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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

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Ok, who is Matt Grassie and what has he done with Weitzel?

Hey, let the monarch expand his media empire in peace! Who cares if Mike Assie writes random musings from time to time. ;)

From csnbayarea:

Tony LaRussa told Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News, "the Giants have a legitimate shot," but that shot would be a much better one if San Francisco could somehow manage to drop the powerhouse Phillies fast -- like five games fast.

A series that goes the distance would mean the Giants would have to deal with Roy Halladay three times, not to mention Philly's very dangerous lineup -- seven times.

A potential Giants' advantage, according to LaRussa?

"The Giants have been tested. They were tested up to the last day of the season, and they won that test. They had a tough series with the Braves, and they emerged. They have a lot of competitive toughness."

GBrettfan: Cliff Lee has never pitched on short rest in his entire career. I will be very, very, very surprised if the Rangers pitch him on short rest.

Jack, Oswalt proved that his track record is a good preditor of future events, when he dominated THIS PAST August and September.

Lee before '07 was just another OK pitcher, nothing to get worked up about. In '07, he was so bad that he was sent down to the minors and left off the postseason roster for Cleveland. In '08, he won the Cy Young, and had a fantastic year. Then in '09, he had a good year, but he ended the season with a 6.13 ERA over his final 7 starts.

He had an otherwordly postseason in 2009. This is all the information that the FO had ot go on (as Lee had not yet pitched his current season, duh).

With that in mind, they decided to go after the consistently more dominant pitcher, and trade away the guy who had one really good season under his belt, a bunch of dud seasons, and had ended his last season on a really sour note. Sure he was special in the postseason, but talk about your small sample sizes. The Phillies wanted more of a guarantee, so they went after Halladay. Getting rid of Lee at the time was not as much of a loss as people made it out to be, given his overall past track record. He was still a bit of an unproven long term commodity.

Now, Lee went on to have a great first 4 months of the season, and people started using that as ammunition that it was a huge blunder, but remember RAJ only had the pre 2010 information to go on when deciding about Lee. And even in this past year, Lee had ANOTHER bad 7 start stretch, where he posted a 6.35 ERA.

Lee may be one of the best pitchers in the game, but he's yet to display the kind of long term consistency of a Halladay or an Oswalt.

Maybe he will after a couple more years, but remember, RAJ only had the inofrmation on Lee that happened before 2010, and that resume wasn't quite as impressive as people make it out to be.

Yea, right, the Giants played four one run games against the Braves, while the Phils smoked the Braves in the stretch. I predict a giant crash and burn for the orange and brown west coasters.

Who woke up LaRussa? El Foldo - several years in a row now.

Personally I think something else went down with the whole Lee thing because the way it all went on was bizarre.

Like maybe Lee met Montgomery and royally pi$$ed him off or maybe he hit on Montgomery's wife or something.

Otherwise, the whole way it went down doesn't make much sense.

And yes, I am kidding. Kind of.

After reading the end of the last thread, I hope Lee pitches terrib-lee in the next round and the Rangers are eliminated.

Il Professore LaRussa is positing about this series? he has plenty of time since he engineered another choke job, this time earlier in the season then usual. he usually waits until the post season to screw things up. I'd rather interview John Russel about the NLCS.

"Since 1975, we've actually been a pretty respectable franchise...it was those first 93 years that sucked. Since then, we've made the playoffs 11 times, won 5 pennants and 2 WS and had a .514 winning percentage overall."


NEPP, I would agree with you only if the period between 1987 and 2000 wasn't burned into my memory.

With the exception of 1993, when they obviously caught lightning in a bottle, those were seasons where Bill Giles began to be exposed as a poor baseball operator, and resultantly ran the franchise into the muck and mire. it was horrible to be a fan then - just horrible.

Think of what the track record since 1975 would be if the managing partner of the franchise hadn't operated the team with a small market mentality.

This is going to be a very though series. The Phillies hitters are not hitting. Their pitchers are going very well, although let's face it, Oswalt was pretty bad in his five innings against Cincy.

