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Thursday, September 23, 2010

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Harry would have enjoyed a series like this.

awesome, awesome, awesom

Scholars will study for the next 1000 years how this team lost four straight, at home, to the Houston Astros in late August.

I hate knee-jerk reactions, but with a six-game lead for home field advantage (and holding tie-breakers over the Reds and Padres), I would consider sitting most of the bats Friday night against the Mets.

Two reasons:

1) Back-to-back days off might do the body and the mind well

2) Avoid facing R.A. Dickey. Seems like he has put the Phillies into some bad habits and slumps already this season. With no knuckleballers in the postseason, what is the use of facing him at this time

Before the season began many of us here, myself included, thought the Braves would be a threat because of their pitching. As the season progessed that turned out to be true.

Still, we all felt the Phils would win the division because of their better overall balance as a ballclub.

What none of us could anticipate was the acquisition of Roy Oswalt. What that has essentially done is put the Phillies SP on par with - actually better - than the Braves SP.

The Braves pitching lived up to it's in this series depite starting 2 rookies, as the vaunted Phillies offense that had been averaging 5.85 RPG going into the series was held to only 9 runs - 3 per game.

But the Braves lumber ran into an even bigger buzzsaw: H20.

The Braves offense, averaging 4.67 RPG coming into the series - 4th in the NL, scored just 4 runs in 3 games, 1.33 RPG.

Why is this Phillies team the best in the NL and perhaps the best in baseball?

They can, and believe they WILL, beat you any way they have to.

That should say:

"Braves pitching lived up to it's advance billing in this series"

and

"Phillies offense that had been averaging 5.85 RPG in September"

I am sure this will be discussed a lot around here but the decision on resting players isn't always black and white.

For example, every year the Colts are on their way to a first round bye and rest their players in Week 16 and/or 17. They have been susceptible to ugly early playoff losses (Chargers 2/3 years ago is one example) and have only won 1 Super Bowl.

I realize baseball and football are very different, but the timing aspect is key in each. I would like to see all the Phils go through their normal routine to start games then play 5-6 innings (2-3 at bats hopefully) and take a seat. This will keep them engaged in preparing for that day's starter and refining any minor swing issues. Maybe give Polanco 3 days off a week since he has been hurting. Play Gload, Sweeney, and Francisco as much as possible to get their bats ready for big pinch hit spots.

Pitching wise I think you have to keep trotting out Madson and Lidge regularly. They are pitching at such a high level you do not want to risk losing that. Pitching them every other day at a minimum will not hurt them. Neither has pitched close to their normal season totals innings wise (did not check this just assuming due to injuries) so just keep them ready.

After such a trying year, I trust Charlie will handle his players so they will be most ready for the postseason. He certainly knows more than I do.

The Fat Lady is warming up...but she hasn't sung yet. Let's take care of business first. I don't want the Braves to think they have a chance. To me, the deadline is game 3 in Washington. We need to wrap it up prior to playing in Atlanta. Resting the starters for the last 3 games plus all the off days during the playoffs will be sufficient.

Great series to watch. With the starting pitching we have, this is going to be a fun playoff season.

Sweep the leg Johnny, Sweep the leg

In July I posted that the Phillies didn't look like a team in control. Since then, they've obviously changed that. During last night's game, Beerleaguer was chatty and relaxed, even though the Phils weren't hitting. Yes there was grumbling about Vic's terrible swings and using Dobbs to pinch hit. But those grousings didn't last long. I even cracked open a book and read during the game, something I couldn't do all summer long. Why no angst? Because we had every confidence that the Phillies were going to win that game last night. And so did the Phillies. They may have been stymied at the plate, but they weren't intimidated. That's our team.

It's going to be a fun post-season.

Wouldn't worry too much about the Braves and their thinking about chances. Phils have to win one game in each of three series and the Braves can win the rest and the Phils are in.

1964 team had a 3.5 lead with 9 to go.

