Part of

« Thursday: Catching up with Phillies happenings | Main | Beerleaguer for breakfast: Non-tender candidates »

Monday, October 17, 2011


Next season = over

welcome back

There are some questions but also about $50m to spend. Cuddyer may be a good fit, and we'll get one of Madson, Papelbon, and Heath Bell. Barmes and Alex Gonzalez decent stopgap options at SS until Galvis is ready. We can send Mini Mart to AAA this year and get another LH bat to support Mayberry. I think the team looks a lot different next year, but I'm not concerned yet....

The sad thing is the Phillies are completely empty. The only two chips they have that anyone would pay a price for is Cole Hamels and Shane Victorino. The "win now" mentality of last season was very much the case because "now" is gone and the tomorrow the Phillies had no concern over is here. Amaro's greatest test as a GM is going to be dealing with this. Should be an interesting winter.

Substitute "deeply disappointed for "fuming" & "livid," and you express my feelings exactly, JW, both about the postseason and the state of the Phillies. Thanks for posting/a new thread.

(from last thread re: 2012 cleanup hitter)

clout - you're probably right, but at the start of the season, Mayberry represents the biggest power threat in our lineup, and that is versus either LHP or RHP. agree or disagree?

I think it's kinda funny that even JW and other notoriously optimistic posters have suddenly joined the Debbie Downers.

Remember when we were crucified for daring to bring up even the slightest concerns with the team during their 102 win season, and all the jokes about bridge jumping and Pissy Pants?

When do the rainbows and unicorns come back, just curious?

Betting the farm on starting pitching is going to prove a massive, ever-widening mistake. Honestly, we're all baseball fans here. Why didn't we look back to the Braves of the 90s & think better of this plan?

conshy: If Mayberry maintains his 2011 HR rate, then I agree.

It really is a bit ironic that LaRussa is so hated on this blog. He was into sabermetrics before there was a sabermetrics.

In the late 1970s and early 80s he kept a book that broke down a player/pitcher's stats vs. every other player/pitcher and by LH/RH.

He always been a guy that made lots of moves, often going against "The Book" based on individual matchups. He was a guy who placed great value on OB and speed and would encourage his GM to trade, sometimes overpaying, for guys who could bring that.

In those days it was considered bizarre and overmanaging and his attention to stats bred resentment and the notion that Tony thought he knew more than the veteran scouts and coaches in the game (he did.) That led to his rep as "arrogant."

I'd defer to Bissinger, who spent a season with him, on whether he is arrogant or not. But his rep originated with his devotion to mostly ignored stats at a time when no one else did that.

Though, I really do look forward to hearing why I shouldn't be concerned about next year's offense, when all aging/regressing positional players are back but Ibanez (and possibly Rollins), and Howard potentially starting the season on the shelf.

Let's not get carried away. This was the best team in baseball this year to a significant degree, despite some fairy serious injuries.

I actually feel LESS upset about the loss than I did last week. The Cardinals have four bangers in the middle of the order, several complementary pieces, and a bullpen that has been unhittable. If the Brewers slaughtered them, it would have bugged me more.

It's a relatively unusual year in which teams are winning playoff series with great offense and mediocre/poor starting pitching. What are ya gonna do.

Blow up this team.
It's time folks.

clout, per Bissinger, TLR is a bit of an egomaniac.

Though, I do agree that we often sit and wonder how much impact a manager has on any given game. TLR, without doubt, makes his mark on virtually every game he coaches, for better or worse. You can't argue with his success, though.

Scotch man,

While they may lack trade chips, they also lack holes (relative to those of the other teams). They will bring back Rollins or Madson, maybe even both. So you're talking about a stop-gap at one of those spots, tops, plus the early portion of the season Howard may miss. Dom Brown playing a little better than he did in MLB this year, for example, would go a long way toward making up for it. As would a good start from Ben Francisco or the Ross Gload type they sign.

Willard: You were the biggest naysayer last offseason about this team, and yet they won 102 games. Granted, those are all "empty" wins since they couldn't get out of the 1st round of the playoffs, I guess.