I can see the Phillies beating Lincecum and Cain if Charlie sends Halladay and Hamels against them. But if he sticks to his vets over young pitcher theme, I can see game two being a problem for Oswalt. And no matter who pitches against Sanchez, the Phillies cannot and will not beat him. It's like his pitches disappear at the plate and reappear in the catcher's glove. Especially against the Phillies.

This series is going seven if we're lucky. And I wouldn't put any money on the outcome. I do believe that over the long regular season the Phillies are a much better team. But in a short series, the Giants' pitching and especially Sanchez's mastery of the Phillies make this the worst possible matchup of the Phillies in either league. The Phillies stand a much better chance of beating the Yankees or Rangers than they do the Giants with their top four starters. (I include MB because he pitched well in the playoffs and Joe Blanton has been munching doughnuts and sitting in the stands the last ten days.)

I note that LaRussa suggested the Giants beat the Phils in 5 if they want to beat them. (Or it's implied that he suggested that.) I figure that means he's only conceding the obvious, which is that yes, the Giants are competitive with their pitching and have a shot at winning - but that the Phillies, headed by Halladay and bolstered by a lineup with power potential, will be tough to beat. (Although it's hard to say whether the unquoted statements are paraphrasing LaRussa or are simply the reporter's own assertions. )

I dont know how much stock to place in this, but around the time when Lee screwed the Yankees and chose to sign with Texas the NY media was carping that he is the most high-maintenance pitcher on the market, he likes to be wined and dined and basically told how great he is on a regular basis, and any team that didnt do so was basically off of his radar, and apparently that also pissed the Phillies off as well. Take it for what it's worth.

Although I agree with aksmith that it won't be easy.

Did anyone see the phillies.com article where Victorino got a little exasperated about the questions regarding the Giants' pitching and joked, "I'm not even going to bring a bat to the plate. What's the point?"

Any UZR experts wanna show how awful the Giants defense is?

Huff 1B
Uribe SS
Sandoval 3B
Burrell LF
Ross RF

They've all gotta be awful right? Thats what my eyes tell me. Torres and Sanchez are probably above average, but again just assuming on my part.

Can such a pisspoor defensive alignment really win a 7 game series vs a more talented team?

Those 93 years somehow mutated my ancestors DNA and they passed it on.

aksmith, Sanchez didn't even average 6 IP per start this year (5.85).

As long as the Phillies have a patient approach, even if they don't hit him, they will get a crack at the bullpen.

And we HAVE hit their bullpen this year.

The Giants will be lucky if this series goes 7. The Phillies will likely finish it in 6.

aksmith, anyone else:

Sanchez is a great pitcher and really has a knack for shutting down the Phillies. But he also averages under 6 IP per start. So how in the world are the games he starts a guaranteed loss? He most likely wont even get a decision since he'll be over 100 pitches before the 7th happens even if he does pitch well.

Heather, I tend to think that the published stories are true, and that Lee just wanted way too many years for the Phillies to be comfortable.

I don't really think it was the money - they're paying Halladay, and gave him a three year extension BEFORE this season making it a 4 yr. deal, but Lee reportedly wanted 7 years, and his agent must have given Amaro SOME indication that he wasn't going to compromise very much on the length of a deal.

That being the case, when the Phils found out from Toronto that they could get Halladay to REPLACE (in their minds) Lee, it became a simple calculation for them.

Unless the Phillies are lying (thre don't like going beyond 3 years with pitchers), then I have to believe Amaro when he said he didn't think there was any way they were going to be able to extend Lee.

Remember, it was probably the YEARS and not the MONEY.

The Oswalt trade and the resultant spike in salary is a pretty clear indicator that that's what happened.

Clout, I don't know what to expect of Washington. I also don't know if pitching Lee on short rest is the only way the Rangers get to Game 6/7. I guess because having him and Wilson go against the Yankees' top 2 gives them a better chance of winning at least one of the first 4 games.

Should say "spike in payroll".

I don't see anything controversial in what LaRussa said. I would agree with most of it, in fact.

Jason/phaithful: Not sure what you're saying with that list. Do you think Cody Ross is a bad defensive player?

Matbe it's been noted here already, but the Rangers probably have the advantage in the SP department when facing the Yankees.

