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Sunday, February 13, 2011

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God is in his heaven.

Luckily, it doesn't say which team will be hoisting, so it's not a jinx, right?

Should I be concerned that I am strangely aroused right now?

This is an awesome time of year. Couldn't come soon enough. Now I will begin obsessively checking blogs (like this one) all day long until November lol.

Here are my 3 wishes for ST.
#1. Usually,the biggest news out of ST is bad news,in the form of injuries. May the biggest injury be a foul ball of TMac's jaw, causing it to be wired shut.
#2. Will someone PLEASE teach our pitchers how to BUNT. GG was a great bunter, that should be a top priority for him.
#3. Will someone,anyone, PLEASE teach Lidge how to hold runners.

goody: Your last wish is a fool's errand. Like most top closers in the game, holding the runner just isn't the priority, particularly if things like slide steps take some of the effectiveness off the pitches.

Let's agree to avoid WS talk. My farmer grandfather told me "don't count your chickens before they hatch." Sounds like good advice. Expectations are now the highest they've ever been for a Phillies team, bar none, while the rest of the division, which isn't bad, can enter the season relaxed by the low expectations fans hold for them. As we know, everything has to go a team's way to win a WS, from all the psychological intangibles, including momentum, to the reality of injuries, slumps, umpiring, play-making, etc. I'd rather see them work for it than exhaust themselves winning 117 games and then getting knocked out in short series by some streaking unpstart with 89 wins.

At first I assumed that Lidge's difficulty holding runners was endemic to his handedness and windup, which is fairly deliberate, and has therefore been an issue for the whole of his career (and would as such be an issue of slight concern, as Lidge has been an effective closer at times nevertheless). But on a little research it would seem to be the case that Lidge has indeed gotten worse over time at holding runners, if stolen base percentage is any indication.

During Lidge's two best Houston years, 04 and 05, he allowed 87 and 81 baserunners respectively. In 04 he allowed 2 stolen bases and in ,5 (2 percent and 6 percent).

During the 08, 09 and 10 seasons Lidge has allowed 85, 106 and 56 baserunners, respectively. In 08, 9 percent of them stole a base; in 09, 10 percent; in 2010, a whopping 12 percent.

Whether that's a function of a decline in fastball velocity, a change in mechanics, or something else I can't say.

Ultimately though, Lidge will succeed to the extent that he can limit baserunners, period. That, and homeruns.

But that last point is probably too obvious to merit mentioning.

Has anyone ever gone to Clearwater before the exhibition games start? Just wondering, with next weekend being a holiday weekend, whether it might be kind of fun. It's not everyday one gets to see Hallladay, Lee & Oswalt all in the same place, even if they are just doing jumping jacks.

Of course, my kids think it sounds utterly boring, which is one of the reasons I'm asking others' input. I haven't been to a spring training since the early '80's, always in March, but I remember being able to chat with some of the friendlier players as they passed by on their way to/from the clubhouse. I loved it.

It's about damn time.

Our long national nightmare is over.

Klaus: I can't imagine that fastball velocity would be a factor. My guess is that he's slower in his delivery.

Clout: very probably. Fixable? Is holding runners a young player skill?

"Now I will begin obsessively checking blogs (like this one) all day long until November lol."

But if you were a REAL fan, you would have been obsessively checking them throughout the off-season.

Klaus: First, a question: where does one find statistics for SBs allowed by a pitcher?

On your analysis, there might be some flaws with using "base runners allowed" as your appropriate data pool. After all, he allowed 11 homeruns in 2009. Going by your numbers, that accounts for 10% of his base runners right there & not a one of them could possibly have stolen a base. Since we're basically talking about steals of 2nd base, seems to me that our data pool would not be base runners allowed, but singles, walks & HBPs.

Also, you mention 2004-2005, and 2008-2010, but I'd be curious to know what his numbers looked like in 2006 & 2007 too. The reason I say that is because it might be that he was never any good at holding base runners on, but it took the scouts a couple years to figure that out. Another possibility is that, as he has lost velocity, he has relied more & more on his slider. Base runners know this &, since they also know that sliders often end up in the dirt, they have become more aggressive.

From the last thread:

NEPP: "So yeah, Martinez might be just mediocre offensively and average defensively but he's probably a better bat than Valdez"

NEPP, clout and Andy took this up on the last thread, but that's such a silly statement I have to bring it up again.

There's a reason that Martinez, at the age of 27, has not stepped on a MLB field. Valdez, OTOH, made it by age 26.

