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Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Folk hero. So glad my wife bought me his rookie jersey for my 33rd birthday this year. I will wear it proudly Thursday night as Section 143 welcomes him back.

That's a truly inspired graphic.

Mr. Weitzel:

We've had complaints from the IT department regarding improper image searching. Someone will be down to speak with you about our Internet usage policy.

Yours sincerely,
Comcast Facilities Management

That has to be Will Ferrell's body. One of the most recognizable in America. Disgusting but true.

awh - I didn't post those; denny did.

One issue with the Giants pitching matchups is that both Zito and Sanchez are LHP. But Vic and Rollins have been excellent from the right side this year, and we should see Francisco over Ibanez. Chooch has a .957 OPS when LHP start against the Phils (.330 BA). Zito's home/away splits are massive (2.76/4.30 ERA:: 4.38/4.81 xFIP). He has an 85% LOB at home and half the HR/FB that he has on the road.

Cain's numbers are similar (2.62/3.62 ERA:: 4.04/4.80 xFIP). His AVG against his 50 points higher on the road. Both he and Zito have FB tendencies (46-47%). We say Hamels is a FB pitcher, but his FB% is around 38%.

Sanchez is the kind of guy who can shut down the Phillies. High K, High BB. Another tough matchup for Hamels.

The Oswalt/Zito, Hamels/Sanchez matchups could go either way, and the Blanton/Cain matchup is easily in their favor; but I'm much happier facing those three here than SF.

When actually read in context, that is quite a good article, and says a lot about PtB.
I can't imagine why he would hear any boos tonight. It wasn't his choice to leave.

He will hear no boos tonight. This will be the most positive and possibly the loudest reception for an ex-phillie coming back with another team.

Dukes, that is my assumption as well.

Re: the pitching matchups. I know this probably won't happen, but I would like to see Blanton get skipped during the Giants series.

Not only would it allow us to have our three best pitchers match up against the team we are fighting for the Wild Card, but it will give Oswalt a chance to pitch against his former team, something I'm sure he would want to do. I can imagine the kind of ovation he would get is something every player would appreciate.

Pat Burrell will always be an enigma in the sports scene in Philadelphia. We ALWAYS boo the crap out of players like Pat that go through extended slumps. However in Pat's case we just really never treated him that way. I have row 1 left field seats and saw Pat regularly. After his 4th strikeout of the game he'd coming trotting out to left and people would be yelling "You'll get em next time Pat". ... I'll never understand it ...

Sophist: Great post. I think we have mistakenly come to automatically think that lefthanded pitchers are bad news for the Phillies but that's not necessarily the case. Rollins and Vic are much better righthanded, especially this year. And even if Chase is back he hits just as well against lefty's as he does righty's.

Re: Sanchez... My feeling is that he can be wild. If they can be patient on him in this ballpark, they can certainly beat him. You are correct, CBP is a different beast as compared to AT&T Park (is that what it's called now?)

I was looking at awh's picks looking at the pitching matchups for the next ten games in the last thread. Awh uses pretty simple logic. If H20 are pitching the Phillies are favored, if not, the other team is favored. We'll wait and see how the actual results pan out.

Old Phan - Yeah I can't see him being booed one bit. PtB will definitely get a loud ovation his first AB.

Of all the things that come to mind with PtB, 'folk hero' isn't among them.

Hope Pat get a standing O tonight.

I'm all for Pat getting a warm welcome back to Philly. Just so long as he doesn't react like Thome did, driving one out of the park to give his team the tie or lead.

"If H20 are pitching the Phillies are favored, if not, the other team is favored."

I noticed that too.

I'm not ready to totally write Blanton off. He is a decent, albeit not exciting pitcher, but is just really underperforming a lot this year.

Maybe it's just the residual effects of the injury and he won't be "right" until next year...although recently I thought he was starting to break out of it, his performance against the Dodgers didn't inspire confidence.

Rowand did the same thing in his Philly return (well, it was the third game of the series anyway). Hit a HR in the top of the 10th to give the Giants a 1-run lead. Burrell hit a 2R HR in the bottom for a Phils victory.

