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Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Yo, new thread.

And that's all that needs to be said.


MLB umps are out of control. Their own personal egos are more important to them then the sport itself.

JW: Your game wrap is brilliant in it's succinctness, & absolutely correct.

Yes and Yes

You know something that always comes up in debates that we have had these past couple weeks about the Braves and Phillies schedules is this belief that lesser teams just roll over and die for the better teams. That doesn't happen.

in the course of a season you are going to lose games to a team that is not as good as you. In fact, just last year we got swept in 4 games by the Astros on Labor Day Weekend.

That doesn't mean we should be happy about it, but people need to stop pretending like the Phillies are playing a bunch of buckets of sand.

the offense struggled tonight and that has been a theme this season. They'll hit a hot stretch yet and hopefully it comes when it's not too late.

41st time the Phils have scored 2 runs or less this year. Their record is 10-31 in those games.

2009 (39 times): 5-34
2008 (36 times): 5-31
2007 (25 times): 0-25

Points to just how good the starting pitching has been this year generally and how the offense has fallen off a bit.

Charlie Manuel's closing to the press conference:

"I don't any team that ever got anywhere complaining about the umpires."

Braves blogs bemoaning their lack of offense and losing 2 games to a lesser team, but taking solace in the Phils' loss.

Truth- Is your middle name Stepford?

As an aside, I'm not excusing the offense for a poor performance, but that happens. To all teams. What is much more inexcusable is an umpire sticking his snoot into the outcome of a game. He was showing up Ryno after the 1st call and he was baiting him. No question. And I'm sure he knows what effect it has on the Phils to toss their last position player. Total crap.

Brilliant wrap-up, JW!

Cholly's learned something in his 95 years in the game. Losers complain about the umping.

You want a worst case scenario? After we get done losing 3 of 4 at home to Houston, we play 3 games on the road in San Diego. A hapless offense playing in the best pitcher's park in baseball, against the league's hottest team and one of the best 12-man pitching staffs in baseball.

Don't get mad at the ump. Get mad at the offense. You can't even single out one person because everyone looks horrible. There is no reason this games should have gone to the 16th inning against a team like the Astros. We could be in first place if we didn't look so dead out there. 2 runs last night and 2 runs tonight in 16 innings. EMBARRASSING. Like I said in the other post, the should have just lost it in the 9th, would not have been as bad.

And I know someone like Jack is trying to pass Howard as the evil person in that mess in the 14th but there is absolutely zero excuse for what the ump did in that situation. Howard was upset with the first call and made the umpire openly mocked him on the field. The ump absolutely showed up a player- the one thing umps say they never tolerate is being shown up the players and right there the ump absolutely did that to Howard.

And there is no excuse for Howard to be tossed there. He was pissed but never moved towards the ump. He said his peace and the ump tossed him from 100 feet away. It's garbage.

The umpiring was not the only reason the Phillies lost but they are partially culpable in this.

Jon: Yeah, but the officiating has been a travesty this series.

Old Phan: Damn straight. What Barry did tonight was perhaps the single most unprofessional display by a (supposed) professional umpire I have ever seen. Maybe I'm getting old, but I do not recall umpires being so obviously, aggressively & continually confrontational when I watched baseball as a kid/teenager. Things have changed, & very much for the worse.

Does anyone really think the umpiring was what cost the Phillies this game? Ryan Howard went 0 for 7 with 5 strikeouts. Is there any reason in the world to believe the outcome would have been different if he had been batting instead of Oswalt?

Only difference is that the final score would have been 3-2, instead of 4-2, since Howard would not have dropped that throw.

JW waxes Hemingway, shines Plimpton.

BAp:: But knowing the Phillies, if we do lose 3 of 4 here will go out to San Diego and either sweep or win 2 of 3.

"Don't get mad at the ump. Get mad at the offense."

You can't do both?

Seriously, I'm surprised Barry didn't stick his tongue out at Ryno or give him the raspberries.

BAP: C'mon man. I know you are the eternal doom and gloom guy but you're really looking silly here. I don't care if Howard is 0 for 10 in the game with 10 strikeouts. When you're down two runs, with two on I would much rather have him at the plate than Roy Oswalt.

I don't know how the at bat would turn out but I do know there is a better chance of a hit, and a considerably higher chance that we win on a walkoff.

Who says the umpire cost the Phillies? Roy Oswalt had a better at-bat than any of Howard's 7 stinkers. Christ, the guy had a better chance of making contact, and I'm not even kidding.

