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Wednesday, July 20, 2011


It was nice to see Utley hit the ball with authority last night to left center. At least once anyway. He seems physically incapable of turning on the ball anymore. The hip? The knee? I don't know but he has become very predictable of late. Lazy fly balls to left center are all to common occurances for Chase these days. And oh how I hate to see him drop his head as soon as he hits one. Here's hoping he rediscovers right field some.

Any negativity towards Howard causes BLer riots.

I am a devout Ryan Howard defender/apologist/whatever. Mainly because it's one thing to criticize his recently play, and quite another to attack him as a ballplayer in general. With that said, however, Ryan Howard has the right to be criticized just like anyone else.

Right now, Ryan Howard is not playing very well offensively. His ABs have been terrible. He is an almost automatic out in the middle of the order. Thank goodness they are getting contributions from unlikely sources (i.e. Mini Mart) or the pitchers would have to throw shutouts.

It's another thing altogether to say he's a doesn't work hard, doesn't make adjustments, refuses to hit the ball the other way, isn't living up to his contract (which hasn't even started!), etc. Those things have no factual basis and are just attacks for the sake of attacks.

God forbid anyone attack Utley, who is playing similarly poorly. The double standard bothers me.

Of course, as I write "God forbid anyone attack Utley," donc authors a post criticizing Utley.

Oh well.

The main adjustment I've noticed in the past 1.5 seasons is the number of times the bat sits on his shoulder for a called strike three.

I'm not saying he's lazy or fearful or washed up or anything of the sort, but he's certainly not The Big Piece of any successful offensive puzzle.

RBill, I understand your point, and double standards are bothersome.

But, is Chase Utley playing as porrly?

He still gets on base more than Howard, and his defense and baserunning are superior to Howard.

I think these things are taken into consideration when comparing the two. Utley and Howard have virtually the same OPS+ (by the way, can you believe both are under 120??), but Utley runs teh bases better and plays much better defense at a far more demanding position.

Both, though, surely deserve criticism for their offensive play lately. Here's hoping they both get hot going forward.

Nor is Utley, by the way.

The core of this club needs to be shaken up a bit. The 3-4 tandem of Utley and Howard aren't what they were in 2007 - 2009, and it's questionable if they'll ever come close to playing at that level again.

RBill: Just figures doesn't it. Though I didn't mean to criticize Uts I guess that was kind of what I was doing. Those two have been very hard to watch recently. Howard has the habit of when he is going badly just being putrid. As far as I can remember this is the first time Chase looks absolutely awful too. With Utley it seems to be a physical thing, at least that's what I hope it is. Of course if it's physical I hope it is something that can eventually be remedied. Funny thing about the knee (which it certainly could be) is that he appears to be running and pivoting extremely well. That's what makes me thing it could be that old hip problem.
With Howard he has always had these terrible spells where he looks like he will never hit another ball hard. They just seem to be more frequent now and the torid streaks seem to be much less frequent. And much less torid.

I've always had an issue with Ryan's stance at the plate. It seems to me he's backed off a little. He's seems to be in a lot of 0-2 counts. Maybe he's just not seeing the ball well right now. We all know that he can carry the team if he gets going.

"God forbid anyone attack Utley, who is playing similarly poorly. The double standard bothers me."

Attacking Utley would be like attacking Jesus.

Still, I can see why Howard gets more criticism after a 3K night. Utley and Howard have similar numbers for hits, walks and runs this month. Utley, though, has been on base in just about every game whereas Howard has had a handful of games this month where he went from the plate to the dugout all night. Howard put up a good chunk of his numbers for hte month in one 4 hit game. Utley's also hit more doubles, is stealing bases and laying out for ground balls on the field so, he gets the eyeball / hustle factor that's hard for the big man to muster.

Anyway you slice it, though, the team needs these two guys to hit above .200 like they have been for a couple weeks.

In Howard's effort to become a more complete player, he's lost what truly made him special. Instead of waiting and crushing a mistake, he now tries to make contact with anything near the plate. More often than not this contact is a dribbler to 2nd base.

I disagree about it being a problem that Howard takes called-third strikes. I wish he'd do more of it, actually.

I think between Manuel hyping him as a ".300 hitter" a year or two ago and all the criticism of too many strikeouts, Howard has become really impatient at the plate, especially on obviously low/inside breaking balls. I'd much rather he lay off those entirely (and strike out looking on a nasty one, like Brian Wilson's last year, every once in a while) and wait for a fastball.