This horrid offense helped the team to 102 wins this season. Next year maybe they only get to 94 wins.

Yes, we should panic.

Long story short: That sucked. And still sucks.

Preacher: My main beef w/ LaRussa (as mentioned in the previous thread) is that his managerial style, while undeniably successful, also makes baseball games tedious to the point of unwatchability. Of course there's no reason whatsoever he should care about my opinion, but that's easily the single biggest reason I find St. Louis one of the most boring teams to appear on my TV screen.

They invested heavily in starting pitching and it did pay off. 102 win season. Top seed in the NL. They bet this season on Hunter Pence being the savior of the offense by trading 3 out the Top 10 prospects in the system for him. Those are the types of trades that could sink a franchise if it doesn't work out.

And count me among the weirdos who would love to have my team go on an unprecented streak of success like the Braves of the 90s. 14 straight division titles guarantees you a chance to win the WS EVERY YEAR. In the MLB when only 4 teams make it to the postseason a year, I'll take that every year.

I fully expect the Phillies to win the NL East again next year. A full year of Pence and Utley will help mitigate the early season loss of Howard. Mayberry should be an improvement over Ibanez especially in the field and on the basepaths if not also in the batter's box. And, the team will continue to have the best starting rotation in baseball with or without Oswalt. Really the team only has serious questions at 3rd, short, & a stopgap 1b; and in determining the proper mix of rooks and vets in the bullpen. Re-sign Jimmy, get Cuddyer, and spend $6m on a pair of veteran arms and boom, you're done.

Can't wait for 2012!

Victorino actively hurt this team when he misplayed the ball that led to the game winning run coming across in Game 2.

Phils wil be pre-season, in-season, and post-season favorites to win the NL in 2012.

Lets just hope they dont play like dogshit when the playoffs come around.

Phils wil be pre-season, in-season, and post-season favorites to win the NL in 2012.

Lets just hope they dont play like dogshit when the playoffs come around.

Step 1: Re-sign Ryan Madson. Step 2: Let Jimmy Rollins go (unless he's willing to sign a 3-year contract). Step 3: Sign Rafael Furcal to a 1-year deal. Step 4: Sign Michael Cudduyer to play OF/1B. Step 5: Sign Cole Hamels to a long-term deal. Step 6: Sign or trade a 3B to back-up Polanco.

Lets just hope they dont play like dogshit when the playoffs come around.

I, too, think the Phillies will still have a great shot at being a Postseason team, even if via the Wild Card. But why should anyone have any faith that they won't play exactly as described above?

People can go on & on about the Postseason being a toss-up, but an old, injured team that can't hit is an old, injured team that can't hit. Sure, "anything" can happen in a short series. But the odds that it will? In the case of the Phillies, piss poor.

Step 1: Make every player of value sign team friendly short term deals
Step 2: Tell everyone to not get hurt anymore, ever.
Step 3: Dont suck in the playoffs.

Can we get a "jump to the latest comments" button, JW...?

No doubt that a team record 102 wins is great. And perhaps the early exit in the playoffs might be attributable to some of the concerns expressed throughout the duration of said historic season (i.e. an anemic period for a very streaky offense).

By no means am I pleased that something I've been concerned about for over a year has actually come back to bite them in the butt.

My bigger concern is that 102 wins last year is a great moral victory. The goal, however, was not accomplished, and the gap between the Phillies and "everyone else" is shrinking quickly.

I'd be thrilled with a 94 win season next year, especially if it can be parlayed into an NLCS showing. Baseball has been unwatchable since the Phillies were eliminated.

BTW, JW, thanks for not resorting to the egocentric b.s. that a certain other blog site has come to, simply to be polarizing and generate page views. I'd actually rather have open dialog in comments than controversy provoking jabs at our own hometown 9's personal lives. Thanks for taking the high road. It's what makes BL so good.

I imagine that the Fox report botch was resolved in the last thread, but, just in case, this is from the Athletics Nation blog:

"Ron Washington, the A’s former third-base coach- and one of the guys passed up in favor of Bob Geren- leads his Texas Rangers to the Big Dance for a second straight season. The last manager to do so with an American League team was Joe Torre (1998-2001)."

