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Monday, February 14, 2011



Just to recap the betting lines from a few threads ago with the dates added. If we could sticky them somewhere that'd be awesome. But I'll keep them for dexterity:

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

[Tricky one to call as it really depends how we jump out of the gate. Last year we were pretty good in April. I'll assume we will be again and think that July 3rd will be the date as we are finishing up a series in Toronto. The Pirates are early June in Pittsburgh and I think that's too early.]

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

[I think Jack won't be able to help himself early in the season. Plus Howard has a little bit of a stigma remaining from the end of the NLCS last year. I'll call April 24th]

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

[This probably comes by clout day- March 20th.]

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

[May 14th. He usually get a little bit of a pass early as it's the beginning of the season. But the vultures will circle early here. Only outlier is how well the rotation does through this point.]

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

[Career wise his worst month is June in many ways. But people forget that and regardless of how he starts it will wear off quick. I'll live dangerously and call it June 9th.]

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

[Have to give Blanton/Kendrick a few starts here. I'll say May 22nd.]

- 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?

[This will get closer to the All Star Break. I'm saying June 25th.]

- 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"?

[He won't get much past April 15th if he starts slow.]

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

[This has to come around the trade deadline as we may need to add a piece. I'll say July 24th. You could also probably parlay this bet by adding in the Howard bet, and the Ransom, Rizzotti bet as people will advocate saving tehc ash and calling up someone like that from Triple A.]

How cheap can the FO/Ownership get? Sign Charlie now!

Ryne Sandburg will be coaching the Phillies next year. You heard it here first.

Charlie will get extended for two years this off-season still.

When it comes down to top dollars for players (payroll, scouting, etc) or top dollars for Cholly, I'm not sure I favor the latter...

Let's face it, the Phillies FO/ownership is cheap.


its clearly Blanton that's holding up the deal

TTI: When Howard struggles, I won't call the contract a bust.

I'll simply remind everyone, again, that the contract doesn't even start until next season.

Jack: I like that you are using spring training to add a dimension of sarcasm to your repertoire.

Truth: Here's one for your list: how long until some posters assures us that this is the year John Mayberry, Jr. breaks out into stardom?

Give me a date and some analysis and I'll add it to my list BAP.

Without mvptommy this one could go long.

I thought of another one:

- How long before davthorn shows up to tell us the Phillies need Chris Coste back to be the back-up catcher?

Having paid $125M to mega-bust Ryan Howard, there's no way the Phillies can afford to pay top dollar to Cholly. What the Phillies really ought to do is trade Howard, call up the equally capable Matt Rizzotti to take his place, and use some of that $125M savings to sign Pedro to pitch out of the bullpen. Of course, Cholly will proceed to misuse him, the way he misuses all of our relievers, but we're going to need all the pitching we can get with a lineup that includes a completely finished Jimmy Rollins and a much-hyped Domonic Brown, who is clearly not going to amount to anything in the majors. With a lineup like that, this season feels over before it even starts. Rather than supporting an ownership group that is too cheap to put a decent product on the field, I'd rather spend my money to go catch a Reading game, even if it includes one of their asinine promotions like "Dead Head Night" or "SPAM Carving Contest night"

Truth: MVPTommy might have been the most persistent & over-the-top, but he certainly wasn't the only one declaring future stardom for Mayberry. There have been several others. One whom I recall distinctly was the very amusing poster who attended spring training in 2009, watched Mayberry take batting practice, run wind sprints, & shag fly balls, & confidently declared that he was headed for stardom.

The thing is, if you don't really follow prospects, but you show up in Clearwater and watch batting practice, wind sprints, and fly ball shagging, John Mayberry really probably DOES look like the best player on the team. Hence, I think it's practically inevitable that we'll see that very post before spring training is out. I'll say around March 2.

TTI, I applaud your attempt at keeping a consolidated list, and setting the over/unders, however, I can't help but feel like you're forgetting this particular group of posters.

The first season=over post will come within the next week and every other missive in your post will be addressed (by both sides) before we even start the season. June 25th on a AAA player being the solution? Wow, you're pretty optimistic!

I laugh every time I see "should of" in regards to the Phils/ex-Phils from "FanSince09". Well done!

Should OF kept?

Wow, and I thought championing Mayberry was stupid. Seems I haven't been paying enough attention to stupid lately.

Of course, Mayberry will be a star someday. He just needs little more seasoning.

BB - That was supposed to be wrong? I really need my sarcasm meter checked.

aksmith, that's his schtick (hence, the handle "Fansince09"). Ignorant rants on a team that hasn't won anything since 2008.