Valdez slash line the last 2 seasons - .258/.310/.356 - as compared to the NL 2009 [.259/.331/.409] and 2010 [.255/.324/.399] averages is adequate for a replacement player.

I doubt Martinez has a prayer of doing that well.

First major story of spring training?

A jealous and insecure Kyle Kendrick steals Doc's glove and hides it in Cliff Lee's locker.

What are the odds that two Phillies starters pitch the first 3-4 innings of the All Star Game? Is it possible that 3, even 4 of the Phillies starters make the All Star game?

How often will it occur that Phillies starters will pitch back to back complete games? I'm going to say it will happen 3 times.

How many shutouts will the Phillies team have this year? I'm going with 22.

How many Phillies pitchers will have 200+ strikeouts? I'm going with Doc, Lee and Hamels.

How awesome is our rotation going to be? I'm going with "very".

goody, I don't wish T-Mac any harm, so I cannot agree with your wish that he be hit with a foul ball, but I do wish there was some way to muzzle him.

Here are awh's pre-season pleas:


Dear Mr. Montgomery:

While all Phillies fans appreciate all you have done to build a winning team, which is, of course, the most important thing, there are still some small things that you can do to enhance our enjoyment when we watch our favorite baseball team.

As a partial season ticket holder, I have almost no complaints about my experience at the ballpark in South Philadelphia. There is, however, one thing I wish you would consider: While I realize that the Phillies do attempt to exercise a policy of not allowing fans to return to seats until an 'at bat' is over, many fans discourteously GET UP from their seats during those same at bats, and block the view of those of us behind them. When I was growing up it was common baseball etiquette (good ballpark manners, for those who are confused) to wait until THE END OF AN INNING before fans got up from their seats and disturbed the viewing pleasure of others.

As such, Mr. Montgomery, I would ask that you change ballpark policy to not allow fans to return to their seats UNTIL THE END OF AN INNING. You also might make a public service announcement at the beginning of a game informing fans of this policy, as well as asking them to be courteous and not get up BEFORE THE END OF AN INNING. While this may cause longer lines at concession stands and bathrooms from time to time, I'm sure we can all make the adjustments once we get used to it.

Additionally, while my esteemed fellow poster goody has wished (tongue-in-cheek, no doubt) for something bad to befall a member of your broadcast team, Tom McCarthy, I wish no such thing.

I do ask, however, that you either find something else for Mr. McCarthy to do in the organization, or at the very least expand the role of another one of your broadcast team, Scott Franzke, who is, IMHO, excellent at his job, and a pleasure to listen to. I ask that you consider giving Mr. Franzke some time in the TV booth (thereby liniting Mr. McCarthy's time therein), as I believe it will enhance fans viewing pleasure, and mine when I am not in attendance at the great ballpark you have provided us.

Thank you for your kind consideration.

Go Philies,

awh

mlbtr says Chad Durbin is condsidering the Mariners.

awesome graphic

"I doubt Martinez has a prayer of doing that well."

Disagree that it would be that chocking. Purely based on offense - which obviously isn't a valid debate on who is the better player - I would give Michael Martinez a 50/50 shot at putting up a better OPS then Valdez if both were given similar plate appearances. Thats a pretty empty compliment, but nonetheless a compliment.

awh - Chard Durbin should be considering anyone who is willing to pay him. Mariners, although they may lose close to 100 games, will probably agree to pay him. So, even though our boy Chad wants to play for a winner as long as that winner overpays him, he will end up playing for a loser.

If earning 2 mil per season on a winner is better than earning 2.1 million per season on a loser (or less), then Chad certainly overplayed his meager hand and missed the boat. Sad for him. He always seemed like a good guy, even though I'm not much of a fan of his pitching.

smitty, personally, I haven't had a problem with Durbin's pitching.

His overall results in Philly were good for a middle reliever.

I wish him well.

Thank you Jeebus

Once you get past the symbolism, the reporting of pitchers & catchers is kind of a non-event, since there's really nothing to dissect about a bullpen session. The truly momentous day, to me, is February 24, when the Phillies play the all-important spring training opener against Florida State.

What's with the hatred for Durbin's pitching? Because of what happened in the NLCS? He's been a very effective pitcher out of the bullpen for us for three years now. That was one game. I'm willing to forgive and forget.

Opening Day starts:

Halladay: 8
Oswalt: 8
Lee: 1
Blanton: 1
Contreras: 1
Hamels: 0

Poor Cole, always the bridesmaid...

awh, could not have said that any better myself. That is one of my biggest pet peeves at the ballapark and it happens ALL the time. They do really need to put an end to that.

