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Thursday, October 20, 2011





JW, you are to be commended with this line:

"He pitched for Team Australia during the 2009 World Baseball Classic and his hobbies include Australian Rules Football and computers, according to the 2010 Phillies media guide."

Wow this is a shame. First game of world series done, and since the team went down the best news we get is this! Hope cards sweep them so we can start off-season faster. Its amazing that big Mac got all these guys to buy into his system and his ideas. All the players trust him and listen to him. Yes he has Albert matt and berk. But look at what he got out of all the rest of that club. So I really think that the players can change but need a person who can teach them and really gain the trust factor. We have Gg yes!!!! Need ryne sandberg to take over his job.

What I want to know is, can Naylor double as a backup catcher?

Drew Naylor? Well if that ain't the final piece of the World Series puzzle I can't imagine what is!

Per the Twitterites and the Phils own Twitter feed, all 6 coaches back next year.

"Drew Naylor? Well if that ain't the final piece of the World Series puzzle I can't imagine what is!"

In all fairness, the Phils can't talk to Nick Punto just yet...

Thank goodness that Qaddafi sponsored All Australian All-Stars Barnstorming league has been cancelled.

Drew Naylor is back! Now we can trade that loser Cole Hamels (for the sarcasm impaired, this is a facetious post).

"I countered that, by that reasoning, Aaron shouldn't be in either. He may have been dominant compared to 98% of all MLB outfielders but he was not the dominant outfielder of his era."

clout, you're being your disingenuous self again.

Saying someone needs to be "a dominant" player to merit consideration for the HOF is not the same as saying he has to be "the dominant" player.

But then, you wouldn't try to twist around what someone else posted, would you?

Naylor??? I hardly knew her!


"Mick Billmeyer (bullpen), Rich Dubee (pitching), Greg Gross (hitting), Pete Mackanin (bench), Sam Perlozzo (first base) and Juan' Samuel (third base), along with bullpen catcher Jesus Tiamo, will resume their respective positions."

"Billmeyer is the longest-tenured member of the coaching staff after being hired by Larry Bowa in 2004 as the major league catching instructor. he 2012 season will be his ninth with the Phillies as well as the eighth for Dubee, fourth for Mackanin and Perlozzo, third for Gross and second for Samuel."

No surprises at although I am hoping that Billmeyer did return with his binoculars.

Anyone ever do an analysis to see what the Phils' players were pre-post 'Binocular-Gate' last May? Say from 2009-2001 with May being the dividing point?

Re: Nick Punto

He had a great AB against Wilson the other night. He was one veteran guy I really wanted Amaro to sign last offseason.

Who knows he if would have produced at a similar level in Philly as he did for the Cards but he certainly would have been better than useless Mini Mart and at not much a higher price ($750k).

Sure, the usual suspects will be back coaching, but the real make or break move will undoubtedly be the canning of the batting practice pitcher.

Can we request Randy Miller's twitter feed is taken off this page? Since the Phils bashing is over, it's been nothing but Flyers crap. Sorry Mr. Snider, I just don't dig it.

I second the notion brought forth to the floor by the esteemed Mr. Grandpa.

Flyers tweets are pretty agonizing.

What they said. Truth be told, I wasn't even a huge fan of his Phillies-related tweets.

Imagine this must be a make or break year coming up for him at his age. If not he is destined to be another Carpenter.

Watching Garcia dominate the best offense in the league should dispel the notion that he's some bum that only pitches well against the Phils. He's a really good pitcher, especially at home.

Imagine these guys in the playoffs with Wainwright in place of Lohse or Jackson. They would be an absolute buzzsaw right now. And assuming Pujols resigns next year, they will be pretty much a lock to win that weak division.

Why are they still doing this god bless america malarky?

How very North Korean of us.

A few weeks back, we were comparing this season to 1964. Well, in 1964 the Cards won the WS. It looks to be a repeat.

I figure our nation can use all the blessings we can get.