I was at the heartbreaker against the Twins where we fans with cheering for Jim Thome, who repaid our kindness by belting a go-ahead homer.

I don't often write off Philly players, but when I do, I write off Joe Blanton.

Not really, but he inspires little confidence, and I would be less then thrilled to see him in a playoff situation. Just to give him the benefit of the doubt, I'll blame it on the injury and that he hasn't found his groove this season, but hopefully he will next year.

Ideal situation would be for Pat to get a huge ovation, get some hits and play well, but the rest of the Giants sleepwalk through the series, which the Phils sweep.

I can dream.

Among the disturbing images I've seen posted on BL, this is the most.

Congrats on a superlative graphic.

Doohickey and GBrettFan:

Hate to be "this guy," but Thome's HR didn't give the Twins the lead. Thome's was a 2R HR to bring the Twins within 3. Mauer's HR tied the game in the 9th. That's why Thome was still cheered after the HR. The Phils still had a 3 run cushion. A BB, a few hits and HR later, the game is tied.

I was there, too. What a horrible game.

Why couldn't that image have been microscopic like previous images?

Can this be the new rainout graphic?

Ryan Howard (sprained ankle, 8/20)

It's not going to be a minimum stay on the DL for Howard, but it's not going to be much longer either. Howard was scheduled to do some running on Sunday, but conditions held that back. All signs are that with Chase Utley coming back tonight, Howard will be heading out for a quick rehab in the next few days and back by the weekend. What's the hold up for Howard? Sources tell me that Howard wasn't the best guy in rehab. He's never had a serious injury before and seemed thrown off by the injury more than most. It wasn't so much a work ethic issue as much as it was a confidence one. That's largely the reason the team is going to send him out for a couple games, so that he's sure of the ankle and isn't compensating for it. Don't expect much more of a delay, but do expect Howard to be back to normal once he does return. The Phillies have hung on through all their injuries this year, which is as much a testament to their organization as a couple pennants.

This morning has been a decent reminder for me that when reading something you have to consider the source - or the perspective of the writer.

We have all given KK credit - which he deserves - for a fine pitching performance against the Mess on Sunday night.

But, I was just skimming the NY papers, and their perspective is completely different.

They blame the Mets' inept offense criticizing Wright and Beltran by name:

It was just more of the lethargy that has plagued the Mets since the All-Star break. David Wright and Carlos Beltran were nowhere to be found, and the bottom of the Mets’ lineup might as well have spent the day at Saratoga."

Read more:

Lake Fred, I went back and looked and you're right about H2O in the matchups, though it was completely inadvertant.

I looked at the individual matchups.

There are matchups that I would consider both Kendrick and Blanton to have the advantage, just not the pitchers they are matched up against the next couple of starts.

Sophist, one other thing slightly faving Hamels is the QS%. Hamels' sits at 63%, ahile only 38% of Sanchez's starts have been quality ones.

(Dear baseball gods,

Do not construe the above post as me trying to invoke the BL Reverse Jinx.

Thank you in advance.


awh, I knew you had analyzed each game. You are like me, less likely to favor KK or Bulldog in pitching matchups. Essentially, for them to be favored, we'd have to be playing a bad team starting a minor leaguer, ha ha!

Boo me if you'd like, but Pat Burrell was always one of my least favorite Phillies. He always seemed like the arrogant prick that Aubrey Huff described, he had decent stats but in the clutch was always good for a K (except at Shea Stadium, but those were often years where the Mets were not our main rival), was a defensive liability, and generally seemed like a lumbering oaf who would try to beat the hell out of you if you ran into him at Penn's Landing. Plus, he got into a beef with Billy Wagner (I KNOW I'll get booed for this), a closer that I always thought was the team's best player when we had him and who I still wish we had today. (Okay, now feel free to boo me, but just don't throw any D batteries at me!)

Interesting factoid:

Kyle Kendrick has pitched more innings(137.2 in 23 GS) and has a higher QS% than Jonathan Sanchez(137.1 in 24 GS) 53% to 38%.

