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Friday, August 19, 2011

Comments

On pace for 106 wins. Over or under?

"Someone is a doom or gloomer if they say there's no way this team could win more than 97 games."

If someone had actually said that, then you're right: that person would qualify as a doom or gloomer. But no one from Beerleaguer's so-called "doom and gloom" crowd actually said that. What they/we said was that winning 97+ games was possible, if everything breaks right, but that it was not a probable outcome. I'll say that again next year & every year after that, and I'll say it about not only the Phillies, but the Yankees, RedSox, Braves, Rangers, Giants, and other elite teams. Sometimes I'll be wrong; most of the time, I'll be right.

Regarding Manuel for NL Mgr of the Yr - I don't think so, because with the pieces he has to play with, esp. Halladay, Lee, Hamels - it just doesn't seem like one could miss. I'd say Gibson, if the Diamondbacks continue their surge.

It never fails that when I write a rant, a new post goes up in the meantime. Re-posting. Just 'cause I know y'all care.

Hugh - I'm not saying that Debbie Downers are "bad fans." I'm just saying that they're Debbie Downers - of the sort that misuse statistical analysis to confirm their predisposition - most likely developed over years of being a Phillies fan - to only be happy when they're miserable.

My basic metric for that is how people argue about Ryan Howard. The dude has driven in runs at a rate that is nearly unprecedented in the history of baseball. That production is the result of his prodigious power and is excellent production with runners on base. These are just simply facts that describe how he has performed.

But some fans feel compelled to say things like average with RISP is not a sustainable number as a way of "proving" that Howard is not an elite ballplayer. What they fail to understand is that averaging statistics can lead to the mistaken assumption that there is no such thing as an outlier. But the weird thing is that these are people who take a lot of time to look at statistical analysis, and who are told over and over that they are taking a mistaken approach. They should know better. As I see it, the only possible conclusion is that they are, simply, Debbie Downers and Negative Nancies. These fans concentrate on Howard's weaknesses and in doing so, miss the fact that they've enjoyed watching on of the most productive cleanup hitters who ever stepped up to the plate.

Hey - I understand. I was that kind of Phillies fan for years and years. I was conditioned by past experience to always expect the worst, and to always denigrate the quality of Phillies players because it was easier that way. Expect the worst and you ease the pain of disappointment.

But I've seen the light since the Phils won the WFC. Join me, Hugh, and we can all sing Kumbaya and feel contentment because we no longer need to live under the dark cloud of Negadelphia.

BAP -

"But no one from Beerleaguer's so-called "doom and gloom" crowd actually said that. What they/we said was that winning 97+ games was possible, if everything breaks right,... "

Did everything "break right?"

#25- nothing - send BNF to LVI

About the pitching...

Yes, absolutely, the team is better off with a fully healthy Hamels! If what it takes is to sit him for a few weeks, then I think that should happen.

I don't know about a 6-man rotation, but I think it's a good idea to lighten the workload of our starters by limiting innings and/or pitches. The tough thing about that is pulling them when they're cruising or in a close game. Which makes the 6-man seem a more appealing alternative. Would it not be appropriate to get the opinion of the starters themselves about their preference?

I don't think we've seen enough of Lidge to say, personally. (Bear in mind that I was on vacation and unable to listen to/watch the game to better sense how he looked.) I'd like to see him get more innings, so that we can judge whether he'd be an asset or not in the postseason.

I don't think we should expect Blanton at this point, nor would it be helpful to see his return. He'd be rusty and ineffective, without time to get up to speed.

I like Worley, but I'd choose Oswalt to start for the postseason, unless his back is bothering him to the detriment of his performance again.

Cholly is too deferential to tenure. He is most reluctant to go with the better performer if it means sitting the more tenured player. Common sense suggests that Mayberry should be handed the LF job, and Ibanez should become the new Ross Gload. I doubt Cholly will do this. I don't like the platoon at all, as Mayberry's numbers against RHPs are better than Ibanez's.

As for the 4th starting pitcher in the playoffs, let's wait until season's end to see if Oswalt improves. If I had to decide today, it would be Worley over Oswalt hands down.Does Cholly have the guts to make this call?

Oswalt is certainly not the Oswalt of old. If he's pitching like he's been pitching since returning from the dl, I'll take Worley instead. Worley is a lot more likely to go out there and plain old stink, but he's also much more likely to completely shut down the opposition.

If Oswalt is closer to his old self, then of course you take Oswalt.

Put me down for the "under 106 wins."

This team is going to start resting players, using a 6 man rotation (i.e. fewer Doc, Lee, Hamels starts).

Once September call ups come around, I suspect that month will be spent tinkering with figuring out who else will be on the bench (Cust?), in the 'pen etc. We'll likely see some "funky" stuff going on.

Phlipper: Um, yeah, a lot of things have broken right. Things like Vance Worley, a so-so minor league pitcher, stepping in & replacing Roy Oswalt without skipping a beat. Things like having a .647 winning percentage in 1-run games. Things like Wilson Valdez retiring the heart of the Reds' lineup to win a game we had no business winning. Things like 3 guys with no closing experience combining to go 36 for 37 in save opportunities. To me, those all seem like the kind of things that one wouldn't expect or be able to predict. But I guess you and CJ predicted them all and foresaw that we would be on pace to win 106 games through August 18?

