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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

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Yeah more state PA subsidizing welfare for multimillionaire real estate developers.

I would be curious to see who is behind the Turks Head Stadium Alliance and who is pressing State Senator Andrew E. Dinniman.

Do many folks from West Chester drive up to Reading to see games? I wonder if they are stealing market share from one of their other affiliates. I would think that a team in WC, if priced well, would draw decent crowds from the locals, and some of the college kids.

Good. At least most of people in the comments section of the article get the gist of the monkey business that is proposed and the cost to state (and potentially local) taxpayers here. Enough corporate welfare by the state.

Time to organize against this and make sure this doesn't come to fruition.

Williamsport is the short season affiliate, and plays the Mets and Yankees affiliates from Brooklyn and Staten Island.

Keith, Halladay is definitely the front runner for the CY, but since the beginning of May, Cole Hamels has been his equal. Also with the strikeouts, Cole has a much better K/9 than Doc.

Doc had a monster April, though, which should definitley not be discounted, because all those wins matter. Helped the Phillies tread water early on when there other pitchers weren't doing so well (including Cole).

All in all, I'll take a team with 2 (maybe 3) legit CY candidates any day of the week, and thrice on Sunday.

It's about an hour drive each way to Reading. It would compete more with the Wilmington Blue Rocks (Royals affiliate). West Chester does offer a nice downtown for entertainment after the game. Between that and the university, I think the biggest concern would be keeping the players out of the bars/frats.

I would love to see an affiliate in WC, as Reading and Allentown are a bit of a reach for us in southern Chester County.

It's been awhile since I was in WC, but from what I remember, it took me 3 hours to find a parking space, and when I came back, some kids were being arrested for trying to break into their own car. I doubt I'll make this trip, and I further doubt my stance on the subject will put a halt to these proceedings.

I say screw whatever MG said.

We likely wont have the same stud crop of prospects we do in low A right now, but the thought that I could have had a chance to watch that team only a few minutes away is an amazing one. And i'm sure whatever prospects they have there in 2013 I will be able to overhype the hell out of and thus still be excited.

Consider me a Turks Head from this point forward.

West Chester is considered part of Wilmington Blue Rocks market territory so some accommodation would have to be reached.

Locals could probably provide a more accurate report, but didn't West Chester recently build/expand a parking deck on Market Street across from the court house?

Regarding Halladay's 20, I'm one of the few here who was posting on Beerleaguer in 1982 when Carlton became the last Phillie to win 20-games.

Because Carlton had done it 5 times in 10 seasons, it didn't create that much buzz. Other than myself and Al Gore, there weren't that many posts about it. We spent as much time talking about Pong as we did Carlton's 20 wins.

jasontp - You prepared to pay local higher taxes for it? Doubt it. If they were to do it with private financing, then so be it. Stick and tired of this garbage of subsidizing multimillionaire real developers for a state that is facing a project $1B shortfall already next year (with revenues continuing to tank) and a local municipality deficit of at least $1M and probably more.

joe l - They did. Parking in West Chester isn't that big of an issue. It isn't like trying to find a space in town near Rittenhouse Square.

I look forward to watching Franklyn Zavala in his West Chester Phillies jersey.

jason tp - Unless you either have local political clout or some serious money floating around, I doubt they would accept you as a member.

MG: if my taxes dont go up due to this stadium, they'll go up for something else.

Im not going to pretend the slightest I have any real knowledge about the whole situation the municipality defecit or what affect it would have on taxes.

Having said that - I absolutely predict that if i went to 5 more minor league games and 5 less major league games - that it would easily allow me to afford higher taxes. easily.

Clout, I was at Connie Mack in 1966 and was the first one to tweet about Chris Short's 20th win in the 1st game of the doubleheader against the Dodgers. I was never sure if anyone received it, though.

@fat I couldnt agree more. I am just glad I havent had to read a debate about KK being a decent/crappy 5th starter for 3 days.

Debating which one of your 3 great pitchers is the greatest seems moot, but more entertaining than say RISP and what makes you "clutch".

All I know is I have seen every single playoff series win in the history of the Phillies. I/we have lived in the "golden" era of this team. Think about that...what an enjoyable ride it is.

Don't blame yourself Old Phan. Tweeting with a tin whistle is difficult. How do you attach the hash-tag?

Old Phan: You tweeted but forgot the #Phillies tag. Your tweet is sitting somewhere in Twitter limbo.

Great minds Bay Slugga. Great minds.

"...things like being top 10 or top 5 in Cy Young voting are bargaining chips at the negotiating table when contracts are being structured, and he's going to miss out on that chip this year due to poor run support."

