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Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I'm fine with all this. I would only add ... Sardinha needs to make that tag. Laziest attempt I've ever seen. Is it that hard for the cat to dive?

As much as everyone wants to blame Baez (I blame RAJ for leaving him on the roster), the Phils had 5 hits (3 by Mini Mart and Valdez). The mainstays in the lineup need to produce. I had no reason to believe the Phils were going to score another run at any point.

Sure, plenty of blame to go around, but Baez has been a consistent joke. Someone tell Ruben he's not a Rule 5 that we have to keep like Herndon last year, chewing up good roster space that could be given to someone who has earned that space and who would perform in that space. It's easy to buy great players, which Ruben is good at, but its apparently impossible for him to really work with the existing roster in a quality manner.

From last thread:

So Charlie shouldn't have been the coach of the 2009 and 2010 teams?


Posted by: R.Billingsly |

Ironically you leave out 2008 - you felt he was good that year or that you'd coupe with his coaching inadequacies? What changed after the the World Series that would make you give Charlie his walking papers? Was it all that weight he lost?

Sounds like this is a lot of hindsight on your part - unless you have some posts you can link to demanding Charlie be released after the Phillies win the WFC in 08.

I fell asleep before the end of the game. Can't say I'm sad about that this morning.

7 innings from Cole tonight against a team that historically kills him is absolutely essential. I'd like to see Worley stretched out as a starter but I'd also like a pitcher who can actually record outs too. It speaks a ton about Worley that he's pretty much pitched in every situation possible in his short stint in the bigs. He belongs in the major leagues right now.

- Has anyone seen JW in his Baez jersey yet? Baez has been terrible from day 1. terrible. terrible. terrible.

- When the Cardinals kept pitching around Howard, I wondered why I keep hearing that lineup protection is a myth.

- I just keep repeating to myself, "Utley and Brown will make it better-Utley and Brown will make it better-Utley and Brown will make it better"

Bears repeating:

Here's another thing to consider. EVEN if you are so against Madson starting the ninth, I doubt you can argue against the following. When Baez had runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs, what are the two things you want...nay...NEED most in the world?

A strikeout or a ground ball for a double play.

Well, Madson strikes out 10.7 per nine this year, and induces ground balls on 65% of his pitches.

Baez, strikes out 3.4 per nine and has a ground ball rate of 50%.

both batters have walked the same amount per nine.

Who should have been in the game?

Obviously, without debate, Ryan Madson.

Of course, the manager didn't agree. That's why he gets paid the big bucks, right?

Also, in the bottom of the 9th, the Phillies had zero margin for error in a tie game, as they couldn't give up ANY runs. If they were to get a lead in the top of the 10th, they would, be definition, have more margin for error.

Does anyone really want to contend that it's better to use your worse relievers when you have no margin for error, and your better relievers when you have more margin for error?

Fatalotti: I can't argue with you as I was basically shouting the same thing at the TV.

But I guess UC knows best.

Or maybe he doesn't, as neither the decision-making process, nor the results, appear to bear the Baez move out.

Oh, and quincy, I wasn't calling UC a middle schooler in the previous thread.

I was calling everyone a middle-schooler who trots out the excuse that "Every other manager would do it," for a poor decision.

"But Mooooooooommmmmm...all the other kids were doing it!!"

Scotch Man: I fell asleep before the end of the game.

So did the manager.

I turned the game off and went to bed once I saw Baez coming in.

Good thing Worley needs to stay "stretched out".

Heather: That's exactly what I said you did. Apparently you didn't read my post.


He looked 'alright' until Theriot leadoff basehit. After that, his body language just showed that he mentally defeated. You can't be a MLB pitcher in that spot & be successful with that kind of attitude.

My favorite though was the walk around the mound after he fell behind early in the count to Pujols. Looked like a man who needed a St. Bernard to come out & save him.

I think Charlie knew the Phillies would never score so there was no reason to bring in Madson. Better to lose in the 9th and get on the plane with a fresh arm than lose in the 12th with a burnt out pen and Colorado on deck...

Baez is the white flag.

I accept that Ryan Howard's career has been one of immense productivity. I really do. Numbers that great don't lie.