The thing that is disappointing about the officiating is the substantial effect it had in the sense that it cost an error, as well as forcing our last batter to be a pitcher. This ump by the way was a AAA fill-in. Personally, I have faith the offense will come around, but if/when MLB suspends Howard the MLBPA needs to petition to have that ump suspended as well. It takes two to tango.

How much longer is Cholly going to run this fatally flawed batting lineup out there?

I understand they haven't had their full 8, for many games this year. But the facts are, Rollins is not a leadoff guy anymore. The 2010 Werth is not a middle-of-the-order hitter. Utley is not a power guy that should be protecting the cleanup guy in 2010.

Werth, with his BA and OBP, should be leading off. That shouldn't even be debated now.

Rollins should be hitting either #5 or #6, to take advantage of the one thing he actually still does well at the plate (hit with RISP especially in big spots).

Utley should be hitting 2nd, to take advantage of his good eye and the hole on the right side (provided Werth is on in front of him).

Polly, because he has been the best average hitter on the team, should be hitting 3rd.

It would be a damn shame to waste so much good pitching this year. We just might, if something doesn't change. How do the Phils not score 1 damn run in extra innings against Abad, Melacanon (sp?) and Lard Ass Fulchino? That is unacceptable. Not exactly facing a bunch of future hall of famers there.

Anybody want to bet Doc goes 9 tomorrow? He might throw 170 pitches. He should mow through that lineup and do it efficiently. Hopefully we can score once and win 1-0.

b_a_p: Honestly, yes. Even I still felt the Phils had a good chance to win until the umpires forced that ridiculous change. As I said previously, I didn't get too worked up over the blown call in the first game of this series because sh*t like that happens. But what happened tonight is inexcusable, & directly impacted the outcome of the game. Ex: There's no way the Astros give Utley an IBB in the bottom of the 16th if Howard is still in the game, 0-7 be damned.

Few thoughts:

- Howard and Utley are why this offense is struggling the past week. Howard is 2-19 with 10 Ks and no XHB. Utley is 7-28 with 1 XHB (double). 9-47 (.194) with 1 XHB from your 3-4 hitters is hard to overcome.

- Familiar foe: 6-39 with RISP the last 6 games.

- Hamels gets no lovin. No wins since July 11th even though he has a 2.83 ERA his last 8 GS. Phils have now scored 2 or less runs in nearly half of his starts (12 of 26 GS).

- JRoll's HR was clutch but his decision to try and steal 3B in the 7th was a poor one. We debated this alot the other week when JRoll stole 3B and it is a completely different ball game when stealing 3B. Not going to have that 85-90% success rate.

- Still wonder why Herndon didn't get pulled when he was clearly gassed nearing 50 pitches. Hit a batter, threw a wild pitch, and was struggling with his command at the end. My bet is that KK comes in and keeps it scoreless.

If The Phillies won, it still wouldn't excuse what Barry did.

Howard will get suspended too, BTW.

Mike Sweeney will be needed for a few days soon at 1B.

the ump cost it beacause A) HOWARD DIDN'T SWING! and B) Howard's actions did not merit an ejection.

RSB: The 5 strikeout at bats loom large. The other two though were a ball in the third hit to deep left center that on most nights at CBP goes out. he's hit a ton of those types of home runs at the park.

In the 11th he hit a pretty hard line drive right at Wallace at first.

denny - With Happ starting tomorrow, I hope Cholly starts Sweeney at 1B anyways. Give Howard a day to clear his head.

BTY - I miss the Phils' offense that mashed with the long ball. Small ball is quaint and vastly overrated.

denny: I don't think Howard will get suspended. He might get fined but he didn't make contact with an ump. The ump made contact with him.

Actually, I could see him getting suspended- appealing it and the suspension being dropped.

Halladay tomorrow. Couldn't come at a better time. Offense needs to figure it out because there aren't breaks in their schedule. Utley's got a really long swing right now. Howard looks bad. Rollins, aside from cranking that grooved meatball tonight, looks bad, Victorino looks brutal batting from the left side ...


I think using Kendrick was something they REALLY didn't want to have to do unless they were absolutely forced to. They never even got a ball out of the infield against Herndon in the 16th. Its not like he was giving up rockets.

What it likely would have meant, is Oswalt would move up on 3 days rest to pitch Thursday. Kendrick would move back to Friday to face Latos. Both would have been bad scenarios.

It would have then put KK and Blanton back-to-back in the rotation for a while, which I don't think helps things either.