True enough, and it's a shame. But that's part of the beauty of some of the new statistical metrics that provide a better insight into a player's value. I also suspect that whoever represents Cole when the time comes will be fully conversant with all these metrics.

Wonder what Halladay's stats would be if he had been on a different team all those years? Would be interesting if there was some sort of stat that crunched a pitcher's stats and spewed out some measure that normalized his performance somehow, taking into account factors like run support, strength of his team, defense, etc.

Bob: I assume this was a joke because of the lengthy debate yesterday about pitching stats (FIP, xFIP, WAR, etc.) that do exactly that?

What's wrong with Williamsport? Its probably geographically better for both the Phillies (gives them a presence in North/Central PA) as well as for travel to the other teams in the NY/Penn league.

Between Reading, Allentown & Lakewood, they've pretty much blanketed Philly anyway.

I wonder what statistical metric was controversial back in 1983...

Old Fan- The number of bars around old Connie Mack had nothing to do with your phone reception.

****I wonder what statistical metric was controversial back in 1983...****

AVG...and Hits

What is a hit really? Can we be sure what we think is a hit really is a hit? Afterall, its subjective to the official scorer thanks to judgement calls on Errors.

Now I understand. I thought the hash tag was something you smoked.

Two months ago... had the Phillies been 12 games out of first, I'd imagine there may have been no one here suggesting they could win the division. I'd guess the BP odds would have been about 2%... and we know how accurate those are!

Yet had we been 12 games out two months ago instead of just 7, we'd be playing for sole first place tonight.

What a two months it's been!

Remember way, way back in the past, around June of this season? There were some posters who were wondering if Doc regretted signing with the Phils because they stunk so bad and were a long shot to make the playoffs? Good times.

CJ: thats a pretty cool way to look at it.

Old Phans: Yeah, I'd have no trouble pulling up a bunch of quotes saying Halladay got traded from a better team to a worse team.

As Jayson Werth says, "We're the best team in baseball."

So... about that firing of Milt Thompson. He kind of got a raw deal. Anyone here think we wouldn't be in a similar position if Milt were still our hitting coach?

But I understand why it happened. At the time, it felt like *something* had to happen.

Lineup posted for tonight.

Standard.

***Standard.****

So, its...

CF Francisco
3B Dobbs
SS Bocock
2B Valdez
1B Sweeney
RF Brown
LF Gload
C Hoover
(Pitcher)

??

****But I understand why it happened. At the time, it felt like *something* had to happen.****

Pretty much. He was the obvious target considering the offensive woes. The team needed a kick in the arse and he was it.

If we'd been 12 games out two months ago, (a) we wouldn't have bothered trading for Oswalt, so no, we wouldn't be playing for first place now, and (b), even if we had traded for him, I imagine that we would have played with less urgency, played different players, not have played this well.

Phils are honoring Bobby Cox tonight. Why? Aside from the obvious fact that he's a rival, didn't he also hit his wife?

**** Aside from the obvious fact that he's a rival, didn't he also hit his wife?****

In his defense, he was probably pretty drunk when he did that...

spitz: hmm i wonder what type of reaction he'll get?

Another chance for Philadelphia to shine.

I mean, I can understand rival teams honoring guys like Jordan, or Magic, Hank Aaron, or of course Jackie Robinson - guys that have done significant things to help the sport in general. But Bobby Cox? Really?

jason - That's part of the reason I have an issue with this. They (Phils FO) know how their own fans act on occasion. Why bring this upon yourselves? I understand their thoughts, long-serving manager, 90's domination, all that, but give him a rose and have a private ceremony before the game, where his accomplishments will be lauded by people who could matter to him, players and coaches. I would be shocked if Cox is applauded by a single attendee of the game tonight.

The Phillies want to one up the cake Bobby got in Washington.

They're going for one of those cakes where they actually print out a picture right onto the icing. Somewhere in CBP an intern is google image searching "Cox" right now for the photo.

Good questio- Why honor Bobby Cox?

He's been in baseball for a long time, I know, but what good has he even done for the city or the team that we should honor him?

I hope he has paid city wage tax for all the money he's made in Philadelphia.

Give him a cake in the shape of a bandbox and be done with it.

Spitz - Every manager league team is doing it because it is his 'farewell' tour. Loria didn't have the Fish do it and there was a big stink.

He should get a cake shaped like his surname. He can shove it up his doodah. Then, the fans can shower him with boos. Next, the slumbering giants can break out of their hitting doldrums and tag his sorry team with another loss. Howard can honor Cox by driving in six runs to overtake the league leader, Big Albert. Six games up! I can see it now. Oswalt shines!