But do other "stars" (I assume he qualifies) look so bad so frequently? I've seen Teixeira look awful for a few games, but I don't watch others every day. Maybe it's the strikeouts, maybe it's the lunging at a ball and then taking one down the middle, but, man--he looks overmatched a lot for someone of his reputation and history.

3r0ck: Not hindsight at all. Managers lose their teams. It happens a lot. I felt halfway through the 2009 season is when the writing was on the wall.

Coincidentally, which you chose to ignore, Jimy Williams left after the '08 season. If you read my post, I mention that his coaching staff was stellar in the beginning and now it is not. I think Williams was the in-game tactician of that team. Once he left, the in-game strategy took a major hit.

That has always been my gripe with Charlie. The guys like him and play hard for him. When they don't seem to be doing that, he's not a good enough in-game manager to win ballgames.

That's my opinion. It hasn't changes since he was named manager (other than the expected "I'll never question the gut again" BS that one spews when he pulls one out of his butt).

Baez entrace music - 'Taps'

Billingsley - Yeah this coach staff did take a hit after Jimy Williams left after the Phils didn't want to pay him. I would be curious to see what roles Mackanin fills & Cholly's thoughts on Williams and Mackanin.

One thing I have noticed a lot is that Mackanin is often right next to Cholly especially late in tight games. Don't remember seeing that often at all with Jimy Williams.

This situation reminds me of trading Cliff Lee after getting Doc. Signing Baez was a mistake. A costly mistake. Yet, Charlie and RAJ refuse to admit it or do anything about it. Send him down and get someone who doesn't look like a deer in head lights after he makes the slightest mistake.

As for the offense, we just have to believe that Utley, Victorino, Brown and a healthy Ruiz will make as big as an impact as we all hope they will.

Why is Sardinha on that roster? He wasn't even hitting .100 for the IronPigs, and he's marginal defensively. They have better options at Triple A and Double A. He's just one example that some of these wounds are self-inflicted.

MG: I also notice that Mackanin is next to Charlie a lot, but I see that as lending more credence to my theory that Williams "managed" that team. I recall Williams constantly positioning fielders, talking with players between innings and even giving signs to Steve Smith at 3B. MacKanin is next to Charlie, doing his bidding. Williams ran things on his own.

Again, for those ready to attack me, this is my opinion.

Sandberg seems to be doing a good job in Lehigh...Heir Apparent perhaps?

I admit that I don't know all the rules surrounding the 40 man roster, but I assume that's the reason Sardinha is up instead of someone else. The only catchers on the 40-man are Ruiz, Schneider and Sardinha.

That play at the plate last night was brutal. He has to make that play, especially when one run is probably enough to win the game for the Cards.

Charlie is exceptional when it comes to leading his players & dumb as a stump when it comes to managing a game, which is why the Phillies have become the new Cox-era Braves.

Manuel is not, nor has he ever been, a good in-game manager. It's not going to happen...He's managing this team for his ability to create a confident clubhouse atmosphere. That's the only thing he seems to bring to the table.

The Phils need to a) get healthy and b) acquire a legit power OF bat. They'll blow away the league if those two things happen.

NEPP: Sandberg has to be. I wrote the other day that the Phillies had to tell him the job was his once Charlie's contract was up (or he was fired). Why else would he leave the Cubs' system? He made it pretty clear that he wants/expects to be a major league manager soon, and even left the AAA Cubs job because he wasn't given the job in the offseason.

Why would he take this job if he felt he had to wait an extended period of time to get to the big club?

D'backs DFA Gallaraga of the "almost perfect" game fame. I bet that is still f-ing with him as his ERA swelled over 5.

J-Dub, I think it's time to update your Rotation

What do people want the Phils to do about Baez though? They don't have enough bodies in the bullpen as it is.

Contreras is just beginning a rehab assignment tonight with Clearwater. He might be back for this weekend.

Stutes got hurt last night & I put money is gone at least a month. Probably a bit more. Even minor obliques are a b~tch to recover from & can be easily reaggravated without a lengthy rest period.

I do wonder though why Mathieson is still on this roster. Cholly clearly won't use him unless he has no other option. It means he pitches maybe once every 7-10 days. That's simply a waste of a roster spot. Better off even with Herndon who at least Cholly is willing to use.

There are a few guys in Lehigh (Schwimer, Grilli) who have thrown well but they aren't on the 40-man roster. Instead you have the likes of Naylor and Zagurski.

