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Wednesday, May 12, 2010


It's really time to think about life after Lidge and fast. I love the guy. I love his '08 season. But the fact is, he's been hurt ever since. His stuff has looked pretty good since his return but if he has to go on the DL after every outing with elbow issues, he's of no use to this team. It's time to tell it like it is I think. Same with Romero. Both this guys are completely unreliable.

Please don't let anything happen to hoover

A fresh thread and everyone is friends again! <3 Gtown :)

I think we should think about stealing some signs.

If either team's starter gets shelled early it is going to be ugly. At least the phils have the off day tomorrow to somewhat protect them.

Zolecki: "It's raining in Colorado. Again. The tarp is on the field. Again. The start of the game is delayed."

Gsl: I feel the love.

I guess game 1 didn't get rained out.

Losing Ruiz will hurt (if it's more than a day or two) but, that's why they maintain such depth at that position in the system. . . . never mind.

You figure Olivo's actions have to have something to do with what happened yesterday, yeah? At least the bat flipping stuff.

Go Flyers, etc..

Ibanez in both games? Really? They really need to get Francisco more playing time.

In case you missed this from the first game chat, it was funny. Posted by Ryan Lawrence on the twitter beat, with a photo link.

"Wow. Exclusive footage of @magelb stealing signs."

Hammel is a RHP. One explanation.

I thought we established that Raul has been very solid(like .900 OPS) for the last 20 or so games and that we were gonna give him more time before declaring him finished, no?

I was initially taken aback by JW's strong statement RE: Ibañez, Romero & Lidge. Not because I disagree, mind you, but because I know if a circumspect fellow such as himself feels that way it must be more true than not. Even for a pessimist such as myself, that's disappointing. Lidge & Raúl in particular appear to be genuinely good guys; it's a shame their careers (much success therein notwithstanding) are rapidly winding down.

Since April 20th:

Raul: 19 G, 74 PA: .290/.378/.500, 2 HR

Since April 27th:

Ben: 2 AB's.

Hey, I think Ibanez should be in there most nights. I don't think the tank is totally empty. But starting BOTH games of a DH, when you are 39 years old and hitting .236? Makes no sense. Even for Cholly.

Francisco must have done something to get buried so far on the bench.

All these problems popping up make it even more difficult to resign Werth, if it was ever possible to begin with. What if they need to get a closer, and a set-up man, and another starting pitcher, and a back-up catcher...

I haven't seen the proof that any of these guys are finished. Although, Romero and Lidge are certainly damaged goods right now. Ibanez seems like he's been ready to bust out a bit for a couple weeks now.

Any word on a potential start time for game 2?

Probably has been discussed already, but Greg Golson got called up by the Yanks today.

denny: Raul is only 37.

But yes, I was also surprised Francisco wasn't in the starting lineup. Don't care if it's a righty SP or not.

Francisco is a RHB. Both pitchers today were RHP. Generally, I agree with you however.

Is this the last year of Lidge's contract? If so, I vote to not re-sign him and use the $ for what BobbyD posted.

Kutztown: Sorry, Lidge & Ibañez are under contract for '11 at $11.5 Million each.

Bastardo and Mathieson continue to just blow hitters away in AAA. AB still hasn't given up a run there and Mathieson's ERA is .61 Both have had really good control most nights too.

Nice to see Mayberry back in the lineup tonight after about a week off. Ankle still must be bothering him though, as he is DH'ing tonight.

We know Raul is really 37, right?

2-0 Flyers for those who aren't watching.

The Phils also hold an option on Lidge for '12 at either $12.5 or $13 Million (depending on Games Finished in '10 or '10 & '11), but they can buy him out for $1.5 Million. I'd bet on the latter.

denny b: Is there every a young guy you don't like?

Cholly isnt starting BEn Fran because he read BAPs comments about him. I'm sure of it.

The 2nd Game has been PPD. No make-up date scheduled. Flyers up 2-0 after 2; Penguins eliminated. :-)

Moyer to start Friday, they assume on WPHL.

Have a good evening, folks.

Until Romero actually has thrown more strikes on the year than balls, I am just going to refer to him as the "Man with No Control."

Understand he is going to be semi-wild but he can't throw his fastball in the strike zone unless he is basically aiming it. Results usually don't bode well for a guy doing that who gets behind in the count to almost every hitter & is topping out at 89-90 MPH.

