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Sunday, November 07, 2010


It might be a good idea to get all knuckleballers in the system so we don't have to face them

At the very least he can throw BP to prepare them for Cy Dickey.

I'm drawing a blank. A few years ago, the Phillies signed some obscure minor league journeyman pitcher. I don't think he ever made it onto the 25-man roster, but I do recall that his signing produced a whole season of comments from Andy about how he was the answer to all of the Phillies' problems. Anyone remember his name?

The reason I ask is that, if we do sign Eddie Bonine, he'll be a strong candidate to fill that same role in 2011.

How about that? As soon as I hit "Post," the name poppped into my head. Vic Darensbourg.

Sign Eddie to a 2 month contract.

Eddie Bonine! I understand the Yankees are already offering Cliff Lee a contract. Eddie Bonine! Yeah!

Will he be taking the honorary Jamie Moyer Slowball roster spot? Because it's been open for half a season now.

C'Mon AK~

You really didn't think RAJ would do anything major quickly did you? Are you surprised about the Yanks readying and offer for Lee? Don't be. I've been saying for months that's where he's going.

Yes Amaro has a lot of work to do. But it wll be done at a snail's pace. And we probably won't like most of what he does. And no, he'll not bring back Werth.

Sign him to throw batting practice before every RA Dickey least then we might get some hits.

Its ALWAYS worth taking a chance on a knuckleballer.

Bonine could be a stop gap addition until Jamie perfects his knuckler.

bap: Travis Blackley?

Rube jumping like he did the last 2 years would be the dumbest thing he could do.

"WAR is your classic GI/GO stat. Not even Andy thinks Ben Zobrist was one of the top 2 players in MLB 2 years ago or that Ryan Ludwick is better than Ryan Howard."

WAR certainly misfired on Zobrist who small sampled multiple positions to have incredible defensive stats.

Ryan Howard lost the battle of the Ryans in 2008. 150 OPS+ vs. 124. RF, with enough defense to at least fake CF for 64 innings vs. a lousy 1B defense.

Howard did win the RISP battle, 1.028 OPS to .939, so there is some leverage advantage to go Howard's way.

But to scoff at the suggestion that Ludwick was better than Howard in 2008, is, well, scoffable.

BB - I was thinking the exact same thing when I read this. Preemptive move to prevent the Mets from acquiring a cadre of knuckleballers/hybrid knuckleballers to fluster the Phils.

Questions for any phan to answer. If the Phils offer Werth arb and he turns it down, do we get draft picks for him? What if he he signs with whomever before we get to offer hom arb? Or do we get draft picks for him because he's a Type A anyway? Thanks.

We get 2 draft picks if we offer him arbitration and he turns it down. 1 compensation pick after the first round, and the first round pick of any team which signs him. So of course Amaro is going to offer him arbitration.

And if he takes it, that's great for us and silly for him.

I still think Magglio Ordonez is the best move for an RF for the team, provided it's a short term deal at Werth's previous salary.

bap - Vic Darensbourg.

In re: Draft Picks for Werth
I seem to remember something like if he signs with one of the fifteen worst teams (2010 record) we don't get their first round pick but another sandwich pick.

Bonine is marginally better in a few categories than Kyle Kendrick: GB%, DP%. Worse in K/9. When he's good, he's better at getting out LHBs. He's also 4 years older. Do we really need another soft tossing, pitch to contact righty on the staff? Wouldn't it be better to keep Kendrick for that role and find a relief pitcher who's worth something? Maybe another lefty? How many LH RPs were on the roster of the 2010 WFS champs?

Actually, Vic Darensbourg, as a LH RP might actually be worth more to the Phils right now than Bonine. But at least we'd have someone on the roster I could rhyme with Conine if I wanted to do a "marginal acquisition" limerick.

First of many marginal veteran pitchers I see the Phils being liked to this offseason. It wouldn't surprise me if the Phils are at least rumored to be linked to every veteran LOOGY on the market.

