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Monday, August 29, 2011



Adrian Gonzalez

Kind of cherry-picking a bit because these are the best 1/3 of 1B in MLB.

On this list though, I would take everyone of these guys over Howard except Freeman and Trumbo because of the power difference.

You mean we don't have the best player at every position? And we call ourselves The Team To Beat?

I'd rather have...Cabrera, Fielder, Gonzalez, Konerko, Pujols, Teixeira, Votto, Morse.

And I was debating writing in Todd Helton - didn't know he was having the season he's having. I'll agree w MG though and leave him and freeman off bc of power, and trumbo off because of his miserable OBP

Okay, everyone who thought that a previous topic was the lamest ever was wrong. This is the worst time waster ever on BL. In fact, the Gnome graphic is more interesting and relevant.

Give me almost all of those first basemen, and while we're at it, give me Cano at second, Tulo at short, Almost anyone at third, Granderson in center, almost anyone in left, and I'll take Vic and Pence to round out the corner outfield positions (although there are better players out there, such as Braun, I have to take a couple of Phillies) and I'll go with Chooch because he's as smart as any catcher out there.

And I'll take Verlander and Lee and Kershaw and a healthy Hamels.

Closer? Kimbrel or Rivera.

So, what exactly was the point of this exercise? To pick the post season all star team and decided there are only a couple of Phillies on it? Okay then.

Back to navel gazing and wool gathering.

Seriously, 8 out of 10 threads devolve into Howard bashing anyway so is it really necessary to post this.

Are we really going to go position by position and say "would you rather have the 2011 Phillies or an MLB All-Star team?

what insight do we gain from determining that Votto, Utley, Reyes, Arod, Mauer, Bautista, Granderson, Braun (just first names that came to me).

i think I'll tak the All-Star team.

Pujols. Always. Even in an off year, because you never know when he's going to revert to Superman.

Baystars - never take Reyes. All you get is medical bills in the end.


Pujols or Votto and you can give me Jay Bruce too as a backup.
By the way, Lake Fred, I saw Bull at the BBQ when the park first opened before the exhibition games. They had him in and they were training staff and he was wearing flip flops then too. I was going to call in the "open toed shoes" violation to the Board of Health but I figure he wasn't gonna flip ribs with his feet.

Howard's 2nd half:

.237/.309/.496 with 9 HRs in 137 ABs. Power numbers have been there but that is about it.

His numbers since they acquired Pence though have been quite good:

.274/.358/.583 with 7 HRs in 84 ABs.

I would love to see if Howard has indeed seen more fastballs. Also wonder how long Howard has been nursing that bursitis problem in his heel. Stat out Aug 23 but I would imagine it had bothered him at a few days (and possibly more).

For the rest of just this season I would take Pujols. He is just too good.

Votto would be the guy for the short term future (3-5 years). Guy is a stud.

It's not a Howard bashing activity. Just starting with him since the position includes so many big names.

I'll pick Hamels over Orr.

I'll take Howard.

Good to see Cole back on the mound tonight.

I would take Fielder over Howard hands down. Ditto Votto. Howard just isn't in their class of hitter anymore. Nowhere near the strike zone coverage or discipline.

Fielder is actually on pace to have more BBs this year than Ks. Votto is damn close (97 BBs/99 Ks). That's really impressive for guys who hit 30+ HRs.

Sure will be nice to have a baseball game to comment on tonight.

I like that Pujols guy. Funny name but, he sure can hit.

Old - You'll take Howard? As what? The reality is certainly that Howard will be the Phillies first baseman for the next five or six years. But you wouldn't take anyone else on that list instead if you could? Really?

I looked up 1b stats for the year. To see how far Howard has slid in the 1b rankings is really quite jarring. I half expected him to be much better. I mean Prince Fielder much, much better this year.


