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Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Just read the last thread...damn, I thought I was negative.

Can we please turn a page on the negativity?

NEPP: My pet theory is that many Eagles fans also like the Phillies, but they take the 16 game approach of the NFL to the 162 game schedule of MLB. This causes problems. I think clout stated this slightly differently, but correctly, on the last thread.

Well, Heather says that because BP places the odds of the Phillies making the post-season at 15%, the Phils should be sellers, not buyers.

I think it's a bit premature, so I guess that makes me an optimist.

the odds the phillies win the 2020 world series are less than 50% - i believe we should start trading draft picks now.

3.5 back with 100 to play...color me unconcerned.

The results of a model are only as goods as the assumptions the model was based upon. Assumptions are usually less certain than people realize or care to admit. I suggest people dig a bit deeper into the odds report. I also wonder what the Braves odds of making the playoffs was on May 1st.

I find it strange that a person should say that odds at fifteen percent are bad. They're actually quite good.

Do they signify greater liklihood than not? No, of course not. But if you want playoff odds at more likely than not, you'll have to tune in much later in the season.

Is it time for the team to start breathing through their eyelids yet? :)

And on the subject of baseball movies, I caught a large part of "A League Of Their Own" last night. I can't believe I'd never seen it before. Tom Hanks is hilarious in it!

Wow, nothing like someone bringing up some negative numbers to turn this place into a veritable cheerleading gallery.

BL Meme for last two weeks: The sky is falling and the Phillies are in trouble.

Today, Heather says odds are low Phillies make the playoffs, confirming they are in trouble.

New BL meme: Heather is crazy, the Phillies will easily make the playoffs, no trouble at all.

Maybe everyone should calm down and take a measured approach. Things aren't as bad as they might seem, but there is also some serious cause for concern. All things considered, you'd rather not be in 3rd place in the middle of June.

"Well, Heather says that because BP places the odds of the Phillies making the post-season at 15%, the Phils should be sellers, not buyers.

I think it's a bit premature, so I guess that makes me an optimist."

Meh, I just thought this site was stat friendly and when I tried to discuss a certain stat I had people tell me they were meaningless without really giving me a concrete reason why. Can someone do that?

For all the folks who told me the stats the BP states are meaningless...I have to run now, but I will check back they have a confidence level attached? I seem to recall something like this from some of my statistics courses...

If BP can handicap the races already, they should be able to make a statement something along the lines of "Phils will not make the playoffs 85% of the time, with a X% level of confidence in that statement".

I agree if X is miniscule, the figures are meaningless, but if X is a significant number, unless you want to denigrate BP's entire stastical analysis, you simply can't dismiss them out of hand.

That being said I want to the Phils to do well so Go PHILS...I just need to accept the fact they might not.

and so i'm not coming off as jerk, a serious question:

If you think the phillies are better off as sellers - what moves would you consider making? Are we trading for prospects for an impact years away? Are we trading for 2011? Are we dumping salary to sign new free agents?

Zo Zone, June 11, 2009, on the BP odds:

"They gave the Phillies a 44.3 percent chance to win the NL East and a 16.3 percent chance to win the NL Wild Card for a 60.6 percent chance to make the playoffs.

They gave the Mets a 45 percent chance to win the division and a 13.9 percent chance to win the wild card for a 58.9 percent chances to make the postseason."

"3.5 back with 100 to play...color me unconcerned."

I said this the other day and it still stands. If they are 3.5 games back in the last 2 weeks of the season, I'll be a little concerned.

Gillies' numbers at High Desert were a joke, but it's way too early to say he's going to be stuck in AA ball. Let's give him 450 ABs and see where he is. The only alarming thing I see at this point is the 23 Ks in 102 ABs. Way, way too high for a guy devoid of power. He needs to get better command of the strike zone since his value lies in his speed, defense and the ability to get on base.

We have no tradeable assets that would make sense if we're trying to compete in 2011.

Its a stupid conversation to even make. Most of our big contracts are untradeable. Guys you could trade and get value for are guys you don't want to trade.

thephaithful: IF the Phillies were to consider themselves sellers (which they should not, and will not--just want to point out that this is simply a hypothetical for amusement's sake, NOT REALITY), the only pieces which would make sense to sell would be Werth (as an impending FA) and maybe a guy like Contreras to a team that needs a reliever.

