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Friday, February 26, 2010

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Scott's blog has been so much fun to follow over the past few seasons. As a Wilmington, DE native, I know that the print/radio/web media for our specific area really, really lacks; however, Scott's blog and articles really stood out and it's no surprise he's getting "promoted" to an employer with a better reputation and higher circulation. Best of luck.

Tremendous efforts by Scott and best of luck to him moving up north. Hopefully we meet again in October!

I can't blame him for wanting to leave these cruel snow-filled winters.

Arguably my favorite Phils' beat-writer the past 3-4 years. Quality writer who always seemed to come up with some unique angles/perspectives on the Phils.

Now he gets to cover a baseball team in a market that is utterly obsessed with baseball pretty much year round since the new ownership group took over. Should be fun.

His content was always among the best. Scott will be missed.

Disappointing. Good luck to ya, Scott!

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!

It feels like trading Utley to the Red Sox.

He was the best beatwriter we had...huge loss.


To the Herald? All the Herald's good for is housebreaking dogs and lining a bird cage.

"I can't blame him for wanting to leave these cruel snow-filled winters."

Must be those trade winds that blow through Boston that keep it so tropical.

JW - do you have the inside path to fill his job?

...and can we keep the baseball card conversation going? It's much better then the usual bickering. Somewhat related, in my collection I have a signed 8 1/2'' by 11'' picture of Ivan DeJesus I got at a card show. That's gotta be worth a few G's.

NEPP: I agree regarding the Herald.

Rodeo: At one point in my life, I took the time to actually write to up and coming star Wes Chamberlian. I now am the proud owner of an autographed Chamberlain rookie card. the cost of postage is more than the value of the card/autograph.

I sold all my cards to my cousin who is a collector then spent all of the money on a 30 pack. But I found a Mike Lieberthal rookie card in a frame behind an old picture. It is in mint condition and it is the picture from his high shool baseball team.
Now, even though this is my only card that I have left and I cherish it deeply, I will auction it off today here on Beerleaguer.
The bidding will start at 1 can of PBR, do I have any takers?

Definitely will be missed. Best of luck.

I like how the post sounded like an obituary - "His coverage will be deeply missed."

Best 'signed' Phils rookie card - Pat Combs. Close 2nd - Signed Jason Grimsley rookie card I think from the R-Phils somewhere.

Sticking to the topic of this thread:

Scott,

I have really enjoyed your column, blog and insights more than any other Phils beat writer. They have been well thought out, researched and accurate.

I will miss your work.

Good luck in Boston. The Herald has a good sports section, and when I'm on vacation in NE I'll make sure to pick it up so I can read your work.

Thanks for what you do.

Kindest regards,

awh

Did he leave any survivors?

I have an autographed picture of Max Runager... whoops my mom threw it out in 1999

Scott was the best part of the News Journal.

My mom gave me a baseball 'autographed by Mike Lieberthal' that she bought somewhere. I've looked at the signature quite a few times and I'm pretty sure it's actually signed by Mike Lavalliere but, my mom is certain it's Lieberthal.

Scott's blog is an everyday must-visit for me.

The blog Sports Banter ranks the Phils' offseason as 20th best in MLB, mostly due to the Lee trade. Bosox, Yanks, Mariners are ranked 1-2-3.

I cought a foul ball off the bat of Felix Jose at a Phillies-Cards game at the Vet, got it signed after the game by Ozzie Smith. . . and Wes Chamberlain. I think Chamberlain's signature devalued the ball. . . but man did he have some guns.

I am with Bonehead: Scott's blog is an everyday must-read.

Best of luck to him in Bean Town.

Honestly, Lauber is a HUGE loss to the Phillies Beatwriters team...they aren't gonna be able to replace him easily.

Zolecki, Martino, & Murphy don't hold a candle to him. Smart career move for him but huge loss for us as fans.

Back in the early fifties, I used to put Mickey Mantle rookie cards in the spokes of my bike to make egine noise. If I only knew then what I know now.

Good luck to Scottie. Afterall, he was the first guy to give love to Mayberry :)

Joking aside, he was a good read.

