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Friday, May 28, 2010

Comments

If the Phillies were cheating to score runs and now they are not, that would mean they have no talent and can only win if the bullpen coach tells the batters what is coming. That sounds rather silly.

This will be a "remember when" moment later in the year when the Phils are scoring runs and winning games en route to another NL East title.

I know it stinks it happened vs. the stinkin' Mets but droughts happen to all teams at some point every year.

They'll be fine. They just have to play through it.

I thought it was pretty funny.

JW, you should call up Coast to Coast AM with this stuff!

Here's some Moody Blues to get us right!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znZCse46fp4

I figured you were more Scully than Mulder, though not nearly as attractive.

If teams had been privately complaining about sign stealing before the Billmeyer Incident, they would have taken measures to fix it; they wouldn't need to wait for an official reprimand.

It's a long season. Players are more banged up than usual. They've had to make use of a weak bench more than they'd like. It sucks, it's rant-worthy, but it's no conspiracy.

The bright side: Hamels is back!

If we wany a conspiracy theory then ask - Why are the Mets so good at home and lousy on the road?
Charlie brought that up whem the sign stealing issue surfaced and it was left unanswered.

Because they play a style of baseball that is perfectly suited to their ballpark...

It is what it is... a slump. They'll be fine. Moreover, there is not one position player on the Mets that I would take over their Philly counterpart. Although I would briefly consider Wright, he is a shadow of his expectations.

Maybe there's a flying saucer buried under Citi Field.

The player-only meeting was to discuss the make-up date for the Colorado game that got rained out. At least, that's what some wackadoodle on Twitter said.

So let's talk about the Mets. Can they take the Phillies this year?

If they land Lee or Oswalt at the deadline their starting rotation is better than ours (Lee or Oswalt, Santana, and Pelfrey are better than Halladay, Hamels, and Blanton). Their bullpen is most definitely better than ours. And if Beltran comes back and they play Pagan over Frenchy in right field they aren't as potent as us, but they'll score some runs.

I get SNY here and watch a lot of Mets games and the one guy that really impresses me is Pagan. He did this series what he's been doing all year - playing smart baseball. He's the kind of player the Mets have been lacking.

It's hard to be impressed by the Mets in this series, since the team they shutout 3 games in a row didn't show up.

For the record, I think its perfectly legitimate for JW (or anyone) to bring up the sign stealing issue. Many people here have been quick to argue that sign stealing can't possibly work and is definitely not a factor. But I'd like to point out that:
a) None of us have been on a major league club so we don't really know exactly how a sign stealing scheme might work.
b) Opposing players have thought this was happening for a couple years now and have been bothered enough to mention it. Kind of weird for that all just to be sour grapes.
c) The league thought enough of it to warn the Phils. If it were really the kind of thing that could not possibly give the Phils a competitive edge then why would the league care?

Again, I don't actually know how much, if any, that scandal has affected the Phils, but I do think in general many BLers have been too quick to write the whole thing off.

Oh, and the hidden agenda behind my Mets post is that usually when I talk about how a team is better than the Phillies the Phillies prove me wrong. It happened against the Braves earlier in the year when I was saying how they would take us after the Madson blow-up (not toe, his 3 hr blowup). The Phillies came out, won the next two, and until a week ago didn't really look back.

Dukes: How the hell are the Mets going to land Lee or Oswalt? I think their farm system is more depleted than that of the Phils. I see the Nats getting one of those pitchers--or the Braves even--over the Mets.

I have to confess, I wondered the same thing at one point last night, but seeing that theory in print like these, it looks ridiculous.

doubleh is right, the Mets have next to nothing to use as trade bait. And nobody knows what their financial situation actually looks like at this point, especially with the HUGE drop in attendance over the last couple seasons.

As for writing the sign-stealing controversy off so quickly, that's simply because there are much more plausible explanations for the team-wide slump. Their tablesetter/team MVP has been out for more than a month, they are banged up in general, they're not running anymore, their defense has been atrocious, etc. etc. Otherwise this team has had one of the best offenses in baseball, and the best in franchise history, and won back to back pennants based entirely on sign-stealing? Does that sound like a reasonable explanation?