Herndon did the best he could, but this was another case where the lack of a real long man in the pen, hurt the Phils. Herndon is just not a guy you can expect to get much more then 2 good innings out of (his last outing notwithstanding). The Phils needed to win the game in the 15th and didn't do it.


Happ might be a lefty that Howard can do something with.

Ryno has no clue right now with any kind of curveball. Jay is not a curveball guy.

Wandy will tie him up in knots on Thursday (which is the day I expect to see Sweeney in there).

Francisco is a pretty good high fastball hitter, so I'd expect to see him in LF tomorrow. Raul is probably worn out, after playing 16 innings and 2 different positions. He looked gassed trying lean over and catch that ball in the 16th.

TI: that's a 2-3 game suspension, without a doubt.

MG: I didn't have a problem with Herndon staying in. KK's the same type of contact animal. KK pitches Thursday, so if he's unavailable, then they're reaching for a callup.

FWIW, I didn't think Howard offered, either.

denny b - Some pretty valid points. It wouldn't have some good outcomes and no guarantee they score in the bottom of the 16th anyways.

Not blaming Herndon either. He did his job. His arm angle was getting a bit inconsistent. He was just clearly out of gas. ~50 pitches for any reliever is alot especially for a guy who really isn't a classic swing-man.

For years, the knock on the Phillies' offense has been that, if they don't hit homeruns, they don't score. Their supporters have countered that homerun-oriented offenses tend to me more productive offenses. By eliminating the homerun from their offensive repertoire, this year's Phillies have simultaneously proven both these points of view to be right.

I just hope that when the league reviews the tapes, they see what everyone else saw. Barry trying to bait Howard.

denny b - I definitely hope that Francisco starts tomorrow. They probably start Howard tomorrow too because they want him out there before he might get suspended.

Yeah Phils haven't lost any ground but I just don't see this team being able to relying upon a 'sprinter's finish' this year if they are more than 3 GB at Labor Day in the division.

If you would have told me that the Phils would get 7 IP and 2 ER from Blanton & Hamels to open this series, I would say the Phils would have at least split.

TTI: You missed my entire point if you think I'm trying to make Howard into "the evil person" there.

My entire point was that both men performed less than admirably in their jobs. The umpire's actions were inexcusable. Simple as that. I haven't said anything otherwise. In fact, were it up to me, he would be suspended and/or fired. It was an absolute disgrace.

My only point was that it doesn't absolve Howard. He simply can't get ejected in that situation. I don't care how bad the call was, or how much the ump baited. You can't throw your bat down and curse while looking at the ump on a ball/strike call, ESPECIALLY after you just had an issue with him 2 pitches before. Not in an extra-inning game in a pennant race with no one left on the bench. You just can't.

The umpire was absolutely awful and should be suspended. Zero excuse for his actions. There, we agree right? I don't see what your point is regarding my take, unless you fail to understand how both guys can have acted poorly in that situation.

RSB: I've never seen a guy get suspended for arguing with an umpire. Also, Ryan stayed a pretty fair distance from Barry. I didn't see an angle with them both in frame but the third base ump didn't move towards Howard and Howard never went over the third base line and certainly never got directly in the ump's face.

And again- the only umpire who Howard came into contact with initiated the contact. He put his hands up and sort of pushed Howard back from the third base ump.

I would be shocked if Howard got suspended.

Utley isn't attacking the ball at all.

He's just feeling for everything. Looks very mechanical. Almost like he's taking BP.

I wonder just how "healed" that injury actually is. He don't look right. And we all know, he'll never say whether he's right or not physically.

Howard is just going through one of those usual stretches he gets in, where he can't catch up with the fastball and has no clue on curveballs. This was the Howard, we hadn't seen in 2010. Sucks that we are seeing that guy now.

A place like Petco, might be the best place to go for this group. Make them concentrate. Maybe they need to give up the WC lead. Make them chase again. That's when the Phils seem to play their best. When they are facing adversity and its not "easy" for them. Wish this team could take the bull by the horns and not have to make their usual late September push. But that seems like where this is destined to be going. They can't do anything the simple way.

Utley and Howard not ready to come back. Werth sleepwalking and losing $$ on a daily basis. 2 horrible losses to a AAA team. I am tired of blaming the umps. Phillies think they can just turn it on like the last 2 years but teams around them are better. JA Happ will throw 7 today and another former Phil will haunt us.

Howard should not get suspended for making contact with an ump.

Not sure what the precedent is for charging after an umpire, though I doubt it warrants a suspension. My guess is instead of punishing the umpire, they will settle it by simply not punishing Howard and call it even, regardless of who actually deserves punishment.