Hell, even at 93-94 MPH that you spells trouble unless you have some filthy offspeed pitch. Romero doesn't have that either so far.

I love the GNOME thread header... but @JW you gotta get a shot of Gload from Phanavision... he's eyes are just as haunting...

Problem is that Phils are stuck with Lidge and his contract. If he is on the roster & basically healthy, he will be the closer again this year even if they have pretty shoddy results.

Glad this game got snowed out though. Phils needed an off-day. At least they get to rest their beleaguered bullpen. They make a move or two if they need.

I just hope they don't do this dumb crap where Ruiz is "day to day" and they play without a backup catcher for the next few days. Getting ridiculous with Castro being "day to day" not being able to play.

I wouldn't have minded them trying to get this in sine they had the off day tomorrow, but the weather makes it impossible.

Nice easy travel day and the bullpen should be nice and rested for the Brewers series

"I just hope they don't do this dumb crap where Ruiz is "day to day" and they play without a backup catcher for the next few days."

Now when have the Phillies ever done something ignorant like that?

"Getting ridiculous with Castro being "day to day" not being able to play."

Aw, crap.


I can see my great grandparents' deaths in Gloads' eyes in this picture:

on Romero: Bill over at Crashburn Alley has been saying for a while that JC wasn't as good as he looked in 2008 and got lucky. I'm starting to believe him.

on Ibanez: I'm not ready to give up on him. Yes, Francisco should play more, especially against LHP. But Ibanez was always streaky, and he's doing much better in May: .286/.350/.514. All he needs is another hot streak and he'll be right where we need him to be.

I'm thinking with the unscheduled off day yesterday, the rotation is going to look like this:

Friday: Moyer (6 days rest)
Saturday: Blanton (6 days rest)
Sunday: Hamels (6 days rest)
Monday: Halladay (4 days rest)--Charlie's pattern so far
Tuesday: Kendrick (7 days rest)

Does that sound reasonable?

Phils have the day off tomorrow too, MG.

You almost have to have a backup catcher and Jayson Werth doesn't qualify. If Ruiz isn't healthy enough to serve as an emergency backup, then the Phillies will probably have to make another roster move, like moving Romero back to the DL (which is not a bad idea, regardless of the catching situation). Unfortunately, because Castro subbed into the game a couple days ago, they can't just put him on the DL retroactive to the date of his original injury.

Zolecki: "Asked Jayson Werth about being the emergency catcher if Carlos Ruiz can't play. "Shhhh," he said. "Shhhh. I don't want to talk about it."

I dunno, after watching him flail away in the outfield these past couple days a change might do him good ...

Let it not be said that G-Town is biased in his criticism. Pretty much an Philly what is less that 100% perfect 100% of the time is subjected to his wrath.

phlipper: That was more tongue-in-cheek faultfinding than wrath. I do wrath, as well, but much more wrathfully. Although Werth's comments about free agency being "what (he's) played his whole life for" kinda pissed me off. It was very un-Dude like.

Sophist - That is what I meant to say. All things considered a split in Colorado wasn't the worst thing. It might have been nice though to face a Rockies' team though that is as beat up/if not even more beat up than the Phils right now.

Bring on the gnome pic!

MG - I'd rather they heal up and just play in baseball weather and not this soggy, cold stuff.

- I am willing to give Ibanez until the end of June so before getting too panicked about him. I do hate seeing Ibanez though right now against a pitcher with a good fastball. Just behind all season & continues to be so.

If he hasn't gone on a hot streak by late June & the power numbers are still lagging, it will have been nearly a full year that he has been a sub .800 OPS guy. At his age, that will be a red flag.

- As for the bullpen, it certainly doesn't look as bad as the cast of characters they put out there in '07 but they are one injury away from Durbin/Contreras to being pretty close.

- If the rotation stays the same, KK gets the nod on Sunday night baseballl & Phils have potentially their biggest pitching mismatch of the year when possibly the best starter in the NL faces the worst one (Halladay vs. Morton next Monday).

MG: The scheduled rotation is Moyer on Friday, Blanton on Saturday & Hamels on Sunday. Tomorrow is an off day.

Dave - Nevermind then. Glad to see Hamels get pushed back to a night start vs. Brewers though. That would have been 5 day starts vs. just 3 night starts for Hamels in the early going.