I like conspiracy theories, and thought the first few seasons of "X-Files" was awesome, but this is silly beyond belief.

@ Passingby: I would take Jason Bay over Raul, but other than that I agree with you.

Chris: Agreed. Does anyone out there think the only reason the Patriots won 3 SB's was because they videotaped opposing teams' signals and walkthroughs? I sure don't and that SB loss in 2004 killed me. They were the better team.

The Rollins excuse, as to why the team isn't winning, has to stop. There were winning earlier in the month without him. As if one player, one thing, can cause a funk like this.

"They were the better team"

Well, they definitely had the better quarterback...

"was awesome"= "were awesome"

The Mets will pay the money owed on the contract, which nowadays is just as good as prospects and 100 times better than draft picks.

I live in So. Jersey & I get all the NY media, the Mets "braintrust" went on FAN and promised to spend earlier in the year, which they didnt, & the Met fans to thier credit haven't showed up at Citi in protest of that joke of a front office. Beating us and the Yanks like they have over the past week is the kind of series that can spark the fans and wake up Minaya to make that trade.

Again, that Mets have a crap front office so I'll believe it and worry about it if it happens. However, Im not sure even they would give their 3rd (arguably 4th) best player $25 million a year contract, especially with the 5th best player on the team coming into his own on the verge of free agency.

You don't think that having Rollins' spark out of the lineup and having Valdez (and Castro) in doesn't hurt them in this drought?

borders: It's not silly. You can last a while with a backup starting, but it isn't a viable long-term solution. Juan Valdez (Castro/Valdez combo) is a backup for a reason.

Rollins is the engine that makes this team go, and I think we're really seeing that in full effect now.

Reyes is just as important to the Mets success. That team changes when he gets on base.

borders - You don't think replacing an MVP-caliber gold glove SS and leadoff hitter with Castro/Valdez would contribute to an offensive slump/losing streak? Nobody's saying it's the only reason, but it has obviously contributed to the slide. And to think it wouldn't catch up to them at some point is ridiculous.

Rollins is not the reason the Phillies have scored practically no runs in the last 5 games. He is far from the only run scorer on the team.

I'm pretty sure you're off base with this one, JW, but hey, it's your blog. I think it has more to do with Rollins being out / knucklers and a lefty / players pressing than any other nonsense.

Quoting Edward R. Murrow (twice!) in this post is pure awesomeness.

hh: Gee, thanks for reminding me. McNabb did have his memorable technicolor yawn, but that may well have been a perfectly natural reaction to watching Lito Sheppard fail to defend anyone. Over & over & over again. That said, I don't miss either one of 'em.

As regards the topic at hand, I generally agree w/ Chris. Sign stealing would seem to be a needlessly complex way of boosting a team's offense. Why not just do it the good old fashioned Yankee way, & use PEDs?

The Phils will score tonight.

doubleh - No but the Eagles' lineman said after the game including Runyan & Fraley that the Pats seemed to know exactly what kind of protection schemes the Eagles were using on a number of passing plays to pick up blitzes. Colts also said the same thing.

I am surprised at how people just dismiss the advantage of stealing signs too or waive it off entirely. Phils have been accused of this a number of times by different teams the past few seasons. Odds are they do make a pretty concerted effort to steal signs beyond the standard guy at 2nd tying to pick them up & rely them to the guy at the plate.

It might play a minor role in the recent slump. You can argue either way or the other. Other reasons the Phils are having a historical mini-slump is that they ran into a couple of pitchers they haven't seen before, 2 knuckleballers, and the heart of their order all slumping at the same time. It happens.

We're just facing a slump and a better division (all teams basically at least .500) then we have the past 3 years. We'll get through it at some point.

I am concerned with the Mets. Excpet for their injury filled 2009. They have been in first place way more than us.

06 won it / 07 Till last day / 08 till last week.

A healthy Mets team, which we haven't seen in years, could be troulbe (sans the collapse they've been known for)

Is there a rule in the MLB rule book that says you can't steal signs?

You still need the ability to hit the pitch, regardless of whether you know what the pitch will be. If you knew that Bob Gibson was throwing you 10 fastballs in a row, does that mean you would get 10 hits?

