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Friday, July 23, 2010


BOOM...Head Shot!

As bad as it is watching the Phils go 2-6 on this road trip, it's funny to see that tehy gained a game on the Mets in that span.


RUBEN shoud be placed on the 15 year disable list ASAP.

The message is loud and clear. Brown is hitting .244 in the last ten games and it was time for a change.

Is it Milt's job to make the players bunt rather than swing for the fence when a sacrifice is desparately needed?
Is it Milt's job to set the game strategy as far as playing small(er) ball ?
Not knowing what goes on behind the scenes, I am kinda confused by this.
I thought he at least had a repoir with the players.

Greg's first job will be to transform Ibanez into a high OBP pinch-hitting slap hitter.

I'm not sure why anyone would be against this. It may or may not be Milt's fault, but something has to change and it's far more expensive to fire a player than it is to fire a coach.

It's funny because a lot of people, I am not going to say everyone, were calling for Milts head. Now that he is fired, people now defend the move? I am not one to advocate anyone being fired,however, something had to be done, and it's ashame that he has to be the scape goat but Rube is desperate and is trying to light a fire under these players...Will it work well that is yet to be determined but I still think they will swing first pitch, and continue to hack away and not work counts regardless of the hitting coach..

Not defend, I meant are against the move.

Milt handled the firing with total class. Perhaps he will return in five years. Obviously Vic and Rollins made no adjustments in their approach which put Milt in deep trouble. They both seem to despise the thought that setting the table is more important than the big fly at the top of the order.

Does this mean my Milt Thompson autograph has lost all its value?

Looking at the last thread, it is still utterly baffling that most posters think trading Lee was Amaro's baseball decision and not dictated by payroll, which is set by management.

But this is Beerleaguer, where posters believe what they wish regardless of facts or reality. In that way it's sorta like one of those otherworldly political blogs where logic, facts and reality never enter into the discussion.

Probably the greatest example of this is the guy posting under the "Heather" tag.

class act

I'm skeptical.

Clout if Lee was a money thing how can the Phils even be looking at Oswalt? or even any high priced ball player without losing a big money guy?

I guess its Milt's fault when the pitcher doesn't get a hit late in a tied game with the bases loaded. He should've worked harder with Blanton!

This move concerns me probably more than anything right now. It shows either a failure to recognize the team's actual problems or the desire to just make a move for PR's sake (and not trust your managers and the process that's led to success).

The only healthy players significantly underperforming from their career numbers right now are Vic, Ibanez, and Rollins. Rollins probably isn't 100%. Ibanez has either hit a wall, has some bad luck, or never was really prepared for this season to begin with (off-season surgery). That just leaves Vic.

Oswalt is making $15 million this year. So acquiring him now would cost the Phillies about $6 million, give or take.

Lee cost $9 million. Yeah.

Even if Amaro was forced to stay within an arbitrary budget given to him by management at the time, he could've handled the situation better in multiple ways: either by doing some creative roster shuffling to free up some money to keep Lee, or by not dealing Lee to the first time he thought of, Seattle, for what seems like 70 cents on the dollar. I'm convinced he could have gotten better value in prospects than he did.

Clout can defend Amaro all he wants, but this season has not exactly been a banner year for good ole Rube.

"He should've worked harder with Blanton!"


clout - i love the "Heather" comment too. I am surprised that its been this long before anyone threw that one out.

And Vic's OPS+ isn't even below his career norms, just his BA.

336 PA from Valdez (69 OPS+) and Castro (27 OPS+). 27! Together they've started 83 games, 12 more than Utley.

I've assumed its a He from the start.

there is no probably. rollins is not close to 100%

"Looking at the last thread, it is still utterly baffling that most posters think trading Lee was Amaro's baseball decision and not dictated by payroll, which is set by management.

But this is Beerleaguer, where posters believe what they wish regardless of facts or reality."

What quotes do you have from R00b indicating this was a salary dump and not a baseball decision to "restock the farm"?

Don't worry. I'll wait.

Hey wasnt Greg Gross fired as hitting coach because the team didnt hit? Are they going to replace him with Hebner if they still don't hit. Looks like they dont like to take on any new payroll in the coaching ranks either.

