and its sport fan mentality is juvenile - perhaps to compensate for its shortcomings. But I do think the Yankees are a good team and it's not a disgrace to lose to them.

I don't know if Philadelphia is the greatest city in the world - I kinda really think Vienna is but I def think Philadelphia is a much cooler, prettier, and more fun city than New York. And I think the Phillies and their fans are awesome despite tonight's sad loss. It should be the proud franchise it is and the Phillies are one of the ten oldest sports teams in the world. I think this year cements the fact that Philadelphia has truly become one of the elite baseball towns. And the Phillies fan base spans the world!

Great post, gobaystars. I'm a suburban reader (or at least I used to be) and I share your feelings. I have come to really realize how much I love Philadelphia over the past five years or so. And I can't think of a better team to have representing the city.

The Phillies have given me a lot of great memories over the past couple of seasons. Can't wait until spring. Go Phillies!

Another great season after many years in the dark wilderness of baseball. Thanks Jason for all the great coverage. Wait till next year.

It was great while it lasted, and it will come back again. Great team and great times. I am a Phillies fan (21 years old) living in florida now...

Even amongst my terrible Yankees fan friends tonight, I stood proud after the loss. A great team fell tonight and will be back soon...

Now let's just all hope that the Eagles follow in the footsteps of the 08 Phils...

Thanks for a great season BeerLeaguer

New York falls amazingly short as a world city. I've seen em all. London is culturally amazing and beautiful. Paris even more so. Tokyo is exciting and massive in every way. While new york is just disappointing and dull by comparison. All you get in new york is people from kentucky telling you how great new york and and yelling "only in new york" about shopping mall style shopping and 2 year old stale night life. booooo.

I had to try to check scores on this series while on honeymoon with my wife in Africa. It was tough to do. While I hated to miss this series, not watching a losing series probably added a couple years to my life.

Hey as a native Londoner who now works in Philly, I appreciate the comment above on London...although Paris and Vienna may be prettier and Vienna our equal in culture and nightlife. I always find it humourous that so many of the tourist brochures I pick up when visiting New York state in them that New York is the world's greatest city. That's kind of arrogant and I never read that in any other city's brochures anywhere I have ever traveled. It mirrors the arrogance of their sports teams. Perhaps now they can say they have the world's best baseball team but I'm still happy I live and work in Philly and have adopted the totally super Phillies as my baseball team.

New York owns you. Enough said. What sad, sad, falsely proud Philadelphians.

Its really funny how some of you claim Philadelphia is the greatest city in the world when most people in the world don't even know theres such a thing as "Philadelphia, PA". People around the world hear New York and they think greatness. That's a fact.

We have the mose people in this country for a reason. We're just simply the best.

The only thing Philadelphians are any good at is trying to make their image as great as New York's. You guys dont even come close. You don't even scratch the surface. Your god-forsaken city is minutae on this region we share.

People that need to put down their opponent, even after victory, really don't apperciate it at all. Isn't enough that your team won the world series? If it isn't that you have to come on here and talk even more trash than i feel bad for you, because you won't feel what we felt last year with your yankees this year.

Very funny, Mike. You act like you don't know what you Phillies fans were doing last year when you won, eh?

If I remember correctly, you idiot Philadelphians were chanting in the streets "New York SUCKS!", weren't you? Isn't it enough that you guys won it all in 2008? Apparently not, you guys just had to put down another city which had no doing at all on the road to your 2008 championship.

Please remember that before you say anything about NYers putting you down.

Stay classy, New York!

I've never seen trash talking trash before, but what do you expect from a city that thinks ADIDAS Track Suits can double as formalwear?

Very proud of this team, the last two years have been a grreat thrill ride and Istill expect the coming year to be just as fun.

And to the d-bag Yankee fans, get a life, it's just baseball. Both New York and Philly are great towns but fans like you (and the same ilk can defintely be found in Philly) make both cities look like trash. Grow up.

It was a great year and I'm proud that they made it back. Back to back pennants shows they aren't a fluke.