Left-handed relief pitcher free agents

Joe Beimel (34)
Bruce Chen (34)
Randy Choate (35) - Type B
Scott Downs (35) - Type A
Pedro Feliciano (34) - Type B
Mark Hendrickson (37)
Ron Mahay (40)
Will Ohman (32)
Dennys Reyes (34)
Arthur Rhodes (41) - Type A
J.C. Romero (35)
Bobby Seay (33)
Scott Schoeneweis (37)
Hisanori Takahashi (36)
Taylor Tankersley (28)
Randy Williams (35)

Yikes. These names all look so familiar. It's like the guys on this list are on this list every year. Except for Takahashi. If we could sign him away from the Mets it would rip their heart out.

Pedro Feliciano is my top choice from that list.

If Werth signs with a team in the bottom half, we get a sandwich pick plus that team's second-round pick.

If Werth signs with a team in the top half, we get that team's first-round pick plus the sandwich pick.

If a team like the Yankees were to sign both Cliff Lee and Werth, we would get the sandwich pick plus the Yanks' second-round pick. This would be because, if I'm not mistaken, Lee is rated ahead of Werth as a free agent. In this scenario, the Rangers would get the Yanks' first-round pick.

To get any draft picks for Werth, the Phils must offer Werth arbitration on or before the deadline for offering players arbitration.

Re: Werth. I thought the Phils had to offer him arb before they get any picks but wasn't sure. Why haven't they offered it yet? He most certainly will not be back.

DPatrone, there's a deadline for it, and they're not even close to it. Usually nothing happens on the abritration front until December at the earliest.

Andy, some of the lefties on that list are actually pretty good. Joe Beimel is one of them. As is Dennys Reyes. Both put up better, more consistent numbers over the last 3 years than Feliciano (or Romero).

They'll 99.9% offer him arbitration. There is no reason whatsoever for him to accept it so there's no risk. This is not comparable to Burrell or Moyer after 08 when they just let them walk.

Godfather - I agree with that assessment, as well as Bay Slugga's pick of the litter. I was just noticing that Beimel, Ohman, Rhodes and Mahay always seem to show up here.

Since he's a hybrid, do we have to make sure he gets plugged in after a few innings work? (He probably needs to eat beans or cabbage half as often though.)

I've never seen Bonine pitch that I remember. Also have never seen a "secondary knuckleball."

Seems the most successful knuckleballers over the long haul use it as their primary pitch and sneak a secondary crappy fastball or slider in there to keep hitters more honest. The only knuckleballer I've seen in quite a while who actually has average secondary stuff is RA Dickey. He could be a marginal below average major leaguer based on his other pitches. But he's the exception.

Pretty much...most think that in order to be an effective knuckleballer, it has to be your primary 60%+ of your pitches thrown. It took Dickey a good 5-7 years to develop his knuckler well enough to be effective and he bounced through several minor league systems while doing so.

Still, he's a no-risk signing...and knuckleballers are cool.

I just don't think Ordonez is a good option. He's 36 and as you get older at a position like RF, the injury risk goes up. I was reading Keith Law's scouting report from his free agent primer and he said it looks like his bat speed was down and that he was starting early to catch up, and in turn was way out in front of changeups and breaking balls. He also stated that he is a well below average fielder in both range and arm. He finished in saying he doesn't expect anything besides a 1 year platoon DH type deal for him. I don't know about everyone else, but most of that report sounds like Ibanez, and I'm pretty sure we don't need another of those.

mego: I agree with Law on the deal Ordonez will get, though Ordonez's numbers indicate he was hitting better than he might be getting credit for.

People who insist Ordonez will get a multi-year deal have been ignoring trends in baseball. Amaro might like to give multi-year deals to guys in their late 30's, but no one else is. Ordonez will most likely get a 1-year deal, with perhaps a club option.

Random Predictions for Winter 2011-2012

(I reserve the right to say that you heard it here first if these happen and the right to backpedal by not commenting about the wisdom of these moves in this post)

- Rollins is traded for salary relief. Valdez starts at SS for 2011 and bats 8th. Victorino leads off.