(Dear baseball gods, please see post above.

awh, I just read the Mets article from your link. Boo hoo, I feel sorry for the Mets.....NOT!!!

Jason, on your thread header graphic; I find it totally disgusting. Please don't show it to me again. I can take the evil Brunlett rain out graphic, but not the six packing naked Pat the Bat!!

VOR, you describe PtB as an arrogant prick but you wish The Rat was still on the Phillies? My head explodes in 3...2...

LF, I must disagree.

That might be the all-time best BL header graphic.

Share it with friends. Let's make it go viral on the net.

Re: the Mets.

Of course any game has to be considered from both sides. The Mets stink. In particular, their offense stinks. But I think it's much to easy to blame Kendrick's performance on their ineptitude.

There were a couple of well hit balls that were caught early. Kendrick looked to gain confidence, then he started making some hellaciously good pitches.

If a guy is throwing fastballs at lefthanded hitters that start a half foot inside and end up over the inside corner, he is going to get hitters out. And that's what Kendrick was doing. That explains Beltran. And Kendrick is routinely very good against righty hitters. That explains Wright.

It's all how you look at it, but I think Kendrick threw very well, more than the Mets stunk, in that game.

VOR: If PTB was bad in the clutch what does that make The Rat? He would blow the game everytime it was a must win. He sucked in the Clutch.


My favorite memory of Pat, which is a very hazy one involves the Pen and Pencil. It was back in '08 at the end of the season and a few of my out of town friends had come in to visit me. We drank way too much and I dragged them to the Pen and Pencil for some not needed after hours booze.

At some point and this is all booze related haze Pat walked in and bought everyone a round. I didn't see him but people where passing around free beers saying it was courtesy of Pat Burrell. I'm not sure if he actually did buy everyone in the bar a round but I would like to think he did.

VOR - PtB was never a favorite of mine either. He didn't deserve all of the criticism he got but he certainly wasn't a guy who was exactly known for his offseason/pre-game preparation.

Struck me as a guy who was given a huge amount of natural talent, worked to a point, and was generally content with being just a good player.

Wasn't sad to see him go either largely becaue he & his agent completely misread the FA market at the end of '08.

I would give him a roud of applause tonight in his first AB but that's it.

Ha I spent many nights at the Pen and Pencil. Not being a journalist of any sort I used my pay stubs from my then bartending job to get in. I love the Rollins/Piazza collision picture on the wall. If PtB had walked in one night I would have lost my mind. Then again for all I know he did and I had already lost my mind.

Now I like PtB as a mythical figure. A last of the famous international playboys if you will. But I have booed him and booed him hard over the years. And he was booed by the majority at the vet and CBP over the years. He had a good last few years and went out on top so all is forgiven.Now we sort of appreciate is bafoonish play in left and his general absurdity. Still, it would be dishonest to say that it didn't take the better part of the decade for us to warm to him. His entry music was "Dirty Laundry" for a reason. Kick me when I'm up. Kick me when I'm down.

smitty, I wasn't saying I agree with the article, just that the perspective of the viewer affects the view.

To wit: How many times have BL posters ripped the Phils offense this season? Lots. It is possible, though, isn't it, that some of the Phils' offensive "ineptitude" had to do with the opposing pitcher, no?

@gobaystars! I guess that's exactly what I mean PtB is the most wonderful of Philly mythical figures. Anyway any night that ends with, "... and then we went to the Pen and Pencil," is a night where you wake up the next day feeling very bad. It's not just a place for journalists either you can just walk up to the door try your hardest to stand straight, smile and ask nicely to be let in.

Fortunately this pic was taken before Coors Light added 'windows' to their packaging...

An ideal night would be to give PtB a standing O, watch him tip his cap to the crowd, then witness him go into one of his patented K streaks for the next three games, especially with RISP. Sort of what we have to endure watching Jayson Werth every game.

Mr. Mack, that would be fitting to see PtB whiff with the bat still on his shoulder for every CPB plate appearance this series. It would bring back old memories.

I wonder what his mom was really laughing at

Pat will get a standing O, but I'll still boo him if he even plays tonight.