While I must admit I woke up this morning rather depressed, it didn't take long to get out of the funk. First of all, we've got a hell of a squad comprised of great position players and a core of all-stars perhaps unmatched in the entire league (well, except by the Yankees). Second, part of being a perennial winner is knowing you can't win every year. The Yankees didn't self-destruct after the Game 7 loss in 2001 or after getting swept by the Marlins. Likewise, this WS loss is just another chapter in what is becoming a team full of postseason-experienced professional winners. I see nothing but a franchise on the way to a decade of dominance.

Thanks for a great season, BL.

Pitchers & Catchers reported on Feb 14 last year. My guess (as its TBA right now) is that it will be Feb 13th this year (2nd Saturday in February typically).

Man, that's not far away.

You Philly fans have the audacity to talk about another set of fans. Yank fans can be pricks, but at least they don't pelt people with beer cans and talk trash before they even won anything. Philly is a second class city compared to New York. Have a nice off season losers.

And before you Eagle fans talk trash, you might wanna actually win a superbowl first.

Look for a rematch next season. Hopefully the NL can win the All-Star game. Thanks, Bud.

wow man, go enjoy your victory or something crazy like that. douchebag gotta come over here and talk trash after winning, lol. guess 27 isnt that special or something.

A day or two of light mourning is appropriate, but really, think of how far this organization has come. We have a beautiful, sold-out stadium, a really likable group of core players, and the friggin' Phanatic.

We'll continue to complain about little things like Hamels' attitude, first pitch swinging, and blown saves, but the big picture remains pretty damned good.

If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere, it's up to you NEW YORK....NEW YORK!!!!!!!

There's nothing like a parade down BROADWAY (Broad Street? HAH!!!) This is how a city treats its heroes, with a parade down the CANYON OF HEROES.

NEW YORKERS SMOKE PHILLIES CIGARS :)

Anyone else hope that Taylor makes the big team next year and grabs 100 starts? Give the others rest and have a true DH ready.

anytime a playoff beard gets as long as the one i'm sporting right now, you know it was a good season.

and, honestly, think the phillies were the best team. unfortunately, they were not the most consistent team, something we saw all year. only chooch hit for the whole playoffs, and only chase and jayson really were on for this series, and yet we made it as far as we did. and they really could have won this series despite the inconsistency.

Thanks Jason !

We still have a good team. Need a bench though !
Otherwise, was a joyful season.

ps: i hate the dh. always puts the NL team at a disadvantage.

I don't understand how a self-described world traveler can earnestly call Philadelphia, PA the "GREATEST CITY IN THE WORLD" in one breath while dismissing New York, NY with "All you get in new york..(snipped)..shopping mall style shopping and 2 year old stale night life." in the next. This doesn't sound like the words of a globetrotter to me. This sounds like angry, petty, provincial nonsense of the worst kind.

I love the Phillies, but Philadelphia is not a more relevant city than New York. Get real!

Jason,

Thanks so much for being our host. The extra effort in the graphics (the WS ones were the best I've seen in the 2+ years I've been around), the great insights that can't really be found anywhere else, and the chance to interact with this knowledgeable (and rabid) community make this a special place. Hope when you said "final thoughts" that there was not a deeper meaning attached to it.

Was a little bitter last night. My Sports Illustrated arrived and I was reading it to try to wind down postgame. The article about the WS after game 5 had extremely brief positive, almost afterthought, mentions about Chase and Cliff, with the entire tone of the article along the lines of restoring things to their preordained status, too many wild card teams and pretenders to the throne in recent series, the relentlessness and intensity of the Yankees, etc., etc., ad nauseum. The Phils were portrayed as a good team with decent bonafides, but in the end, lucky to be on the same field. And this was with the series at 3-2. Can't imagine what they'll do to top it now that they actually won. This stings, and we'll see much more of it.

But that's baseball and that's the media. Kudos to the Yankees, they are a really tough, talented team who deserve to have won. No shame in a 6 game WS loss to the 09 Yankees. With these thoughts, I feel a little empty, but pretty good (so sorry, trolls) As an aside, I can't imagine many BLs last year getting their jollies by taunting the Rays or their fans. Kind of sad. Having been there last year, winning was way enough.

This has been a great run, and the best thing is, it's by no means over. The team has an experienced, talented and toughened core. There are weaknesses to be addressed, but most are readily identifiable and fixable. Maybe I'm wrong but I do not see the core group of players on this team settling for merely being "in the playoff mix"; I think they want more.

