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Thursday, July 22, 2010

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This weeks SI on Steinbrenner:
"Steinbrenner recognized that a sports franchise had brown in importance beyond a dollar figure. He was the first to realize that teams had become public trusts, civic preserves that must be tended with sure and positive hands. He was the first to appreciate how sacred, how vital these things had become to a community."
He wasnt in it to make a killing like the phils owners appear to be. I would take my chances with another present owner like Middleton taking over for Monty...

A couple of notes RE: the previous thread:

"For all this talk about netting a front-line starter, pitching isn't the real issue: it's the offense. Or, to be more precise, an offense that is so hard to watch that I no longer watch."

Thank You! While calling up Brown almost certainly won't be enough to raise a ship that's already under water, getting him some big league ABs before he's really needed (in '11) can't possibly hurt. It's a no brainer, & should have been done weeks ago.


"A manager's job first and foremost is to put his players in a position to win ...

It amazes me how Cholly sticks to baseball orthodox methods at times (will pull a reliever when there are 2 outs in an inning and nobody on just for a lefty vs. lefty matchup) yet at other times he just utterly abandons it."

As you well know, this drives me utterly raving crackers. Charlie let Joe Bleeping Blanton bat w/ Bases Loaded & 2 Outs in a Tie Game why? Because he didn't like his RH PH options? WHO CARES?!?! Did Charlie not notice that he had already stacked the lineup w/ RH batters who WEREN'T HITTING GARCIA? The chances of any of his bench options getting a hit might have been infinitesimal, but they were ALL exponentially better than the chances of Blanton getting a hit.

Charlie's ignorant, short-sighted & slavish devotion to match-up baseball in PH is maddening, esp. when he follows it up by leaving his SP in too long, follows that up by changing middle relief & set-up guys from AB to AB based on the handedness of the opposing batter, & then changes course once again to call in Lidge to face whomever the other team sends to the plate.

It is my belief that Heather labels Charlie a moron so often because he's constantly exhibiting many of the signs of actually being one. Let's be clear: Charlie Manuel has, in the past, proven himself a skilled manager of personalities. However he is not now nor has he ever been even vaguely competent in managing a game in progress. Winning a WFC didn't make Charlie Manuel any smarter, it merely bought him more leeway from the sports media & a majority of fans.

Anybody remember Jimy Williams?

You didn't hear this from me but supposedly Werth walks around the locker room with his schlong hanging out and this really messes up the whole esprit de corps causing the losing streak. The last players to do this: Abreu and Lidle. Supposedly that stuff flies in NYC and that's why the Yankees really want Werth there. They even got Reggie to talk to him about it and admit he used to do it.

"Anybody remember Jimy Williams?"

Is that question supposed to imply that without Jimy as the bench coach, the coaching staff is inept and can't make the right moves?

Because the Phils did go to the World Series last year without Jimy.

I am sure that Jimy was a fine bench coach, but of all the things wrong with the Phils right now, the lack of Jimy Williams as a coach doesn't belong anywhere in the conversation.

So that's what Reggie meant when he referred to "the magnitude of me" ...

raul's grandpa gets extra points for mentioning Lidle and flying in NYC in the same paragraph. kudos, sir.

Like many organizations with problems,the Phils aren't going to get fixed. The problems are at the top and the people at the top aren't going to fire themselves.

Ferris: Nice to see you again. You probably don't remember me but, when you moved out to the sticks & started running a major pot-growing operation, I was one of your neighbors. You even gave me an autographed baseball.

Ha

loctastic,
Well, it was true. Lidle was a Phillie and a Flyer at one point.

The whole George Steinbrenner nostalgia is ridiculous, especially this past of the above quote: "He was the first to realize that teams had become public trusts, civic preserves that must be tended with sure and positive hands."

The guy was an absolute tyrant, and treated his employees terribly. Just because his teams frequently won doesn't change that.

Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi summed it up here:
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/matt-taibbi/blogs/TaibbiData_May2010/181073/83512

Sad that we're gonna look back in a few years and point to He Who Walks Behind The Rows as the turning point of this team.

raul's g-pa, double kudos.

For another obit about Steinbrenner that paints him in a much more positive light:

http://www.slate.com/id/2260364/

Basically, Steinbrenner was a very complex individual. He wasn't nice but nor was he evil. He wasn't always smart, but he was far from dumb.
Would I have wanted him as the owner of my baseball team? Yes.

raul's grandpa I live and work in NYC and that kind of thing does fly around here. I am currently doing it right now as is every other man in the office. I'm different because I wear a white collar on mine. We all need to stand out somehow.