Was Rollins not 100% last year when his OBP was sub .300?

C'mon now, this is two consecutive down years for him. Bad trend.

No real issue with making the move. A manager of a group who dramatically unperforms usually gets canned even if it really isn't his fault.

I do find it ironic though that they are bringing back the exact same guy though that Thompson replaced in the first place though.

This reeks of something the Phils have generally done the past 25 years or 30 years.


If management told Amaro to trade Lee due to the money, that is fine but he could have recieved a heck of alot more in return for him and that is where the problem lies.

Maybe the Thompson firing is to salary room for Oswalt! A coach is hired to be fired and it was Thompson's time. I know the players like Charlie's style, but he isn't a great tactician. He does the same thing everytime in the same situations. When you aren't hitting you work the pitcher, hit and run, steal bases you have to create runs none of which for some reason the Phillies are doing this year. It was great to see Hamels pitch to expectations yesterday. Things are going to get better (I hope).

Everyone knows Milt was just a figure head anyway. Cholly is the real hitting coach, that has been his mark his entire coaching career.

This lineup needs a whole lot of plate discipline and know how to approach a situation that comes up. (i.e. don't swing at the first pitch when your the second batter and the leadoff guy gets on base with no outs...victorino) That is the kind of stuff that makes this team so hard to watch right now! But I think that has more to do with the manager and bench coach than the hitting coach IMO

Why does the gender of a poster matter? Everyone seems much more fascinated by it than the situation really warrants.

In fact, I don't think I've ever said anything about it, but with regularity, every other thread somebody feels the need to say

Did I miss the time warp to the 1960s? Can we all move past this or do I need to change my screen name?

Can we never ever talk about this again?

Regarding the Lee trade, the Phillies didn't have the amount of suitors the M's did. The Phillies weren't going to deal him to NL teams, and the teams in the AL that would want him, Amaro (allegedly) asked for their top prospect +.

"Amaro (allegedly) asked for their top prospect +."

So when we didn't get their top prospects, we settled for a handful of magic beans?

This makes no sense (which is not to say what you're saying is untrue, I have no way of evaluating that...just it makes no sense.)

Benny - Rollins had a decreased BAbip last year, lower than his batted ball data or career norms indicated he should have had. Same thing is true this year to a lesser extent (he just isn't making good contact right now anyway). His HR/FB was above career norms last year (pretty close to 06-07 levels) which suggests he hasn't lost his power either.

Rollins, BAbip on LD

06: .716
07: .717
08: .716
09: .635
10: .654

Unbelievable. Not even 9:00 on a thread where a coach got canned, and the Cliff Lee discussion is already going strong.

"Looking at the last thread, it is still utterly baffling that most posters think trading Lee was Amaro's baseball decision and not dictated by payroll, which is set by management."

Clout - I think it should be pretty obvious by now that people with Cliff Lee Derangement Syndrome will leave no stone unturned to find an excuse for stomping their feet, wringing their hands, and pi$$ing and moaning endlessly about how we "coulda' had Cliff Lee."

Finding excuses to call Amaro a moron in some way makes them feel better about themselves.

It fits in with the not happy unless you're miserable default state of a Phillies fan.

A big part of Ruby's-Tuesday-post-game-meeting-plan is for Kendrick and Happ to pitch shutouts on the weekend and continue pitching well to the bitter end. Lest we forget, did the pre-season rotation plan of Halladay-Hamels-Happ-Blanton-KK/Moyer ever begin?

Sophist: Somewhat related topic to the Rollins issue I've been wondering about for a little bit, and I figure you might know the answer to this...As players age, does their BABIP tend to decrease (due to making generally worse contact with less bat speed), or does it tend to remain constant for the individual player from the beginning to the end of their career?

I love when someone on here says "last week everyone on Beerleaguer wanted this to happen; now it's happened and everyone is against it!"

News flash: There are a lot of people who post here. Maybe the people calling for a move are different than the ones who dislike it.

Heather - did you figure out who Johnny "Green Thumbs" Jones is yet? Can you believe that moron Amaro let Green Thumbs go?