Lots more to discuss in the days ahead. For now, I'm just thanking everyone associated with the team for making this a great year, and looking forward to a productive off season and a rematch next year. Well done, Phils.

I would like to sincerely thank the Yankees ownership for those kind words about the Phils on the podium? Oh they didn't say the customary thank you to the losers? DIE STENBRENNER DIE

Enough of this great season what a ride reflection stuff, can Hamels pitch Game 7?

I felt that basically we matched up very well with the Yanks, just didn't execute when it came down to it.

Outfielders? I'd take any Phillie over all of the Yanks, although Ibanez - Damon is close. Infielders? Jeter outperformed Rollins but that won't always be the case.(Does anyone get more bloop/squibbler hits then Jeter? I think he had three hard hit balls all series.) Utley over Cano any day, even though Cano is a much better hitter then we saw, had a horrible series. Howard over Tex (Steinbrenner would throw his soul in the deal if we offered that trade). I like Ruiz catching over Posada/Molina, but its close. And I'd take Lee over Sabbathia, Hamels (most years) over Burnett.

They're two closely matched teams. Phils are younger with more talent on the farm. We know the Phils didn't play their best, but neither did the Yanks. (Tex, Cano) They just played better this time.

Thanks, Jason.

Was kinda amazed how quiet the crowd was last night for the most part.

Between that and the overreaction to fly balls and such, wonder where all the 'real' Yankee fans were stuck watching the game.

Was there really not the obligatory thanks and congratulations to the runners up during the trophy ceremony last night? Isn't that something you're taught in little league?

The Phillies have not yet decided whether to offer a contract extension to pitcher Cliff Lee this off-season, but they have discussed the possibility internally. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
wtf...Is this for real?!!!

Anyone know where I can get a new secretary?

Jeter had a great all around year offensively and defensively (surprisingly). He was probably as good defensively as he was during his "gold-glove" years. He and Rivera are the only two guys on that team I have any respect for.

Their crowd was terrible, a shame their real fans couldn't be there. The Yankees celebration was weak. What was up with Posada? He just kinda stood around and when they did the close up on each, he did this weird little skipping thing from homeplate looking like Simple Jack.

Jason,

Thanks for your tireless support. like last year, when i discovered your site, I've stayed a faithful reader and enjoyed all the banter among the philly faithful. It makes living in NYC easy for a Philly fan. (i'm the guy who sends you the Doug Glanville postings from the NYTimes.)

I enjoy your site and will read it through the Winter and into next year.

Peace!
Chris

I'm not ready for the reflection on a successful season stuff. My ten year old son told me this morning "I'm sorry for your loss." Dude, no one died. They'll play baseball next year. Just not tomorrow.

Phils didn't play their best. Some surprising lapses but, a very good matchup of the two best teams in baseball with the superior roster telling in the final result. Not an inevitable result, though.

For now, I'm content to do the normal rehash of the last game. Pedro never loosened up and, 4-1 after 4 was the result. Can't understand how it was that Durbin . . . Durbin?? . . . was the next guy in. What happened to all hands on deck? Still, the Phils got in position to make it a ball game. Utley's last at bat was the climax, unfortunately. Some future legends walk off with hte trophy, especially Jeter and Rivera.

It's a long road back to be in that position. I don't know that I can even contemplate that until next July or so.

This has been an incredible season for our Phillies, even though we didn't win the whole thing, which is the goal. We did win the NL for the 2nd straight year. Thanks to JW and the BLer faithful. Even though we rarely all see eye-to-eye, it is still fun to debate moves and signings on a dialy basis.

I look forward to the new signings of guys to hopefully improve our bullpen and put us in another great position to win it all next year.

Some items that I am looking forward to discussing in the upcoming months:

- Hamels and what he needs to do to come back to his old self.

- The revamped bullpen. Who to sign?

- Can Lidge come back successful again?

- Who do we add to the bench?

- Do we resign Myers?

- Kendrick as 5th starter? (This will be a clot favorite)

- Can Raul put together a similiar 2009 season in 2010?

- Do we pick up Feliz's option or go after Figgins, Beltre or Glaus?