Also, for what its worth, failing to pinch hit for Blanton last night is the most obviously wrong decision I've seen Charlie make in his time here. Everybody knows what happens to Blanton around the 7th inning. Everybody knows what a struggle it has been to score runs for this team. I think Charlie has basically mailed this season in too; you could just see him thinking "hell, none of my bench guys can pinch hit anyway, screw it." Can't imagine what's going on in that locker room when even Charlie has given up.

Steinbrenner wasnt in it to make a buck like Montgomery but to win for the city and fans. Do you know if Monty treats his employees any better?

I'm in section 202 ... I think ... Saturday.

Well, there is no way Amaro could have forseen the injuries this season.

It's hard to lose the best player at his position (Utley), one of the top 5 players at his position [and probably the best defensively](Rollins), 2/5 of the starting rotation (up to now), significant pieces of the bullpen, for long periods of time and stay competitive.

Before this recent road trip the Phillies were competitive.

What happened? Did all the problems just finally boil over?

I'm not ready to hit the panic button or write the season off, but the entire organization needs to do a better job.

Caveat: This is now an front office without Pat Gillick full time. Granted, he's a "consultant" to the GM, but he's no longert a DECISION MAKER.

Is this season the true "beginning" of the post Gillick era?

monty and jayson werth killed my puppy while charlie manuel blew out my birthday candles before i did.

"Steinbrenner wasnt in it to make a buck like Montgomery but to win for the city and fans"

Are you serious?

Wainwright is unbeatable at home. IF the Phillies score today it is pure luck and not skill.

It is pathetic that things feel like this now. There used to be a time when the Phillies would crush big name pitchers.

Malcolm, I'll be in 324.

Personally, I would suggest you take your brother to a Center City establishment (park there and take the train) before the game. The beer is better, cheaper, colder, and you won't feel like Dave Montgomery has his hand on your last dollar.

I like Monk's. Belgian beers (high "enjoyment" factor in them), good food, and a short walk to the Broad Street Line.

Charlie is on the radio defending leaving Blanton in if anyone cares.

I'm just tired of having a manager who makes baffling decisions and then refuses to explain those baffling decisions in anything like a coherent manner.

I could deal with someone like Girardi who at times makes weird decisions, but every time you ask him, he always has a reason. "Well, I know my previous guy was crusing but Pitcher X had better splits against this guy". Ok, whatever. I might disagree, but at least you're giving the decision a lot of thought.

At least if you're gonna make bizarro decisions, throw the fans a bone to let them know those bizarro decisions are backed up by a logical thought process.

Instead you get gems like: "You've got to make it and you've got to make it one way or the other. Tough call? Hell, no. Nothing tough about it. What you do is what you do," Manuel said

WTF does this even mean?

From the last thread~

You're not being nosy. You guessed the problem. It's a suppossed affair between Werth and Chase's wife. That caused major problems in the clubhouse. Utley supposedly in filing for divorce.

I do get info on lots of things from time to time ( although no one here believes me) and with all due respect to the un-named source, I wouldruin his career if I disclosed his name. What I can say is he is very well-spected by those who know him. I posted part of an e-mail I got from him yesterday and Bed Beard asked me about him and I said "Yes that's the guy". This is part of what I got today:

"Not sure, don't think its dead yet. Perhaps Houston will throw in some money.I admit that this is the worst I have seen this team play since you and I have been friends."..."Now, from all indications, Jayson Werth has flat out refused to negotiate with the Phillies, just doesn't want to do it. The players have to feel that he is just trying to stay healthy and not get hurt before his free agency, witness the lack of stolen base attempts. All I know is that he looks terrible and that he would like to be moved."

Talk to ya later. Gotta go.

"Winning a WFC didn't make Charlie Manuel any smarter, it merely bought him more leeway from the sports media & a majority of fans.

GTown, yea, winning does give you leeway. That's one of the benefits, no?

Old Phan, I would say that Steinbrenner went all out to win because he knew that in a market like NY he would make a buck if they won.

Not exactly a bad business model, no?

@BobbyD:
"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."

I couldn't agree more with this. I've been saying it for weeks, it should have happened weeks ago. Now it's almost already too late. Ibanez is DONE, it's killing the lineup. If Brown comes up and he doesn't do great, how are we any worse off than we are now? At least he gets ML experience. I'm not giving werth a free pass that he's been sucking all because of lineup protection, but it's most likely a factor. The other contract they need to eat is Baez.

Montgomery has been (understandably)happy the past 2 years. But when the team is scuffling or not drawing he tends to take it out on the employees. Management under him will have constant meetings with the employees to let them know they are being watched. The implication I get is that they can save a few bucks by catching some employee with an infraction and whacking them.

