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Friday, December 16, 2011


What are Schneider's odds for the bonus $100,000?

Meyer.. just Google infinity or infinity google -- whichever is higher :0)

Meyer: I haven't actually calculated the odds, but I can tell you how to do it. First, you calculate the odds of winning the $50M Powerball jackpot without ever buying a ticket. Then you calculate the odds of being hit by lightning when it's sunny out. Then you figure out the odds of hitting a hole-in-one on a 575-yard par 5. Multiply all 3 numbers by each other, then multiply the resulting product by 1,000. The odds of Schneider collecting the bonus are precisely 1 in that number.

Schneider does have $200k in bonus incentives next year:

Some of the under the radar ones:

- One of the Phils' announcers (radio/TV) uses the adjectives 'experienced' or 'seasoned' or any adjective referring to his lengthy MLB career to describe him in 75% or more of his starts behind the plate this season ($1000)

- Throws out any runner who ends up with more than 10 SBs on the year ($500 per thrown out runner)

- Wins the annual 'Sunflower Distance Spitting Contest' among managers/staff on June 11th ($1000)

Talk about cricket chirping:

Madson is pretty much officially out of the running for a big, multi-year deal from the Sox.

He really looks like he is going to end up somewhere on a 1-year deal at $7-8M max.

Boras is secretly screwing Madson for having the gall to go around him for his last deal with the Phillies.

Boras doesnt forget.

The Pirates will sign Madson for 4 million and the right to "raise the Jolly Roger" after each one of his saves.

So Cuddyer for 3 years 31 million. Not sad we didn't get him.

Nats just made their big move. They signed Jeff Fulchino.

One time Tomas Perez asked for a raise. I shook his hand and then smashed him in the face with shaving cream pie laced with broken glass and Vet stadium rat feces.

Thinking the Rollins signing may have something to do with signing Hamels long-term, and I'm starting to get more pessimistic that Hamels is coming back in '13.

I have read that site before. Don't pay it any attention. It seems like a bunch of crap thrown at the wall.

D Train would never have been signed if J-Roll wasn't coming back. Only a matter of time.

With the additional Wild Card, teams can afford to rest on their laurels a bit, then re-evaluate after the first month of the season or so. As we've seen in the last several years, you just have to be "good enough" to get to the playoffs. If you can do that with a young core, all the better (and cheaper/more sustainable).

If anything, WAS/ATL inaction may be more driven by Miami's offseason surge. Why try to keep up when you can bide your time and re-assess once you start playing meaningful games (or at the very least on clout day)?

BAP: I'm not sure to whom I am going to award the Fields medal: to you, in honor of your Schneider proof above; or to Casey Feeney, for demonstrating beyond a doubt that Hunter Pence has a "10 percent" chance of winning the 2012 MVP. Both are hallmarks of mathematical rigor.

Ah, what the hell, it's quiet around here and I'm willing to take a verbal beat down, just for some excitement:

Put me on the record for stating that Chase Utley, not Hunter Pence, will be, far and away, the Phils' best shot for a 2012 MVP winner. I suspect Saint Utley relishes that he can fly under the radar with diminished expectations, that he'll stay healthy all year, and return to shades of 2008-2010 performance. He'll show some of that power we're accustomed to seeing, and when he gets on base, he'll have someone more prolific than Ryan Howard to knock him in.

Edward Witten should get the Fields medal every year until proven otherwise, except for years in which Will Hunting gets it.

More prolific than Howard? Unlikely.

But I'd rather see Utley change his approach to only turning on balls in certain situations. More doubles and fewer lazy fly balls to left field may result from him not trying to pull everything. Especially the case if his knees are still not in great shape.


You told John his site sucks. That's just cruel.

Willard Preacher -
If diminished expectations are the key, I think Polanco has the best shot at team MVP(non-pitching division).

The Braves dont from what i know of dont have a bunch of loot to throw around. 95 Mill is the top ceiling for them. They have a good farm system. They have a few vets on their team with mostly younger 2-3 year players. At one point and its already happening the Phils will hit a wall. Howards 5 year big contract will be the team Achilles heel. Not a bash against Howard just pointing something out. Our farm system is gutted and it will take another 3-4 years to raise new talent.

Bubba, not necessarily saying that Uts will overperform expectations to the highest degree (i.e. the delta of performance vs. expectations), just that I think that Utley will thrive on not having to be "the guy." I think that having Pence around to be the main offensive threat will be a good thing for Utley to play his game.