"Heather - did you figure out who Johnny "Green Thumbs" Jones is yet? Can you believe that moron Amaro let Green Thumbs go?"

Phlipper, I bow down to your opinion on this one since you seem to know much more about the Green Thumbs trade than I.

If you say it makes R00b a moron, as sad as I am to say this...I am forced to agree with you.


Maybe GG is being brought up to be here when his current prize pupil comes? Just wonderin'.

Heather - Do you mean with the same kind of contact? A guy who stops making good contact, fewer line drives, weaker GB, will see a decrease in his BAbip.

Or do you mean with the same batted ball data? I do think guys who rely on high GB rates and IF hits will see their BAbip dip even with the same kind of contact because they'll lose their speed. That's one thing about Rollins this year. It's a small sample, but Rollins IF hits and GB batted average are about half their norms which I think points to not being 100% at least speed-wise.

I don't know about guys like Ibanez though. I've never read anything about it. I'll look around.

The fact that Lee was traded the very same day that Halladay was acquired tells me that "restocking the farm" was not the motivation.

He had all winter to shop Lee for the best possible package of prospects. Six hours??? Please!

On Milt - Whatever it takes to shake this team out of the funk it is in works for me. Am I confident this will work, not really, but at this point just go with it. Milt will be taken care of and I wouldn't be surprised to see another team snatch him up soon and maybe throw him on their AAA bench.

on Heather - Any poster with outlandish statements is ripped here. Bruce Ruffian comes to mind immediately.

Jack - How much higher would payroll have to be this year to give up the assumption that money was the sole reason that Lee was moved? Of course Roy Oswalt and the $6 million left on his 2010 contract have not been acquired, but even if he were to be acquired, it's clear that opinions about the Lee trade were fixed upon its completion, and that nary a fact might change them.

I understand that Amaro has some qualities that rub some people here the wrong way. One of them may be smugness, but the funny thing about that is that the folks complaining of Amaro's demeanor are generally the most smug, snarky, vitriolic posters on this board.

Maybe Amaro and the gang thought it was a good time to sell high? Maybe they looked at the fact that Lee had pitched more innings than ever in his career in 2009, a career that had been uneven, ultimately, to that point, and (mistakenly) projected a less-than-stellar 2010? Maybe Seattle was actually a good trade partner, because they were under the delusion that they'd be a contender in the AL West, and they were offering more than any club the Phils were willing to deal with?

Or maybe this is the internet, where nuance is better left at the door?

Can someone explain how the same man who originally acquired a particular player that everyone thinks is god is a moron because he eventually traded the same player?

So he got Lee for relatively little in trade and he's a genius, right? And he traded Lee for relatively little in return, and he's a moron. How can someone be both a genius and a moron?

Please explain.


Another Cliff Lee thread? Is there ANYTHING about this trade that hasn't been stated over and over and over again?

I want Cliff Lee to sleep with my wife on our honeymoon.

Classy interview by Thompson. While it probably isn't his fault the Phillies offense is where it is, a change needed to happen. I'm sure Milt realizes this is part of the business.

Heather, the one person I know who's done a lot of work on predicted BAbip is Matt Swartz from (also a Phils fan), so you could email him. Here's a bit from his first article on predicted BAbip.

The batted-ball type with the least persistent BABIP was line drives, with only .12 year-to-year correlation. Most of hitting line drives away from fielders' gloves is a matter of luck, but hitters who hit the ball harder are better at getting them to fall in. In fact, home-run rate (or, actually the natural log of home-run rate) correlates more highly with next year’s line-drive BABIP than this year’s line-drive BABIP. In other words, you can most likely expect Andre Ethier (.618 LD-BABIP, 31 homers in 2009) to have a better BABIP on line drives than Erick Aybar (.861 LD-BABIP, five homers in 2009) this year.

Another statistic that has a high correlation with a lot of relevant aspects of BABIP is contact rate (as shown on FanGraphs), and defined as the percentage of pitches that a hitter swings at that he makes contact with, either generating a foul or fair ball (although I use the natural log of contact rate). Being able to make contact when a hitter swings is a good proxy for his ability to square up the ball, and hitters are more likely to improve their BABIP if they make more contact in general. Triples per at-bat were also used in some regressions as an additional proxy for speed.