It's funny how Amaro and Manuel have similar styles: not doing the little stuff right and waiting for the homerun. Halladay and Lee moves were homeruns, but the bench and fill-in players are killing this team

Phillies have 3 draft picks, I'm sure 2 will be rangy outfielders and the other will be a pitcher

in the first 90 picks

RB - Sandberg was passed over this offseason for the Cubs' job. My darkhorse is still Mark Parent. He was a former player for the Phils, was the manger of the Lakewood team that won their division, and now is managing the Reading club to a solid start this year.

By 2013, the Phils will likely be in a transition period with a few older players (Lee, Halladay, Howard) with a bunch of younger players around them. Everything points to Parent being groomed through the system to eventually take over for Cholly.

Was the picture in the header done by a police sketch artist? It would be great if Baez went on the lam.

As if it weren't already assured, Stutes going down has given Baez some measure of job security for the time being. Had Stutes not gotten hurt, and had he gotten 3 outs in the 6th, we don't see Baez in that spot. There's a shortage of arms (Worley excluded). The guy HAS TO pitch. On a team that's scraping for runs, he's a glaring liability.

Marv:re: Howard. . . familiarity breeds contempt.

Cholly has had a couple of WTF games this year and isn't an in-game manager. He isn't the issue though right now. Just a beat-up and injury-depleted team going through a tough stretch.

What will be interesting is if the Phils are mired again in June and how Cholly responds. I get the sense that this team had started to phase Cholly out a bit last year.

I don't think Sandberg takes the Phillies job unless he thought he could get the big league job in short-ish order.

Steve: Fill-in players kill ANY team, when they are used to the extent the Phillies have had to this year.

"Phillies have 3 draft picks, I'm sure 2 will be rangy outfielders and the other will be a pitcher."

They better start taking some more position players in the draft. Pitching is great, but its way past time to replenish the farm system with some everyday players.

The FO and ownership could probably never deal with the freezeout by fans that they dealt with in the past; remember those good old days at the Vet with 8000 of your best friends, walking up and buying $8 tickets minutes before Curt toed the rubber.
Any transition time will have to be brief otherwise this payroll will kill off any remaining Buck Bros.

Denny: I agree. They need to think about the infield more than OF and SP

Jbird: Good point. Marriage therapist?

The way the Phils have used their farm system recently, it's always good to have high-ceiling pitchers. Those are the best trade chips.

They really do need some IF prospects, however. The fact that Mini-Mart has a relatively secure roster spot at the moment makes this lack of depth all too obvious.

Sandberg is excellent. The heads-up aggressiveness of Lehigh Valley this year is a complete departure from the station to station passivity of past teams there. I have to believe Sandberg is a factor in that.

The Phillies' lack of attention toward their Infield situation has been an issue since '09. One wonders how many years of Infielders hitting the DL, often 2 & 3 at a time, must pass before they wake up & address it. It's a waste of money to pay so much for Starting Pitching when half of the batting order is made up of guys who are barely suited for AAA.

I never liked Joan Baez and I don't like her son Danys, either!

The Worley demotion defies logic.

It's disheartening to read that, after 3 days on the shelf, Victorino is now getting an MRI to determine the extent of his hamstring injury.

"D'backs DFA Gallaraga of the "almost perfect" game fame. I bet that is still f-ing with him as his ERA swelled over 5."

He was basically a 5 ERA guy before the perfect game.

Last night does reinforce the notion that Cholly is not really a hunch guy, but more a by-the-book guy, and when there is no clear book on a situation, he just likcs his thumb, puts it in the air to test the wind, flips the Tarot card, and rolls the dice.

Or in the case of batting Valdez/Martinez 2nd in teh batting order, he just doesn't do any thinking or strategizing, and just says, "Let's see what the f@#k happens!"

Its the Phillie way, Hugh. Why be proactive about something when you can waste a roster spot

"The Worley demotion defies logic."

Does keeping a starting pitcher stretched out for future use really defy logic? You can disagree with the move... but to say it lacks logic is weird.

I guess it all comes back to the "win now" vs "win later" mentality. If you're just thinking about the next game and putting the best guys on the team, the Worley demotion makes little sense. If you're looking at the season as a whole then keeping Worley stretched out at AAA makes sense.