Steve is right on the money. As I pointed yesterday, Howard is swinging at and making contact with pitches in the zone at about the same level he has for his entire career. The problem is he's swinging at more stuff out of the zone (a lot more) the last couple years and making contact with stuff out of the zone a lot more, which for a pull happy power hitter, is not a good thing.

He's also seeing less strikes over the past two years than he ever has in his career.

The same stuff applies to Utley over the past two years, though to a slightly lesser degree.

howard is having the worst year of his career - by quite a bit, and is still producing fairly well. There's a great deal of reasons to think he'll continue to produce well long after Pena has retired.

It should be noted that Howard has a wRC+ of 114, which is good for 3rd on the team. He's not currently the solution, but Howard is not the problem even now in the midst of a bad year.

This offense is not good enough to win the WS. I don't think there's much debate in that.

Two words....

Marlon Byrd....

Let him play LF and let Raul be a LH off the bench.

Will S - Can you produce any stats that say Howard is watching more called third strikes this year than in years past?

What bothers me about these batters is that they're not agressive and they're not patient...They take good pitches and then swing at junk. They don't work counts the way they used to, they hit way more pop ups than they used to. Everyone hits chopping groundballs to the infield. They look at fast balls right down the middle and then flail at breaking balls out of the zone.

With that being said, I don't think they "need" another bat. I'd rather have Adams or Bell for the playoffs

RBill -

Chase over the past 30 days:

.274 avg.
.735 ops


.216 avg.
.654 ops

it's Howard's #'s vs. LHP that are really starting to become alarming.

.079 ISO
.637 OPS
.341 BABIP

so he's been getting lucky (on paper, anyway) to achieve a .637 OPS vs. LHP? scary thought.

Pat: When i said walk I solely meant letting Madson go and not re-sign him. It doesn't matter whether he gets a monster deal or it's just a plan to let him go. I think it is a legitimate question especially if they bring in a guy who is controlled beyond this season.

I could absolutely see the Phillies trying to send some mix of the prospects RSB mentioned in the header to try and pry Adams/Ludwick from the Padres.

What about Alex Gordon from KC? Can't he play OF and 3B?

This offense is not good enough to win the WS. I don't think there's much debate in that.

Posted by: Dave P

^ flat out wrong. Have you ever heard of the 2010 Giants?

Dave P, this offense has scored 4.6 runs per game since May 23rd (when Utley and Brown were inserted for the first time). That's top 5 in the NL over that timeframe. And we have the best pitching in the NL over that time frame.

Last I checked, having the best pitching and a top 5 offense IS good enough to win a WS.

"This offense is not good enough to win the WS. I don't think there's much debate in that."

I'll debate that. Any team that can get to the world series can win the world series. This team can get to the world series.

Why are they playing an afternoon game in the middle of the summer when both teams have an off day tomorrow? This ain't 1942 anymore.

Teams currently in 1st or 2nd place in the NL and their wOBA (according to Fangraphs):

Pirates: .301
Brewers: .324
Giants: .299
DBacks: .320
Braves: .306

Phillies: .312

Other than the Brewers, what are we worried about? Do you think the Pirates will outhit us in the playoffs? I understand maximizing our chances and all that, but it's not as if we're stinking up the joint on offense compared to the rest of the league.

Good post, DIP.

I don't think it particularly matters what our offense does compared to other playoff teams' offenses.

What matters is how our offense would do against their pitching staff. Does anyone doubt that we would play almost entirely low-scoring, close games against the Braves and Giants? That's what worries people--what happened last year in the NLCS, where our offense got shut down and, as good as our starting pitching was, they still managed to scratch out a couple more runs than us, which was all the difference.

I also note in the last 30 days, the Phillies wOBA has been #5 in the NL.

Jack, our pitching this year is much better than last year

2010 Doc = 2011 Doc
2010 Cole < 2011 Cole
2010 Oswalt < 2011 Lee
2010 Blanton <<< 2011 Oswalt (assuming he's really healthy) or < whomever else we start.

Careful Dan in Philly, your logic is threatening to undermine the bitching of half of Beerleaguer.

@Hugh: "Attacking Utley would be like attacking Jesus."

To be fair, while his OBP is good because he's great at walking (on water, on pitcher's counts, etc), it's widely known Jesus can't hit a curve ball.