Raul had a career high HR/FB last year. You could say it was largely the first half, but his HR/FB was 23% in September. His hot September last year gets overlooked sometimes in this argument. His contact rate this year (79.6%) is about 2% below career norms (81.6%) which doesn't seem huge but it's something. His contact rate was 75% last year.

In any case, it seems that it is fair to say that some line drives are hit harder than others. Given Ibanez' HR/FB *this year*, you could say there's an argument that he's not hitting line drives as hard as last year. I dunno. That's not precisely what Swartz says. He says that 2009 HR/FB is more highly correlated.

Optimispun: If the Phillies traded Lee for baseball reasons, because they were selling high and thought he was due to come down performance-wise, then we should fault them for being seriously mistaken in their analysis of the player.

It is interesting that we've now moved from debating whether the Lee deal was good or bad, to simply debating the different possible reasons it was bad. Everyone seems to be in agreement that it was a mistake and a bad deal. All that's left now is the shouting.

Milt is all class.

Thanks for all your efforts, but something has to be done to shake up this offense. Will this work? Time will tell. It's on the players now.

Jack - Fair point: if you make a bad projection, that's a mistake as well.

That said, I'm still not sure whether whether it was a good trade or not, and so I don't count myself among the crowd whose already rushed to judgment. I'd rather be right than first, all things being equal.

"Everyone seems to be in agreement that it was a mistake and a bad deal. All that's left now is the shouting."

I wouldn't have made the trade because I'm a fan, and it would have been fantastic to see a 1-3 of Doc, God, and Hamels.

But there are some who say that, maybe, determining that it was a bad deal just might be contingent on finding out whether or not the players he traded for turn into quality major-league players?

But of course, those who can predict the future have no problem passing judgment before they know all the relevant factors. Right Jack?

i dont think anyone really thinks its all Milt's fault - but he's the hitting coach for a team that is struggling mightily on offense, so thats the breaks. Happens a dozen times a year, some just and some not. Not sad to see him, but certainly don't hold any animosity towards him for the their struggles.

Dong Lein is the one who needs to be fired. That stupid lazy idiot is the more of a clog on the payroll than any of the players.


And here I thought Heather was just some shubbery from the moors posting here.

No real issue with making the move. A manager of a group who dramatically unperforms usually gets canned even if it really isn't his fault.

Absolutely right! I think its crazy to expect that Milt's job would always be secure b/c the team had hit well in the past. Not sure if it will make a difference but still, I am not troubled by the move at all.

On another note: the Royals are rumored to be making Greinke available. Now, the notion that anyone is untouchable anyway, is a bit misguided (There was an excellent interview with Bill Bellichick last year or so where he essentially says that every player can be got for the right price, Tom Brady or not. I'm assuming the same is true in every sport.).

Still, I'm wondering what folks would think of a Dom Brown for Greinke swap, a la Hanley Ramirez for Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell. I suppose it doesn't make much sense, given holes opening in the OF, and the general strength at the top of the rotation. But it's interesting fodder nonetheless.

Also, let's stop the Heather bashing!

phlipper: No, you're right that the trade can't be evaluated until the prospects' Phils' careers are over.

That said, considering how well Lee has pitched and how the Phils have struggled (and yes, a lot of that is offense, but anyone saying Lee wouldn't help is lying or an idiot) in a year they were supposed to be contending for a WS, the bar is pretty high for those prospects to contribute down the line, given the cost of not having Lee this year.

Care to take a guess at how it will turn out? My personal opinion is that Aumont is a bust who makes it as a reliever, if at all. Ramirez looks like a useful back-end starter. Gillies? No idea. I liked him coming into this season, but he's basically lost a full year of development, and he's obviously never proven anything outside of the best hitting environment in the minors. So who knows.

Milt had to go. When most of your team is/was slumping for a good chunk of the season, the hitting coach has to go. I wish him the best of luck.