Though, I'm firmly with you, I feel like expectation for Polly have been reduced so far (on BL, at least) that if he's simply able to step into the batter's box without soiling himself or running towards 3B on a batted ball, many on here will be impressed.

Look, I am sorry. I thought it was some kind of rumor collecting site. I don't think the guy is responsible for all the scuttlebutt collected from various place. John, sorry bud. Too much conjecture, too little news online.I am an old grumpy bastard. My nephew made me get on the internet in the first place.

Preacher man- well said.

Chase Utley wins comeback player of the year, gets back in top 5 for MVP voting next year. Mark my words.

Any chance the Phils get Madson back on a 1 year deal?
The market seems to have turned on him, and he has said often that the set up role is as important as the closer role. Give him a good 1 yr offer and see if he accepts it.
That would make a solid, albeit expensive, bullpen.

Bubba, I've been saying that for a few days now. I certainly feel like its a possibility.

Wow, that would be a blow to the ego for Mad Dog. Not only has Boras convinced him he could get an "elite closer" deal for multiple years, he'd have to settle on a 1 year deal and be a set up guy? Ouch!

So Bonds gets house arrest for 30 days for "obstructing" justice. And, his home is about 15,000 sq. ft, so that's not too shabby. I don't really care anymore, because one would have to be blind or from SF not to realize this dude was juicing. This crap is just so annoying now and I wish it would all go away. Nobody outside of SF thinks this guy didn't cheat. We can all agree on it and I wish we would just move on.

Atlanta and Washington can wait all they want. They still won't have any sizzle.

SLO, if there's one thing Bonds has always been good at, it's working a walk...

Actually, if you listen to gobaystars Polanco will not only be the league MVP, he will cement his place in the HOF as the BEST 3B in the history of organized sports...nay, the best sportsman since a Neaderthal whacked a severed head over a distant rock.

Only one of the cuddyer lovers has commented on teh price it took for the rockies to ink him. Presumably, the Phillies would have had to top the offer.

Anny of you Cuddyer lovers willing to top 3/31.5?

Say at 3/32-33?

Jason Michaels, minor league deal, Nationals.

See, JW, who says the Nationals aren't making any big moves?

Maybe the elevation in Denver will "pop" Cuddyer's deaf ear and he will be able to play left field.

AHW~ Even though I wanted Cuddyer here and I believe he's a better fit than Wiggy or Nix ( and I have no problem with either signing), I would not have outbid the Rockies for him.

Even the more I read on the Willis deal (low risk, high reward etc), I have little problem with that.

What I have a problem with is that the offense was pathetic in the playoffs the last 2 years WITH Howard in the lineup. Now he'll be back at some point, but none knows when that'll be. And Polly prvides little pop. Nothing was done on those 2 fronts. And on top of that we still don't have a starting SS at this point.

And it doesn't look like we'll get any kind of decent bat this off-season to bolster the offense. Like I said yester day, that puts way too much pressure on the Big 3.

So right now, we are not as good as we were last year. And it all comes down to $$.

So while I'm happy with the fact that our bench is much better and out 'pen is slightly better, I can't say I'm overly happy with the job our GM has done this off-season. Doesn't look like anything will chamge.

DomP, again, do you really expect to be able to build a team for a5 game series?

Really? Seriously?

What guarantee do you have that bringing in someone like Cuddyer would cure that problem?

Let's see, is Cuddyer a postseason stud?

2002 ALDS: .385/.500/.462, 5 H, 2 BB in 16 PA, 1 2B, 1 RBI
2002 ALCS: .200/.333/.200
2003 ALDS: .250/.250/.250
2004 ALDS: .467/.467/.467
2006 ALDS: .250/.250/.667
2009 ALDS: .467/.467/.467
2010 ALDS: .182/.182/.545


While his overall numbers, .338/.372/.473 are certainly impressive, based on his erratic track record, he's no lock to improve the offense in a short series.

For that matter, no player is a lock.

BTW, Dom, look at Chooch's postseason track record.

Until 2011 we affectionately referred to him as "Senor Octobre".

What happened against STL?

I never said a$$ about what Polanco would do this year. I said Headley isn't that good and letting Rollins go then trading Polanco/eating his salary and then acquiring Headley and Bartlett is a ton of work to get you maybe to where you are if you just sign Rollins.
You ctrl-C and ctrl-V keys work go find it. I want to see what all I said about Polanco.