Yeah, if the decision were today, I'd take Worley over Oswalt too. In fact, I'd consider it a no-brainer. But if Oswalt starts pitching like his old self over the next 6 weeks, then the decision will be a no-brainer the other way. I'm reasonably optimistic about his prospects, since he does seem to have his velocity back & looked pretty good his last time out.

BAP - two things. The first is that you're neglecting to note the things that went poorly. I'm sure that if you put your mind to it, you could come up with quite a few.

Second - the point is that Debbie Downers and Negative Nancies have an a priori assumption that good breaks won't happen. They take the whatever negative indicators exist, and run with them. And they fail to recognize that sometimes things turn out better than expected because their disposition leads them to concentrate on the negative possibilities.

So, no - I didn't predict 106 wins. In fact, I didn't make a prediction because I knew that it was an exercise in futility because there were too many unpredicatables.

But I did state that I thought the hand-wringing about the loss of Werth was overstated because: (1) overly negative assumptions about who might replace him, (2) overly negative assumptions about the play of the rest of the offense, and (3) whatever the loss of Werth might play out to be, it was very likely that the advantages of this year's rotation over last year's (and for that matter, the rotation of the WFC team) would easily, more than compensate for the offensive gap between Werth and his replacements.

""Almost as amusing as reading the Negative Nancies constantly predict doom is reading the negative Nancies explain how their constant hand-wringing was justified.

Posted by: Phlipper | Friday, August 19, 2011 at 12:00 PM""

Wow!

And then there's this:

""The point is that the doom and gloomers always underestimate this team and this front office. The over/under was 97 and the Beerleaguer consensus was that it was unrealistic to predict a team would win 97 games. That it's so rare only someone wearing rose-colored glasses would even consider it.

As usual, the doom and gloomers were wrong. Reasonable fans knew this team could win even without Chase Utley (on a 99 win pace before he returned from injury). Reasonable fans knew this front office would make the moves needed to fill gaps. Reasonable fans knew not everything would go right, but that the overwhelming amount of talent made this team better than the over/under and significantly better than the rest of the competition in the league.

But I get that some people aren't always reasonable.

Posted by: CJ | Friday, August 19, 2011 at 12:18 PM""

________________________________________________________________

And then Fatti replies:

""Apparently, if your expectations of the team don't live up to the standards of CJ and Phlipper, you're automatically a doom end gloomer. There's no middle ground. Either you see things their way, or you're a heretic, and it's not a problem with your logical faculties. It's a problem with your personality and emotions.""

________________________________________________________________

Fatti probably has it right. Either agree with CJ and Phlipper, or you're a heretic. (For the record I've neve been a doom-and-gloomer.)

So, CJ and phlipper are engaging in their own form of bigotry (definition: "bigot: a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion." source - dictionary.com)


So, as a charter member of the Narcissus Schweitzer Beer*Leaguer Bigot Brigade, I would like to welcome CJ and phlipper into the membership. :)

Does Gload still lead the league in pinch hits? That was the usual justification offered for Gload's continued employment. If it was sufficient four weeks ago, why not now?

Gotta say Oswalt over Worley.

#40. If Charlie didn't win MOTY last year with all the injuries, or the first year the Phillies won the division...then there is no way he has a chance to be in any kind of contention this year.

#12. Probably Bastardo, considering he did successfully close while Madson was out. I don't see Lidge leap-frogging over him at this point.

#35. I know within the past day or two someone was arguing that if the Diamondbacks win the West, then they're the better team and we'd have been better off with the Giants. I call bollocks to that. Sure, the Phillies could face Arizona and lose the series. But the way the Phillies match up with the Giants, I tend to think the Giants would be in better position to excell in a short series. So I'll be just as happy if Arizona can hang onto the West.

#23. Probably not. While it might make "sense" in a lot of ways, it just does not feel like something Charlie would do. Plus, I'd rather see Howard with the possibility to see extra-at-bats than Pence. I love Pence, but Howard is The Big Piece.

#39. Vanimal for ROTY almost made sense a couple of starts ago, but I don't think many people are looking that direction anymore.

#6/7. NO chance Blanton returns. I'm not really lamenting that, to be honest.

#4. They may consider a 6-man rotation, but I don't think it will actually be enacted. Partly because I think that they'd rather rest Cole if that is needed--and if they don't think they need to, the Phillies pitchers would rather stay on their normal rotation schedule.

#22. Valdez vs Martinez at 3rd? Neither is offensively exciting, so I'd put whoever is the better fielder there. Mini-mart seems to excell defensively at 3rd--I forget what Valdez is like.

Oh, and here's a question for CJ and Phlipper:

In 2010 there were 30 complete baseball seasons by the 30 teams.

In MLB history, there have been cummulatively thousands of complete baseball seasons.


Which is more, the number of teams that have won 100 games in a season or the number of World Series winnirs since 1903?

Resign Jimmy Rollins! Something everyone on Beerleaguer can agree on?

What's great about reading the prediction review is that we're in mid-August, and already everyone claims their prediction was the best, because they think that a) they'll hit the number, b) be closer to the number than some other poster, or c) the posters who look like they'll have the correcter number will only win because they're stupid. No one is wrong because they should have been right.

I'm predicting 2012 right now. Anyone care to join me? Or are you too scared? Here it is: 40 wins.

That's right. 40. Dutch Daulton told me that the world will end in early June when the Phillies will have a record of 40-16.

