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Monday, July 25, 2011


If it ain't broke,don't fix it.

Roy Halladay: workout animal.

Randy Miller's tweet on the right:

"The morning after earning win No. 12, Roy Halladay was running the CBP stands from 9 a.m., to 9:30 with a frisbee in his hand. "

If Oswalt returns and is healthy, I think the Phillies, with their current players, match up well against every playoff-bound team and should be the favorite to win every playoff series. With this in mind and the trade deadline approaching, I do not think the Phils should make any major moves, except possibly a trade for a reliever. Even then, I would not recommend the Phils give up prospects like Singleton, Valle, Cosart, May and Biddle.

Looking at the playoffs, probably the toughest opponent would be the Red Sox, the most well-rounded team in baseball, with good pitching and a vaunted offense.

In a seven-games series with the Red Sox, four games would be played at CBP. That means either they lose Ortiz' bat for those games or they move Gonzalez to LF, which would adversely affect the Red Sox' defense.

In a seven-game series, assuming normal rest for all of the starters, Halladay would pitch Games 1 and 5. The Bosox would counter with either Beckett or Lester. I would expect the Phils to be slight favorites in these games because Halladay is the best in the business and because he can handle, and has experience handling, the toughest lineups. A significant advantage that Halladay has over Beckett and Lester is that he can be expected to pitch one inning more than either of those guys. Once the teams get to their bullpens, I think the two teams would be even. The Phils might have a small edge if they add a solid bullpen piece to support Madson and Bastardo.

Either Lee or Hamels would start Games 2 and 6. The Red Sox would go with Lester or Beckett. I would call these games even because each of the four pitchers can shut down the other team's offense, and the Red Sox offensive advantage likely would be neutralized.

Hamels or Lee would start Games 3 and 7. If he's healthy, the Red Sox probably go with Buchholz. Advantage Phillies.

Oswalt would start Game 4. The Red Sox probably start Wakefield, who can be a tough knuckleballer, but who is having a tough year. Again, advantage Phillies.

As I see it, the Phils would be clear favorites in three games and no worse than even money in the other four.

Someone at BL suggested that the Phils try to pick up Thome for pinch-hitting duties. I would favor an inexpensive move like this, which would give the Phils their best bat off the bench and bolster the offense in the three games played at Fenway.

Just heard on the fanatic:

"Those of you who think Hunter Pence is only a decent player, look at his numbers. He's got 62 RBIs and he's hitting over .300"

Sports-talk radio FAIL.

I'm cautiously optimistic on the Beltran front.

Every report about Beltran that leaks seems to suggest that the Phillies are his only realistic option, he's refused to play in the AL, he claims he doesn't want to play CF (which is probably a deal breaker for the Braves unless they're going to do something drastic with Heyward), and he, apparently, wants to stay close to his home on the East Coast.

I think he may be trying to leave the Mets with some negotiating leverage, but in my view, all signs point to him in Philadelphia and it coming down to July 31.

i can't believe that sports talk radio guys didn't dig deeper into the numbers! they probably still think Jurgens is a viable Cy Young candidate.

Good call, Derek--putting a bat like Thome in the DH would have a higher chance of paying dividends than Orr/Mini-Mart/Valdez.

Just a normal uncomfortable muggy July day today in Philly.

Utley 'done'

The discussion is on whether Utley was ever going to have another ~.900 OPS season. I said no and Clout disagreed.

He is at .852 right now and people were generally 'disappointed' with his .832 OPS last year because of his production from 2007-09.

Utley is done as a 28-30 HR guy and ditto the ~.900 OPS. The point is that even a .800 or .820 OPS is still incredibly valuable at a position where offense is especially at a premium.

Over at Fangraphs, they are saying what seems pretty obvious: The Phils have no clear weaknesses and don't have any particular need to sacrifice any major part of the future (Dom, Vance, any of our CLR pitchers) for a rental (Pence or Beltran).

The only argument I've heard in favor of any trade is a "RAJ is not capable of sitting still" crud. There may be a minor trade, but it's looking less likely there will be a major one.