How about this for a playoff format: give the team with the best record in each league a bye and have the other three teams play a round-robin tournament.

When a team loses two games, it is out of the tournament.

Make the League Championship Series and the World Series best of 9 games.

An Endy Chavez sighting!

that move by ron washington to take out the lewis looked very charlie manualish,esp craig hits a ball to right field [and RBI]
putting STLOUIS ahead... ... Geez - did that bad... rbi, same pitcher - same pinch hitter, etc...

s/ say -->look bad

Glad to see this Motte clown get hit around.

I'm the one man game chat! Al right. I got this.

I hope LaRussa pulling Motte undoes his confidence and he's a wreck the rest of the way. And I hope Arthur blows this. I hope Hamilton hits it between the moon and New York City. Get it? Get it?

Excellent baserunning by Texas this inning. It reminds me of the Phillies when they were all still young and innocent. sob.

Tony is running out of guys. Not looking good for Abner Doublday. He's getting out managed by Mickey Rivers er Ron Wasington.

That's how you score runs. Evey out moves both runners. Every extra base is taken.

Nefi's got this.

Live by the fastball, die by the fastball.

Amazing watching the Rangers, down 1-0 in the 9th, do exactly what the Phillies didn't do when they were down 1-0 in the 9th. Try to hit it where they ain't. Take the extra base. Then score on 2 sac flies. I hope the Phils and Charlie took some notes. I didn't see any of the Rangers big bats just swinging for the fences that inning. They were swinging to do their part and get the job done as a team.

Giving it right back! A classic inning followed by walking a Molina. Larussa stuck with a marginaly faster pinch runner because he does linee changes in the 7th inning. Goon.

Eat it Punto! Offer at stuff over your head 3 times. Nicely done.

I was thinking the same thing, Len.

Nefi is all over the place. Mickey Rivers better get someone up.

1 more!

I like Feliz and I really don't think this thing gets back to STL. The Rangers are gonna play AL ball in Alrington and mash. The Cards can't hang in those kind of games.


this format of 2-3-2 is quite advantageous for the away team if they split the first two games....rangers in 5....if it was 2-2-1-1-1, i think this series goes 7.

i know it didnt work in 2009 but with this rangers team (like the phils in 2008) i think 2-3-2 is huge

Yo, AJ Pyrzinski is a huge tool.

Even postgame guys are ripping Larussa and fox as policy loves the guy.

Clown-ass Kyle Lohs. Cards don't have a chance.

Len's post nailed it. I had the very same thoughts as I watched. Amazing what a couple of intelligent ABs & some heads-up base running can do for a team.

Phils don't try to hit it where they ain't? How does a team win all those games by trying to hit it directly to the fielders?

Wait a sec. I thought the Rangers did a nice job also last night, and I confess I had some bitter thoughts as well.

But let's go back to our horrendous fifth game for a sec. Leading off in the ninth against the Cards in that game, Utley hit the ball on the nose. Buzzard's luck, it goes to the deepest part of the park and it's a loud out that has already been forgotten. If he had hit it to the right about 20 feet, the dynamic of the entire series (and not to be melodramatic, but possibly the whole post season) could have changed. What would we rather have had him do, try to place a grounder between infielders? Take the first pitch fastball for a strike (which we have all been bitching about) and be behind in the count and struggle with breaking slop for the rest of the AB? Really?

And on taking the extra base... Utley tried twice (caught stealing and going to third), was nailed both times, and was excoriated here for making the attempts. Pence also was caught stealing.

I would have liked a different approach also, not arguing that. I wondered a couple of times during the Phils/Cards series when I saw speedsters like Holliday and Pujols grab an extra base, and it seemed as if the Phils never did. But I'm not so sure about the theme advanced of the lousy 9th inning, and particularly the theme of the Phils not ever trying to take an extra base.

There did not really seem many opportunities to steal or take extra bases. Sometimes the chances are just not there. Sometimes a player like a Molina or a Pujols will nail you if you get aggressive. Sometimes things just don't work.