Right now it is less the pitching that is the problem and, instead, the hitting. Unfortunately, there is only so much that one can do with the healthy players on the bench. I'm fine with the bench players when they're in a bench role, but when they're forced into everyday (or most days) situations, their game obviously shows why they're a bench player. Fine to fill in for a game here or there--but when your line-up is 40%+ bench player bodies, the results show for themselves.

MG has been spot on in the last two threads. The last two nights have been far from Manuel's finest hour, but he is not the problem on this team. The problem is that half of the line-up would be mediocre players in AAA. I really like Mayberry, but when he is your #2 weapon, that is a major problem.

The good thing is that this is happening early in the season and reinforcements are in the works. If the reinforcements fail, you make a trade. It's a long season. We go through this every year.

And I really feel for Howard right now. He is getting thrown junk and you could tell last night he was pressing to make something happen. Ryan is the type of guy that doesn't want to just sit back and take walks and rely on other guys, which is why he's my favorite player on the team. But right now he is pressing because he is getting absolutely nothing to hit. And really, can you blame him? You're being followed by Mayberry, Francisco, Valdez, Sardinha. If you take a walk, you're gonna get stranded.

One thing I do think Manuel needs to realize quickly, especially if the lineup continues to be filled with these AAA retreads for a sustained amount of time- he needs to start trying to manufacture runs.

I normally hate laying down bunts and playing 'small ball,' but with the players in this lineup you almost have no choice. Last night, Mayberry singled and then stole 2nd base with nobody out. He is followed by Francisco and Valdez, both who pop out and ruin the inning. In my opinion, you have to bunt Francisco there. You have to scratch out runs any way you can, especially with the bottom of the lineup the way it is currently comprised. There is no reason you should have faith in those two hitters (followed by Sardinha) to get the run across the plate by getting a hit.

You can't just say that Charlie's a good manager in terms of handling the team and then a bad manager in his in-game management. You're creating a false dichotomy when you do that; in-game management and overall personnel management are inextricably linked.

You can't keep expecting Charlie to protect all of his weaker players. Baez is on the team, he has a role to fill. Charlie used him in his role and he failed, it's as simple as that. By definition, given the team's record under his management, his moves pay off more than they fail.

The fact is, losing one game at this point in the season is not the end of the world. Fans think it is, but Charlie knows that it's a long season. Chances are that Charlie will give Baez and other marginal players even more chances to succeed or fail, and that fans will continue to hand-wring whenever they fail. That's also baseball.

When I first heard that they sent Worley down I couldn't understand why. When I later heard their reasoning, I thought that actually it makes some sense. Can the move backfire? Of course. The fact is that not all player moves will work out, not all in-game decisions will work out, not all minor league retreads will perform like all-Stars. If fans are looking for a perfect team, and a manager and GM who always make the perfect moves, they're just bound to be miserable. And we all know, Phillies fans love to be miserable.

Iceman, agreed. But, even if Manuel is not the primary concern on this team, he'll still be making these poor judgment call even with Utley, Vic, Contreras, Stutes, Lidge and probably Brown on the field.

While you can look at the injured guys and think, "they won't be starting all year", you look at Charlie and think, "he'll be managing this starting staff and bullpen all year", so we'll keep having delightful post game aneurysms like this all year.

MG: Parent seems like a good choice as well. And the logic behind it that you articulated makes sense. I would, however, be surprised if Parent was selected over Sandberg. With how the offseason in Chicago played out, I can't believe Sandberg would take the Lehigh job if he wasn't given some assurance that he was next in line to manage the Phils.

But, then again, just because they may have told him that that doesn't necessarily make it so.

It's a long season. We go through this every year.

Exactly. At what point do you make a change to avoid doing the same things every year?

I posted about this last night but it bears repeating. You know the old BL debate about whether it's ok to waste the 25th roster spot on a guy who isn't actually one of your 25 best players? Well, the Phillies have expanded the terms of that debate by putting at least 4 guys on the current active roster who aren't as good as their AAA counterparts (Baez-Worley, Sardina-Kratz, Francisco/Ibanez-Brown, Mini-Mart/Orr-Belliard). That's unacceptable. RAJ can't do anything about all the injuries and he can't do anything to address the fact that Rollins, Ruiz, Howard & the 2 corner outfielders are stinking it up big time, but he can sure as hell take what we have and put the best 25 guys out there. If he had done that before last night's game, we probably would have won or, at worst, forced the game to extra innings.

