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Friday, January 06, 2012


Second-guessing the Nats? You'd think Mark Zuckerberg had enough to do with running Facebook.

Oh, wait...

Damn you rabid fanbase, see what happens when you sell out 9 Nat home games a year?

I missed the last thread, but agree with the poster who said Pence is unlikely to duplicate his .394 OB as a Phillie.

He's a hacker who doesn't take many pitches. He might hit .330 someday but he'll never draw 75 walks.

Their owner, Ted Lerner is the richest in baseball according to Forbes. $3 billion rich.

It's always funny see fans referring to an owner's personal wealth as any indication of what a team will spend. As if an owner will spend any of his own money on a team's annual payroll.

Baseball owners almost always come with tin cups out take every dime they can from the public till.

Re: Last thread.

I've run the Phils starting 8 through the lineup optimizer for each of the past 3 years and Chooch is always 1st or 2nd. Rollins has never been placed leadoff.

In pre-stat days, managers almost always placed their fastest guy leadoff. OB was unknown. So you would find a Mini-Mart type player at the top of the order.

It's nice to see Charlie honor an old tradition.

As for catchers batting 8th, however, there were many exceptions to that in the old days. Yogi Berra batted 4th or 5th and almost never 8th. Tim McCarver, who had good speed for a catcher, frequently batted 2nd early in his career and then 5th and 6th at its height.

Even Smoky Burgess, one of the slowest human beings to ever step on a baseball field, rarely batted 8th.

When Chooch came up there were big questions about his bat. But he quickly showed that he was at least league-average. He's been wasted batting 8th.

I'm not opposed to dropping Polly to accommodate Chooch's ascension in the order.

On Fielder:

I won't be upset if the Nats don't get him.

On the lineup, this is what awh would do if awh was the manager(when Howie returns):


Just sayin'

They have the richest owner in the game and he's openly said he wants to spend, spend, spend to make his team a success in DC. He realizes that a short-term loss will massively increase the value of his franchise with its new stadium and will could create a huge home fanbase given that DC is one of the wealthiest and fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country.

"could create a huge home fanbase given that DC is one of the wealthiest and fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country."

Who are all transplants from elsewhere in the country and could give a crap about the Nats.

Yeah, I know...I've lived there twice actually. Still, it could happen if they get a good team.

The only big nights at Nats stadium were Phils games and Strasburg starts. Harper's buzz is pretty big. That said, still way to many fans from other cities here (I'm in DC Metro).

They managed 2.7 million fans in their first year in RFK.

Give them a good team and I think the fans would show up.

In the short-term, sure...but that's not sustainable unless they win titles. Then it becomes a status symbol, which DC-area people LOVE.

NEPP: Right, and a big number of those people were baseball fans thrilled to have a game in town. Heck, the new stadium is just fine, but RFK wasn't that bad and was still accessible by the Metro more populated train lines Orange/Blue. I go to less games b/c of having to switch lines now, and I know others who are the same way.

I do think that a good team will draw people.

I did okay in their first year in their new stadium too. 2.3 million for a team that won 59 games.

Baseball can work in DC.

"DC is one of the wealthiest and fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country."

Sure, becaude the government siphons money from the rest of the land.

For a city that is supposed to be made up of modest public servants, one can sure see lots of evidence of wealth.
Makes me sick. Makes me angry.

"I missed the last thread, but agree with the poster who said Pence is unlikely to duplicate his .394 OB as a Phillie.

He's a hacker who doesn't take many pitches. He might hit .330 someday but he'll never draw 75 walks."
Clout, this doesn't change the OBP prediction, but it was interesting that after coming over in the trade, he

1) increased his pitches per PA from 3.72 to 4.03, and

2) increased his walk rate from 6.8% to 11.0%, which would be about 75 walks over a full season

It was only two months, so we will see if can maintain that patience, or at least close to it.

It's still a City with other things happening. Defense contractors get paid pretty well.

If Fielder doesn't end up in DC, where does he go? All of the high-payroll teams are either set at 1B or in complete ownership disarray.

The Cubs would seem like one potential place to land, but they just traded for Anthony Rizzo and seem unlikely to lock up a star 1B long-term. Seattle maybe? Smoak is young and one of the few people on that club who can hit at all, but it would bring some of the fans back.