The message that this should send is that management's patience has run out. From watching, I get the sense that there are a few hitters that were just not listening. Perhaps they'll listen now. *shrug*

Rollins was NEVER a good lead-off hitter. He has always been mediocre at best. J-Roll has always tried to hit too many HRs which typically led him to K twice as much as he would walk. His OBP is horrible for a Lead-Off, usually at the bottom of the league. I can't remember which year it was, but once he was the 2nd worst OBP in the NL for a starter.

well if we go by aksmith's criteria from the previous thread, the lee trade was a failure unless one of the prospects goes to the HOF and wins a WS MVP. so, yes, i guess the lee trade will turn out to be a failure.

it's strange criteria though, considering lee himself most likely won't have either of those accolades when all is said and done.

I personally think what we got in return for Cliff Lee > Than what we gave up for Cliff Lee.

If Donald wasn't putting up decent numbers, I'd say >>, but since I'd rather have Donald over Valdez at this point, I give it >.

I almost see it as a wash... Almost as if Lee was never here.

I will admit that I'm in the Lee camp, wishing he was still here... but I'm not a GM, or an owner, and can't change a thing, so I stopped whining about it about 1 day after it happened.

Deck Chair #1 has been rearranged with this move.

Yes, the heather bashing is becoming old quickly. As one poster noted, you can bash the content of the posts all you want, but who cares about the person behind name.

The incessant blather on here about Cliff Lee is really tiresome.

Just sayin'.

I've seriously considered adding a remove any post with "Cliff Lee" feature to my beerleaguer greasemonkey script.

Cipper: Agreed. I think all three of those prospects have a highish ceiling too. It will be interesting to hear what people say when one of them is producing at the Major League level.


I'm not a follower of the minor leagues, so I have no ability to evaluate the players he got in return. From what I've read at BL, as prospects go, they were pretty good but not great.

I buy the argument that having locked in Doc multi-year on a team which seemed pretty well set rotation-wise after going to the WFS the previous year, and after raiding the prospect cabinet to get Lee and Doc in the first place, the rationale of trading Lee for prospects makes sense to me. As I said, I wouldn't have done it because a Doc/God/Hamels 1-3 would have blown my mind as a Phillies fan.

Given that the rationale is reasonable even if I wouldn't have used it, the evaluation of the trade depends on the value he got in return. It is easy for curmudgeons to sit behind their keyboards and be 100% certain that it would have been a piece of cake to get more in return for Lee - but the reality is that there is no way that they really know for certain if that is true. If you think that's the case, fine. But no one really knows.

But when people call Amaro a "moron" it presupposes that they know for sure that either the prospects will be a bust or that he could have gotten better prospects. Given that they're passing judgment on Amaro without having the needed facts, who's the moron?

Shane, I don't think anyone is arguing that Rollins' OBP belongs in the leadoff spot. With his high BA and relatively high SLG, he'd be a pretty good RBI guy. This discussion is more about what to expect from Rollins (a ~.275/.335/.440 career hitter) going forward.

I'm against the fact that we "had" to trade Lee, but i'm not as down on what we got back as some of the other BL experts are.

What hurts is Gillies essentially missing this season. He got off to a rough start, started to improve, then got hurt. He was 21 and starting at a higher level, so a slow start isn't unexpected. If he played the whole season and hitting .260, but with 25 SBs, we can at least say he's got speed and potential. Now, we have nothing, so it feels like a loss.

I think the "we got magic beans back" stuff is a bunch of BS.

So we promoted the hitting coach from our AAA affiliate, a team that is last in OPS, near the bottom in BB, and near the top in Ks? Great, sounds like just what this offense needs!

Must be nice to be mediocre at your job and be offered a big promotion because the guy above you is modestly less good.

The reason the Lee trade keeps coming up is that it is such a an obvious management f#rt that no one can help but to bring it up again.
Its even funnier when guys who should know better try to tell us: "that was no f#rt or that wasn't his f#rt".
It would all stop once the f#rter admits it apologises or leaves the room. Of course we will still have an occasional chuckle as in: "Remember when Amaro...wasn't that a gas."

I don't think you need to censor the word fort.