I am not really that worried about next year. I do worry that the FO has no ability to plan for the future past that though given the contracts they have given out. I almost feel like it is up to 2-3 yet unknown prospects to step up and out produce their salaries or this team is going to be painfully unprepared to compete soon. Dom is clearly one of those guys, and I like his chances, but there has got to be a guy to come in and replace Rollins or Polanco next year who can actually produce.

GTown, I agree that TLR over-manages to the point of making games unwatchable. I was just commenting that it's tough to argue that he doesn't put a ton of advanced work/analysis into his job, and he sure as hell doesn't just sit back and collect his accolades or vitriol based on simply being a manager by title only.

That said, I'll be b8tching up a storm if/when I tune into a WS game and I see the 8th pitching change of the game to play the percentages.

Dear Blind Optimists,

I remain unhappy. I will cheer up next year when and if the facts--i.e., some bats that actually work--say I should.

Yours in grueling faith,

Debbie Downer

If you want to look at what we learned, something we already knew, we don't have to win 100 + games or have the best record to win it all... We have to have a really good team and out manage or get hot for the playoffs. I mean is Nelson Cruz all of a sudden in a different league then Hunter Pence? No! But he has been crushing the ball and Pence didn't have a good post season. The biggest problem we face is that management wants Palanco playing 3B next season. We will get Rollins back for 4/40. And either Madson will be back, or Bastardo etc.. will close, that will be fine. Staff is solid. Between Mayberry and Brown, one will develop into a solid ML ( I know it looks like Mayberry, but I haven't given up on Brown ) Utley will have a better year. We will win 90-95 games. But I sure wish we had Beltre at 3B or were developing our own David Freese.

I don't suppose Vic, or anyone else, would be permitted to work out with Davey Lopes in the offseason?

The Phils will definitely come in last place next year, no question. The entire 102 game-winning team should be dumped.

re:TLR-people may not like him, but what he does works.

Blow the team up:

Even Amaro wanted to do that, he simply can't do that he couldn't move Utley (he would fail a physical I bet) and Howard at this point.

Phils will be competitive/very good next year as long as Halladay/Lee/Hamels stay healthy. One of them misses most of the season & they have some problems.

Phillies on top, Nats in second?

"Victorino actively hurt this team when he misplayed the ball that led to the game winning run coming across in Game 2."

I must have missed that game. When did that happen?

OP - I guess that's the triple Craig hit off his glove in that deep nook in left center. Guy gets a glove on a ball on a dead run near the wall = misplay on Monday morning.

Every team goes into the offseason with major questions.

It was when he smashed into the wall and got disoriented. Because he smashed into the wall.

Got it. Thanks. For a minute, I thought Cliff Lee had something to do with that game.

I think this Deadspin headline alone perfectly expresses my feeling RE: watching teams that LaRussa manages:

Legends Are Born In October, Then Pulled In The Fifth Inning For A Situational Lefty

Again, just because it's successful does not make it fun to watch. If anyone outside of Cards fans claims to enjoy the style of baseball LaRussa perpetuates I'll call you a lying sonuvawhore.

For a minute, I thought Cliff Lee had something to do with that game.

He did. The strike zone was a joke, Charlie left him in too long & the f*cking Phillies batters only managed 1 hit -- promptly erased on a CS -- after the 2nd Inning. Go team.

For a minute, I thought I had something to do with that game.

That game wasn't on the umps or the offense. Cliff blew it.
Now, if you want to blame the offense for game 5...

Dave - "When you're playing for money, winning is the only thing that matters."

Leo Durocher is right. So what if LaRussa makes a bunch of moves. It isn't my favorite kind of baseball but harping on that just seems to be a way to pick a bone at a guy who people have a larger axe to grind.

I guess Tommy Craggs like the DH and baseball where the manager can go to sleep/mentally zone out until the 5th/6th inning just about every night.