It has been a great year BLers. Look forward now to breaking down the season further and the offseason.

I agree with EFF about the crowd. It was more (I don't know the best word- maybe businesslike?) than any playoff crowd I have seen or been apart of at Citizens Bank Park.

It's not an indictment on Yankees fans - they're just more subdued than Phillies fans. It's natural that it would be that way, too, given that they've won 25 more World Championships than our boys. The sheer jubilation and ecstasy felt by our fans last year (and likely would have been seen yet again if we could have pulled it out this year) is not present in New York. For better or worse, it's almost like they *expect* to win every year, and therefore there's no surprise or shock value in a Yankees championship - it's just meeting expectations.


I don't know, I didn't write this morning to criticize Yankees fans. They won the World Series. I could have lived without the incessant texts/emails received from New Yorkers who, prior to this series, likely thought the Yankees roster consisted of Jeter, A-rod, Matsui, Bernie Williams, Clemens, Mussina, Jimmy Key, and Scott Kaminiecki. But they've won, we have lost, and there's nothing we can do about it.

I'm going to be spending a long time this off-season thinking about Lidge's fastball to A-rod in the 9th inning of game 4, Pedro's pitch selection to Matsui in the 2nd inning last night, and Utley and Ryan's at-bats against Marte in the latter stages of last night's game.
The Phillies win the series, and these errors are forgiven. The fact that they lost, however, magnifies these mistakes and will make me conteplate and question what transpired for months now...

"wonder where all the 'real' Yankee fans were stuck watching the game."

I ran into a few of them last night as I walked out of a bar. They accused me of homosexuality.

Well at least I don't have to live in or near New York. Then I'd be really upset today.

I've enjoyed the past 1.5 seasons of Phillies baseball since I stumbled across this site. Spent the time mostly lurking and posting infrequently. After the 1994 stike, I vowed to never again watch a MLB game in person. This team made me break that vow twicethis year.

Coverage of Philadelphia sports here in Lower Slower Delaware is virtually non-existent. A tip of the cap to JW and the regulars for the insights and the entertaining, enlightening and sometimes heated discusions.

Ted, the extension being discussed would be for beyond the 2010 season, for which Lee is under contract. I'm sure that they'd love to do it, but you can bet that Lee (and his agent) will be asking for a LOT of money (and probably 3 years added to the existing one at the very least). With his age, and the Phillies' (well, Gillick's--and Rube has done nothing to indicate otherwise) policy against giving more than a 3 year contract to pitchers... it's hard to say what they'll do. You know that if they don't, the Yankees will be lining up with their checkbook in hand...

Stevew - you missed the biggest disparity between the two teams - the DH. Not sure there's much that the Phils can do about it, but when the Yanks are adding Matsui to their lineup vs our 0-fer-the-postseason Francisco, it's a giant advantage.

Would like to know how many Beerleaguers spent last Oct/Nov slamming the city of Tampa on a message board somewhere. Nobody's as insecure as a NYer...

I love this team and appreciate the great season they gave us with many memorable moments, and cannot wait to see them go at it again in 2010.

Can't get down a world series run, and think the phils have a great chance to win the NL for the 3rd year in a row next year with the roster as is. OF course there will be some tweaks but the basics are there.

Now that its all done, I immediately see 3 things that did the Phils in:

1. a 1 man world series rotation.

2. jeter: .407/.429/.519 damon: .364/.440/.455 rollins: .217/.345/.217 vic: .182/.296/.227

3. Matsui v. our entire bench combined

Reflecting back on how this comapres to my feelings after the game 6 loss to Toronto in 1993. This doesn't feel nearly as bad. I think there are a couple of reasons for that.

1) We won last year. 2) We all knew the 93'team was a flash in the pan and it would be the only chance for a while/this team is consistantly good. 3) I think we all saw this coming as we watched the last 4-5 games/Joe Carter shocked us. 4) I was a kid then and baseball was EVERYTHING/Now I understand that baseball is just a game.

Thanks Beerleaguers - and the head Beerleaguer in particular - for another great year. Let's go get 'em next year!

JW-

Thanks for a phenomenal job as usual. Though I'm not a frequent poster, I love this forum for Phils fans. It truly is a community, and you've done a first rate job fostering that.