(Disclaimer: If your prediction beats mine it's because you're not a real fan and Dutch hates you and you didn't know enough or take enough into consideration to have really been right.)

So many questions.

The answer is ... 4?

The issue regarding win predictions isn't a cloutian 'Haha, you were wrong' sort of thing. It's brought up because the hand-wringing over the offense before the season was so over the top that, despite BAP's denials, people who weren't overly concerned about the offense and thought the team would win 97+ games were derided as being 'blindly optimistic' much like those who stuck by Moyer in 2009. It wasn't an 'I'll agree to disagree' sort of thing.

During the first losing streak (one of only 2 on the year so far), Jack immediately started scoffing at the 100-win crowd, which was acceptable. But it can't be pointed out when people like him are on their way to being wrong (for the second year in a row) despite their pomposity? Talk about being overly sensitive. It's a website!

Also, I'd like to commend BAP for his 1:09 post and recommend it for the BL hall of fame. This almost mirrors a post he wrote directed at me before the season started in which he attempted to frame an argument around the idea that we really didn't have THAT many injuries in 2010, and it was actually a season filled with good-fortune. Of course, he completely leaves out all of the substantial amount of injuries and month-long stretches of under-performing by players that have been slammed on BL all season long. But I guess in the end, he's right, because the team is so ridiculously good this year that it can overcome stuff like that without even making you think twice about it.

This team, even with numerous players resting, is still better than 75% of the teams it will go against in the closing weeks. Not to mention some of those teams will be already out of contention, so they could be equally baseline in terms of urgency and energy. I'm not saying we or our opponents will give less than 100% because players are always playing for a job next year, but generally the slop that is vying for jobs next year is no better than what we'll throw out with 1/2 our lineup.

We'll win just out of spirit and being winners. A sold out Bank doesn't hurt either presumably carrying the Exxon/Mini-Mart one-stop shop to a few W's.

Pitching

(1)Hamels’ injury more serious NO
(2)letting Hamels sit a few weeks NO (if I'm right on 1)
(3) Halladay/Cliff Lee innings? YES (Riding them hard when the relievers were out was good strategy, now lighten up)
(4) six-man rotation? Enough to carve off 1 start for each pitcher
(5) Worley/Oswalt? Oswalt assuming reasonable health
(6) Blanton returns? DON'T THINK SO
(7) want Blanton to return? NOT AT THIS POINT
(8) Contreras contribute? Assuming decent health, yeah, he sure could.
(9) Lidge counted on in postseason? NO, limited role only
(10) Stutes leaking oil? YES, unfortunately.
(11) confidence in Madson big spot? YES
(12) Madson struggle? BASTARDO, baby.
(13) Bastardo only lefty? YES, but not optimal
(14) Who else is even out there? Not much.
(15) both Worley and Kendrick? NO
(16) how many relievers? 6 including KK. Otherwise 7.

Hitting

(17) Ibanez/Mayberry platoon? DUH, at minimum.
(18) Mayberry playing two-thirds? YES
(19) rest key players? ABSOLUTELY
(20) Phillies mishandle Polanco injury? Don't know, but not confident in Phillies ability to assess injuries.
(21) Polanco surgery already? Don't know that he would recover fully enough in a timely enough manner.
(22) Valdez or Martinez @3B? TRUST THE GUT on this one.
(23) splitting up Utley and Howard ? If I advocated that with Burrell and Werth, why would I stop now? :)
(24) Utley-Pence-Howard bat 2-3-4? YEP
(25) Francisco offer that Mayberry doesn’t? Absolutely nothin', say it again. That said, Ben has some value.
26) What does Gload offer?Absolutely nothin' ...
(27) Vic the key to the offense? NO, just one of the keys.
(28)Pence fare in postseason? Does anyone doubt that he will have any trouble at all?
(29) rather have at the plate than Ruiz? With JMJ around? :) The question is overstated but I am always comfortable with Chooch at the plate.

Other

(30) Amaro moves in AUG? Lefty PH AND Loogie. I have faith in RAJ.
(31) Thome or Giambi make it through waivers? NOT BOTH, 30-70 one of them will
(32) Damon / Matsui? One of them will.
(33) September call-ups? Orr, Brown, what the heck, Zagurski. And might as well take a flyer on Savery. Once the Division is clinched, I abuse Savery to see what he's got.
(34) NLDS? Who cares what discarded to the dust bin of history the Phils play.
(35) Avoiding Giants is better? Yeah, AZ looks as formidable as Cincy. The Giants are not sweepable.
(36) Brewers/Braves avoidance? BRAVES. The Brewers have been hot so they are on the radar, the Braves have been pretty consistenly good all year.
(37) Gold Glove? Don't care about this farce
(38) NL Cy Young Award? Halliday
(39) Vanimal ROY? Don't think so
(40) Charlie for MOY? Sure (who cares, really?) :)

Charlie should win MOY, because no one called for the Phils to win 100 games this year, and he had a lot of injury to deal with. But can anyone name who won last year? No? Then really who cares?