There's just no logic in a lot of these comments anymore. First, there's the suggestion that the Lee trade hurt morale, when it happened well before the start of the season and the team started year 24-13 before this slump. So they just forgot about the Lee trade until May, then remembered it, got all sad and stopped hitting HRs?

And I don't even know what you can say about the proposition of being sellers when the team is 3.5 games out of first place on June 16th. If dennyb's "The Phils offense has always been overrated" statement was the most ridiculous in the history of BL, this one is a close second. Forget the fact that this team spent money to buy a window for three seasons, including this one, and selling players would blow that plan to smitherines for this year and probably all three years. IT'S JUNE 16th. We're not in the AL East. Jesus, 3.5 games back before the start of Summer and people want to start the firesale already? I'd love to see some of you people play stocks. "BUY BUY BUY...NO, SELL SELL SELL!"

Jack: Do you agree that the Phils have only 15% chance of making the playoffs? And, if so, isn't Heather logically correct that the team should sell off its veterans?

exactly - there are hardly any worthwhile moves to make even if the seller strategy seemed logical because of their place in the standings.

Clout: I think JW just meant that Gillies would repeat AA next year, not that he would spend his career there. Given his young age and his struggles/missed time due to injury this year, that wouldn't surprise me at all.

Heather, I have no doubt that those odds are sound in a vacuum. All things being equal, I like the sound of 15%. It's not like BP is C3PO telling Han Solo the odds of successfully navigating an asteroid field ("Never tell me hte odds" - I'm really not a Star Wars geek but, that one sticks with me).

I like better the fact that the gap in the division is 3.5 games. That number, the number of games remaining, and the competition tell me that there's every reason to keep the faith and no reason to consider dumping players and gearing up for next year. Unless hte odds are miniscule, you're not a seller.

As for my faith in the Phillies tonight, I like the old man but, I'm not taking that action.

Heather: if you want a confidence level on BP odds - got take the the June 16th BP odds from the last 10 years and see how they correalate to the actual teams who made the playoffs. Without doing, I am predicting a confidence level ranging from slim to none.

When you have a team with BABIP issues (as Sophist has pointed out a few times, especially as evidenced by the Phillies' batting average on line drives), it makes more sense to use PECOTA-adjusted projections. Utley will likely not have a .264 BABIP for the rest of the season if he continues to hit line drives at this rate.

The PECOTA-adjusted playoff odds put the Phillies at 26.6%, a lot better than the 15% unadjusted odds, and hardly insurmountable in June.

Odds of 15% simply means that an outcome is likely to happen 15 times out of 100. You may or may not like your chances of being one of the 15, but thems still the odds. Obviously you wouldn't want to bet the milk money on the 15% play, but there's no downside to beating your chest for it on a fan blog.

Clout: Intuitively, I don't believe the Phillies' odds are only 15%, but I also have no way of figuring an objective method myself.

Off the top of my head, I'd put it somewhere in the 50-60% range, and I think that's giving them a good benefit of the doubt. The Braves are a strong team this year, and I'm more and more concerned every day about what we're going to get going forward from guys like Rollins, Happ, and Blanton, who were not supposed to be question marks.

Gillies is doing fine...he was just warming up when he went down with the hamstring. Now that he's back and hopefully adjusted to AA, he hopefully builds on his solid year last year (even if you adjust hist Desert stats to a real park, they're still pretty good).

Heather: It does get more difficult to change the odds quickly late in the season, but they can still swing very rapidly. Looking at's archives (I think their method is similar to BP's unadjusted odds), in 2008 the Phillies playoff odds were 21.1% on September 10th. By the end of the Phillies' 7-game win streak on September 18, they were up to 91.8%.

Another reason for optimism, the Phils are only 2 back in Losses Back. The recent rain outs might be a blessing in disguise in that the team will hopefully have its collective stuff together when they play the make-up games.

DH Phils: Excellent point. These sorts of odds have enormous volatility in them and can change on a dime, which is why a single day's snapshot this early in the season is worthless.