As I've said before, I think Durbin is due for a season where he can't pitch an inning without loading the bases and coughing up a few runs. We got 3 solid seasons out of him. Time to move on.

We need an oddsmaker on here to set some future bets.

- On what date will people start posting "season=over"?

- How long will it take before Howard is declared a bust of a contract?

- How long will it take before MG fires off a missive about the Reading Phillies promotion of the team this year?

- How long until we get a flurry of posts about Charlie's handling of the bullpen?

- What date will Jimmy Rollins be determined to be finished?

As I see into the future...Joe Blanton has a complete game shutout in his first start of the year forcing the Beerleaguer faithful to seriously debate whether or not he is in fact the ace of the staff.

Scotch Man: I tend to agree with you that we should be happy with what we got from Durbin and move on, especially with what he is apparently asking for in terms of money and years.

I just don't get the vitriol towards him as if he is some bum that did nothing for the team while he was here. How quickly we forget how Cholly absolutely ran him into the ground in '08 and he kept answering the bell again, again and again. His arm was barely attached to his body by September that year and was one of the main reasons the Phils won the division. And the last two years, he's hardly been useless.

But if he's asking for two years/5 mil, yeah, he's pushing his luck.

Dukes, I see Blanton coming to SP cut, chiseled and ripped looking for Ace-hood.

That's Spring Training. (ST). Put yourself in Blanton's shoes. He has been tossed about like a ragdoll ever since Lee was signed, just after his 31st birthday. He is in his prime and ready to shine.

First "Season=Over" post will likely come during the Florida State game.

Just getting some stretching in.

Or Blanton's start against the Yankees on the weekend.

TTI: for any of those bets, I'll take the under no matter what the line is set at.

TTI - As soon as Chuck LaMar tells us how 'loaded' or 'stacked' the R-Phils roster is certainly won't be the case again this year. Couple of interesting prospects but no real stud prospect with the really interesting prospects all starting off the season at Lakewood/Clearwater.

The R-Phils do have some interesting promotions again this year though including Ryan Howard & Cole Hamels Gnome nights, a Chooch Owl (kind of strange), and a 'Mr. Belding' night (flat out weird).

http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110209&content_id=16605476&vkey=news_t522&fext=.jsp&sid=t522

Actually the Mr. Belding night isn't as weird as I thought because it is largely to MC a spelling bee contest that night for kids. I do wonder if kids dressed as kids from 'Saved by the Bell' get in for free or reduced admission. Ditto Dustin Diamond.

Still, you have to love the crazy minor league promotions/endless in-game entertainment to keep fans constantly amused. R-Phils' promotions are actually kind of mild by comparison.

Early report (and likely you will see a ton of these stories the next week):

- Joe Blanton has showed up in good shape and has lost at least 10-15 pds with more muscle.

I know Joe Blanton's track record def shows that he tires in the 6th inning and it's risky trying to pitch him into the 7th inning but has anyone ever come up with a reason for his horrible 1st inning performances during the last season?? He basically was only a capable innings eater from the second through the 5th innings.

Only other story I heard that mattered:

- Bastardo is supposedly the only pitcher coming into camp that is 'a little behind' due to some elbow discomfort in his pitching arm.

Bastardo's health is going to be a bigger issue this season than his control/stuff.

re: Unser and Gross

Saw them on a list together at b-ref's blog. "Most Career Games without a PA, nonPitchers" - a who's who of defensive specialist/pinch runners.

Gross is 31st overall with 161 Games while Unser is 45th with 152 Games.

Single tear of joy is running down my cheek from that graphic.

Reliever Jose Contreras, armed with a new two-year contract, is down 22 pounds to 240. - via Salisbury

I didnt realize that Saved by the Bell was still that popular a show to have a Mr. Belding night for the Reading Phillies.

Granted, its on TBS every morning as I'm getter ready for work (days I'm running late anyway) and I scarily remember most of the episodes but damn, that's funny.


***- Bastardo is supposedly the only pitcher coming into camp that is 'a little behind' due to some elbow discomfort in his pitching arm. ****

So he's in mid-season form then?

Bastardo is just one of those guys that can never stay healthy. Good stuff when he is healthy but he's made of porcelain.

***Ditto Dustin Diamond. ***

I think all the concession stand employees get in free.

I'm actually disappointed Contreras is down weight. The Bigger the Truck the better.

I had no idea he was that heavy previously...he doesnt look fat or anything. He's just a big guy I guess.

Its great to start hearing all the "He's in the best shape of his life" stories though.

Jumping jacks 1st day? wow. pushing it early. I like it.