Who is everyone's favorite beat writer now?

Mine would have to be Dave Murphy.

This may have been previously visited, but I thought it was worth commenting on...

My dad sent me this link:

http://www.crossingbroad.com/2010/02/charlie-manuel-drunk-and-confident-before-game-1-in-new-york.html

basically its about UC getting drunk the night before game one. One of the guys apparently asked him later in the evening if he had a game in like 16 hours.

according to the article charlie apparently responded "F**k it. I have Lee pitching."

Also, this baseball talk is awesome. Just talking about it brings me back to the days of riding my bike to the sportscard store to buy packs of cards with my newspaper boy money. And of course the highlight was getting that old piece of gum in the packs, that lost the flavor is .01 seconds.

One of my favorite Phillies cards is a 1990 Charlie Hayes card. For some reason I really liked him as a kid growing up. Must have been the whole 3rd base thing, since that was my position. Oh and Charlie was 6'0 tall, so he qualified to ply 3rd, Ha Ha.

All this baseball card talk is awesome. I still remember riding my bike to the sportscard store with my friends and buying packs of cards with our newspaper boy money. The best part was the old piece of gum that came in each pack that lost it's flavor after .01 seconds.

One of my favorite Phillies baseball cards was my 1990 Charlie Hayes card. For some reason I really liked him as a kid. Most likely because he played 3rd base, the position I played. Charlie was 6'0 tall, so I guess he was qualified to play that position, Ha Ha.

I don't get it-
Philly is a major market. 3-7pm is prime (drive) time for radio programming. Yet Philly 3-7 sports talk radio is awful.
Eskin is just plain unbearable.
Mike Miss, while a more bearable personality, hardly ever says anything worth listening to.

Bonehead: I agree. Reese doesn't help out much either. Reese just knows football and a little basketball.

Last week I heard Reese say he thinks Hamels is a #3 at best and deserves to be criticized by the fans even more than McNabb.

This is our afternoon sports talk radio ladies and gentleman.

I got stuck with a bunch of Phil Bradley cards back in the late '80's early '90's. Another player that didn't pan out.

I guess my most valuable card would be George Brett's rookie card from 1975 I think.

I have a limited artist's color sketching of Sandy Koufax that he signed.. He had to stop signing after about #275/1000 due to his crippling arthritis.. By far the most valuable thing I own. also have a pic framed and signed by Ryno of his 1st walk-off HR

BL'er in many ways has replaced my obsession with collecting baseball cards in my formative years. A nickle of my time now can allow me to read at least 5 cards and if they are repeats the noise of the cards flapping fills the void until you get a keeper. Either way the gum is good for about 5 minutes.

"Jamie Moyer, rehabbing from a pair of surgeries, looked like his old self (pun intended) Wednesday in practice. He’s progressed well and is competing for the fifth starter’s spot."

I am still want to see what he actually looks like against live competition but no way I thought he had a shot at #5 spot coming out of camp.

@Tommy: I've got Charlie Hayes cards from '91 and '92 (for some reason).

Also a couple of Dave Hollins cards.

According to my '87 Team Leaders card, Shane Rawley lead the Phils in IP (229.2) and wins (17).

Don Carman lead the team in ERA (4.22). How depressing is that?

Scott Lauber is a traitor! Plain and simple! Red Sox nation can kiss my ass!

Ah yes, 1987.
Phils pitchers who started games that year:
Shane Rawley
Don Carman
Bruce Ruffin
Kevin Gross
Michael Jackson
Tom Hume
Freddie Toliver
Joe Cowley 4GS, 0-4 record, 15.43 ERA
Mike Maddux

What a team.

Baseball Tonight panel says that Halladay will be better in NL than AL and should win 20+ games. It is on ESPN now.

Roy, Kyke and Cole will win 50.

Oye, that's Kyle.

Rollins and Howard on DNL:

Talking about his comments again on the subject of his "frontrunner fans" comment on "TBDSP":

" Since 2007 it has been great, they come out and expct us to win. But when we are down and they are negative it is almost like we think, let's just pack it in. We need their energy, so we can come back and score 3,4, or 5 runs in the 9th. But we understand how it is, when we do bad they gripe about it. We gripe about it ourselves."