Old Phan, mind if I ask why you'd take Howard over three players in specific:

Cabrera: 324/.430/.550 (.980) 170 OPS+
Votto: .325/.440/.555 (.994) 169 OPS+
Gonzalez: .345/.406/.559 (.965) 159 OPS+

As compared to Howard's: .251/.341/.481 (.822) 122 OPS+

I get that you're a fan of Howard, but shouldn't you be a fan of the Phillies above all else, and wouldn't these guys give the Phillies a better chance of winning?

Just curious.

Aubrey Huff

A lot of guys are having a better year than Howard.

Luckily his contract is almost up.

Douchebag Giants Fan? That's redundant.

Post of the year:

A lot of guys are having a better year than Howard.

Luckily his contract is almost up.

Posted by: NEPP | Monday, August 29, 2011 at 12:38 PM

Votto, Gonzalez, Fielder, or Cabrera. Why? YOUTH.

Freeman's a rookie, no thanks. Pujols is 32, last of his prime years. Konerko is also old. Texeira is a better defender but his numbers aren't much better than Howard's, even hitting in Yankees Stadium (where all pop-ups to right field become home runs on a windy day). Morse and Trumbo are having career years.

Truthfully, I think you need to work really hard to find another era where so many of the game's best hitters have been First Baseman.

Here's an idea for a thread: how about we list the top ten things we hate the most about Ryan Howard? Tomorrow, the thread can be about items 11-20 of the things we hate the most about Ryan Howard. Wednesday we'll talk about what we hate the most about Ryan Howard's moat. Thursday will be dedicated solely to Ryan Howard's contract and Friday we'll deconstruct Ryan Howard's performance in all of his Subway commercials.

God, the post stipulates that you're just taking them for the rest of the year, so youth is largely irrelevant, since we're not thinking about what they'll do in upcoming years.

I agree with everything you said, except your points about Pujols.

Pujols is only 31, and though we can expect him to decline from his ridiculously lofty numbers he's posted throughout the first 10 years of his career (who wouldn't decline from THAT?), Pujols is still putting up this line this season:

.288/.360/.535 (.895) 147 OPS+

In a year in which he's dealt with a couple big injuries, he's still posting a 147 OPS+. And this is the worst year of his career, as in he's never posted an OPS+ lower than 151 or an OPS lower than .955 before this year.

He'll bounce back either down the stretch run this year or next year, and probably have 1-2 more seasons of being a top 5 hitter once again (if he's not to 5 right now).

What about Billy Butler? Young, good contact, room to add power and solid defensibly.

Tomorrow on beerleaguer the top 10 WAGs we'd rather have...

If thinking Votto, Fielder, Cabrera, Gonzalez, Teixiera, and Pujols are better than Ryan Howard constitutes Howard-bashing, then I guess every non-Phillies fan in the country is a Howard-basher.

Ryan Howard is not a top-5 first baseman. Saying so is not "bashing" Howard - it's just obvious reality to anyone objectively evaluating these players.

Gotta go with Ike Davis.

I will attempt to address some of the hate spewed at me.

“whitey, your name says it all.” – You are anti-white.

“I'll be even happier if this news drives a bigot away from the ballpark, the team or this forum.” – One way of proving yourself to be a bigot is to bully people who disagree with you by calling them names…like bigot.

“whitey's ignorant and uneducated views” – I have a post-graduate degree so I understand what I am SUPPOSED to think. “Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? Has it ever occurred to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now? The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact, there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking — not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.” (someone smarter than you)

“It is a conclusive fact that a string of neurological differences have been discovered to demonstrate that homosexuality is a native, inborn trait both in human beings and other mammals.” - Fake science to back PC conclusions is routine. If Political Correctness needed frogs to have hooves a thousand PhDs in any field would line up and swear that frogs have hooves.

Yeah, this "who would you rather have at each position" topic is no good. Can we get a new discussion thread about homosexuality, 1984, and liberal bias in science?

If RBI and HR's didn't matter for anything, I'd take all those guys.

Given that HRs and RBI do matter, and that A-Gon, Pujols, and Votto (as a young player) have career #'s on par with Howard (or arguably better), I'd probably take them since they're having better seasons than Howard.