The FO is intent on finally getting some production out of that Sandberg kid...thus, UC is out.

Explains jettisoning Lopes, too. Good observation, NEPP. There's no other reasoning behind it.

"Manuel expects a two-year deal with an annual salary on par with the top skippers in the game."

The problem is that Charlie is NOT one of the top skippers in the game. He was in the right place at the right time - that doesn't entitle you to a raise.

I love the guy, but of all the men who wear a Phillies uniform, he's one of the most expendable.

Truth Injection might add to his list the day the esteemed Beerleaguer Psychiatric Association releases its findings on the content and size of the players' Hearts, their various levels of complacency, focus, and moral goodness, as well as the latest work on the issue of Cole Hamels' true sexuality.

UC is definitely one of the top managers in the game.

Its BS to suggest otherwise.

"but of all the men who wear a Phillies uniform, he's one of the most expendable."

well, that can of worms is officially opened...

Not saying that anyone can confirm, deny or attribute directly, but part of the reason the Phils have Cliff Lee is Cholly's clubhouse. Sure, he wants to win, but he could have done that in New York, for more money.

Willard: I'll grant you that Charlie is a part of the chemistry in the clubhouse, but I don't think it depends on him.

Willard: I'm an eternal optimist. I hold out hope that we some sanity from posters this year for a while.

While it may not depend on Charlie, there's no denying that Charlie has been overall a raging success as manager, most notably in what we've heard about 'clubhouse chemistry' since he arrived. While this is impossible to quantify, we're talking about the difference between 3 million and 4 million dollars. To me, there's no way that $1 million savings could possibly be worth messing with a good thing.

"there's no way that $1 million savings could possibly be worth..."

I agree. With how unafraid the front office is to spend money, I don't think that cash is their motivation.

First Davey Lopes and now Charlie... I don't think it's unreasonable to speculate if the front office simply has something else in mind in terms of team management in the future. I don't know if they want to prevent complacency or if they're unhappy with some aspect of coaching/management, but I don't believe that money is a factor in these decisions.

Seems like they want Charlie out, but they want it to be his decision to leave.

"overall a raging success as manager"

Charlie in Phillie is what Torre was in NY.

We had this discussion a few weeks ago. Prior to 2007, Charlie was on the hot seat. His tenure in Philly coincided with the arrival of Howard/Utley/Hamels/Ruiz/etc. Combined with a few lucky break acquisitions (Werth/Victorino) and a front office that grew more aggressive and willing to spend with each season.

Right place. Right time. If Jim Leyland were hired in 2004, the Phillies would have been just as successful (perhaps with Madson having a season of closing experience under his belt).

Interesting suggestion Will. I think it might have some merit considering how they let Lopes go for a piddly salary difference and now it appears they're not giving UC what he wants either.

BAP, that was the single best post ever (and I have been a non-posting reader of BL from almost the very beginning).

Ironically, this past season, Madson not being the closer was actually beneficial. He was usually out there mowing down the heart of of the order, leaving the scraps for Brad.

Preacher: Why, thank you. Funny part is, about half of what I wrote in my post sounds like stuff that I might actually write this year.

I see a Pujols for Manuel trade on the horizon.

A 7 foot bronze statue of Harry?

I have to say, I was never the biggest Harry fan. I was a big fan of Richie Ashburn and thought they worked well together. But I'm old enough to remember Harry being the guy who pushed Bill Campbell out of the baseball booth. (Not directly, I know. But Campbell was very popular and had one of the great radio voices of all time. "It's another Ballantine Blast!!!)

And as for Charlie. Yeah, he may not be the best strategist in the game. And he's not worth breaking the bank for. But he certainly has to be considered and paid as one of the top managers in the game. It does take talent to manage a good team. It's different than managing a bad team. But it's not like you throw your glove and bat out there and they play for you.

I'd pay him a dollar more than LaRussa gets. Charlie may be the most underrated guy in baseball, and LaRussa the most overrated.

"LaRussa the most overrated."

I'd definitely agree with that.

I don't think anyone can guarantee that with Leyland we would have been just as successful.

The simple fact is that this team got good, and has dominated the NL East for the past 4 years. That is partly the players and it's partly Charlie. It's a the right mix of guys with the right manager.

"I don't think anyone can guarantee that with Leyland we would have been just as successful"

It's about as close to a guarantee as you could get with a hypothetical situation.

Lopes spoke against the family. You never speak against the family.