Always disliked burrell for his sense of not giving much effort to the team. It could all be just rumors, but that is how I always percieved him. May have been unfair expectation as a 1st overall pick, but he never lived up to them.

Phils getting a ring in his farewell year is the only reason he dodges criticism from this city - regardless of his 1-14 in the WS.

The best thing Pat Burrell did for this franchise was to decline the Phils offer for 2009-2010, wait until the market dropped, and then sign in Tampa for less money.

Maybe hitting under the mendoza line and butchering left field for a NL contender down the stretch can be the 2nd best thing he does for this franchise.

jason, boo away. Have fun with that.

I'll just never understand why a Phillie Phan would seriously or even casually, care about what the Mets, their fans or their press think at this junction of the "rivalry."

Exactly Fred. I love certain old ex-Phillies, but not when they are on the opposing team. I only wish well for them in meaningless agmes or when they are beating teams the Phillies need to overtake in any pennant or WC race.

I'll cheer for him @ CBP when he comes back to the 10 Yr 2008 WS reunion.

Baxter - Good one!

***Phils getting a ring in his farewell year is the only reason he dodges criticism from this city - regardless of his 1-14 in the WS.***

It was kind of an important "1".

agreed. it's like people saying cliff lee dominated the yankees in the world series but they forget he gave up 5 runs in game 5 and our offense bailed him out

lincoln: then i hope pedro feliz gets his standing O on Monday, since his '1' was just as important.

FWIW: Here are the Giants starters lines in CBP

Cain- 2 GP, 6.55 ERA, 8 ER, 6 home runs, .267/.327/ .689/ 1.015

Zito- 1 GP, 0.00 ERA, / .250/.357/.292/.649

Sanchez- 1 GP, 1.50 ERA, 1 ER /.143/.250/.190/.440

Small sample sizes and all that jazz. So with the two pitchers that have had success in CBP we have our better pitchers going. The one matchup that clearly favors the Giants on paper is a guy who has bad career numbers in CBP.

Should be an interesting series.

In the playoffs and the WFC, timely and clutch hitting are more important than batting averages.

jason... good point at pedro feliz. half the people at the ballpark will forget he was even on the Phillies but it can't be denied that he had some big hits when it counted. Please, nobody take this as an indication that I'd like to have him back.

You can talk your way into P&P depending on how the door guy feels. I always keep an old bar pay stub in my wallet just in case. That's a no questions asked entry everytime. I've had people just lie and say they work at such and such restaurant. That works too.

"In the playoffs and the WFC, timely and clutch hitting are more important than batting averages"

What if, by having higher overall offensive numbers, they negate a lot of what would otherwise be clutch opportunities?

Say Player X comes up in the 1st inning and with a runner on 1st, belts a home run. That's not a clutch hit, but those extra two runs can negate a clutch situation later.

I'm not saying "clutchness" is not important, just that steady production throughout the playoffs is almost, if not more valuable.


I guess all I'm getting at is the hare (clutch hitter) is more exciting, but the race is won on the backs of the tortoises (steady performers.)

Only guy who will have a bigger ovation on his return to CBP than PtB will be C____ L____. I'm guessing it will happen at some point next year.

Baxter, she laughed at his mighty sword...I, mean, bat. After all, he was nicknamed pat, the Bat.

Pedro Feliz should get cheered. I'd never argue otherwise. He should be a hero in this town until the day he dies. That said, it was also the right choice to let him go.

As for the emotional connection of the fans at large being greater for PtB than Pedro, that's a function of nine seasons being greater than two seasons. Familiarity breeds fondness as easily as contempt.

Dukes, what if Cliff Lee's first visit to CBP happens during the WS? Will he still get a rousing ovation?

Any word on Utley or Howard from the Phils- they normally make announcements by this time of day, I think.

there won't be an announcement on howard. he isn't ready to return yet

Hypothetically, CL as opposing pitcher in the WS, should and would get a cheer on introduction.

Rest of the game he's the devil trying to kill our wives, steal our children, and rape our livestock. And he should be booed accordingly.

Cliff Lee has cart blanche on killing my wives and stealing my children, but I will eviscerate him if he defiles my livestock!

