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Thursday, July 29, 2010


Anything less than a Dom Brown pinch-hit game winning HR, and tonight will be a disappointment.

You know what the funniest part of the whole Oswalt deal is?

How many random national analysts are just asking the question: "Wait, why didn't they just keep Cliff Lee?" It's pretty funny, all things considered, no matter how you feel about everything.

Kendrick gets screwed again, with the very small picture in the game chat heading.

Kid can't get no respect.

No kidding. Even Villar/Villan got a bigger pic in the last thread and he's no longer with the org. Show KK some respect.

I had to zoom in on my browser to see who that was.

Today feels like the "throw away game." Brown sitting (to start). Our #5 starter on the mound and an 8 game win streak before tomorrow's big debut. Wouldn't be surprised to hear that undefeated Greg Gross even took the night off.

KK is in Roy heaven having an off-day Roy as a bench pal every game. New Roy can finally finish off his training by teaching Kyle his strikeout bender.

Wow, never though that the "Big Three" would be Yankees, Red Sox, and Phillies

Although the Braves lost already, so it's not like there's nothing to get excited about.

Cholly will get tossed in the 2nd inning and go home.

The idea was to make sure the game chat didn't push the bigger story below the fold. No disrespect to Kendrick.

NO worries. I thought the USPS issued a new "KK" postage stamp.

Hats off to Rube. Is Doc, Lee, Hamels a better rotation than Doc, Hamels, Oswalt? Absolutely. But does Doc, Lee, Hamels garuntee a WS win? Absolutely not. Even with that rotation, the lineup needs to hit and Lidge needs to do his job to win the WS. And thats exactly the case with a Doc, Hamels, Oswalt rotation. Except now we have a shot in both 2010 AND 2011. Wonderful job Rube, wonderful job.

Saw that Oswalt has the best winning % of all active pitchers, after August 1st (with over 30 career starts).

So unlike Haren, he gets stronger as the season goes on.

I'm still kind of depressed by the whole trade thing. Just think, we could've been watching a rotation of Halladay, Hamels, Oswalt, Blanton, and...Nelson Figueroa. My dreams are shattered.

To understand the transformation of Phillies baseball, you need only go back four seasons, to 2006. That year Philadelphia drew 2.7 million fans, ranking seventh among the 16 National League teams. They spent $88 million on payroll. And in their organization were pitchers Hamels, Happ, Brett Myers, Randy Wolf, Gavin Floyd, Gio Gonzalez, Kyle Kendrick, Carlos Carrasco, Matt Maloney, Josh Outman and Carlos Monasterios. This year the Phillies rank first in the league in attendance, on pace to draw more than 3.6 million. Their payroll is $141 million. And Happ, Myers, Wolf, Floyd, Gonzalez, Carrasco, Maloney, Outman and Monasterios all are pitching elsewhere. The Phillies fill Citizens Bank Park every night. Their local TV ratings, which are up 16.5 percent this year, are higher than every team except the Cardinals and Twins, who are regional draws. If you go by the average number of households watching the local team, the Phillies have more eyeballs on them than every team except the Mets and Yankees. Think Red Sox Nation is big? The Phillies' viewing audience is 41 percent bigger than the Red Sox's audience and 60 percent bigger than the Cubs' audience.

Kendrick will get beat tonight 3-2, and then get optioned to Clearwater.

Phils will sign Matt Beach to take his rotation spot.

OT..Sports fans are really swell.

CLEVELAND -- A fan wearing a Miami Heat jersey of LeBron James drew the ire of the crowd at a Cleveland Indians game and was escorted out of the ballpark.

Fans in the left-field bleachers chanted obscenities and pointed at the man Wednesday night during the sixth inning of the game between the Indians and New York Yankees. Hundreds of fans joined in before security led the man out of Progressive Field.

As he left, some fans followed him toward the gate with more derisive chants.

James' recent departure from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Heat caused a lot of anger in the city.

In just the past 12 months, the Phillies have traded for Halladay, Lee and Oswalt, traded Lee and handed Ryan Howard and Halladay contract extensions worth $185 million that will pay them huge money through their mid-30s. Go to Citizens Bank Park and the fans are decked out in Phillies gear of all kinds. The team sells Charlie Manuel jerseys, for goodness sake. Amaro had a choice when it came to what he provides these people: he could put 36 of his team's final 61 games in the hands of Happ, Kendrick and Joe Blanton, and hope not only that it was good enough to make up the deficit in the standings but also good enough to pitch the Phillies through two rounds of the playoffs. Or he could feed The Beast and go get Oswalt to team with Halladay and Hamels in what could be the best October rotation since the mid-90s Braves with Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz. Really, there was no choice at all.