Howard on re-signing with the Phillies:

" I have always wanted to end it where it started, which is here"

Rollins on re-signing with Phillies:

"I have wore red since I was in high school and I want to keep it that way.."

I know quotes now don't mean much, but it seems like both of them are truely happy here and wanted to stay here for the remainder of their careers.

Only if Roy and Cole win 49

They do have a bettable shot at 40.


And hats of to Lauber, who was my fav.

"We need their energy, so we can come back and score 3,4, or 5 runs in the 9th"

Teams can go years without overcoming this kind of deficit in the 9th inning. Kind of a goofy comment.

Bonehead: A horrendous collection of washed ups, never was, and could've been except got hurts. Only name on that list who was pretty good was KG, a reliable innings-eater who played for a lot of really bad teams in a 15 year career.

Best wishes to S. Lauber.

Baseball cards -Sister Mary Paschal Candle (Half-lit) took my entire collection of cards back in the fall of '57.

1987 was the wilderness. Rawley had probably his best year in '87 and had some good years in New York. Hume was a pretty effective guy. Gross was a big strong guy with a decent hook. But, he was an underachiever who bounced around quite a bit. Still, probably the best of the bunch. Favorite name on that list is Joe Cowley. Very Tartabull-esque. Made a big buzz coming over after throwing a no-hitter for teh ChiSox and then was Steve Blass redux in Philly.

Hume WAS an effective guy - as in before he came to Philly. I don't even remember him in Philly.

Best to Lauber. I'd make that move, too.

That Schmidt guy on that '87 team wasn't too bad.

I can't possibly see a situation in which trading Howard is a good idea, but someone disagrees:

http://crashburnalley.com/2010/02/25/why-a-ryan-howard-trade-makes-sense/

WS: That article makes no sense for a bunch of reasons.

The author of that article wants to trade Howard in the middle of a WS run? Is he serious?

Also, even if Werth and Howard were both FA's in the same year, using WAR to prove the theory to keep Werth over Howard isn't the right way to go about it.

The article mentions "In 2012...when the Phillies can lose as many as eight other players to free agency". Really?Up to 8? Actually we may lose 1 or 2 at most.

Going into 2012 and beyond, the budget will have plenty of room to spend money.

Also, speaking of baseball movies from yesterday. "A League of their Own" is on BRAVO @ 10 for anyone that wants to watch.

Ryan Lawrence wrote a piece today about Cole Hamels for the Delco Times. It's spring training so everything is a little fluffy and over-analyzed but it is a little bit of encouraging news about Cole.

I'm particularly excited that Cole is trying to develop the cutter a little more that he started mixing in last year with more regularity. He does miss bats with it and it could be a nice compliment to the curveball addition he is also working on.

http://www.trentonian.com/articles/2010/02/27/sports/doc4b88a493b3fcf965370650.txt

TTI- I don't think Hamels threw a cutter at all prior to this offseason. His curve was his third pitch until now.

Jonesman: He was experimenting with it last year at times. That and a 2 seam fastball. It's good to see because he has command of those pitches.

...because Myers' cutter worked so well.

Sporting News prediction: The Phillies, the most complete NL squad entering the season, will meet the Yankees in a World Series rematch. And will suffer a similar fate.

Thoughts?

GBrettfab: That prediction makes sense. Consensus seems to be that Phillies are the best NL team and Yanks are the best AL team, and that the Yanks are still better. Can't say I disagree with any of it.

I will say, though, that people are probably overlooking the Cardinals. I think they're the 2nd best team in the NL and present the biggest threat to us getting back to the WS (biggest threat other than simply bad luck, of course). Holliday and Pujols are stars on offense, Carpenter and Wainwright the same as pitchers, and Rasmus has a chance to be a star as well. They could use a midseason trade to upgrade in the middle infield, however. Brendan Ryan and Skip Schumaker are not much of a DP combo.

