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Sunday, June 19, 2011


Let's have Cole show Seattle one of our aces today! Get number ten and head into st louis for a big series with the redbirds. And I do believe if the phils are say 20 over .500 and are winning series then yeah Shane deserves to be an all-star no doubt about it. He was ranked third in a poll with kemp first mccu second (Pittsburgh) and Shane third he is working on the quad double again homers doubles triples and steals and being best cf (defense) in NL

Not sure how much this affects J-Roll but Yunel Escobar just signed a 2 year extension for 5mil a year and with 2 club option years at the same cost.

the marlins skipper just "resigned" also

Vic is more than deserving of All Star status, but so are a lot of outfielders. The Phillies have 2 All Star locks (Hamels & Halladay), one guy who looks like he might get voted in (Polanco), and 3 more who belong in the discussion (Vic, Madson, and Lee). With the stupid "every team must be represented" rule, I think Vic may run into a numbers game & get left off. His time on the DL didn't help his cause.

Clout: "What's really happening here, of course, is the usual emotionalism, no-brains response of posters like BAP and Jack. They want Rollins gone. They want Ibanez gone. They want so-and-so gone. The arguments they make are eyewash."

First off, no. I don't necessarily want Rollins gone. I think he's almost certainly the best option for next year. I would love him back next year. My issue is that if, in order to get him for next year, you have to commit to him in 2014 as well, that has to change the calculus some, right?

And yeah, obviously I want Ibanez gone. You're not really advocating him playing for us next season are you? Please God tell me you're not saying you want him back. Seriously?

Saw the game last night in the hospital. Wife is in labor with our first child. Hopefully, I can get the perfect fathers day gift of my son and a phillies win. Pretty sure I will remember this game for the rest of my life...let's make it a good one.

I'm not taking any credit, but I used the phrase 'Bridge to Madson County' on here (or somewhere) last year when Madson took over the closer's role when Lidge was on the DL.

Anyway, quick update. since Utley's return 23 games ago, the Phillies have scored 123 runs, good for 4.73 runs per game. The Phillies are 17-9 (.654) over that stretch. This team is a juggernaut when they get good output from the offense.

One area on the team's offense that is really a concern right now is Placido Polanco's 44 game slide since May 1st, where he's posted the following line: .233/.279/.285 (.564)

He really needs to get it going, especiallyif he's going to continue to bat 5th in the lineup.

Obviously if we could somehow get rid of Ibanez next year, that would be a good thing. Even if he weren't paid as much as he was paid, it would be a good thing, as a .700 OPS and lousy defense isn't really what one wants from one's leftfielder. And it really isn't what one wants at that position when he's eating as much of the team salary as he is. But given that he is paid as much as he is, I don't know how we'd lose him.

Keith, I wish mom and little Cole good health.

Tray, this is the last year of Ibanez's contract. He won't be playing for the Phillies next year, unless there are absolutely no other options and we sign him to a cheap 1 year deal.

I see us having a new left fielder next year.

clout reminds me of a politician who goes into a debate with his 5 or 6 talking points that his advisors have laid out for him and, rather than addressing the questions that are actually asked, he just responds with his talking points.

clout's talking point, in this case, is: we aren't likely to find a better shortstop than Rollins; therefore, I need not address any of the other perfectly cogent reasons why it might not be appropriate to resign him.

Vic has been the leading hitter on this team 2 of the past 3 years, and it's hard to see how he isn't that guy this year as well. And that's with Cholly bouncing him all over the lineup.

As far as All-Stars goes, the fewer Phillies the better. Our old guys have bigger things on their minds and need the rest. Individual honors are fun distractions when your team sucks.

pb: Escobar's still in his arbitration years, so his contract reflects a significant discount from what he would actually command on an open free agent market. It won't have any impact on the contracts given to Rollins or other free agent shortstops.

Not to pound on anyone, but this is exactly why the annual all-star discussion holds so little interest to me. It is so often not a "who is a star?" discussion but "who has had a really good June?" discussion. Vote for the genuine star whose best years are behind him and people look at you with pitying contempt as a weak-minded sentimentalist. I have absolutely no problem with the argument that Victorino deserves a spot on the team. But how he plays this June has very very little to do with the question of his star status.