Silver lining to the rainout tonight.

MG: Incredibly, esp. considering what a whiny ass I am, I see several silver linings: another day for the bullpen, Castro & Chooch to rest, escaping having to play another game shorthanded & in terrible weather (let's face it: the Phils were gonna lose), & (as you mentioned) Hamels' next start is bumped from Day to Night. All things considered I'm happy as hell the Phils got out of Colorado w/ a split.

A.J. Hinch leaves Edwin Jackson in with the bases loaded to face Manny after throwing around 118 pitches. Of course, he hits a double and clears the bases.

Old Phan: Did the D-backs really give Ethier an IBB to get to Manny? If so, what in the *bleep!* were they thinking?

G-Town, I have no idea, and even Vin was surprised. And the double was on a 0-2 count.

Manny is second all time in Grand Slams. Hell, I'd walk him with the bases loaded just to give up only 1 run.

Old Phan: Agreed. Ethier is hot, but Manny is HoF. I'd love to hear Hinch try to explain that move after the game.

I'm all for letting pitchers pitch, but your guy is up to 118 pitches and you let him face Manny with the bases loaded? I guess he has no faith in his bullpen.

Francisco and Ibanez should be a straight platoon in left. I'm not ready to say Ibanez is finished but clearly adding in defense, it's advantageous to have Francisco in against a LHP.

Rollins is due back next week, Howard is due for a tear, and the lineup will look a lot better then.

Just on the meta front: I want to say that, as far as blog pariahs go, G-town is a welcome upgrade over the hellacious black hole that was the now banned mvptommy. You've gotta have one, after all.

If the game is moved to sept. 2, the day after we leave LA for home, we would play 23 straight days. I don't think the union would allow that. But if they do, and the team is in good position, send the Pigs out there. How many guys can be called up in sept.? If we drop off the 5 bench guys there, you only need 3 more position players + a couple of pitchers.

It wouldn't surprise me if this is one of those games that never gets made up unless one of the teams needs to play it in order to decide a playoff race. It's just hard to squeeze in a one-game road trip to Denver because it's not really close to any other baseball city.

It's too bad because, though I didn't relish the idea of having a 47-year old pitching in frigid conditions, I DID relish the idea of facing Jason Hammel. If there's a makup game, it's doubtful we'll be so fortunate as to face him.

I'm glad the game was called. We don't need any more injuries. Cholly said before the (non)game that Doc's problem was getting a feel of the ball in the cold. It would have been even colder for Pop, who pitches by feel.

NL ranks (OPS)

C 4 (.878)
1B 7 (.783)
2B 1 (1.033)
3B 12 (.780)
SS 9 (.686)
LF 8 (.739)
CF 7 (.783)
RF 2 (1.088)
PH 16 (.462)

Phils are 2d in team OPS with .799. Even at their worst positions (outside of 3B) they are about average. At LF and SS, I think there is reason to expect better (esp. SS). Polanco isn't really in there for his OPSing. His BA stands slightly better among 3B (he's 4th among regulars) and he's got some 2B power (7). The Phils are 6th in OPS from the 2-hole. Even so, he's walked all of 3 times. That's too low (even for him).

Vic and Howard starts last year have been mentioned before.

Ryno 09: .262/.338/.492, 12.7% XBH, 9.8% BB, 30.9% K
Ryno 10: .278/.324/.459, 9.8% XBH, 5.6% BB, 25.6% K

Howard's FB are down 10% last year and his HR/FB is down 10%.

Vic 09: .252/.296/.424, 6 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR
Vic 10: .250/.295/.493, 4 2B, 4 3B, 7 HR

Vic aside, the Phils have the highest OPS out of the leadoff spot to start the year (.299/.359/.584). Vic's batted .276/.319/.562 since the move, and Rollins was smoking to start the year. Vic's .880 OPS would put him 3rd; his .319 OBP would put him about 10th.

Hottest batters in the last two weeks going into today (11 games):

Werth: .410/.477/.872
Ruiz: .500/.579/.767
Utley: .342/.444/.605
Vic: 298/.353/.681 (4 BB, about half his year total)
Raul: .282/.341/.487

All 4 of those walks from Vic are in the last 5 games (not including today). .238/.360/.619 in that time. Phils have 6 regulars who are just mashing the ball right now: Werth, Ruiz, Polanco, Vic, Utley, and Ibanez (all with .900+ OPS in last week).

bap: 3 more home games and 1 less road game! Let the crying begin.