1. No.
2. No.
3. Yes.
4. No.
5. Oswalt.
6. No.
7. No.
8. Nothing.
9. Only in mop-up duty if needed or a tough RHB.
10. A little. He's a one inning pitcher. He's not used that way.
11. "Ryan's my guy."
12. Bastardo.
13. Yes, but it'll be tough.
14. No one in house, unfortunately.
15. No. The job should be Worley's.
16. Seven.
17. Yes. Mayberry's earned a shot.
18. No. Strict platoon.
19. Not until the middle of September, so they can rest and still play the last week or so to stay sharp.
20. Definitely.
21. Yes, but it's almost too late at this point.
22. Valdez.
23. Yes, but not with Pence. Victorino.
24. No. See #23.
25. Nothing.
26. Very little.
27. Depends on where he's hitting. Most likely yes.
28. He'll be fine.
29. Chooch is the man.
30. No moves.
31. Not likely.
32. More likely than Thome or Giambi.
33. No.
34. D-Backs.
35. No, they stink.
36. Brewers.
37. None.
38. Halladay.
39. No chance.
40. None whatsoever.

If the Phils faced the Giants they could avenge last year's NLCS, just as they've done vs the Rockies, Dodgers and Reds. Still owe the Red Sox, Yanks, Orioles and Jays some payback.

Bigoto - It isn't the predicting of 97 or fewer wins that marks someone as a Debbie Downer - it's the absolute assurance that we hear about how negative outcomes are the only possible outcomes, or the endless hand-wringing about something negative base on insufficient data.

Endless hand-wringing about the devastating loss of Werth comes to mind.

Still owe the Red Sox, Yanks, Orioles and Jays some payback.

You forgot the Expos. :)

If thinking that predicting that this team would winning less than 97+ wins made you negative, then you have a ridiculously positive (and unrealistic) outlook in the early spring. Setting the bar of expectation at a floor of 97 wins is incredibly high. General consensus was 92 wins, they win the NL East, and then it was a crap shoot in the playoffs. That's overwhelmingly negative? I must huff paint then.

Things did break generally break right for this team. Utley came back much earlier than expected and has been really productive. JRoll stayed healthy & productive. Starters in general haven't missed much time especially compared to last season. Mayberry had a break out year. Only tough luck they had if with Polanco.

On the pitching front, they had more injuries but again things broke there way. Bastardo hasn't been injured this year and has had a breakout year. Worley is pitching better than can be expected long-term. Ditto KK. Got Lidge back and he looks like he is going to make some real contributions. Lee/Halladay/Hamels have all been as good if not better than expected. Oswalt came back.

Iceman: All teams have injuries -- especially teams with old and/or injury-prone players. As it happens, many of the players who struggled with injuries in 2010 have struggled with injuries again in 2011 -- i.e., Polanco, Vic, Utley, Lidge, Blanton -- even though posters like you, phlipper, & CJ believed that their injuries were some sort of one-year anomaly.

EFF: Why do we owe the Red Sox some payback? I mean aside from being sick of them on ESPN almost constantly.

Hey, guess what guys - I predicted that Utley's injury would result in a woefully inept offense for much of the season and, as such, the team would be in a dog fight with the Braves for the division crown, with the runner-up taking the Wild Card. I didn't think they had a shot in the world at making a run at 100 wins.

Turns out I was wrong. I should probably stop posting on this site, as clearly I'm an inferior fan, mostly idiotic and anything I say should be taken with a grain of salt.

Witout splitting hais, Edmundo summed up my thoughts on most of the questions. Lots to think about, for sure.

" Utley came back much earlier than expected and has been really productive. "

Which the Debbie Downers said wouldn't happen.

"JRoll stayed healthy & productive."

The Debbie Downers hand-wrung about how he is washed up and a "shell of his former self."

"Starters in general haven't missed much time especially compared to last season."

Blanton? Oswalt? Missing their 4th pitcher for much of the season, their 5th for almost the whole season. Debbie Downerism would have said that pitchers 1-3 missing no time would be unlikely.

"Mayberry had a break out year."

Which Debbie Downers said was virtually impossible.

"Only tough luck they had if with Polanco."

Really? Chooch missed significant time and has been hampered by physical ailments even when he has played. The bullpen was basically devastated by injuries. Brown didn't live up to the expectations of many (many of them, notably, actually Debbie Downers).

donc - Bitter memories of 1915 apparently.

You forgot the Expos. :)

I didn't forget them, they morphed from one team with a tiny fanbase to a team with a different tiny fanbase. Plus I hope never to see a split season again, and thought that 'playoff' didn't need revenge as it's mostly forgotten.

I remember a few weeks ago we were talking about the Philadelphia A's, and I came across this article from 1996 from Sports Illustrated...no wonder people still remember that team with fond memories!

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1008586/1/index.htm

It is a good read if you have the time.

Yeah, 1915. It's Philly, no grudge can be too old.

We have this discussion every couple of weeks.

The doom and gloomers know who they are. And everyone else knows who they are as well.

Predicting a low win total doesn't make you a doom and gloomer.
Predicting we'd lose a playoff series doesn't make you a doom and gloomer.
Believing a player is washed up does not make you a doom and gloomer.
Saying our prospects suck doesn't make you a doom and gloomer.
None of those things *alone* makes you a doom and gloomer.

Peppering doom and gloom in virtually all of your comments makes you a doom and gloomer. Why is this so hard to understand?

We paid back the Expos/Nats by not signing Werth.

I was negative because I thought Utley (and to a lesser degree Lidge) wouldn't give this team any meaningful contributions. Been very pleasantly surprised.