Somehow, I didn't think we'd be seeing Ibanez batting 2nd in the lineup this year.

What has gotten into Cholly? Its almost like he is spending 2 or 3 minutes a day and trying to put forth the lineup that makes the most sense each night.

Call me Ishmael: I think you mean a rotation of Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Oswalt, Haren, dont you?

Denny b: maybe Greg Gross has some influence / understanding that Milt Thompson didn't?

Re: The Wallace debate, BA rated Wallace the 27th best prospect in baseball pre-season and his TripA numbers match what they were last year. BTW, 23 is NOT old for TripA. To the extent his value decreased it's because he's now at 1B instead of 3B. But his OPS has never been less than .822 (this year it's .868) and his career avg is .304. He'll be an everyday player for some big league team. Can't say the same for Gose, whose K rate for a non-power hitter is alarming.

That said, I'd rather have Taylor than either of 'em.

s/ have asked f/ Figgy back while we were @ it.

Interesting take from Rob Neyer:

"And finally (I mean it this time), another word about the Phillies. Remember when everyone was saying how foolish they were for trading Cliff Lee last winter? Well, they traded Cliff Lee because they thought they could stock their farm system without seriously damaging their chances for another National League pennant.

Be honest ... Did you think they were wrong at the time? I didn't. I had the Phillies winning their division this year, and so did almost everybody else.

It didn't quite work out that way. So they've adjusted, and instead of having a great chance of winning with Cliff Lee in 2010, they've got a great chance of winning with Roy Oswalt in 2010 ... and in 2011.

Is there a smarter, more effective front office in the National League right now?"

While we're linking:

Rob Neyer: Is there a smarter, more effective front office in the National League right now?

"Rob Neyer: Is there a smarter, more effective front office in the National League right now?"

For another point of view on that, I give you Beerleaguer.

Neyer clearly doesn't read Beerleaguer.

Clout: Agreed I'd rather have Taylor than either Wallace or Gose. But Wallace looks much more like Lyle Overbay than any sort of impact hitter.

He has a career AAA line of .299/.357/.484 in the PCL, a notoriously hitter-friendly league. That line could play at 3rd base, but the bar is higher than that at 1st base. Unless he improves his walk rate or power drastically, he'll be lucky to be a league-average first baseman. He looks to me like a second-division starter at 1B. Will he have a MLB career? Yes. Will he be a star? I highly doubt it.

I smell a BLer jinx on tonight. Dom Brown pinch hit homer to win it.

Between the 7-game win streak, the call-up of Domonic Brown, and the trade for Roy Oswalt, there's so much good cheer on Beerleaguer that I barely even recognize it anymore. Perhaps a hideous and crushing loss is just what we need to jolt everyone back to their baseline state of cynicism and over-the-top negativity, thereby restoring Beerleaguer to its proper order. A Brad Lidge blown save would probably do the trick.

Not saying anything people haven't already said, but this is a coup for RAJ and the Phils. Oswalt isn't quite the equal of Lee, but he's a stud and under control for at least 1 more season at a very reasonable price.

Dare I say that the Phils are in even better shape than if they kept Lee?

BAP, I long for those halcyon days of, oh, a few weeks ago when the season was over and the Phils were out the race. Good times.

I long for the halcyon days when the Phils' rotation was too lefthanded. Wasn't that last week?

Jack: "Will he have a MLB career? Yes. Will he be a star? I highly doubt it."

Then you're saying he'll be an average to below-average firstbaseman like Ryan Howard is to you.

Chris in VT - you dare, you dare.

BAP - i can't believe we keep signing/trading for all these bumpkins. i'm sure they have more Big Game Hunter high scores than baseball IQ. how will they relate to the cosmopolitan philly fans? can't the front office see this???


Wow. Neyer of all people. He's an old KC Royals fan. Tough to get him to compliment the Phils.

Conshy: Not bad under the circumstances, but I detect a lack of sincere angst. No worries. I have every confidence that Beerleaguer will revert to career norms as soon as the Phillies lose again -- which I expect will be in about 3 hours.