My view on all-star selections is that they should combine past performance with performance this year. If Gaby Sanchez has better stats through two months than Albert Pujols, is there anyone who really thinks Sanchez should be an all-star over Pujols? Come on.

I wish MLB would do away with fan voting, but I doubt it would ever happen. I cringe when I hear the radio ad for fan voting, and hear the voice say "limit to 25 votes". Ugh.

Io agree with Curt. Don't vote for any Phillies. Instead, give them a week off to regenerate.


this is the typical Jack argument. Someone says something that Jack clearly knows the intention of. Instead of responding- or ignoring the comment- he changes the argument in a way where he says something pretty much no one could argue and pretends like the person is arguing against that.

keith, buddy, good luck. Funny thing about the big day - you'll probably have plenty of time to watch the game. But, unless your wife is into it, you might want to pass.

I don't remember much about the ND, Boston College football game in '93 other than ND lost. My wife was in labor during that game. She still remembers every time a doctor walked in her hospital room and asked me what the score was before they asked her about her condition.

Somehow I lost the quote from Jack. It was this one:

And yeah, obviously I want Ibanez gone. You're not really advocating him playing for us next season are you? Please God tell me you're not saying you want him back. Seriously?

Doesn't Ibanez have to hit a homer in front of his old fans, today? I think that's the quid pro quo for getting to play every inning in left this series.

(only posting this to assure that he plays DH today).

TTI: Clout insinuated that my arguments were just a front for my true belief that I just wanted Ibanez gone.

So I answered that there was no front involved--of course I want Ibanez gone. Is there anyone here who wants Ibanez back next year? Does Clout want that?

All-Star Voting is basically a popularity contest. Most well-known players often have to best the better players. It is a game for the fans that is a glorified exhibition game. No problem with letting the fans vote early and often as they want.

Just wish Selig would acknowledge that and do away with the ridiculous 'Home Field' advantage to the winner. One of his worst 5 decisions as Commissioner.

'Bridges to Madson County' is a pretty damn good nickname.

Making the all-star game "count" is a pretty lame innovation. And, I'm not just saying that because the Junior Circut hadn't lost in 13 years before last year.

Raul will not be here next year.he may be here for 2 years.Compliments of no 1 year contract GM.

Jack: I think it's clear clout isn't advocating keeping Ibanez. He was talking about how making arguments without any knowledge of how the markets are going to be is basically just spitting into the wind.

Clearly Rollins at 12 million a year is probably way too much money. But that's an assumption on the deal he'll get. It could be accurate, but if Rollins can be signed at 3/24 or 3/30 do you do that? Clout is saying that people are casting guys away from the team based off their own flawed assumptions about what the market would be.

And I know what you'll say, "But TTI, it's a blog and isn't that what we do on here, speculate?" To that I say, "Jack- of course you do, but there is a difference in speculating and treating that speculation as absolute fact. If you don't see the line between them than that's on you."

There are clearly numbers and years you don't sign guys for but until you have nuts and bolts in front of you you are creating your own boundaries for the argument. You want to see how foolish that looks when you do it the opposite way?

The Phillies should sign Pujols in the off-season. With his struggles early in the year he can be had for 4 years, 40 million. Do it Amaro.

Thanks Fatalotti, I forgot. Yeah, I can't imagine why we would resign him by choice. He isn't "done," as Phlipper and the other sunny optimists who like to post here will happily point out, but he is on a pretty clear downward trend. I don't think it would surprise anyone if, at age 40, the wheels fell off entirely.

Is there a possible configuration of the upcoming free agency market in which Ibanez could be our most cost-effective choice? Obviously there are possible worlds in which Rollins could be our best choice. But Ibanez?

Ignoring all the catfighting that Beerleaguers
ladies are doing today, I want to say that was a satisfying win last night. The Phils took good ABs against a very good pitcher and when that happens you always increase your chances of getting runs across, even if they are scratched or are by the luck of the BABIP. Good job Phils.

What do prognosticators expect Carlos Beltran to garner in the free agent market this off season? He'll be 35 next year, and his having a resurgent, healthy year.

Very fun going into a game not expecting to win. And then that happens. These guys have spoiled us.