Since 1903, 8 franchises have won 3 (or more) straight pennants a total of 19 times.

The Yankees have done it 9 times; the A's, 3 times; the NY Giants twice.

Two NL teams, the Giants ('21-'24, winning 2 of 4 WS) and the Cardinals ('42-'44, winning 2 of 3 WS), have done it since the end of the deadball era.

It's been done 5 times since the start of the divisional playoffs, twice by the Yanks, twice by the A's, and once by the O's. It's been done once, by the '98-'01 Yanks, since the introduction of the WC.

The last NL team to do it, the '42-'44 Cardinals, did so at the height of wartime, prior to integration, prior to free agency, against 7 other NL teams, with only one round of playoffs to fight through. In 1942 and 1944, the Cardinals were one of three NL teams above .500. In '43, one of four.

If this team captures a third straight pennant, we're easily talking about one of the greatest runs of any franchise in any era. If they take the WS, it's this team and the Big Red Machine as the greatest NL teams ever, without a very close third in the conversation.

Hard to believe, Harry.

Correction: should have written that the Cards had no playoffs to worry about.

"Hothead fireballer K-Rod once beat his girlfriend so badly she had to be hospitalized, a Queens prosecutor said Wednesday."

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/2010/09/22/2010-09-22_krod_hit_with_criminal_charges_for_contacting_girlfriend_despite_judges_orders_h.html

See ya, K-Rod.

I have extraordinary confidence in this team, but I wouldn't write off the Braves entirely. They still have a good shot at the wild card and, if they get through the first round, would be keyed up and ready for revenge. There pitching is good enough that it could make for an interesting series. Anything can happen in the playoffs—although well earned, I'd say the Phils victory over those Braves in 1993 was pretty unlikely.

That said, man this is a good team. Woke up this morning thinking about the sweep and feeling great. Wanted to celebrate with a 5 Guys burger, a pack of butterscotch krimpets, and a cream soda, but settled for wheat toast, a cup of tea, and a handful of vitamins.

season=over.

"They're already dead."

I'd say mostly dead. Let's hope they don't find a miracle.

Kutztown,

I also noticed the lack of vitriol despite the weak offensive showing last night.

I believe that may have been a first.

Greys, how far out west are you in MA?

Joe, I am in Northampton.

"mostly dead"

As long as we keep them away from Miracle Max's hut in the woods, then, we're okay.

Braves are dead in the NL East. They had to win 2 of these games to have a realistic shot at winning at the East. Instead they got swept. Its WC or bust for them now.

Great to see Jerry Manuel now angry that Torre speculated about taking his job. Can things get any more dysfunctional in NY? The answer is most likely yes. The Phillies are the anti-Mets.

Too much talk about resting the regulars although I can almost agree with RustyE's Dickey suggestion. Almost. Let's get to 4 as soon as possible. Finally, I don't want to see the Braves in the playoffs. At their best, they'd give the Phillies more trouble than any of the other teams.

In over in Acton... I'm pretty sure we can find Taskycakes in Shaws/Stop n Shop as you get closer to 128. We had a shop nearby called Willy's Philly's, no taskycakes, but at least reasonable cheesesteaks and hoagies. The locals never embraced the place and alas, it closed up this summer. So much for my playoff superstition of stopping by Willy's to pick up dinner on gamenights.

Also sick and tired of hearing Dick Vitale (the world's most famous Tampa Bay Rays fan) railing about the lack of fan support in Tampa. The fact is they can build another state of the art stadium down there for a billion dollars, people in Florida will not support a baseball team, period. Why do these teams keep kidding themselves? They have 2 teams that have been to the World Series, one that has won two rings already, and they can't fill 1/3 of the stadium. Total joke.

You're right about the absence of vitriol last night, phlipper. IIRC, even clout was jovial.

I hope Billy Wagner enjoyed the series...and how did Nate McCloth ever win a gold glove?

