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Thursday, March 31, 2011



We'll just call him Belly for short. It fits.

I wonder if this says more about Polanco than Utley. Another guy who can "play" third. After all, that seems to be why Orr made the team.

What's the over/under on Belliard ever making the club?

Belliard AND Frandsen...gonna be an interesting battle for playing time in Lehigh.

Kershaw is really good.

Matt Gelb, via Twitter: "Phillies payroll is $172.98 MM as filed with MLB, obtained by USA Today -- 2d highest in MLB. Luxury tax threshold is $178 MM."

So much for that earlier report of $167.670 or whatever it was.

NEPP: I imagine they will handle this like they handled Castillo. They'll look at him for 10 days & assess if he still has bat speed, and if he can still move & play defense. If so, he'll be added to the roster, at the expense of Orr. If not, he'll be cut loose. I don't see a 36-year old established big league veteran spending the season at Lehigh Valley.

Hopefully Lehigh has a good clubhouse spread...I mean, I'd hate to see the other guys go hungry now that Belliard's on the club.

This infield inventory is incredible...this ia like try outs for first year of Little League.

Burrell just looks weird in a non-Phillies uniform. Always liked Pat.

I'm not a huge fan of Sam Donnellon but he had a really good piece in the Daily News today. It was entitled, "Stop raining on the parade."

Basically he was saying that even with the injuries at second & third, and a balky shoulder for the closer this is still a historic pitching staff. He says that the starters will need to live up to their billing but why would you assume they won't? He says even with guys like Utley down you have to expect guys like Ibanez and Rollins to rebound a little.

A solid piece talking about all the reasons for optimism even in the face of the negative forces.

I was a SS in little league...perhaps I should send Rube an email.

Our starting staff is:


We're gonna be just fine.

Kershaw is officially warmed up. He was sitting 90-91 mph in the 1st inning and he's up to 95 mph now.

Great first hit by Brandon Belt.

Always good to have a backup for the backup. At least the Belly has a little pop to go yard. I like this signing alot more than Castillo. That career line against lefties is nice. As long as he still has the bat to hit 'em. FWIW and continuing the BP reference. The PECOTA line predicts .259/.320/.402 but maybe he's too much of a panda for that at 36

Fat Panda lost 40 lbs and he still looks fat. Still, he looks much much much better than he did. Maybe Fielder should take note.

Mitch Kramer back on the mound for the Giants.

Agreed TTI. A good piece. All pessimists oughtta read it for a dose of optimism.

On hearing of Belliard's signing. Pigs clubhouse manager just ordered an extra 6 BBQ chickens for tomorrows spread.

"Our starting staff is:
We're gonna be just fine."


Overall, Rube is smart not to waste a ton of money on bench guys as, much like relief pitchers, bench guys are very unpredictable when it comes to production from year to year.

Thanks for the suggestion TTI- that was a very good article.

I know Philly fans are historically pessimistic but even I'm surprised by how miserable people have been, especially on this site. For weeks now, the excitement over the fact that we will be watching a (potentially) historically great rotation this season has been non-existent because everyone is fretting that the offense might be (GASP) league average. Oh the horror!

This is the golden age of Philadelphia Phillies baseball, and we're all incredibly lucky to be fans of this team right now. We're all privileged to be watching a team with this kind of starting pitching.

Lincecum is pitching himself into all sorts of trouble tonight, although so far he has managed to escape without any runs. I feel like I'm watching Kyle Kendrick.

NEPP, I was thinking the same. I recently lost weight and I am now only 30 pounds over my HS playing weight. I played 3rd and caught, I have latino blood and if I ask the missus, perhaps she can braid my hair for me (Belly style). I am ready to report next week.

Iceman: Some people just like to wring their hands over everything.

Given the huge season expected from Mini-Mart by aksmith and others I'm puzzled about the Belliard signing.

I've played several seasons at 2B. Recently too. I'm only 40 but fresh. I can pounce like a cat..........thats really old. We got a Beerleaguer infield. Hands up pitchers and Outfielders. I name Old Phan for manager.

With Burrell and Huff in the OF corners and Tejeda at SS, I suspect somewhere along the line, the Giants pitchers are going to get frustrated.

NEPP: "So much for that earlier report of $167.670 or whatever it was."

Actually, both numbers are right. The $167.675 is the actual cost of the Opening Day roster.

The $172.98 is what MLB considers to be the payroll because for luxury tax purposes, they use average annual salary figures.

Given the huge season expected from Mini-Mart by aksmith and others I'm puzzled about the Belliard signing.

Posted by: clout

Given Clout's propensity for hyperbole, I expect I'll be attending Mini Mart's induction into the Hall of Fame any day now. Get a life, Clout.