NL CY Young race starting to take some shape in the 2nd half.

Its probably neck and neck with Hamels and Halladay right now(i'd lean towards doc). Jurrjens has taken a step back after giving up 10 ER in his last 11 IP.

Aside from Cliff Lee, it looks like Clayton Kershaw is coming on strong to make his case. Kershaw had taken over the league lead in strikeouts and is currently on a 23 IP scoreless streak spanning his last 3 starts.

If the PHillies want to pick up a veteran bat who can play DH, I would have no objection. But not another left-hander -- let alone a left-hander who isn't even hitting .220.

MG: And with the drop in offense across the league, his numbers are pretty much where his career averages are. Actually his 137+ OPS right now would be tied with the 2nd best season of his career.

Good Morning!

Well gosh this is fun lately. It feels odd, having no reason to complain. But nice.

Have a great day.

I've mentioned this before elsewhere, but I completely agree with Derek. Mainly, the Phils don't have somebody who can PH in the 8th or 9th inning of a close game and scare the pants off of a reliever, maybe knocking one out of the park. As a DH in a theoretical WS appearance, a guy like Thome could help the Phils match up with an AL lineup. I also don't really trust Gload to play effectively over the course of the season with a poorly-functioning hip.

My second item on the wish list would be a bullpen arm, mainly because I don't feel entirely confident that both Stutes and Bastardo will remain effective over an entire season due to their inexperience. I feel like at least one of them will regress, leaving the Phils with a big hole in the back of the pen.

The final--and least important--item on my wishlist is a RH OF bat like Beltran. He's ideal for this job, though the reported demands of the Mets are outrageous (Brown, Cosart, and Singleton shouldn't be moved in this deal). The price will likely go down this week, but at the same time, I think the Giants are a little more desperate for some pop in the lineup, so they'll probably be willing to overpay. Assuming Beltran is willing to go to SF, I think they're probably in a better position to acquire him.

Kershaw is making a very strong run at the CY. It's looking like a 3-way race between Hamels, Halladay and Kershaw.

My prediction is that Beltran will go to the Giants, and that the Phillies will make at least one trade.


The 'Bastardo' lose confidence over a single bad appearance was foolish. The bigger issue is that he is on pace to pitch 60-65 IP. By no means a heavy workload and Phils haven't overworked him.

The bigger issue is does he hit a 'wall' or the DL at some point. Bastardo has been injured at every point in his career in MLB. Last year he only threw 40 IP total in relief. Keep your fingers/toes crossed that he stays healthy.

Otherwise its Madson. Counting on Lidge & especially Contreras seems like a 'wing and a pray' approach.

Maybe they can move Worley back to the pen for the postseason for a boost. Just don't know how crazy I am about seeing Worley/Stutes in a big spot late in a game.

If there is one area where it is likely that the Phils could use an upgrade, it is a RH-handed setup man who can gets some Ks. Madson as the closer & Bastardo as the primary setup guy from the left-hand side. Like that bullpen alot with Lidge/Contreras, Stutes, and 1-2 holdover spots.

Aren't Halladay's numbers awful against the Red Sox? Getting ahead of myself here, of course, but it seems like that's the team that shells him.

I meant that Bastardo hasn't had a single professional year where he hasn't had at least one DL stint.

Basically, the only thing that can defeat the Phils is their own health or lack of it. Relying upon a couple of key players to stay healthy including Polanco, Oswalt, and Lidge/Contreras. If all of those guys are healthy, this team is the overwhelming favorite going into the playoffs even without a single move.

I would be happy if even 2 of those 4 guys mentioned are healthy and relatively effective come the playoffs.

To be teetering on the NL win total and to barely be in the top 50 for strikeouts is very strange. Not denying Jurrjens impressive season to date, but if he's giving up that much contact you would think his numbers have a better chance of declining than to remain the same or improve.