Baxter (& Lake Fred) - Not being there ourselves, we may never know, but if all of the rumors about Pat's Bat are true through the years, it may have been a nervous laugh...

there have been reports that jayson werth has defiled the livestock of several of his teammates. Saw it on

Mr Mack- gives new meaning to sabre-metrics.

Pat Burrell, the facts:

2005 to 2008, he posted OPS+'s of 128, 122, 128 and 125. Those were the 4 highly paid years of his "horrible" 6-year, $50M contract. In the first year of that contract, he posted an OPS+ of 146. He became the target of ire in the 2nd year of that deal, posting an OPS+ of just 90.

He more than earned his money.

In the clutch?

In his career, he has a .842 OPS with RISP. He has an .839 OPS with RISP and 2 outs. He has an .848 OPS in Late & Close situations. In High Leverage situations, he has an .840 OPS.

In his last season with the Phils, he had an OPS of 1.078 in Late & Close situations and an OPS of 1.004 in High Leverage situations.

Sure, he wasn't the most nimble in the field, but his defensive ineffectiveness was not due to a lack of effort. And he had a very good arm as well. Sure, he wasn't the fastest on the base paths, but he always ran hard.

Pat Burrell had 251 HR as a Phillie and an OPS+ of 119 in red pinstripes.

Those are the facts... now let's everyone start telling stories of how he would always strike out looking in big spots.

CJ: Thanks for injecting some fact into the Burrell discussion. He may have underachieved for a #1 pick, but he had a good Phils career.

And the following statement is the exact opposite of how I viewed (and still view him):

Always disliked Burrell for his sense of not giving much effort to the team.

To me, Burrell always seemed to give maximum effort. He seemed to care about the team and his teammates. He was usually the first one out of the dugout to congratulate a teammate or celebrate a victory. He always hustled, but it was unfortunately overshadowed by his lack of speed and nagging lower body injuries.

If I was at the game tonight, I wouldn't even think of not standing and cheering Pat the Bat.

CJ and R.B., good posts. There will always be some level of revisionist history, esp. in Philly and with certain controversial players. To accuse Burrell of not giving much effort is about as revisionist as you can get.

With the Phillies failure to sign Frazier it's going to be very interesting to see who, if anyone, in the 2010 Draft Class winds up making a contribution to the big league team.

Biddle was not projected as a first rounder by BA (or few others. BA projected him 3rd/4th round) but Phils thought he might be gone by time they picked in the 2nd round (77th overall pick), he was signable at slot price and a good story.

That makes sense especially if the Phils wanted to save their money to bust slot on a 1st or 2nd round quality prospect taken in later rounds: Frazier was that guy. They've had good success busting slot in later rounds.

But, as PhuturePhillies pointed out, they decided to go for the 3-in-the-bush strategy (also known as the Gillies-Aumont-Ramirez gambit) and roll the dice on a trio of lesser prospects rather than use the money to sign one much higher quality prospect.

FWIW, Frazier was rated a 2nd/3rd round talent by BA and listed among their top 100 pitching prospects heading into the draft.

Of the lesser trio of Walter-Musser-Pointer, only Walter made the list and he was well below Frazier.

If Cliff Lee starts against the Phillies in the World Series I will give him the 2001 Sixers intro treatment just like all other players.
Dan Baker: "#33 Cliff Lee"
Me: "SUCKS!"

I'm not sure Burrell underachieved for a #1. For every ARod and Mauer, there's Kris Benson, Matt Anderson, and Matt Bush. And take a look at the 98 first round:

(remembering that Drew was only in that draft for ... well ... )

If I was able to be there tonight, I would stand, clap and loudly cheer. I would not "boo" Pat, unless he hits a game winner for the Giants.

Pat hustled hard on the field but his reputed excessive drinking and womanizing (alot of which is confirmed) probably didn't help his conditioning, his focus, or his ability to be the best player he could.

If you booze it up till 3 am and don't get to bed till 5, you're not going to be Mr. Hyper productive the next day.

Thank goodness C_____ L___ meant Cliff Lee and not Cory Lidle.