Jack,

Actually not a joke. The discussion yesterday about FIP and xFIP went a little over my head. I just checked out a couple of sites and re-read some of the discussion from yesterday.

............****Brad Lidge Watch****

Since August 1st:

22 G, 19 GF, 15 SV, 1 BS, 20.2 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 6 BB, 22 K,
9.58 K/9, 2.61 BB/9, 3.67 K/BB, 0.87 ERA

.127 .205 .141 against

.184 BAbip

I get the feeling Old Phan was a real hoot to hang with back in the day.

Maybe the first and last time I say this, but "Good for Loria".

that g#$ d#@% m@#%#^##@ dave cameron was at it again on his chat today (i know, i shouldn't let it bother me).

naturally, he didn't think that the phils would go to the World Series. his prerogative, of course. but he added "Their rotation is good, everything else is just okay."

i'm told this is a smart man. he sounds smart most of the time. and then he says things like this. i assume it has to be bias. what else could it be. seriously, everything else is just okay? durbin/madson/lidge is better than ok. the lineup is better than ok. the starting rotation is way better than "good".

he adds this gem later in the chat:

"Their offense is good, not great. Howard is overrated, Ibanez is mediocre, Rollins is not healthy and hasn't been an offensive force for a while now... it's more name value than production."

riiiiiiiight. chase, howard, werth, polly, chooch, victorino - all just big names. of course howard is overrated. no one would even know who he was if it weren't for all those pesky top five MVP finishes (including the one he won). HR's aren't even a saber category, so obviously they don't even matter in baseball today.

is this guy for real? i think i hate him. i think i'd hate him even if i wasn't a phillies fan.

Lake Fred, tell us how you really feel.

Jayson Werth is a .308 hitter with a .944 OPS since the Break.

Quietly impressive. And he's 7 for his last 22 with RISP. He's heating up right in time for a huge October.

Contrast Lidge's performance in crunch time to the performance of Papelbon in Boston.

Since 8/1 Papelbon has a 6.27 ERA....when the Red Sox needed him the most.

Why should we honor Bobby Cox? And why should any team be raked over coals for not doing it? This is lame.

Also, Lidge's ERA is down to 3.24 on the season.

On July 31st it was 5.57.

I sure hope he keeps pitching well.

Let's assume the Phils win tonight. They would be up 6 games with 9 to play, and their most pressing concern would be to get Doc some much needed rest headed into the playoffs. They would also be, at least, up 5 games with 9 to play for the best record in the NL.

If they want to get Doc rest, they could go with the following rotation:

Date/Opponent: Starter (Days of Rest)

9-24/NYM: KK (5)
9-25/NYM: Blanton (5)
9-26/NYM: Hamels (5)
9-27/WSH: Halladay (5)
9-28/WSH: Oswalt (5)
9-29/WSH: KK (5)
9-30/OFF
10-1/ATL: Hamels (4)
10-2/ATL: Blanton (6)
10-3/ATL: Oswalt (4)

Now, with 9 games to go and 6 game lead, you still have H2O going 5 times, Blanton going twice, and KK going twice as well. That should be plenty to win at least 4 games (which is all that would be needed to clinch the division, should they win tonight). Also, you'd have at least a 5 game lead for best record in the NL, and again you have H2O going 5 times, so you still have enough bullets to hold off Cin, and since SD and SF play each other 3 times, they'll help knock each other out of the running for best record in the NL.

You'd still probably go into that last series with ATL, with nothing on the line, and you'd only have to start Halladay once more on the season (on 5 DOR) and then you could give him a week off before the first game of the NLDS. And, he really needs it.

If it comes down to it, Doc would be able to start that middle game in Atlanta on October 2nd, but the Phillies should have the division locked up by then.

Thoughts?

****is this guy for real? i think i hate him. i think i'd hate him even if i wasn't a phillies fan. ****

He's the High Priest of SABR-metrics...its like asking the Pope his opinion on which type of condom to buy.


The Phillies FO openly scorns Sabrmetrics in lieu of traditional scouting (something they're awesomely great at) and they win in spite of that view...its no wonder that Cameron hates them.

They should make a mockup of the OF wall and halve the grounds crew move it in and out during the pre-game ceremony honoring Bobby Cox.

You know conshy, I'm a big proponent of many of these advanced metrics, but you've hit on something that irritates me about so many of the vulgar statheads. Sure, if one were to look at the Phillies season-long stats, for the most part things look a little weak. But does that really tell you much about these players right now? How is that any better than looking at Chase Utley's 58 RBI and concluding, 'man, he's in the shitter'?