Are you really going to go through this lame exercise for every position?

"Fake science to back PC conclusions is routine."

That's all I needed to read. Oh, happy Monday.

"Here's an idea for a thread: how about we list the top ten things we hate the most about Ryan Howard? Tomorrow, the thread can be about items 11-20 of the things we hate the most about Ryan Howard. Wednesday we'll talk about what we hate the most about Ryan Howard's moat. Thursday will be dedicated solely to Ryan Howard's contract and Friday we'll deconstruct Ryan Howard's performance in all of his Subway commercials."


I can't wait until I get to pick all the backup utility players I would rather have over Mini Mart; of the number of 7th inning men I would rather have over stutes - could we do the coaches too? I have discerning taste when it comes to 3rd base coaches


I think I'll take a break from Beerleaguer. This lame topic, whitey's nonsense, and hib to the jib makes me feel my time would be better spent chewing aluminum.

RRuszczyk - I don't know anything about Billy Butler's defense, but given that he mainly starts at DH I would assume it's not 'solid'

Between the agenda-based socioeconomic and racially fueled comments and the lame header thread topics in an attempt to, presumably, try to steer the site away from such drivel, Beerleaguer is rapidly eroding itself into unreadable-ness. Basically, I feel like I'm reading the same mindless banter I used to hear on WIP (back when I listened to WIP, before it got to be too unlistenable).

Sad. This used to be a fantastic blog.

Man, we need a game bad. People are getting surly around here...I'm thinking Lord of the Flies more than 1984...

Honestly though I don't understand how this topic will work...for instance, LF

Who would you rather have? Raul Ibanez, or:

Ryan Braun, Josh Hamilton, Brett Gardner, Matt Holliday, Alex Gordan, Carl Crawford or Carlos Gonzalez?

Or feel free to write in the other 10+ left fielders that are also better than Raul Ibanez. Let the debates begin...

To be honest, I think Drew's thread topics are pretty good. I don't know why people are lumping them in with the political talk as evidence for Beerleaguer's decline.


having said that, Trumbo and Freeman are the only 2 on that list i'd knock out in favor of Howard.

whitey, quoting 1984 to prove whatever point you're trying to make is beyond cliche. I'll assume your post-graduate degree is not in literature.

better topic for tomorrow:

what mascot would you rather have than the Phanatic? discuss!

Daniel Murphy, the light hitting Mets 1B, has passed Howard in wOBA. Howard is now 14th amongst MLB 1B.

i'm guessing Old Phan is Mikey Miss.

I was at an Angels game recently and found their grounds crew to be much more efficient than the Phils.

conshy, the Phanatic might be the only thing about the Phils that can't be improved on.

Lou Gehrig

Curious to see what Hamels' velocity will look like tonight and how much he uses his curveball tonight coming off the shoulder injury.

Old Phan - the Phanatic, and Utley!

My apologies for choosing Ryno. The nerve! The audacity!
What I should have said that, with all due respect, there really isn't much of a point to this. There is probably a player in every position that has better numbers than a Phillie. Even Vic (my favorite player on the team)is having a MVP type year, but wouldn't you rather have Granderson numbers? You wouldn't take Pedroia or Cano over Utley? Point is, if you go strictly by numbers, The Phils would look completely different.

I'm not an idiot - I'll use some discretion with which positions I choose.

Seriously, what is the big deal with this topic? It generates some debate, it's good for a little bit of bar-room banter. Not every topic has to be life-or-death. Not every single topic has to be high-brow baseball discussion. If you don't like it, there will be another thread in the next couple hours.

The Phillies haven't played a game in three days, they've played only one game in the last four days, they haven't won a game in six days. It's a bit of a lull in the schedule.

I know I'm cutting into valuable time that could be spent arguing about Brian Schneider's BABIP and Michael Martinez's range factor, so I apologize for that. But honestly, I really don't see this topic being that much of an inconvenience to your lives.

Damn, you tell 'em Drew.

I think the default position of alot of people is to complain. If there are no games to complain about you can complain about the blog itself...