Kemp & Kershaw for Heilman seems fair. Heilman's clearly the missing piece in getting these big deals done. Every bankrupt team needs a middle reliever to take a game that's already out of hand to the next level.

Jack: it sounds like i'm being a homer, but if you really look at it objectively - its closer to a 4 horse race with Cliff Lee right there.

He's 5th in WHIP, 7th in ERA, 4th in Ks, 2nd in K/BB Ratio, and has a league high 4 CGSO.

I want to commend the Phils on sticking with Dom Brown. He hasn't been great, obviously, but the Phils have basically put him out there as their starting RF (somewhat in a platoon, but he's gotten almost all of the starts) for the last two months.

Two caveats: One, this could change by the trade deadline, and two, it may just be because the other options were so bad.

Regardless, I think that they've done the right thing. Sometimes (most times), young guys struggle. Sure, he might never pan out, but the only way to find out is to keep playing him, and the Phillies, to their credit, are doing that.

'Sweep the Leg!'

No day off for the regulars today. Cholly is going for the rare 4-game sweep. Lineup is

SS JRoll
3B Martinez
2B Utley
1B Howard
CF Vic
LF Ibanez
RF Brown
C Ruiz

Cliff Lee running around field pulling Roy O's tractor (with Blanton and T-mac on board) by a bridle clenched in his teeth.

"Actually his 137+ OPS right now would be tied with the 2nd best season of his career."

Except that the argument wasn't about whether Utley has fallen relative to the rest of the league (which is what OPS+ tells you). The argument was whether he has declined relative to his own past performance.

If the whole league has declined due to an influx of strong pitching, then it's totally valid to use a relative stat like OPS+ to say that Utley is just as good as he always was; the pitching around the league has just gotten better. But, if you believe (as I do), that the league-wide offensive decline is because a bunch of guys stopped juicing, then OPS+ tells you absolutely nothing about whether Utley (or any player) is as good as he used to be.

MG: I think it's funny to see Martinez is starting and the lineup is all "regulars." It just shows what a strange season this has been and how good this team is. To be 6 games up (7 in the loss column) with all of the the injuries and so many "washed up" or "done" players (Ibanez, Howard, Utley) is amazing.

Just think, in a few weeks the starting rotation is going to get BETTER when Oswalt returns.

bap: Not going to get into the whole steroids thing again, but doesn't your belief rest on an assumption that only hitters were using steroids to improve their performance?

Anyway, sure, Utley isn't what he was in 06-09, most likely. But he's still the best position player on this team and one of the best players in baseball.

Random question: Are we past the point where Utley needs to given days off every 4-5 games, or is Charlie going to start running him out there like he did in year's past?

Not saying this is a bad thing. Just wondering if Chase is "over" the knee issue.

@Phillies Stadium

Halladay career stats vs

Red Sox 14-15 ERA 4.39
Yankees 18-7 ERA 2.98
Rangers 8-7 ERA 5.17

So BAP thinks Utley was juicing, got it.

BAP - If the Bosox or Yanks reach the WS, the lefty bat is not much of an issue. Other than Lester and CC, the important members of the staffs of these two teams are righties. The Rangers, OTOH, have a few effective lefties.

Let me add a caveat to my 11:01 post: I'm not convinced that Utley's days as a .900 OPS player are necessarily over. I was speaking only to the methodology of using OPS+ to conclude that a player's .852 OPS of this year is as good as his .900 OPS of seasons past. That's only a valid methodology if you think that the league-wide decline in offense is due to factors that affect all players relatively equally (i.e., better pitchers, wider strike zones, different balls, etc.).

Jack: To your point about the Phillies sticking with Brown, he has hit over .300 for the month of July (per graphic in yesterday's game). Patience is rewarded!

I would like to see a little more power, but I think he is adjusting to the majors well and appears worthy of the hype so far. He obviously has a ways to go, but saying he is 'Not Ready' or a 'Bust' is foolish, especially considering what else we would be trotting out there.