“Which brings us to the Spark Plug Story, one of several yarns that Oswalt spins for his delighted teammates (“Did he tell you about fishing with dynamite?” Biggio asks. “For God’s sakes!”) This one, Oswalt swears, actually happened. Seems that over the winter he was working on his hunting truck, a Ford F150 he’d bought for $1,500, when he grabbed a bare spark plug wire and got jolted across the garage. He reported it thus to his wife: “My truck done shocked the fire out of me, and my arm don’t hurt no more.”

Clout: Ryan Howard proves how high the bar is for first-basemen. Brett Wallace doesn't have a chance at coming close to being Howard, and Howard isn't even the best 1B in the NL.

Like I said, Wallace is like a Lyle Overbay, Casey Kotchman, or Adam Laroche-type, without any defense. A good hitter overall, but a below-average offensive 1B. He might put up some seasons of .290/.360/.470, which would be great for a third baseman, but won't come close to being an All-Star at 1B--right now that would be good for 8th in the NL in 1B OPS.

BAP - i'll work on it. maybe if i run over my foot with my car it'll put me in the right frame of mind. BL needs optimists too, though.

some of those articles linked earlier in this thread make you almost tear up. that is, until you realize that we're being compared to the hated NY and BOS fan bases. is this a good thing or not?

So, Houston got fleeced when they sold Oswalt ...
And, Arizona got fleeced when they sold Haren...
And, the Phillies got fleeced when they sold Lee ...

Maybe teams just value young prospects higher than they did in the past. Maybe three or four players with little development and high ceilings is the new going rate for an Ace.

If that is so, maybe the key to sustained success is drafting well and moving young guys for players with a few years left on their contracts.

Kendrick had better bring his "A" game tonight. He has not pitched well against the Dbacks in the past.

Mariners got a top prospect for Lee, Jays got a bunch of top 100s for Doc. Generally, I agree, though. I think the Astros situation muddied the waters a bit. Seems like the option requisite and the money thrown the Phils way weren't known options from the start. I think those things came out in negotiations, probably leaving teams like the Cardinals in shock of the final result.

"NO worries. I thought the USPS issued a new "KK" postage stamp."

Old Phan, LMAO. Excellent.

BAP, a Lidge blown save will spark more "Oswalt was a great deal, but it doesn't solve the closer situation" posts than imaginable. It would do just the trick to bring BL back to it's grassroots pessimism, negativity and bickering.

All of this happy-go-lucky cheeriness is making me a little sick.

In fact, I even detected some optimism in Heather's posts today. The Heather of the BP postseason odds ilk, who declared the Phillies season virtually over more than a month ago.

Sophist: The Mariners and Jays deals do cut against my theory, but I find it odd that three different trades in recent months are described by observers as "absolute steals."

So it's "80's Retro Night" at the Ballpark this evening, which would be pretty freakin' depressing if the 1980 World Championship flag hadn't gotten a friend a couple of years ago. And why are the Phillies not in retro uniforms? That's kind of lame. I blame r00b.

Postage Stamp is a winner Old Phan.

" “My truck done shocked the fire out of me, and my arm don’t hurt no more.”"

He'll have no trouble communicatin' with UC.

Yeah boy nuther Roy.

With the Phils going to Washington and the Braves going to Cinci next, the good guys could be in first place before Vice Roy's second start in red pinstripes. Optamism abounds!!!

Wow, Wheels looks even stupider than he sounds in that stupid white stupid 80's retro stupid polo.

This game feels like a retro 80's loss.

JR - I don't think you are wrong necessarily, was just pointing at the other deals. I don't think it's as simple as it might appear, since teams can't hold no-rules barred auctions. Sure, the Astros could have turned to another team at the last minute, telling them what the Phils deal evolved into (sounds like that is something like what the Rangers did), but there are probably reasons why it's not in the best interest of teams to behave like that (they're "repeat players," don't want to earn a bad rep, maybe).

The other issue is that it does come down to scouting in the end. Not everyone agrees on the top prospects. Maybe the Phils did turn down Saunders for Gillies. We know the Astros were just able to flip Gose for Wallace (who less than a year ago was flipped for Michael Taylor).

@Old Phan -

Not that the fans who harassed the guy aren't assholes, but a dude wearing a LeBron James Miami Heat jersey to an Indians home game is a dude looking for a fight, or at least looking to get hundreds of Indians fans heckling him. I have very little sympathy.

