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Thursday, November 17, 2011


Brian Schneider. huzzah ... zzzzzz.

Kershaw deserved it, but I stand by my belief that Halladay would have won it if they two played in the same ballparks and vs the same competition.

pitching seemingly 1/2 your games against SD and SF helps.

Time to rename the Mendoza Line the Schneider Line.

I think it's Kershaw by a nose but, you could make a strong case for any one of the top 3.

Good stuff + the cozy confines of Chavez Ravine, Petco Park, and AT&T = 2011 Cy Young.

Kershaw gets smoked in hitters parks.

How many total times has a team gotten 3 in top 5?

Owners approved moving Houston to the AL West in 2013. Two more wild-card teams will possibly be added to the playoffs as soon as next year.

Just announced: Selig gives permission to Bushwick Bill, Willie D and Mr. Scarface to purchase Astros and move team to the 5th Ward.

i like the additional playoff teams in that it gives a definite advantage to the team that wins the division. Both wildcard teams will be using the best pitcher available for the one game playoff the day before the nlds starts....but i just have a feeling there will be many years that the best wildcard team will have a huge lead over the 2nd best wildcard team. It doesnt seem fair that their postseason would come down to a one-game playoff.

I like the 1 game playoff. gives a nifty advantage to the division winner without having them sit around and get rusty or push playoff ball into December. Also, the top Wild Card gets the extra home game revenue win or lose.

"Time to rename the Mendoza Line the Schneider Line"

No need for renaming, as they are completely separate lines. The Schneider Line rests .24 points below the Mendoza Line. I remain utterly and completely disgusted that we re-signed this guy.

Agree that the new wildcard does give the division leaders spot an advantage, and could add some additional "wild" to "wildcard" by making it a one game, winner takes all situation.

It makes sense to have the same number of teams in each league and each division.

I would have been nice if the alignmentment put the Pirates into the same division as the Phils to make that in-state rivalry have some more significance , but that won't happen any time soon.

BAP, I'm with you, though when you look at the whole "Kolb knew the Eagles playbook" deal from last week, it makes perfect sense.

Basically, the Phils don't feel like changing up their signs when they face whoever else Schneider would sign with (whomever that would be...).

As I understand it, the reason for the imbalanced number of teams in each league in the first place was the fact that an odd number of teams per league would require either constant inter-league play or more frequent and irregular days off, since one team would be left without an opponent per day. I haven't seen anything about how MLB plans to address this problem after moving the Astros. Has anyone else?

epicurean - What I read indicated that interleague play was going to be spread out over the season.

"Agree that the new wildcard does give the division leaders spot an advantage, "
Well, it doesn't give the division leaders an advantage they don't already have today; a wildcard team will be just as likely to go all the way as it is under the current format.

But you're right in that it could have been worse.

epicurean -- the answer to the odd number of teams in each league is that there will be constant inter-league play.

While it was nice seeing ALers for a while, to me it's now causing more problems than it's worth. I would favor doing away with ILP and moving to a balanced schedule within each league.

That's probably never going to happen though, due to 1) additional travel, and 2) less emphasis on a few inter-divisional rivalries, which MLB apparently thinks are good for business (and they may be right).

Regarding Schneider, at $8k plus $2k in incentives, the price is certainly right. It sounds like Schneider fills the need for the mentoring veteran battery and is supposedly a good dude; he and Utley are also old friends, for whatever that's worth. What is troubling is the thought of last year's impotent bench returning, albeit with Thome added. I like this deal only if the bench improves otherwise.

I see, thanks. Constant inter-league play sounds awful. What a mess.

...a few INTRA-divisional rivalries...

aladou, new to the site, or just a new handle?

Do the CSN Daily-News-Live types read BL? One of them just bitched that the Phillies big need is a bat and another responded (jokingly) by calling him a Debbie Downer.

They were also claiming that "going forward" Hamels is the most important pitcher on this team and the most important player on the team in general. I may agree.

Does constant interleague play thoughout the season make having a DH like Thome on the bench a little more relevant? Seems like it would.

I wouldn't mind seeing the Interleague junked either with the Phils playing a few less divisional games. Miss seeing more of the NL teams including the Dodgers, Giants, Cubs, Pirates, etc.

Mick O, depends how you look at it. The Phillies won't play any more IL games than they typically would, they'll just be spread out across the season a bit more. So, having someone like Thome (though, noted unless extended, we won't have Thome when this happens) would be helpful in that he's already there everyday, so you can spread him out more, and use him throughout.