Couple thoughts reading back over last few hours…

NEPP: re what's wrong with Williamsport. Nothing. I grew up there and watched what was then a Phillies farm team that featuredat different times Dick Allen, Ray Culp, Art Mahaffey, Bobby Wine, even Curt Simmons on a rehab. I tried to tweet about what a great prospect Allen was, but we didn't have electricity in those days.

And since we are again discussing pitchers and aces and the like, and also since this site has become so poetic, I'll repost this from the last thread:

There once was a place called BL,
Where opining rang everyone's bell,
They grappled 'bout aces,
To maintain homeostasis,
What the point was we never could tell.

****NEPP: re what's wrong with Williamsport. Nothing. I grew up there and watched what was then a Phillies farm team that featuredat different times Dick Allen, Ray Culp, Art Mahaffey, Bobby Wine, even Curt Simmons on a rehab. I tried to tweet about what a great prospect Allen was, but we didn't have electricity in those days.****

I agree. I like that we have a team presence in North Central PA. I also have fond memories of Williamsport..as a kid I used to spend summers up in Tioga County just north of it (It was our big city to go to) I didnt like that we gave up Scranton to the Yankees as we've basically ceded all of NE PA to the YES network as a result.

That said, have a AAA team in Allentown was also a good move.

Fatalotti: The Phils have already announced that KK will be skipped this weekend. It will be:

Blanton, Hamels, Halladay vs. NYM
Oswalt, KK, Blanton vs. WAS
Off Day

Hopefully by then, we've clinched the best record in the NL and all we'll need to do is give Halladay about 50 pitches vs. the Braves, Hamels about 50 pitches vs. the Braves and Oswalt about 50 pitches vs. the Braves.

With Game 1 of the NLDS on Wednesday, Halladay will pitch on regular rest, then Hamels on an extra day rest in Game 2 and Oswalt on two extra days rest in Game 3.

R - well clearly Utley is just "good" and mostly gets by on name recognition.

funny how the sabre community lauds defense these days yet Cameron dismisses the phils defense entirely when discussing their playoff odds.

i guess it's not just the old guard who cherry picks stats to make their case.

On Cameron's comment: "Their starting pitching is good"

So, having 3 of the top 15 starters in all of baseball is just "good"? Hell if you look at the Top 10 NL pitchers this year, we have 3 of the 5 that will likely be in the playoffs. Hudson and Cain are the only other 2 that will probably be there as the Cards (Garcia, Wainwright) and the Rockies (Jimenez) look like they'll be free this October. Halladay, Hamels and Oswalt are 3rd, 8th & 9th respectively in ERA+ (with Hamels & Oswalt clearly pitching much better than that the last few months). You could easily argue that Oswalt and Hamels have been the best two pitchers in the NL since the Break.

GreysFan: Thanks for the repost on the limerick. It's fine writing!

NEPP - I concur about Scranton, but I played at Lackawanna Co. Stadium. Absolutely the worst turf you could ever walk on. It felt like spray-painted concrete. I do not envy them the field.

NEPP: Not sure if you were being sarcastic or not, but I'm not convinced that the Phils over the past 3-4 years have been awesomely great at scouting.

They have been awesomely great at making trades and smart FA signings, however, with one glaring exception.

****R - well clearly Utley is just "good" and mostly gets by on name recognition. ****

Using Cameron's own stat, Utley is worth an average of 6.9 Wins over the past 6 seasons...and that number is dragged down by him missing a huge chunk of this year's season. Even with missing a full 2 months, he's still a 4.7 Win player.

This is the same Cameron that previously argued that Utley was more valuable than Pujols.

Odd.

NEPP - for a guy and site that makes it's hay on objectivity due to careful analysis of the numbers, it's interesting that he has this potential bias against the phils and potential bias for the Mariners (see the whole #6 org debate).

At this point, do you really need to have Halladay pitch more than one of the remaining games? Let him do some of his usual bullpen tosses, otherwise rest him until the playoffs.
Re:Cameron-I have a hard time taking someone seriously who says the Phillies are "overrated".

"They should make a mockup of the OF wall and halve the grounds crew move it in and out during the pre-game ceremony honoring Bobby Cox."

Thanks, NEPP. I got a great out loud at my quiet workplace laugh out of that one.

Go to Fangraphs and make a joke about the Mariners season...see how many fan boys jump on you. Its as if he didn't predict the Mariners to win the AL West handily and go deep into the playoffs.

I wonder if the Mariners regret giving Figgins a dump truck full of cash?