Also, should we assume that they stopped stealing signs? Maybe no binos are being used, but still..

The year RIGHT NOW is 2010 = '10. Now, get out a 10 dollar bill. What do you see on the front? FOUR TENS = 10 10 10 10 = 0 0 0 0. THAT'S FOUR ZEROES. GOOSE EGGS.

Who is on the sawbuck? Alexander Hamilton. Killed by Aaron Burr, confirmed FREEMASON.

The gears are in motion against the Phillies, my brothers! The NWO has agents everywhe-

Jason, your thread header is brilliant. What we are regretting about in the morning is reading about another shutout loss, not your thoughts. Is it Groundhog Day? Where's Bill Murray? or better yet, where's Andie McDowell?

Losing Rollins obviously hurts, but it doesn't even begin to explain what has happened over the last week. Besides, Rollins is every bit as streaky as the rest of them. He had played great up to the point of his injury, and he was great upon coming back. That means that, if he were still in the lineup right now, he would be in one of his patented 1 for 30 slumps.

I am not dismissing the theory of sign stealing as being helpful to the Phillies--but I hardly think this whole slump is caused by it.

They can still steal the signs; they just can't be so overt about it.

I recall last season with the passing of Harry and all the WS hoopla, constant distractions made this team slump a bit, too. Perhaps all these recent distractions, coupled with losses of important players, has led them to this unfortunate place.

I just don't think all their success can be attributed to stealing signs; seems like sour grapes to me.

JW -- Why buy a newspaper/ iPad subscription when you can read extremely cogent/cool stuff like a reference to Edward R. Murrow right here? Love it -- give us more of that. This place always had a "highbrow" feel; now I know why. I know my voice would be beyond idiotic leaving the bar on a cell phone line; hard to imagine how crazy I must seem "...halfway around the world."

I also really like the Murrow quote: "We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it.” Before we declare the next nutty poster a "troll" remember -- especially if there's a shred of lucidity and truth in said post -- it's a free country.

Finally, you flat out killed it with the relationship between the outing "Sign-Gate" and the horrific slump. The Phillies are so far beyond their comfort zone right now that only something like having a huge part of the gameday M.O. ripped away could cause it. I wish I knew more stats, but this slump is easily way beyond a normal regression from the mean. Bleep, I hate losing!

A-Train: No. Only a memo from '00 that teams are not permitted to steal &/or convey signs via "electronic equipment".

Apparently, The Phillies Cheated. So What?

"You still need the ability to hit the pitch, regardless of whether you know what the pitch will be."


Additionally, the pitcher must reasonably execute said pitch. Say the opposing team calls for a fastball in, but their pitcher throws it high & outside: the Phillies would probably not benefit.

Anyone else consider that they are also playing a much tougher portion of their schedule than they were previously (without Rollins and no healthy Ruiz/poss Utley)?

And just in time for Interleague! Yay!

For the record, I don't think having Rollins in the lineup would have made these games wins or anything, but I think having him out of the lineup is one good reason they haven't scored a single run.

i would like to purchase xyz's pamphlet.

Is there an offensive drop-off from Rollins to Valdez/Castro? Of course. Over a two-week period, you'd expect it to be maybe a 5 run dropoff.

It's a contributing cause, but it by no means explains a full team-wide slump. Jimmy Rollins not hitting leadoff doesn't have much to do with why Utley, Howard and Werth can't do anything.

I attended Gm 2 of the debacle in the $140 or higher section, and everyone in my row and the row in front of me had gotten free tickets from the Mets. They had to send out freebies for the Yanks series too.

So take even their announced lower attendances at Citifield with a side of salt.

When did the Met's implicate the Phillies for sign stealing? If I remember correctly it was the Rockies, and then Charlie Manuel called out the Mets because their home reacord was so good. Stealing signs in baseball has always been around, but I thought it was pretty f'd up to mention another team when you're being called out.

Joe: When the Rockies came out and said it, the Mets and Marlins said, "Yeah, what they said," in essence.

While I agree that having Rollins would be a huge help in filling out the lineup and I think they really do miss the 2010 Rollins, how quickly we forget how he was as good as on the DL for most of last year and they spent most of it in first place.

From Dave Murphy's High Cheese - Remember this? I do.