Google's earliest ref to "bridge to Madson County" dates to June 6 2009 in a post by Pat Gallen:

Question to Beerleaguers all over:

At .625 winning percentage, the Philies are currently on pace to win 102 games. Of course that is bolstered by a 8-1 streak and hot hitting of late. But really, now, is this team better, worse, or about the same as what their record shows at this stage of the season?

Time to make adjustments to early season predictions?

Has the hitting been so bad that you think they can go better the rest of the way?

Has the pitching been so stellar that you think it will come back down?

We are a long way ahead of everyone in the MLB for best record right now.

Agree with JW about Vic. He still seems to be struggling with changeups/curves from the left-side of the plate but first time in his career where it seems like he has had a better swing vs. changeups in particular.

Reasonable people can disagree on the appropriate length/size of Rollins' new contract. What I found very strange, however, was the argument made in the past thread that replacing Rollins with a player whose OPS is 50 points worse is in fact more conducive to scoring runs, provided that said player bats 8th.

Rather than OPS, let's look at wOBA. Rollins' current wOBA is .330. League average is .316. By conversion, Rollins is worth roughly 17 runs above league average (1.75 wins). Here's Wilson Valdez, Mike and BAP's Rollins replacement: .272 wOBA, or more than 30 runs below league average, and 47 runs worse than Rollins. And according to Mike and BAP, if we place Wilson .272 wOBA Valdez in the 8th hole, we can expect the Phillies to score more runs than they would should Rollins bat 1st.

In other words, there are possible worlds in which 30 runs below average is a greater source of runs production than 17 runs above average. Does this make sense?

Today's lineup @ SEA: Rollins SS, Victorino CF, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Francisco RF, Ruiz C, Ibanez DH, Valdez 3B, Martinez LF. Hamels P.

I've HATED everyone of Charlie's lineups this series but this one takes the cake

Klaus: On the Rollins front- I had a beef with the person who said the gap between Valdez and Rollins is not that big. That's just outright silly.

Rollins: even in a down year last season had an OPS+ that was 7 points higher than Valdez. So Rollins in a bad year (And Valdez in a career year) is still quite a bit better than Valdez.

Also, Valdez has as many errors at shortstop in 171 games as Rollins has in 1547 games career wise.

Klaus: No. Valdez replacing Rollins would not be made up just by the batting order change. Your analysis is correct.

Clearly that last paragraph in my 2:17 post makes little to no sense. Rollins obviously has many more than 12 errors in his career. I was trying to make a point about their fielding percentage.

Klaus, you're leaving out a pretty crucial implication of their argument. Obviously, Valdez or the replacement would produce less runs. The argument is that the Phillies would find a player to bat lead-off that would more than compensate for that loss.

I have no problem with Charlie as manager, but when it comes to using the DH, he's always lacked imagination. The lineups are usually rediculous

TTI: Valdez aside, the idea is that with proper line-up optimization, it's possible to derive more run production from player Y, when player Y is substantially worse at producing runs than player X. Silly isn't the word for that.

Phanatic Phan: I don't think so. As I understand it, it's Valdez or his equivalent in replacement of Rollins; rest the lineup remains the same. So the lineup's average OPS, wOBA, wRC, however you want to slice it, goes down substantially. No amount of line-up shuffling, which ideally adds a handful of runs at most, could compensate.

Klaus: You don't usually do this, but you've misstated what I said.

I never said that the Phillies would score more runs batting Valdez 8th than batting Rollins 1st. What I said was that the drop-off between the 2 would be lessened by the fact that Valdez would be batting 7 spots lower in the order. For that matter, I also said that the free agent market offers plenty of middle ground options between Valdez & Rollins.

I'll say this again too: I hope we do resign Rollins because I doubt there are better options out there. But everything has its price tag & the prices that people are talking about for Rollins are the prices I would expect to pay for an elite player, which Rollins no longer is.

I expect Ibanez back with the Phillies next year. As they move on to a new everyday outfielder, Raul becomes Ross Gload.

Why the hate for the lineup? Polanco is stuck in a pretty deep funk the past ~6 weeks and has looked awful at the plate this series on a few Ks. He has now had 2 XHBs the past month.

