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Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Excellent and insightful read. While this must be terribly frustrating for beat writers and sites like beerleagurer, I do think that survival of the fittest is the way to go in the new world we live in.

Reposted from the previous thread:

Carson, given that the last 4 years Ibanez has averaged

.287 .353 .505 .857

28 HR, 108 RBI, OPS+ 125 - in an avergae of 151 games played.

The dropoff, especially in HR, seemed a little steep.

You're predicting a precipitous drop in power, almost 50%, from 34 HR to 18 HR, depite the fact that he only played in 134 games last season.

Given that he's averaged 4.31 PA/game the last 4 years, and that he's hit a HR every 23.48 PA during that span, if he returns to '06 - '08 norms (157 GP) then he's likely to get approximately 650 - 670 PA. If that happens, what you're essentially saying is that his power is going to drop from 1 HR every 23.48 PA to 1 HR every 36.67 PA.

Then, there was the change in ballparks in 2009, when he hit 1 HR every 16.62 PA.

Even if he plays in only 145 games, based on his average for 2009 (4.21 PA/game) he's likely to get 610+ PA in 2010, at least 55 MORE than in 2009.

Do you really think, given that he's likely to play more games than last season, that his HR power is going to drop from one every 16.62 PA to 1 HR every 36.67 PA?

Even granting age related dropoff, that seems awfully steep from one year to the next.

(The RBI total is going to be affected a great deal by the kind of year Utley, Werth, Howard and possibly Victorino have ahead of him.)

Weitzel, very good rant because I completely agree with you. I can't stand Twitter though, to brief and just not my thing. Whenever the blogs fade out is when WSBGMs will also go by the wayside. Plus, both Corey and I, like you, have families and full-time jobs so blogging and being original while doing so is becoming increasingly more difficult.

I know it's spring training but ESPN can't afford proper camera angles for this game?

I think that your rant goes directly to the echo chamber problem media faces today. It's always been the case that people have reported the same stories in more or less the same way. The difference is that we are now more aware of all of those sources since we're not just getting news from a paper or television.

It makes it hard to be motivated to write things about something like Howard's batting stance, but rest assured, people become readers because they appreciate the author's subjectivity, no matter how many times it's reported. This is something I think is peculiar to sports writing, where people are hungry for commentary, unlike say movie or music criticism, where critics are elite snobs.

I think I'm probably reading more sources about the same subject than ever before, mainly because the baseball beat doesn't have the same sort of press release copy 'n' paste mentality as the music blogosphere. It's refreshing to me and I appreciate the work that gets done here.

J.T. Great post

"where critics are elite snobs"**

It seems JT is not a regular reader of Beerleaguer than.

** commenters not you @JW

As for you comment: "There’s always someone ready to do it better and faster, and if I’m being honest, Beerleaguer is closer to the end than the beginning, at least in its current state"

all things must end... but lets ride this out a little longer if you please. :)

I've been too busy to post as of late, but BL is my top blog, period. For levity, I'll jumop to Carson's blog, but I've no time for twitter or all the other blogs. I pull up a stool and stick with my favorite Beerleaguer.

I will echo J.T.'s point. The blogsophere is growing tremendously and I think the only two options for survival are to grow big and link to everything (full time job) or find your niche and stay within yourself.

I do not have time to review every web site (and what is this tweety bird thing people are talking about), so I trust 'good' blog sites that seem interested in my style of news to inform me, give some insight, and post quality links.

Thanks for doing such a great job! We'll see how long it lasts.

I enjoy sites like the fightins, but I come to beerleaguer because I enjoy the insightful (most times) discussions.

Hate on Twitter all you want, but the fact that beat writers from all of the MLB teams use it to effectively break important news is invaluable, and I think you guys are missing out.

Phylan: Not me, dogg. I love it.

Couple of thoughts:

- With ridiculously low cost and technical ease of setting up a blog, anyone can do it but if you look at the statistics an overwhelming amount of blogs have almost zero readership (website users & visits) and dry up pretty quickly. Numerous Phils' blogs out there will be no exception.

- "Success may breed more success" but it often brings with it a ton of cheap imitators, Johnny come lately types, and sycophants. Phils recent and almost unparalleled success has done the same. Just take a look at the Sixers. There are really only about several blogs that follow them and are general of high quality. I would argue maybe just 3-4. Contrast that to the Phils.

- Blogs that have gotten an early start, established a pretty good reputation, and early have an entrenched audience do have the 'first-mover' advantage which is always key. Beerleaguer is no exception. What I haven't seen though is really good analysis of what trends occur over time among users to a blog that establishes a very wide audience. Friend at a healthcare company in Cambridge is involved in this but haven't seen any wide-scale studies like Pew Internet really digging into it.