"As recently as last September they endured a similar stretch. In four games against the Giants and Astros, they mustered three runs and eight extra base hits while putting 30 men on base. Their numbers over the last four games? Three runs, eight extra base hits and 31 base-runners.

Over the last nine games this year? 15 runs, 89 baserunners, 16 extra base hits.

Over the nine-game stretch that included the aforementioned Giants/Astros games in 2009? 17 runs, 88 baserunners, 23 extra base hits.

It has happened before. And history suggests it will happen again."

Rollins, even when he wasn't hitting, was still a great team leader and the best defensive SS in baseball last year. That's a huge loss even without his bat. (which was good for the entire 2nd half)

This whole situation is pretty intersting, if their slump continues then it would be pretty likely they were stealing signs illegally. The "Billmeyer likes to watch Ruiz catch" excuse was a complete joke as well. If the hitters are good enough they'll adjust back to hitting without outside help. If they're not then the NL East should be quite fun to watch this season.

Please...Billmeyer was just checking out girls in the crowd. He's simply a perv, nothing else.

I said on an earlier thread that the constant barrage of injuries this season seems to be taking a psychological toll on even the healthy guys at this point. They did the best they could while Jimmy was out the first time, but losing him again so shortly after he came back, coupled with all the other injuries, seems to have the Phils feeling sorry for themselves, or at least a bit more unsure of themselves than is normal for them.

I think that is the main culprit for this slump, plus some unfavorable pitching matchups (knuckleballers, unfamiliar guys, a surging young talent in Pelfrey). But I do think the sign-stealing controversy hasn't helped matters, probably because there's a tiny bit of truth to it.

Things that really are concerns over the long-term:

- Back end of the bullpen. It hasn't been exposed this season because the Phils have had a pretty limited number of saves opportunities (16 all season tied for 12th in the NL; blown 6 of them). Awfully hard to have a quality bullpen with just 2-3 reliable pieces & a guy like Contreras as your closer & Baez/Romero as your setup guys. This was the Phils' Achilles heel going into the season. Excaberated by the issues with Lidge & Madson. Thankfully not exposed yet.

- Lack of patience and power. Phils are on a pace to BB only 577 times and hit 174 HRs. The 577 would be the lowest since '01 and 174 HRs would their lowest since '05.

This team has had a very productive offense since moving into CBP because they take a ton of BBs and hits bombs. They were either 1st/2nd in the NL in BBs from '02-'07. Been 1st or 2nd in the NL in HRs since moving into CBP except '05 (8th in the NL).

BBs has dipped steadily with this team (586 BBs in '08 which was 5th, 589 BBs in '09 which was 7th, and they are currently only 11th with 164 BBs). With Polanco in the lineup everyday, Howard & Victorino dips in BBs, and the hacker duo of Valdez/Castro, this team is almost certainly going to finish in the bottom half of the NL in BBs. My bet is somewhere around 575 or so. Say 8th or 9th in the NL.

Power failoff hasn't been quite as pronounced but this team isn't going to hit 200 HRs this year either for the 1st time since '05. Ibanez's power slump looks like is it is a trend, Howard isn't going to hit 40 HRs this year, and the Castro/Valdez combo has zero power.

- Back end of the rotation. Their has been almost no real progress with Happ since he went on the DL. KK has done an okay job of filling in but there is clearly a failoff from Happ to KK. My bet is that Happ is headed for elbow surgery at some point in the next 3 months. There is also no depth here. None. There are no reserves.. If the Phils have an injury to another starter that keeps him out a month, this team's starting staff is going be pretty damn weak at 3-4-5.

- Bench. It is hard to believe that they can say this bad PH (last in the NL in every category and a number of teams have more productive numbers out of their pitchers) but this is a bench that is limited in several ways. Didn't think it was much improved from the group they ended the season with & so far it hasn't been.

Castro/Gload/Schneider has been as bad as Cairo/Stairs/Bako were last year. If Francisco & Dobbs were producing, they would be 'okay.' There not especially as PH.

If the Phils need a PH late in order to rally down 2 or 3 runs, they aren't getting it.

I think the main reason the Phillies are slumping is because they're in a slump.

It happens.