- Ordonez is signed to a similar contract that Ibanez received (2 - 3 yrs).

- Victorino will start in CF. LF will be an Ibanez/Gload/Francisco platoon. RF will be a Ordonez/Brown platoon.

- Contreras re-signs for 1yr and competes for the fifth spot in the rotation with Kendrick and Worley.

- CHoP returns at a bargain and pitches out of the bullpen.

- Amaro takes a left handed reliever via Rule 5 who will have a guaranteed roster spot for 2011 regardless of performance to justify making the move in the first place.

Godfather SJP~ I was just curious as to the Phils of arb to Werth because let's say he signs soon, before they offer it to him, we get no picks in that case?

Also, As a RH bat, I like Francouer. I know a lot of you disagree, but he's got a great arm in RF, some pop (13 HR, 65 RBI last year, and he's only 26. I know he K's too much but I think he's a better fit that Ordonez.

Franceour is a joke. He's got a career .310 OBP. That's absurdly low for a starting OF, and he apparently wants to play everyday somewhere (his agent needs to have a reality talk with him).

His platoon numbers are decent, but not much better than Francisco. He's got a good arm in RF, but only average range, at best. He's overrated as a defensive player, and his hack-at-every-pitch approach is the antithesis of what the Phillies need. He swings at everything.

DPatrone it's not just the K's, he's a complete free swinger and never walks. Not a guy you want hitting behind Howard. All you do is give Howard an intentional pass and you'll easily get Francouer out.

Ordonez as a Righty platoon in RF is actually my ideal signing. Yeah, platoon/DH contract is what I would go for. The most I would tolerate was if he got Werth's 2010 salary (7.5 million). Yes, he's a defensive downgrade. Any option available would be. But offense is almost always more important than defense.

Jack: Agreed.

Look at all the 1 year deals to likes of Vladdy, Dunn, and Abreu in the past.

Why would Mags get any more than those 3 going into their first year of free agency while in thier mid 30s?

Phillies raising ticket prices. Makes sense on the basis of the law of supply and demand.

As long as the Phils' keep making the playoffs, they will keep raising tickets at a healthy clip.

There is almost always a positive/negative aspect to any outcome.

aksmith - never seen a "secondary knuckleball."

Joe Niekro had a good knuckler but, while it was often his out pitch, it was not a primary pitch like his brother's. He threw fastballs, changes and sliders in large numbers. Judging from the tool box he concealed in his pants and glove, that slider was somewhat enhanced by doctoring the ball.

I can't remember a Phillies player throwing a knuckler. Not particularly enthusiastic about the prospects of a long man who throws one.

I just can't imagine why anyone would want the team to get older after a year when I think it was apparent that our stars getting older was a major reason for our offense's decline.


Given the Phillies' needs, and contracts for 2011 and 2012, a righty platoon player makes the most sense for right field.

Now you've really got permanent bench players, like Marcus Thames or Jeff Francoeur, available. Ordonez is, really, has the best numbers of any free agent OF after Crawford and Werth. Yes, he's old, and a constant injury liability. This is why you platoon him. But both of those problems actually allow you to offer him a lower contract and a shorter one.

Ordonez, really, would be a stopgap until Brown develops. I personally do not think he is ready for full time and would prefer he open the season in Triple A. This means he would get "phased in" for the latter half of 2012. Then in 2012 he's the starting RF.

Now for that to work you need a player who starts in RF or LF full time. Which means the other half is a platoon. I would prefer an Ordonez/Gload platoon in RF, with Ibanez full time in LF, vs. an Ibanez/Francisco platoon in LF with Brown in RF to open 2012. Why? Because Ordonez is still a much better hitter than Francisco or Marcus Thames, that's why.

Edmundo: I wasn't talking about 2008. WAR says Ryan Ludwick is a better player than Ryan Howard THIS YEAR.

Jack: I'm still ready to bet Mags gets more than one year. Look at what else is out there.

