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Thursday, July 22, 2010


Thank you Jason about the offense. But with alldue respect the first call has to be a to the manager and it really has tobe a very short conversation.

My question, which I posed on Twitter earlier, is this: who do you fire first: Thompson for their hitting woes, or Billmeyer for getting caught stealing signs? (Let's not even talk about his bullpen coaching, whatever that is.)

Iceman: “Like I said last night- there are reasons why you would do what Charlie did even though it probably isn't, and wasn't based on the outcome, the right decision. But people like to ignore that stuff because it doesn't fit the theme of "Charlie is a bumbling moron."”
Iceman: I have news for you Heather is not alone and it’s not hate she feels it’s more like the feeling you have when an employee can’t get the job done and now you have to deal with it: “why haven’t you quit yet? You’ve got to go!”
As for Charlie, well you said it now he is a “bumbling moron”. It’s not arguable that he is making many poor judgments.

"Dom, what's up, you haven't been hitting lately".

Brown has played left field the last two nights.

I've said it for the last couple weeks. It would not surprise me at all to see Brown on the MLB team beginning tomorrow with the Rockies series at home.

In fact, I've got it right about 50/50 that he gets the call tomorrow.

2007: Charlie is a poor in-game manager, but the Mets collapse is worse.
2008: Charlie is a poor in-game manager, but Lidge is perfect, the NL is weak, and the team draws the Rays instead of Boston
2009: Charlie is a a poor in-game manager, but Werth has a career year and Cliff Lee gets the team as far as it can go.
2010: Charlie is a poor in-game manager. Sorry, Charlie. No place to hide.

i think charlie was wrong - but i would bet the house that #1 valdez would have struck out/weakly grounded out and #2 our bullpen wouldn't have made it thru the 7th-9th.

The Cardinals are a better team this series, especially the starting pitching, on paper and on the field. So losing games to them on the road shouldn't be the end of the world. It just so happens that they already dug themselves into a hole by losing to the Cubs and that the trade deadline is rapidly approaching.

RK: No- I've read enough of Heather's posts about the topic. It's hate. She can't go 3 posts without calling for Manuel's head.

Charlie Manuel has won 3 straight division titles, 2 straight National League pennants, and a World Series title- are we to attribute that all to blind luck?

I really wonder if some of you people are having a contest to post the most ridiculous comment and I don't know about it.

actually let me correct myself - the cardinals are much better on paper and the field on the offensive side and the bullpen just as much as the starting pitching.

"For all this talk about netting a front-line starter, pitching isn't the real issue: it's the offense"

Not against the move - but it's wishful thinking if you believe that bringing up Brown is going to turn the offense around.

TTI: Other than RK, no one is really calling for Charlie to be fired.

He's been a great manager for this team--the players love him, and that's worked wonders over the past few years, clearly overcoming his sometimes obvious tactical mistakes. It would be ridiculous to blame any significant portion of this season's failures on Charlie's managing.

That said, last night's decision was a terrible one, and you know it. Just because you can see a reason for it, doesn't mean it wasn't an awful decision. There is always a plausible "reason" for every decision made, in baseball or in life. But that doesn't excuse decisions which are still quite obviously bad ones. It was a bad decision, everyone here knows it, including you.

You're allowed to just say that. You don't need to blindly defend Charlie just to separate yourself from Heather and RK. Anyone intelligent on here can make that distinction without you being forced to defend a decision you know is basically indefensible.

One move isn't going to do it.

I apologize for predicting a victory yesterday. What was I thinking? I guess I believed Rube's malarkey about keeping Blanton and trading away Cliff Lee; and Bulldog pitched last night. I believed the win should be automatic.

I wish Howard would hit better. The rest of the lineup is putting him to shame.

Jason, great header. I agree with you 100%. You also have shown great restraint by refraining from having the "panic button" photo in every thread header. If this was my blog, the panic button would be everywhere along with Eric Brunlett's red face from hell.

Agreed. I've always thought that he was mediocre at best, and just awful tactically. Hanging him for this season, though, would be not fair.

"She can't go 3 posts without calling for Manuel's head".