***Scholars will study for the next 1000 years how this team lost four straight, at home, to the Houston Astros in late August.***

Easy to understand. Phils needed to pad their loss stats somewhere, and Amaro owed Wade a favor for the cash in the Oswalt deal.

***As long as we keep them away from Miracle Max's hut in the woods, then, we're okay***

But what do the Braves have to live for? True love? Of what? Unless you're willing to say the Braves have true love for... Cox.

And that doesn't scare me, it just makes me giggle.

Joe, Thanks for the Tastykakes update. It is actually possible to buy them by the box around here also. I have no hope of finding a real cheesesteak here, but there are places where I can get a good hoagie if I call it an Italian Grinder and tell them to hold the (ychhhh) mayo.

But really, I got to hear and see last night's game which is really even more fulfilling.

So even though I am in Mass, I do have a partial season ticket plan and did get to a couple games this year. It also feels good to say that I just received my playoff tickets and my best projection into the future suggest I should be able to see a game during the NLCS. Ahhh. Life is good.

I agree with an earlier post regarding sitting the starters against R.A. Dickey Friday night. Knuckle-ballers seemed to have upset the Phillies' mojo this year.

GreysFan - when did you get your playoff tickets? I didn't get mine, yet, and I have a partial season ticket plan.

I'm hoping my tickets weren't swiped from my mail box. Damn college kids!

" I have no hope of finding a real cheesesteak here"

Yeah, I'm in Lancaster and there are several decent cheesesteak joints (Rendezvous Pizzaria on King Street is the best of the lot), but none of them offer whiz--and everyone knows a cheesesteak without whiz is like eating mushroom soup without mushrooms.

OK, that tears it!

I now agree with all those who think Bobby Cox is a first class d-bag.

This is what Cox has to say at mlb.com about Raul's 2B:

"The [Phillies] caught a break. They got a ball just inside the line in left field and it was the ballgame."

Caught a break. A break. That's what a good piece of hitting is by the oppostion. No credit where it's due, just "a break".

This guy is such a sore loser I really hope the Braves implode and don't make the playoffs.

Went to see the Phils lose 1-0 to R.A. at Citi Field in August. What a miserable experience. Game sucked, I didn't much like the ballpark, and the seats (even though less than face value) were way too expensive. He did look like a pitcher that might have some future with that knuckleball.

awh - It was a 'break' because it landed right on the line. Easily could have been foul.

I get your point though about Cox. He has never been a gracious loser and his constant whining/complaining during games makes him fairly easy to dislike.

@Kutztown: I also have a partial season ticket package and my playoff tickets arrived on Tuesday. Can't wait for game one of the NLDS!

Kutz-tickets arrived yesterday UPS, left on my front porch. I doubt anyone around here would have been interested, but Kutztown may have larcenous Phillies fans. But I am betting they arrive today. I am used to sitting along the baselines, but these seats are in the outfield for both games. What's it like out there?

Listen, I don't mind whiz on steaks (although thats the only way I'll eat whiz), but whiz is not the only way to eat a cheesesteak.

The cheesesteak has been around since the depression, but Whiz was introduced until the mid 50s. American (blech) and provelone (hells yes) are just as acceptable.

I won't argue with someone who gets mozz on their steak, but IMHO mozzarella should be melted on fries, not steak.

wasN't introduced I mean

I like Whiz for the tradition, but really prefer provolone myself. Mozz gets too melty and stringy endangering my beard.

Greys - sometimes I can get okay 1210 AM reception if the weather is just right. I've got MLB.tv, but there's nothing like watching the game at the park or even a local bar.

I've been taunting Braves fans on talkingchop over the last few days since I don't know any Braves fans. It has actually been satisfying...

GreysFan: unless you're behind a foul pole, there's not a bad seat in the house... I was in 301 for Tuesdays game and even up there its a beautiful park

MG, by your definition, isn't every ball that lands in fair territory "a break"?