Gobaystars - The problem is that Rollins wants a longterm commitment. So, you're correct that the moves may end up being a wash in the near term. But if you can upgrade from Bartlett in a year or two, maybe the team is able to improve without upping the payroll even further.

Seems like Rube would have done a couple of things differently if the budget were not a problem. Such as bringing in Cuddyer and/or Aramis Ramirez.

For all those who constantly tell us that we don't know squat about the budget: I think this proves that you don't know squat about what we don't know squat about. If Rube goes out and bids on Darvish or signs Soler or Cespedes to big dollar deals, I will revise and extend my remarks. But for the moment, it certainly looks like locking up Papelbon for the longrun has hamstrung the payroll yet again.

If Polanco plays 145-150 G, gives the Phils an OPS of .720 or so, and plays solid defense, the Phils are fine next year at 3b. I think he gives the Phils 2 of 3.

Well, if you can upgrade Bartlett in a year or two, then you can work the same magic and upgrade Polanco in a year. He isn't locked up long term.

awh: at least DPat is being honest. Most here skirt around the question of why they think the Phils NEED an offensive upgrade because they know their answer- the lack of scoring in their last two playoff series (in which they, oddly enough, outscored their opponent overall in both series)- is easily ridiculed due to its stupidity. You can't build an offense certain to succeed in the playoffs, and deep down, most people recognize this. DPat stands alone in his willingness to admit being immune to reason.

Like it or not, the Phils made their 2012 offensive upgrade in July. It's Hunter Pence. Just because he sucked massively in October doesn't take away from the fact that he is a massive upgrade from the team's opening day RF situation in 2011, and the 2011 team was already good enough to win the division without him.

And I love how DPat says there will be too much pressure on the big 3. It's almost like they didn't steamroll the NL last year and aren't 3 of the top 10 pitchers in the NL (and according to the Cy Young voting, 3 of the top 5). Somehow I'm not worried that they will be able to carry this team through Howard's absence.

DPat- you spent last off-season slamming Amaro daily and then predicted the team would win something like 105 games. Now that he's disappointed you again, what's your call this time- 99? 100?

And for the record, I'm not thrilled with the off-season thus far either, and if Rollins walks, it will have flat-out been a bad overall winter for Amaro. I think the money spent on Papelbon was a waste (and thought so at the time), especially with how the market for Madson has shaken out, and along with signing Rollins I actually would have liked to see either Ramirez or Cuddyer here while telling Polly to ride the bench because third base is the one position that could have been upgraded via the free agent market relatively easily.

The problem I have is with the notion that this team NEEDS an offensive upgrade this season. It's just not true, and the reason is actually the topic of this post: who in this division has actually positioned themselves to dethrone them?

Explain something to me- why is the offense good in the regular season but they suck in the post-season? Why is that a huge deal? Don't we understand by now that the playoffs are a bit of a crapshoot?

Also- and I may be alone on this- I think the pitching is why we lost to the Cardinals. People like to focus on the 1-0 outcome of Game 5 because they have short attention spans but the offense should've had that series won in 3 or 4 games. Let's recap:

Game 1- Halladay has a terrible start to the game and gives up three runs in the first. He then settles in and in the 6th inning the offense erupts for 5 runs and bails out Halladay giving the team an 11-6 victory.

Game 2- Chris Carpenter going on short rest has nothing and the Phillies jump him for 4 runs through the first two innings. The much praised Cliff Lee blows a 4-0 lead which almost never happens and the Phillies lose 5-4.

Game 3- Cole Hamels and Jaime Garcia pitch zeroes at the opposing teams before Ben Francisco connects for a 3 run home run which is the difference in a 3-2 win. That should've been the series.

Game 4- The Phillies give Roy Oswalt a 2-0 lead in the first. He gives the Cardinals 1 back in the bottom half. Then 2 more in the 4th, and 2 in the 6th leading to a 5-3 loss. That was the second time in the series where one of the four aces blew a first inning lead.

Game 5- Chris Carpenter- on full rest- pitched an excellent game. I know people are pissed but we got out classed by one of the top 15 or 20 pitchers in baseball. It wasn't as if it was Kyle Lohse out there doing this to the Phillies. Carpenter is a Cy Young winner.