BAP, that's the safest and most plausible conclusion: that the league wide decline in offense is something effects all players equally. Decline in steroid use probably has some part in the decline in offense, but remember, this stuff is cyclical. Offense goes up for a time, then offense goes down. Just how it happens.

And there is some really good pitching out there these days.

Win or lose, according to Jason Stark on ESPN Radio yesterday, with the next game, the Phillies will set a new team record of consecutive games without losing two games in a row. I think it will be 43 games. Pretty impressive!

Chooch in July: .988 OPS with 7 XBH and a .459 OBP in 62 PA.

Currently my only issue with Brown is his terrible defense. Otherwise, he's bee a good producer and has lots of inidcations he'll have a great career, with multiple All-Star seasons.

lore: That's not remotely what I said, so I must assume you're either being facetious or you have absolutely no understanding of elementary principles of logic. I'll assume the former.

Jack: I don't doubt that pitchers were juicing. However, I just don't see how the benefit of steroids would help most pitchers as much as they would help most hitters.

Per Brown and power, we also have to realize that he's coming off a hand injury that often limits a player's power for at least 6 months. I think Dom Brown will be fine, and he'll be a .280+/.350+/.450+ player by mid-next year.

Per trades, I personally think the Phillies should not go after someone big (Beltran is a 2-month rental; Pence Ks too often and doesn't walk enough for me - much like a lot of the players we already have). How about going after Marlon Byrd and Grant Balfour?

Dan: Agreed. I have more concerns about the defense than the offense as well.

I had just assumed that with Brown's physical tools, he would become an average to plus defender with some experience. But man, he doesn't look good out there. There's still hope, but I think I was overly optimistic.

derek: The games with Lester or Sabathia would represent 2 out of 7 games, if not 3 out of 7. That's a lot. Not to mention that both the Yankees & RedSox & every other team has LOOGYs.

BAP: You said you believe the leagie wide drop in offense is tied to removal of steriod use by players.

Chase Utley is a contributing player to the drop in offense - so dont you believe he is part of the steriod users' decline?

"Utley is done as a 28-30 HR guy and ditto the ~.900 OPS."

MG, these are Utley's numbers since June 5th, after he finally got his stroke back with a whopping 11 games under his belt:

.306/.401/.524, 173 PA, BAbip .317

You're entitled to your opinion, and may wind up being right about the HR, but I would caution you against betting any money on the OPS. I wouldn't wager against Utley's ability to maintain that leve of performance.

Thanks, BC. I remember the Sox hitting him pretty hard last year, and hearing about how he struggles against them, but Halladay struggling, when not heat-stroke related, is different from most pitchers.

Like yesterday, he didn't have a clean, 1-2-3 inning till when? The 6th? And I'm feeling antsy. And then he mows them down through 8. I have to recalibrate my expectations with him.

We. Are. So. Spoiled.

"However, I just don't see how the benefit of steroids would help most pitchers as much as they would help most hitters."

That's because you have no idea what steroids do and what people were taking. I believe you're operating under the assumption that steroids are anabolic steroids used purely to increase muscle mass, which you assume helps a hitter but not a pitcher.

But I don't really think that's accurate. Guys were taking all sorts of stuff--some anabolic steroids, yes, but also HGH, other designer drugs, etc. The fact is, we have no idea what they do. If I remember correctly, Andy Petitte said he took HGH to help him recover from injuries, right? If we don't think they helped pitchers, then why do we care about Roger Clemens?

I just think it's a simplistic view to simply assume "steroid usage = home run hitters" and that's it. It's possible that's totally accurate, but until I see some actual scientific evidence, it's just a wild guess, like anything else.

I love wishlist trade bantering around this time of year. This Mets fan did a glorious job thinking about a trade of Beltran to the Phillies...I was rofling through the entire read:

derek: I take that back. If Lester/Sabathia started Game 1, then it would probably only be 1 game since we wouldn't need a DH in Game 1 or 7.

Still, an acquisition like Thome will never happen. If the Phillies haven't put Gload on the DL up to this point, they're not going to do it. And, with Gload on the roster, there is no room for a 2nd guy on the bench who can't play defense.