Charlie's comments on teams crying about the Phils hits Metsblog...Met fans will commence crying shortly.

"Ethier is hot, but Manny is HoF. I'd love to hear Hinch try to explain that move after the game."
The question is who is a better hitter NOW (call it a tossup) and who was available in the bullpen. It's certainly defensible in a lot of situations.

Expecting bad news on Ruiz. Knee injury to a catcher has DL written all over it. Has anyone spotted Dale Sardinha at Newark or ABE? If they make a move, it looks like someone needs to go off the 40 man. Plus, with Lidge in limbo, you have to wonder if two moves will be needed. Am I correct that DL players are on the 40 man unless they're on the 60 day list or longer?

Anyone see Cholly's quote from CSN? Picked it up on Metsblog. Pretty salacious....

Nevertheless, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel denied the accusations, then told CSN Philly:

“Somebody maybe ought to check the Mets if they did that. Their [bleeping] home record is out of this world and they’re losing on the road. Sometimes that’s a good indicator of getting signs and [crap]. I see somebody setting there at 17-2 at home and 4-12 on the road, I’d get concerned about that. That kind of crosses my mind… I’m not accusing them, but you look at that and – damn. We’re about the same home and road. I’m just saying their record is much better at home and they hit better… (The Rockies complained) Because we beat them… Keep crying. I’m sure if they can steal signs, they’ll steal them. And believe we will, too, if we can get them. Yeah, we will. Legally. If you’re dumb enough to let us get them, then that’s your fault. That’s been in the game for a long time"

Charlie Manuel's either a damn good liar or, the obviousness of Billmyer's infraction is truly borne of an honest mistake. Either way, I like the piss and vinegar approach.

BAP: McCarthy said that the Phillies and Rockies both have an off day in the schedule where the Phillies would be traveling home from LA. That would be a natural spot to make it up

Love the quote by Charlie.

The more interesting thing from the Metsblog post isn't Charlie's quote, it's the information that multiple other teams have complained about the Phillies stealing signs, and that they seem to have a reputation around baseball for it.

If it's just normal "part of the game" stuff, I don't really care. If it's using technology or more advanced techniques, I'd have a hard time defending it. I hated the Patriots' "spygate" crap, and I really would not like to see the Phillies implicated in any sort of scandal like that. We're a great team, and there's no reason to be doing anything that might taint our success.

Again, I find it hard to believe posters on here would be so nonchalant about it if it was another team doing it. Be honest with yourselves.

So much cheating goes on in baseball - doctored balls, PEDs - as well as other questionable activity like ARod's antics, throwing at batters, hard slides to break up a double play, plowing over the catcher at home, etc. Stealing signs is part of the game and has been. High school teams have bench coaches whose main job is to steal signs. I'm confident that all Major League teams do it. There is historical evidence that other teams have done it. So I'm not going to get all up in arms about the Phillies doing it. (Although I want the bullpen to put away the binoculars. Don't be too obvious about it.)

BTW, I didn't care about the Patriots' "spygate" crap, and I hate the Patriots.

interesting to see JW lead the anti-ibanez fan club.

From article by Dave Murphy:

Manager Joe Maddon, whose Tampa Bay Rays lost to the Phillies in the 2008 World Series, worked with Billmeyer in the Angels' system and said he does not put too much stock in the allegations.

"Are you sure he was looking at the other catcher's signs?" Maddon asked the St. Petersburg Times. "I hate to throw [Billmeyer] under the bus, but I would check something else first and then I would accuse him of stealing signs maybe third or fourth or fifth. Knowing him, I don't believe it was anything to do with stealing signs. I would actually bet on that. And I can say that because he's still a single guy."

That's one vote for checking out women, compared with one vote for checking out signs.

Read more:

Much of the anti-Ibanez sentiment has its roots in the love for Burrell.