Perhaps people would like us to sign guys to specifically play in October. Maybe we can lock up Prince Fielder long term but he only plays in the playoffs. Beltran is out there, maybe we can get him too.

Also, I love that it is Papelbon hamstringing the budget. Not Utley at 15 million, or Halladay at 20, or Cliff Lee at 21. Nope, it's Papelbon at 13.

Ice - Do you really think Cuddyer could have replaced Polanco at third base? He's not a very good defender over there.

•Also from Heyman, the Phillies made Michael Cuddyer an early contract offer worth more than $25MM.

Replacing a gold glover (legitimately so) with a guy who has never played 3B full time is a good way to go.

Seriously though, asking Cuddyer to give you 5-10 games a year there is a far cry from having him as your starter...Also, Cuddyer got a major overpay on that deal.

Truth - Of course it's Papelbon. The other contracts are for starters. Papelbon is the only reliever making that kind of money in baseball besides Mo. And Mo is the best there ever was. KRod isn't even making that AAV anymore, and he was a massive overpay by the Mutts.

The other contracts were already on the books when Papelbon was overpaid. Howard, Cliff, Utley and Halladay can't be cut because of their guaranteed contracts. So, when you already have big dollars tied up, you lose flexibility. Then when you massively overpay for a guy who's going to throw about 60 innings, yeah, he's the one hamstringing you.

Rube jumped the shark with that signing. And if Madson signs a cheap one year or two year deal somewhere else, it will make it an even worse signing.

When people say snarky things like "YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT THE PHILLIES' BUDGET IS, SO JUST SHUT UP" I think we can point to the days that Ramirez signed a reasonable contract with the Brewers and Cuddyer got a bit overpaid by the Rocks and say "YES, WE NOW KNOW THAT THE PHILLIES HAVE A BUDGET AND THEY ARE AT IT." And we will be correct until Rube spends money on a player, any player to improve the team. And no, Rollins doesn't improve the team, he keeps it the same.

If the Phillies offered Cuddyer 25 mil and the Rocks offered him 31 mil, shouldn't he have come to the Phils? I mean, after all, this is the new baseball heaven, isn't it?

And thus the myth that having a friend on the team, Thome, would attract him at a realistic value is destroyed. And the myth that players will leave money on the table to play in wondrous Philadelphia is punctured even more. Every player that has come to Philly has been paid top dollar with one exception - Halladay. Even Cliff will make out better than the Yankee deal if he sticks around for the entire contract.

This isn't the NE Patriots, where players want to go to end their careers with Belechick and Brady for less money. This is the Phillies, where it's the greatest place in the world to play as long as you're getting more money than anyone else offered you. There is no hometown discount for the Phillies.

"And no, Rollins doesn't improve the team, he keeps it the same."

They won 102 games last year. They should be trying to keep it the same!

No, DH. They should always be trying to improve. Rollins is a fine player. But Polanco had a lot of problems, and Howard is unlikely to be even what he used to be. And Worley isn't likely to repeat his fine season. Ditto Kendrick.

So, I was being charitable that they are staying the same. The fact is, they need a lot of things to break right to stay the same. It would have been better to actually add a leftfielder or third baseman who's likely to play better than what was there last year. Unless you think Laynce Nix is going to magically improve, they didn't. And who knows if Mayberry is as good as he played last year?

Lots of questions, and no different answers than when the offseason began. All they got was a little healthier on the bench, and the pen has a new closer, and Dontrelle Willis? I like Dontrelle, but it's not exactly a certainty he is even on the team come April.

I knew Freddy was a gamer. He's still playing tonight. 1-3 with a triple, RBI. No quit in this guy or maybe the Rollins signing is a done deal.

AWH~ I"m not saying Cuddyer would fix the what I perceive to be a problem. What I do know is nothing will get better if you do nothing. Right now there's a big hole in the middle of the lineup.

Ice- Your right about last year. I actually predicted 103. And I really slammed RAJ. He finally got the bat at the deadline though.
And when I talk about pressure on the Big 3,
I'm not saying they won't carry us to another division title. I'm saying that Doc pitched his heart out in game #5 and his offense let him down. If we don't hit, we could lose a lotta close games. Our pitchers deserve better. That's all.

I believe Jimmy will be back, but I would've liked to see another bat brought in. I never avocated Cuddyer at 3b. I would've liked to see him at 1b with Myberry in LF. And yes, they did make him a 2-yr offer early on.