But I share the frustration. The Rangers made it happen, somehow, someway. The Phils didn't. And here they are, and here we are.

Bob: There's a difference between smart base running and "taking the extra base." Utley and Pence were excoriated because their decision-making was poor at the time they attempted to "take the extra base." If they had been safe on those plays, it would have been a "that was stupid, but I'm glad it worked out" kind of thing.

As a contrast, the hit-and-run in Game 1 when Kinsler got on with Andrus at the plate was dumb. When McCarver said "Look for a hit-and-run here," I said to my wife (who didn't really care, but she humors me): "McCarver's an idiot. No one would hit-and-run here." And it burned them. That was poor decision-making, even though it was aggressive.

The more I watch baseball, the more I believe in the gods of baseball. On Kinsler's steal in the 9th, Molina's throw was nearly perfect, just on the front part of the base and Kinsler grabbed the back of the base. Against the Phils (on a curveball, no less), he put that throw on the back side of the bag to get Rollins. (It was Rollins, right? I've very much purged my brain of that series.)

Williard Preacher is a rotten guy and doesnt tip the paperboy.Raul's Grandpa has been known to throw his empties into the trash and not recycle newspapers either. Scott lets his dog poop on the old lady next door's prize roses.

Bob - Its not Buzzard's Luck that Utley's ball was caught. Its just 1 of many examples that his power has evaporated in the best few years.

Get used to cheering for doubles off the wall as the most he can offer.

*last few years

R. Bill,

Agreed for the most part. We could go around and around on this. I felt the Phils' attempts were not examples of heads up baseball, but gave them a partial pass because it seemed as if NOTHING was happening and felt they were willing to take a risk to get something going. And after all, Utley had O caught stealings thus far in the season. It's not like he has no history of good base running judgment.

They didn't work out and went from being potential highlight moments if they HAD worked, to goat type moments.

But what I don't remember is a lot of situations where the Phils should have done something like taking an extra base or stealing a base, and they missed a golden opportunity. Just didn't seem to me to be many openings there, and the few times they went a little rogue, they immediately payed the price.

Maybe it comes down to the Gods, as Edmundo says.

Bob - i read more of the preceding comments to yours and more of your post as a whole.

I agree with you, the others are foolish to think that the Phillies didnt try to 'hit it where they aint'. Every single batter tries to do that when they are up, that is such an idiotic concept to think that when a guy dribbles a groundball through the infield -- that wow, look at them focus on hitting where they aint!

The Rangers great base running came off a STL error, if they Cards made an error vs the Phils in Game 5, then maybe we get an unearned sac fly too.

Brandon Moss, Pete Orr, Drew Naylor. Not exactly earth-shattering stuff.

My take on the entire coaching staff returning: Sandberg = gone. Gross with the same players = same trouble.

IMO the Phils have more pressing needs and figger fish to fry.

great post by Murphy. i'm really enjoying his work lately. it's a different approach to many of the discussions that happen around here:

Not to beat a dead horse, but since there ain't a whole lot else happening here right now, I will take the liberty.

Not a defense of Utley here, but I was thinking about the series and R. Bill's comments. I know Utley had not been caught stealing this year, and that in past years he was rarely caught stealing. He takes extra bases regularly, and in thinking back I cannot remember him being caught trying to grab an extra base this season. As a matter of fact, how often is he ever caught trying to take an extra base? I'm sure it happens, but not often.

Then he's nailed stealing second and nailed trying to take an extra base - both in a short series.

Brain freeze by Utley at the worst time? A savvy player trying to make something happen and plays the odds and gets nailed by good plays by sharp players? Baseball Gods? Maybe a bit of each?

Naylor? I don't even know her!

Seriously great news! I just booked my World Series tix for next season! Maybe he can get the likes of Rafael Furcal out!

Tally 'losing speed' on the chalkboard under the section 'why chase utley is a shell of his former self'

I'm just amazed that teams can actually score runs off the Cardinals unhittable bullpen...oh wait.