How they line up againt each other, however, is a different question, and moving Lee to game 2 instead of 3 may have a negligible effect.

Unless he can be moved to face off with Sabbathia it may be a moot point.

Here's actual citation from the phillies.com article by Zolecki:

Shane Victorino rolled his eyes and said he has no plans to step into the batter's box with a bat Saturday for Game 1 of the National League Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park.

Why bother?

The Phillies learned late Monday they would play the Giants in the best-of-seven NLCS, but in less than 24 hours, Victorino had heard plenty about the two dominating pitching staffs -- and how the Phillies have struggled offensively against the Giants. He had heard Giants ace Tim Lincecum, who struck out 14 in a shutout Thursday against the Braves in the NL Division Series, would be facing Phillies ace Roy Halladay, who threw a no-hitter Wednesday against the Reds in the NLDS, in Game 1 (7:30 p.m. ET, FOX).

He had heard the Phils' lineup will have a tough road ahead.

"I'm done," Victorino joked Tuesday following a workout. "I'm not going to play this series."

The talk about Halladay and Lincecum, Cole Hamels and Matt Cain and Roy Oswalt and Jonathan Sanchez is deserved. They are good. Even Victorino admits that.

"It's going to be an interesting little series," he said. "We know what we're up against. Are we going to do anything differently? Yeah, we need to hit. But I think as long as you get a 'W' at the end of the day, whether it be through good pitching or good hitting, that's what it's about."

"I don't see anything controversial in what LaRussa said. I would agree with most of it, in fact. "

I think a lot of people just see the name LaRussa and start foaming at the mouth since the guy is such a colossal jerk.

Just my $.02

Joe and Fatalotti, you convinced me. I'm happy with H2O.

"Howard kills Lincecum. The Big Piece is 6-for-19 (.316) lifetime against him with three homers and a pair of doubles."

I think 19 AB's is a small sample size from which to conclude that a batter kills a pitcher. Not that I'm saying that Howard won't hit Lincecum, just quarreling with the choice of the word 'kills.'

"The Giants will be lucky if this series goes 7. The Phillies will likely finish it in 6."


Well, fatalotti, I'm not as confident as you are, because as the Braves/Giants series showed, low-scoring, well-pitched games can go either way, and this sure looks like a series that is going to feature low-scoring, well-pitched contests.


I do hope you're right, though.

I have tickets to Game 6. :)

Cliff Lee "...the most high-maintenance pitcher on the market..."

Would be curious if there is any truth to that. We don't really know what these guys are like off the field, but he certainly did not come off that way. My perception - and it could be totally wrong, who knows - was that of a pretty down to earth, team oriented type guy who really fit in well with the Phils in the clubhouse. I remember people commenting here the first night he pitched for the Phillies about his very modest post game interview and addressing the interviewer as "Sir".

Yes, awh, I agree with you on that aspect of it and it was probably a YEARS thing and not a money thing.

What I thought was bizarre was basically how they shipped him out of here overnight and did not shop him around to get the best deal. (I base this off quotes from rival execs after the fact.)

That is the part I found bizarre. It was like once they decided they couldn't resign him, they got rid of him as quickly as possible.

The black helicopter conspiracy theorist in me believes that's why there's more to the story.

bob: I agree and I'm sure the NY media was also bitter that he turned them down, but apparently it's known in baseball circles that he does like to be fawned over. It's hard to believe the Yankees wouldnt oblige him as well, given their reputation. But if it is true it may play a larger part in why we let him go than meets the eye. In contrast, Doc was focused like a laser on Philly and didnt play the bargaining game with any other teams.

Because of how we've handled Matt Cain, I think we have a definite edge in Game 2. Also, Cole Hamels is a better pitcher (though not by much) than Jonathan Sanchez.

Game 1 is a wash all told, I think. Tim Lincecum is a back to back Cy Young Winner and certainly capable of equaling Halladay pitch for pitch. Game 4 has the Giants with an advantage, they're at home with Bumgarner vs. Blanton. Joey B's good, and Bumgarner is a rookie, but he handled Turner Field without any problems so I doubt he'll crack (that and he has better stuff than Blanton).