I would be very surprised if the Phils do anything before the weekend. By then both Oswalt and Polanco will have started rehab appearances. I both look like they are going to be healthy and productive, I think they just need tinkering around the edges (such as a second reliable lefty in the pen, maybe Choate), as they can live with Ibanez being streaky. If not, then they may need to make a bigger move.

With the Braves over-working their bullpen, perhaps we'll see more Brave losses like the one last night.

BAP: Offense is down and you believe it is because players stop taking steriods.

So when players around the league, like Utley, Howard, Ibanez, etc. decline individually, you are saying you think they are former steriod users.

If not, then why? If its not them, then who is it? How can you believe that as a whole, hitters were juicing, but not at the actual individual level?

I believe a lot of the steroid use was around keeping your body in the best shape possible, including muscle growth, but focused primarily on quick muscle recovery and sustained performance over the course of a 162 game season. Obviously the guys who jumped 25+ homers per season (and 3 hat sizes) in one offseason get all the attention, but I would think increases in pitchers who were able to throw more pitches deeper into games were equally, if not more, prevalent.

If this contributes to this thread further devolving into a steroid thread, I apologize.

derek and Theory:

While I agree Thome would be a great bench bat, I don't think he becomes available.

Since starting out 17 - 37 and being 16-1/2 games out, the Twinkies have gone 30 - 17 [.638] and have climbed to within 7 games. They are not out of a mediocre AL Central race.

If the Twinkies maintain their level of play the last 47 games, they would win 86 games on the season, which just might be enough if they can win enough games head-to-head against competition within the division.

It's be tough, but not impossible.

We didn't think that the trade front wouldn't be quiet now did we? If RAJ is going to do anything at all, (and since we're winning he may not), he's not gnna talk about it and we're not gonna hear about until it happens.

Oops, should say:

"If the Twinkies maintain their level of play of the last 47 games"...

I'm having a hard time finding something to complain about. . . Ross Gload?

lorecore, BAP is saying that if steroid users stopped taking steroids and then declined, and this decline is causing the league-wide offensive decline, then if there is a player who wasn't taking steroids, but has still declined, than there is another explanation for his decline.

The other explanation is that there is something is affecting all players relatively equally, and therefore Utley having a similar OPS+ means that he is still as "good" as he was in years past.

At least, that's how I read it.

awh: I would love to get Thome as a bench bat/DH. I hate Giambi, but he'd also fit that role.

"Relying upon a couple of key players to stay healthy..."

MG, don't ALL teams do that?

MG, FWIW when I cited clout and others who interjected a little realism into the discussion about Utley being "done", I was not trying to lump you or some of the others in with the pack who was all over the bandwagon proclaiming him a shell of himself.

The discussion about whether Utley has declined to some degree and if so, why, is totally rational, and my perception is that that is where you were headed at the time.

From my perspective, Jack said it well: "Anyway, sure, Utley isn't what he was in 06-09, most likely. But he's still the best position player on this team and one of the best players in baseball."

I was simply amused by the difference between the "Utley is so over" comments in general a week ago, and the "You Da Man" comments this weekend.

Fats: Pitching and hitting also run in cycles. there were articles being written a few years ago about all the great young pitchers coming to the bigs. Also a lot has been done to try and keep those young, electric arms healthy.

OK, so in BAPworld, if you decline and are someone he doesnt watch/follow, its because of steroids.

And if its a player he watches play and can come up with other excuses, then he doesnt take steroids.

lorecore, you're being intentionally obtuse.

There are several scenarios:

1. The leaguewide offense has decline because of factor affecting all players equally (better pitching/defense). Utley is just part of this decline.

2. THe leaguewide offense has declined due to less batters taking steroids/drugs. Utley has decline because he too was taking steroids/drugs.

3. THe leaguewide offense has declined due to less batters taking steroids/drugs. Utley has declined due to his past performance because he's just in decline as he is currently 32.