Dan in Philly: No one questions how good our starting pitching is.

But if every game is 1-0 or 2-1 going into the late innings because our offense can't hit the opposing starters, and our bullpen isn't as good as the Braves/Giants, then I see a long series and the pretty obvious potential for us to lose.

I don't know what else to say. Against the Braves in a 7-game series, we're basically a 50-50 toss-up, and against the Giants it's something like 55-45, max. So be it. That's baseball. As long as everyone understands that it's a complete crapshoot among good teams.

denny b makes sense.

My take on Chase about a week ago, both from comparing his numbers this year to date to his career numbers, and based on observation, was that he was back to about 80%. He does not seem to have that crisp, almost wandlike stroke back consistently, and there is a definite lack of power. I felt he would most likely continue to improve as the year progressed in part because he might not be as susceptible to "wearing down" over the season.

His recent tailspin over the past week or so has confused the issue somewhat, but I'm writing this off as a bit of a slump and feel hopeful that his performance is likely a glass still half full rather than half empty.

Ryan is a tougher call. It seems almost like he's belabored between trying to deal with the shift, continuing to try to adjust to lefty's firing sliders that end up off the plate, trying to decide whether to take more pitches or hit away, etc. to the point where he's somewhat lost his natural, confident swing. Probably crazy, but I almost have the sense that he's trying so hard to think out and play with a good, rational "approach" that he may be overthinking things a bit. If so, not surprising with all this spinning in his head, that there is a loss of power. I dunno, but I think there is upside here as well.

"2010 Oswalt < 2011 Lee"

I think you need to check their stats because that's not even close to being true.

Regardless of what you think of the extension (and my thoughts are well-known), given the seasons Howard has had last year and this year (since signing the extension), what do people think Howard would have received on the open market after this year?

My guess is somewhere around 4/5 years and $70/90 million.

B_A_P: "2010 Oswalt < 2011 Lee"

I think you need to check their stats because that's not even close to being true.

Same reaction here. Oswalt couldn't have been better after coming over from Houston and he was very effective in his two NLCS starts.

BAP - I dunno, I just checked. Oswalt's 2010 FIP was 3.27 and Lee's 2011 FIP is 2.79. Seems like an improvement to me.

That's what I think all of our bitching is about. Bullet proofing this team for the post-season. Everybody has some guy they want the Phillies to pick up. We are looking to eliminate every conceivable weakness. Well, that's just not possible. Even the team with the best record in baseball has holes and there are too many to be filled. Jack makes a good point. Once you get to the playoffs anything can happen as we saw last year. Hell, if Howard and Utley go into a funk like they are now we'll go quickly and quietly.

FWIW, I would take Lee right now to pitch a game over Oswalt (healthy, obviously, as he was last year), for sure.

But the idea that we are suddenly locks to win a 7-game series against another very good team because we made a marginal upgrade from Oswalt to Lee is absurd.

DIP is that Oswalt's FIP for the full season? Or just with the Phils? The way I see it in the context of this discussion what he did for Houston means nothing.

Chase Utley easlier this year stole his 100th base. He now is the MLB Alltime leader in SB% with players of at least 100 attempts.

He moved Carlos Beltran into 2nd all time.

Oswalt was great last season and I'm glad to see he's pitching now without pain. Let's hope it lasts. A healthy Oswalt would be huge in the playoffs/WS.

also - Caught Stealing wasn't an official stat until 1951.

Everyone knows that anything can happen in a 5-7 game series. The point is, pitching plays in the playoffs, and (especially if Lidge comes back effective or we pick up another elite bullpen arm to go along with a healthy Oswalt), we have great pitching in droves this year.

We have an effective enough offense, and we have good defense.

WE are elite to above average in every regard this year.

You're NEVER guaranteed a playoff series win, but you can put yourself in the best position to win it. With our rotation, offense and bullpen, we are in very good position right now. Getting a complimentary addition would make us that much more formidable.

DIP: That's all well and good for an academic paper. But in terms of the actual results on the field, Oswalt in 2010 was better than Lee in 2011 -- especially the second half version of Oswalt who actually pitched for the Phillies.

Long time reader/First time poster.