Cabrera, party

***I know I'm cutting into valuable time that could be spent arguing about Brian Schneider's BABIP and Michael Martinez's range factor***


topic for tomorrow:

which BL author is the snarkiest? (right now, it's Drew by a nose...)

topic for Wednesday:

which BL poster would you rather have lunch with than King of Bop?

Drew, perhaps starting at first base was a mis-step. Comparing Howard to other 1B happens spontaneously on this site daily. It's well-trod ground. Maybe a discussion of center fielders would evoke less hostility.

Hugh, well said.

conshy, I can see it now. You're having lunch with the King of Bop and you ask him what vegetables he's ordering, and he says, "I'M GETTING STEAMED!" but he repeats it 100 times.

I like Drew's topics, just for the record, and think he's added to the site. Keep up the side debates.

OP - got a big laugh out of me on that one.

let me try:

"i'll have the hib, with a side of jib, hold the sanity, please."

Drew, Ryan Howard's value is a total bitchfest in just about every thread. (Almost) Everyone complains about him. You had to know this before you posted.

Drew, your topics, by and large, are thought provoking and worthy of discussion. Some of what has kept BL traditionally among the better blogs out there. I guess it's the simplicity of the "who would you rather have" concept that feels a bit amateurish to me, something I truly believe you are not.

Virtually every thread turns into a comparison of virtually every Phillies player to others at their same position at some point. I guess I just don't see a need to formally have the discussion that happens organically, then inevitable spirals out of control into name calling (Howard Bashers, etc.) and questioning the allegiance of other posters (who's a "real" Phillies fan). It all just feels so generic, like many of the other 9 million Phillies blogs that simply mail it in each day.

At any rate, like everyone else, I'm free to choose which threads to read, which to comment on, and even which sites to frequent. I don't have to love every thread.

I'd like an order of Goosewurst, with a side of going pigeon.

Joe: Lou Gehrig??? Please, give me a young Beast (Foxx) over ol' Buscuit Pants.

(I don't know what Buscuit Pants means, but Baseball Reference has it listed as one of Gehrig's nicknames)

i'll have a Squonk in the House salad.

Biscuit Pants? My dog would have attacked him.

As a consistent lurker, I won't trash the thread topic, but would put my name in the hat that perhaps JW should monitor the feedback of late. My only comment would be that the crowd often doesn't need to be pushed so hard in one direction for conversation. Everyone seems to come up with their own debates just fine, without requiring a very specific blueprint for the conversation.

Wow...great reading today, laughinng out loud literally, and all by myself.

Lyle Overbay

Also, can't tell if it was sarcasm, but how did murphy pass howard...he's hurt right?

Old Phan, you're right.

If I had to choose, there's probably not one player among the Phillies starting 8 that I would consider to be the best at their position (although, right now, I would listen to arguments for Victorino and maybe Utley).

So what? I'll take this COLLECTION of players over any other collection of players in the league, but regarding individual positions, I'm just not sure that any Phillie is the best at his position.

Still doesn't answer my question why you would take Howard over Gonzalez, Cabrera and Votto.

i think we can all agree that we'd take Sophie Howard over Ryan Howard.

Deutsche Phan: That's probably the best point of the day. I think you're right, and Jason has mentioned that to me before. I will be more cognizant of that in the future. Thanks.

Gotta go Pujols. Too good for too long to pass up.

Drew: since Votto is highlighted, is that your selection? Or are you staying nuetral?

In other news, Phillies still atop ESPN's power rankings. Brewers & Atlanta #'s 4 & 5 respectively.

Wasn't David Ortiz absolutely horrible a couple years ago?

I don't think Ryan Howard is done being a significant contributing part of this offense. (Not just RBIs, which don't matter at all)

We highlight the player who is pictured.

Pujols - Right handed batter and also the best in the game

"I'll take this COLLECTION of players over any other collection of players in the league"

Exactly, and that was my point.

However, if Ryno retired tomorrow and I had to choose a different player, it would probably be Votto.