Bud Selig, ladies and gentlemen.

I'd be shocked if Ryno wasn't suspended.

That's probably a 2 or 3 gamer.

Truth: you've really never seen a guy get suspended for 'excessive arguing'? It happens to Manuel every now and then, and he never takes off in the direction of an ump the way Howard did. That was one hell of a violent explosion.

Mind you, I'm not defending Barry. And I'm not even really blaming Howard. I would have lost my sh*t right there, too. But he's going to get a harsh sentence from MLB.

Jack: They're erecting a statue of His Eminence outside of the ball park in Milwaukee, you know. In other news, I have recently begun collecting pigeons.

I was relegated to Gameday when the Howard ejection happened, but I just watched the replay on I have to agree with the consensus. It was completely outrageous & the ump should definitely be suspended. That said, I don't think it had anything to do with the outcome of the game. The Phillies looked like they could have played 30 innings & they still wouldn't have scored.

Who is probably available tomorrow out of the pen?

Lidge? Would be 3rd straight day. Maybe.
Madson? Doubt it.
Durbin? Yes.
Romero? Yes.
Baez? Yes.
Contreras? Yes.
Herndon? No.

Probably will be a moot point anyway, with Doc going. But by my count, the bullpen shouldn't be in too bad a shape tomorrow.

Burning Brown and not even using him in the game, ended up kinda hurting us tonight. I think that's a move you really shouldn't make very often when you only have a 5 man bench. If its September 10th, then yes. But when your team isn't scoring and its a close game, I think you have to be careful with things like that. At least get a PH AB out of the guy.

Generally, the player has to make contact with the ump in order to get suspended. I didn't see that happen. He SHOULD have made contact with the ump, though -- namely by driving his fist right into the ump's face.

BAP, maybe it wouldn't, but maybe it would. I know people are pissy about Ryno, but 2 on and 2 out in the bottom of 8,000th inning. who do you want up, Ryno or O?

denny: Agree with you about Brown. I would have just let him hit. You can't be burning through 2 bench players on a 5-man bench, just to get a more favorable matchup.

If I were part of the umpiring crew, I would make the ump wear a mask tomorrow, because he can't show his face anywhere in Philly.

"The Phillies looked like they could have played 30 innings & they still wouldn't have scored."

Which is about the 30th time this year, its felt that way watching them.

I felt the same way. I thought after they got out of the 15th with Oswalt in LF, that they'd figure out a way to score a run against Fulchino in the bottom of the 15th. But it didn't happen.

Then when you have 2 pitchers, Schneider, a hobbling Polanco, a out-of-synch Utley and Victorino (what has happened to him???) in your lineup, there ain't many viable hitters out there. Houston didn't have many either though.

the brown decision made little sense. Norris was brought out in the seventh to bait Manuel into making a move. There were both a left hander and right hander warmed up in the pen. Still its not the decision that cost them the game.

It was obviously not switching Oswalt for Herndon when he was getting gassed. ;)

I'm trying to make some jokes as my rage boils down.

I'm expecting a long night as I crank call various local hotels looking for umpires.


The thing is, Dom is the ONLY lefty hitter on the bench (I don't count the backup catcher, who is hardly ever going to be used to PH).

You have to use that ONE guy judicially and make sure, its going to be against a RHP (since Brown has struggled to hit LHP). Make sure that its against a Lopez or a Lyon. And if Houston does go LOOGY with him, then you are almost forced to leave him in. Or just go with Francisco against the RHP in that spot and take your chances.

Houston having 3 lefty's in the pen, also has killed the Phils in this series. Its the achillies heal for this offense. Lefty relievers. Usually doesn't even matter how good or how bad or how experienced they are. Who the hell is this Abad guy? He looked like a NL All Star out there. We are making Tim Byrdick look like Cy Young.

Old Phan - Barry ensured tonight that he is going to get booed for the next few years when he comes to Philly. Ask Stickle who I remembered getting booed as a kid early and often at Flyers' games when I was a kid even though I had no reason why they were booing even before the game started.

I saw Kinsler get ejected this year for tossing his shin guard at home plate and cursing (not directly at the ump, just in general) at a called strike 3. Not the same ump, obviously, but it happens...I thought it was bad then, I think it's bad now, but this certainly isn't unique in the annals of umpiring.

To quote one my favorite movies about this game overall...What a pisser.

MG, Barry is a replacement umpire. He won't be back all too often.