More to the point, she can't go more than 3 posts without calling him a "moron," or something to that effect.

I agree that the Phillies should bring up Brown right now. I have also decided that I'm against trading Werth. One thing that has been overlooked is that Werth has had zero line-up protection. Bring up Brown and give him 90% of the at bats. Ibanez should strictly be a bench player from here on out. I don't care about his salary. The Phillies paid Eaton, Jenkins, Thome, etc. millions to not play. Do it again.

Here's a question:

If the consensus is that Ibanez has been relegated to solely a platoon player halfway through this season--what do we do with him next year? Are people assuming we have an OF of Francisco/Ibanez platoon / Victorino / Brown?

That seems like it has the potential to be a pretty impotent OF if Brown struggles in his first full season.

So prior to the series I predicted that this series was going to "laughable", and that the over-under for the four game series was 12. I predicted the under, and it looks like I'm about to get two checks.

This betting stuff is easy.

Oswalt said he would rather pitch for St. Louis partly because the media isnt as tough as Philly...What a pussy

It's not my fault UC gives me plenty of fresh material to work with.

"Oswalt said he would rather pitch for St. Louis partly because the media isnt as tough as Philly...What a pussy"

Did he really say that? If so, good riddance.


The Astros have made a major push to find suitors for Roy Oswalt, according to’s Buster Olney. It appeared yesterday that talks between the Phillies and Astros slowed down when Oswalt demanded that his 2012 option be picked up in any trade.

Olney reports that Oswalt would like the chance to pitch in St. Louis, and that preference may become a factor. Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports reported last night that the Cardinals are, in fact, frontrunners for the righty. Meanwhile, reports that Oswalt would love to pitch in St. Louis and might not even require that his option be picked up if the Astros work out a deal with the division rival Cards.

Jack: I assume you didn't see my post from last night about the decision. I made sure to point out that I would not have done the same thing in that instance. However, I can understand, based off certain factors, why he made the decision. That doesn't mean it's the right call, and based off the outcome it clearly wasn't, but it doesn't mean it came completely out of left field.

Also, Heather has absolutely called for Charlie to be fired. In fact, she has fired the entire coaching staff 3 or 4 times in the past 72 hours.

Reading between the lines, Oswalt doesn't want to pitch for the Phils right now because we suck.

Who bets if we're up by 7 games in the east he whines about how the media here is so tough?

I hope he spends the rest of his career rotting in Houston.

"Oswalt said he would rather pitch for St. Louis partly because the media isnt as tough as Philly."

My guess the fans, too.

I'm thinking that in St. Louis, they wouldn't be predicting that the most prolific HR hitter in the history of the game would be an "albatross," or that his WAR proves that he's overpaid.

Just a hunch.

tti: people call for charlie's head when Werth gets picked off of first base by Molina - for not getting his player's mentally prepared.

"Also, Heather has absolutely called for Charlie to be fired. In fact, she has fired the entire coaching staff 3 or 4 times in the past 72 hours. "

That's a lie.

I never said a word about Pete Mackannon. :-)

"I hope he spends the rest of his career rotting in Houston."

I see that Heather is in a good mood again today.

Charlie's the same old Charlie, his mistakes are just magnified because we're losing. It's just been a lot easier to laugh this stuff off the past 2 years.

"I'm thinking that in St. Louis, they wouldn't be predicting that the most prolific HR hitter in the history of the game would be an "albatross," or that his WAR proves that he's overpaid. "

Who here said anything bad about Barry Bonds?

Why do we even care what Barry Bonds' contract or WAR was like?

Heather I agree with uou on a few topics that these guys are picking on you. Cholly is a horrible Mgr, and most here in BL agreed on that, but the Phils went to playoffs so most then laid off on Cholly till now. As far a Howards contract, you should of heard all the bitching when in beginning of this season he could not drive a run in and was onlly hitting singles. There were lots of crying why the new contract had plenty of time to do renegotiate. What I am bringing out Heather, its probably because you are a female (probably) that these men don't think you are capable of knowing baseball or sports. I happen to agree with lots that you write about, not all but theres no reason to be picking on ya.

