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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

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Basically, Rube saw how we lost in the playoffs and built us to beat the Giants...not a bad idea.

I usually don't like to cause trouble, but who was the guy who posted on here that the Phillies got rid of Lee because he showboated in the 2009 playoffs? That claim was loudly dismissed by Beerleaguers (you guys never let me down). Think we'll get more posts from him?

Also, where is DPatrone? What's he thinking about RAJ now?

I love this team....

The winter of 2010 is when the class of Major League Baseball took a long, hard look at the mystique of the New York Yankees and said, in one breath: Blow it out your a$$.

Toby told us all several times on Beerleaguer that he was coming back, beginning here:

http://beerleaguer.typepad.com/beerleaguer/2010/12/monday-werth-makes-his-mark-before-walking-away/comments/page/2/#comments

It was under our noses this whole time and even the major media didn't even consider it. Once Werth left, it opened the gate wide and nobody (except Toby) saw that. ESPN experts, haha. Right.

I have to think this offense gets back to normal...I don't think they'll be like the 06 team but I do see Utley, Howard, Rollins and Vic having bounce back years.

I'm with JW. There's still questions on offense, to me.

Can't wait to see Martino in a speedo....wait.

I can wait. In fact, I'm shielding my eyes. He should still cover ST in the tiny little 'kini suit. And I want to know about it. I just don't want to SEE it.

Someday someone will write a book about the saga of Cliff Lee from July 2009-December 2010.

It's hard to say just what the best part of all this is, but Lee spurning New York for Philadelphia for less years/$$ is right up there. Having the excuse to dump Blanton would be right behind.

But you're right, Jason, to add a little caution to the mix. The Phillies already had supposedly unbeatable pitching going into the 2010 post-season (with the exception of NLCS, Game 4), and lost because they didn't hit. Adding Lee may give the Phillies a great shot at the club record for regular season victories, but it surely doesn't guarantee another World Series appearance.

Dunno, NEPP. We were talking about that this AM and no one felt that the reason the Giants won was because of the Phils' lack of pitching.

I share Jack's concern about the offense but have a bit more hope for some bounceback years or "regression to the mean".

Oh well, for another day to doom and gloom about weaknesses. This is incredible. The job productivity in the metro Philadelphia area this morning is probably lower than at any time since the AM after the series win.

RSB... Jayson Stark will most definitely write that book, and it will be available in bookstores shortly.

I want the year I spent reading how Rube was an idiot for getting rid of Lee back.

Charlie Manuel just commented that he looks forward to having Derek Lee in the lineup, but wonders how he will get any playing time at first base.

Jack, we get it. You have doubts.

I'd go Halladay, Hamels, Oswalt, Lee, Blanton/Kendrick {assuming both are not part of trades for RFs then Worley??}. It might limit Lee's innings a bit (is that a bad thing?), but cushions your #5 between Halladay and Lee.

Imagine if this had happened after Lee and the Rangers played the Phillies in the World Series. Does Lee sign with the Phillies still (regardless of which team would have won)?

And remember before the World Series started with Lee saying he would've liked to face the Phillies?

Sorry, just still wondering how the hell this all happened so quickly ...

Do Colvin/Cosart/May/Biddle become a little more tradeable now?

In the minds of many young RH OFs today: "Me. Me. Pick me. I'm worth Joe Blanton. Really. Pick me!"

You have to wonder if the Boss was still with us, would the Yankees have been royally screwed like this? He must be turning over in his grave.

Beard - Not Cosart or Colvin. They're still tough for any opposing GM to reach.

Cliff Lee called Jon Daniels himself that he wasn't going to Texas. Classy move.. I also think Cliff told Cashman to "shove it up his giggy" :)))

Did Ruiz dream that graphic?

Aside from being really good pitchers, these guys all seem to have a some class. Well. I don't know about...ahhhh, heck with it. I'll give Cole the benefit of the doubt.