There are other possibilities, but BAP was addressing the notion that saying Utley is still posting an OPS+ relative to his career marks doesn't necessarily address the above (or other) scenarios. Nothing was implied about whether Utley has or hasn't taken 'roids.

" He obviously has a ways to go, but saying he is 'Not Ready' or a 'Bust' is foolish, especially considering what else we would be trotting out there."

AL, thanks, now you've done it.

*****Schweitzer Alert.....Schweitzer Alert*****

lore: You have trouble with logic.

I said the league-wide decline, IMO, is because a lot of players stopped juicing. But I have no earthly idea why any individual player has declined.

I do know this. If league-wide OPS falls by .50 points because 100 players stopped juicing, and Player X's OPS falls by .50 points in that same time period, then Player X isn't as good as he used to be. It doesn't mean he was juicing before; it just means he isn't as good as he used to be -- for whatever reason. The fact that his OPS+ stays the same does not make him as good as he used to be. It merely shows that others around him have gotten worse because many of them stopped juiciing.

As I said before, this argument only applies if you think the league-wide drop is PED-driven. If you think the league-wide decline is due to factors affecting all players equally, that's a different case.

The offense is too inconsistent, their current streak notwithstanding. They'll need to score on a much more consistent basis in the playoffs as they will face solid pitching. Pence gives them a better chance to provide those runs than does Dom. This team is built to win NOW and shouldn't wait for Dom's upside to kick in. Also, I'd be crushed if they trade Worley. Even is Oswalt comes back this season there's no guarantee he'll be back. Worley is the #4 started of the future.

I call an end to the PED argument right now, I'm sick of it.

By the way, has anyone noticed that over the past month, we have had a very good RH outfielder/bench player in Mayberry already? Any particular reason to trade for another, considering that Ibanez will obviously continue to play every day, and Brown will continue to get all ABs against righties, which is most of them? Considering how few ABs are available, I can't see justifying trading for almost anyone.

I likes this team where we stand now.

@Fat -- Your defense of @bap is fairly close to what he was thinking. If steroid use escalated League Average OPS and the decline of that use has lowered it. That any player who declines at the exact same rate of offensive decline, his OPS+ wouldn't tell you anything about his decline.

But in his original post, he was being vague. perhaps intentionally. The fact is...we don't know if Utley was a user. But while @bap was not calling Utz a user. He wasn't exactly "cream or clearing" him of that suspicion.

BAP: "It doesn't mean he was juicing before; it just means he isn't as good as he used to be -- for whatever reason"

So Player X is - "for whatever reason" while the league as a whole is one specific reason - Steroids.

Thats the logic I'm not following.

2012 outfield: Mayberry, Vic, Pence.

lorecore: You are either gratuitously argumentative or frustratingly dense.

Forget Chase Utley. We're talking about Player X. His OPS used to be .900; now it's .850. But his OPS+ is still 137, just as it was before. He may have been juicing in the early 2000s; he may not have. I don't know & I don't care. My point is: IF you believe the league-wide decline is due to drug testing, then you can't cite a relative stat like OPS+ to say that Player X is just as good as he used to be.

Fata: yes that is all I do. Take random unprovoked shots. Don't be a whiny bitch your whole life.

You were framing the argument around WAR which solely by itself is a poor way to frame an argument. You said Pedroia may be the best second baseman right now and then used his WAR number to back it up. I didn't misrepresent what you said. It was clearly all there.

The problem with just using WAR by itself was evident right there in awh's follow-up post about their home and away splits. Sorry that I disagree with the methodology of your argument. I'll remember that you are a sensitive crybaby next time I disagree with you and will make sure I offer reassurance at the same time as I offer disagreement.

basil fomeen, I posted yesterday about the Phillies run distribution since Utley/Brown joined the lineup. They've been scoring runs at the same distribution, if not better, than the league average. This is a good offens, one of the best in the NL, and good enough to win a championship with.

DIP, since being recalled on July 5th, Mayberry has done this:

.273/.304/.568 in 46 PA, 9 K's, .303 BAbip

My point in all this is:

I disagree with citing steroid use as the main culprit of the league's offensive decline.