1. No idea, probably not
2. Yes
3. Yes although there really haven't been that many games where you could have reduced their overall workload
4. Not until they clinch
5. TBD but it is Oswalt's job to lose
6 and 7. No and they won't miss him one bit. Blanton has become just like Lieber. He's hasn't given the Phils a good start in the playoffs since the '08 WS. Pay him to stay home and hopefully the Phils get some value out of him next year
8. Another lost cause
9. No but he has no choice. Lidge likely plays a huge role again because he is the 3rd arm out of the pen right now
10. Yes and he simply isn't more than a mediocre reliever anyway at this point. Hoping Worley takes over his role come the playoffs.
11. Silly question. Madson has a 2.35 ERA in 30 2/3 IP in the playoffs. If Cholly makes him go 1+ innings though . . .
12. Still beating this dead horse?
13. Yes but it would be nice to have another lefty to use in the 6th/7th
14. Nobody
15. Yes. KK is the long man and Worley displaces Stutes
16. They will carry 11 pitchers
17. Yes.
18. Depends on matchup. If the opposing starter is RHP and has a good changeup, no because Mayberry won't hit him.
19. Absolutely
20. Yes but they have handled a few other injuries poorly this year including Ruiz, Contreras, and Blanton
21. No
22. Valdez
23 and 24. Just foolish to leave Utley-Howard as 3-4 but it won't change.
25. Value as a PH and some speed off the bench.
26. Nada. He's a gimp.
27. Yes
28. Overmatched especially if they face really good starting pitching
29. Utley but Chooch is a close 2nd.
30. LH bat off the bench
31. No
32. Yes
33. In the playoffs, no.
34. DBacks
35. Yes
36. Braves (depends on their starting pitching health though)
37. Only contender and winner should be Vic. This hasn't been a good defensive year for the Phils.
38. Yes. Halladay repeats although it wouldn't surprise me if Lee makes a strong run and ends 3rd.
39. No.
40. No but only because expectations were so high to begin with. If the DBacks win the West, it should be Gibson. Cholly should be 2nd.

Oh yeah, forgot about 1915. That was back in my Absinthe period.

Pitching

(1) Hamels’ injury more serious than Phils letting on? No
(2) Letting Hamels sit a few weeks: only if medically necessary
(3) Halladay/Cliff Lee pitching too many innings? No, but no harm in laying off a bit
(4) Six-man rotation? No.
(5) Worley/Oswalt? TBD
(6) Blanton returns? For who? For what?
(7) want Blanton to return? For who? For what?
(8) Contreras contribute? Not counting on it.
(9) Lidge counted on in postseason? No.
(10) Stutes leaking oil? Like Deepwater Horizon.
(11) Confidence in Madson big spot? Yep.
(12) Next in line for closer? Bastardo, obviously.
(13) Bastardo as only lefty? Not thrilled about it, but I'd rather get a bench bat than a second LOOGY
(14) Who else is even out there? Can Valdez throw left-handed?
(15) Value in having both Worley and KK in pen? I'd feel badly about excluding one of them from the post-season roster, but I don't really see the need for both
(16) How many relievers in post-season? That's too much thinking for me to do right now.

Hitting

(17) Ibanez/Mayberry platoon? See 18.
(18) Mayberry playing two-thirds? At least
(19) Rest key players? Here & there, yes
(20) Did Phillies mishandle Polanco injury? 10 straight days with a 4-man bench? Um, yeah, they mishandled it.
(21) Should Polanco have had surgery already? No. Rest him & hope he recovers by October.
(22) Valdez or Martinez at 3d? Valdez
(23) Splitting up Utley and Howard ? Not gonna happen. Next question.
(24) Utley-Pence-Howard bat 2-3-4? Not gonna happen. Next question.
(25) Does Francisco give us anything that Mayberry doesn’t? Nope.
(26) What does Gload offer? Even less than Francisco.
(27) Vic the key to the offense? Has been our best player but isn't necessarily the key.
(28) How will Pence fare in postseason? I'm not too concerned.
(29) In big spot, anyone you'd rather have at the plate than Ruiz? Rollins.
(30) Amaro moves in August? I think he already made it. Jack Cust.
(31) Thome or Giambi make it through waivers? No way.
(32) Damon / Matsui? Maybe, but that doesn't mean either will end up on the Phillies. They won't.
(33) September call-ups? Orr, Brown, Perez, Galvis, maybe Carpenter or Mathieson, and a catcher -- probably Sardinha but, if there's any sanity in the world, it should be Kratz
(34) NLDS opponent? Arizona
(35) Better off avoiding the Giants? Yeah. Lincecum has been the best pitcher in baseball in the second half. Don't want to face him twice in a 5-game series.
(36) Rather avoid the Brewers or Braves? The Brewers look slightly better to me, but I don't have a huge preference.
(37) Phillies Gold Gloves? Vic. Cliff Lee should get consideration too.

(38) NL Cy Young Award? Halladay
(39) ROTY? Kimbrel & Freeman will be 1 & 2. Worley probably 3rd if voting were today.
(40) Charlie for Manager of the Year? Won't happen. It will be Gibson.

Meyer:

Ha, well done.

Dream lineup:

Vic
Utley
Pence
Howard
Mayberry/Raul
Rollins
Polanco
Ruiz
Ace

Phlipper - The Phils' management and medical staff were surprised that Utley came back so early. Hell even Amaro at the end of training camp was pretty damn vague on when Utley would be back.