JRoll 3/30 take it or leave.That's a gift.
Many back-up catchers available. How good do they have to be to match Sneider's stats
Lidge,Gload Raul thanks,see you later.
Mini Mart:Shouldn't have been here this year. Whst makes you think he won't be here next year?
Above a good start!

Cliff, BABIP, Meals hating Pennsylvania, TLR bitching... whatever.

No matter what I decide to blame it on, it's a stain on my favorite pitcher that will be hard to erase from my mind. I can't wait for next season just so I can cheer him on and forget about it.

Funny, "gut punch" is the exact phrase I just used to describe my feelings as well. Time heals. It's just not time yet.

Among the many questions about the future, I keep pondering this one:

-What will a "repaired" Polanco be in 2012?

My thoughts about the 2012 infield surprisingly revolve around the answer to that question.

MG: I can assure you my main axe is the fact that LaRussa spends more time on the mound during any given game than most of his pitchers.

Sure, he's also an arrogant prick, but that's hardly rare in the professional sports world. Like I said, there's no reason for him to change something that works for him & his ball club. I simply can't stand watching it, is all.

Am I over the early playoff ouster? In a word, No. And I will never be. Because I can see the window closing on this bunch. With no help in the Minors and with precious little to trade, help is going to have to come in the form of signing free agents. And in a lot of areas the pickings are slim.

Rollins will stay because the Phils have no other options. Maybe Furcal on a 1-year deal. But if the Cards win it, maybe he stays in St.L. A closer will be brought in. I believe Madson is gone. Mayberry will get his chance, but I don't know how they'll replace Howard.

So there is work to be done. Lots of it. It doesn't matter how many regular-season games you win. You have to win 11 in the post-season. Right now at this moment, I just don't see that happening.

Let's face it, the core is aging and injured. They can get healthy but they can't get younger. A different approach requires different players. There will be a few new faces next year. Whether they'll be good enough remains to be seen.

Yeah, Cliff wasn't sharp, and he did have a 4-0 lead. And froma that point on, the offense was non-existant. Neither the players nor the manager made any adjustments to change that.

Unfortunately unlike the original Six-Million Dollar Man, Steve Austin, the Phils don't have the technology to repair the multitude of health maladies that Polanco has suffered from the past 2 years.

Bad back, bad elbow, bad hip, bad groin.

Maybe we don't need 3 number one starters and should trade one for a young position player that hits for some power?

DPatrone, who would have seen the Cardinals winning 7 (so far) in the postseason a couple months ago? Who would have seen the June-August juggernauts that were the Phillies this year losing 3 NLDS games started by Lee, Oswalt and Halladay? Any group of players good enough to win 88ish Major League games is fully capable of catching fire in October and winning 11 more.

Tough to swallow loss, yes. Disappointing given the 102 win season, definitely yes. But that's baseball and life goes on.
What helps to assuage the pain is the fact that with the best starting staff in baseball still largely intact they will make the postseason next year and with the right moves they will have another shot at the WS. Beats living in Baltimore.

How long did it take Mariners fans to get over losing the 2001 ALCS? My guess is I would still be harping on it, with only a brief respite during the hot stove prior to the 2010 disaster season when the talking heads touted their eventual 101 loss team as favorites to win the pennant.

I predict a long winter.

Even if it is the end of this group's shelf life, it sure has been a lot of fun these past 5 years. Pull out an 1997 yearbook or score card; suddenly things don't feel so bad anymore.

I don't care for Larussa on a personal level, and I share GTown Dave's views about the aesthetics of watching Larussa's managing style in action. If baseball had existed in the late 15th Century, the Grand Inquisitor would have been sentencing heretics to watch the 6th through 9th inning of a Tony Larussa managed baseball game.

Despite all that, MG posted some very compelling numbers a few weeks ago about the Pythagorean records of Larussa's teams versus the actual records of those teams. The numbers showed a very consistent pattern of Larussa's teams finishing with some 5 to 7 more wins than their projected records. That's pretty powerful evidence that he's doing something right.

Cholly's teams, on the other hand, have consistently finished with right around the same actual record as their projected record, plus-or-minus a game or two.