Pod people superior?

"Ever since last year's U.S. Open, Djokovic has been trying to improve his fitness by climbing into a rare $75,000 egg-shaped, bobsled-sized pressure chamber.

The machine, which is made by a California-based company called CVAC Systems and hasn't been banned by any sports governing bodies, is one of only 20 in the world. Unlike the increasingly trendy $5,000 hyperbaric chambers many professional athletes use to saturate the blood with oxygen and stimulate healing, the CVAC is a considerably more-ambitious contraption. It uses a computer-controlled valve and a vacuum pump to simulate high altitude and compress the muscles at rhythmic intervals.

The company claims that spending up to 20 minutes in the pod three times a week can boost athletic performance by improving circulation, boosting oxygen-rich red-blood cells, removing lactic acid and possibly even stimulating mitochondrial biogenesis and stem-cell production."

Wait, people would really take Morse over Howard? Based on what? the last four months?


Great point on the self sufficient commentary, without needing prompting. Though, over the weekend the unguided conversation took a pretty ugly turn. At any rate, BL still outranks most all other Phillies blogs because of the thought provoking dialog. I think those of us who come here for that don't want to see it degrade to sports talk radio levels of intolerability. That's all. Probably just a few flies in the ointment.

I'm sure we could get a great banter back and forth between, say Jack and Iceman, as to Howard's relative worth versus other 1B's in MLB rather organically. In fact, I think it happens at least 5X's a week or so.

MG, I saw that same article. You have to think it's only a matter of time until those contraptions are regulated, too. Though, I'm not sure how sports would prove an athlete was using one. I guess if you're willing to drop $75K on a training device, youshould be afforded the competitive advantage??

Players with at least 1 RBI per every 4.5 AB, min 500 games played in MLB history:

1. Babe Ruth 3.80
2. Lou Gehrig 4.01
3. Hank Greenberg 4.07
4. Ted Williams 4.19
5. Jimmie Foxx 4.23
6. Mark McGwire 4.38
7. Ryan Howard 4.38
8. Joe DiMaggio 4.44
9. Hack Wilson 4.48

Who was the better player, Joe DiMaggio or Willie Mays?
That was an actual discussion that took place on WFAN in NY many moons ago. I was shocked at the anger and vitriol that the question provoked. I had to turn that off pretty fast.

love the meta-thread!

lorecore, of course, Howard will drop out of that list during his decline phase. Oh wait, he's already there? :) :) :)

"Ever since last year's U.S. Open, Djokovic has been trying to improve his fitness by climbing into a rare $75,000 egg-shaped, bobsled-sized pressure chamber."

The dude went from a distant No. 3 in the world to having one of the most dominant seasons in the history of tennis. Hence, I can only conclude that the Phillies need one of those egg-shaped pressure chambers too. With a $160M payroll, you'd think the front office could spring for one.

A more interesting topic would be Chooch. Who would you rather have? McCann seems a no-brainer. Mauer? Not so sure any more.

Old Phan: Willie Mays.

Edmundo - id say mccann, avila, montero and napoli would be no brainers - all having great seasons for a catcher

Again with the meaningless RBIs.

You probably think wins have value too.

Willie Mays.

I agree with those who agree that this is a strange topic. But I want to chime in anyway. Of course in a vacuum, you'd rather have players such as Votto and Gonzales over Howard. But don't discount playoff experience/success, which includes getting to the playoffs first. Are the Phillies really that much more talented over the past few years than the Brewers and Reds?

41 games
7 hr 27 rbi
and 1 "get me to the plate boys"

3 games
0 hr 1 rbi

4 games
1 hr 2 rbi

4 games
0 hr 0 rbi

I'm well aware that first basemen aren't quarterbacks in terms of needed postseason success to define them, but I guess I'm saying be careful what you wish for. What we have is pretty good.

Jamie Moyer to begin rehabbing, in Clearwater, per Zolecki, in anticipation of giving it one more shot next year.

A relief thread has been brought in.

This one was clearly gassed from the start.

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