TTI~ I agree somewhat with you that the pitching did let us down especially in game 2. And yes Roy O. did not pitch well in his start.

But we really didn't tear the cover off the ball either. Wins in the regular season are nice and they get you into the playoffs. And yes the playoffs are a bit of a crapshoot. All of yuor points are valid and I'm not trying to debate them.

But game five is what really hurt (at least I think so) because we lost a 1-0 game at home & they looked like they were swinging one of my crutches instead of bats (meaning crutches have holes in them).

Like I said yesterday RAJ come out and said "we're not a power-hitting team anymore...".

I don't see anything that he's done this year to augment the "O" except upgrade the bench. And if Jimmy walks, we could be in for trouble. I like RAJ as a GM. Really I do.
But he hasn't really gone out this year and brought in any type of everyday player who can help.

I like Nix & Wiggy for what they are. Thome can still swing a mighty bat. I just am not quite sold on what Mayberry and Wiggy can do playing almost everyday until Howard gets back.

I still am hoping for another bat. Don't think it'll be Beltran. If healthy he certainly can play LF and hit.300. But he'll want too much. I'm told RAJ is working on another player besides Jimmy. Whtether that was Cuddyer I don't know. Possibly Spillbourghs. We have been linked to him in the past so that's not earth-shattering news.

TTI -- Nice pro-Charlie post. However, we needed game 5 in order to advance. TLR shook it up, game by game. He won. Remember?

What if Chollie ran a "shake 'em up" lineup out there in Game 5, pushing down the first-ball fast-ball sitting guys? The guys that refuse to change their approach against slop-balling soft-tossers looking to get ahead in the count? Something truly ridiculous, such as:

Wilson Valdez (yes, leading off, first base)
John Mayberry, Jr.
Hunter Pence
Chase Utley
Jimmy Rollins
Shane Victorino

Charlie should have sat Big Piece down. He really sucked by (and before) game 5, and perhaps the gruesome inevitability of a blown Achilles would have been pushed off ‘til the next series. Or maybe if the Game 5 rest would have “saved” him for a bit, he’d have been a LH bat off the bench to be reckoned with.

I’m no longer a Chollie fan. His “chicks dig the long ball” school of managing just don’t hunt no more. Call it small ball or whatever. When it’s a steel cage death match, just win, baby.

"Lots of questions, and no different answers than when the offseason began."

In fairness, making changes would not have reduced the number of questions. It would have simply replaced the present questions with different ones. For instance, instead of asking if Mayberry can repeat his 2011 season, we'd be asking: did we just completely waste our money by giving a 3-year, $30M contract to a left fielder who isn't even as good as Mayberry?

I can no longer tell parody from sincere idiocy. I quit the internet.

Bay - I'm all for giving Mayberry a chance to start. And I also wouldn't have given Cuddyer a 30 million dollar three year contract.

However, Aramis Ramirez at third and Rollins at short would have looked pretty darn good. And it was doable. If they Phillies hadn't gone all Papelbon on the budget. The fact is that there are still a couple of good/fair closers who would have worked more cheaply than Papelbon. He's a luxury that cost the team some potent offense. That would have answered the simple question: Que Polanco?

Cut~ That's right. When it's do or die you'd better "do". And in the last 2 post-saesons, they didn't.

AKS~ Your post 1/2 hour ago makes total sense.

However I don't think Papelbon's signing alone hamstrins them. You also have to factor in Jimmy's $$ (if he returns) and big raises for Pennce & Hamels.

The bottom line is they looked into a lot of players this off-season & only brought in inexoensive ones save Papelbon. Madson WAS offered arb. He didn't accept. The fact that he didn't re-sign with the team is clearly Boras' fault. he floated an inflated, phantom offer out there which was not made. All the other teams saw that too. Madson just does not have enough experience as a closer to command that amount of money. That doesn't mean RAJ didn't overpay for Pap though. But like you I would've put more money into 3B, LF etc. Aram and a trade of Polly then bringing Jimmy back would have been nice. But not to be. They just don't want to go over the luxury tax threshhold & I can't understand why. It wouldn't be that much in tax.

This strategy of playing the best players more than the cr8ppy ones is stupid. Fire Charlie!

Wasn't it going to be Paplebon or Madson? I don't know what I believe happened with the alleged Madson deal, and we may never know, but this cheap option to close was never going to happen.