I'm just curious. It seems to me that some BLers are absolutely sure (particularly in hindsight) all the time that opposing managers also make "moronic" moves.

Given that, which MLB manager actually deserves his job?

Sorry guys and gals I know I am not alone. and we have been watching these kinds of boner calls and excuses for a logn time. It is as jerry says every year there has been a good covering excuse no longer.

I appreciate everythinghe has done but the fact of the matter is that it's time for him to go. Has been for a while.
But I agree as I wrote it won't happen becuase it simply moves Amaro closer to the same place.

I am nervous for Brown. I hope there isnt any underlying pressure that could screw him up. I mean like people expecting him to save the season.

fljerry, would you mind pointing out which other female BL commenter was similarly "picked on?"

"I hope he spends the rest of his career rotting in Houston."

I see that Heather is in a good mood again today.

So Phlipper, a real fan would say, "Dear Roy, thank you for insulting my city, it's media, and my team for not wanting to play here.

Best of luck in all your future endeavors. Hugs and kisses! Heather"

Please help me understand how a real "phan" would act when a player pretty much refuses to play for your team. I thought anger and disdain was appropriate, but you seem to think not.

BL is getting harder and harder to read.

I know there was another female poster who regularly posted here (she still might- I don't remember what handle she used) and she never took any kind of flak. Mostly because she wasn't saying crazy things.

I like fljerry's rally cry that people pick on Heather because she is presumably a woman. I have friends who are females that know a lot more about baseball than some of you guys. Heather gets grief because she she goes overboard in some of the things she says. She handles it well too- she doesn't need people rushing to her defense.

Bed Beard: Thats because we're all pissed and on edge from the terrible performance of the phillies.

Truth: Phargo.

If Oswalt wants to be in St.L. fine. Haren is younger, but not as good, and still an upgrade to the staff. So long as they don't get Sheets. But, I read last night that they night not get a pitcher at all and that's disturbing.

I also read that Werth was offered a L-T deal but didn't accept "right away". What's going on here?

Ironically, it is the "anger and disdain" that causes the players not want to play here and other media outlets outside of philly to mock the area.

Attacking a guy for a quote that I haven't seen anywhere from a legitimate source is EXACTLY why philly fans get the reputation they have.

He wants to play in St. Louis because they are good and the Phillies are bad.

Go back and read the posts around the time of WFC - it is a BLer love fest.

Heather. What's a "real fan?" How are they distinguished from a "fake fan?"

Is it just that "real fans" insult their teams managers, constantly criticize their players, call their stars overpaid, and insult any player that has something critical to say about their city?

Or is there some other measure, also?

lol @ an in-game manager in baseball

what does that even mean?

maybe charlie should work on calling better plays. there's not enough run/out balance.

he's also a terrible game clock manager. someone should teach him how to use his timeouts.

So Ruben doesn't want to take any more questions on Lee and cuts off press conferences if he thinks a Lee question is coming. The old timers will remember when fans hired a plane trailing messages about Eagles coach Joe Kuharic to fly over the stadium. It might be time for a Lee flyover at CBP for Montgomery and Rube.
They are waiting until they trade Werth to bring up Brown. Whats a few more uninspired losses. One thing is for sure the 3 stiffs we got from Seattle will get every chance in the world to develop even if they clog up the progression of other players. Rube and Montgomery are nothing if not stubborn. I have a feeling Charlie is going to resign if they play like this again next year.

Wasn't HH a woman also? Haven't seen her? lately, but as I recall, she garnered quite a bit of respect from other posters.

If Cole has a lot higher era in day games, why does UC always make sure that Cole gets to pitch the lone day game in every series?

double h- woman that consistently makes good points, not picked on

gbrettfan- woman that consistently makes good points, not picked on

heather- woman that makes consistently inflamatory comments, not picked on but called out on it

fljerry- has mommy issues

RubenSuit-- good question. Charlie isnt a detail guy. He was ok when the team was mashing 200+ homeruns and no strategy was needed but he is looking bad managing a team that has to manufacture runs and was dealt a lousy bull pen by Ruben.