- Blogs covering sports though are entirely a different beast from the financial blogs I follow. Maybe I am being kind of a snob here, but it really isn't hard to report on sports and there isn't a huge learning curve to pick up on what some of the widely-available statistics mean.

Contrast this to finance and business blogs. In fact, I would argue that the general coverage you see in the Philly Inquirer from a business perspective is next to worthless. Much better off starting & following blogs like Naked Capitalism or Zero Hedge with subject matter experts (e.g., private capital, hedge funds) who have lots of experience in an industry easily triumph what a journalism major who covers business puts out.

- Journalism (newspapers/magazines) in its current format is like a terminal cancer patient. You can prolong and drag it out but it current model has failed. It didn't help that a ton of larger papers loaded plenty of debt on to their balance sheet either the past 10 years because credit was so available.

Small regional papers may survive in their current format but only if they have private ownership & lown/no debt. Publicly-traded firms are going to continue to get ripped apart by the equity analysts who continue to demand high margins and quarterly targets being constantly hit.

Future will also depend on the delivery mechanism but my bet is that it ends up with what somebody like Bloomberg is doing. You can continue to create great content but it will need to be subsidized by something that really makes money and still remain very problematic for publicly-traded firms.

Two most interesting things changing blogs (content) - delivery and infrastructure. Smart phone growth in this country is crazy and somehow major providers have convinced people they need to spend $80 (minimum) on it a month and the infrastructure which the US is finally getting serious about really increasing meaningful broadband penetration rates in the US which woefully lag most of the industrialized world and are much more expensive too mainly due to local monopolies that companies like Comcast enjoy. Stimulus bill included a lot of funds for rural broadband adoption and likely to open up some of the bandwidth that cable companies are currently sitting on for auction.

****The Mets are shopping outfielder Gary Matthews Jr., reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Sherman suggests the Mets might not have much of a role for Matthews, and the Reds are a trade possibility.****

Wow...hell of an operation that Minaya is running up there. What was the point of trading for him again, Omar?

Twitter ruins everything.

As someone who's been blogging about the Phillies (and other sundry subject) for close to (gulp) seven years now, I can say only that you are so correct in your observations, Jason, it's not funny. Beerleaguer remains terrific, but I completely understand your ambivalence about continuing as your life and blogging and journalism all change at breakneck speed.

I see Brian McCann is in mid-season Phillies killing form.

Hudson also looked pretty good. Made Howard and Ibanez look bad.

- JW's father, Manchester Free Trade Hall May 17, 1966

I kid, I kid.

MG: Ibanez has looked bad against everyone this Spring. Plus, it's not like Hudson's some slop pitcher.

Whatever, I'm not liking Castro as Utley replacement, that's for sure.

HH: Brian McCann is a really good ballplayer. But, the guy that drives me nuts is Matt Diaz. Last year, he hit .313/.390/.488, 13 HR, 58 RBI. Pretty good. Against the Phils -- .478/.510/.935, 5 HR, 13 RBI.


I just read where Twitter, as popular as it is, still doesn't have an effective revenue stream. So it either has to find a way to produce revenue or....

On a Phillies note, a colleague is heading to Florida on Friday where is family are going to be "hosted" by the Phillies for a whole day, including personal meetings with Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. I'm pea-green with envy, to say the least.

Edit: ...he and his family are going to be...

Damn fingers.

Very interesting post indeed. I surely hope we're not closer to the end of Beerleaguer, that would be heartbreaking.

I think though part of success comes in being able to adapt to changing landscapes...for better or worse. It's part of capitalism, I guess.

There's always a market for insightful analysis and interesting discussion though. I'd like to think that's why some of our blogs have been around longer than others, and hopefully will continue to be.

Perhaps the Phillies are distracted by playing in Disney World because baseball games SHOULDN'T BE PLAYED THERE.

That place is enough of a zoo.

I do think it's extremely interesting the role that "brand loyalty" plays in this arena. Beerleaguer was the first blog I started following regularly, and as such no other compares to it in my mind. I lurk here as much for the insightful reporting as I do for the cast of loyal characters that I can rely on to disect each tidbit ad nauseum. I can't imagine pulling up my "barstool" anywhere else either. Keep up the excellent work JW.

doubleh - It was interesting that the ESPN guys were talking to Hudson after he came out after the 6th and he said he even used a lot of stuff today he would during the regular season.

I have watched very little of spring training this year but Ibanez looked today like he last August at the plate. Off-balance and guessing a bit. Interesting to see if his struggles continue over the next 10 days and it that translates over into the first week or two of the season.

"Clout Day" does matter because at this point it is generally regulars in the lineup and MLB-caliber pitching including starter who go usually 5 IP.

Schwim looked pretty good in his 1 AB of work. Nice low 90s (91-92) fastball and an okay 85 mph backdoor slider for the strikeout. Essentially his scouting report right there.