I guess that I just have to give you a slash line for Mini Mart or your talent for exaggeration might cause the planets to collide. Here's what I expect. .240/301 and the slugging? I'm going to call one inside the park homer for him and all the rest singles. You do the math.

Huge season, indeed. You are an intensely non-serious person.

I think there should be a rule that professional athletes should be in better shape than I am.

That would exclude Belliard.

I mentioned Belliard the day he got released. IMHO this is a good, low-risk signing.

If it turns out that 2010 was an off year and not a precipitous decline, and he can return to somewhere near the form he exhibited in 2007-2009 [.286/.342/.445], he'll be the best IF stick on the bench, and I would not be surprised to see him supplant someone on the 25-man.

Don't see the problem with a minor league deal for Belliard...throw some crap at the wall and see if it sticks. Costs next to nothing.

As for those payroll numbers, I'm still pinching myself. I always wondered what it would be like if the Phils were one of the big boys, and it's everything I hoped for.

aksmith: I'll take the under on your slash line.

Chris in VT,
It shocks me too. The payroll, the WFC and the full ballpark. All shocking. It only seems like yesterday I sat in the empty CF section of the VET eating dollar dogs and watching Otero attempt to wave at balls over his head.

Heather, he's not an athlete, he's a baseball player.

With Rizzotti and Ransom gone, there's no one about whom posters can say, "If only they'd bring him up, that would solve everything!"

Maybe Belliard can be that guy this year

This game might be over in 2 hours except for the half hour of commercials built in.

Does anybody else hate Bobby Valentine and can't stand seeing or hearing him on this broadcast? I liked the mustache stunt years ago but everything else about him rubs me the wrong way.
I hope nobody hires Cocks to broadcast nationally.

This Giants defense doesn't impress.

There is no downside to signing Belliard and stashing him in the minors. He either stays down in the minors all year, he gets released, or he comes up to give a little bit of production.

There is zero downside.

Is Rizzotti gone? I thought he cleared waivers and was optioned to Lehigh Valley.

BAP: You're right. He's still the answer! If only they'd give him a chance.

TTI: Wild guess, but I'll bet Belliard's contract has one of those clauses that says, "Call me up or waive me by a certain date." A major league veteran like him has no interest in spending the year in AAA. He'd probably insist on that kind of clause.

Despite the bad defense by the Giants this really has been a good game. Two young guns dueling it out.

Rizzotti headed to Reading. He will have an 800 lb. Garden Gnome Giveaway in his honor one day.

BAP: Could be. That doesn't change the premise of it having no downside though.

TTI - Historically good rotation yeah but you have to realize that people are going to be a bit leery because the Phils lost their most valuable everyday player for an indefinite time period (and possibly the year), ditto their closer, won't get any kind of real impact from their highly-touted prospect in the OF, and have serious questions about the health of their starting 3B.

Yet I have seen people still being wildly optimistic in the predictions today with a team that wins at least in the low 90s, takes the NL East, and make a deep playoff run. There was only one/two people who thought this team would miss the playoffs out of over at least 50 predictions. This is construed as collective negativity?

I'm sorry. The predictions today in the post don't validate what you and Iceman are trying to spin.

I reckon Belliard's crap is runny. Ya can't even throw it at a wall for it to stick. He ain't on a roster on opening day for good reason. He's done. Its Wilson Valdez at the keystone for us. Although, of course I hope he bounces back and we get something outta him. Get well soon Uts.

So when do the Phils give Marlon Anderson a tryout at Lehigh?

MG: Your problem is that you have a set argument you want to make and latch onto anything possible to try and make it. If you tried that less you wouldn't make yourself look like a damn fool so often.

Did you look at my initial post? Where in there did I accuse anyone of rampant negativity? And actually read the entire post instead of stopping a few words in. All I did was mention Sam's article in the paper today as I think it's a good piece.

Iceman said people have been negative on this site and I mentioned people like to wring hands. Do you think that complaining about things is not a part of the culture around here? You yourself are one of the biggest perpetrators. I don't begrudge anyone that and I've said as much in numerous posts.

Now maybe the predictions thread may tell another story- I don't know didn't read it. However, the larger culture around here invites and breeds negative comments. I don't think a day of positive talk eliminates all that. And I damn sure don't think I mentioned anything accusing people of rampant negativity coming into this season. So how about you engage some reading comprehension skills instead of working on whatever stupid, insipid missive you are going to fire off about Michael Martinez, the Reading Phillies, or whatever sticks in your crawl this week?

Watching Dodgers-Giants game. Incredulous that Rod Barajas still has a job in major league baseball. Rod f'n Barajas?!?!