Optimuspun - Assuming a trade could be worked out, do you think Greinke would succeed in Philly? He has a well-publicized social-anxiety disorder that negatively affected his pitching in the past. Having him pitch in Philadelphia (or any other market with tough fans - whether the reputation is warranted or not) might trigger a relapse.

"I don't think you need to censor the word fort. "
Especially when you can mispell it in a way that everyone can understand -- phart.

Please stop the kneejerk defense of all Phillies players and coaches, as in the case of Milt Thompson. There has to be some accountability. Remember, this is the formerly hot hitting team that now scores one run a game. If you look at the lack of plate discipline, i.e., unwillingness to take a walk, swinging wildly at pitches well out of the strike zone, overswinging at every pitch (Victorino, Rollins, Howard ) something is wrong.Victorino is the worst of the lot.A change in the hitting coach cannot be anything but helpful.

fljerry: They aren't looking at Oswalt after he insisted they exercise his option. And the proposed deal, as I recall, had Werth leaving.

@Hitman. Not sure how you can implicate Howard in that grouping with Rollins and Victorino with Ryan batting .303 with 22 bombs and 75 RBIs. He's not the problem with this lineup.

"It would all stop once the f#rter admits it apologises or leaves the room."

Just curious, RK - what planet do you live on?

phlipper: I agree with a lot of what you say. However, I want to point out what I think is the key flaw in your process, and therefore in the Phillies process, if what you describe is in fact what they did.

You argue that there was a rationale for trading Lee for prospects; fair enough. Then, you say that the prospects they got back was as good as they could've gotten. Also, fair enough.

The issue is that there's no reason for the sequential order. Why would you make the first determination if the second one is not of sufficient value? Which is to say, if all you could get back was those prospects, wouldn't it make you re-evaluate the first determination? It still comes down to how those guys perform, obviously, and I'm no scouting/prospect expert, but it seems to me that if all you could get back was 3 prospects outside the top 100, then maybe there was more value in just keeping Lee for a year, having a sick rotation, and then getting draft picks. The way this season has gone has only re-enforced that.

Again, the rationale of re-stocking the farm system is absolutely a legit one. My issue is just that it's a decision which shouldn't be made in a vacuum--the determination has to be dependent on what you re-stock the farm with, and it doesn't seem like the Phillies made that sort of nuance analysis.

Of course, all this assumes it was a "baseball decision." This is not a given; in fact, most evidence points to it being a money decision by management.

Sophist - They can't be any worse for JRoll.

His numbers the past month (27 G):

.183/.268/.275 with 2 HRs and 12 RBIs

Besides a few timely hits and his ability to take some BBs, it has been ugly at the plate.

It is the worst offensive 30-game stretch of JRoll's career.

Frankly, I don't know what to expect going ahead forward. He likely won't be this bad but he essentially has been Juan Castro out there the past month offensively.

Maybe something like .230/.330/.360 the rest of the way? That is a guy who should be hitting no higher than 7th in this lineup even with all of the problems they have.

Hitman, how do you know Milt Thompson is responsible for the Phils struggles? I'm skeptical that he is, so I defend the guy. I know some just want to see heads to roll, but I that would be done for accountability reasons and not simply to create a scapegoat.

I'm gonna tell ya, this was a short time coming. I mean, the guy, IMO, personified the idea of a tow-the-line company man. I don't think this guy ever really took the job of hitting instructor seriously. I mean, with these mashers, how much "instruction" does one need to do? Evidently, in some years, quite a bit.

Milt struck me as a guy who was more worried about "fitting in" than a guy who was gonna tell a Shane Victorino to keep his shoulder in, for example.

It was high time. Maybe GG will take the job with a higher level of accountabilit than Milt did.

Bridoc: agreed...

Not to mention his K's are down, and it may be me, but I feel he's been getting more hits this year while hitting INTO the shift.

Sophist: Accountability? The offense hasn't been hitting since April, shouldn't the HITTING coach be held accountable for that?

Just read this and got pretty depressed:

"Hamels has but one victory to show for his last five starts, despite the fact that he's allowed just seven runs over that stretch."