Basically, you reduce erratic roster moves, like bringing up someone for the bench so you can use BenFran as DH for a week at a shot.

But, net/net, I don't see it having a huge impact either way.

What's the Martinez Line?

6 cents.

BB, JW posted on Monday that Mini-Mart is 2 for 24 in the Dominican Winter League, leading to the establishment of .100 as the Martinez line (i.e. even worse than the Mendoza line).

Jonathan Singleton will make a nifty DH in Houston.

I guess Sam Donnellon needed to write a filler article:

Phillies could use new hitting coach or coaches

J. Molina is going to sign with the Rays that includes an option for 2013. Wonder how much he got.

Rube was not going to sign a Molina brother. They don't suck year in and year out.

Congrats to Halladay/Lee/Hamels. Not surprised they were all in the top 5.

Somebody on DNL on CSN today had a great point which I have not heard mentioned during the days of the Hamels rumors on that show. Can this team afford to have three $20 mil pitchers at the same time and continue to operate that way?
I never even thought about it but I believe we all assume here that Hamels makes at least $20mil a year next contract, right? Is there any reason to believe he wouldn't at this point?

Agreed, MG. Incredible to see 3 guys from the same staff in the top 5. Unprecedented in a century plus of Phils history.

Not a big fan of this move. Was hoping for a little offensive upgrade here. Oh well.

If a guy can really hit, he shouldn't play catcher. If a guy can really catch, he's hard to replace. If he can do both, he's never played for the Phillies.

I know the article is about Schneider's re-signing for one season, but the vitriol is really unnecessary. This talk about a new Schneider line to replace the Mendoza line is...well, silly. He's had just one season hitting below .200, so he's hardly the poster boy for bad offense. With this staff and no emphasis on holding runners, no catcher will be successful. His w-l record is good when he starts. He seems to have a rapport with the pitchers, especially Worley. He's a good clubhouse guy, etc. It's a "meh" signing and one I suggest we lose little sleep upon.

maine - Exactly. Why lose sleep if you've already lost lunch?

Beerleaguer historians will mark today's Brian Schneider signing as the unofficial kickoff of the 2012 "The 25th best player on your team doesn't matter" campaign.

rauls grandpa - I think Hamels will get Verlander (5 years/$80 miilion signed in 2010) or Jered Weaver (5 years/$85 million signed in 2011) money this time around. Say, 5 years/$90 million. That's an AAV of $18 million. With some backloading, Hamels might be paid just $14 million in 2012, but by 2016 his salary would be over $20 million.

It's the contract that Hamels signs after this one that could be a real blockbuster, maybe 5-6 years with an AAV of $30 million +.

Hamels had his best season in 2011 even though he wasn't feeling that great. With his recent surgeries, look for Hamels to be healthy all season in 2012 and put up CY numbers.

BAP: 24th. Gotta find room for Martinez as the 25th man still.

Don't worry, Schneider will DH during interleague.

briefly weighing in, i agree that Kershaw is a deserving Cy Young. but, as this article articulates, it's not so cut and dried:

"Dodgers, Giants and Padres stadiums greatly favor the pitcher. Kershaw made 19 of his 32 starts in those three stadiums."

that's nearly 60% of his starts in pithcer's parks against weak weak weak lineups. i have no problem using the raw numbers as his were extremely impressive, and the eye ball test backs it up. there is certainly nothing egregious with picking Kershaw, even if digging deeper leads you to a different conclusion.

Here's the thing. Say you got 11 pitchers. That leaves you with 14 offensive weapons to use. Some of them are obvious RPGs and assault rifles and even handguns with stopping power. The bench is usually hand to hand weapons. Got that. Only so many guns you can stock up with. Your backup catcher is the knife you pull from the back of your waistband when you're hand-to-hand with the opponent.

In Schneider's case, however, with guys like Pudge still available, the other guys will pull a Bowie knife and we'll be stuck with one of those little blue cub scout knives. Of course if our opponents throw a beer bottle at us, I guess we'll be able to open it.

Andy, put down the controller and turn off Call of Duty!

I would've liked to see Pudge too, but without looking it up, it seems like he has spent a good amount of time hurt over the past few years. Is my memory correct?