TTI - Iceman did. You largely didn't. People are always going to complain to a degree about things and laugh at body gas. Its basic human nature.

Yeah Iceman has a point about 'appreciating' things and I think most people do. Most people are also optimistic about the season as evidenced by the predictions.

I am going to enjoy this season because it means more low-scoring, faster-paced games with lots of interesting late-inning matchups. I love watching nail-biters where it ends up 3-2 or 4-3 anyday of the week over 4-hour marathons between the Yanks/Sox that end 8-6.

Ech. Ronnie Belliard is the only guy I dislike more than Luis Castillo.

Pat the Bat!!! He knows how to belt Broxton

I think, that on this eve of the beginning of the Phillies season that every Phillies fan should be issued a pamphlet. It will be a small pamphlet, with the words "DON'T PANIC" emblazoned in large red letters across the front. Then whenever A Phillies fan starts to panic they can pic it up and read it. If they are really panicking they can open it where in Giant red letters will be the words "DON'T PANIC" and in very small letter at the bottom something about a towel.

It felt good watching Burrell get a HR against Broxton.

Did Burrell just go yard against Broxton? That guy can't help but lump it up even against ex-Phils.

I actually don't mind Bobby V as the color commentator on ESPN, but that might just be in comparison with Joe Morgan. Bobby V actually had some comments I thought were insightful from time to time. It sure beats the Joe Morgan, "Derek Jeter just doesn't jump on that throw because he wants to show off!" comments.

I just want to throw my hat in the ring for the 8th string utility guy. I played 2B from C ball through Legion. I also played short in HS. Started my junior year. We went 0-26 and I got cut in favor of a freshman my senior year but,. .. don't tell Ruben.

I figure adding me's a +1 on the season prediction.

Rex, if I received one of those pamphlets I would have to change my season prediction from the last thread. Instead of 97-65, I would choose 42.

b00b analysis:

Bobby Valentine > Joe Morgan

I'm late to the prediction party. Pluses:

• Starting 4
• A healed-up Jimmy Rollins
• Great spring by Ben Francisco
• Ryan Howard has (hopefully!!) figured out the difference between hitting for average and the awesome intimidation of a 48 HR, 140 rbi season.

• Good-bye, Chase. No one ever recovered from arthritis to play at an All-Star level.
• Good-bye, Polly. Age and a failing elbow will rob you of any production you represented at a position that must produce big numbers.
• No established closer
• A minor league bereft of useful young middle infielders
• An injured Dom Brown who hasn't hit a lick since August 2010.

Good grief. I really wish it was 2007 again and the magic troika of Rollins, Utley and Howard could save us from anything.

No less than the Braves have proven that great, consistent starting pitching does not guarantee World Championships. Will this be the case for the Phillies, or will we catch lightning in a bottle with Ben Fran as our 5 hitter? 92 wins, with my fingers crossed. Beyond that, who knows?

You wish it was 2007 again? When our current 6th starter was our 2nd starter?

I'll say 99 wins and a WS loss to Boston.

if the signing of belliard was announced a few hours from now i would like to think it was just a bad april fool's joke!!!!...please?

Its easy to forget, that in 2007, we would have killed people if we knew that would give us a chance to get Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, and Roy Oswalt.

Pitching > all

MG- yes, I did say people have been largely negative on here. And I stand by that.

There's plenty of time to wring hands over how average the offense will be, but going in to Opening Day you'd think there would be more excitement. The past few weeks of comments have read like the lead up to a funeral.

I think it was DH Phils who said it best a week ago: I can't remember the exact quote, but it was something along the lines of how exhausting it is watching some on this site trying to masquerade pessimism as realism. Again, I'm not denying I am a notorious optimist about this team and I am thrilled that I'll be able to watch this rotation pitch this year, no matter what the offense does. When you label me a blind optimist, I laugh and pretty much agree with you.

The problem lies when people like you and Jack try to deny that around 90% of the things you say on here are negative in nature. Maybe in your own mind you're not a negative person, but what comes out on this site from you is largely negative. It's not a debate. It's a fact.

Considering that both Michael Martinez & Pete Orr are currently on our 25-man roster, I'm sort of at a loss as to how anyone can be against giving a look-see to Belliard.

With all this great pitching, and yet here we sit tied for second to last in the division. Disgraceful.

I too can't figure out why the Phils keep picking up old released infielders. They should pick up some of those just released multi-talented young infielders.

Iceman, no need to apologize. There are some people who psychologically need to be negative about the Phillies. It would just be too crushing for them if the Phillies fall short of their expectations.

Send him to the Lakewood BlueClaws! I would love to watch him this year in New Jersey!

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