I thought Mayberry would have a breakout year (that was an excpetion) but there were most who thought JRoll would rebound if he stayed healthy although he wouldn't be what he was 3-4 years ago offensively or defensively. He stay healthy but isn't the same player.

Oswalt is on pace to make 20 GS. Lee/Halladay/Hamels 30+ GS. Had one starter go down and really miss a good portion of the season in Blanton. KK and Worley both stayed healthy.

You are really stretching. Chooch has played in 96 and is on pace to play in 127 G. A career high and his offensive numbers are right around his career splits this year.

Bullpen got Lidge back and he looks he will contribute for nearly half the season. Madson only missed a bit of time. Only bad break was with Contreras missing almost the entire season. Romero/Baez sucked and were released.

'07 overcame a term of injuries and difficulty. Even the team last year had their share of injuries they had to overcome. This year was really easier with the exception of where the bullpen was pretty thin for about a month with Madson out.

olo - That's the lineup I would like to see and if Polanco is out you flip Chooch into the 7-hole and Valdez/Mini-Mart into the 8-hole.

I'd be extremely remiss, and probably upset clout, if I didn't note Tuffy Goosewurst's incredible game for Reading last night. A triple short of the cycle with 3 RBI, one of which was the eventual game winner.

Waitress, I'm still waiting on my order of Goosewurst....

On a related note (though not really), I'm excited to see the R'Phils breaking out "Jean Shorts" night tonight. Perfectly planned promotion for the Reading demographic. Makes me long for my old stomping grounds.

WP - They should have gone with 'Acid-Washed Jean Shorts' and 'Jean Cutoff Shorts' instead maybe. They would still have plenty of people who would fit the bill.

Reading Phils' promotions are pretty spot on. They know their Berks County and adjacent yeah pretty well.

Classic MG... minimizing adversity. No reason to give this team any credit at all!

"Bullpen got Lidge back ane he looks to contribute for nearly half the season."

Brad Lidge average season: 68 appearances
Brad Lidge 2011 projection: 12 appearances

I wish we could count on Juan Perez, or some lefty not named Antonio, to come in for one batter. It isn't a huge problem in the NL side because the only lefty threats are McCann and Fielder, but in a theoretical world series, it would be great if we could count on someone to throw strikes to an Ortiz, Gonzalez, Ellsbury, Granderson, Hamilton, etc.

I don't think Charlie would trust Perez, Zagurski, or any of our AAAA guys to do that and would instead waste his second best reliever. Obviously Bastardo would stay in for additional batters but if it's a situation where he gets one batter and then would need to hit, Charlie would take him out. When it is that big of a drop off from your 2nd to 3rd best reliever that is a tough strategy.

The 2011 have overcome a ton of adversity? In what parallel dimension would I see that season DVD sale?

Any clubhouse controversy this year or off the field incident this year? No. Not a single incident.

Any coaching controversy? Nada.

Any controversy with a player and lack of effort on the field? Besides Brown not running out a grounder I can't think of anyone.

This team was like a kid who went to Choate and then got into Harvard/Yale. Really no huge controversy or difficulty to overcome.


MG, in all fairness, the whole "is KK a real starter?" controversy has been hanging over their heads for a couple of years now. Gotta be tough for them to focus.

MG - I would assume the adversity they are speaking of is about injuries.

Yes we had injuries, but we have a veteran team so it's kind of expected. This team has shown over the last 3 years they just pick up for the injured guys and keep mowing people down.

BAP- ok, I'm willing to make a compromise. I'll admit I was wrong about Polanco being old and brittle, and you admit you're wrong about pretty much everything else you say.

We get it... this team has been incredibly blessed. Only an ungodly amount of luck has lead to the success we've seen so far.

Although it's funny on one hand for people to argue this team is prone to injury because it's so old... and on the other argue that there really haven't been many injuries.

Stark:

We're 122 games into the season, and the Phillies' history train keeps on chugging. They've still had only five instances all season in which they've lost more than ONE game in a row. They would have to keep this up for 40 more games to tie the record for fewest losing streaks in a season of 150 games or more. That's also five, by Three Finger Brown's 1906 Cubs, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. But the Phillies have a more realistic shot at the live ball era record, which is seven, by Lefty Grove's 1929 A's.

More at http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/page/rumblings110819/nl-mvp-race-open

MG -

Adversity ≠ controversy.

"In fact, I didn't make a prediction because I knew that it was an exercise in futility because there were too many unpredicatables."


Ahhhh, in addition to being a bigot phlipper is also an intellectual coward, hiding in fear that

"OMG, I can't make a prediciton because there are too many variables and someone on BL might actually call me on it. Oh, no!"

but there were most who thought JRoll would rebound if he stayed healthy

Really?

MG - do you even read other people's comments at Beerleaguer?

I think the unforseen gains the Phillies have received this year have outstripped the losses they've experienced from injuries.

Frankly, Worley and KK, combined, pitched better than I would have even expected Oswalt and Blanton to pitch. Victorino has been so muhc better than ANYONE could have predicted. Career 110 OPS+ player is flirting with an OPS+ of 160 right now. Who saw that one coming AT ALL?

Bastardo is outpitching every other reliever in the majors. Not just the best on the team, but arguably the best in the majors. Yes, the injury to Lidge sucked, but did anyone expect Lidge to pitch as well as Bastardo has? Anyone?