And to quote Edward R Murrow, "Oppo Boppo"

@R. Billingsly: Did Yogi say that? I think it's one thing to be in a slump it's something else to be pretty much completely blanketed the past 5 games. I agree with Weitzel and don't count the garbage time rune.

One other macro trend:

- It seems like the talking heads on CSN are stating 'how much improved' the NL East is this season because every team is at around .500. Frankly, I see more of the same from the past few years and that is a lot of mediocrity in the Phils' opponents. It is a division where every team has several flaws and will be challenged to win 90+ games. Phils could take the NL East again with just 87 or 88 wins.

The one thing that likely won't happen is the Phils winning 42+ games against their NL East division foes.

2009: 44-28
2008: 41-31
2007: 42-30
2006: 41-34
2005: 38-37

So far they are just 11-10. Said in the preseason they likely needed to beat up on the NL Central a bit more this year to win 90+ games. They have done just that. 11-3 so far. They can do with a bit of a failofff vs. NL East foes if they whoop the NL Central.

xyz - i lol'd for real.

Joe: I don't believe so, but I guess it does sound like a Yogi-ism.

I refuse to believe in any sort of conspiracy theory. They ran into tough pitching match-ups and the bats went cold at the same time. To quote myself: "it happens."

They'll snap out of it.

Please...Billmeyer was just checking out girls in the crowd. He's simply a perv, nothing else.

Sadly, that's probably the case. But it's too bizarre to be accepted as truth.

to quote a wise man i once heard talking about baseball "the reason they have been shut out is because they haven't scored any runs"

deep.

Johnnysanz3: Ah, but are they not scoring any runs because they're being shutout?

One other thing long-term too:

- Phils have been very good the last 3 years at acquiring pieces during the season that were critical for them to make the playoffs & succeed in the playoffs.

2007 - Romero FA signing, Lohse & Iguchi deals.

2008 - Blanton & Stairs deals.

2009 - Lee deal, Pedro signing.

It is too early for Amaro to really make a move right now but we have to see what he can do. Phils' FO has been as good as anyone in the game the last 3 years at making external moves that improved their club.

Personally, it will be tough because the farm system is pretty barren, there is little/no talent that is MLB-ready at AA/AA as trade bait, and their payroll will be very tight next year already.

Pedro would be helpful...as fun is it is to run KK out there every 5th day. And his signing would be a huge boost to morale...just like it was last year. He's just one of those personalities that lifts a team up.

Gee, I see a lot of theories about the reason for the Phillies slump, but it might be from looking through the wrong end of the telescope, viz, the Phillies' opponents have played well enough to disrupt the Phillies regular patterns in the batter's box and pitching mound.

Sorry guys, I was a real big fan of Larry Bird, and watched him lead Celtic teams to victory by sheer will power, and use that as a gauge for leadership and inspiration. I don't see any player on the Phillies with that type of will power or work ethic.

To use a metaphor from a different sport; without Rollins playing I don't see anyone who wants, no, demands to take the last shot. Instead what it looks like recently is a bunch of players who have their heads down praying not to be the guy who has to take the final shot.

Of course, one can always go old school and do what I heard an assistant coach do in the Temple locker room back in the early 70's before playing Penn St (or was it Delaware?) he killed a chicken before the game and smeared blood on players foreheads.... yeap, 'ole Wayne Hardin was one hell of a motivator.

Howard has always been one of those players who wants the last shot (see the '09 NLDS against the Rockies), but the whole team seems to be having a crisis of confidence.

It has happened before, and this slump seems worse than many of the previous ones. But, like so many before, this too shall pass.

And just from my own observations, the team seems to have taken a real shot in the gut when Halladay wasn't able to shut down the BoSox. They didn't look great against Dice-K, but they hit a lot of line drives that just ended up in the wrong spot, Utley had a wall-scraper that fell about 2 feet shy of a HR, Werth hit a screamer up the middle that DiceK caught through sheer luck, etc. When they came out the next day and couldn't get anything going against Wakefield, Halladay didn't have his best stuff, and the D threw away several runs, that just seemed to deflate them.

I think the team has really come to look at Doc as their slump-buster as well.