@clout, you don't think Ludwick had a 2008 Zobristian year defensively in 2010? :)

Agree that that WAR rating is silly.

Godfather~ My only concearns with Ordonez are his injury history and his age. Unless someone is moved, the only position that they can get younger in is RF> That's why I like Francouer. But he may not be the best option due to his flaws. But remember Ibanez has flaws also.

Two things are certain. AMaro will bring in a RH bat and he'll re-tool the 'pen. A friend of mine suugested a lot of names to me this morning but that's all conjecture. He likes Francouer also. Believe me Ordonez can rake, but the risk you take with him reminds me of what happened with the Giants and De Rosa. I was pro to bringing DeRo in and I'm glad they didn't.

Francouer could blossum here or he could be another Wes Helms. Who knows?

WAR is inheritanly flawed because of the fact that it uses UZR, which has been proven to be unreliable over just one year due to sample size. In fact UZR is usually only reliable in a 3 or more year sample.

And that's not even mentioning that there is different formulas depending on the site you go to.

Edmundo: Ludwick's WAR is impacted by his 2.6 UZR, but as we all know a one-year UZR is fairly worthless. Ludwick's past 3 years of UZR are -2.2, +2.0 and +2.6, which gives you a more accurate picture of the guy's range (i.e. above average but not spectacular.)

Not even Jack would trade Howard straight up for Ludwick.

mego beat me to the punch!

Godfather- You do bring up some valid points. I just don't know how much of an upgrade that ordonez would be. He's definately a downgrade defensively from Francisco. And if the reports on his decreased batspeed are accurate I don't think he adds much value to a team that as we all know thrives on fastballs and can't hit breaking balls.

If the Phils did pick him up, I would prefer a platoon with Ibanez. He would be less of a liability in left field, and we allready saw last year that Ibanez hit better when he was played against righties and not lefties. Then Brown can get the reps he needs and you can always platoon him later if deemed neccesary.

Mego~ Problem with Brown is that he doesn't seem to be ready. He didn't appear to be able to hit lefties and I don't know if he can hit anyone's breaking ball...yet. Is getting him the reps he needs at this level the answer?

Heh sorry Clout, its a slow day at work and I have too much time on my hands.

DP- I think giving Brown reps is the way to go. Adimitadly he didn't have much success in his limited opportunities last season, however he does have fairly good plate discipline, which has been recorded all through his minors career. Even when he was in the majors he was above average. There is an article at complete with heat maps about just this topic if you want to check it out (sorry I'm on my phone and can't post the link, but its on the main page) . Add in the fact he already proved he can beat up on AAA pitching, and I think it all points to Brown needs to start.

"He's definately a downgrade defensively from Francisco."

He doesn't have Francisco's speed or throwing arm but, if you think Ordonez would be a defensive downgrade, I can only conclude that you must listen to the Phillies games on the radio -- at least the ones where Ben Francisco starts.

The problem I see with Ordonez coming to the Phillies is his perception of where he thinks he stands as far as his talent at this point. Meaning, does he see himself as a platoon player? From what Boras has been saying, I kind of doubt it. I really don't feel he's going to want to come to Philadelphia with Brown looming. That's even totally disregarding what the salary demands may be and dealing with crazy ass Boras. I just don't see the fit from his standpoint. Phillies standpoint.... sure. But, not his. I don't think a big name slugger, albeit aging, is going to want to switch leagues, lose dh at bats, and fight for playing time with the well known prospect. It doesn't add up. I think it's more likely that a minor trade is made or someone who has platooned before is brought in. But, hey...I could be wrong.

BAP- Lol agreed Francisco is no defensive whiz. That being said I did have the chance to watch some Tigers game and several of the Phillies games that Francisco was in the field and Ben is definately a better fielder.

Bill Hall, Aaron Rowand and Matt Diaz are all more likely to be signed by Rube than Ordonez. I don't see Rube spending big for a RF. I could see him overspending for a quality bullpen arm that could setup or close if needed.