It must suck to be Happ right now. I did hear he gets an extra locker in the Astro's clubhouse for his smoke and mirrors.

Agreed John - what sort of mental midget wears that jersey to an Indians game? Unless thats the only thing in your closet, you are trying to pick a fight.

John, it would be nice if you could wear whatever shirt you wanted to at a game without getting harassed, but I know what you mean.

WP: Yes, I think a Brad Lidge blown save is the optimum possible scenario for restoring the Beerleaguer universe. It would allow us to argue over whether Madson should be the closer, or whether his DITL is too high. We could argue over whether we can make Durbin or Contreras the closer, or whether relievers need defined roles. Andy could write haikus about all of Lidge's blown saves; denny could wax nostalgic for calling up Scott Mathieson; Heather and G-Town and I can rail about how the season is a lost cause; will can write about how we should have cut Lidge & kept Figueroa; truth injection can explain that he's not saying Lidge should still be closer, but he understands why he is; sophist and phlipper can argue about Lidge's pitch-track data and what it portends for the rest of 2010; Iceman can come ridicule everyone for complaining about Lidge on the same day we traded for Roy Oswalt; and clout could remind us that he told us so all along (not that he would ever do that, of course). Plus, we could all rip Amaro for putting all his energy into getting Roy Oswalt when what we really needed was a closer.

Yes, a Brad Lidge blown save is just what Beerleaguer needs. Short of that, a Kyle Kendrick implosion would also work pretty well.

What's with all of the empty seats behind home plate? Happ fans?

clout, Wallace is posting an .868 OPS on a team with an average of .838. He's 29th in his league in his 2nd go around.

As a 1b/Dh, his bat is nothing special.

You might get your Kyle Kendrick implosion sooner, rather than later.

Then we can commence with enlightening topics such as K/9.

I just hope Oswalt doesn't hunt and kill Cole's backpack puppy. That would be sad.

Dbacks showing patience. Shocker.

Relating to the trading prospects for aces:
How much better is Smoak (#13) than Wallace #27)? than Jesus Montero (#4)? or even Matt LaPorta a couple years ago? All these players are hitters only. Their power does not appear elite but they can hit for average as well. I imagine all of them will be long time major league hitters. IF Montero stayed at C he would deserve his #4 ranking.

Mariners did well with just 3month Lee trade for Smoak but they also included $2.25M.
The Halladay deal appears the only true blockbuster with 3 top 100 prospects including near major leaguer ready starter.

"What's with all of the empty seats behind home plate? Happ fans?"

No, to those ticket holders, tonight feels like a loss.

Well, Kendrick still sucks. Thanks for keeping us grounded in reality, Kyle. Now try to throw some damn ground ball outs. Or even just a bleeping strike once in awhile. You know, if ya feel like it.

That was excruciating.


6 left-handed bats in the D-Backs' lineup, if you count the pitcher as a bat. The Phillies will need to score some runs tonight.

I dont think its fair that we're playing with one hand (Brown) tied behind our back.

Upton is a bum.

I don't care if Upton can hit .400. He would never play on my team. He flat out stinks.

Upton is a "hell" of a fielder.

Brown looks like crap tonight...he shouldn't try batting RH anymore.


Mistake there by Polanco. How many times a season does that happen? Maybe twice?

Ryno tried to hold him up

The Big Barracus is amazing.

Howard at the plate, ahead in the count. And Polanco tries to be Jimmy Rollins. Was never gonna happen.

If Phanavision doesn't depict Werth as Spicoli from 'Fast Times', somebody really baked the mogwai.

are phils better off than they'd be if they'd have kept c.l.?

one thing to consider: with the offense the way it was, c.l. wouldn't have had the phils in better shape than they're in. would they have won 2 more games? maybe, maybe not.

but now, just as they're starting to roll again, here's a deadline deal that gives them an enormous injection of energy and confidence - a deal that wouldn't have happened if they'd stuck with a lame-duck c.l. just as some people blamed the offensive funk on the malaise that came with the seattle trade, one might argue that the psychological boost provided by this trade will be profound.

not even mentioning the extra year.

Walking RH bats is no way to win this game, Kyle.