I think the Phillies will take the first 2 games, then 1 of 3 in SF, then win Game 6. I know, I said Phillies in 7. That's if Halladay loses Game 1.

Speaking of tickets to games, where is the best place to get tickets online? Is stubhub the only place?

In re: FATBNL

So in that package for the Phantaic we were gonna get "some squirrels?"

David Murphy insinuated that Hamels might be pitching gmae 2 and Oswalt game 3. Hamels does not have good number, lifetime, at AT&T Park, and, as Murphy put it, Oswalt's last 3 starts at AT&T Park have all gone 7 innings, and he's given up less than 4 runs in each outing.

So, there's that.

Heather- Avoid bars in Bensalem in your ticket search.

Looks like this needs to be posted again.

awh:

"Unless the Phillies are lying (thre don't like going beyond 3 years with pitchers), then I have to believe Amaro when he said he didn't think there was any way they were going to be able to extend Lee."

I still get the impression from Lee's reaction that Lee and his agent weren't quite on the same page in those discussions. Also, it has seemed more apparent since then that in the Phillies' minds, they are always giving a last, best, and final offer (although open to a little modification) and not a low opening, exploratory, bid.

Godfather, Blanton was pretty good when he was with Oakland. Bulldog has been good for us lately. Since Oakland is pretty close to SF, I think a well rested Blanton back in his old environment would be better than a shaking in his boots rookie like Bumgarner.

Speaking of real managers, unlike LaRussa, how about an assessment of the 4 skippers in play. I would rate them as follows:

Manuel


Bochy
Baker
Girardi

Oops, Baker is gone....

Manuel
Bochy
Girardi
Washington

Let's bring up another topic that gets drummed to death on here:

The Rangers cut ties with announcer Josh Lewin today declining to pick up the option on his deal. If you wanted to replace TMac that would be a great pick-up.

TTI: I could not agree more. I love Josh Lewin.

clout: Yes I think Cody Ross is a poor fielder. Am I wrong? I could be, but I specifically remember him being pretty damn bad as a Marlin. Numerous plays come to my mind of him overrunning balls or misplaying angles.

"What I thought was bizarre was basically how they shipped him out of here overnight and did not shop him around to get the best deal. (I base this off quotes from rival execs after the fact.)"


Heather, I agree that it was bizarre, and agree they probably could have gotten more for Lee.


I believe this:

The FO was scared to death of a lengthly trade process, because of the resultant negagtive publicity and fan pressure that would have, IMHO, been the result of a lengthly, dran out process.

Can you imagine what talk radio, fans calling the Phils offices, season ticket holders, and the print media would have said, and the pressure they would have felt if the process had gone on for a while? It would have been national in it's scope, with every little rumor being overanalyzed and reported everywhere. And suppose Lee, who said his agent was getting ready to present the Phils with a couteroffer, had publicly said he'd compromise on 5 years instead of 7? That really would have
turned up the heat on the FO.

I suspect they just didn't want all the negative PR, especially that which sought to analyze their finances. They would have been villified and verbally crucified by the local hacks.

That, and they seemed to have had a clear preference for Halladay over Lee anyway.

As I said, the Oswalt deal and the assumption of at least a portion of his salary is some evidence that it wasn't all about money.

But if they really felt they had no chance to extend Lee on terms they could live with, and had clear indications from Halladay (through this agent) that he would be happy toenter into and limit an extension to 3 years just for the opportunity to pitch in Philly, I think that swayed them.

Before they even went and talked to Lee's agent, they probably saw it as Lee OR Halladay, not Lee AND Halladay.

Someone close to Cliff Lee has been quoted (in SI, because I saw it) that Cliff Lee will play in Siberia if that's where they offer him the most money. He's a great pitcher, no doubt. There can also be little doubt that he's always fully intended to go the F.A. route no matter what.

Larussa's quotes indicate that he thinks the Phillies are going 1/4/7 with Doc.

That hasn't been determined yet right?

Cliff Lee is apparently a bit of a diva. Glad I'm not the only one who heard that.