We need Matt Diaz in much the same ilk as we need ANY knuckleballer - just to prevent them from killing the Phillies.

I'd actually take Diaz in a platoon and see what happens there.

And any pitcher that can be compared (by JW) to Figgy? Well, I mean why isn't he already signed??

If Ordonez is signed here, it will be as an everyday player. Not a platoon player who plays sparingly with Brown.

Clout: No, I wouldn't.

What's funny, though, is that given his contract, the Padres wouldn't trade Ludwick for Howard, either.

By the way, the answer to the question posed earlier is that if a team signs a Type A FA before the arbitration offer deadline (i.e., if Werth were to sign tomorrow), the signing team would automatically give up a top draft pick.

Thus, you might see guys like Lee, Werth, and Crawford signed early (guys who are going to be offered arb no matter what), but most players won't be signed until after the arb deadline, because no team wants to give up a draft pick on a player the team wouldn't have offered arb to anyway.

(I'm paraphrasing a recent MLBTR post to this effect).

To everyone proclaiming that Brown isn't "ready", as if you, from watching him play for 2 months (and a minor hamstring issue), knew when he was, or wasn't ready - read crashburn alley's case for why Brown should not platoon. I think Bill makes very good points:

Shawn - "In total, Brown faced lefties 14 times and saw 56 pitches — essentially four games’ worth of data."

What do these maps tell you? Almost nothing.

I'd rather take Scott Hairston if he is nontendered than trade for Rowand

I do agreew with Bill on one point:

"Why not platoon Ibanez, who has an OPS 90 points lower against southpaws than against right-handed pitching in his long career? Ibanez is older, much worse defensively, and has less to offer with his bat."

Why indeed Cholly. I understand Ibanez getting the benefit of the doubt but Cholly should have platooned Ibanez alot more down the stretch and in the playoffs.

MG: You're right that Brown's sample against MLB pitchers is really, really small. Which is why I've said that judging him based on this is a pretty poor way of analyzing whether he's "ready" for next season.

But those maps show you what he did against 56 pitches against lefties. And considering some people have argued that he lacks plate discipline against lefties, based on 56 pitches, I think it's fair to counter that presumption based on 56 pitches with actual data concerning those 56 pitches.

That is a valid point Jack. I will say though, and it does mention this in that article, through the minors Browns plate discipline and success against lefties were always strengths of his.

Mego: You're right, his plate discipline was fine in the minors, and frankly, from just what I saw, I never thought it was a problem up here.

The fact that he didn't draw many walks isn't really conclusive. Pitchers were just throwing him strikes, and making him prove he could hit them. I thought he generally showed a good eye, swinging at strikes and laying off balls. The real issue for him is contact, not plate discipline. He's got to swing and miss less.

"He's got to swing and miss less."

Agree 100%. And we won't improve significantly while watching LHP from the confines of the bench.

Brown isn't being groomed to be a part time player. He needs AB's, even if it means we have to cringe through his learning curve.

I'm somewhat skeptical about Law's evaluation of Ordonez. Magglio's BA and OBP are still very good, and his strikeout rate is also still good. I would expect these numbers to be lower if Ordonez' bat speed had slowed significantly.

The Phils' lineup can use a guy who doesn't strike out much. In that sense, Ordonez would be a significant upgrade over Werth.

Ordonez hits righties and lefties. He doesn't need to be platooned. Instead, because of his injury history, Magglio should be closely monitored and given regular rest. Ibanez is the one who should be platooned regularly.

I would sign Ordonez to a two-year deal for a total of $10-15 million and play him full time until Singleton is ready for the bigs in 2013 (?). Platoon Ibanez with Francisco/Mayberry.

I would start Brown in AAA, give him his reps and let him work on his defense. Bring him up on July 1 as a full-time OF. At that point, I would trade Ibanez or bench him.

An additional benefit of keeping Brown at AAA until July 1 is that it would delay his free agency a year until after the 2017 season.

Jack - That a valid point. Frankly I don't think you learned from of anything from Brown's tenure this season. He spared sparingly with very few starts.