Utley missed 46 games this year, but most prognostications at him coming back post All Star game or later. That he came back and that the team's scored a run more per game with him on the team than without is a big deal.

Again, the injuries have been big and predictions were made knowing about some (Ultey and Lidge) and anticipating others (Oswalt and Contreras, for example). No one could have (or should have) foreseen the breakout years by Mayberry, Worley, BAstardo and Victorino, nor can you fault others for anticipating that KK would be as good in the rotation as he was.

Also, let's not forget: as good as Doc, Lee and Cole were coming into this year, they've actually outperformed even their expectations.

I'd say more has gone right for this team than has gone wrong. Doesn't take away from what they've accomplished. It's not they've needed all this fortune to tread water. They're on pace to win 106-108 games this year. That's a testament to how good the players are and only a truly great team can do what they're doing.

Bigotto -

Actually, my reason for not making a prediction was that unlike some folks, I don't overestimate my ability to extrapolate from an insufficient amount of data to boastfully make predictions as if being correct about such poorly supported estimates would be some kind of proof of my analytical abilities or my knowledge of baseball.

I'll leave that for folks like those who predicted doom and gloom because of the loss of Werth (many of whom predicted the same because of the loss of Burrell).

You know - like the Debbie Downers and Negative Nancies of Beerleaguer.

Any place where you can see actual games lost to players on the DL?

Fatty - allow me to repeat.

The point is that there are a group of posters here that constantly hand-wring with negative predictions about potential outcomes even when they lack the sufficient data to make such predictions - or because they misuse the predictive ability of statistics (to confirm their bias towards negativity).

The fact that you want to justify your negativity on the basis that "no one could have predicted" something like Bastardo pitching so well is only confirmation that you, like many others, felt confident in your assessment of Bastardo's ability without really having sufficient evidence.

The point is, if you really don't know enough information to make a prediction, you have three options: (1) make an unfounded positive prediction, (2) make an unfounded negative prediction, (3) say that you don't know because you don't have enough information to predict.

Those who fall into category number two are Debbie Downers and Negative Nancies. It doesn't make them "bad fans." It just makes them Negative Nancies and Debbie Downers.

It's OK - you have plenty of company.

Fat - That's a pretty good synopsis. This team will be remembered if they don't win a WS if they best the 101 franchise win mark.

Torre got MotY in 1998. So why cant Chollie now?

but I do believe it should probably be Curt Gibson. But only if he runs around the dugout with his head down pumping his fist.

"Actually, my reason for not making a prediction was that unlike some folks, I don't overestimate my ability to extrapolate from an insufficient amount of data to boastfully make predictions as if being correct about such poorly supported estimates would be some kind of proof of my analytical abilities or my knowledge of baseball."

Hey Phlipp, how about if some people are making predictions because they like to talk baseball and this is a baseball blgo?

How about that hypothesis?

Christ man, get over yourself.

Go chance for the Phils to get back this series to beating the Nats like a drum. Only 7-4 against this year so far.

Last time the Phils lost a season series to them was 2006 (9-10). Since then, the Phils are 58-25 (.699 winning pct) and there is no other team that the Phils have beat with such regularity since then. Isn't even close.

Phlipper, I'm not a Debbie Downer, but if you want to believe I am, that's your prerogative.

And since you mentioned him, Bastardo has been arguably the best relief pitcher in baseball.

Even with what you call "limited data", to think that any unproven MLB pitcher is going to be the best reliever in the majors is beyond anyone to expect. And there's NOTHING wrong with that. Why would anyone have thought, preseason, that Bastardo would be THIS GOOD? It's not negativity to not have expected this, it's just beyond the ken of what anyone would have rightfully expected.

But it HAS happened, and the team has been that much better for it.

Philly pacifists?

Werth so far against his former club:

.225/.267/.350 with 1 HR and 6 RBIs in 40 ABs. Also has 12 Ks.

I thought Werth would have at least one big series so far against his former club this year. Hasn't happened so far.

Still isn't lighting the world on fire but he has been notably better since the ASB at .267/.371/.443. Also hit much better at home this year.

I believe I speak on behalf of Jack, MG, GTown, BAP, et al, when I echo the sentiment that Fatalotti is not a Debbie Downer. He still has a ways to go before he qualifies.

No, Fatalotti, evidently you had to think Bastardo would turn into some kind of K-Rod clone from his Angels days in order not to be a Debbie Downer.

For next year, you better believe Mayberry will be a combination of the best aspects of Wllie Mays and Mickey Mantle rolled into one. Or, ya know, you're not a true Phillies fan, and an inveterate pessimist to boot.

"Hey Phlipp, how about if some people are making predictions because they like to talk baseball and this is a baseball blgo?"

No probs, Fatty. None at all.

But what I'm talking about are people who habitually come up with a negative analysis, and who claim "evidence" for their negativity through a supposedly "objective" analysis that is actually a misuse of statistics, and then call anyone who questions the objectivity of their negativity "blind optimists" or "FO apologists."

I'll let BL readers decide for themselves whether the tag applies to you or not.

Debbie Downer/Negative Nancy/Bear

Still rather be a bear than a pig.

"Even with what you call "limited data", to think that any unproven MLB pitcher is going to be the best reliever in the majors is beyond anyone to expect."

That's absolutely true, Fatty. And the point is that no one should have had clear expectations of anything because there wasn't enough data to formulate expectations.