Kendrick is completely killing my buzz

Speaking of K/9, Saunders somehow managed to win 33 games in 2007 & 2008 while striking out fewer that 5 batters per inning. Funnily enough, he also doesn't have a great ground ball ratio & his walk/9 ratio is worse than Kendrick's. I never recall clout mentioning him during our arguments about Kendrick's K/9, but he might well be the definitive archetype of the pitcher that clout had in mind.

Uh oh KK isn't looking his best today.....this doesn't look like a game the Phils can win haha

Watching the game on my iphone so the picture is very small. Anyone know where online I can find these these retronight photos?

JA Happ looks so depressed. So much so he referred to himself in the third person.

Howard with a rare fail on the scoop there.

All these pop-ups probably aren't a good sign for Kendrick.

DBacks are second in the NL in BB%. That surprised me.

NEPP: Wasn't actually a scoop. Just a drop. But for an anomaly in the rule book, it would be charged as an error.

NEPP - Can you scoop a ball belt high that never hit the ground?

****NEPP: Wasn't actually a scoop. Just a drop. But for an anomaly in the rule book, it would be charged as an error.****

Well, we can't assume the double play now, can we?

****NEPP - Can you scoop a ball belt high that never hit the ground? ****

Good point.

The rules say no. But, obviously, that would have been a DP, so it's a stupid rule.

KK only 44 pitches through 2.

Per Keith Law:

Roy Oswalt makes the Phillies two or three wins better for the rest of the season, given what they've been running out there and the injury to Jamie Moyer, and sets them up much better for a playoff series by eliminating the possibility of an October start by a J.A. Happ or a Kyle Kendrick.

While Oswalt isn't the 220- to 240-inning workhorse he was earlier in the decade, on a per-batter basis, he is pretty close to his peak self. Since his stuff has slipped only slightly since then, he is a reasonable bet for the next 15 months. Given the low cost in prospects, it's a no-brainer for the Phillies and should make Atlanta look over its shoulder a little more.

Happ is a fifth-starter type with good command and deception but fringy stuff without a real knockout pitch. He's a particularly bad fit for Houston's ballpark as a left-handed fly ball pitcher who has had some trouble with right-handed hitters. He's also coming off a forearm strain that has ruined his 2010 season. Other than that, he's everything you could ask for in a pitcher.

Jonathan Villar is a long-term project, a plus runner with a chance to be a plus defender all around at shortstop, but he is extremely raw at the plate and projects to have fringe-average power at best. He's a good guy to have in the system because of the defensive ability and the hope he can get on base enough to be more than Adam Everett.

Anthony Gose had attracted first-round attention out of high school as a left-handed pitcher who would pitch at 92-96 mph with a potentially plus curveball, but he insisted he wanted to go out as a position player and remains more tools than performance at this point. He struggles to recognize offspeed stuff and doesn't walk, and despite good leverage in his swing, he has hit for almost no power in more than 1,000 pro plate appearances. He wraps his bat but does have good hand speed and seems to recover well once he gets his bat started. He's a plus runner, but his 57 percent stolen base success rate this year is comically bad, and while he can run enough for center, his feel for the position isn't great. He's headed to Toronto in a side deal that could not possibly make less sense to me.

Brett Wallace goes to Houston in exchange for Gose in what has to be the easiest "yes" of Ed Wade's life as a GM. He's an advanced hitter who has been adequate in Triple-A this year but hasn't raked as I would have expected, given what a good hitter's park that is. However, he has an outstanding swing and controls the strike zone well, doesn't show the platoon split so common in left-handed hitting prospects and was just 23 in Triple-A. He's twice as valuable a prospect as Gose. Despite concerns over his lateral mobility, he's a capable first baseman who will hit for average, get on base and have enough power to be an above-average or better player there.

Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos keeps emphasizing how he wants to get more athletic ... I'm just not sure how converting Michael Taylor into Anthony Gose makes the Blue Jays more athletic -- it just makes them worse off. And while Wallace plus Villar isn't a great return for Houston, its hands were somewhat tied by the contract and Oswalt's no-trade clause.

I do wonder whether Wallace's arrival means Lance Berkman is next out the door, which would give Houston another chance to add an impact prospect and allow it to slide Wallace right in at first base.

Wheels: No error because you can't assume the double play.
Tmac: And an error on Ryan Howard.
Wheels: And that's my point, sometimes you can because blah blah blah.

Nice 180 Wheels. Douchebag.

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