Dom Brown just told Rube that he wants $16 million guaranteed for the next three years to come up to the big club.

JW: Yeah phargo was. Somehow I forgot doubleh too. I didn't know gbrettfan was a woman.

Paul Hagen today had a column where brad Lidge said he would be more than happy to make a call to Roy Oswalt to get him to accept a trade to Philly. That kind of stuff makes Lidge an easy guy to root for despite his struggles. Lidge has taken a lot of grief (rightfully so at times) from fans and he is still willing to call a guy and say, "Philly is a great place to play." That's great and it shows a healthy respect for the team and the fans.

Dom Brown also wants legal assurances from Werth promising not to bang his significant other while he is on the big club.

Cole has actually pitched very well in his last two day games. I have not looked it up, but it appears he has decided to use his changeup less during day games (or maybe overall) and that may actually be helping. I'm guessing that for some reason his change is not as baffling under sunlight than it is under artificial lighting.

And about Charlie: He has never been a genius game strategist and we've always know it. It took him about a half season to figure out how to double switch. But he's not stupid. He understands people and the locker room pretty well. And his players want to perform for him, and when they don't he's not afraid to lay down the hammer. Every manager, including the great LaRussa, makes head scratching moves on a regular basis. We've seen LaRussa blow about a game per season against the Phils in the last few years. The only difference now is that his team is at peak performance and the Phillies are sucking wind.

If they trade for Oswalt I'm okay with it. And as long as they get a good look at his back, I am okay with guaranteeing the final year for him. I'd also be okay with bringing back Myers for this season and next. He is better than Kendrick, Moyer, Carpenter and Blanton at this point. And I'm okay with trading Werth for prospects and flipping them for either of the Houston pitchers. Would have rather kept Pfeifer, but that's water under the bridge. And would have rather signed Juan Rivera last year than Raul Ibanez. But also water under the bridge. And I'd bring up Dom Brown and let him play right with Werth in left. And I'd hit him seventh and hit Werth leadoff, since it appears he's no longer capable of driving in runs. And Rube and Charlie don't seem likely to listen to me. Too bad.

Dom Brown = Panic Move

Why is everyone so enamored with Dan Haren?

This guy fades down the stretch EVERY year (he hasn't won a game in a month for Arizona) and doesn't have overpowering stuff.

He is a slimmer version of Joe Blanton, who would give up a ton of HR's in Philly and probably doesn't have the makeup to pitch in big games anyway. And he would cost WAY too much, for a team going nowhere anyway. Forget adding another pitcher. The pitcher you should add is JA Happ. And he costs you nothing.

The Red Sox have serious interest in Werth (his goofy-ass beard and haircut would go over well in Bastan). Give us 3 good prospects and get the deal done.

He needs to go. I don't give a damn about what Mitch or Kruk say about "needing to keep him to help protect Howard". The guy isn't protecting him now anyway. He's an automatic out with anybody on base and suddenly can't hit a lefty.

Move him along. I am tired of watching him look dazed out there. He kind of symbolizes the 2010 Phils.......dazed and confused.

Wow. What city am I in?

Oswalt pretty much says he doesn't want to play here, and he is mildly called out for it by me.

Defenders spring up saying that they don't blame him, get off his back, let him play wherever he wants.

Have I died and gone to Seattle?

Testing, what do we think about Ichiro's performance in RF this year? What about Chone Figgins poor performance? Do we expect that going forward next year?

If I wasn't from the Northeast, and I had a choice between pitching in the Midwest and Northeast, I'd pick Midwest. And it wouldn't really bother or affect me if people from the Northeast hated me for it.

"Why is everyone so enamored with Dan Haren?"

I'm not, but to the extent other people are, I think it's because he's a decent pitcher on a really good contract.

Heather: Maybe because Oswalt didn't exactly say what "Rire Fube" says he said.

In fact the reports just say that he might be willing to work with the Cardinals to defer some of the cash instead of demanding the option be picked up. However, that is a writer guessing and isn't a direct quote from Oswalt. His quote was, "If the trade works for both me and the team I'm going to then fine. If it doesn't than no."