The Phillies will need a Leelike rental to put the kibosh to Yankee reign.

Of course, just because the Yankees are better than us doesn't mean we won't win the WS. As everyone knows, anything can happen in a 7-game series.

The Cubs have secretly dedicated their season to spoiling the Cardinals run to postseason.

RodeoJones - I would rather see it be the cutter because he can always ask Halladay who turned his cutter into a real viable pitch in his arsenal.

For Hamels to get better than the 3.75 FIP ERA threshold, he is going to need a viable 3rd pitch or otherwise he has likely maxed out as a starter. Alway heard it was slightly easier to master a cutter than a curve too while reducing the stress on your arm at the same time.

I agree, Jack, that the Cardinals are a threat. And I have to grudgingly admit that the Yankees have a stronger team, due to pitching and the DH (which even when they can't use it, gives them a strong bench option). I do think the Phils would have great determination in a WS rematch. I guess we'll see how strong our pitching looks as the season progresses. I'm not even going to say what everyone's thinking re: what might have been for us pitching-wise. If Hamels has a great year and our 5th ends up being solid, Happ maintains solidity, and Lidge + Romero + unknown RP from our stock of young guys pull through nicely, then we certainly will look better heading into the postseason.

Last WS, it just seemed that for every run the Phils scored, the Yankees answered. It reminded me of playing the Phils when everyone's locked in.

How sweet would it be to beat them in a WS.

I agree that going into the season, the Cards are our biggest threat in the NL.

That is why winning as many games in the reglar season as possible is so important. Including winning the division so we avoid playing them in the first round.

This all stems back to some posters suggesting we rest starters more than Charlie has in the past in order to play the bench guys, even if that means acrificing some wins.

As I said before, this is a bad idea for this reason. Instead of playing the Rockies with homefield advantage, we could be playing the Cards as a wild card without the homefield advantage. Which in a 5 game series, home field is crucial.

"As I said before, this is a bad idea for this reason. Instead of playing the Rockies with homefield advantage, we could be playing the Cards as a wild card without the homefield advantage. Which in a 5 game series, home field is crucial."

tommy. explanation needed.

Are you saying the Cards will win the wild card?

If the Cards are our 'biggest threat', tommy, wouldn't it be them winning the central?

awh: No,I am not saying the Cards win the wildcard.

I am saying if we don't win the division and we (Phillies) become the wild card, we will most likely have to play the Cardinals, without homefield advantage.

That is why winning the division is so important. So we avoid playing the Cardinals in the first round. I would much rather play the Rockies or Dodgers in the 1st. round with a home field advantage, wouldn't you?

By resting players and in effect sacrificing wins for players to get rest would be risking us not winning the division and facing our biggest threat, no?

muchacho: Yes exactly. But if we are the wildcard, we will play the Cardinals in the first round (more than likely). Since they're our biggest threat, that wouldn't be in our favor, no?

Let the comparison begin. Both Roy and Kyle will be pitching against the Yankees.

Write this down: There will not be a Yankees-Phillies re-match this year.

let me find a pen, clout...

I got a Shane Rawley all-star card so I decided he must be good and he became my favorite Phillies pitcher. . . Kevin Gross was #2 with Mike Schmidt and Greg Gross as my favorite hetters. . . I was young.

Doc,Kyle,and Carp will pitch thursday vs. Yanks. Gramps and Mr. Heidi friday. Dubs says 45 pitches each.

Greg Gross?? A pinch hitter was your second favorite hitter? My sympathies. My earliest memories of the Philles are from the mid-70s so, when I learned the game, the quality of the team was very high. Schmidt was still their best hitter but, there was no need to idolize a bench guy. Although, Del Unser and Jay Johnstone were fun to watch as bench guys. And Ollie Brown. At least you didn't say, your favorite player was Von Hayes.

Greg Gross was a good hitter. I think the story was that he couldn't play every day. I don't remember the reason.

Greg Gross was a good contact hitter but, strictly punch and judy. Slap it and leg it. He was an everyday player before he came to Philly. Never more than the 4th or 5th guy in Philly.