"Charlie is on the radio defending leaving Blanton in if anyone cares"

Can you summarize what he is saying since I can't listen to the radio right now?

I highly doubt Heather would have wanted Steinbrenner her owner in the 80s.

DPatrone: Well, thanks for posting what you know. It is interesting reading to say the least.

Steinbrenner was in it for ego, the prestige of owned the most hallowed franchise in sports, money, then winning. I'm not even convinced he cared that much about the money. He really didn't need it. The guy was a creep that gave the Yankees a bad name, and only when he back off a bit did they start to win consistently.

I love how Selig, et al, does said slobbering over Big Stein's passing knowing how many BS Yankee bandwagon fans around the globe simply idolize all things Yankee. He (Steinbrenner) was officially (as in on paper and okayed by all the big boss dudes in the MLB offices) banned a few times, as I recall, once even a "lifetime" ban for doing all sorts of unscrupulous things behind the scenes with his great pile of money and power and then, like somebody lost the paperwork, nonchalantly un-banned. I guess it was a sign of those times but what I am trying to say is, for any positive thing he ever did for baseball, he did 4 or 5 shitty things which set the sport back. I don't know if funding Nixon's crew caused one of those but he did that too.

Not to sound like a 2nd class mentality Philly guy but I realize how much power and acclaim is collected being known as a big shot owner guy who has enough money to buy something and run it better than CBS (then considered a sacred cow, as well) in NYC, none the less. I get it, he had family wealth, he did "regular guy jobs" like working for a college football team and then held a mighty sword in a league which once ruled the sporting world.

When people look back on people who really made a "good difference" in their respective league, I would hope somebody like Mark Cuban (having won some championships either with the Mavs or perhaps when he buys the Rangers) would be as respected for really dumping his own money he made, putting his money where his mouth is and actually giving a damn about how the league is run.
Okay, back to silly jokes and soothing my phillies heart. I too bleed red like Daulton.

"I highly doubt Heather would have wanted Steinbrenner her owner in the 80s."

Well, Buener was a good prospect, no question about it. But my baseball people love Ken Phelps' bat. They kept saying 'Ken
Phelps , Ken Phelps'.

Old Phan: FWIW, I agree with you on Charlie. He's fine as manager, and his success speaks for itself.

But your logic is peculiar, to say the least. You're implying that by winning, Charlie deserves to be free of criticism or have endless job security, simply for being part of a winning team.

That, of course, is a terrible way to continue winning. Why would we have signed Ibanez instead of Burrell? I mean, Pat obviously contributed to a winning team. Shouldn't that have bought him some leeway here? What about Adam Eaton and So Taguchi?

If Charlie Manuel is hurting the team (I'm not saying he is, but for the purposes of a hypothetical), then he both deserves criticism and does not deserve job security, regardless of what he's done in the past. The best way to continue winning is to be objective in your analysis of the team going forward, not giving people free passes for what they've done in the past.

Can this "affair" story really have any legs? It is way too coincidental that the EXACT same situation happens to the Flyers and the Phils. Someone is out there in the blogosphere having a good laugh at how gullible people can be.

I'm more on the side that believes the conspiracy (bad press, bad clubhouse guys, etc) is on against Werth because he's going to be gone. Phillies have been notorious for that.

JRoll gave Steinbrenner the highest compliment you can give when he said "I guess we're not the Yankees" when they dumped Cliff Lee.

I don't think trading "he who walks behind the rows" is the cause of the downfall of this team. This year is a blip where we had major injuries AND that was compounded by guys under-performing. With just injuries you can overcome that. However, when guys who are healthy don't perform to their capabilities that becomes much harder to overcome.

Also can we give the rumorz a rest about Utley's wife and Werth. No respected source has given any creedence to that, and the rumor has popped up numerous times substituting various names over the past few years. Rumors like that have popped up in Chicago, Seattle, Boston, Florida featuring two prominent athletes. And sorry DPatrone but I don't consider you or your possibly nonexistent friend to be credible sources on the manner.

Also- Steinbrenner cared about making money first and foremost. Anyone not in business to make money does not stay in business very long.

Jack, in no way shape or form do I believe that Cholly should be immune from criticism. I just don't think calling for him to be fired is the answer to the team's woes.

Old Phan: It most certainly is. I happen to value consistency, however. I did not care for Charlie's managerial style before, I did not care for it during & I do not care for it now.