Before this series, I said we would learn a lot, and gotta say I feel vindicated. Raul is clutch, Werth is finding his way out of the shadows, Utley will always drag the team with him even if they are not willing participants, Valdez may be as good as Rollins in the field, we are the best fans in baseball. Unfortunately, UC has no confidence in any bullpen arm besides Lidge, Madson, and Durbin. Oh, and how could i forget, bats disappear in the bermuda triangle (the only contribution T-Mac has made this year).

GreysFan, I don't like the OF view much, except when standing on the concourse in CF.

We had tix for Jimmy's Dodger walkoff game right above on of the signs in the OF in RF 300 level.

No where near as good as the 300 level behind home plate that I'm used to. Much further away from the action.

provolone >>>> wiz. but of course, the cheesesteak isn't the best sandwich in philly anyway. that goes to tony luke's pulled pork w/prov.

Phillies magic number for best record in the NL is at 5. Any combination of Phillies wins and Padres losses totaling 5 means homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.


Padres remaining games:

1 against the Dodgers
3 against the Reds, who will be fighting for the #2 spot, as they want at least one series at home.
4 against the Cubs, who are 9-2 in their last 11 games.
3 against the Giants, who will be fighting for either the division or wild card in that series.

Tough schedule for the Padres to finish up.

If the Phillies take 4 of 6 from the Mets/Nationals, they'll have the NL wrapped up going into the series against Atlanta.

I agree with the 'avoid Dickey' mantra but the Phils are not in the playoffs yet and are riding a hot streak.
I'd like to see Ibanez, Howard, Polanco and Ruiz sit tomorrow. Get Franciso, Gload, Dobbs, and Schneider in.
Victorino,Francisco,Utley,Werth,Gload,Dobbs,Schneider,Valdez.

Agree with Al that it's critical to strike a balance between giving guys some rest & giving them so much time off that they lose their timing. I STRONGLY disagree with Rusty that the process of resting guys should begin tonight. A 6-game lead with 9 to go is about as secure as you can get, but it's still not as secure as most 6-game leads with 9 to play, since we do end the season with 3 games in Atlanta. The last thing we want to do is get complacent and arrogant and give the Braves even the tiniest window of opportunity. We need to close this out before the Atlanta series &, until that happens, no one rests except Greg Dobbs.

I'm actually quite happy with my seats. Joe—I've spent years listening to the Phils on 1210 (except for that period when they were on some other station). For a long time the quintessential Phillies announcers for me were Harry, Whitey, and Static. I do find MLB an improvement and we have no bars here where there are any teams besides Sox and Yankees.

This won't endear me to many posters, but does anyone else have a tougher time rooting for this team than they did for the '07-'08 teams? Those teams were all about our homegrown talent - Burrell, Rollins, Utley, Howard, Ruiz, Myers, Hamels. This season, our hopes rest on a pair of superstar midseason/offseason acquisitions. On the pitching side at least, we've become the Miami Heat of baseball. Our hitting, formerly the heart of what made this team great, has become peripheral, and rooting for this team has ceased to be about things like hoping that the long-suffering, long-bashed Pat the Bat finally validates his career and has turned into hoping that the pitchers that we bought mere months ago dominate. I find the latter a lot less meaningful. Of course, Yankees fans have no difficulty rooting for their assemblage of mercenaries, but that's what the Yankees have always been about - the great talent from the hinterlands of Oakland or Kansas who packs up his bags to come to New York and prove himself in the big city, on baseball's most legendary team. Even their team song, 'New York, New York,' alludes to this ("if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere"). That's not what we're historically about.

"If the Phillies take 4 of 6 from the Mets/Nationals, they'll have the NL wrapped up going into the series against Atlanta."

The Braves are probably hoping for this, so that the Phils send the B-Team out and don't leave the SP in too long.

OTOH, Jayson Werth says this team wants to win 100. They may give Charlie a really hard time if he tries to sit them, especially if they're close enough to get there.