I looked it up. Played parts of 17 seasons - 1973-1989. hit 7 homers. five in '77 with Chicago. One homer with Philly - in his 9th season with the club. That's pretty remarkable. Does he still hold hte Philly record for pinch hits? I assume so.

Hugh: 77 must have been the windiest year ever at Wrigley.

speaking of wrigley... mlb network is currently playing the Phillies-Cubs 1979 classic...

The Cubbies are making their run right now... And Greg Gross just made a ctach against the wall after back to back homers for the Cubs.

mike: Is that the 23-22 game? I don't have mlb network. I would pay for a tape or dvd of that game.

That game was the first game I ever watched on replay. It was on a Thursday and I recall walking into my parents' kitchen and hearing Ashburn say something like "The scoreboard reads 22 to 22" and I thought he was joking about a broken scoreboard. After Schmidt hit the homer to win it, I realized that was really the score. I was 9 years old and my mom let me stay up until 3 or so to watch the replay on channel 48, I think.

Clout - your odds are pretty good. I'd take the field given the choice as well.

MG - That was a little off the cuff from me. After watching a gassed Brett Myers throw nothing but cutters and get lit up I have this negative association with the word 'cutter' or 'cut fastball'.

goody - MLB network is great. I remember when my beloved Hokies were getting whooped this fall and my wife found the '83 NLCS on MLB network to cheer me up.

tommy, I guess we disagree about how good this team really is.

IMHO, Charlie can rest the starters on a regular basis without costing the team any games at all. There are enough bad of inferior teams on the schedule that Jimmy, Chase or whoever can be rested against.

If you really expect this team to win 98 games, then losing 2 or 3 more than they would otherwise is unlikely to cost them the division. The Braves will be better but I don;t think they've improved enough to catch the Phils. Ditto the Mets. The Fish have some questions is their rotation after Johnson, and the Nats just don't have the pitching.

IMO, the Phils have improved by 2-10 wins from last season, assuming health, which they didn't have for the entire season in 2009. (And lest you forget, they have a manager that knows how to crack th ewhip when necessary so I don't expect complacency. Especially when Howard and Co. are walking around talking about unfinished business.)

That puts them at somwhere between 95 and 103.

Do you really expect that the other teams in the division have improved enough to win 96 games.

IMHO, no. They've all improved, but not THAT much.

Rest the starters, get ready for the postseason, and relax.

"... going into the season, the Cards are our biggest threat in the NL"

NL East: Phillies
NL Cent: Cardinals
NL West: Rockies
Wildcard: Brewers

The Cardinals are the best team in the NL other than the Phillies, but I think the Phillies will play the Brewers in the NLDS. The Brewers' Pitching is passable this year. Their lineup is as good as the Cardinals.
The Braves are no threat to win the division, they have too many brittle players that have to stay healthy all year.

awh: Wow, that's pretty bold there. To say that the Phillies can rest starters with no fear of losing the division (barring injury of course) because the Braves won't be close to us.

We agree in that, as I have said the Phillies should win the division by 5-8 games. But where we differ is you're willing to take the chance that the Braves can't catch us, while I am not willing to take that chance.

Again, I am not against resting starters.

I just don't agree with some of the posters here that suggest the following,( i.e. half the games sit one starter, giving the bench guys 200+ PA each, etc).

tommy, IMO, this team - IF they stay healthy - can win 95 games with the starters each playing 150 games.

Why? The bench should be much better this season. Dobbs should rebound and I can see him getting 10-12 starts at 3B, Gload and Schneider are upgrades, and Francisico is one of the top 4th OF in the game. He can play all three OF positions, and has a 106 OPS+ that is in the TOP 30 OF ALL MLB OF who got more than 300 PA last season (and with 954 PA the last 2 years, we're not talking about a small sample size.)

The only "problem stick" on the bench is Castro, who should be a big upgrade defensively from Bruntlett (I am on record on this board as having said the Gnome was a HUGE downgrade defensively from JRoll.)

In short, as I said above, I think the division will be tougher this season - just the Mets being healthy will make it so - but I just don't see that any of these teams have improved enough to threaten the Phillies as long as they stay reasonably healthy.