It is his 2nd off-day though in less than a week. Likely more than just his slump at the plate. I can understand why people would want him in the lineup today with an off-day tomorrow though. Manager's discretion call.

As for the rest, Francisco absolutely should be in the lineup today vs. Vargas. Ibanez should be the DH. Since Gload can't play in the field, that leaves Mini Mart. Debating whether he should be on the roster or not is another question entirely.

Answering whether a team is as good as its record shows is a tough question because, even if you think a team is a legit 100-win team, it's not clear what that means. The last 100-win team won the World Series. The 2008 Angels lost in the first round. The '05 Cardinals lost in the NLCS. The '04 Yankees lost in the ALCS, while the '04 Cards were swept in the World Series. The '03 Yankees lost in the World Series, and the '03 Braves and '03 Giants both lost in the first round. The '02 Yankees, Athletics, and Braves all lost in the first round. The '01 Mariners lost in the ALCS, the '01 Athletics lost in the first round. The '99 Braves lost in the World Series, the '99 Diamondbacks lost in the first round. The '98 Yankees won the World Series, the '98 Braves lost in the NLCS, the '98 Astros lost in the first round. The '97 Braves lost in the NLCS. The '95 Indians, who went 100-44, lost in the World Series. I'll stop there. That's 2 out of 20 100-win teams in the past 16 seasons that won a World Series. Only 6 out of 20 even made the World Series. 9 out of 20 lost in the first round.

Does Charlie hate Cole? Why else would you put that line up out there?

I wonder what the composite of our #2 hitters has been this year. Polanco had the high average going when he was #2 and now Vic is going well out of the 2 spot.
Charlie is resting Polly every now and then , like today's lineup, I wonder if a nagging injury is the reason?

BAP: you're right. In my high dudgeon I misremembered what you and Mike wrote. For what it's worth, I don't think any amount of line-up optimization would reduce to our satisfaction the deficit incurred by replacing Rollins with someone 50 OPS points worse.

As it is, I'd probably over-pay for Rollins. 3 years/33 mil. If you take WAR seriously, and believe Rollins is a 3 WAR player (he's at 1.7 so far in 2011) than that's not a terrible overpay -- an under-pay, in fact.

What this lineup tells me more than anything is that the Phillies made a mistake by not having John Mayberry Jr. on the roster.

Klaus: That's not what the person said in the thread. they spoke of it in a vacuum as Valdez and Rollins were similar to each other. I don't care where you bat Valdez in the lineup he isn't going to come close to shrinking the gap from Rollins to him.

Obviously, Valdez or the replacement would produce less runs. The argument is that the Phillies would find a player to bat lead-off that would more than compensate for that loss.

To which the counterargument would be: Who is this mystical leadoff hitter, what position does he play, and why does he cost so much less than Rollins?

Klaus nailed it...

The dumbest suggestion in Beerleaguer history is that Valdez is a perfectly fine replacement for Rollins since the difference in their offense is offset by Valdez hitting 8th instead of Rollins 1st.

That dumb argument may never be exceeded on Beerleaguer, and that says an awful lot.

Utterly ludicrous.

I'm in no way advocating letting Rollins leave and turning to Valdez as the SS next year, but another component to the argument was that if you let Rollins leave, you have a fairly comparable defensive shortstop, the dropoff in offense is slightly mitigated by placement in the order (though, some overstated this), and I believe the third component is that you could use the money saved on Rollins towards a legit run producing piece in the outfield to replace Ibanez.

The issue then becomes, which are the Phillies better off with?

Rollins for three years and a high(ish) priced contract, batting leadoff, leaving less money to sign a FA LF or Valdez batting 8th and the money that was to be used for Rollins being allocated towards a FA LF?

It's a question that obviously cannot be answered at this time as there is lots of baseball to be played, and we have no idea what the FA market is going to look like during this offseason. At least that's my take.

Sure, he's a nice guy, but I can't see any scenario were Raul is on this team next year.

I thought the clear implication of Clout's post was that he wants Ibanez back next season.

Clearly, we all want Rollins if his salary doesn't keep the team from upgrading the outfield and keeping Madson. And if the Rube Year (unnecessary and unproductive third year) isn't included.