I was lucky enough to pay $50 for a standing room only ticket - Quick game last night. Can anyone match this 1-2-3 we have? I think not!

Speaking of Cheesesteaks, Campo's has a sandwhich called the heater... SMOTHERED IN HOTSAUCE and some sort of jalapeño cheese or something...

Purists may be against that sort of thing, but its freakin awesome.

Tray: I understand where you are coming from, but honestly it's nice to be the favorite sometimes. We aren't the Yankees, this won't last forever...

Its not a Cheesesteak but the D'Angelo's #9 was a half decent sandwich...remembering back to my time living in the Boston area (Carlisle, MA to be exact).

D'Angelos gets alot of crap but I thought they were a decent sandwich place considering the lack of any other options.

Cipper, that sounds amazing. Seriously. Especially if you can add actual jalepenos to it... mmm.

Tray- for me the difference is in how the team plays like a team. Regardless of where the players come from, you really feel like the Phillies are a TEAM instead of a group of really good players.

Tray: The fact is today teams can rarely go far with strictly home-grown talent. This team is comparable with the first years of the most recent Yankee dynasty, their first ring in 1996 (like ours in 2008) was won with home grown talent. But their subsequent rings were made possible by going out and getting superstars to compliment the core, resulting in 3 more rings in 98, 99 and 2000. Our home grown core is still there (Utley, Howard, Rollins, Hamels), and in a sense the Yankee core is still there as well (Jeter, Posada, Petitte, Rivera), but none of these players are getting younger and you do what you have to do to win.

"This won't endear me to many posters, but does anyone else have a tougher time rooting for this team than they did for the '07-'08 teams?"

No.

Tray-I get what you are saying and I am a little disappointed in the hitting this year, but I also know that teams will change over time. I have some weird formula in my head for how a team should be constituted, and given the realities of modern baseball, the Phils are still okay. A good chunk of the team is homegrown and Halladay and Oswalt were both acquired through trades which in my mind utilizes our own talent to build the club in a traditional way. The Phils obviously have a couple important free agent signings in Polly and Ibanez, but every club has similar signings. Unlike the Yankees, Red Sox, etc, they haven't gone after any really huge names for equally huge money in awhile.

I do get that this team feels a little different. For me, the hardest Phillies club to feel entirely connected to was the 1983 team which seemed to be an attempt to resurrect the Reds in Phillies uniforms. I was happy to win the pennant, but Joe Morgan a Phillie? C'mon.

Great post, Tray. Though I disagree with you, I think it should generate some nice discussion on a day that would otherwise be filled with an oddly joyous consensus about this team.

I do hate the mercenary quality of a team like the Yanks, but I think with the Phils it is different. First of all, our number one hired gun, Halladay, took a discount to come play here, whereas even guys who were bitter Yankees rivals end up signing there as free agents due simply to the money. Similarly, in the Halladay and Oswalt deals, we have given up seriously talented young players, so its not really the same thing as simply outbidding everyone else for the top free agents. Furthermore, the home grown core of this club, minus Pat the Bat, is still here, and now instead of being young, up-and-comers, they are veterans fighting off injuries and working to stay on top of their games. Finally, this team has a certain unique character righ now, and I think its fun to watch the new guys like Ibanez last year and Halladay and Oswalt this year respond to it and thrive in the Philly atmosphere.

So no, I don't find it harder to root for these guys this year.

****This team is comparable with the first years of the most recent Yankee dynasty, their first ring in 1996 ****

I think Ruben Sierra was the highest paid guy on that club...and he was making something like $3 million a year. Amazing how things have changed in only 14 years, eh?

Tray, I would also point out that we gave up tons of minor league home grown talent to trade for additional pitching. Halladay and Oswalt were acquired by trade, not pure free agent acquistions, and we potentially sacrificed our future. Teams with talent who see they won't be able to make signings put the players on the market well in advance of the free agency date and usually receive ample reward in return. The Phillies did not and could not make these acquisitions with money alone.