Fumphis~ Absolutelty correct. The Giants did the same thing last years. Both of those teams are were seemingly less talented the the Phils but...

Amaro has done all he could to ensure that the Phils remain one of the top teams, but age and injuries (though part of the game) catch up with you.

And while he's made some great FA signings and trades, the Lee deal was a dud and he's given out some bad contracts. All of this is coming back to haunt us now.

It all runs in cycles. And it could soon end. And the problem is we're used to it now. And RAJ no doubt will do his best to keep it going. When you look back at it, would we have been better off with Michael Young then Pence. Who knows? But now we need an upgrade at 3b offensively. I like Polly, but I wanted Beltre.

But it also has to happen on the field. It's why I advocate the small-ball theory in close games. I love the big inning too, as much as the next phan. A question that will never be answered however, is had we gotten by the Cards, could we have outplayed the Brewers, who in my opinion were fortunate to beat Arizona?

Amaro said "we're not that team anymore" during the press conference, in reference to the power (or lack thereof).

So now he has to spend money and possible go over the luxury-tax threshold to bring in what this team needs. We'll see what happens.

I asked this before.....
I'll re-phrase this. We have three number one starters on the Phils.

Why not trade one of the 3 for a good young power hitter? I suppose Hamels is the most trade-able as I don't think he'd have a no-trade clause while Halladay and Lee would.

We need offense. No other team in this post-season had the same calibre of starters as the Phils have so is it really necessary?

Rich - So who exactly do the Phils trade? Hamels isn't going to get them a MLB-ready, good young power hitter. Not with only a single year left on his contract.

I wouldn't mind them looking at potentially trading Hamels but I would much prefer they just resign him long-term this offseason to a 4 yr/$70M deal if possible.

If you trade Halladay, you basically concede that this team is rebuilding. Lee's contract isn't favorable either to move given how it is backloaded & his salary significantly jumps this year.

There are a fair amount of things Amaro should do but this isn't one of them.

I love how some think they've got the playoffs 'figured out' now that the Phils have lost two years in a row against inferior opponents. Apparently they've proven their formula just can't win in the playoffs, and this disproves that the playoffs are a complete crap-shoot.

Think about the teams that have beaten them the past two years- or even three years, back to 2009. That year, we got bludgeoned by a powerful offense. In 2010, we beat a superior offensive team in the Reds, but then the Giants beat us with a pitching staff that was absolutely on fire. And now this year, we get beat by a better offensive team. And in the last two playoff series they've lost, the Phils have actually scored more runs than their opponent.

If the last three years have proven anything, it's that the playoffs ARE a crap-shoot, and thinking you can build a team to crack some playoff 'code' is just totally absurd. All you can do is build a team to get there. It's not that complicated.

How do you blow up the team? Even a few changes like Polanco and Utley would be near impossible due to age, injury history and contract. They have very few trade-able options. That loud noise you heard was not Howard's achilles ripping apart. It was the window slamming shut.
I wouldn't mind a 1-year replacement for Rollins and then bring up Galvis. Vic may have trade value for a quality 3B. Polanco is finished. Utley is a shell of himself and will never recover his glory. I guess RAJ wasn't as bright as everyone thought he was. I really feel bad for Halladay. His shot at the WS is gone.


Jayson Werth, who played with Ryan Madson in Philadelphia, is trying to sell the free agent closer on the Nationals. Keep in mind that the Nationals already have Drew Storen.

You don't think Hamels would bring back a young power hitter? I guess it depends if you mean an "established" power hitter, or a "major league ready" AA/AAA prospect.

Possibility 1: The 92-70 Phillies from 3 years ago were a better team than the 102-60 Phillies from this year.
Possibility 2: Playoff results are a poor predictor of team quality. (i.e. the playoffs are a crapshoot)

I find (2) far more believable than (1). I find (1) ridiculous. It doesn't seem as if anyone here agrees.

DH, you're absolutely right.

The team won 102 games and essentially the entire season hinged on one game in which the team didn't underachieve-they didn't even bother to show up. Two runs (hell, even one run at that point) and everything would be different. No, this team doesn't need to "blow up" and their window isn't closed. There will a few minor changes and that's about it.