Amazed at how soon people quickly forget how Lopes directly contradicted Amaro on TV last year about Utley and his health status.

The marginal difference in Lopes/Samuel salary wasn't why Lopes isn't back here. It is that Lopes was a guy who was known to speak his mind from time to time on the record. That's still a no-no in this organization.

1. Do I think Cholly is the best manager in baseball? Nope.

2. Do I think he did his best managing job in say '08 or '09 as is commonly asserted?

Nope. It was '07 hands down when his temperament & demeanor overshadowed his bullpen bumbling.

3. Do I think that Cholly's effectiveness with this club has waned a little bit?

I do. Obviously feels comfortable to speak his mind now and clearly feels in charge. Just wonder if this veteran-laden team though hasn't started to phase him out mentally a bit.

You can make the case they did last year with the nearly comical amount of 'closed door meetings' and 'team meetings' that Cholly called through July.

If there any harm in not extending him before the season starts?

Possibly but as the Devil's Advocate what if the Phils falter this year and don't make the playoffs? Do the Phils need to automatically bring him back they really underachieve given that they likely will begin to head in another direction next year as they likely begin to try to infuse more youth with the club.

4. Does Cholly deserve an extension and to be paid at least as must as a great clubhouse guy/general strategy boob as Dusty Baker?

Absolutely. 2-year extension at say $3.7M is something that Cholly has generally earned.

As for Lopes:

- Frankly I thought it was a bigger blow that Jimy Williams wasn't back here as a bench coach then Lopes leaving.

This team experienced phenomenal success with % SB with Lopes during his tenure as 1B coach but I tend to think it was more the players than the coach.

Went back through all of the years that Lopes has been a bench coach and his teams have been below the NL/AL average % SB during his tenure as a 1B coach except with the Phils.

Lopes was a good coach but people act as if he was irreplaceable. Just isn't the case although I would have liked to seen him around to work with Brown this year.

For the record, I want Charlie back. I like the guy. I just disagree with the sentiment that he's a master strategist without whom the Phillies are not a perennial playoff team.

Stalling on UC's contract is just the FO's way of coercing Middleton to cough up a few more bucks.

MG - I don't think you remember just how bad a base stealer Vic was before Lopes got ahold of him. Rollins and Utley didn't need much coaching. But Werth did. And Vic did.

I predict that if Jim Leyland had been hired as manager that the team would have imploded in upon itself when late in his first year as a manager Leyland was insulted by the phanatics hip gyrating antics as an insult to his wife. He would have benched most if not all of the starters in favor of bench guys and gotten into an actual fist fight with a small girl.

And that is actually about as close as you can get to a guarantee... Hypothetically speaking of course.

Will I follow this blog heavily. I read it. I post a little. I never make predictions or really talk "inside" baseball stuff. I'll post little cheers or a question or a jeer now and again. Mostly I like the banter and the back and forth. Some posters I really like, some are a tad smug, some are funny. Most are fairly intelligent though.

The one thing that will make me post though is when someone says something and it makes my brain hurt. I have this problem, maybe it's medical or psychological. I just have this incredible desire to actually make sense. Sometimes I don't, but I try.

"For the record, I want Charlie back. I like the guy. I just disagree with the sentiment that he's a master strategist..."

Once again I have been following this blog for 4 years. I have NEVER once ever seen anyone say Charlie was a "master strategist." EVER.(Even the posters who REEEEALLLY like Charlie) So there's that straw-man knocked down.


"...without whom the Phillies are not a perennial playoff team."

This is really a silly thing to say. It sounds like an assumption you made and we all know what assumption is from the great film Under Siege 2. I'm also not sure anyone here believes that as well.

Here's the main problem facing management though and the real reason Charlie will 90% get extended at a pretty significant raise.

No one wants to get embarrassed. Especially by acting "too smart." Maybe the front office does think Charlie is overrated. Doesn't do them a lick of good. They can let him walk. They can hire someone else but if that person fails or the team starts to lose(no matter the reason) they look like the dumbest people on the planet. Imagine if they let UC go and next season one of the star players mention or demand a trade?? Can you fathom that? Fun times.

Really though Whenever these "charlie is overated" arguments creep up on here I'm reminded of a particularly brilliant quote that applies to that group.

"It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But the half-wit remains a half-wit, and the emperor remains an emperor. "

Oh and BAP. Amazing little spiel wrapping up all the BL Prop bets well well well done.

I stubbed my pinkie toe!

Rex: if you had any point whatsoever in your previous two diatribes, I missed it.

Yo, new thread

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