The only thing that could've made the sweep sweeter would've been a walk-off HR off Billy the Rat.

"The [Phillies] caught a break. They got a ball just inside the line in left field and it was the ballgame."
-Bobby Cox

Spoken like a true Beerleaguer poster.

Am I the only one that wishes we won on a LF flowerbox HR? Just so we could hear Bobby whine one more time about it being a bandbox?

Greys - I, too, had trouble rooting for the 1983 team. Even the 1980 team. I know that's sacrilegious, but I hated Pete Rose. Still do.

as for your outfield seats, I wouldn't worry. Our season tickets are in section 202, and we can see fine.

I'm on the verge of being banned at talkingchop, I need to lay low.

Braves had more errors(5) than runs(4) this series. McLouth made Dom Brown look like a good fielder.

Bay Slugga - what are you posting over there to make the two Braves fans so upset?

"The last NL team to do it, the '42-'44 Cardinals, did so at the height of wartime, prior to integration, prior to free agency, against 7 other NL teams, with only one round of playoffs to fight through. In 1942 and 1944, the Cardinals were one of three NL teams above .500. In '43, one of four.

If this team captures a third straight pennant, we're easily talking about one of the greatest runs of any franchise in any era. If they take the WS, it's this team and the Big Red Machine as the greatest NL teams ever, without a very close third in the conversation."

I think you could make a pretty good case for the great Dodger teams of the 1950s (6 pennants, 1 WS title, and 2 famous near-misses in 10 years) or the Braves of the '90s (5 pennants, 1 WS title in 9 years) to at least be in the conversation with the BRM and the Phils.

I hate Bobby Cox. For a guy with that last name he's ironically got one of the biggest manginas in sports.

I would say what Timr said: that, like the Yankee dynasties of the 90s, the core of this team (Rollins, Howard, Utley, Hamels, Ruiz, Madson) -- is still homegrown. Other key pieces like Vic, Werth, & Lidge were brought in through shrewd moves that didn't require huge outlays of cash. And, while Oswalt & Halladay are not cheap, I see a big difference between shrewdly trading for front-line starters & simply out-bidding everyone else for top free agents, as the Yankees did with Sabathia, Tex & Burnettt.

I'd also add that, besides being less obnoxious than buying up the market through free agency, the Phillies' way is also smarter. If you sign a top starter through free agency, it usually means giving a 5-year deal to a 30-something starter. Sometimes that pans out but, very often, you wind up with Barry Zito/AJ Burnett/Derek Lowe type contracts. But, if you have the prospects to acquire top-flight starters through trades, you don't have to take on a 5-year contract to get the guy. Plus, unless you trade for him & then extend him, you'll be paying the guy based on his existing contract, which usually means paying less than market value for his services.

Yeah, I've never been able to accept Pete Rose as a Phillie either and never liked him. Would have much preferred to see the '77 or '78 team win it all if it could only happen once (and I loved Richie Hebner at first). I also think Rose is overrated somewhat as a player—certainly a great hitter, lots of hustle, blah blah blah. But—never much power, not a great defensive player, not much speed. It isn't hard to think of at least a half a dozen players that were probably better during his era. Plus (and most important), he dissed my niece once when she tried to get an autograph.

On another note, speaking of hearing Bobby whine, did I hear Bobby Wine is an advance scout for the Braves? Always liked him even if he couldn't hit at all.

Wait, what home-grown talent from '08 are we missing? I count Happ, Myers, and Burrell. And Happ was in the BP for a small role (although he did pitch in the postseason). Are there others?

Our '08 postseason rotation was Hamels, Myers, Blanton, Moyer. It's true that if we'd kept Happ instead of Oswalt, we'd still have a rotation that's 1/2 homegrown. I love Happ, and I'm thrilled he's doing well in Houston, but even so, I feel more confident with Oswalt.