Will the 2011 Phillies have the best rotation ever? If the Four Aces repeat their 2010 seasons, the answer is YES.

1954 Indians ERA+ (highest win pct. ever)

Garcia 138
Wynn 138
Lemon 134
Feller 119

1971 Orioles (4 20-game winners)

Palmer 126
Dobson 116
McNally 117
Cuellar 109

2011 Phillies (2010 stats)

Halladay 165
Oswalt 143
Hamels 132
Lee 130

Holy Crapoli! I JUST read the big news!!!

Color me astonished. I didn't believe the rumors at all. I also didn't believe Cliff Lee would turn down the Yankees money UNLESS it was to sign in TX, where he was close to home.

And frankly, I didn't think this was the move we most needed to make. How many games did we lose last year in spite of Halladay or Hamels pitching their butts off? I know we're focusing on pitching now, but at some point, one needs offense to go with it.

Is this a show of faith in our starting 8 (whoever Werth's replacement will be), to get it done with the bats? Or is it an acknowledgment that our bats are weakening and pitching is that much more important?

Am I disappointed? Heck, no. Lee is a welcome team member, a super addition to the rotation. But geez, what a lot of money! And to think that we traded Lee away because he was going to be too expensive to keep long-term, only to spend the bucks to reacquire him....My head is spinning.

Does this mean that Oswalt is our new OF? :)

Actually, does this mean that if we can't trade Blanton, we trade Oswalt? Hamels? Not recommending that, just wondering what will happen...Last time RAJ couldn't move Blanton for enough of a return, Lee was traded. This time...?

RAJ certainly does like to make the surprise, big moves, doesn't he?

I am so glad to be able to type his full name again: Cliff Lee! Ahhhhh...

I wonder if Cole will be invited to the hunting trip?

I know he's got a middle name too but, its better than C______ L_____

Clout: 1997 Braves have it by ERA+, no?

Maddux: 189
Glavine: 141
Neagle: 140
Smoltz: 138

And by the way, I read a lot of comments about how Werth "had" to go where the best offer was made, that he'd be an idiot or a fool not to - Is Cliff Lee an idiot or a fool, making a mistake, now?

If they trade Hamels now it would be a huge mistake. He's very affordable this season, and still has an arbitration year left. He's the only one of these guys who's still young. They need him long-term.

Yes, he is an idiot. But he is OUR idiot!

I meant to post this the other day. Scouting report from Mike Newman, who scouts the Sally, on Singleton:

The most complete hitting prospect I’ve seen this season, Singleton has the the chance to be an above-average major league hitter. In years past, I’ve had the opportunity to watch truly elite hitting prospects in Jason Heyward, Mike Stanton, and Jesus Montero and Singleton falls a bit short to me in comparison. I would compare him to a mini-David Ortiz in stature, swing, and statistical projection at this point which is a hefty compliment considering Ortiz’ prime years.

Jack you would probably complain about the taxes if you won the powerball jackpot. Obviously this guarantees us nothing but I don't think its ridiculous to celebrate this move.

Jack: Maddux was so good that year he skews the average.

And does anyone remember the article Heyman wrote after the Oswalt deal in July about "feeding the beast"?

I think the owners get it now. Go re-negotiate that TV or radio deal. Right now. Time for the Phils to start their own network?

Good Lord, Maddux was good.

Nevertheless, expect clout to tell you you're wrong.

donc: I'm absolutely celebrating this move, it's a fantastic addition. Who could complain about it?

All I was doing was exactly what JW said. Remembering that 24 hours ago we were worried about the offense.

That said, while I seem to be pessimistic about the offense, I'm also far more optimistic than anyone else on here it seems about Dom Brown.

See, told you Jack. You're wrong.

BTW, I hope this puts to rest the lie repeated often on this blog that Lee was traded because he rejected an offer from Amaro, who then concluded he was too expensive. Lee said there never was an offer.