He might end up as an okay bullpen piece at some point in the next couple years.

Color me unworried about Raul. If one looks at his history, he is prone to a slump now and then, and Charlie was quoted in the paper the other day saying he hasn't gotten his timing down.

I'll chalk it up to one of his slumps which he'll come out of soon enough.

The start of the season should be just fine, if you ask me.

I stumbled on BL a few years ago when I was looking for a place to throw in some comments about the Phils and to see other Phils' fans perspectives.

I stay and check the site daily for the incisive and dependable commentary from Jason; and equally important, for the posts from the incredibly rabid BL fanbase. I check out some other blogs on a variety of other subjects, and some are very well written, but very, very few have the consistent high volume of thoughtful posts and responses in the threads.

Like many I suspect, I'm more than ready for the game threads to begin, and it seemed as the winter wore on, some of the comments became more and more acerbic. But this site offer an incredible wealth of baseball knowledge there for the taking (or not - no one has to read every post and stat line offered) and a community, even if querulous at times, and even if I have never personally met anyone who posts here or follows the site to my knowledge. But I know I would be proud to buy a cold brew for anyone I met with a BL shirt on. I think this type community is probably pretty rare in cyber world, and I hope you keep riding the wave, Jason.

awh - I wasn't talking about Ibanez's season. More if he continues to struggle and this won't continue over to the first few weeks in April.

MG, no worries. I wasn't disagreeing, just giving my opinion.

Good discussion about blogs. Reading BL the past couple of years has educated me a lot about the different stats out there beyond the norms usually talked about. JW's entries and the comments (for the most part) make this site an absolute gem for Phillies coverage. The Fightins makes me literally laugh out loud at least once a day.

Although there's a lot of sniping here, and we tend to carry arguments just a little longer than we should, BL is the place for all Phils discussion with anything resembling depth.

Twitter is overwhelmingly (and by its nature) superficial; it's useful for posts like "OMG McNabb traded to Billz OMGZ!!!!"

You know, in the hustle and bustle and commercialism of everyday life it's easy to lose sight of the origins of Clout Day.

But I want to thank MG for reminding us of the true meaning of Clout Day:

"Clout Day does matter because at this point it is generally regulars in the lineup and MLB-caliber pitching including starter who go usually 5 IP."

Thanks, MG. I hope we never forget that. And Ryan Howard probably won't hit .356 this season.

This is the only Phils blog I make habit of reading. So which one do I have to read to learn about Ryno's stance?

I agree with Doohickey - I don't want JW to start asking himself how he can be different than all the other Phillies blogs because that assumes that everyone else *reads* all the other Phillies blogs. Not me - I've been coming to Beerleaguer every day for the past 3 years and I've only visited other Phils blogs if JW links to them.

To me, the last thing you want to do as a blogger is start asking the question "how can I be different?" because then it seems like you're in a competition. I personally don't go to a few different sites to see who has the best take on a particular story - I find someone I like, trust, and respect and I keep coming back to them.

So, keep up the good work JW, and keep doing it until it's not fun anymore.

"Color me unworried about Raul."

I think we should all be a little worried about Raul. He hasn't hit since last June. And he is in his late 30's. And he has been dreadful this spring.

You can't do this forever.

I'm often away from Philadelphia in Vienna so i don't know all the ins and outs of Phillies baseball to always make useful comments. I do check in on this blog and especially read through the comments if it's an aspect that interests me (e.g. trading away one of my faves Cliff Lee) and I usually get very informed by the various positions. Twitter to me is always the choice for making an announcement or a quick communications. Blogs are for deeper analysis and expresions of joy and/or venting sometimes. I think you do a cool job J.W.

We win 680-80. Good voting friends.

80 people voted the other way?

everyone likes a cinderella

Jeff Francoeur on the Phillies:

“The Phillies have done great, I understand. But, God, they have not had the injury bug. Not one guy has been out the last two years. Bless them, I’m not praying for them to be hurt, that’s great. But you feel it’s got to kick up sometime.”

"Thanks, MG. I hope we never forget that. And Ryan Howard probably won't hit .356 this season."

Damn, clout. WTF is the matter with you.

I had such high hopes. I read that and it ruined my morning.

Yes, we have had no injuries at all the last couple years.

Good to see Frenchie is drinking that Mets koolaid

That is an awesome quote from Francouer.

Sounds like he's already conceding the year due to Mets injuries and the Phils current health.

I wasn't sure I could dislike Francoeur any more than I already did... Turns out I was wrong.

Fans of other teams criticize Philly fans for cheering for injuries of their opponents, so I'm sure they'll get all over the Mets for rooting for our guys to get hurt, right?

Yo, newer thread

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