Quick Poll: What odds do you all give the Phillies to make the playoffs? I'm very curious.

"in 2008 the Phillies playoff odds were 21.1% on September 10th. By the end of the Phillies' 7-game win streak on September 18, they were up to 91.8%."

They were 1 of the 21 of 100 teams in the Phils circumstances on Sept. 10 that won, not one of the unlucky 79. Why is that difficult to accept?

curt - everyone knows what 15% means. The question is whether the Phils actually have a 15% chance. Honestly, it's not one I care to answer. They're underperforming and there are 100 games left.

If the Phils are only 3.5 back with 2 weeks to play, I would be happy.

I'm probably blindly optomistic, but I'd say the odds of the Phils making the playoffs are around 65-75 percent.

The Braves won't keep getting on base at their pace. The Mets won't stay healthy. The Marlins stink. The Nationals aren't going to win the division. Plus, there's the possibility of winning the wild card in what looks like a very weak National League.

BP gives them 15 percent? That's 6:1 odds. With those odds, I'd bet a whole mortgage payment.

This is what I posted on the last thread right as it died in response to the whole "there's still a lot of season left to play, the stats are meaningless now arguments":

The stats aren't MEANINGLESS. That's like saying we can't tell the odds in Texas Hold Em preflop. If I hold A-A, and my opponent holds 2-7, then I'm still a favorite, even though there are 5 cards still to go. Now if the flop goes 2-2-J, I become a dog, but that doesn't mean the stats preflop were meaningless. More times than not, I'll win the hand based on the information available. That doesn't mean the successive cards won't dramatically change my odds, but it doesn't mean the pre-flop odds shouldn't dictate your evaluation of your hand in the absence of future data (i.e. the flop, turn, and river.)

I perceive it as a similar situation here. Right now, the Phillies don't have a good chance of making the playoffs. Can future events change those odds dramatically? Yes. But that doesn't mean the odds currently are worthless or meaningless either.

DH Phils: I agree with you more on the PECOTA adjusted odds of 25% of making the playoffs...still, I guess I expected this team to be in a much better position come June.

sophist, I'm shocked. You're questioning a stat from BP because it doesn't jive with your prejudices? And you don't even care to calculate your own number? Where will it all end?

im at work so i acnt check gambling sites, but if i had to follow anyone's odds, it woudl be Vegas. If Vegas gave you 6-1 phils in the postseason, then i'd be pretty surprised. I would guess the Phils are more like 9-5.

Yahoo lists the odds of the Phils winning the World Series from different sites: +600 +700 +350 +1200 +700 +600

Iceman, I believe after the Yankee series Ruben will tweak the portfolio. Maybe try the emerging market or Caribbean stocks.

Yea! The season isn't over.

Gillies got activated and I fully expect him to get called up to Philly and come save the day!

He'll be taking a little extra time, thought, because I heard that the annointed one called him and asked him to go to Louisiana first and plug that damn oil well because he couldn't do it himself.

And after he finishes with that it's on the Iraq and Afghanistan. As soon as Gillies finishes with those he should be here posthaste.

I figure it'll be about 2 weeks.

So, there you have it.

The oil leak fixed, then Iraq and Afghanistan, and then a patented Phils late summer rally into first place, all courtesy of Mr. Gillies.

I hear he's really fast.

yankees broadcast had an interesting stat last night about the phil's record vs left handed starting pitching. I think they said it is currently the worst in the nl and last year it was the best in the nl.

Old man Moyers can't do any worse than last Fridays bloodbath, if 345 can buy him some runs he'll have win number 7 of the season.

I don't have time to check, but it seems like the Phils have faced an inordinate number of lefthanded starters during this slump. Plus, three times the Phils faced a righthander, the starter was a knuckleballer.

True, this site has a better turnout when things look bleak, however put me in the camp with clout, sophist and many of the BL old-timers (man, I've been on here too long myself to know who's who). If you SERIOUSLY think that 3.5 back (2 in the L column) on June 15 is the end of the season, and the Phils should consider themselves "sellers," I don't know what to tell you, but I'd start with inviting you to re-evaluate your understanding of the game of baseball - a sport so vastly synonymous with streaks, underperformance and overperformance, that they decided to play 162 games.