Onward to 2010. I congratulate the Yankees as Tanner Boyle once did.

As disappointing as losing the World Series is, the Phils made it back. They were beaten by the best team in baseball. As much as I do not like the Yankees, I'd much rather lose to them then to a team like the Twins. The Yankees won 103 games during the regular season and have a team full of past and present All-Stars. They were the better team and won. Tip of the cap.

To get back to the World Series proves that last year was no fluke and that they can hang with anyone. With a few minor moves in the off-season, coupled with the talent in the high minors, 2010 could be even better.

[Ah, the off-season. Where Beerleaguer truly shines.]

thephaithful: I didn't realize Rollins batting avg. was that bad probably because in comparison to most of the others, he had an okay series. his on base was so much higher than normal. I love Rollins, but Amaro and Charlie have a lot of thinking to do about whether or not he can stay at the top of the order. He probably will, but he isn't cut out for it anymore (probably never really was). I would never promote getting rid of him, but I do promote batting him 6th. if he continues to lead off, this board is going to light up with frustration next year. he's obviously took a very large step back offensively over the past two years.

thephaithful,

Plenty of time to dissect all this in the days to come, but to me, I felt Blanton and Pedro both pitched well enough (not game 6 obviously) to have won two more games under most circumstances. If your number 2 and 3 (which I think are dead on the money) weren't a problem, #1 would probably not have been in play.

Thanks, JW.

I'm pretty beat up, but what else is new. Hell of a season but we really should have had game 4. I feel like I've had a knife in my back since that 5th inning.

And as I said last night, at least none of our players will die of testicular cancer in 10 years. So there's that.

I had a conversation with my roommate this morning regarding why I thought the Phillies lost the series. Sure, it could be the starting pitching (hamels, blanton, pedro last night) that didn't show up or maybe the bullpen letting in a few too many runs. However, I as Josh mentioned above, I think it really came down to the DH. It's hard to win a game when we effectively match up a guy who hasn't gotten a hit all postseason with someone who drives in 6 RBIs in his first 3 at-bats.

It just shows the disparity between the NL and AL and why deciding home field advantage for the World Series through an arbitrary game, the All-Star game, is utterly ridiculous.

JW: Thanks for a good season.

When should I come back to talk waiver wire, non-roster invitees, and winter league box scores? Tomorrow? Over the weekend?

Thank you JW. Years of pleasure now on this most professional site. Rest team rest.

dave -- Say what you will about the people in Yankee stadium last night, but the crowd at game 3 and 4 didn't make enough noise to disturb a librarian. I think that's just the nature of World Series games, with ticket prices being what they are.

Jason recapped my thoughts on 2009 pretty well.

Congrats to the Phils and all of their fans across the country (many of whom frequent this blog) for another memorable, exciting, interesting, successful and sometimes frustrating baseball campaign. This is a great place to gather to discuss/argue/banter about the Fighten's and it makes the season that much more fun, win or lose.

But as Fuqua Manual so "eloquently" put it, "We Will Be Back". With this talented core and the young talent coming through the pipeline, there is no reason to think otherwise.

I'm disappointed the Phillies didn't play better, but being a life-long Phillie fan, I'll take the disappointment of losing a World Series over the disappointment of not making the playoffs at all.

I'm looking forward to the off-season on Beerleaguer. I predict the hottest topic will be what to do about Feliz/3rd base, followed by the bullpen, then the bench.

We were beaten by the better team. It happens. Were still a dynasty in the making. Let's just hope were not the braves redux and 2008 was our only WFC while racking up division title after division title.

In any event, Cole needs to come back big next year. Not having a real no # 2 or 1-A starter really hurt us in this series. It was real depressing watching pedro hit the wall for his career last night. Great Career but Time to hang it up.

Secondly, I hope Amaro is smart enough not to put charlie in that position again. A guy like Pedro is kyrptonite for charlie: experienced accomplished vet whose at the borrowed time stage of his career getting the nod over the younger guys who should be starting in that situation(Happ or Hamels).

MVPT: I wouldn't touch Glaus - Figgins, Beltre, or keep Feliz.

Thanks, JW.