Platoon Raul and Werht in left, and play Brown in right. Make one of them earn the everyday job because right now neither deserves it. Keep platooning dobbs and ranson until utley gets back, that should work fine... and the only other none pitching change should be the lineup. You have to have guys getting on base in front of your RBI guys. For now, we need Ruiz hitting 3rd. He gives you good ABs everytime... Howard, LF, VIc, Brown, 2B, SP... Also, I think Brown needs to come up, Happ needs to come up, Werth shouldn't be dealt unless you are getting a very good package, and we don't need another SP, it would be nice, but we need to use the bullpen better or improve it the bullbpen... Roy, Cole, Blanton, Happ, Kendrick is fine enough if they don't have to cover for an offense getting one run or a bullpen that either blows every lead or management is too scared to use...

Heather -- +1 for the seinfeld reference

"That, of course, is a terrible way to continue winning. Why would we have signed Ibanez instead of Burrell? I mean, Pat obviously contributed to a winning team. Shouldn't that have bought him some leeway here? What about Adam Eaton and So Taguchi?"

Don't spoil a good point with bad examples (and personally I would have kept Pat). Anyway, we are talking about the manager of the team, not individual players.

I too bleed red like Daulton.

Have you seen Dutch lately? Looks to me like he's bleeding more Neon Orange than Red.

Good point about the 1980s Yankees. In fact, they didn't win it all from 82-95 (the Mattingly era), and at one point Steinbrenner was suspended from running the team b/c it was discovered he had hired someone to dig up dirt on Dave Winfield! I mean, I'm not a Yanks historian and this is coming from wikipedia, but two seconds worth of searching shows many many examples of what a bad guy he was, and not always a winner either.

I heard that Buhner has a cannon for an arm though.

Over/under on the number of runs scored by the Phillies today: 0.

I'm betting the under.

I can confirm via an existing friend that the Flyers Guys Fight for Wives rumor was true.

Is it a strech to believe that some Phillies think Werth is being risk averse to avoid injury?

"Also- Steinbrenner cared about making money first and foremost. Anyone not in business to make money does not stay in business very long."

That may be true about his other businesses, but the Yankees were a prestige thing for him.

Jayson Stark has a great column today, here is the end of it: "According to an official of one club who spoke with the team, the Phillies aren't willing to pay any of the approximately $3.5 million remaining on Werth's contract.

In fact, one of the Phillies' main motivations in trading Werth, the official said, appears to be "to get rid of all his money."

Notice how the fans stayed clear of Pujols there? Respect.

****In fact, one of the Phillies' main motivations in trading Werth, the official said, appears to be "to get rid of all his money."****

Pound smart, penny foolish.

I hope JC Romero mixes up a whole bunch of sports shakes for whoever is pitching this weekend.

A friend of mine in St. Louis says he saw Utley and Werth together at a casino late Monday night/early Tuesday morning. If people are going to keep insisting those affair rumors are true, then Utley seems to be taking it awfully well to be hanging out with the guy in his free time.

Again, those affair rumors started on thedirty.com from an anonymous source. I'll continue to believe it is total BS.

The "affair" thing is total bunk. That story is recycled in every major sports town any time a good team goes wrong for an extended period. It really is amazing that people buy into it time after time. Perhaps we can try to be the responsible fanbase this time...

Front office and fans alike seem to be distancing themselves from Werth. It's hilarious to me that no one saw this coming from a guy who ends up on one knee after some of his swings even during his hot streaks. It's a streaky swing, and he will be a freakishly streaky player over the long haul (I remember one of those...).

"In fact, one of the Phillies' main motivations in trading Werth, the official said, appears to be "to get rid of all his money.""

If this is true, relations between Werth and the FO certainly soured quickly.

Victorino sucks, frankly.

Completely shocked that Vic popped up there.

Watching on Gameday but I love that at-bat from Polanco! Fouls off a bunch of pitches and gets a single. If a few more guys on this team showed that level of concentration they might score more than a run a night.

Up, yeah, and then Vic pops up in one at bat.

TK,
Please no more of these kinds of clubhouse rumors.

Yankees Under Steinbrenner (beginning in 1973): 7 World Championships, 11 American League Pennants.

Phillies Under Everyone (beginning in 1883): 2 World Championships, 7 National League Pennants.

Yeah. For all I care Steinbrenner could have eaten live puppies for a mid-afternoon snack; I'd still take him as Owner any day of the week.

Tim, that column was from yesterday. It also said that they're asking for very high value in return.

Beard, really (the Flyers thing)? I do think that Werth's aggressiveness is another point from the Lopes BP.com interview. He both revealed Utley's knee problem ("injury") as well as Werth's confusing lack of aggressiveness on the basepaths.

Quincy was Montgomery at the casino too?
That would explain a lot if he was...