But I suppose Clout and others, assuming there is no upper limit on payroll, wouldn't mind a three or four year contract for Rollins at slightly above market.

I think the Phillies payroll limit is in evidence this season. Ibanez is clearly going to be one of the worst leftfielders in the league this year. They got two productive years out of him, relatively. And were they the Yankees, he'd already be on the bench for a new free agent with better production or a big salary player they'd traded for. But on the Phillies, you are forced to live with that throwaway third year as your awful left field starter. And next season, you're going to see the exact same thing with Polanco.

So the salary paid to these guys, especially in the out years, has a major impact on the Phillies. But of course, Clout says salary doesn't matter to we fans who don't know anything. Interesting.

I'm surprised more hasn't been made of the Stutes/Bastardo performances from last night. It's not often that a couple of setup guys take care of 3 full innings.

It's clear Charlie has lost faith in Contreras and I applaud him for sticking with the best bullpen arms at the moment.

We faced two of the best pitchers in the AL with our 4th and 6th starters... and got a split. Hopefully Cole can lock down a series win today.

"And were they the Yankees, he'd already be on the bench for a new free agent with better production or a big salary player they'd traded for."

It's the middle of June. Has any team made any big splash trades yet? Ibanez still being in LF isn't evidence of the team being strapped with payrool. It's evidence that it's mid June and the team has the best record in baseball by a couple games. There is ABSOLUTELY ZERO reason for the Phillies to have made a move to trade for replacement for Ibanez yet.

Where is this idea coming from that Valdez is a defensive equal to Rollins at SS?

Insanity reigns on Beerleaguer today...

aksmith is actually calling the Phillies cheap.

This place is funny.

Braves out to a 3-0 lead on Texas, the last run scored when the 1B and C collided on an infield pop up, the ball dropped and a run scored from third.

I have the opportunity costs of resigning Rollins accounted for. Liberate Ryan Ludwig from PETCO at 2 years/5 mil per and reap the rewards.

The anti-Olympic committee has selected gload to replace Stairs on the worst wheels team. He needs a Mayberry replacement on the bench asap. I also believe they should swap Jroll and Vic whenever Charlie writes the lineup.

Texas quickly gets one back, 3-1 Braves.

" Displaying sharp focus, he tracked a Felix Hernandez curveball into his wheelhouse and laced it the opposite way for the game winner. "


Phlipper, he must've meant "p"laced.

Stutes and Bastardo was tremendous last night. As for Contreras, I was concerned that his non-appearance is more than a mere loss of confidence.

Hugh: Why do you say that? Contreras was up warming in the 8th if Bastardo got into trouble.

Laced is normal baseball talk. JW is correct here.

gobaystars! My understanding of the term "laced" implies a well-struck line drive. What I saw was pretty much a blooper that hit right on the line.

I like Fat's theory. It was, indeed, it was well placed. (Also, I'm not sure the ball was exactly in Vic's "wheelhouse," but that's another issue.

There are no such things as bloops in box scores. Every hit is laced, every HR is a bomb.

I will continue to be a hopeless fan of Jimmy Rollins. I was born in 1979 and have watched the vast majority of Phillies games since. After Mike Schmidt, Rollins is Mr. Phillie. Go check out the career stats on I know Rollins is flawed, but you look at those results and tell me Rollins isn't right up there with Ashburn and Delahanty for second best Phillies field player of all time.

I'm sorry but part of being a fan is to let go of the cost efficiency of players and to realize that some guys define a franchise and Jimmy Rollins is one of those players. So, yeah, I'd rather over pay Rollins for lesser results than JJ Hardy. Sue me.

Klaus- I wouldn't mind taking a flier on Ludwick. The red flag with him is that since his great year in STL (OPS+ of 150), his OPS+ the last three years has been 105, 105 and 107 so far this year. People on BL were calling for Ibanez's head throughout the year last yeah and he finished the year with an OPS+ higher than Ludwick's last 2.5 seasons (111).

Obviously he'd be an upgrade over the Ibanez of 20122, and could probably be had on the cheap, but if you slot in Ludwick and sign, say, Marco Scutaro to replace Rollins at SS, the team would be worse off.