Let go of Stairs, Bruntlett, Cairo, Eyre, both Pedros, Myers.

Sign Adrian Beltre. Sign Rafael Soriano. Bring back Chan Ho Park. Get an Iwamura-esque UI (wish we had gotten him).

Make it to the World Series again.

truly wonderful season, although heartbreaking to sputter in the world series after dominating the NLDS and NLCS.

As much as I get frustrated with Feliz at 3B, this team has other areas it needs to address - mainly finding some bullpen help. You've got to think that Cole will come back and pitcher better and that Happ will continue to pitch well. We've also got Myers coming back. What let us down the most was not having the closer. I'd really like to see JC Romero move into this spot.

Also, I think this team could really start playing some more small-ball and manufacturing runs. We really do a poor job hitting with RISP.

I watched the beginning of all the games with my just turned 4 daughter - who called the teams the strawberries and blueberries. There was enough screaming from us on the Utz's 3 run first inning homer that our upstairs neighbor commented the next morning.
After she went to sleep I headed out to my local NYC dive bar, Milady's to watch the rest of the the games. Even though they were cheering the Yankess WS victory being in a crowded bar full of celebrating drunks took some of the pain away - because I remembered all of the times as a Phillies fan that I've felt just like they did over the last three years. Imagine if you came from Kansas City.

All these Yankees fans who are sober/awake enough to string cohesive sentences together on this board *certainly* did not enjoy the victory as much as any Phillies fan did last year...

JW, thanks for everything. You made following these ordinary guys who did extraordinary things great the entire season.

Pitchers and catchers, four months!

Sometimes the Forces of Darkness defeat the Virtuous.

Craig:
-Myers is a FA. He's gone.
-JC may not be ready for the start of the season.
-This team won't suddenly become a small ball team.
-3b spot looms large.

@gobaystars "New York falls amazingly short as a world city"
Im a Philly fan living in NYC, and while I hate the teams, and thier fanbase as a whole...to say NYC isnt a world city is just dumb, and your being blinded by your fandom, or euro trash pretentiousness.
I've had the pleasure to travel Europe and Asia as well, and NYC is a great town for non-pretentious people (which is most of us native Philadelphians).
Knock the obnoxious Yankee fans, and sulking Met fans. Not the town.

On that note, we got the core in thier prime coming back. We'll be back next year.

MVPTommyD***

Answering your proposed questions...

-Hamels and what he needs to do to come back to his old self. - Get his head right. He's still young, its too early to call Rick Ankiel (lost it) or Jake Peavy (no guts) on him.

- The revamped bullpen. Who to sign? - Such a crap shoot. Hope Amaro has some favs out there.

- Can Lidge come back successful again? - No, he's officially a bully. He'll shut down the Nats & Mets in April, but how can we trust him in a big moment?

- Who do we add to the bench? - Again, on Amaro, hope there are a few UT & PH guys floating out there that arent on a normal fans radar.

- Do we resign Myers? - No, not worth it.

- Kendrick as 5th starter? (This will be a clot favorite) - Sign some vet innings eaters to minor league deals, and throw him into competition with them during spring training.

- Can Raul put together a similiar 2009 season in 2010? - probably not, but we dont necessarily need to replace him. He has another year left.

- Do we pick up Feliz's option or go after Figgins, Beltre or Glaus - Beltre. Figgins is 31 and this will be his BIG contract. We still need to pay Werth and Lee next year.

Two things that went through my mind last night.

1. The image of Lidge last year on the mound after getting Hinske out. There was a real team celebration that followed.
ARod jumping straight up and down just looked awkward- I know it's a team game but most of the Yankees just looked like employees or something and not a TEAM. Texeira looked real strange too.

2. Our starting pitchers on Opening Day 2009.
-Hamels
-Myers
-Blanton
-Moyer
-Park
What a long, strange trip this year was. Cliff, Chase, and Werth all showed up for the WS. Not really sure where anyone else on the squad was. Still really happy.

Keep in mind, today is November 5th. We had a full extra month of baseball in Philadelphia. Turkey, XMas, Clearwater.

As much as the myriad Feliz haters will have only one focus, because of his lack of offensive skills, the offense is primarily what caused this team to game 6 of one world series after a championship the previous season.