Iceman raises an issue that is rarely raised here, which is underlying emotions that drive many posts.

Many of the folks who are complaining about J-Roll and twisting themselves into knots on the trades the Phillies need to make to upgrade without Rollins (and pretending Bartlett is a fine player and that Cuddyer can play 3B), do so simply because they don't like J-Roll. Some of them have been griping about him for years. But to admit that, makes them look like morons.

Same thing with reacting on the basis of a short-series in October. Only a moron would base an off-season strategy on 7 games instead of 162. So the posters either don't mention a reason for their views or try to come up with some lame theory that can't be supported by facts.

gobaystars: "I can no longer tell parody from sincere idiocy."

Remember the Occam's Razor for the Internet: If a post seems idiotic, it is most often produced by an idiot.

Ummm, Clout, hope you got the vitriol out of your system with your sanctimonious rant, but you missed a very important point in the discussion about short series: they play five games, not seven, to start the postseason.

I believe strongly that the Phillies would have taken it to the Cards, if they had played seven games. I am not at all a fan of a short series with 162 games to determine playoff teams. The short series rewards "hot" teams entering the postseason. That's my gripe with the system. It doesn't pay homage at all to the teams that "earned" their home field status.

BAP: Wait, you're saying that starting Freddy Galvis at SS would've raised more questions?

mainerob: Exactly right. And yet most posters here are clearly reacting to short post-season series, ignoring the 162-game season.

How the hell can the Rox assume Lidge can be counting on for closing duties? Talk about risk. Frickin nuts

Sorry Weitzel, Cliff Lee wasn't even the second best pitcher on his own team last year, so I think you would have to consider Cole Hamels heading into a contract year much more likely to make an MVP run in 2012 rather then the extremely hot, but occasionally cold #3 Phillies starter....

If the choice of closer was between Papelbon at maximum money and waiting to see the market firm up, and grabbing Madson or any of the others out there for more reasonable money, then it was a real choice.

In fact, there are or were a bunch of secondary guys that didn't or won't cost as much, and it looks like one of them is Madson himself, who would have been a fine alternative.

The way Rube is waiting with JRoll (I think) is what he actually should have been doing with Madson/Papelbon/Somebody else. The need to jump out and set the market every offseason is getting old and is counterproductive. Papelbon may have been the best closing option, but for the money and the years, he may have precluded improving the team in other places. That's all everyone is saying.

"AKS~ Your post 1/2 hour ago makes total sense."

Actually, DomP, after you and smitty finish mentally masturbating each other, maybe you'll get some common sense and realize smitty's most recent posts are gonna earn him anomination to the moronocracy.

Very clever, awh. Is it hard to type while you're on Clout's knob?

" But Polanco had a lot of problems, and Howard is unlikely to be even what he used to be."

smityy, Polanco had problems? Umm, yeah, they're called injuries.

BTW, when did you go up on the mountain and hear from God the future likelyhood of Howard's performance?

Just askin'.

BTW, smitty, they'll have Pence for a full season - not six months, and they'll have Utley for a full season too.

But I know why you didn't mention those two items in your evaluation:

It doesn't fit your narrative.

Ummmm, should say "not two months".. Lovely wine. Hic.

Wow, I think there has to be something dumber than the moronocracy. Yeah, Howard will bounce back with his healthiest, bestest season ever, even though he's been completely unable to hit lefties. I sure hope it's true, but isn't speculating about the future what we do here? So, you're down for a return to MVP form? Got it.

And Polanco has been back in Philly for two years now, and has had injury problems both years. He's breaking down. If he didn't have internal organs holding him together, he'd have broken in two from his hip/inguinal/back problems. And his elbow has never healed completely from the season before. The guy was a terrific player, but he's breaking down. So, I'll put you down for a return to the .320 hitting, moving the runners Polanco too? Great.

awh, you have always kind of flown under the radar, parroting Clout and patting yourself on the back with both hands. But I think i just got a glimpse of your real self. And it's pretty optimistic. Good for you.

Pence, maybe. Seems relatively healthy. Utley? Glad you know what's going to be happening there. Because the team doctors would sure like to know.

Seriously, unless Utley has had PRP therapy on his knees, he's just as likely to miss a lot of games as he is to play a lot. He has degenerating knees. There is only so much pain someone can play through, no matter how tough.