No way Billmeyer is working for a mere $95K/year knowing that he is the key to multiple championships. We now have the real explanation for that massive and premature Howard contract. Howard is just a front - the $125 million is being passed through to Mick.

I think the sign stealing brouhaha is a red herring on the cause of this slide. Not that I doubt they were and are stealing signs, or that it is beneficial to do so.

Why is it happening? who knows. It does seem like the offensive malaise is metastasizing. I keep expecting the 3-4 run inning to end it. I'm sure you are, too.

Love the bit about hte chicken blood. I heard it from a guy who wrote for the IU student paper that Bobby Knight once made his team sit in a dark gym for 2 hours after a loss then emerged from his office, took a dump at center court, and told his team that it represented how htey played in the game and left. Apocryphal, to be sure, but I would love it if Charlie Manuel did hte same thing.

"Please...Billmeyer was just checking out girls in the crowd. He's simply a perv, nothing else."

My theory is that one of the pitchers got Billmeyer to locate Werth's mom, who is usually in one the front row stands in Denver.
And of course, I'd probably rather be accused of stealing signs than admitting that I was scoping out a player's mom.

Last night featured several hard hit balls that went right at guys. Teh 3 consecutive inning ending double plays were particularly unlucky, too. I'm thinking this hex has expired and/or they'll sweat the bad juju out in the So. Fla. humidity.

They'll still lose wiht Kendrick pitching but, it will be like 6-5.

****No way Billmeyer is working for a mere $95K/year knowing that he is the key to multiple championships****

I make more than a bullpen coach?!? Too Funny.

Even funnier: I'd trade jobs with him in a heartbeat.

I see MLB Trade Rumors thinks Burrell is negotiating a minor league contract with SF and others. In reality, of course, he is seeking the highest bidder for a full and complete expose of all of Mick Billmeyer's bullpen secrets.

****the team seems to have taken a real shot in the gut when Halladay wasn't able to shut down the BoSox****

The BoSox have always had Roy's number...I wasn't surprised in the least.

Feliz tried to sell the same Billmeyer expose last winter, but teams looked at his numbers for the past 3 years and refused to believe he knew anything about Mick's secret signals.

In terms of the stupid theories for the slump being espoused today, I'm still leaning towards G-town Dave's ennui theory. The Phillies are having an existential crisis. They are sitting on their stools staring at their lockers and thinking, "What's it all mean?"

Charlie needs to shake them out of it. Call a team meeting and tell them, "You are what you do."

****Feliz tried to sell the same Billmeyer expose last winter, but teams looked at his numbers for the past 3 years and refused to believe he knew anything about Mick's secret signals.****

The only reason Feliz even got a contract was that he was gonna expose Ed Wade's part in the entire affair. Its a big reason there are so man ex-Phillies on the Astros. I mean, how else do you explain all those guys still having jobs?

After 48 games:

2010 Mets: 25-23, 3rd place, 2 back
2009 Mets: 27-21, 2nd place 1/2 back

NEPP - Neither was I, but I think the players really do think that Doc can shut anyone down. He's their slump-buster, the way the great aces usually are. They just seem really deflated ever since that game.

But Feliz did tell the Astros about Mick's diabolical cleverness, which is why the Stros were able to shut us down last month.

I read this thread and the last one.


Phils still in first place? Check.

Handwringing? Check.

Whining? Check.

Conspiracy theories? Check.

People's nonexistant memories of previous slumps? Check.

Doomsday predictions? Maybe.


Same old BL.

The only reason the Mets and Nats brought Coste in was to learn the Billmeyer secret. As soon as he comes off of the DL, he'll get a gig in Atlanta and, then a month in Fla. after that.

You know what the Phils need? Their rubber ducks.

Get the rubber duck out of your butts, boys!

The "lack of leadership" angle is idiotic. This team just won 3 straight NL East titles, 2 NL Pennants, and a WS. I don't recall anyone questioning their "leadership" then. We have a week-long offensive slump, and now there's no leaders?

Wow. As Clout likes to say, there's a lot of ridiculous things posted on here, but that idea might take the cake.

If we have been stealing signs in some unacceptable manner, and according to Bowa, doing it for years, why havn't we heard any specifics from players who have left the team recently? I'm sure some of them have an axe to grind. Or is there some unwritten code among players.