Frazier was highly rated but the Phils have had success selected a bunch of guys completely off the BA radar. Would like the Phils to spend a little more on the draft, of course.

I'm not sure phuturephils is right that their was an either/or (either Frazier or the other three). Seems just as plausible that the Phils have a dollar value for each coveted player and won't budge just to sign a guy. After they signed Walter/Pointer/Mussar would they not have picked up Frazier if he lowered his asking price?

I thought C____ L__ was Chet Laabs.

Speaking of prospects, toolshed Kelly Dugan hs posted a 1.408 OPS in 12 games in the GCL and NY-Penn leagues. He has almost as many XBH (7) in 46 ABs as he had in 150 ABs (9) last season in the GCL.

Let's see where he is in another month, but this is a nice surprise.

***I'm not sure Burrell underachieved for a #1. For every ARod and Mauer, there's Kris Benson, Matt Anderson, and Matt Bush. And take a look at the 98 first round:***

Agreed. Looking at the list of #1s back to '65, I'd say Burrell was at worst an average top pick.

(Takes out mini tape recorder)
Note to self, this confirms my suspicions that PtB banged Aubrey Huff's mom while Huff was studying in the library.

I would like to see PtB backed off the plate in a totally "accidental" fashion during his first at bat and watch him score the golden sombrero tonight as he skillfully does his patented "pull back off the plate" strike out twice with a caught looking/chew the tobacco slow and sad finisher. Then he sits tomorrow with a sore back.
Maybe he will be stage an "early Pat", drunk and silly dancing event at the plough and the stars or saloon at 2am if he doesn't have curfew.

Uts has been activated. Dobbs DFA.

utley activated, dobbs dfa'd

Greg Dobbs is DFAed... guess that means Chase is back! Interesting that Dom survived. I worry he's not getting the ABs he could if he were at AAA. But I'm not disappointed to see Dobbs DFAed.

Welcome back Chase!

Sophist: It's always fun to go back and look where guys fell in the draft. If hindight is 20/20 and the Phillies could go back and pick again I'm not sure there is anyone in that draft I'd take over Burrell than maybe CC Sabathia.

Today seems like a day of remembering the contributions of some ex-phils (Burrell, Feliz, etc.). If Sunday's game was Dobbs' last in a Phillies uniform, we can't forget how huge he was in '08, either.

Welcome back, Mr. Chase Utley.

I guess Mr. Brown will stick until Ross Gload is healthy enough to play.

Still have to wonder about the next move, when Howard returns, and Gload's health.

Utley's back, Dobbs has been sent away in shame (again) ... Damn, if the Phillies keep making roster moves I agree w/, wherever will I expend all of my pent up anger?

Nevermind. I just remembered Baez is still on the team.

This move says something about Gload's health. I think they would have put him on the DL instead of DFAing Dobbs if he couldn't play.

Maybe Dobbs can sign on with Atlanta. I heard they need a third baseman.

sophist: That is also possible. But, even if that were your strategy, wouldn't you consider bumping up the money for the greater prospect and dropping one of the lesser ones?

BTW, I don't want this to sound like a complaint about the Phillies draft record. It has been very good the past decade or so. But this draft and the last I believe were the first post-Arbuckle. It will be interesting to see if the current crew of LaMar-Looper-Wolever can match the Arbuckle picks of Howard, Hamels, Burrell, Rollins, Utley, Madson and Myers.

"Damn, if the Phillies keep making roster moves I agree w/, wherever will I expend all of my pent up anger?"

The Eagles?

Any word yet, if he will be in the lineup tonight???

@MaDubbs: I doubt they would have activated him to sit on the bench tonight. If he weren't ready to play, he would be off to Reading or Lehigh Valley tonight.

Can't wait to see his name at #3 in the lineup tonight.

No #1 overall pick in the draft has made the HOF, and that will not change for the next 5 years until Griffey gets in.
I thought that was interesting.

OK, let's say Valdez PHs in the 7th and then Polly gets hurt in the 8th. Who plays 3B? Chooch?

Maybe they figure they can survive for 2 weeks until rosters expand.

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