I really hope Howard comes back strong and Polanco gets and stays healthy. And I hope Pence's knees stay relatively good and Utley's return to their old form. But I don't know how you can count on all of that. It would have been nice to improve the offense over the offseason rather than counting on a lot of aging, injured folk to spring back to their youth. Youth is fleeting. I promise.

"awh, you have always kind of flown under the radar, parroting Clout and patting yourself on the back with both hands."

Actually, smitty, I've had some epic "discussions" with clout in the past. You obviously haven't been around long enough to remember.

I knock heads with clout - or anyone when warranted.

In this case, you're analysis is faulty to the point of being pretty foolish.

But me optimistic? Really? I did an analysis a couple of days ago where I posited that the only place I think they've improved is the bench.

IMO every other area is either treading water or gotten slightly worse - and golly gee, believe it or not, some other posters here disagreed with me. (I'm not sure I can take it any more.)

But you obviously either didn't comprehend what I wrote or you didn't read it. No matter. It's there for the record.

But you may continue to engage is silly and foolish hyperbole about my optimism. Those here who have good reading comprehension skills will see it for what it's worth - which is about the same as your analysis.

Have to see how things with JRoll turn out. If JRoll leaves and Amaro is forced to make a trade (I will believe we will do absolutely everything he can to get H. Ramirez but that he won't be able to from a retooled and reloaded divisional rival), this offseason will have been a disaster and yes it is largely lies on Amaro.

If JRoll is resigned to a 4-year deal (or even if he signs a large 3-year deal), Hamels is all but gone.

Got mocked for bringing up '14 and '15 payroll right after Papelbon signed but their commitments now by signing Papelbon (and possibly JRoll) will effect them already this offseason.

The one thing absolutely I didn't want to see Amaro do this offseason was resign both JRoll and Madson to at least 3 (maybe 4 year) deals at $10M+ plus annually because it likely meant Hamels would be gone & they were tying up a ridiculously large amount of money for a handful of players in their mid-30s in a few years. Instead of falling off gradually, it sets them to failoff of more of a cliff.

I would have rather seen the Phils go the cheaper route at closer and pursue JRoll. Once they signed Papelbon though and they knew JRoll wasn't going to bite on 3-years possibly, I wish they would have moved on to Furcal.

Yeah, Furcal is a real gamble to say healthy but he would have tied them up long-term, is likely to produce offensive numbers similar/even better than JRoll next year, and is a better fit at leadoff than JRoll.

If JRoll is resigned, the Phils will be the clear favorites in the NL East again even without Howard at the start of the season. Amaro will have put a very good team on the field again that is very capable of making the playoffs but really backed himself into a corner financially in more intermediate term to do so which is going to force him into some limited choices next offseason.

Hunter Pence for MVP? I wouldn't take that at 100-1. Utley (arthritic knee and all) is the only positional player who remotely has a a shot at winning the MVP on this team and he won't put up the sexy stats from a power perspective.

It is Halladay or bust.

"Hunter Pence for MVP? I wouldn't take that at 100-1. Utley (arthritic knee and all) is the only positional player who remotely has a a shot at winning the MVP on this team and he won't put up the sexy stats from a power perspective.

It is Halladay or bust."

I agree that it is Halladay or bust, but I think Pence has a better chance than Utley. MVP voters don't seem to place much value on defense or position. I think best-case for Utley is something like .300 with 20 HR, whereas best-case for Pence is something like .320 with 30 HR. I think the former is more valuable, considering position and defense, but the latter gets more MVP votes.

Listening to the blistering criticism of this team one would think this is a Houston Astros forum.

Dragon, Yep.

Circa 2002 I used to say "love the Eagles, hate their fans." I hope I don't have to say that about the Phillies.

aksmith: Money is money. It doesn't matter who that money is going to. It's kind of a silly argument to say, "Well Lee at 21 million isn't hurting the budget because he's a starter." Why isn't it a possibility in your mind to spend less there and then spend the money they did on Papelbon? And really, if we are to believe the initial reports Amaro had Madson ready to be locked up at 11 million per year. That was ~2 million less than Papelbon over the years. So it's not as if signing him was going to significantly change the budget any.

Also, I don't think anyone ever thought that having Thome on the team was going to lead to Cuddyer leaving a bunch of money on the table to come here. That's jsut you having some line of thought you want to prove right even though no one is arguing the opposite.

"Rube jumped the shark with that signing. And if Madson signs a cheap one year or two year deal somewhere else, it will make it an even worse signing."