So Bastardo is a little behind and Contreras HAS a little behind.

We get all the news on BL.

"The “Chooching Owl” will feature the face of Carlos Ruiz on an owl, complete with feathers, and the number 51 on its back. Normally, owls “Hoot”, but perhaps the best part of the giveaway is the fact that the “Chooching Owl” will say the word “Chooch”"

Frankly, I don't know how you beat that.

NEPP, was there anything in Bastardo's MiL track record that suggested he couldn't stay healthy?

He was pretty much injured every single year in the minors IIRC.


You're joking right?

Choooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooch.

the owl.

BAP: good points, although revising along your lines (which are preferable to mine) would only magnify the severity of the problem, it seems to me. His absolute number of stolen bases allowed has crept every upward, so, reduce the pool and up climbs the percentage.

Anyway, the upshot is that, if Lidge's problem has worsened, then maybe, as goody recommends, it can be bettered. I doubt it. At any rate, as an issue it absolutely takes second place to Lidge's occasionally erratic command.

My copy of "An Extraordinary Tradition" arrived the Monday after the game 6 loss to SF. I swore to myself not to open it until the first day of spring training. It's quite a nice book.
I sense this could be a wire-to-wire kickass season. On the other hand...

On Durbin...he'd be an idiot to not sign with the Mariners at this point. Odds are if they suck again, he'd get traded to a contender at the deadline anyway.

Besides, Seattle is a nice city to live in and its a pitcher friendly park so his numbers would look good putting him in line for a decent contract next year too.

"although revising along your lines (which are preferable to mine) would only magnify the severity of the problem, it seems to me."

Yes, it would. But I agree with you: his ability to hold runners on base is far less important than his ability to prevent them from reaching base in the first place.

Mr. Belding was at the Reading Phillies one night last year. Nice guy.

Part of the problem with Lidge, I suspect, is that Dubee is reluctant to tinker with his mechanics to try to speed his delivery.

I also think there's something to BAP's theory about runners taking more chances on him at certain points in the count where they suspect his in-the-dirt slider may be coming.

On another topic, I'm puzzled about how someone can be so sure that Mini-Mart would match or outhit Valdez when: 1. MM's good stats came when he was way old for his level; 2. He's never faced big league pitching and 3. He's not even a prospect.

TTI: Great list. Please add this one:

On what date will some poster suggest that we need to sign Pedro Martinez because he'll fix everything?

And another:

On what date will a poster suggest that Cody Ransom, Matt Rizzotti, Cory Sullivan or some other LV equivalent is "the solution" to the latest setback?

Adding clout's suggestions and one more from me:

- On what date will people start posting "season=over"?

- How long will it take before Howard is declared a bust of a contract?

- How long will it take before MG fires off a missive about the Reading Phillies promotion of the team this year?

- How long until we get a flurry of posts about Charlie's handling of the bullpen?

- What date will Jimmy Rollins be determined to be finished?

- On what date will some poster suggest that we need to sign Pedro Martinez because he'll fix everything?

- On what date will a poster suggest that Cody Ransom, Matt Rizzotti, Cory Sullivan or some other LV equivalent is "the solution" to the latest setback?

- How long will people give Dom Brown until they start posting, "This guy is clearly not going to be anything as a player in the major leagues"?

Maybe this is the year I will get Comcast.

TTI, how about how long will it be before we hear complaints about T-Mac?
Oops, too late.

OP: I haven't been around here much the past two months or so but my guess is that the complaining about TMac never went away.

TTI, please add this one:

How long until someone complains the the Phillies FO/ownership is cheap?

Yo, newer thread

"On what date will some poster suggest that we need to sign Pedro Martinez because he'll fix everything?"

I don't think he'd fix anything, but part of me wants to see Pedro on board just for the sake of having the greatest amount of talent ever assembled in one pitching rotation.

"What are the odds that two Phillies starters pitch the first 3-4 innings of the All Star Game?"

I would guess about zero. Who is the NL Manager? He has a couple pretty decent pitchers of his own, doesn't he?

Hey all

Will there ever be a wireless bluetooth for the iphone 4 in addition to the new iphone bluetooth plus the JAW BONE wireless bluetooth?
Now i'm looking for some thing a tad less within price. The jawbone pair of headphones i think is actually $100 or just a bit more and the Apple company Wireless bluetooth is definitely $130. Can anyone know when there is a Bluetooth that should work with my apple iphone, I see everyone getting a good deal using headsets pertaining to similar to 40, sixty even $80 bucks...
Please help! Due!

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