Oswalt is basically saying he wants to pitch for the best team in the NL. Call me crazy, but I don't think he's stupid or blameworthy. Moving on ...

And I really hope Heather isn't what this season has turned HH into.

LOL @ Sophist... i can picture it in my head, with every 0, 1 , or 2 runs scored game a lil more frazzled and a lot more angry

Oswalt is going to be too little too late. It won't help this team turn it around. If Amaro (or Montgomery or whoever is pulling the strings) was a real man he would apologize to Cliff Lee for sandbagging and try to resign him after the WS. I would feel pretty good about next year with Halladay, Lee and Hamels and possibly Happ.
I would not feel as good about Oswalt for two more years. The Oswalt of 5 years ago yes, but not the 200 version. Lee will be the best FA pitcher on the market. Forget everything and start over. However I can't picture the phillies being big enough to do that even thought resigning Lee would generate ticket sales that would offset the potential drop as people lose interest in this present far from World Championship caliber of play.
Firing Milt is a nice knee jerk reaction but if you've followed the team for the past ten years Hebner and Gross's heads rolled when the team didnt hit and they still didnt hit after they were fired. Time to change the dysfunctional makeup of the team. Brown would be a start as would getting a real lead off player even if it hurts Jroll's feelings.

To call up Brown for the Cards series would have exposed him to the St.Louis fans and media.

Given denny b's love for all things mediocre, and his general inability to accurately compare players, it comes as no surprise that Haren doesn't impress him.

Blanton career ERA+: 99
Haren career ERA+: 120

Blanton 2007-2010 ERA+: 95
Haren 2007-2010 ERA+: 131

Blanton contract: 3/$24M (2010-2012)
Haren contract: 3/$44.75M (2010-2012, 2013 $15.5M option)

Yeah, why the Haren love?

Deeny B~

I don't think any of us are enmaored with Haren. But really he is the only guy possibly available that I'd want rather than Oswalt. I don't want Sheets or Guthrie (he's Blanton). They don't excite me at all. Obviuosly the team needs starters. KK and Happ probably will be the 2 who are here Saturday. I like Happ. Always have. But neither of them upgrade the rotation.

Happ does not upgrade the rotation? If he's pitching like Happ from last year he'd upgrade just about any rotation this side of the Cards and Giants. What are you talking about?

I have clout pegged as a 75-year old grandma, actually.

I'm sure most of the people who read BL have seen it but if you haven't Brookover has an outstanding column on the Lee trade.
The ripple effects of this lousy trade-- one of the top 3 worst in team history will be felt for a long time. The worse the PR the less likely they will be to get him back it's not the Phillies way. Phillies way being a shorthand for what Montgomery wants!

Starting pitchers with ERA+ over 130 since 2007 (min. 70 games pitched)

Lincecum - 149
Doc - 146
Wainwright - 144
Johnson - 143
Greinke - 142
Santana - 142
CC - 139
Lester - 139
King Feliz - 136
Hudson - 135
Jimenez - 132
Haren - 131

Blanton he is not

"Firing Milt is a nice knee jerk reaction but if you've followed the team for the past ten years Hebner and Gross's heads rolled when the team didnt hit and they still didnt hit after they were fired"

I agree to a certain extent, but at what point does trying something new at least become worthwhile to think about? Is this season still too soon? Would it have to be next season?

Maybe a different guy comes in and says things in a different way. Sometimes you have the same teacher or coach for a while and the messages don't sink in as much anymore.

It's at least a possibility.

I WILL give UC credit (gasp for those who don't think I can) for shuffling around the lineup. At least the man is trying something.

But beyond that, short of firing, the man really can't do much else. Are we content just to let them all sit tight for the rest of the season without trying anything? Hypothetically, is there anything else that should be tried, or do we just sit tight and hope they all break out of the slump sometime?

Haren's contract should read 4/$44.75M, not 3 (typo).

Shocked to return to the USA to find a lineup going so bad that BL darling Ben Fran is "hitting" at #3. Not surprised at all, however, that Rube is stalking another big name starter just months after dumping the one he had.