I'm with krukker- where are these miracle-worker players that we could spread the money we would be (over-)paying to J-Roll? I'm not seeing them.

And you know what? It's my dream to be the Yankees of the National League and if the Yankees can keep trotting Derek Jeter out, then the Phillies can keep bringing out Jimmy Rollins, a homegrown legend. Some days it seems folks here are so intent on being analytical they leave their hearts what's the point?

i agree with falotti. the need for mayberry has reared it's head often since he was sent down.

I understand you guys want to fight over what to do when Rollins and Ibanez becoming free agents at the years end, but the Phillies are 45-27 and are looking to have 60 wins at the ASB. I wish everyone was like me and enjoying this time in team history.

Hexy'sBaldSPot: BL's "Bones" to everybody else's "Spock."

Braves still lead 3-1, but Jurrjens is out after just 5.1 IP with runners on 1st and 2nd and 1 out. That Atlanta bullpen... they sure do get some work!

mvptommyd: Discussing this team's future is not mutually exclusive from enjoying this team's great record.

so, what would be a fair price for two years of the gap-toothed face of the franchise? or is it a given that he will expect 3?

mvp- it's just a discussion. I have seen people for months talk about dumping Rollins and I'm just curious what they have in mind to replace him. So far the answers are JJ Hardy, Wilson Valdez, and...that's pretty much it. If you don't want to discuss it, then just ignore the argument. It's not like it's not relevant to the team's future.

I'll take the "Bones" designation. I just like watching the team play and Jimmy Rollins has given me a lot of joy. I hope the team "wastes" money on him! I will say one thing about Rollins performance-wise and that's he may not have an awesome OBP, but he seems to find his way home when he does get on. Howard's "meaningless" RBI's sure seem to drive in Rollins a lot of the time.

Yeah, it's rare that CJ and I are in agreement, but in what world is Valdez the defensive equivalent of Rollins?

Even acknowledging that Rollins has lost a bit from his defensive prime--and I assume we all can acknowledge that--he is still an above-average defensive SS, and far better than Valdez. Valdez has a nice arm, but not much range at SS and is not nearly as comfortable with the mechanics of the position, which are important for bang-bang plays.

Now... acknowledging that J-Roll is a superior defender at short and also a much better hitter than Valdez does not mean the Phils should dole out a huge contract.

I believe the Phils will re-sign J-Roll and I believe the terms will be modest... but I also think it ends up being a 3-year deal that creates a great deal of angst amongst the Beerleaguer masses.

Why is MyPHL showing someone on first? It confused me.

Don't understand all of the JRoll contract talk the last few days . . .

I wonder if 'Day Hamels' makes an appearance today. Been very good so far this year during the day but only had 3 day starts.

As long as Rollins isn't asking for the moon, I see no viable alternative. I would think something like 3/24 could work for everyone, but who knows if Rollins is looking for one last big payday?

Watching Oliva "field" the catcher's position gives you renewed appreciation of Ruiz.

utz reached first on a strikeout passball.

Francisco has exactly done much with the few starts he has had this mont to encourage Cholly to play him more in RF for the slumping Brown.

Wow, the Mariners have two guys in the lineup batting under .200.

Check out that versatility by Mini-Mart there.

Rangers to within 3-2 vs. the Braves, but Atlanta with a runner on 2nd, no outs bottom of the 7th.

Check that... Uggla strikes out looking on a pitch down the middle. 1 out.

I'd be OK w/ signing Rollins for 2 more years. The 3+ years he's liable to want, & get, are bound to displease me greatly.

Imagine Amaro is going to see what he gets out of the corner OFs but if all there (Ibanez, Brown, Francisco) give the Phils ~.700 OPS or less he is almost going to be forced to make a move to upgrade their production there.

MG- what's to understand? It's an issue that is pressing to the team.

Would you like to continuing discussing things that are irrelevant, like how horrible T-Mac is and Hamels Day/Night splits, which has been a non-issue for basically an entire season now?

Mini Mart flailing away and striking out. I would never throw him a fastball. Just watch get himself on offspeed pitch after offspeed pitch. It is kind of funny though to see him not lighten his swing and swing for the fences with 2 strikes. Worst positional player since Relaford.

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