Clout: So you don't believe Buster Olney? This morning he wrote:

The Phillies dumped Cliff Lee 12 months ago because they had become convinced he and his agent, Darek Braunecker, were all about chasing nickels, about maximizing their leverage and getting paid as much as possible. They loved Lee as a pitcher, but the big draw of landing Roy Halladay was that he was ready and willing to give the Phillies a discount to win.

Sorry, it was Verducci. And it's truer now than it was then...


"The Beast requires constant feeding, and that is why Roy Oswalt is a Phillie today. Another organization sitting 2 1/2 games out of the wild card and 3 1/2 games out of first place could have passed on the expense, in dollars and prospects, that it took to add a pitcher about to turn 33 years old. But Philadelphia proved it is one of the three organizations in baseball that must feed The Beast. Only the Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies operate with this mandate: World Series or bust.

Making the playoffs? That's fine for 27 other franchises. But the Yankees took on The Beast in 2000 and the Red Sox in 2008, and now Philadelphia has it.

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. didn't fully want to acknowledge the mandate last winter when he foolishly dealt pitcher Cliff Lee in order to do something The Beast cares nothing about: "restock our farm system." It may have been smart baseball for 27 other teams, but not The Big Three. Winning today, not tomorrow, is all that counts. When Boston GM Theo Epstein, for instance, talked about a "bridge" season this year as the Sox waited for young players to develop, the fanatics of Red Sox Nation were ready to heave him off said bridge.

Seven months after trading Lee, Amaro got it. He traded pitcher J.A. Happ and two prospects for Oswalt, who will pitch only about 12 games for Philadelphia this year and is signed for next season. But Oswalt is about October, too, because Amaro knows Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Oswalt can get him back to the World Series -- not just into the National League Division Series or Championship Series -- if the Phillies get into the tournament.

To understand the transformation of Phillies baseball, you need only go back four seasons, to 2006. That year Philadelphia drew 2.7 million fans, ranking seventh among the 16 National League teams. They spent $88 million on payroll. And in their organization were pitchers Hamels, Happ, Brett Myers, Randy Wolf, Gavin Floyd, Gio Gonzalez, Kyle Kendrick, Carlos Carrasco, Matt Maloney, Josh Outman and Carlos Monasterios.

This year the Phillies rank first in the league in attendance, on pace to draw more than 3.6 million. Their payroll is $141 million. And Happ, Myers, Wolf, Floyd, Gonzalez, Carrasco, Maloney, Outman and Monasterios all are pitching elsewhere.

The Phillies fill Citizens Bank Park every night. Their local TV ratings, which are up 16.5 percent this year, are higher than every team except the Cardinals and Twins, who are regional draws. If you go by the average number of households watching the local team, the Phillies have more eyeballs on them than every team except the Mets and Yankees. Think Red Sox Nation is big? The Phillies' viewing audience is 41 percent bigger than the Red Sox's audience and 60 percent bigger than the Cubs' audience.

In just the past 12 months, the Phillies have traded for Halladay, Lee and Oswalt, traded Lee and handed Ryan Howard and Halladay contract extensions worth $185 million that will pay them huge money through their mid-30s.

Go to Citizens Bank Park and the fans are decked out in Phillies gear of all kinds. The team sells Charlie Manuel jerseys, for goodness sake.

Amaro had a choice when it came to what he provides these people: he could put 36 of his team's final 61 games in the hands of Happ, Kendrick and Joe Blanton, and hope not only that it was good enough to make up the deficit in the standings but also good enough to pitch the Phillies through two rounds of the playoffs. Or he could feed The Beast and go get Oswalt to team with Halladay and Hamels in what could be the best October rotation since the mid-90s Braves with Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz. Really, there was no choice at all."

I also love the logic that in measuring who had the best staffs in baseball history, we should throw one out because their best pitcher was ... too good.