Where I get what Tray means is in the feeling that we are no longer the surprise team, the underdogs. We are the team that other teams hate because we "always win." And we are one of the big spenders now. I'm a bit uncomfortable being the team that can be seen as the Yankees of the NL. Although truly, the Cardinals are the second most winningest team in MLB, aren't they? Don't they have the next most WS championships?

I agree that what's great about this team is that they are such a Team with a capital "T." They have a professional attitude, are confident without being cocky, have a sort of laid-back intensity. And they present as a group of good guys, men of good character, almost to a man.

I also agree that hitting our way to titles was very exciting. But even in '08, we won that WS largely because our pitching came through. (I loved that Moyer pitched well, while ill.)

But since I really like almost all our players as people (from what a fan can judge at a distance, since obviously, I know none of them personally), I find it pretty easy to cheer for them!

That said, if the Phils can't win the WS, I'd always root for the team who's waited the longest to make it to the WS or to win. Who would that be this year? I'll have to look it up.

Bayslugga, their argument of scoring those runs against their rookies is awful. Didn't neither rookie make it out of the 4th inning? Essentially putting the Phils against their bullpen for the majority of the night?

Kutztown: I know it is childish of me to provoke them, but I don't care. I don't know any Braves fans so I need to get it out of my system, you know?

I was getting on a lot of them because they kept saying the Phillies were "lucky" to win each of the games. Our wins weren't "actual" wins because we only scored a handful of runs off their rookies.

The Phillies only scored one run last night because Hanson can go head to head with anyone in the league, and Braves didn't score because they took the night off. It had nothing to do with our pitcher who is 7-1 with a sub 2 ERA.

Rose may have been repulsive as a person and obnoxious as a player, but he was the reason we won in 1980, hand down. They had no team leader and noone to get Schmidt to truly believe in himself or reign in Bowa who pretty much hated everybody he played with. The majority of the 1993 team was as obnoxious and ignorant as Rose ever was (maybe worse), and yet the city has embraced them for years despite losing the Series.

I disagree with Tray's point. Out of our starting 8, the only difference from the '08 team is left field and 3rd base. Feliz wasn't home grown so we only lose Burrell as a Philly guy. But since Polly was here before I have much more of a connection to him than Happy Pete.

Ibanez + Polanco is in my mind only -.5 "home grown" players compared to Burrell and Feliz.

Our playoff rotation in '08 was two homegrown guys, Hamels and Myers, and two trades, Blanton and Moyer. This year it's Hamels and three trades. That's only -1 homegrown player.

Personally, while Werth and Victorino didn't come up through are system, I still consider them to be "our guys" because we pretty much picked both out of obscurity and gave them a shot. It's not like either has had success elsewhere.

Grand total on the team you have -1.5 homegrown talent as compared to '08. Out of 25 guys that's not bad. And that doesn't even factor in Dom Brown being on the bench.

After one of the posters tried to cap his argument by saying the Braves have three rings compared to the Phillies two, I left. It was like arguing with that drunk Yankees fan that just screams "26...errr 25...Yo, Johnny how many rings dem Yankees have!? 27 RINGS THATS ALL DAT MATTAS!"

I have a headache now.

I know Rose has been given a lot of credit for the 1980 team's success and Schmidt is the biggest proponent of this idea, so I guess I have to mostly buy it. Curiously, his contributions to that team then were not measurable (on the field where he wasn't fabulous), but in the clubhouse. In any case, I don't claim to be objective: what does it mean to be a sports fan other than to be irrational.

I don't know if the 1993 team was obnoxious beyond Dykstra, but they were certainly a bunch of weird and crazy dudes. I think the appeal they have as partly that, but also how completely unlikely and unexpected their success was. Of course, a lot of them were juicing, but we didn't know that then.

Okay then, I guess this might be my favorite Phillies team ever.

yorkphan - Fair enough. Those Dodgers teams were terrific, no doubt, but my impression of the history is that they were viewed in much the same way as we might view the Braves of the '90s: dominant, for sure, but with enough postseason failures to doubt whether they should be thought of as a historically superior team.