If you think thats the real reason, then you are basically assuming the majority of players who are struggling are all former steriod users. and when you start naming names, all of a sudden everyone has their own "reasons" but yet never steroid use.

If you want to cite steriod use as the main factor, then you better specifically acknowledge that all these individuals who are contributing to the drop in offense were users, plain and simple.

BAP: "My point is: IF you believe the league-wide decline is due to drug testing, then you can't cite a relative stat like OPS+ to say that Player X is just as good as he used to be."

I agree 100% and never argued this point the whole time.

lorecore: Saying "for whatever reason" is neither an accusation nor an exoneration. What it's saying is: it doesn't matter why a player's numbers are down. If you think the league-wide decline is steroid-driven, then a 136 OPS+ today is not as good as a 136 OPS+ 5 years ago. On the other hand, if you think the league-wide decline is due to better pitching, then a 136+ OPS today probably IS as good as a 136 OPS+ 5 years ago.

I'm done with this conversation. We are boring the other posters. If you still don't get it, you seem to be the only poster who doesn't.

TTI, good morning to you too.

I said in my post that Pedroia "MAY BE", as in, it's open to dicussion, the best 2nd baseman in baseball. As a NON-EXHAUSTIVE support of that hypothesis, I offered his ridiculous WAR pace this year. I never said he definitley was, nor did I say that the WAR stat was the be-all, end-all. I just wanted to put his name on the table, as awh had only listed Cano alongside Utley.

You responded by saying this:

"awh: What defines better is WAR.

I thought we all knew that."

A BLATANT mischaracterization of what I said. Don't mischaracterize my posts so blatantly and with such sarcasm, and I won't call you out on it.

"The offense is too inconsistent, their current streak notwithstanding"

Is there a team in the league that has more consistent offense? If so, what team is it and what is their record?

Yes, Schneider stinks and Chooch is hitting, but, jeez, it's july. Give the guy a day off. A real day off, not coming in the 8th inning day off. We need him fresh come October.

Also, TTI, I think Utley is the best second baseman in the game, but you never bothered to ask me who I thought was the best second baseman.

So you are claiming that I was arguing for a point that I don't personally believe in. I don't know how you can mischaracterize more than that.

BAP: "If you believe (as I do), that the league-wide offensive decline is because a bunch of guys stopped juicing.."

Thats what I was responding to, not the OPS+ stuff. Agreed, dropped, we were both arguing two different aspects of your original comment.

lore: And this really is my last point.

I never said that PED use explains every single individual drop in performance. I said that I think PED use was widespread & that it is probably a key reason for the league-wide decline in offense.

I'd rather have Giambi than Thome (who probably won't be available anyway.) Giambi's putting up better numbers this year. Plus, Giambi can at least play the field. His defense at 1st leaves a lot to be desired, but it's not Vlad Guerrero cover-your-eyes awful. Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Thome is completely incapable of playing the field without hurting his back.

Just read that fangraphs article about Howard.

My big problem with the article is that the guy is comparing Howard's PARTIAL 2011 season to the previous two complete prior seasons.

Additionally, Howard had a major ankle injury in 2010 which hobbled him even when he came back.

Do these guys even remotely think about what they write?

I'd still like to see 2010/11 baseballs bounced off against those of the early 90's - 2009.

I recall this was done around 94 and it was pretty clear the balls had been juiced.

I think there's an excellent possibility that MLB de-juiced the balls (uh, gross) in an effort to distance itself from the inflated numbers of the steroid era. Lower numbers means people assume no steroids, means they can turn the page on it.

Fata: Do you read posts that aren't yours or do you just get Internet outraged at things and get tunnel vision on everything else? I'm going to go through the chain of posts and give you a lesson on reading comprehension and creating an argument at the same time. Sit back, grab a beverage, and enjoy.

You wrote this:

"awh, Pedroia may be the best 2nd baseman in baseball right now (not over the past few seasons, but this season). He's on pace for a whopping 8.9 WAR (assuming 700 PAs).