That's interesting.

clout, you realize if Maddux had the same ERA+ as Halladay (165), the 1997 Braves would still have the higher average, right? So Maddux does not skew it one bit.

Chris - that's exactly right. The Phillies are playing with fire by throwing money around on players like NYY or BOS without their TV network revenue stream.

On a related point, I'm 31 and have watched or listened to a majority of the Phillies' games played during my years. So I have to ask - what is the obsession with the Yankees on here? As far as I can tell they are an American League team with little relevance to the Phillies. Maybe I just don't have much feeling about them because they weren't very good during my formative years of the mid 80's-mid 90's? Also - is the Phillies offer really for less money? With the numbers I've seen reported, the Phillies are paying about the same amount but for less years.

The offense and defense gets better with Lee back.

Jack: Yes, I believe Lee and his agent and not the FO spin. If it was all about money Lee wouldn't be here.

As to JW's point that this move could be setting up others, I'm still not convinced. Over the course of a long season, with that starting rotation, the Phils now really do have the luxury of letting Dom Brown learn on the job. Of course, they will probably get rid of Blanton now, but I suspect that will mainly be a salary dump, and won't net a big return.

"what is the obsession with the Yankees on here?"

The obsession would usually be with the Mets, but they just suck too much.

Quncy: You're right. The 1997 Braves had the best rotation in baseball history.

I haven't seen a link to the Stark article yet, though doubtlessly most of you have found it on your own:
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/hotstove10/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&id=5918008

My favorite part:
"It's a remarkable turn of events, all right -- one the Yankees definitely didn't see coming, one the Rangers definitely didn't see coming, one pretty much nobody else in baseball saw coming.

Which is why the phone rang in this reporter's household after midnight Monday night, and a highly ranked official on another National League team was asking, pretty much at the top of his lungs: "Did the Phillies just sign Cliff Lee?"

And when the answer was, "Well, he's coming to Philadelphia, if that's what you mean," the official on the other end of the line had this reaction, also pretty much at the top of his lungs:

"Holy [colorful adjective] [colorful noun]."

"I don't know how they do it," said the same guy, after catching his breath. "But between Pat [Gillick] and Ruben [Amaro Jr.], when they want something at a high level, they find a way to get it done.""

and

""That's amazing," said the same official quoted earlier. "This just proves that nobody [in the media, presumably] really knows anything. Everybody figured this guy was going to go where the dough was -- and they couldn't possibly have been more wrong."

maybe we'll learn a little more at the press conference, but I think it is fair to say that no BL poster has any clue what really want on during the Lee/halladay trade(s).

Jack: You're right. Maddux-Smoltz-Glavine-Neagle are better than Halladay-Lee-Hamels-Oswalt.

BedBeard: I agree with that. But the vast majority here swallowed the spin put out by the FO and automatically assumed Lee and his agent were liars.

until the Phils top them this year clout, then you can be right.

"But between Pat [Gillick] and Ruben [Amaro Jr.], when they want something at a high level, they find a way to get it done.""

It was Gillick all the time!!!

Clout: Obviously the case now. You know what I think happened?

I think Amaro and the team offered him an extension (I just read somewhere 3 years, 54 million). If not a formal offer, at least gave him an indication it was in that ballpark. But that was an extension which was obviously far less then anything he'd make in free agency (there's a difference between leaving 30 mill on the table, and 80 mill). Lee and his agent decided they didn't want to accept that right then. So Amaro reacted by dealing him. Lee was devastated because at the least he thought he'd be here for another year to maybe still work something out, or get another year here before leaving in FA. Then, after this season, obviously Lee hit Free Agency and decided that he was willing to take a little less money (though a lot more than he would've gotten with the Phils original extension) to play here, because he loved being here and the team.

So it worked out for the best for everyone.

This knocks the Eagles out of the headlines for a day or two. Both teams are fighting very hard for our attention, if not our affection.