What's ironic is that Burrell has been worse in his performance over the last two years than Ibanez, and has actually been in worse physical condition - despite the claims by many at BL when Ibanez was signed that he was a greater health risk than Burrell.

long time reader, first time poster...can someone explain to me how stealing signs in the middle of a game is helpful? I'm simply considering the logistics of a coach with binoculars picking up that four wiggling fingers means a slider from deep center, relaying the message to the dugout, someone in the dugout running his hand across his belt and tugging his ear to relay the message to a base coach who then does the same to the batter...all in the time between the sign and the pitch...if it works this way, this is art. I'm guessing it doesn't work that way. Is it only effective with a man on base, given he'd already know the signs and could relay from there? I'd have to assume that the art of stealing signs is well advanced at the pro level, but I would also think sign deception was also just as prevalent. What am I missing? I feel like this is no big deal, teams actually change their signs when men are on base for this exact purpose which implies it is expected. Am I wrong? What am I missing?

It's in the Mets best interest to keep this story running.

To Bedrock's Beard:

I like young kids who produce.

Mayberry with a game winning grand slam last night, after missing a week with a bum ankle.

Mathieson with 2 spotless innings. 2 more K's. Threw 18 pitches, 15 for strikes. ERA now at .54 Record now 2-0 with 5 saves.

Bastardo has barely been touched at AAA (and pitched pretty well with the Phils this year too).

I like those kind of guys.

In my case, it's not non-chalance - it's open mindedness. If the Mets have Citi Field rigged with cameras for use in stealing signs, I'd object to that. Charlie pointing out their uncanny home record is funny. It's smoke and deflection. It's important to differentiate between stealing signs and using some form of electronic or telescopic tool to do it. Everyone - EVERYONE - does the former and it is accepted, albeit policed on the field if it's done by a baserunner or a peeping batter. If the Phils are doing the latter, shame on them. I don't defend that. I do defend the concept of due process before condemning them for it. Charlie denies it. The league found no conclusive proof. The obviousness of Billmeyer's conduct is troubling but, for that reason it is also consistent with good faith. Smoke only gets you so far. I haven't seen the fire, yet. Screw perception - let's hear the proof. I'll reserve my hand-wringing for when I do see it. For now, it's just sport.

denny: i hit a grandslam in teeball one time, where were you to call the Phils when I needed you?

denny b: I was mostly kidding, b/c I like your knowledge of the pharm. Just sometimes, you seem a little to eager to see some of the kids play. No big deal.

I'd like to see Mathieson/Bastardo at this point.

How is this in the Mets' best interest to keep this story running? It seems to me that they'll look like even bigger cry-babies if they keep bringing it up.

denny likes Mayberry, who would have thought.

You gotta understand, the Mets just lost 2 of 3 to the Nats, a 'punch to the stomach', as they're calling it in the NY media, so the distraction of calling the Phils cheaters is a natural reaction.

Anything to distract them from the agony of watching their high priced team fail to hold onto 2nd place in a garbage covered field in a mostly empty stadium.

Kutz: Smearing the Phils (whether it's the Mets themselves, or the writers/fans) is always good.

to the ibanez-haters, the 2009 OF free agents:

Reggie Abercrombie
Bobby Abreu
Moises Alou
Garret Anderson
Rocco Baldelli
Willie Bloomquist
Milton Bradley
Emil Brown
Pat Burrell
Mike Cameron
Jason Christian
Brady Clark
Jose Cruz Jr.
Adam Dunn
Jim Edmonds
Juan Encarnacion
Cliff Floyd
Joey Gathright
Brian Giles
Jonny Gomes
Luis Gonzalez
Ken Griffey Jr.
Vladimir Guerrero
Eric Hinske
Norris Hopper
Raul Ibanez
Jacque Jones
Gabe Kapler
Bobby Kielty
Mark Kotsay
Rob Mackowiak
Luis Matos
Kevin Mench
Jason Michaels
Wily Mo Pena
Dustan Mohr
Craig Monroe
David Newhan
Trot Nixon
Greg Norton
Corey Patterson
Jay Payton
Timo Perez
Scott Podsednik
Manny Ramirez
Juan Rivera
Jeff Salazar
Willy Taveras
Brad Wilkerson

Abreu is probably the only one who you could argue since Dunn and Vlady can't play the field.

I've gotta would the bullpen coach relay the signs to the batter in time for him to actually use the information? Am I missing something?

As for JW's comment about Raul, I'm fervently hoping he retires at the end of the season so his money can be used for Werth...but I'm not holding out a lot of hope it'll actually happen. A Brown/Francisco combo would make a great replacement in LF.

If the Phillies didnt steal signs from the dugout, the Mets would be in 1st. Seems obvious.


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