I understand the desperation people are feeling, but trading their all-around best hitter and GG fielder(Vic) and their youngest pitcher (Cole)?

And the evidence presented to support (1) is mostly nonsense. Old team, bad offense, past-their-prime, undermanaging, window of opportunity closed... none of that showed itself over 162 games. Over 162 games, they had the best record in the NL by 6 games and the best record in the division by 13 games. That's basically the same team they'll have next year - why is that a problem?

-Sign Maddog and another one or two of the decent reliever class.

-Make J Roll the "take it or leave it 3yr 27 mil offer" then sign Ramon Santiago (right handed)

-Get Cuddyer or one of those frequently brought up dudes who is versatile for 1st

-Get Edwin Encarnacion for 3rd (right handed and only 28)

-Get Brown on a hot-streak before the season begins and trade him as soon as somebody is dumb enough to believe he can keep it up.

-Get Ramon Castro to back up Chooch (he's old, dumb looking and right handed, better contact than Brian Schneider or Dane)

-Get Omar Infante if the SS or 2nd option is not working out (Chase may need some lawnchair time). He can play either and outfield and his is also right-handed.

-Misc.- Offer Kazmir, and some of the other down and out starters on the list a minor league with opt out offer.

-Get Goya and Bimbo (new Latin American Tastykake owners) to sponsor two or three Latino nights to pay for the infield options.

I've been a Rollins defender and want to keep him around, as the team would be worse off without him.

But if they don't keep him around- and I have a feeling they won't offer him what it takes- I'm hoping the contingency plan is to acquire, via free agency or trade, someone who can be a damn lead-off hitter. Because even I'll admit Rollins was never ideal in that role- and they've got a bunch of guys in this lineup already hitting where they shouldn't. I really hope the plan isn't to acquire a warm body and just stick him in the 8th spot and be done with it.

Vic is the either the best, or second best, hitter on the team, and has a bit of pop in his bat. With Howard out, he should be in the middle of the lineup, not lead-off. I hope the plan is to get a guy that can run like hell and draw a freaking walk once in a while, because a Valdez-like replacement is going to make the lineup and the team much worse.

Cuddyer would be an absolutely perfect fit for this team, as has been speculated for some time. Naturally that means there is no chance that he is acquired.

What about signing JRoll and then when Galvis is ready in a season or two, move JRoll to third and tell him to hack away as a power hitter (like he truly wants to) since his speed will be way down by that point? Hell, bring Galvis up this year to learn and be the utility guy? Play Utley at first until Howard is ready and give Galvis a lot of ABs at the beginning of the season?

This of course is contingent on his actually being good.

The Phillies are a great team needing only minor changes. They should -
1. sign Hamels to a four-year extension;
2. if the team believes his back will hold up, give Oswalt a two- or three-year extension with a base of $10 million per and bonuses based on innings pitched (If Oswalt can throw 200 innings next year, the Phils will easily win the NL East again.); cut Kendrick loose;
3. sign Rollins to a three- or four-year deal;
4. sign Madson to a three-year deal;
5. add another solid IF to play when Utley, Rollins or Polanco cannot;
6. turn LF responsibility over to Domonic and Mayberry; and
7. bring in a guy like Giambi to play 1B until Howard returns, which could be late in the season; give Mayberry double duty at first.

What I am saying essentially is keep the guys you have, go young in LF and upgrade the bench significantly. If you add up the numbers, all of these moves can fit within the Phils' payroll for 2012, although it may be necessary to defer a small amount of salary.

It will be all better next year because Ruben ordered Charlie and GG to coach the guys to play better situational baseball.

By the way, is it time to go back and pull all of our preseason predictions and see how we did?

The problem with Cuddyer is that he really can't play 3rd base at this point of his career and, even when he could, his defense was terrible. He's basically a 1st baseman/outfielder which means that, once Howard comes back, he'd be taking Mayberry's job. And, while he's undoubtedly a safer pick than Mayberry, he may or may not be better. If we're going to fork out the type of big money we'd have to pay for a guy like Cuddyer, I'd rather upgrade at a position where I'm confident that I'm actually getting an upgrade.