GTown, I've been a Phillies fan since 1890, but if Steinbrenner had touched this team, I might be a Yankees fan instead.

Pretty impressive curve there to Howard.

Hey, our $11 million platooning singles-hitting LF came through!

Old Phan: You value puppies too highly.

Sophist: Yep.

Raul's grandpa, yea that's why I held off at the rest of what I was gonna type (Victorino sucks on Lebron's Mom, frankly)

(shows self door)

A friend of mine in St. Louis says he saw Utley and Werth together at a casino late Monday night/early Tuesday morning.

Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer... Utley's just biding his time!

For all Ibanez' problems, he's still one of the Phils better hitters against RHP *this year* (with an OBP around .360). On the balance it may be better to get Brown up and get him some ABs, but Ibanez has his value against righties.

Werthless is so due.

Heather~ You're welcome.

hmmm, the truth injection has an almost Pravda like capacity to defend the front office instantly. Definitely worth the organizations efforts to keep someone riding on this blog full time. The truth injections sounds better than say "the wheels injection"!
Play Ball!

Werth with RISP...not a surprise at all.

malaise.

Wherever Werth ends up I hope he falls flat on his face.

Werth honked in a RISP situation.

Is today Groundhog Day?

Tim: If true, I find that utterly infuriating, since they could obviously get a much better package of prospects if they picked up some of Werth's remaining 2010 salary. With sell-outs in every game, they're not only going to make plenty of money; they're going to make exactly the same profit -- if not more -- as they planned to make when they created their 2010 budget. What this means is that, rather than try to get as much value as they possibly can out of the already planned cost of Werth's 2010 salary, they prefer to put the money in their pocket & take a lesser prospect package in return.

I have had enough of Werth. Leave him in St. Louis on the way home.

Was that 3rd strike to Werth a letters-high sinker as it said on Gameday?

It's one thing to whiff on a high hard one, but that looks a hanger.

Werth hates RBIs.

Cole in yet ANOTHER DAY GAME.

Chase's scheme was to sit at the table position next to Werth and keep hitting excessively until he either got 21 with 5 cards or busted totally messing up Werth's cerebral powers over his card counting system

ED: Thanks for the dumb opinion.

Can Werth bat lead off to avoid RISP?

Having George Steinbrenner as the Phillies' owner would be as soul crushing as being forced to read Heather's multiple posts every day.

This team is probably the most painful Phillies team I've ever watched in my 23 years of watching Phillies baseball. I'm pretty sure I could get Jayson Werth out right now. Why is he still batting 5th?

@bap -- my guess is a werth deal would be a companion deal with taking on whichever pitcher we get. The amount of $$ seems fairly small even if they kept half of the money due.

Heaven forbid this offense should make the most of an opportunity against a Cy Young candidate before he settles in for the day.

Heaven forbid you give Cole a lead to work with.

They have become consistent, and it's not pretty.

I predicted the Werth strikeout. Who didn't?

Why isn't that bum later in the lineup? Chooch has a better record of hitting with men on base. Hell, ROLLINS has a better record, and he's playing injured.

"Werth hates RBIs."

That's true, since he's heard so many people say they don't matter.

Polanco, Ibanez, and Howard had good to great at bats in the first. Werth worked a count but got himself out again. Victorino is functionally retarded when it comes to baseball.

Wait- does that qualify as sticking up for the front office?

Hamm: It is small -- to the Phillies. It might not be small to a team like Tampa. In fact, it's obviously been a significant issue in trade discussions or I gather that Stark would not have brought it up.

From Heather:

"Basically, Steinbrenner was a very complex individual. He wasn't nice but nor was he evil. He wasn't always smart, but he was far from dumb.

Would I have wanted him as the owner of my baseball team? Yes."

I agree with the first paragraph entirely and my gut feel is yes, if you were a fan, he would be someone you would want as an owner of the team you root for.

But, thinking a little more about it, would the Boss have fared as well in say, Philly with a more limited market and more constraints on payroll? Would he have been able to adapt to a totally different set of circumstances and make it work for him? Or was it more of a case of a shrewd, ruthless businessperson who also benefited by being in the right place at the right time?

Don't get me wrong, I have always sort of liked the guy overall - a flawed, yet overall compelling person. But I also wonder if he had bought another team, would he be one in a line of faceless owners who faded out?

"Polanco, Ibanez, and Howard had good to great at bats in the first. Werth worked a count but got himself out again. Victorino is functionally retarded when it comes to baseball.

Wait- does that qualify as sticking up for the front office?"

Well bashing the players isn't quite the same thing as getting on the managers or the front office, but we will take what we can get.

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