Actually, we might as well concede these next 3 games. In case you were wondering how Nate Robertson managed to shut us out last month -- the Fish have 3 ex-Phils who know all of Mick's dastardly techniques.

On a completely different note:

http://www.economist.com/business-finance/displaystory.cfm?story_id=16219697&fsrc=scn/fb/wl/ar/gameon

Rangers and Hicks formally declared bankruptcy this week on May 24th. Sets a very interesting precedent to see what happens in bankruptcy court - do the MLB owners get to say FU to the creditors and arrange the deals as they see fit or do they creditors prevail.

I am rooting for the creditors 100% of the way. Still way too much "Old Boys Club" in baseball. It would be a bit of a wake up call if they lose here.

Gosh, I wonder if any other teams try to steal signs?

Here I always though we had tons of Veteran Leadership. We have the original Geezer himself. We have Raul. We have Contreras. And that's just the 40+ crowd.

Friday, May 28, 2010
Phillies Run Scoring Celebration Put On Hold After 3rd Consecutive Shutout

The champagne was on ice and the t-shirts were printed. Unfortunately someone forgot to tell the Phillies. As a morale booster for the team, the Phillies front office decided to plan a raucous post game celebration in honor of the teams first run since Jackie Robinson day in April. Sadly that run never came.

The Phillies will now have to pack up the shirts, emblazoned with the words "We Scored" on the front and the team logo on the back, and have them shipped to Florida with the hopes that their fortunes improve at Tampax Pearl Stadium this weekend against Los Marlins.

Regardless of what happens on the remainder of their road trip, Phillies management is already discussing moving in the fences at Citizens Bank Park some more. Apparently the team became so enamored with the dimensions at Mr. Met's Kiddie Field that they hope to reconfigure their home park to play even more like it than it already does. There has been no confirmation yet if they will include a tee as well.

We should make Billmeyer a roving sign-stealing instuctor in the minors. That would increase the trade value of our prospects.

Personally, I believe that the stealing signs is totally bogus.

The Phillies on the whole are a very well prepared team. They have good advance scouting. And often, will destroy pitchers that they have scene before. That usually involved a lot of video watching and hitting plans from Milt.

Save for Pelfrey, During this stretch they faced pitchers that they either never saw before or throw the most unusual pitch in the history of baseball. It was a perfect storm of coincidences.

I like conspiracy theories as mcuh as the next guy. But no one has successfully been able to tell me how a coordinated effort stealing signs works (Certaiinly from some guy in the bull pen 400 feet away).

We are just witnessing a stretch when the core are slumping all at the same time. Injuries at SS and C. And some bad luck.

I'm more concerned with the teams defense. I know the offense will return to normal. But there's nothing from the last 2 weeks that tells me the defense is improving.

goody - I like the way you think. Just another tool for our toolsy guys.

"But no one has successfully been able to tell me how a coordinated effort stealing signs works"

Well if you must, each time when Howard steps out and pretends to spit in his glove he's actually looking at a digital signal relayed by Mick. This explains his uncanny ability to hit nasty breaking stuff far out of the zone.

The Phillies, as a team, have a VLQ (Veteran Leadership Quotient, for those who don't know) of 145. That's 2nd in the National League, behind only the Cardinals. Over the last 10 days, however, their team VLQ has been only 59, which would rank them dead last in the major leagues.

Yeah Ruiz is hurt and his numbers reflect it but this team really misses JRoll offensively and defensively.

Castro sucks. He is hitting Mendoza line this month (.207) with zero pop and a .230 OBP. He isn't an average SS defensively if you look at his RZR, OOP, UZR or more conventional stats like RF. He's a sub .600 OPS guy who is no longer a even an average defensive player.

Valdez is just about as limited offensively as Castro is. He is a bit better defensively and brings a little more speed to the table.

Cholly is doing what makes sense - rotate either guy and stick with the guy who gets a hot hand. Castro/Valdez has a multi-hit night & I would start him the following night.

Neither guy though is as good as JRoll defensively and there is a huge failoff in power/SLG with Castro/Valdez in the lineup everyday.

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EST. 2005

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