Brain freeze by Utley at the worst time? A savvy player trying to make something happen and plays the odds and gets nailed by good plays by sharp players? Baseball Gods? Maybe a bit of each?

I think it was Dewan who published a baserunning list (3 year average) and Utley was #1.

That of course doesn't mean that he hasn't lost a step recently and the plays he used to just barely make are just barely caughts now.

conshy - Agreed. Murphy has written a series of really nice posts since the season ended that are what I call 'new sports journalism' that looks an issue but applies a heavy helping of generally understandable stats to lay person to provide some real insights.

Kudos to a well-written piece that simply couldn't be done in a print format.

What does it even mean to try to hit the ball where there are no fielders? The way to maximize your chances of getting a hit is to hit the ball as hard as you can on a line. You're giving Ian Kinsler way too much credit if you think he hit a pop-up right behind Furcal and 3 feet in front of Holliday on purpose.

Also, if you're down by a run late in the game at home, isn't "swinging for the fences", pejorative connotation aside, exactly what the hitters should be doing?

Bob - Utley's career success SB ratio of 88% is among the best ever in MLB history (heard that after the series).

Taking the extra base on the XHB was ill advised for a couple of reasons. Stealing 2nd made a lot more sense because the odds of the Phils scoring a run there greatly increased if he got to 2nd.

People seem to forget that Molina made a hell of a throw on an offspeed pitch to get Utley. Only a handful of catchers can make that throw.

Contrast that to the Phils. Since they have an organizational philosophy due to Dubee where they don't hold runners on and don't have a catcher who can throw runner out (Chooch has an average arm at best and I would argue is below average now; Schneider would be hard-pressed to throw out runners in a softball league), smart teams generally try to run at will on them especially against their better starters.

Mets started doing this back in 2010 and other teams have taken note. Cards did it to the Phils in the NLDS.

DPat: "Brandon Moss, Pete Orr, Drew Naylor. Not exactly earth-shattering stuff."

Really.. are we going to go another offseason with DPatrone demanding transcations every god damn day, starting before free agency even happens?

Nope. This stuff is not even worth menyioning though. Who cares?

MG - agreed.

i think he really got to the crux of the problem with the Phils lineup. we've been lamenting their "feast or famine" offense for years now, and Murphy might have "discovered" the problem. i've seen it mentioned before, but not truly investigated.

simply put, too many hitters with the same skill set may not be ideal. that's some real food for thought.

And really, that's the kind of luck you need to have to win the World Series. You need things like a fly ball off Mike Cameron's glove, or a break on a pitch down the middle to Brett Myers to keep an early rally alive, or a 40-foot swinging bunt by Carlos Ruiz with the bases loaded in extra innings, or a bloop by Jayson Werth over Iwamura's glove, or an RBI hit by Feliz through a drawn-in infield.

Did the 2011 Phillies get a single break in the playoffs like the ones that the 2008 Phillies got? I can think of one: that ball Utley hit that rolled over first base.

Patrone: At least J.W. cares enough to update the site, and not pull crap like "TheFightins" did last year, going away during the offseason because they were too lazy to keep their site running, then reappearing in the Spring. He deserves credit for that.

"Since they have an organizational philosophy due to Dubee where they don't hold runners on and don't have a catcher who can throw runner out (Chooch has an average arm at best and I would argue is below average now; Schneider would be hard-pressed to throw out runners in a softball league), smart teams generally try to run at will on them especially against their better starters."

I'm not sure if there are stats to back this up or not, but it seems that way to me and has been frustrating to watch. When we start talking "new approaches", perhaps this is one seemingly minor adjustment that could be made which would pay dividends.

Bob - There isn't a formal stat unless some stat bureau keeps track of how many throws a pitcher makes over to 1st with a runner on. Maybe STATS INC does.