Thank you, Qunicy. Sorry I upset you.

Does this mean the canonization of Michael Vick is on the back-burner? Too bad.

Maddux in his prime was a good bit better than Doc.

Jack: That's a nice fairy tale. I believe Lee and his agent told the truth.

BREAKING NEWS- Jack is a skeptic.

Brewers have showed some interest in Blanton...I know Carlos Gomez is trade bait.. Thoghts?

Iceman - I doubt that.

If this staff performs as we hope, I would think it would make it that much easier to let Brown do his thing while getting his feet wet. If we are winning a lot of 2-1 games maybe we can afford to let him take his lumps more. We all want him to be the starting righfielder against rhp. This may make that more likely. Especially because he plays for peanuts.

What's the hold-up on merchandising the Four Aces? Get the boys together soon.

Well, the Yankees got a consolation prize...Russell Martin signed with them to be their starting catcher.

This means that the Yankees now have the 2 most annoying catchers in the history of baseball on their roster.

I like the Four Horsemen given their southern/western backgrounds and their penchant to usher in the end of days for the Yankees. Except for Hollywood Cole of course.

clout, I don't think I said I was upset. I guess I was just surprised that your familiarity with numbers and averages doesn't measure up to your extensive knowledge the English language that you LOVE to remind everyone of on a daily basis.

Robby J: Good defender, has some speed and pop. Wouldn't know the strike zone if you gave him a map. Would rather chew glass than take a walk.

"Three men and a little lady" has already been rejected...

Note:
Phillies starting pitchers Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt all boast ERAs of 2.52 or lower at Citizens Bank Park.
Best Career ERA
Starter at Citizens Banks Park*

Jair Jurrjens
1.87
Josh Johnson
1.99
Roy Oswalt
2.10
Mike Hampton
2.21
Roy Halladay
2.21
Cliff Lee
2.52
*=Minimum five starts

I don't see what all the fuss is about. Isn't Cliff Lee a known clubhouse cancer?

"I also love the logic that in measuring who had the best staffs in baseball history, we should throw one out because their best pitcher was ... too good.

That's interesting."

lol.

Phils 2010 offense scored the fewest runs since the '02 season but had the best record in MLB and a franchise high in wins since '93. There are good reasons to expect better things from the offense next year – putting the loss of Werth to the side.

Check out the final stats from the NLCS some time. Playoff post mortes are usually a waste of time, but I wouldn't argue that the result of that series followed from some strategic advantage on the Giants side.

The Phils have, as it stands today, built a team that is better than the 2010 version. This rotation makes the Phils favored in any series. You could always run into a post-season hero like Cody Ross (or hopefully a more skilled version like Chase Utley or Reggie Jackson) to screw things up either way. But you can't plan for someone like that.

The 1942 Tigers had a good rotation too. Their offense was second-rate.

The '88 Dodgers were the most recent evidence of superior pitching dominating a tremendous offense. We have both.

Also, where is DPatrone? What's he thinking about RAJ now?

Kutztown: Read my posts from 2 threads ago. I'm eating the crow. It's all there my friend.

I understand the offense has its up and downs but even without Werth, could it be argued we still have a top 10 offense/maybe top 5 with career years? So it isn't exactly like we are fielding this best in the league rotation with a 30th ranked offense

DP: I feel your pain.

ReclinerGM has a good article up with 15 questions about the signing. Gives some credit to fans.

http://www.reclinergm.com/happy-cliff-lee-day-ive-got-some-questions/

I think the Yankees fans had quite a bit to do with this signing.

I go to 5 or 6 games a year. I predict that Kendrick or whoever is the 5th starter will pitch every time.

Donc: I always managed to see Moyer pitch. I usually planned on adding an hour to my arrival back home.

1) Halliday
2) Lee
3) Oswalt
4) Hamels
5) Blanton

Wow.

I expect the Phillies offense to bounce back in 2011.