What killed the Phils in the post-season, and arguably kept them from winning as many games during the regular season as the Yankees WAS NOT their offensive production from their 3rd baseman at the bottom of the order.

What hurt the Phillies this season/post season were a lack of a shut-down closer, an absolutely awful bench (in particular in the world series, the lack of a viable RHB to be the DH), and poor middle relief.

Arguably, they already have the solution to the closer problem (assuming that Lidge's problems this year were due to his injury early in the season and subsequent problems stemming from that original problem). He seemed to have straightened out his problems with the slider - the question remains whether he can get his fastball back to the level it was last year.

Assuming the closer problem is addressed (either by Lidge or a replacement), the problems with middle relief will be significantly lessened; Madson goes back to the set-up role, if Eyre returns and JC comes back, the LOOGY roles are filled, bring CHOP back and you have a solid long-relief guy and a good back-up for the setup role. Obviously, you need more long relief entering the season.

So what remains as the primary issue to address is the bench. Some speed to bring in to steal bases. A solid RHB that can DH and spell an outfielder and/or infielder during the season. A solid LH bench player (Stairs and Dobbs seem inadequate as your best options for pinch-hitting).

But no doubt, the main focus on BL is a solid defender who is a poor hitter - hitting at the bottom of the order of the best offense in the National League.

Jason thank you for this blog site. Its lonely here in NY for a Phillie fan.

As for the Phils I am disapointed but hey there is this problem of inequality between the AL and the NL, its called the DH and its not going away.
Its not going away because it provides employment for aging stars--Matsui Possada Thome get the picture. The MLB and the players union like it and its goin gto stay.
So we in the NL can either join or face these kinds of defeats on a regular and growing basis. WHy growing becuase over time as hitters turn 30+ they will look for contracts that extend their careers and that means AL.
Now let me see how would we have done with Thome and Howard on the same team? Did I hear dynasty for the last 5 years?

Who are the 3B free agents?

Thanks a lot Jason and the Phils for another great year. I know I should be happy with the way the Phils defended their WFC but I'm struggling with it due to the way they played in the series. It would be a lot easier if the Phils played their best and the yanks were just better, but that didn't happen. I expect a hot/cold offense team and bullpen blow ups. But the Phils defense was the worst I've seen in years. Misplays and dumb mistakes every game. They gave away outs and consequently runs and their chance at the repeat. But if the Phillies with their bizarro defense still took the mighty Yanks to 6, that has got to give us hope for next year. I'll focus on that.

"Ah, the off-season. Where Beerleaguer truly shines."

Yep, we're just getting started...

As a BL phaithful since virtually the inception of the site, I'm glad to see that this season (after a WFC) wasn't diluted, too much, with the stereotypical frontrunning fan. This site, more than others, tends to hold true for diehard fans of the Phils. Yes, we can be a bit pessimistic, overly analytical and a bit snippy and spiteful, but all in all, you don't find this kind of return on time investment on any other site.

Thank you again, Jason, for keeping this my premier destination for all things Phillies. I can't wait for the inevitable "discussion" about how to fix Lidge's head or whether or not Bastardo earns a spot on the roster to start next season. Just one favor to ask, anything you can do about this typepad response time in the next few months?????

it is going to be painful when Cliff Lee is on the Yankees in 2011. I dread that day.


I would trade Victorino and maybe a package of lower level minor league pitchers for a 3b, bring up Michael Taylor for RF and move Werth to CF. I love Shano, but he will never be as good as he was this year. With Taylor, we keep speed inthe lineup and add power. SELL HIGH!

I know better than to generalize about such things but, I'm a bit surprised by the uniformly obnoxious comments of Yankee fans on this blog, and others - especially on the NY and Philly news websites. Lots of insults and rubbing salt in the wound. Not one gracious comment about the losing team, city or its fans. Pretty remarkable that I haven't seen a single shred of evidence of a Yankee fan winning with class. You'd think winning it the 27th time, more of them would know how to do it right.