NEPP - re: the phils rotation being "good" -
that's my point exactly. you can say that the offense is a concern because of this or that, and you can make a legitimate case. same for the bullpen. although i tend to disagree. but you can't just say that the rotation is just good. it's beyond good. it's beyond great. it's uniquely awesome and nearly unparralled in baseball history. it's truly historical, and it give the phils a massive advantage in any series.

i personally think that the phils would be the favorites in a WS matchup against any of the AL teams. especially since getting there will likely mean that H20 was instrumental in the WS run. would Vegas really give the AL representative the better odds just because of the perception that the AL is the superior league? they might, or maybe the money will dictate who is the favorite. thoughts?

If the Phillies win tonight, I'd pitch Halladay in the first game of the Washington series, and then shelf him until the postseason.

Their magic number would be 4 after tonight, and assuming the Braves go 7-2 over their last nine, we would need to win all of 2 games our remaining nine, and would still have H2O going 5 times overall, with Blanton going twice.

Pretty much, if we win tonight, the division is all but a guarantee, if it isn't already yet.

clout: i agree with you that their FA and trades have been better than their scouting - but plenty of scouts are proclaiming Lakewood's roster an absolute gold mine.

Anyone have those average ERA numbers by rotation slot handy?

If I recall correctly they're ~3.5/4/4.5/5.5/6 and if you're pitching under those you're doing well.

Just had a discussion with a Mets fan and Moyer came up and I found myself defending his value over the last few seasons. He's been here 4.5 years but with injuries he's actually thrown less than four full seasons. Still has gone 56-40 in that period. That's an average of 14-10 4.55 which would be an average #3 or a really good #4.

Conshy, since July 21st, when the Phillies were 48 - 46, the Phillies have played 58 games.

In those 58 games they've scored 287 R, an average of 4.95 RPG. For the entire season, the Phillies are averaging 4.75 RPG, 3rd in the NL.

For the entire season, the top run producing team, the Reds, have scored 4.91 RPG. (Don't know what they've score since 7.21, but you get the idea.)

Basically, since July 21st, the Phils have score more RPG than the season leader has averaged.

If Cameron thinks that's overrated - so be it. You ain't gonna change his mind.


On the other side of the ball, since July 21st, the Phillies have given up 200 runs - 3.45 RPG.

The lowest scoring team im the NL, Pittsburgh, has averaged 3.49 RPG on the season.

The Padres have surrendered the lowest RPG on the season at 3.62 RPG (they play at Petco).


So, where does a 43 - 15 streak come from?

The numbers above pretty much tell the story.

Of course, Cameron, who probably doesn't look past individual player's stats, probably doesn't believe in the classic phrase that describes these Phillies:

"The whole is greater than the sum of the parts."

Ask him how good that Ollie Perez signing was...

Conshy, for Cameron to make those comments about the Phillies definitely shows a bias.

He's comparing the Phils to some mystical standard. The more pressing issue is how does the Phillies offense, defense, starting pitching and bullpen stack up against the rest of the NL teams.

The answer, very favorably.

Starting pitching: Better than any other NL team that will be int he playoffs.

Offense: Better than the Braves, better than the Giants, better than the Padres, equal to the Reds (in my opinion).

Defense: As good as any NL playoff team out there.

Bullpen: Overall, our middle relief guys don't stack up against the Padres, Giants, etc, but since we have three "aces" that generally go 7-8, then the question is how do Madson and Lidge stack up against the rest of the team's closers. Madson is probably the best 8th inning man of any of the NL playoff teams, and Lidge has been pitching as well over the past 2 months as Bell and Wilson, and probably better than Cordero.

*I'm assuming the Rox won't make it.

I don't know about "awesomely great", but it does appear the Phillies scouting has trended upwards over the recent years.

Yo, new thing.

At this point, it feels like the Braves have to implode for the Rockies to make it. They just dont have enough time to make up the ground. They NEEDED to win yesterday.

They basically have to win out and get some help at this point.

Def feel that the Phils should keep a presence in Central PA and keep Williamsport in their farm system fold. The geographic area for the core nation of Phillies fans is limited by their closeness to NYC, Baltimore, and Washington. Parts of northeastern and south central PA are already claimed by some of these other teams. Though it's not crucial, it's nice to have a wider home base for revenue via tv/radio ratings, product sales, and even attendance (even if at the moment that's a moot point).

Hey guys, just a quick FYI. I have started to track the progress of the potential West Chester baseball stadium and will hope to expand on it as the story continues. For news on the stadium check out http://DubCBaseball.com.

As a West Chester native I would love to see this project go through.

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