Iceman - BenFran already had a 3-2 count when Mayberry stole 2nd. You don't sacrifice on a full count but it would be nice if Ben could have hit a ground ball to the left of the SS.

Phlipper, I asked this earlier:

Does anyone really want to contend that it's better to use your worse relievers when you have no margin for error, and your better relievers when you have more margin for error?

Would you contend that it's better to use Baez in the bottom fo the 9th on the road when the team has no margin to give up ANY runs, and save Madson for a later closing situation, when the Phillies, by definition, would have more margin for error?

R.Billingsly: When "the same things every year" becomes something other than legitimate world series potential on October 1st. That's when.

BAP - Agreed about that point. There arguably some better options at Lehigh and this roster has been handicapped a bit by the current makeup of their 40-man roster. In the AL, the 25th man doesn't matter as much largely because of the DH. In the NL, it matters because even the last man on the bench will get at least 150 Abs (probably closer to 175-200 ABs).

Everybody present UC as a you need to take the good along with the bad type guy when it comes to in game managing.

But that's crap. Hire a guy that understand in-game strategy and have him do that part of managing.

Our PH decisions are inscrutable, our bullpen use is abysmal and our lineups sometimes border on the bizarre.

But guess what? UC can still be a great clubhouse manager and someone else can make these in-game decisions. Hire that person. ROOB bears as much of the blame for UC butchering these things on a daily basis since obviously he isn't hiring someone to do them better.

If you asked Ross Gload to play shortstop, which is akin to asking UC to make sound tactical decisions, at what point is the routine butchery not even the guy's fault if you're asking him to do something beyond his physical or mental capabilities?

On a brighter note, Mayberry has continued to show off his quality secondary skills defensively and on the base paths. Used correctly (basically STARTING every single game versus LHP), he could be quite valuable. If only we had a young rookie prospect who had trouble hitting LHPs that we could platoon him with in RF and move BenFran to LF/Bench instead.

***But guess what? UC can still be a great clubhouse manager and someone else can make these in-game decisions. Hire that person. ROOB bears as much of the blame for UC butchering these things on a daily basis since obviously he isn't hiring someone to do them better.***

We did that once...his name was Jimy Williams. Much like Lopes, we tossed him over money issues/clashes with the FO.

If you're looking at the season as a whole then keeping Worley stretched out at AAA makes sense.

Only if you happen to buy into the notion of keeping a pitcher "stretched out".

... in-game management and overall personnel management are inextricably linked.

Only in Little League. As has already been mentioned by JW, Baez has been given a tremendous amount of chances to to succeed or fail, & he has failed far more often than he has succeeded, to the point where he obviously did not want to be on the field last night. Beyond that, it's madness to bring a known sub-mediocrity into game that's tied up late w/ your best, All-Star caliber reliever already warmed up & ready to pitch. Charlie might know his people, but he is utterly lost trying to apply that knowledge to in-game situations.

Beyond that, it's madness to bring a known sub-mediocrity into game that's tied up late w/ your best, All-Star caliber reliever already warmed up & ready to pitch. Charlie might know his people, but he is utterly lost trying to apply that knowledge to in-game situations.

Posted by: GTown_Dave | Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Beautifully said.

We're looking at a team that is down to essentially 2 reliable relievers in Bastardo and Madson. The rest is an absolute crapshoot.

Has there been any comment on who they will call up to replace Stutes? Schwimer, despite his 3.1 IP last night (where he struck out 7 and allowed 0 runs), is the obvious choice but I really fear another Herndon or Zagurski sighting.

Also, what does Dubee even do? Aside from occassionally looking pissed at Kendrick, I mean. He's obviously not helping UC manage the bullpen more effectively.

NEPP, you will get one of the those two.

Yeah, I know, Fat. That's pretty pathetic too. Both have proven that they offer zero upside in an MLB bullpen.

People call for UC's head every time the Phils go on a small losing streak. It is getting so old, but then again it was old when people were doing it in '08.

"it's madness to bring a known sub-mediocrity into game that's tied up late w/ your best, All-Star caliber reliever already warmed up & ready to pitch"

and the top of baseball's 2nd best lineup coming up to start the inning.