Remember that in 2009, they won 93 games, despite the fact that:

1) Raul was lost for 21 games and played injured when he returned
2) Myers was lost for the season
3) Lidge was....do I really need to describe his 2009?
4) Hamels pitched like a league average starter (for whatever reason)
5) Moyer pitched like a 5th starter - not a 3 or 4
4) The bullpen suffered injuries and/or DL trips to the following:
Durbin
Condrey
Park
Lidge
Romero
Eyre

22 pitchers took the mound for the Phils in 2009, 12 different guys got at least 1 start.

So, tommy, while the Mets can complain about their injuries in 2009, and, yes, theirs were worse than the Phillies, the Phillies were not blessed with excellent health in 2009 either.

All things considered, IMHO, if Howard, Utley, Rollins, Polanco, Ibanez, Victorino and Werth each only play in 150 games, I think this team is still good enough to win the division. the bench should be that much of an improvement over 2009.

Of course, we may never know, because Charlie may play the starters at least 155 games each.

Yeah boy, neither Lee or CHoP are burning any bridges with Philadelphia. It's all about the money boys.

tommy, here's another way to look at it:

If, for instance, the Phils are facing the Nats, Bucs, or Pads, and a 2008 Hamels or Halladay are on the mound, if the lineup is

Vic - CF
Polanco - 2B
Werth - RF
Howard - 1B
Francisco - LF
Dobbs (of 2008) - 3B
Castro - SS
Chooch - C

which team has a better chance to win?

There will be opportunities to rest the regulars.

Best of luck, Scott Lauber. The '08 book he did with Sarge was really good, too. He will be missed!

If the Phils meet the Red Sox this fall Scott's record will go Platinum.

Info about Chan Ho Park and how Phillies were his 1st choice:

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/phillies_zone/

awh: Great points. And that second post stating the lineup with the bench guys in (against the Nats, Pads or Pirates), actually doesn't look as bad as I thought.

I now actually agree that if Charlie decides to rest guys a few more games this season each that it will not be that much of a difference in the grand scheme of things.

And I just have to post this link to a short and amusing video featuring my first baseball hero (I lived in KC at the time, so you must understand why it wasn't a Phillies player!)

http://mlb.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=7174325&topic_id=8048958

tommy, I just ran Baseball Musings lineup analyzer on the above lineup.

I ran it 4 or 5 ways:

Above lineup using career OBP/SLG: 4.475 RPG

Above lineup using career #s, with Dobbs 2008#s: 4.579 RPG

Above lineup using career #s, Dobbs '08, Chooch '09: 4.639 RPG

Above lineup, Utley for Howard in 3 hole, Werth hitting 4th: 4.526 RPG


Where would the above lineups rank?

2009 NL: 4.43 RPG

Only 7 teams averaged more than 4.475 RPG.
Only 6 teams averaged more than 4.526 RPG.
Only 5 teams averaged more than 4.579 RPG.
Only 5 teams averaged more than 4.639 RPG.


The above lineup has 3 regulars on the bench at the same time.

IMO, they'll be competitive even when resting a regular or two.

Rest 'em Charlie, and keep 'em fresh for the stretch run and postseason.

Oops, it should have read this way:


Only 6 OTHER teams averaged more than 4.475 RPG.
Only 5 OTHER teams averaged more than 4.526 RPG.
Only 4 OTHER teams averaged more than 4.579 RPG.
Only 4 OTHER teams averaged more than 4.639 RPG.

U gotta love this: 85 y.o. mets beer vendor claims age bias when replaced by 75 y.o.

Per Scott Lauber: Top 5 pitchers in NL East.

5. DEREK LOWE, BRAVES
4. JAIR JURRJENS, BRAVES
3. JOSH JOHNSON, MARLINS
2. SANTANA, METS
1. HALLADAY, PHILLIES

Funny how Cole Hamels can out-pitch Derek Lowe in the 2008 LCS, then out-pitch him in 2009, while having his worst season, but still be rated behind him.

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