Anyone else read Heyman's article about Beltran? A lot of the same stuff that has been said the past few days but there was one interesting note which I haven't seen mentioned before about Ubaldo. Here's an excerpt:

1. Phillies. Look like the clear favorite at the moment. Arguably baseball's best team needs to balance its lineup. Very capable of surprises (they are also connected to Rockies star Ubaldo Jimenez even though they have baseball's rotation top). Their resistance to exceeding baseball's $170 million luxury tax threshold could be allayed by the Mets paying Beltran's salary. Even if they won't surrender Brown, "they have arms,'' one scout said. But Brown would fit in rightfield as Beltran's replacement in New York.


Fat: Here's a stat that I suspect might be of interest to you. Did you know the Phillies have scored 4.6 runs per game since May 23rd? And did you know it's top 5 in the NL during that time period?

BAP, I'd stop citing it if people would stop regarding this team's offense as being inept and unable to help them win a WS.

If my repetition bothers you, you don't have to read my posts or respond to them.

In Re: Heyman article posted by Greg.

I'd be reluctant to trade Brown for anyone at this point. Other than the fact that I think he will be a solid MLB OF, this team needs to get younger. Quickly. Trading young players that have shown some ability to play at the major league level (and will, odds-are, get better) is not wise at this point.

I'm not opposed to trading away pitching prospects from Clearwater at this point. The odds of all four of the prospects down there making it is slim-to-none, as we all know. But, I wouldn't trade MLB-ready talent for Beltran.

The Phillies would neve trade Brown to the Mets. They will probably trade one of the baby aces for him.

I think I'd rather have Adams than Beltran tho

Brown for Beltran is a non-starter. If Amaro did that, he should be fired on the spot.

Fat: Just teasing you. Take it easy.

Billingsly: This team needs to do what it can to win NOW...

Baseball is a sport where if you have the chance to win the WS - you go for it. Players take too long to develop to worry if they may or may not turn into good enough players who can hopefully win a championship someday.


Brown might well "fit in" as a replacement for Beltran in the Mets' RF, but I can only hope the Phillies brass do not view a short term rental of Beltran as an adequate replacement for Brown in RF here.

BAP, I understand your point, and I disagree with it, as I think Lee it is quite easy to argue that 2011 Lee is better than 2010 Oswalt. You can certainly argue otherwise, but what I took some offense to is the tone of your original rebuttal: "I think you need to check their stats because that's not even close to being true."

Not only is it "close to being true," using a very simple and accepted stat (FIP), it IS true. You can argue it isn't, but to imply my argument is fabricated out of my mind's fantasy was dismissive and quite frankly, beneath a poster with a reputation as good as yours.

Trading one of the Clearwater starters for Beltran would make the most sense. No way to Brown.


All I know is that Pujols and Fielder are thankful that Amaro gave out that 5 yr/$125M deal as a floor


I really hope that Beltran somehow ends up in Pittsburgh although I wonder if how much more money they are willing to take on.

BAP, sorry. Tough day at the office. Maybe I should stop posting on BL so much...


The Phils wouldn't give up Brown for Doc. Why on earth would they give him up for a 2 month rental who you can't even offer arbitration?


Agreed. I don't see why they would trade Brown now. They made it clear the past 2 years that he was the only untouchable during all their trades.

I don't think adding Beltran or another piece guarantees us the 2011 WFC. We need our own guys to start clicking rather than adding a Beltran. Trading Brown away does not make any sense in that context.

That being said...if anyone can look into their crystal ball and let me know if trading away brown for Beltran does guarantee a WFC, then by all means go for it.

Personnel wise, the Phils priority between now and the end of the season is not a RH bat, not a bullpen piece.
The priority is, on October 1, to have the Four Aces as healthy, sharp, appropriately rested as possible.
If that means occasionally inserting a sixth starter, or skipping a turn, or pulling a starter after six innings, do it.
Sure, that may mean slightly more risk of not winning that day's game. But I think this approach gives the best chance at the trophy.

If I was gonna trade Brown for an OF I would look at guys like Pence and Kemp over Beltran

They signed their draft pick shortstop Tyler Greene today.

I caught Charlie Manuel's weekly interview on XM. Nothing earth shattering, but I try to post when I happen to get it.

-Bastardo is definitely his eighth or ninth inning guy. (I find it interesting he's still on the fence and hasn't committed back to Madson as his closer.)

-The Phils are going to get an impact bat or an impact bullpen guy. They're not going to get mediocre meh pieces like he already has.