The other option is that they just go with a short bullpen until Contreras comes back. Another horrible decision, but I put nothing past them at this point when it comes to roster decisions.

"Has there been any comment on who they will call up to replace Stutes? Schwimer, despite his 3.1 IP last night (where he struck out 7 and allowed 0 runs), is the obvious choice but I really fear another Herndon or Zagurski sighting."

Why bring up an unknown when you can just bank on certain failure?

I mean, certainty is definitely key.

R.Bill.. I agree with you on the Jimy Williams comment.

Yep, you're right Old Phan. He's a brillian in game tactician.

Quincy: I disagree. They won the World Series. "Got better." Lost to the Yankees -- a team they should have beaten. "Got better." Lost to the Giants -- a team they should have beaten.

This isn't the same Phillies that should be happy to get to the playoffs. This is a perennial contender with a huge payroll and tons of talent. I know it's unreasonable to expect them to win the WS every year. But, if something is wrong, you don't ride it out because they made the playoffs. You make changes to better the team in order to win the World Series.

Obviously, if you don't think Charlie is a problem, then there is no reason to make a change. By your comment, I imagine you are in that camp. That is your opinion and totally fine. Mine is the opposite.

People keep asking for Baez's head for not doing his job. I don't think Charlie has been doing his effectively for a few years, but he gets defended? I would venture a guess that over the length of a full season, Charlie's ineptitude hurts the team more than Baez's ineffectiveness.

'"it's madness to bring a known sub-mediocrity into game that's tied up late w/ your best, All-Star caliber reliever already warmed up & ready to pitch"

and the top of baseball's 2nd best lineup coming up to start the inning.'

I have been reassured that every other manager in baseball would do the same thing and therefore the decision is above reproach.

Mayberry has looked pretty good so far this year. Is it possible that he "figured it out" in the offseason. His ABs are much better this year than in previous. He is patient and identifying breaking balls earlier and either laying off of them or making contact.

He has been a pleasant surprise so far.

Seems pretty simple to me: you can't win in extra innings unless you first get to extra innings. Worry about locking down the win if and when you get there.

Call me crazy, but just because Manuel won the WS in 2008 doesn't mean he is capable of managing the same team forever with equal effectiveness.

joe l, as succinctly as it could possibly be said. Manuel, and other managers, don't understand this concept, and it's maddening.

Old Phan: I agree that it's getting old. I'm a big part of the problem, because I keep bringing it up. However, the reason it gets old is because there is some truth to it, thus, it keeps coming to the forefront.

I'm a pretty consistent fellow, though. I complain about Charlie whether they win or lose.

Bullpen was going to be an issue even going into the season because they took what was an overall mediocre group & just subtracted from it (Durbin).

Yeah there starters can work deep into game but with Oswalt/Blanton limited right now in how deep they go, the warts on the bullpen are exposed.

This just isn't a good group of relievers outside of Madson/Bastardo. I wondered how long it would take the cracks to show a bit once Contreras went down & they have begun to a bit the past week or so.

To have a quality bullpen, you need about 4 quality arms. Phils have 2 and hopefully will have 3 in another week with Contreras back.

If Jose Bautista can go from being Johnny Gomes to the reincarnation of Barry Bonds, Mayberry certainly could have figured it out over the offseason. The likelihood of that actually having happened is probably rather small, but it's certainly a chance.

NEPP: Problem is, of our 4 most viable call-ups, 3 pitched 2+ innings yesterday (Worley, Schwimmer, Carpenter) & one is injured (Grilli). I don't see any point in calling up a guy today, knowing that he can't pitch for a few days. So, either we'll play with yet another dead roster spot for a few days or we'll call up your all-time favorite Phillie, David Herndon.

I guess they could also roll the dice with DeFratus, but he hasn't pitched all that well & didn't look ready for the big leagues during his spring training stint. Probably wouldn't be any worse than Herndon, though.

Stinks that Rollins is trending downward; Utley's a mess; Werth is gone; Victorino's hurt way too often and Ibanez looks shot. Polanco’s a bit creaky but still playing well. Time passes on, and unless the FO is savvy and smart, line-ups can collapse overnight.