Something you- and many others don't get on here. Hindsight is not a good point in an argument. Anyone can make their ideas look good by using hindsight. Had Amaro known Madson would still be out there he may not have jumped in on Papelbon. But had Amaro not jumped in on Papelbon somebody would have.

2 other things:

1.) cut_fastball, I hope that post of yours was facetious because it was in the top 10 of the silliest things posted on this blog.

2.)DPatrone- I get that you feel that Game 5 hurt but again, we never should have been in game 5 anyway. That matters some in the equation.

Just to be clear, baystars, my initial premise of making a trade with SDP was predicated on Rollins signing elsewhere. I agree that having Rollins sign is the best solution for the left side of the infield, although I am not so enthused about third base being manned by Polanco. I do NOT believe he will have an OPS exceeding .720 (personal opinion) and I do NOT believe that, given his recent injury history, he will play 140+ games (personal opinion). As yo his defense? Well, he'd be better than Cuddyer. But I don't really think the GG was appropriately allocated last year (personal opinion). If you want, make this comparison: Bartlett/Headley vs. Vasquez/Polanco. That's the comparison I was more interested in.

As to the MVP/HOF/neaderthal post, I was mainly just yanking yer chain and having fun.

You are underestimating Headley's ability and future, however (personal opinion), and mislabel him when you say "in the prime of his career" (or whatever you said. I don't do ctrl-Silly searches.

And yeah. I MEANT Valdez/Polanco but my fingers are fatter and my brain slower in the morning before coffee.

I went over to the MLB studios last night for an "informal tryout" with the evening team. It didn't go well (Bowa kept stepping on my lines), so I ended up slashing Milar's patellar tendons in the parking lot with an electrical tape covered boxcutter I keep in my shoe for such purposes. I told him to clear town if he wanted to keep his nose.

Hey, Truth Injection -- thanks for reading my post. However, I’m tired of Phillies apologists. Do you believe in “truth”? Read great literature: Shakespeare and John Updike come immediately to mind. Maybe you'll learn that irony and independent thinking that apparently so frightens you need not be ridiculed. By the way, I don't need your imprimatur, Monsignor; just Mr. Weitzel’s. However, it's a free county. Keep on posting!

And another thing. The next time I hear that the greatest go8damm team in the history of baseball is helpless in the face of a 5-game dice roll that are the playoffs as currently constructed, riddle me this: why play the 5 game series at all? Why not just "draw straws"? Play "Rock, paper, scissors"? “Craps”? “Texas hold ‘em”?

This is baseball! They play games! A smart manager will optimize his chances to win any single game, let alone a 5-game series. In 2011, Charlie got punked by LaRussa, plain and simple. Great managers make great decisions; great players make great plays. “Luck” is where preparation meets opportunity. The Phillies loss to the Cardinals had nothing whatsoever to do with “luck” or playing a “hot team”.

Charlie’s intransigence, and the lineup’s refusal to change their approach at the plate left the complacent Phillies as sitting ducks for a hungry, hustling and eager-to-try anything Cardinals team. Guess what? It will happen again in the playoffs next year unless things change. I suggest Mr. Sandberg as a starting point.

cut_fastball: You can't be this dumb unless it is an act.

In the original post I made I outright said the pitching let the team down. I'm not sure how that is defending the Phillies or being an apologist. I specifically mentioned something that failed and cast blame on Lee and Oswalt for being less than advertised. But again, that is "an apologist."

Secondly, I know you want to bow at the altar of LaRussa and say, "Great managers make great decisions; great players make great plays. “Luck” is where preparation meets opportunity." That's fine but let me ask this question. If Lee does what he normally does and holds a 4 run lead how smart does LaRussa look in that series.

You are bringing up great authors and ideas (based on your posts I don't think you have ever read any of those authors or understand those ideas) but you fail to grasp the idea of hindsight not being a rationale. That series happened to work out in LaRussa's favor despite- gambling with Carpenter on short rest, and leaving in Garcia a little too long in Game 3. It wasn't that he "shook it up," or that Charlie didn't. The Cardinals had bad moves in that series and it didn't cost them. The Phillies had bad performances. There is a difference.

Independent thinking doesn't frighten me, that's just a stupid thing for you to say. Stupid independent thinking annoys me and insults the very fabric of intelligence that a discussion should have. You engage in that second one.

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EST. 2005

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