Cliff Lee would have had 6 wins to show for those 5 starts.

bigmyc: you should take that to the Philly Improv.

bigmyc - how in the world do you have any idea what Milt Thompson does as a hitting instructor?

MG - I meant next year. I don't expect much from him this year either.

Cipper: The fact that Howard is .303 DESPITE the shift is pretty astounding. With a standard defensive alignment, who knows how hit his average might be right now? .340/.350 would not be out of the question, I think. How man laser outs to short right does he hit?

why is RAJ not pursuing Dan Uggla or Jorge Cantu...We don't need starting pitching with Happ coming up. Both are right handed bats that can help fill the Utley void. Uggla at 2nd, or Cantu at 3rd and Polanco back to 2nd, hello...

Bay Slugga - Not if the struggles aren't his fault.

Phillies just saved a salary. Charlie is the real hitting coach, and no he's not giving them bad advice to take good pitches and chase bad ones. They are doing that on their own.
Now Rube saves Milt's salary and uses Gross who is already on the payroll with a dubious job description. Monty is a happy guy.

Cliff Lee would make Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, and Ted Williams tap girly little grounders to mound every time. Cliff Lee's pants put themselves on him without his help. Cliff Lee's underwear folds itself and puts itself in the drawer. If Cliff Lee kisses your baby, he'll grow up to win NL MVP when he's 20. That Yankees want to restock their A and AA teams by cloning Cliff Lee's eyelashes. Cliff Lee uses Charlie Manuel Louisville Sluggers to pick his teeth. Cliff Lee Cliff Lee Cliff Lee.

Not loving the Thompson firing. I don't know what he tells the players, but I suspect that he has not been advocating an undisciplined plate approach lately, or wildly swinging from the fences.

IMO, if a player is taking an undisciplined approach to the point where it is hurting the team, or if he is working himself deeper and deeper into a hole, it's the manager's job to decide whether to give him a rest, send him down for a spell to clear his head a la Myers, let him play his way out of it, whatever.

If I had ever heard anything about say, pitchers trying to work with Thompson on their bunting, but that he was simply unhelpful or unable to teach/communicate the skill, that might be evidence of firing grounds.

This seems to me like a ritual sacrifice to shake things up, and suggests weakness to me. I understand you can't stand pat forever as the ship sinks, but Thompson isn't the one who hasn't had a hit with RISP for 26 at bats (I think that was the approximate stat I heard quoted) until yesterday.

Bosox making Jed Lowrie available. He plays 2b, ss, 3b.

Bay Slugga - Or are you suggesting that, just as Utley forgot how to hit for a month, Milt forgot how to coach hitting for a couple of months. Or it could be the injuries to our entire IF (minus Howard) and the 38 year old who had offseason surgery in LF.

Well, this is how it goes for hitting coaches, unfortunately. Still, it's the first, last gasp of a team circling the drain.

Titanic Deck Chair #1, indeed.

How long until Scott Proefrock takes over as GM? Really something to look forward to they are grooming him for the job like they did Amaro. They only won because they went outside the organization with Gillick. Now its back to as they told Jim Leyland "The Phillies way".

Sophist: Please show me documented evidence that Milt was correctly instructing our hitters on how to break out of their slumps. Is it at all possible he was not doing a very good job of helping our struggling hitters?

Since you and I both know that neither of us can make a claim that Thompson was either doing his job well or poorly, I believe we will have to trust the judgments of Charlie and RAJ. They are both around the batting cages and know exactly what Milt was preaching to our hitters - something neither of us can say.

I believe you are regarded as one of the more knowledgeable posters on this blog, but making the claim that the offensive struggles "aren't his fault" is both uniformed and MVPTommy-like.

When you are a hitting coach of a team your job is to instruct their hitting. When that hitting has been as terrible as ours has been it is partially your own fault, and you should be held accountable.

I always wonder if major league sports players ever feel bad about their poor performance costing another man his job, or if they are totally oblivious.

I'm ok with the symbolic firing of Thompson, but a hitting coach can only do so much. The hitters need to hit. Werth has allegedly been working on his approach at the plate, but Milt can't hold his hand.

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EST. 2005

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