I'm not going to search the archives, but my guess is that I could go back and find nearly unanimous, more or less absolutely certain, predictions among BL's Debbie Downers that Bastardo would be a very minor piece of the bullpen this year, and in fact throughout his career.

Most fans would have said something on the order of: "He's shown some potential - it's too early to tell. The FO seems to think he'll be pretty good, let's wait to see him pitch some more so we can find out."

The later group would not be Debbie Downers.

And Fatty - I'm just having some fun with you, man. Lighten up.

I love when a thread turns into a Monty Python skit.

I'm hoping Ibaez doesn't get another at bat until September.

"I'm hoping Ibaez doesn't get another at bat until September."

What a Debbie Downer kind of attitude to take...

Jbird - Put Ibanez in cryogenic freeze for next 12 days and thaw him for the Labor Day weekend?

Ibaez's doubles last night must have been sub-optimal.

Phlipper, in all seriousness, if I'm ever looking at some statistics and trying to justify a claim, I more than welcome people to scrutinize what I post on here. I welcome it and have gladly admitted when I've been wrong in the past.

But if I offer up a post saying something negative about a player, for example, and I'm met with criticisms such as "you're just a hater" or "man, this player can't do anything right for you, can he?", that doesn't add anything to the debate.

So please, criticize the content of my posts all you'd like, but the ad hominem attacks are what drive me up a wall.

Also, Phlipper, I recognize that there are just some truly negative people on this board, and I try to controvert their claims as much as the next guy, but there are also some annoyingly optimistic people on this board (those to whom nothing negative about the Phillies can be said), and I find them equally as frustrating as the overly-negative crowd.

The problem with the "doom and gloom" fans wasn't that the underestimated the number of wins. Actually, when pressed, they usually came up with a reasonable number. What they'd do the rest of the time, though, is complain about how terrible the offense was last year, how much the Phillies would miss Jayson Werth, how Utley wouldn't be back for the rest of the season and would never play 2b again, how the pitching couldn't possibly be better than last year, and how "scary" the Braves were this year.

Is it 7:05 yet?

"but there are also some annoyingly optimistic people on this board"

Penelope Positive's?

Rosie Roberta's?

"Debbie Downer/Negative Nancy/Bear

Still rather be a bear than a pig."

Classic MG right there.

Phlipper: You won't boastfully make a prediction, but you have no problem boastfully reminding everyone else how wrong their predictions were.

The thing is, I pretty much agree with you about the "blind pessimism" of a lot of people here, but your delivery is so annoying and self-righteous it's impossible to sympathize with you.

"No one could have (or should have) foreseen the breakout years by Mayberry, Worley, BAstardo and Victorino, nor can you fault others for anticipating that KK would be as good in the rotation as he was."


I agree with the spirit of this comment, but disagree with the details. Worley and Bastardo came more or less out of nowhere, sure, but it was likely that one of the marquee position players on the team would have a good year and that one of the four corner outfielders on the team would actually play at a level expected of a decent starting outfielder.
Now, was it surprising that it was Victorino and Mayberry? Yes, but very good players sometimes have excellent years and young players sometimes seize opportunities. And while KK has been somewhat better to be expected, I think it was more of a shock to the sizable "KK is not a major league player" crowd.

David, my point about KK was that he pitched better than most probably would expected Blanton to pitch.

My overall point was that, even though we lost Oswalt and Blanton, the guys who replaced them have probably outperformed what we expected of Oswalt and Blanton to begin with.

I hate these kind of threads. Like listening to a husband/wife argue when both are in the wrong but neither will give an inch or see the other's side. They go nowhere, really don't change anybodies opinion, suck to read, and aren't amusing/entertaining/insightful.

Yo! New thread? Please?

"BAP- ok, I'm willing to make a compromise. I'll admit I was wrong about Polanco being old and brittle, and you admit you're wrong about pretty much everything else you say."

If we could make it a multi-party compromise in which CJ admits to completely lacking objectivity when it comes to the Phillies, Jack admits that Ryan Howard's RBIs are a positive attribute, phlipper concedes that there's a time and place to criticize the Phillies, MG admits that sometimes the decision whether to remove a pitcher is not black & white, clout agrees to be Beerleaguer's most amiable poster from here on out, and King of the Bop agrees to lifetime banishment, then I might well sign on.

Anyway we can work a "return of Sophist" into that compromise? At the very least, can we get a quota number on haiku's from Andy?

And while we're bringing up everyone's little niche contributions to Beerleaguer, I'd like to publicly remind everyone of one thing: FOR SOME UNGODLY REASON AARON HEILMAN IS STILL PART OF THE PHILLIES ORGANIZATION!!!

Did anyone else enjoy seeing the very Earth itself rise up and punch Eli Whiteside in the face as he tried to slide into second base? The entire planet had to set right the fact that he didn't get suspended, it seems.

the baseball gods were mad that day, Phillies Stadium

BAP-

You're on a roll today. Two very funny posts in a row.

DH Phillies -

Annoying you is like a badge of honor. And what make you think I could care less whether you "sympathize" with me?

Am I the only one who finds They Call Me The King of The Bop amusing? The guy posts twice a day like clockwork, once to say "hib to the jib" and once to say a word or phrase 100 times with 1000 exclamation points. I admire his consistency.

I admire his consistency like I admire Wilson Valdez's consistency in GIDP's.

The comments to this entry are closed.

EST. 2005

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