It really is a philosophy that varies greatly from pitching coach to pitching coach. Some pitching coaches hate focusing on pickoff throws to 1st to keep the runner close. Dubee fits into that school. Kerrigan is another.

Opposite end is a guy like Duncan with the Cards. He always has seemed to emphasize with his pitchers on trying to keep runners close at 1st. Remember him doing that with the A's in the late 80s/early 90s especially with Stewart and Welch.

Speaking of Stewart and runners, does anyone remember the time he balked 20 times in one year! If I recall the leagues had different notions of a balk back then. I bet Duncan loved working out that kink.

For me, I love these posts about the names that will fade into arcana. Heck, Drew Naylor had already faded for me. :) When I saw he was 25, I was shocked. I figured that he had to be in his 30s, his name has been around for so long.

I remember a Phils game from my hazy youth wherein Shane Rawley must have thrown to 1B 5-6 straight times. Toward the end of that string the maybe 20,000 at the Vet sounded like 60,000, booing mercilessly. He promptly gave up a hit.

Good times, good times ...

Some folks (lorecore) need to purge the bile, already. Utley's not what he used to be, I get it, we all get it. Utley's caught stealing was the right idea, on the right pitch, against the wrong catcher. He didn't get to choose the catcher. And, as someone observed, Utley did hit that ball on the button to center in the 9th inning of Game 5. The fact that it didn't go out is not some sign of how far Utley's power has been sapped. Utley was never a guy who hit lots of homers to the deep part of the field. He hits most of his homers to right field. He's generally a dead pull power hitter and, that's the thing he didn't have this season. He didn't seem to be able to turn on pitches with the regularity he once did. He hit more balls to center and left of center than I can remember seeing. The difference in his last at bat was he hit it with authority, not a lazy fly. Best effort; not enough.

Hugh: I jumped on Utley's bandwagon before he was even through Reading and have been his biggest fan ever since.

Watching my favorite player fade away at the age of 32 is harsh and Im holding a grudge against him for it.

You can't blame a player for making a split second decision and being thrown out. Utley is a great baserunner, one of the best I've ever seen. It seems the Phils just weren't destined to win it all this year. I don't recall a single break during the NDCS. I mean, the Cardinals don't really have a good defense and yet, they made 0 errors. A couple of errors could have made all the difference.

Perhaps it would be better if we looked at the post season as exhibition games. The Phils were the best team in the regular season. Almost nobody can dispute that.
I'm proud that the Phils did that. A few games after the fact don't really change that.

The Phils really don't need to do very much this off season. Get a closer (Madson or somebody else), sign Rollins or someone else to play SS. Plus a few minor tweaks.

I believe the Phils could have almost the exact same team and win it all next year. They won 102 games. How are they going to improve on that?

I need to purge the bile. Can I still blame Utley if he had a few full seconds to make a decision? Victorino didn't MISS the cutoff man (Utley) on Furcal's triple. He almost hit Utley with a short hopped throw from the warning track. Utley ole'd the short hop, failing to catch the ball in his oversized outfield glove, and even slowed it down for Rollins who made the catch and throw almost nailing Furcal at third. Utley made a poor decision to go for the throw in the manner that he did.

sounds as if we've all assumed that the Phils will not exceed the luxury tax this offseason. but what if we're wrong?

if we are, then Jose Reyes makes a TON of sense for this team. Reyes is a completely different type of hitter than we have. we get younger, faster and hittier (made that word up, but basically he's a .300+ type of hitter).

we'd have one of the best leadoff hitters in MLB. we'd have our SS for the next 6 years, and Rube will have given the phans a reason to keep showing up at CBP in droves. after the dissappointment (again) this postseason, this should not be underestimated.

c'mon Rube, show him the money!!

conshy - MY main concern with Reyes is that the best indicator or future injuries is past injuries. Even though Jimmy has been out hurt a lot the past couple years, Reyes seems to have been out just as much - and he's younger.

That being said, talent wise I'd prefer Reyes; attitude wise, Rollins. Perhaps the best reason to get Reyes would be it would be easier to boo him when things are going bad.