Am I over the loss? Absolutely. You know why? Because it doesn't affect my day to day life. Of course I'd rather the team I love was still alive but they were beaten by a better team this year. It happens. I think you could play that series again and there is almost zero chance that Lee blows a 4-0 lead in Game 2 and Carpenter throws a 3 hit shutout in Game 5 (and to be fair- Francisco probably doesn't hit a 3 run homer).

I've said this before but I've been a Phillies fan since the as long as I can remember. (I'd say around 1985- which would put me at 4 years old). Save for 1993 and the last 5 years the Phillies didn't make the playoffs. Many of those seasons they didn't even sniff the playoffs. Many of those seasons they were done by the beginning of August. Honestly, I would take getting to the DS (or just being in the playoff hunt until late in the season) even if it meant losing ultimately because watching baseball in September for a good portion of my life sucked. It's fun right now.

I'm not some naysayer who thinks the window is closing. I think the Phillies organization has positioned itself in a place where they are able to build a team to compete year in and year out. Faces will change but the core principle will stick. The Phillies are a completely different organization than they were for most of my life. They spend money, they've created a team and atmosphere where players (good ones) actually want to come play. They even have an organization that is producing good players to come up through the system.

There are definitely things that need to be tinkered with for next year and I think they will be. Honestly, I wouldn't sign Madson or Rollins. Tender them deals and let them sign elsewhere and stockpile some draft picks. It won't help immediately but it will help replenish a farm system that has been picked from quite a bit the last few years. Maybe let Galvis take his lumps as the starting shortstop. Let Bastardo close or sign a guy on the cheap (like a Qualls type) and go from there. There are plenty of different avenues to take.

But in the end this is still a golden age for this team and I'm going to enjoy it regardless of the pain that came with the loss in this year's NLDS.

I'm pretty much over the loss.

But I've also been resigned to the fact that the playoffs are pretty random for a long time. And I was also acutely aware of the Phillies flaws even when they were winning 102 games, which no one wanted to hear about.

Anyway, I tend to be of the belief that I got to watch potentially the greatest run in Phillies history over the last few years. Even if the end is coming very soon (and I, unlike some, do think it's coming very soon), this has been fantastic and I don't take any of it for granted. People complaining that the season was a waste , I just don't understand. You spend all season watching a team win most games, and then you think it's all a waste because of one week? Whatever.

And for those who think the Phils are going to spend a lot of money, well, I'd be surprised. My guess is that you see a gradual drawdown of the payroll over the next few seasons. Revenues have peaked. Where, pray tell, do people see them getting the funds to pay for everything, especially if the playoff revenue and sellouts slow down?

Old Phan: Your view of the post-season is radically different than mine. The whole season did indeed hinge on one game. But it wasn't game 5. Chris Carpenter is one of the best pitchers in baseball and he does pitch shutouts.

The key to the series was Game 2 in which ace Cliff Lee couldn't hold a 4-run lead and Gold Glove CF Shane Victorino couldn't catch a catchable ball that became a triple, while going 0 for 4 on 10 pitches and stranding 3 runners.

BAP is exactly right about Cuddyer.

Jack: I'm assuming you are addressing those that are saying the Phillies are going to have to go over the luxury tax to bring in guys.

With my "they spend money" comment- I'm saying that even if the payroll shrinks (which it invariably will) I still think the new management team will keep it at a certain level to try and field a competitive team. Maybe the level eventually drops down to about 70-80% of what they spend right now.

"Revenues have peaked."

Does anyone think the Phillies will not raise ticket prices this year, as they do every year?

derek: Your fantasy is cool, but let me ask a couple questions:

Given that Oswalt has a $16M option for 2012, how do you figure the Phillies get him for 3 more years at $10M per? You think he'll ignore other offers after the Phils cut ties with him?

Also, given that Giambi will be entering his age 41 season and is one of the worst fielders in baseball already, would it be wise to play him every day while Howard is out?