That's pretty damn good."

Now you are stating a hypothesis that Pedroia may be the best second baseman in baseball right now. It's an interesting premise and one that would be worth investigating as his numbers do point that he is in the conversation. The evidence you used in that post was what his WAR was going to be for the season (possibly). So the step-by-step process you use there is "Pedroia may be the best and here is his WAR to support it." Fine. It's a dumb argument solely on that stat but fine.

awh responded with this:

"Fatti, Perdoia is in the same class, but I'm not ready to concede he's "better".

First, we'd have to define what constitutes "better.""

awh- counters your point and indicates he would like to discuss this further but sets the parameters of the discussion- what constitutes better?

So I come in- to be humorous- and write:

"awh: What defines better is WAR.

I thought we all knew that."

So my comment is an answer to awh's question based off how you tried to set the boundaries for the discussion. It wasn't an unprovoked shot, or a shot of any kind really for that matter. You are far from the only person who tries to only use WAR to prove your side of the argument.

So then you get whiny and throw a fit. In your most recent post towards me you make it sound like you could find the WAR quickly but not anything else. I call BS on that.

You can accuse me of a few things in that exchange- including not being humorous in my attempt. But mischaracterizing your post is not what I did. It's not my fault you threw a hissy fit about it all.

I'm torn on Thome, I'd like him because he obviously has more potential power than Gload (also the defense point is moot, because we're clearly okay with having a bench player who can't play defens in Gload), but Gload has a damn good average pinch hitting, so in the end it'd be nice to have both, but i think i'm fine with having RFD and Gload off the bench...

What time does the game start? We need a new thread.

awh: With regard to injuries, do you really think no other 1B in that article had a lingering injury that might have affected performance?

I think the analysis is: if you're healthy enough to be on the field and playing, your results count. Most guys have some sort of health/body issue. That's the nature of a 6-month long season playing a professional sport.

Also about the fangraphs article:

Howard has 431 PA in 2011.

Eric Seidman wrote an article back i 2009 (which I've reference before) regarding when smaple sizes become reliable.

The author of today's article obviously ignored his colleagues article.

Just idiotic, IMHO.

Kutztown Fan: Agreed, this thread has devolved into child-like bickering.

People need to learn it's okay to admit that you made a mistake, misspoke, or were just wrong...

TTI, I rarely ever use only WAR to support a hypothesis, unless the WAR differences are vast (as in the case of Utley and Phillips). If you've ever read my posts here, you'd know that I usually provide way too much context and write long, drawn out posts, trying to cover as many wholes in my argument. it'd tedious, and probably annoying to read, but it is what I do.

All I was doing was throwing Pedroia's name in the ring, and since I was looking for a quick-and-dirty stat with which to throw his name in, I chose WAR, because I think it's the closest stat we have to evaluating a player as a whole. It's not perfect, but no stat is.

But you pick fights with people all the time, so why would I assume you weren't doing it here?

Jack, who else had lingering injuries?

If you're going to ask the question, provide the evidence.

Oh, and Jack, I'm on record here about Howard:

I don't think he's the best 1B in MLB. Never have, and have listed the guys I think are better.

My issue is with a lazy writer who only uses statistics - and 'partial' and not necessarily reliable statistics at that - to make his point.

Apologies if it has already been discussed, but David Hale's interview w/ J-Roll is ... well, interesting:

Rollins Talks About His Season, His Role & His Future

I won't say that's the worst self-promotion an aging vet in his contract year might provide, but it sure ain't the best.

That was the snarkiest post JW has ever

And TTI, before ou respond, I don't care about this argument anymore, so don't bother responding.

G-Town: I thought I remembered Davy Lopes saying something along the lines that Jimmy Rollins is a great person and great player, but J-Roll is a self-aggrandizing jerk who wouldn't listen to anyone.

That article is a lot of J-Roll and not much Jimmy Rollins.

Heather, split personality syndrome?


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