I'm all for Sabermetrics, advanced stats, but the basis of those are large sample sizes (as in years). I've never been one to be qualified as a blind optimist when it comes to the losingest franchise in sports history, but something tells me that the talent on this team is too good to maintain this level of ineptitude for an extended period of time. When will it end? Who the hell knows, but until I see the calendar hit September, I won't be too concerned about a 3.5 game deficit, especially since we play the divisional teams so many times between now and then.

Who would have thought that BAP would leave the country and Beerleaguer would get MORE negative? Who would have thought that clout, of all people, would be the voice of reason?

@HEATHER- your playing card analogy is not apt. there you have a controlled universe of defined value rankings and a limited number of combinations remaining to change the outcome. here there is no defined value rankings that allow you to say "phils always over mets, over braves, over nats..." here there is an unlimited number of combinations remaining over 100 games. the point is sports is too dynamic to apply a sound statistical analysis to determine playoff likelihood this early into the season.

J.R. King, one thing to keep in mind about the Mets is that they don't have Beltran back yet.

If he comes back and can play, he'll make a difference and they could make the playoffs.

I still think the Phils win the division.

Also, the BP playoff odds page has nothing to do with "sabermetrics," and no one at BP would claim you should put much faith into them on June 15. it's not the study of baseball using statistical analysis; it's a program that uses a clunky input formula that produces a percentage. as Sophist pointed out, it's only as reliable as its assumptions, and since it does not know anything about the relative value of the phillies team, but rathe only the team's spot in the standings and runs scored/runs allowed as of June 15, its assumptions are not very good. it doesn't intend to predict whether the phillies will make the playoffs, but rather whether a team with that profile of standings position and RS/RA will make the playoffs. Since every thread on this site for the past 3 weeks has been trying to determine why the phils are not playing up to their potential, using their profile to date as a proxy for the team is a bad idea.

There is one, and ONLY ONE incident that directly coincides with this epic slump, and it's the Rollins' reinjury.

ummm not to be beat a dead horse..but it seems there was one more incident that has coincided with this slump. what was it? hmm i think it was.... oh yeah the nocs.
Now I know this is going to be lambasted but at what point do you think maybe multiple teams making the same accusations independently of each other actually have some merit when combined with actual facts of the phils getting caught cheating? Doesn't it seem somewhat reasonable tat if such a plan was in motion it would do a lot to keep guys from having such bad slumps.. if a major leaguer in a slump knows what pitch is coming, my uneducated guess is that the odds of him putting that ball in play are much greater than if he is relying on guessing or picking up spin/rotation. Hence slumps are minimized and at the very least power numbers are up as it has to be easier to square up on a ball when you know the projected speed before it is thrown. When does this become a logical explanation? Im just saying what else makes sense? when rollins first got hurt they played awesome won every night.. was it the emotional loss of him going down again? If so id rather it be lack of cheating because that's big time soft!!
i dont know......

Josh, your logic is as refined as Burrell's swing.

First, the slump does not directly coincide with the binoculars incident. In the eight games after they left CO, the Phils were 6-2. Including some major thumpings.

Second, your position that a culture of stealing signs would have helped the Phillies avoid slumps only shows that you CLEARLY HAVE NOT BEEN WATCHING THE PHILLIES FOR THE LAST FEW SEASONS. Every player currently slumping has had similar dramatic slumps in production in the past (ie. when they were stealing signs). The only difference now is how many players are slumping on the same team at the same time. Which is unusual for this team, but is not historically all that rare.

umm linco9ln they played milwaukee and pittsburgh the following four games and won..the pitchers that faced are a combined 8-15 with an era in the 6.00's
after that 16 runs in 13 games to end the month of may.. not much better since try again..maybe this proves why they were so good for 3 years when they have been accused of cheating in the same way for 3 years.. know its hard to accept but its not very far-fetched. Perhaps the cheating by every player keeps them from having multiple players slumping at once, Its still hard to hit a ball when you know whats coming so slumps could still easily happen. So not quite the pat the bat comeback

sweet grab vic!!

why is it when i mention nocs i have to use another email?
what is this communist china???

I thought the slump co-incided with Howards 150 mil contract

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