Jeter has apparently been offered a 3 year deal worth $45-60 million.

Pretty nice for a guy that would be getting maybe 2 years, $10 million if his name was anything other than Derek Jeter.

Still, its fairly reasonable compared to what I thought he'd get.

In terms of plate discipline, Brown saw a lot of pitches, which is good, but he also swung at pitches that were out of the strike zone, especially breaking balls. Not sure if that meets the definition of "good eye."

WP: Would you start Brown in RF even if it cost you the post-season?

I agree with derekcarstairs. The Phillies have everything to gain and nothing to lose by having Brown play a full season in AAA. Picking up Ordonez to bat fifth and play RF in CBP for two years isn't the worst idea in the world. Dollar for dollar, I'd rather Ordonez @ 2 years than Werth at 5+

I stand by my hunch that Rollins is on his way out. Based on the past three seasons, he is the most expendable member of the roster who has value on the trade market, and I think they have an idea that he won't be returning when he becomes a free agent.

I can't see Amaro letting the winter go by without making a drastic change.

Problem with the theory that Ordonez would only sign here to be the starting RF remains that Brown looms. He's the hot prospect and he is going to get starts eventually. I don't see Ordonez putting himself in the position of losing playing time. From the Phillies point of doesn't make sense to bring in someone as a full time starter if you feel Brown is legit, which they obviously do. They'll likely bring in a much lesser name in order to ease Brown into the lineup and to get starts if Brown needs to go back to the minors at any point. The resources that would be dedicated to Ordonez will in all likelihood be used elsewhere. There's a decent chance that Brown comes out early next year and makes everyone forget those handful of abs with which some feel concerned.

BowlCut - I agree that Brown is the future RF. He could use a little more time at AAA, though, to smooth out some of the rough edges, particularly on defense.

The Phils need a replacement for both Werth and Ibanez, and they could use a RH bat in the No. 5 slot. Somebody like Ordonez serves as a transition figure. He fills Werth's spot in RF for the first half of 2011 while Brown gets more seasoning. He can then move to LF for the second half of 2011 and for all of 2012, keeping the position warm until Singleton is ready to take over, hopefully, in 2013.

If he can stay healthy, Ordonez gives the Phils a very satisfactory offensive replacement for Werth in the 5 slot. A championship-caliber team like the Phils needs a more productive bat for the 5 slot than somebody like Francisco, Rowand or Hall.

Ordonez need not block nor be blocked by Brown. When Brown is ready, hopefully, by mid-2011, Ibanez would be benched or traded. Since we are only talking about a half season, Ibanez' salary as a bench player or a lefty DH becomes more palatable.

clout - How do you actually determine if one player starting costs you the post-season?

Teams often make the play-offs despite having someone sucky in the line-up. Teams often miss the play-offs because of poor performances at key times by guys who have, otherwise, lit up the league. And guys who otherwise have stunk all year have suddenly become the Lords of Baseball in September and October and carried their teams. During the 2010 season I would have hated to be the team dragging Cody Ross around, but in the playoffs, Gawd Ahmahty...

I'm not sure how I would feel about Dom Brown starting 162 in right. I'd rather get a bonafide RH bat somehow (how? idk). But starting him does not automatically translate into missing the play-offs.

Of course if Howard, Utley and Rollins track in 2011 in the direction they went in 2010, THAT might cause the Phils to miss the play-offs. (You can only win so many 1-0 games).

carstairs - When Brown is in RF and Singleton in LF in 2013, with, presumably, Utley and Howard still in place, who will the RH bat in the middle of the line-up be?

Andy - The third baseman :)

Old pitchers never die, they just get invited to spring training:

"Mike Hampton, who pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings with Arizona last year, wants to pitch again and is drawing interest, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports."

Que? He's 38 (going on 39) and has made just 20 starts once in the last 6 seasons.

That gonna be Cody Overbeck or Moose Mahair? (And they neglected to sign Damek Tomscha this year.)