-Some stuff about Ryan Howard and his stance/approach at the plate, that guys into hitting would like more, I kind of glossed over it since that's not my area of interest. Basically Charlie would like Ryan to stand a bit closer to the plate but Ryan feels uncomfortable doing it because he feels like he can't get his arms fully extended, so there's a bit of disagreement on how close he should stand. (There was a lot more in this vein, but like I said, I kind of just tuned out a bit when they started talking hitting.)

Signing Tyler Greene is a huge move for the Pharm.

If Howard's newfound propensity to make contact is a result of him trying to become a more 'complete player', I commend him for it. But he's never going to be the player he should be until and unless he ever gets it in his head to be far, far more selective with the pitches he swings at. With the kind of plate coverage he has, and his ability to hit with authority to all fields, there is really no reason he couldn't be a Barry Bonds type of threat. He just keeps spinning his wheels and settling for a good career instead of great because he cannot or will not learn plate discipline.

RSB: I'm not the biggest Howard defender on the planet, but I think it's within the realm of reason that Howard, for whatever reason, can't pick up on breaking balls well at all.

To me, (granted, a totally untrained eye) he looks like he's guessing at the pitch a lot of the time vice seeing the pitch and reacting to it.

I am selling two tickets for the Phillies/Padres game this friday. I will take facevalue. Its in the hall of fame seats!

Text me if interested 609 413 1705

RSB - it's funny because this change in Howard seemed to coincide with when he was working with Bonds in the offseason a few years ago

"there is really no reason he couldn't be a Barry Bonds type of threat."

Today, in setting the bar way too absurdly high ...

DIP: Didn't mean to be dismissive and, if I sounded that way, my apologies. Without getting into a debate over which stats are more meaningful, it's enough to say that Oswalt was really good for us last year. I think Lee is the better pitcher, both right now and on a year-to-year basis. But Oswalt pitched out of his mind after being traded to us last season.

denny b--

Your post in the thread header is a little incongruous. On one hand you say acquiring a RH bat is unimportant. On the other you say that breaking up the LH bats in the lineup is "imperative" (which I agree with).

So what do you suggest Charlie break up the LH bats with if not a RH bat? As there is not a qualified RH bat on the bench or in the minors, the team would have to acquire one. So acquiring a RH bat IS rather important.

lidge just completed his last rehab stint. 1 IP, 1 K, no hits. likely back friday

Gelb is making an award for most ridiculous trade proposal. I submitted this:

1.) Howard for Pujols, straight up. Play Pujols at 3rd and platoon Ibanez and Mayberry at 1st.

2.) Trade Colvin and Singleton to the Mets for Beltran. Beltran to play RF and Brown to play LF.

I should win that award pretty easy, no?

Starter the Phillies will likely face in the postseason:

Starters the Phils will likely face in the postseason:


12 starters, 2 of which are lefties.

If the Red Sox or Yanks make the WS, we're looking at Lester and Sabathia, pretty much.

If the Phils have a weakness against LHP, it's one that can be lived with.

Fat: Phils have hit CC before, so he doesn't worry me. They have had trouble with: Lincecum, Cain, Bumgarner, Hanson, Jurjjens, Marcum and Wolf

That's 2 from every team and 3 from the Giants

Bed Beard~ I'm told Larry Greene will sign and that they are trying hard to sign Ryan Garvey as well.

GRAB true, but most teams have trouble with those guys (sans Wolf most of the time). That's why they are great pitchers.

yeah really. what team doesn't have a problem with lincecum, hanson, cain, etc

Steve - you're right about that, and it's sort of perplexing. How can you have conversations or advice sessions about hitting which don't emphasize the subject of pitch selection?

Well, if we have to face Beachy, it's game over, right Fata?

Approx. 1 hour 'til Worley goes *fwoosh!*, like so many Spinal Tap drummers, & we're left w/ naught but cinders, fond memories, & pair of melted hipster goggles. R.I.P., Vance.

I have to say, I'm surprised by how little Utley's speed is affected by his knee injury, especially given that it seems to have sapped his power, at least temporarily. If his power doesn't return, I'd say that Utley might make a decent lead-off hitter.

Well, if we have to face Beachy, it's game over, right Fata?

Posted by: clout | Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 01:26 PM

I'm not even sure what this is referencing?

But, knowing clout, he's probably castigating me for something I never actually said.

Let's not be hyper critical of Howard here.