Signing Cliff Lee was a brilliant marketing stroke, especially in the short term. Problem is, all he can do is contribute every 5 days, and now we are completely "hamstrung" (if you'll pardon the expression) with regards to the ability to take on salary for IF/corner OF help.

As my late Daddy always said: "Hindsight is 20-20". Regardless, I’d take this do-over in a minute, re: Cliff Lee acquisition.

"(Howard) is getting thrown junk and you could tell last night he was pressing to make something happen"

Howard doesn't appear to have any different approach now than always. He guesses, and results show that he's often right. He can look awful and he can get big hits.

Both his (as the star's) faults and Manuel's are much more evident when the team loses. But that doesn't mean that when the team wins they're not faults.

So let's flip the question around to the supporters: What DOES Manuel do that makes him indispensable to this team?

The Lee signing definitely hamstrung the FO for 2011, but there's a lot of money coming off the books next year that will help. One thing we've seen is that you can never have enough pitching. I'm still okay with the Lee move.

Cholly's tactics are head-scratching, but I think there's some serious revisionist history going on when people start pining for the days of Jimy Williams.

When Jimy was by his side, Cholly's bullpen management was every bit as bad (and every bit as criticized on BL) as it is today. Jimy was also the genius who brought us the strategy of pinch running for Pat Burrell in the 6th inning of every game we led by 1 run -- a move that backfired time and time again, both offensively and, ironically enough, defensively. We still talk about it today because it was the single dumbest tactic that Cholly ever employed on a repeated basis.

If anything, Cholly's in-game tactics have actually improved with saber-minded Pete Mackanin by his side. They're still terrible, and we have no idea how much of that is due to Mackanin & how much of it is due to Cholly. Either way, the Jimy Williams nostalgia is completely misplaced. He was terrible as a manager and, when he was the bench coach, Cholly's decision-making was just as puzzling, if not more so.

I'm just wondering - is there a strong contingent here that is calling for UC's head? I mean I know that a 4 game losing streak in May sucks and all, but firing the manager?

Fata, did I use the word "brilliant" anywhere? Obviously not. But what he does is win. That matters a little bit. And please don't bring out the old saw "Well anyone can win with that talent" because anyone who has followed the game for 5 seconds knows that isn't true, especially these days.

Redburb, it happens all the time. It's just venting.

Can't we all quietly slip them some PEDs and be done with it?

"Does anyone really want to contend that it's better to use your worse relievers when you have no margin for error, and your better relievers when you have more margin for error?"

Fatty - looked at as an isolate incident, I agree with your logic 100%. As someone pointed out last night - if the Phils had taken a lead and you bring in Baez to close out, you only lose the game at that point if he allows two runs. You lower the bar for him by doing so.

But here's my point. At various stages of the season you have to give all the players on your roster chances to succeed or fail. Better to do that early in the season than towards the end. If they fail, you give them another shot. Maybe another shot after that. Maybe another couple of shots.

Eventually, you might have to pull the string if they fail repeatedly, but sometimes after repeated fails they wind up coming through long-term. Charlie has successfully done this a number of times, and I think that in balance he succeeds with his patient approach quite a bit more than he gets burned by giving players a shot when the BL consensus says that he's a "moron" for doing so.

When Charlie relies "too much" on his top relievers, he is criticized for relying on them too much. When he gives his bottom relievers a shot, he's criticized for not using his top relievers.

Baez is on the team, and he has a role to fill. At some point if he continuously fails in that role, you replace him on the roster with another pitcher. I think the real debate is at what point you pull the string and replace him on the roster with another player. But I'm not going to jump up and down about what a "moron" Charlie is for giving a player on his roster chances to succeed or fail.

The debate about when to pull the string and move a player out always just boils down to a judgement call. In balance, I'll take the judgement of baseball professionals who observe the players from a very close perspective over an extended period of time in consultation with other baseball professionals that observe the players over an extended period of time. Obviously, these baseball professionals are not right 100% of the time, but when you have someone with a track record of success like Charlie (and RAJ), and you understand that all managers are going to make errors some of the time (particularly when you determine those errors selectively, after the fact, when the players fail), I think that the level of vitriol direct towards Charlie's managing is more reflective of fans loving to be miserable than it is of Charlie's managing skills.

We need 2 or 3 consecutive postponements so the team can get healthy (and this Rockies series can be washed away).

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EST. 2005

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