In other words, no one would say that the Dodgers were the best team of the early to mid-fifties. That mantle would go to the Yankees. If the Phils were to win the WS, I think history would rightfully look on them as a historically elite team.

I've stopped posting, but I was following a flame war that is going on over there. A "your mom" joke was just used. True story.

Why do fans grasp at irrational straws when their team loses to a better team? "The philles got lucky" is the Braves fans' whine. Remember Met fans saying things like:

if games were only 7 innings, the Mets would be in first

or

the Mets were in first for more days in the season than the Philles were

Totally irrational.

Me, I'm a true Philly fan. I blame the Phillies for every loss. ;-)

Kutztown: I have no reservations about blaming the Phillies for losses. We may be biased here on BLer, but a lot of time we are biased against a lot of our players. I don't think you see that a lot of other places.

What good is being in 1st place most of the year, if you end up not making the playoffs? Haha. Go Phillies!

From the header: "The Phillies have become masters of the 162-game schedule. They know precisely when it's acceptable to let off the gas and when it's time to step on it."

I'm not sure I buy this argument because the implication is that the Phillies try "Extra hard" in September...or the reverse side of the coin, the don't try as hard in say, May.

Anybody else having trouble digesting this?

The 1980 and 83 teams were similar only in that they won the pennant due to having great Septembers. The '83 team in particular was bizarre for several reasons, firing Corrales while in first place, getting swept in the season series with the Dodgers then sweeping them out in the playoffs, having Schmidt go 1 for 22 in the World Series.....only image of that series that stayed with me was watching Morgan slip and fall off of third base trying to score on a sac fly in the final game of the series, which I think we lost 5-0 at home.

The 1993 Philles are that ***hole friend that everyone has who doesn't have many individual traits that are all that likable but somehow as a whole you can't help but love.

You know you shouldn't be friends with them, you know they're a total dick, and yet it's not really your birthday until they show up.

Incaviglia led the league in getting thrown out of Delaware Avenue strip joints in 1993 and again in 1994.....

"After one of the posters tried to cap his argument by saying the Braves have three rings compared to the Phillies two, I left. It was like arguing with that drunk Yankees fan that just screams "26...errr 25...Yo, Johnny how many rings dem Yankees have!? 27 RINGS THATS ALL DAT MATTAS!"

I have a headache now"

The Phillies use Lifebuoy soap...and they still stink!

Conversation stopper right there.

* I know Rose has been given a lot of credit for the 1980 team's success and Schmidt is the biggest proponent of this idea, so I guess I have to mostly buy it. Curiously, his contributions to that team then were not measurable (on the field where he wasn't fabulous), but in the clubhouse. *

I'll say! Especially when Rose had those special Italian sandwiches delivered from Reading. It seemed to pep the players up. lol

Has Oswalt been better than L-- in 2009? Yes, he has - Bler now implodes.

No Heather, because I believe a team can't go full out for 162 games. It's the old marathon versus a sprint adage.

There's a reason why in most endurance sports, (car racing, horse racing, running, cross country skiing, etc.) you rarely see the favorites out in front all race long. The it's better to hang with the pack and conserve energy for the end of the race then burn it all too early.

In a seasons as long as baseball, there are going to be nadirs for every team. The phillies have shown for four straight years the ability to have their zenith when it matters most.

joe l - tony lukes roast pork italiano (sharp prov w/ brocc rab) is perhaps the best sandwich in philly. i mentioned it during the game thread last nite. that thing literally (yes, literally) melts in your mouth.

Heather, I don't see it as the Phillies not trying to win earlier in the season. I do have this feeling that they approach the season like the marathon it is and pace themselves. I don't know if that's true or not, but it does seem that come September, they find that extra burst of energy within their tired selves, like a long-distance runner does that last mile.

cipper - the heater (which is awesome btw) has pepper jack cheese along w/ the hot sauce.

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EST. 2005

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