****Que? He's 38 (going on 39) and has made just 20 starts once in the last 6 seasons.****

Exactly...he's got the arm of a 32 year old.

From MLB rumors:

"Plenty of relievers are non-tender candidates, meaning they could be trade bait prior to the December 2nd deadline. Gustavo Chacin, Tim Byrdak, Brian Tallet, Jeremy Accardo, Todd Coffey, D.J. Carrasco, Blaine Boyer, George Sherrill, Chris Ray, Joe Smith, Sean White, Jim Johnson, Matt Albers, Dustin Nippert, Lance Cormier, Hideki Okajima, Jared Burton, Manny Delcarmen, Zach Miner, Pat Neshek, Tony Pena, Bobby Jenks, Dustin Moseley, and Sergio Mitre comprise this huge group."

Winter League Meetings aren't until Dec. 6 but i wonder if Amaro would be willing to swing a trade for a veteran reliever instead of resigning Contreras/Durbin if he thinks they are too expensive.

For those interested in this sort of thing, John Miller and Joe Morgan will not be returning to Sunday Night Baseball.

I like Orel Hershiser, but I'm not crazy about Bobby Valentine taking over in the booth if the rumors are true. But, I would imagine that anything is better than Joe Morgan.

Excuse me, Hall of Fame Second Baseman Joe Morgan. I should use his full name. Did you know his daughter goes to Stanford?

MG - Who from that list would you want that would be cheaper than Durbin and/or Contreras? Just asking actually.

The thing with signing Ordonez to 2 years is that for 2011 he plays in RF then he moves to LF when Ibanez is let go and you bring up Brown for 2012. It's really that simple for a 2 year deal. Even 3 years, though that would not be a good one for the team and I would not recommend it (although I could swallow 2 years with an option for a 3rd). And you can spell him with Ross Gload for RF to give him regular rest.

I do not believe Brown is ready to start full time. That's it. I would be much more comfortable with him at Triple A to start 2011. He didn't really impress me when he was in the majors this year. Yes, I know he's young, I know he's very talented, but I cannot shake the strong impression that he needs more seasoning at Triple A.

Do I realize that Boras is going to ask for the moon? Yes. Boras does that for all his clients. It's his job. I would accept a 2 year deal from 10-15 million for Ordonez. But not more.

Of course if Howard, Utley and Rollins track in 2011 in the direction they went in 2010, THAT might cause the Phils to miss the play-offs. (You can only win so many 1-0 games).

This is true...

"Of course if Howard, Utley and Rollins track in 2011 in the direction they went in 2010, THAT might cause the Phils to miss the play-offs."

And Ibanez. And Vic. And Polanco.

Is it true they let Morgan go because he wanted to work with himself?

Talk about a guy who became more obnoxious as the years went on. Wouldn't be surprised if he does an interview within the next 48 hours blasting ESPN for axing him, even after tolerating him for 20 years.

Apparently whomever Hall of fame second baseman Joe Morgan had pictures of with a farm animal is no longer employed by ESPN.

They shoulda kept Morgan AND paired him with Valentine. WOO-HOO!!! They coulda called it "Comedy Baseball."

By the way, ddid he ever tell you how much he admired Barry Bonds?

It's a shame because the September he had in 1983 with the Phils was the stuff of legend, and he apparently had the highest baseball IQ of anyone in his era, but he just became increasingly self-consumed for whatever reason as the years went on. You wanted to like the guy and he just made it increasingly difficult.

This just in....
"Jon Miller and Joe Morgan's 21-year run on ESPN's "Sunday Night Baseball" is over.

Morgan's contract is expiring and he will not be renewed. Miller's contract is also expiring though he may remain at ESPN working the "Sunday Night Baseball" series and postseason baseball for ESPN Radio."

This just in...

"The Phillies have been eliminated in game 6 of the NLCS, propelling the Giants to the World Series against the Texas Rangers"

RBill - i hope this doesn't mean ESPN will discontinue his weekly chats. highlight of my work week, for sure.

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