Andy, at this point in his career Pudge is no better a hitter than Schneider.

wOBA for the past 3 years:

Schneider .277
Rodriguez .281

Pudge probably still demands more money. I still want to know what happened to superstud prospect Shoppach. He seems to have Ben Davised out.

Of course if our opponents throw a beer bottle at us, I guess we'll be able to open it."

Back in college, we used the bedroom door strike plate to open our beer bottles when no one had a bottle opener. You can buy them at the hardware store for about $5, which means you can get 160,000 of them for the same as it costs to get Brian Schneider for one year. And the door strike plate probably hits better too.

Yeah, but the strike plate hasn't called a good game in its life.

JW it appears as if the 05 Astros had 3 starters in the CY top 5 - Clemens, Oswalt and Pettitte:

I will not make any juicer comments because I don't want to upset Jack so close to Thanksgiving.

I find it interesting that BAP specifically noted that it was the "bedroom door strike plate." Bathroom, front door, closet strike plates need not apply. Somewhere in here has to be unintentional commentary regarding the lack of universally interchangeable back-up catchers, no?

Anyway - On the lingering background subject of the one-game wild card playoff, chalk me up as favoring a four team structure with best-of-sevens throughout instead.

Added to the 40 man: Diekman, Gillies, Aumont and Valle. Not: Jiwan James

BB - Shopping James for that $50K he'll bring in. (Some team might Rule 5 him, offer him back, like, 2 months into the season and then dump him in their minors when the Phils prefer the money.) (Hey, it could happen.)

Probably the best use of that guy.

@RG: "Can this team afford to have three $20 mil pitchers at the same time and continue to operate that way?"

I thought we were all in agreement that the $ portion of any contracts the Phils sign is not important, as it's not our money, and shouldn't have any real bearing on other moves? Basically, haven't we all agreed that Opportunity Cost is nothing but a theory with this team?

JJ hasn't played above A and is "raw". Can't imagine he'd get picked. A risk, I guess, but not a very big one.

Since James is regarded as one of their better prospects, I'm mildly surprised they didn't protect him. But they probably figure that he's so far from being major league ready that no team would be willing to keep him on their 25-man roster all year. They're probably right.

I also wonder why no Cody Overbeck. I realize he's flawed but guys with 30-homerun power don't grow on trees. I'd have rather protected him than Gillies or Diekman.

aladou (a.k.a. "Schneider's mom"):
Despite his injuries last year Pudge caught as many innings, roughly, as Schneider and hit better than him. If you figure in the past TWO years, Pudge has caught twice as many innings as your boy and has hit much much better.

If I had to guess who will 1) hit better, or 2) catch better during 2012, I'd guess Rodriguez. If I had to guess which, despite age, is more likely to have a fork sticking outta his butt by mid-August, I'd guess it was the guy born nearest my hoemtown (Allentown, PA).

bap - I'd protect Diekman because it's easy to keep a LH RP on your roster all year, especially if you're not a contender.

Gillies? My guess if they're trying to put an OF together with two guys with hearing impairment (Tyson and Cuddyer) and one who basically doesn't give a damn if someone else has called it (Vic). It'd draw spectators like a train wreck.

WP: "RG" didn't get the memo that if the Phillies do offer Hamels a deal that rich, they in fact can afford to pay those guys $20mil+.

Andy, Brian is such a NICE boy, I can't believe there's anyone who doesn't believe he's the best backup catcher in the world.

wOBA for the past two years:

Schneider: .276
Rodriguez: .275

Brian's mom.

I'd been happy with Pudge, but the Phils seem to like what/who they know.

I'd be shocked if James was selected. It was the right move leaving him unprotected.

The 40-man roster also is a reason why they signed Schneider back. They wanted the ability to make room by dumping Kratz if they pick up someone they like in the Rule 5 draft or if they make another acquisition. They only have one open spot right now, and Kratz is a likely candidate to be let go to make room if they need it.

I'm fine with the Phils paying 3 CY-worthy pitchers $20M+. Those guys have a chance to actually be worth it.

The real budgetary issue is paying a certain 1B $20M+ for the next five seasons. But hey, everyone claims they're going to go to the park and buy a t-shirt when Howard hits his 400th HR in 2014, so I guess it was a good deal for the Phillies.

Bowker can go as well.

Oh, don't get me wrong, I know they should give Hamels a Howardian contract, I am concerned that they will finally realize they won't be.

"Bowker can go as well."

You can't cut Bowker without at least giving him enough ABs to prove that he is the worst Phillies player in history.

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