"Someone close to Cliff Lee has been quoted (in SI, because I saw it) that Cliff Lee will play in Siberia if that's where they offer him the most money. He's a great pitcher, no doubt. There can also be little doubt that he's always fully intended to go the F.A. route no matter what"

I always wonder about statements like this. What's the real difference between $13 mil over 4 years or $11 mil over 4 years, if you like the latter team a lot better.

Look at Jason Bay. It seemed like he really didn't want to go to the MEts and just signed there because they offered the most money. He seemed pretty miserable.

I totally understand utility infielders signing where they get the best money but when you're already making the big bucks, doesn't lifestyle and situation matter more?

(Rhetorical question).

So uhh...if the Rangers try and steal Franzke will the Phils counter by firing McCarthy and putting Franzke on TV? Please?

I wouldnt risk Doc going 3 days rest if they have a lead in the series.

I'm not scared to start Blanton. Among innings and donuts, he would eat this SF lineup as well.

Franzke on TV without Larry Anderson would be like peanut butter without jelly.

TTI/Heather: Rumor is they want Franzke to replace Lewin. That would be a minor disaster for the Phils IMO.

The only way Halladay starts game 4 is if we are down 3-0. Book it.

(Rubes Office 11am)
Rube: Thanks for coming, let's cut to the chase, we would love to have Cliff pitch us the World Series again.
Cliff's Agent: Cliff would love to pitch in the World Series again. Can you imagine what he will make in free agency by doing that again?
Rube: Um, we want to avoid all that. We are prepared to offer this...(Pushes paper across table to agent)
Cliff's Agent: (laughing hysterically) Hhahahahahah, wait til I show Cashman this.

"TTI/Heather: Rumor is they want Franzke to replace Lewin. That would be a minor disaster for the Phils IMO."

Oh no! :-(

Franzke definitely deserves the opportunity but that would be crushing. Let's give the Rangers TMac and we'll replace TMac with Lewin. Then Franzke and LA can stay together. Or better yet, just put Franzke and LA on TV and fire TMac and Wheels.

That's right, Hamm, it has not been announced whether Charlie is throwing Doc 3 times or using Blanton. But I would guess he'll use each of H2O twice, with Blanton in Game 4.

Heather:

Peanut Butter is way better than the current Poo-poo platter we have. And who knows maybe Franzke could work some magic and get rid of wheels and convince LA to come back to TV. A boy can dream cant the.

Just as Bochy would be doing us a favor by saving Sanchez for Game 3, Cholly would be doing the Giants a huge favor by not starting Hamels in Game 2, at home, at night. If he pushes him to Game 3, in a park that he has not pitched well in, during the day, it's borderline lunacy.

Zudok,
He already pitched in Siberia, you ever spend a winter (November 1st through May 25) in Cleveland?

Is that an actual rumor? That the Rangers want Franzke? Well, they can't have him!

Can we re-sign Scott Graham and package him with T-Mac to Texas? Then Sarge can more fully utlize his vast broadcasting talents. Unfortunately Wheels is going nowhere fast.

That would really, really suck if we lost Franzke. More Jim Jackson on radio? the return of Scott Graham perhaps? Yikes, my ears are already bleeding at the thought!

I hear ya but both Wheels' dead cat and T-bag's chrome dome would both look good with cowboy hats on them down in Arlington. Send C--- L-- back and we got ourselves a deal.

Dead cat? I thought that was an opossum?

If Frankze leaves, that will be MUCH worse than Amaro's trade of Lee. ONE HUNDRED FOLD.

I dont think JJ is bad at all on radio. Given his hockey background I think he's actually more on the ball then T-Mac is on TV.

"TTI/Heather: Rumor is they want Franzke to replace Lewin. That would be a minor disaster for the Phils IMO."

That would be the biggest mistake the Phillies have made with the broadcast team in a long time - since they hired TBag, at least.

Hamm, agree.

jason/phaithful: Yes, you are wrong. Cody Ross is an above average fielder in RF and LF with an above average arm, both according to scouting reports and to UZR. He's probably just league average or a bit below in CF.

His career UZR in RF is 2.2 and for all OF positions it's 3.5.

Franzke has all but mastered the art of calling a baseball game on the radio. He's not the best ever, but he's damn good. Why folks are clamoring to move him to TV is something I just don't understand. I realize our TV broadcasters royally suck, but don't fix that by taking a guy who's really good at what he does and putting him somewhere different. Get someone who's good at TV broadcasting! Leave well enough alone...