Barry is probably a IL or PCL umpire anyway.

Have a better chance of seeing him in Allentown or Oklahoma City, then you do in a big league park.

We have another young guy behind the plate tomorrow.

Barry was wrong and overreacted (and got the 3rd strike call wrong), but there were a bunch of other plays that cost the Phils the game. He didn't help matters though.

denny b - Yeah. A team with multiple lefty relievers can give this team fits late especially with JRoll and Vic's real struggles from the left-hand side of the plate this year.

"Barry was wrong and overreacted (and got the 3rd strike call wrong), but there were a bunch of other plays that cost the Phils the game"

The implication of that is that Barry was genuinely, without bias, trying to be impartial throughout the whole affair, which I think he wasn't.

Barry had an axe to grind, and when the opportunity presented itself, he ground it.

I do agree with your larger point that if 2 runs was all you could muster up against Houston, you deserved to lose.

The fact that he's a replacement ump makes the whole sordid affair even worse.

This team is rapidly returning into the guys I saw in May. That team isn't making the playoffs.

Yeah, denny, he's an IL ump. Called up cos the crew chief is on vacation.


What happened with Ross Gload? How did he get tossed?

if that question is serious, Gload is on the DL.

Ross Gload apparently got tossed because he continued yelling from the dugout after the Howard ejection.

Sophist, Gload got tossed from the game. I was wondering what he did.

Why, when this team gets more of its regulars back, are they playing worse and worse?

More Dom Brown, Ben Francisco, Wilson Valdez, Ross Gload, and Mike Sweeney for everyone!

I liked LA's rant.

To add insult to injury, when you click on the "Howard's ejection" video on, it takes you, instead, to "Selig speaks at statue unveiling." No joy in Mudville.

LA was spewing but totally right. Stupid ump.

Well, this minor league ump has set his chances at a major league job back by about ten years.

"Well, this minor league ump has set his chances at a major league job back by about ten years."

If Joe West is making the decisions, it has moved him to the head of the line!

So this guy, Barry, apparently was the ump who tossed Zimmerman for the first time in his career. Actually there seems to be a bit of a habit of him being a bit of a dick.

Maybe he just has a thing for players who are considered around the league as "good" guys.

aren't umps supposed to be in the background anyway?

That was awful. Yes the Ump blew it but so did Howard 7 times and he wasn't alone. Of course beign ejected did not help either.

Why should umps get a vacation during the season?

The offseason isn't enough time off for them?

Once again, like monday night....the call sucked but it wasn't the deciding factor...The offense has decided to go on vacation. Just win the next two phils, get a split and go on the road.

Al Davis was right when he said "just win, baby, win."

Check the Zimmerman tape. It's even worse. This guy does not have what it takes to umpire MLB. Unless arrogance counts for even more than we know.

Barry: "Now be gone, before I taunt you again."

Really in a tough spot now. Should be a half game down. We could easily come back from LA down 5 or 6.

The MLB clip shows Barry baiting Ryan after that first call. How is that allowed from an ump? To those at the Bank a lot: Is that common? Can't believe it is, and it certainly shouldn't be. Especially from a sub/replacement minor league guy. Take that back - especially from any ump.

If the Phils come back down 5 or 6 after this roadtrip might as well start planning those golf vacations for october.

Suspension coming?

Postseason odds plummet to 39 percent.

Has anyone seen a difference in our hitters approach to hitting from Milt to Gross?
I dont see any difference.

I saw a difference at first. It seemed the Phils were keeping the ball up the middle early in the Gross days.....I also think that the Phils were a little Babip unlucky the last few days....some liners hung up there and there were at least a few hard hit grounders last night that could have been hits. I think GG is doing a good job.

No excuse for getting tossed at that time, players HAVE to be able to be able to compartmentalize enough in that type of situation to keep it together.

At the same time, while inexcusable,it is perhaps understandable. I can only imagine the frustration level Howard was dealing with. He's angrier and more frustrated about the lousy ABs than any of us.

I'll try to stay with an optimistic spin here and believe that this game will go down in the lore of the 2010 season as the moment when Roy Oswalt really understood how great it is to play in front of the fans at CBP -- and the last nudge that put the Phillies' collective backs to the wall and forced them to get serious about getting back to the post-season, despite the many forces arrayed against them.

There's gonna' be two tired teams out there tonight -- I like Doc to put the clampdown on this annoying team and the bats to break out against our boy J.A.

I'm not surprised that Roy couldn't get a hit in that situation. He has never been the hitter that I am (preening).

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