The 08 team was not as good as the 11 team. But I think the former was pretty well-suited for playoff baseball: power up and down the lineup, one lights out starter and a solid back end of the bullpen. The 08 team's starting pitching -- which was deplorable enough at one point to necessitate the acquisition of Joe Blanton -- made it a less than great team, but like the Rangers (and the Cardinals for that matter), they could mash and usually hold the lead.

Clout: You think Oswalt will get a 3 year deal for more than 30 million if the Phils decline his option?

He might get 10 per year, but it will be for two years, not three. Care to wager on it?

TTI: I agree Phils will spend something like 70-80 pct of current payroll. They should be able to field a competitive team with that money, too. If they don't, it's on Amaro.

There's an interesting piece on Fangraphs about how, in general, relief pitching is actually better than starting pitching. Obviously, starters contribute way more over the course of a season than relievers, but on a per inning basis, relievers are actually a little more effective.

It makes you wonder, given the results of this year, if the old truism that pitching wins in the playoffs is right, but it's really relief pitching, not starting pitching. If you think about it, over a long season, you could never pitch your relievers as much as TLR and the Rangers are doing right now. But, given that it's the playoffs and you have nothing to lose, I wonder if a good bullpen can't basically match what a good rotation can offer you, given that theres no reservation in using them, and they're just as effective.

Its an interesting possibility, at the least.

Clout, I would not say our views were at all radically different. I agree with you about game 2 and I have said that all along. My point was that Game 2 had already happened and we could have forgotten about it had the Phils scored just 2 runs in Game 5. 2 runs! No doubt that Carpenter is a good pitcher, but the Phils didn't get shutout often during the season, and all they needed to do was to scratch out one run to stay in the game. I do disagree about blaming Vic, though. He wasn't the only batter with opportunities and besides, they had a 4 run lead.

I was over it the next morning. I yell and scream(and probably annoy my neighbors) during the game, but when it's over, it's over. I learned that on the job. I had a stressful job, but I didn't take it home with me. If I did, or overreacted to every Phils loss since the 60's, I probably wouldn't be here today.
There are 3 reasons I haven't posted much lately.
1. I stayed away a few days because I knew the negativity here would be unbearable.
2. I don't have any wild trade ideas for blowing up the team.
3. I don't have any predictions for next year, because no one knows what the team will look like in 5 months. But I stay tuned every day, because I know you guys will keep me up to date on every move.
Here's hoping it's not a long, boring winter. I'll be watching Shawshank every week to keep my hopes up.

Jack: Interesting stuff about relievers in the playoffs.

I'll take the over on 3/30 for Oswalt.

Jack: If the bullpens continue to excell in the WS, I expect BP pitchers to be the hot commodity this winter. Madson is probably enjoying this October more than most Phils.

The Phillies will raise more revenue this season by simultaneously running Blue Cross, McDonalds and WB Mason commercials on a triple split screen. Just imagine the revenue!

I was watching the season premiere of The Walking Dead on AMC last nite. I thought it was going to be a documentary about Phillies fans after game 5 of the NLDS as they left the ballpark.

Why is there any interest in signing a with a really bad back in his mid-30s? Best case scenario is he is declared a Type A free agent and signs on some NL team outside the East.

Jack - I do think this team is in a notable decline starting in '13. This team's minor league system is pretty tapped out & unless they make some good draft choices in '12 and '13 they are headed back to mediocrity again.

The Dead of the AMC series are significantly more enthusiastic than a majority of Phillies players have been in either of the past two Postseasons.

I'm over it.

On "the window":
I believe they have 1, maybe 2, years more of post-season potential. I have confidence that RAJ will be able to bring in players and make some moves and keep us competitive for next season.

This is true MG after say maybe 2 years this team is headed in a down spiral. Include the fact that they wont to spend much money on drafting prospects and traded most of their current farm away. However it is possible after maybe 2 years they will start to trade for prospects at one point.

The comments to this entry are closed.

EST. 2005

Top Stories


Rotoworld News

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Facebook

Contact Weitzel