C'mon the guy leads MLB in homers since 2007-present. He's consistently in the top 5-10 in rbi's and is exactly what I expect from a clean-up hitter on a powerhouse team.

You're never going to have a perfect player but he does what we need him to do. He'll strikeout a ton, but would you rather him be .300 hitter and have his slugging decrease? I'm fine with him striking out trying to go yard. He certainly has AB's that have driven us to crush our can of Coors Original over the years when he flails at balls at his ankles but the guy is our best 1B in our history.

There's only a handfull of players that have the combo of power and average, one of them clearly being A. Gonzalez, but what are you gonna do? Just be glad the Brogna days are buried thanks to the memories Howard has produced.

Emmett, Howard actually strikes out way less these days than he ever has in the past. And his slugging IS down, and has been decreasing for years.

He's not even a .800 OPS player right now.

And whens the last time you have seen him on a Subway commercial?

Can't really read through the whole thread at work, but I hope we all agree that Brown for Beltran would pretty much be the worst thing ever? Right?

No fkn way do I do Brown for Beltran.

My problem with Ryan Howard is that people (to include the Phils' FO) seem to think he's a lot more valuable than what he is. He about the eighth best 1st baseman in MLB right now but for some reason a lot of people seem to think he's a top 10 player in the league....which he most emphatically isn't.

He is an above average player about to be paid like an elite player...which, if he ever was, he is not anymore.


Ok I didn't mean to just correlate high strikeouts = better slugging, I'm just stating I'm fine with his numbers as a clean-up hitter because when it comes to the showdown he's always there. Is 25/yr hard to swallow? Yes, but at the time I endorsed the deal, and still do, because I think that's what his market was and he's earned it in my book for what he's given us. I didn't really see an alternative at the time other than to pay him.

"Can't really read through the whole thread at work, but I hope we all agree that Brown for Beltran would pretty much be the worst thing ever? Right?"

As far as a thinking process goes, it would be right up there with cashing in my 401k to buy lottery tickets.

A team is going to get really $hitty really quickly if they start paying players based on "Well, they earned it because they were underpaid before."

I'm not saying that that was or was not the thought process. I certainly don't know. But if Howard's contract was at all the result of, "He's earned it, if we pay him over market value, no biggie!" that's absolutely terrible.

Emmett- Agree on your comments on how he earned his check.
"earned" is unfortunately the key word.
But yea. Most here were siked when he was signed. I remember people saying "sign the big fella".
Whats done is done. Lets just hope he doesnt decline but stays at this pace or better for the next couple years(which might feel like eternities)

He is an above average player about to be paid like an elite player...which, if he ever was, he is not anymore.

Posted by: Heather | Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 01:48 PM

I know his contract doesn't start until next year, but let's not act like Howard ISN'T making $20 M THIS year.

If the Phillies have home-field advantage, they would be heavily favored against the Giants in a 7 game series. They would also be favored against the Braves.

Last year they were about 70% favorites to win against the Giants. Since the Giants won the series last year, I think the line would be a bit lower but still heavily in the Phils favor. With the Braves, my guess is the line would be 55 to 60% in the Phils favor.

The only way any series would be a "crapshoot" is if the Braves have homefield.

There's a standard cycle to how these Phillies rumors develop. It starts with rampant speculation, then gradually moves to specific players whom the Phillies "are said to like." Eventually these rumors die down and we start reading about how "The Phillies have made inquiries" on a million diffferent players -- ranging from guys who are thoroughly mediocre to guys who are good but who won't possibly be traded. Finally, around a week or two before the deadline, a single name starts to surface repeatedly. Once it happens, Amaro usually gets that guy.

Beltran is starting to feel like that guy. But there is no way in the world the Phillies will give up Domonic Brown for a 2-month rental.

I don't think anyone would argue that Howard's numbers have been declining, in fact you can't because it is a fact, but that's what aging players generally do. He got a late start in his career and had a pretty nasty 4 year prime, and whose to say he can't still string some 30+ HR years together into his 30's. ROY followed by MVP followed by WS ring. That's the opposite of a series of unfortunate events, to quote Liminy Snickets, so I have no problem with his current contract. We can pay him because we're a winning franchise and we seem to handling the books pretty well thanks to winning.

And the other 1B's that Heather speaks of will eventually get paid, if they haven't already. It just happens to be probably the deepest position in the infield as it generally is for offensive players.

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