Now if it's a matter of moving him to TV or losing him altogether, then it's a different decision. But I haven't seen anything indicating that's what he's asked for. Frankly, he sounds like he likes being on the radio.

well i'll be damned, he fooled me. I guess those were games where he played CF, cause there were plenty times he looked lost.

jason/phaithful: You're also wrong on Uribe, who's not as good as he once was, but has had positive UZR at SS in 3 of the past 4 years.

Only team this season that beat Doc, Oswalt and Hamels?

I like Wheels. If you want to talk problems with the broadcast team- he is not one of them.

HAMM: I agree ONE HUNDRED FOLD.

I've posted this before, but Blanton has done OK against the Giants at AT&T.

3 GS, 3.57 ERA, 17.1 IP, 1.585 WHIP,

.318 .382 .409 against, with a .345 BAbip, which indicates he might have had a little bad luck.

I like wheels also. My car wouldn't get anywhere without them.

TTI, the only memeber of the broadcast team to whom listening is like listening to nails on a chalkboard is TBag.

He comes across as someone who just likes hearing the sound of his own voice - whether what he says is intelligent or not.

Truth Injection:
What is Wheels' favorite Bill Haley song?

See you later, Alligator?

Who is Wheels' favorite player? HanRam or Reyes?

Is this a bizarre stat:

Blanton's ERA:

Ruiz catching: 4.01, 43 G

Schneider catching: 6.73, 11 G

Losing Franzke would be tragic. I can't believe the Phillies would let that happen. He and Andersen have put the magic back into baseball on the radio. Send 'em T-Mac. Please.

Chooch is Blanton's team MVP catcher!

Franzke would never leave Philly. Him and LA have forged the strongest tandem since Whitey and Harry. Sarge and T-Mac, not so much....

I just read that C.C. said that his wife and Cliff Lee's wife are good friends. All things being equal, I would guess Lee will sign someplace where his wife will be happy.

So whoever said last night that they intended to enjoy cheering on Lee while he's still with a team you can root for...I'm right there with you. Because next year I'm going to have to add him to the list of likeable players that I can't cheer for anymore, along with Curtis Granderson and C.C. himself. (Berkman's currently on that list, but he probably won't be a Yankee next year, is what I read.) I know it's irrational of me.

TBag comes off as someone who'd probably a pretty nice guy.......who just sucks at what he does.

Correction: "who's probably a pretty nice guy"

I would be crushed if Franzke left Philly. As, I assume, would LA. That kind of rapport is irreplaceable.

spent some time over at a giants blog (mccovey chronicles) and they've got some pretty funny and educated commentors. reasonable, for the most part, as well.

should that surprise me? it IS san francisco after all.

ps - the posts were very neat and colorful.

Franzke went to SMU. I remember he and LA discussing the Washington St-SMU football game last year. First, that might be the worst possible match-up of DI college football of teams that have actually had decent years (though SMU's were all illegal). Second, he may want to return to Texas - bad news if the Rangers are interested. Third, Lewin is my favorite play-by-play guy in MLB. Texas and SF are my top broadcast pairings in baseball.

I know this might be a minority opinion but TMac actually did improve a bit as the season wore on this year. It seemed like he got the memo that he didn't need to talk every second. He also seemed like he actually spent a little time to read scouting reports to know what a pitcher actualy throw instead of saying 'breaking ball' on every non 4-seem fastball.

Still, I find it really hard to listen to him for a prolonged stretch and the 4th-6th innings with him & Sarge are brutal more often than not. For a guy who has had the job now for 2 years, he hasn't developed much of a repore with either of his color guys. In fact, I get the impression that Sarge and TMac realy don't like working with one another much.

I like this Grassie character. More stats please.

Sophist is sorely missed on this blog.

Like JJ doing the postgame wrapup and hockey but he was pretty rough around the edges all year. Hope they don't have him on the radio as much because that is the medium I use to listen to most Phils' games.

Today is the 50th ann. of the Maz HR. Great series for you run-differential fans to check out.

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