I really can't wait to hear what really happened to this team in mid-May, but I'm assuming at this point Werth was in the middle of it, and that he has less than 9 days left in Philly.

Why is Dom Brown’s arb. date so important - to keep him down in LV, when Vance Worley’s is not an issue to bring him up?

I don't understand why everyone covets Dan Haren so much when we have Kyle Kendrick, Andrew Carpenter, and Vance Worley. Our starting pitching isn't an issue.

phillyinNYC: Brown's arbitration has nothing to do with his not being called up. It's irrelevant at this point--he will have the same arbitration years no matter what.

Anyway, if he's as good as everyone says he is, he will sign an extension that takes away his arb years anyway. That's been the Phillies M.O with all of their good players.

Do the BoSox have any young pitching studs not in the majors right now that we could trade for?

Bill Baer has a nice, simple graph breaking down the Phils RS frequency.

Seems that the Phils score 7+ runs just as often in previous years, which surprised me, but they've replaced a bunch of 4-6 run games with 0-3 run games.

"I really can't wait to hear what really happened to this team in mid-May, but I'm assuming at this point Werth was in the middle of it, and that he has less than 9 days left in Philly."

I have no idea if anything actually happened in mid-May or if it had anything to do with Werth or what, but if you read a lot of articles on Phillies' baseball, there are a lot of hints here and there that something is wrong with the locker room.

At least I get that sense, anyway. I thought at first I was just imagining stuff but it's been persistent.

Has anybody else noticed the same thing as well? Or, conversely, not noticed anything at all?

phillyinny Because they think Brown is going to make substantially more money during the life of his contract. They want to keep the costs down as long as possible. They arent even sure if Worley will be on the roster next year. Brown could potentially be making Ryan Howard type money down the road.

I haven't noticed anything in news reports regarding the Phils locker room. I don't count that anonymous sourced blog report of an affair as a "news report".

That said, i wouldn't be surprised if there was some discontent, but who knows?

If the offense continues to struggle as badly as they have the rest of the season and finishes the bottom 1/3 in the NL in most stats, Thompson will get fired at the end of the season.

Probably largely won't be his fault but there is the case with most firings of mid-level managers.

when does hockey start?

Losing locker rooms always unhappy places. Winning overcome a multitude of sins make for happy lockerroom. Losing team need scapegoat.

MG: I think you're right. It won't happen in the middle of the season, but if things continue badly and we miss the playoffs, Thompson will be the sacrificial lamb.

I get the sense from the players that they are trying to work good counts. Once they get into these "good counts" it seems they get this mentality that the pitcher has to throw them a cookie, as Sarge would call it, now that it is 3-1 or 2-1. I notice this the most from Rollins and Victorino.

Also, I found it interesting that Raul was given 9 straight fastballs last night and he couldn't do anything with them. The book on Raul must be that he is still a patient hitter, but he can't catch up to a plus fastball. I do not expect Raul to be on the Phillies in 2011.

I haven't noticed anything in news reports regarding the Phils locker room. I don't count that anonymous sourced blog report of an affair as a "news report".

No, of course I'm not counting that either...but there have been occassional "discontent in clubhouse", reporters opening calling out Werth for his actions in Chicago), and just weird stuff like that.

I doubt the clubhouse is a happy place at the moment.

They are all looking at the first pitch fast ball right down the middle the best pitch of the At Bat and chasing the next pitche to ground out or to miss to get in the hole. When they show UC and UMilt they look like they are lamenting this but it keeps happening.

"Once they get into these "good counts" it seems they get this mentality that the pitcher has to throw them a cookie, as Sarge would call it, now that it is 3-1 or 2-1. I notice this the most from Rollins and Victorino."

Yes, exactly! I have been having this feeling as well but couldn't put it into words. At times I almost felt like the Phillies didn't WANT to take walks because they would work the count really well and then swing at absolute garbage instead of taking ball 4.


Didn't expect him to be a real difference-maker as a PH but did expect him to be a nice presence off the bench when he started this year. Especially after what he showed last year when he started for the Phils.