I'm starting to think a Reyes signing could happen.

For all the talk of the budget inflexibility, we have a grand total of one hitter under contract beyond 2013. As much as it hurts me to say it, I'd be surprised if Utley is here past that at a significant salary. I highly doubt we'd still have both Victorino and Pence.

Another thing to consider is that Amaro has had three offseasons. The first he was carrying a World Series trophy. The second, he acquired Roy Halladay. The third, Cliff Lee. Following the most disappointing end to a season in this current run, we're thinking he's going to come to Clearwater with, like, Wilson Betemit?

"Perhaps the best reason to get Reyes would be it would be easier to boo him when things are going bad."

Andy, that's a great point. With Howard presumably starting the season on the DL, and Ibanez gone, who are we going to direct our vitriol towards if the Phils start out stumbling? We need a scapegoat!! Though, judging by the swill on Twitter, it sounds like Vic is next up on the Philadelphia fans' hit list, and Polly has been moving up the ranks, as well.

Really, though, I'd pass on Reyes, primarily because of the injury concerns. Though, I think subconsciously I'm still associating him with the Mets inability to develop their last can't-miss guy in Lastings Milledge. Similar styles and attitudes and the like.

crotchbat (you could really use a new moniker), i think there's merit to that argument. Howard is it, contract wise, for the offense beyond '13. Rube would have to bite the bullet in '12 and go a bit beyond the luxury cap, but it would be a short term hit and would ideally secure a top talent at a premium position. more importantly, he's a YOUNG premium talent which simply hasn't been coming onto the market lately.

it's not risk-free, as Andy pointed out, as injuries and eventually age could catch up with Reyes. could even happen sooner than later, but it may be a risk worth taking.

i know there are a lot of Reyes haters out there, myself included, but if the Phils land him this offseason, ask yourself this - would you cheer or boo Ruben for that move?

Damn...yeah. Crotchbat was my all-time favorite SNL commercial (a nerf baseball bat kids swing in sensitive areas) but I can understand different interpretations...

You're right about biting the bullet in 2012. But if he has, for example, decided to move on from Victorino after the season, it would be a pretty easy workaround. Or they could backload a Hamels deal.

Bottom line, I'd be surprised if Amaro does not add a dynamic hitter. Why not do it at a position of need and hang on to your few trade chips?

(artist formerly known as crotchbat)

If the Phillies signed Reyes, I predict that Wheels' head will explode. I'm not sure any greater man-love exists than what Muffin carries for Jose. Except for maybe TBag's love of the Phanatic, though I'm not sure the Phanatic qualifies as "man-love."

"He's a great talent, but I'm not sure we need all [i]that[/i]."

I dislike Reyes for many reasons, but I don't know how you can argue that he wouldn't be a great fit for the team and the lineup.

2 biggest questions then:

1. would Rube go over the luxury tax?
2. would Reyes even want to come here?

matt: I trust Reyes to stay healthy for an full season about as much as I trust Rollins to stay healthy for a full season, which is to say not at all. That alone makes the kind of deal he's liable to want a risk not worth taking. Also, r00b has a marked preference for a certain type of player -- namely, hard working vets who do their job & don't make waves -- that Reyes most certainly is not. I'd take it almost as a sign of desperation if he were willing to go over the luxury tax for such a guy ... assuming, that is, Phillies ownership would even allow such a move.

Conshy: I assume Reyes will be happy to go to whatever team is the highest bidder for his services. Personally, I'd prefer Rollins on a 3 year plus an option contract than sinking $20 a year for 6 into Reyes. But that may be because I'd like to see Rollins retire a Phillie

I'd be floored if this team puts themselves in any position to pay the luxury tax.

I hate the idea of the 'status quo' where the Phils just resign JRoll and Madson to a minimum of 3+ yr/Double-Digit annual salaries.

Worst move the Phils can make.

MG- how is that the worst move the Phils can make?

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