That Dude - I could swear you are a Met or Yankee troll acting as if you are a Phils fan. There is not a Phils fan that has suggested that Cliff Lee will go to the Yankees. In fact most Phils fans would say that Rube is likely to find a way to get him signed long term (see Utley, Howard, Hamels, Rollins, even Lidge). If the FO believes he is part of the core, he will be signed. One more hint - Shano? Who calls Victorino "Shano"? Vic, yes. Shane, yes. The Flyn' Hawaiian, yes. Shano, no.

If I'm wrong I apologize, but I'm not in the mood to see any post about Cliff Lee going anywhere!

Well put, Jason. Thanks for this forum.

I can't imagine having gone over to the Rays' websites to gloat last year. Or the Mets' websites. But there seem to be fans from all teams esp. in the NE, who can only enjoy victory by gloating. Who only feel good about themselves by putting others down.

Being a fan is about supporting your own chosen team, through thick and thin. Now's the time to be happy in the accomplishments of your team, whether you're a Phillies fan or a Yankees fan. Obviously, there's some disappointment for Phillies' fans, but that's to be expected. We're still in a great place. Our team has given us a lot of hope, reward and elation these past few years!

Thanks, BL, for letting me engage freely in one of my favorite topics - the Phillies. And for sharing my hopes and frustrations. It's definitely more fun to share baseball than to experience it alone, and definitely fun to feel connected to others through sports.

Thanks, Phillies organization, too! Hold your heads high!

MLBTradeRumors has had Figgins potentially getting a 5 year, $50 million deal. If its anywhere close to that, there is no chance in hell of him coming to Philly.

I dont see him getting that many years as his skills will diminish as his legs go and he's already well past 30. Still, someone will overpay for him. I doubt it will be us.

I try not to respond to trolls, but I woke up irritated. One thing that always gets me is how New Yorkers claim their population as some supposed sign of greatness. "If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere ..." How do you figure? If 9 million people can do it, how hard is it? It's like bragging about f*cking the girl who'll f*ck anyone & anything. Regardless, the attitude of these assholes -- who probably live in Jersey, anyway -- is pathetic. I cannot & will not ever be able to understand the mentality of someone who goes to another team's blog just to be a prick. It's like what someone posted last night: "New Yorkers Put The "Ass" In "Class"".

That Dude has been posting here for awhile. He's a phan.

Third Basemen
Adrian Beltre SEA (B)
Geoff Blum HOU
Craig Counsell MIL
Joe Crede MIN
Mark DeRosa STL (B)
Pedro Feliz * PHI
Chone Figgins LAA (B)
Troy Glaus STL (A)
Jerry Hairston NYY (B)
Mike Lamb MIL
Melvin Mora * BAL (B)
Juan Uribe SF

Enjoy!

Most of them are non-starters

Basically the short list will be as follows:

Use Feliz's option
Troy Glaus
Adrian Beltre
Chone Figgins
Mark DeRosa
Joe Crede

Glaus, Beltre and Crede all have fairly major injury concerns. DeRosa had an off year and Figgins will be astronomical most likely.

If it were me, I'd target Beltre. Great glove (well above Feliz), good power outside of Safeco and fairly good overall other than this year where he was hurt.

The three pressing needs are bullpen, bench, 3B. Payroll budgets are, of course, always a limiting factor for filling these needs.

Fortunately, there seemingly will be a glut of available 3B this offseason. So, Phils could probably make a lateral move at 3B for only about 1yr @ $1mil. This could allow for signing significant upgrades for the bullpen and bench.

I'd go Beltre, as well. Too lazy to look: Did Gillick and he overlap in SEA? Proefrock or any of the other GM lites?

Good signs for this winter $$ for free agents:

Eaton: off the books
Jenkins: off the books
Thome: off the books

Totaling in approx 20,000,000.

I could be wrong about Thome but i'm pretty sure we still owed some of his contract...

Go Phils!

Re trading Victorino. I wouldn't reject out of hand a trade concept to bring in a decent offensive third baseman. I'm not knocking Feliz's contribution or blaming him for the team falling a couple wins short but, it's time to fish or cut bait on him and I always thought he'd be a two year solution. If you can upgrade the team, you do it. That said, I doubt there's a favorable scenario that sees Victorino leave Philly. I would expect that bolstering the bench and rounding up another group of potential pitching staff candidates will be just as high a priority, if not higher.

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