Just hasn't been the case. Francisco has been a dud in the field (especially the few times he has been in RF) and has a line of .218/.262/.372 in 74 ABs with most of those coming against LHP.

Yeah I know that is a small sample size and I still want to see Francisco start vs. LHP pitching instead of Ibanez but he has been a real disappointment this year.

Tugger: If they started swinging at that first pitch, and they were producing mixed results, we would complain about how they aren't working counts.

It has seemed that the NL has adjusted to our guys, and outside of Polanco, Ruiz, and Howard the rest aren't adjusting back.

I haven't looked up the stats so I could be completely wrong, but speaking of pinch hitters, why is Gload so under-used? In the "eye" test, (i.e. what I see) Gload seems to have at least a decent eye, will work the count, and tends to make good contact.

Any results he might have thus far as a pinch hitter are probably pretty meaningless due to small sample size, but at least unlike many of our other PH, I haven't seen Gload looking absolutely lost at the plate.

Funny, because I think the opposite,that they aren't trying to work counts at all, but they're either swinging at the first pitch (one of my pet peeves) or watching strikes go by (Mr. Werth) That's one of the things I liked about Ryno's walk last night. He was dying to swing, but laid off those lousy pitches off the plate and got the walk.

Francisco - I can see why Cholly doesn't like using him (shaky defense, questionable baserunning decisions, and just hasn't produced). Certainly hasn't shown the Phils that he would be an ideal platoon player with Brown in RF next year.

As poorly as he has played though, I do hope they use Francisco in a platoon role with Ibanez the rest of the year to see how he performs. It likely will be a critical litmus test to see if it is a good idea to have his as a platoon partern next year with Ibanez/Brown.

Jack - Yeah it won't happen during the season and doesn't make much sense. It is a move though that I think will be forced on Cholly though just as a number of other coaching staff changes have been during his tenure.

"That's one of the things I liked about Ryno's walk last night. He was dying to swing, but laid off those lousy pitches off the plate and got the walk."

Yes, that was awesome. Ryno didn't even see one pitch he could hit that AB. He only swung at one of them on a 3-1 count I think it was...But 6 straight pitches he couldn't do anything much with and he laid off 5 of them. That was very good and a bright spot last night.

Has there ever been a team with a more disappointing outcome than the 2010 Phillies? In 2008 they won the WFC. In 2009 they were in the World Series. They re-tooled in the off-season and (seemingly) made the team stronger. And now they're tanking big time.

I can't think of another team in history who performed the same way. I guess it's the nature of the beast.

I wonder if the Braves and Mets fear the phils enough to go out and get stronger at the trade deadline or if they don't think its even necessary. Two years ago the team was World Champs and seemed on the young side and the farm system stacked. Now they are listless, the team seems old and stuck with bad contracts, and they are barren above single A except for soon to called up Brown.
How did things go down hill so fast? Was it because they cleared out the farm system to rent Lee for 2 months and to get Halladay?
This is the first year I found myself turning off games early. Not sure if its the predictability of the games or the lousy tv announcers but I am almost desperate enough to check on the sixers...

I never thought I'd see "Phillies" and "Baseball America's No. 1 prospect" in the same sentence.

JW makes an excellent point -- why are they sitting on Brown? Could he be any worse than what Ibanez and Francisco are doing right now? Will it really hurt his development that much? Are they worried about starting his arbitration clock (I admit, I'm a little ignorant to the ins-and-outs of the arb. clock)?

I assume they're waiting for the Werth trade to be complete before they bring him up. But, Rube has said they won't trade Werth until they get exactly what they want. So assume Werth doesn't go, will Brown still rot away in AAA?

Howard very quietly has really boosted his stats vs. LHP pitching the past 6 weeks or so.

Now stands at .258/.310/.500 in 132 ABs which would be his best splits against LHP since '06.

I have been really impressed especially of late with his ability to avoid swinging at pitches out of the zone against LHP relievers in a couple of ABs the past few weeks.

He knows he isn't going to get much to hit, that his teammates are struggling, and that he wants to press to make something happen which would almost certainly lead to a poor outcome.

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EST. 2005

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