Hopefully, they'll go up relaxed and let their abilities take over.

Having good SP should help with that.

I think the Yankees fans had quite a bit to do with this signing.

I agree 100%. That should teach all the Yankee fans -- don't spit on the wife and child of a top flight pitcher entering free agency.

I'll be upset if this doesn't become a story. For all the snowballs, batteries, vomit and boos that Philly has launched, they've never spit on an opposing player's wife and child.

Ever see a picture of the Cy Young award?

I think Amaro has a sexual hand-gripping-a-baseball trophy fetish.

And we're reaping the benifits of his perversion.

Wow, whatta move. Metsblog commenters are trying to spin it as a disaster, haha, their team is the disaster and now the Nats are trying to get good.

The Good:
*We have a historically awesome staff.
*Yanks losing out on Lee benefits us, as *Yanks will be desperate next year to sign guys the Mets and other NL competitors will be in on.
*We have clutch postseason starters.
*We will have some flexibility in 2013 on, as our single A studs start to reach Philly.
*Utley, JRoll,Ryno, Polly are healthier hopefully, and the offense clicks better.
*Dom Brown is ready, and brings youth and excitement to the team.

The Bad:
*We are so LH heavy offensively.
*Braves have 3 stud LH Relievers ready to mow our lefty's down from 6th inning on...
*Dan Uggla is still in the NL East
*Braves are pretty good.

The Hope:
*We find a power RH bat.
*We trade Raul.
*The injury bug doesn't bite.

Hey Cowley, leave the Mets alone. We're not even an afterthought. Besides, the Phills took Lee away from the Yankees, not the Mets.

Spit happens

It's clear Amaro
1.) realized he f'd up trading cliff lee
2.) hated losing to the giants pitching and crappy bats that got hot for 2 series.

therefore, upgrade pitching!

Didn't the Yankees sit the Rangers wives in RF?

Blanton has not been traded yet to my knowledge.

Joe Cowley: I got screwed every time last year. Saw Kendrick, Moyer hell I think I even saw Randy Lerch one game. I finally got to see Doc pitch. Wouldn't you know it. Game 1 of the NLCS.

Proposal to JW: Can we ban anyone from the site that says anything about the FO being cheap from now on?

We now have the 2nd highest payroll in baseball and the highest in the NL by a good $30-40 million.

Msb: It's not a disaster. It's not like the Mets were competing with the Phills anyway. Even with all that the Mets were still 9 & 9 last year. Whether Alderson wants to say it or not, the Mets are on a rebuild mode. The goal is to get to where the Phills are now...being able to trade top minor league talent for established major league stars.

donc - Lerch was a lot of fun before games he wasn't pitching. He'd shag flies. He woulda made a decent 15th inning replacement out there.

I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone with this news. Like seriously, what is going on???

On a serious note, if the Blanton rumor never comes to fruition, how would everyone feel about trading Hamels for Justin Upton (or a similar young, very good OF under contract for awhile) involving a third team and/or other pieces as necessary?

Personally, I'm torn. On one hand, Hamels is excellent and a big game pitcher, still young, and under control for 2 more years. On the other hand, bringing in someone of Upton's caliber would really give the offense and the outfield a shot in the arm. Now that starting pitching is an extreme strength, we could better afford to do something like this.

I would not equate a Hamels for Upton trade to Lee for Aumont/Gillies/Ramirez. The Lee to Seattle trade was about money to pay Doc, and maybe we get lucky on one of the young guys. Trading Hamels would be about putting the major league team in a better position to win.

RAJ took this club from

Hamels
Myers
Blanton
Moyer
Kendrick

to

Halladay
Lee
Oswalt
Hamels
5th starter

Only a Phillies fan can use the term "making up for a mistake" to describe any part of that process.

Credit Rube too for manning up and basically admitting a mistake. Guys that run professional sports franchises almost never do that. Hey Clout, what do you do for a living?

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