If Fielder doesn't end up in DC, where does he go? All of the high-payroll teams are either set at 1B or in complete ownership disarray.

Posted by: Dan Koch

He's signed to the Phillies as an insurance policy against Howard's injury. Phillies go above the luxury tax and the city goes nuts.

Yeah, the Phillies collect 1 year Disability Insurance for Ryan and sign Fielder and Madson to one year contracts after they fire Boras. Big Piece can relax, wed and get a good start on Palazzo Medici Howard.

But more realistically, Madson needs to divorce himself from his advisors and return home as painlessly as possible before he gets packaged with Prince in some creative deal.

I fail to see that a three or four year contract with Fielder will cause the Nats undue payroll harm. In fact, since that's the length of contract they're looking at, they can front load it up to the luxury tax and save themselves money in the last couple of years when their younger pitching will be getting more expensive.

Billionaires may indeed spend some money on their baseball hobby. Not all do, but it's no different than having ten or twelve mansions around the world. Elin Nordegren just knocked down a 12 million dollar mansion, apparently to build another one. And she isn't a billionaire by a longshot. People spend their money in odd ways sometimes.

Heck, Middleton wants to win so badly that if he owned the team outright, i could see him offering Fielder a four year 100 mil contract and letting Howard pinch hit. But the other owners are not billionaires and have never cared about winning, so they won't let them. And they won't allow him to buy them out because they let all their kids have boutique careers with their baseball team.

***Defense contractors get paid pretty well.***

So do the software developer guys in N. Virginia...but yeah, I made major $$ as a defense contractor there.

Lerner has an unfair advantage over the hamstrung minority owner Middleton who couldn't even sign his pal Jason Werth. It must be frustrating.

" careers with their baseball team."

No way, smitty. Those family members who work for the Phillies are all there because of talent and ability, not nepotism. Really.

Did anyone see this from Gelb's blog?:

"Animosity exists between the Phillies and Madson’s agent, Scott Boras, because Boras was unhappy with the way negotiations were conducted before the Phillies’ signing of Papelbon."

WTF? The agenst who pissed off Boston in the Texiera negotiations is pissed at someone else's negotiating tactics?

What could the Phillies have possibly done to upset Boras? Tell him not to shop the deal "or else"?

I'm not one who hates Boras - all he's trying to do is maximize his clients' contracts. We'd all do our best to represent our clients.

But I find it hard to believe anyone on the Phils staff could have done anything that Boras himself hasn't done already. was Murphy's blog.. Sorry Murph.

What makes anyone think that Fielder's interested in a 3 or 4 year deal?

Chris, IMO Fielders isn't interested in 3 or 4 years. AAMOF they've said so publicly.

The speculation surrounds exactly which team is going to sign Fielder to the Pujols size contract that Boras has publicly said that Fielder deserves.

If there aren't any teams willing to go 8 - 10 years, for what will Fielder/Boras settle?

Hmmmm, mlbtr is reporting that the Angels may "need" to try to trade Kendry Morales or Mark Trumbo to make room for Pujols.

Trumbo who plays 1B and RF, will also see some time at 3B in ST to see if he can get some ABs there.

The Angels are reportedly looking for a young, cost-controlled power arm for their bullpen.

If the Phillies were interested in Trumbo - assuming he can play 3B in the future and fill in for Howie while he's out, what would it take in a package that included young bullpwn arms to net Trumbo?

From what I've read no team is offering a Pujols-sized deal to Fielder, but the Mariners are supposedly willing to go 7 years and 20+ AAV...that may not be exactly what Boras claimed Fielder would get, but I dont think there's any way he walks away from that deal to chase 3 or 4 years at a higher AAV, even.

I'm curious as to Fielder's GNC history. Braun went undetected and won MVP. Is 'the Prince' testing out?

I feel bad for Madson. He's always been personable on-camera, seems a friendly, likeable guy who wants what's best for the team when he's a part of one - I mean, I'm sure he's looking for the best deal he can personally get now that he's a free agent, as is his right. It's too bad he's having a hard time getting a good deal for himself. I rather wished the Phillies would have signed him instead of Papelbon, myself - but regardless, I wish Madson nothing but the best.

I do think he could end up benefiting from a one-year deal and trying again next year, like Beltre had to do (I think it was he) a few years ago.

Anyone who thinks the Nats can't attract loyal fans because of "transplants" even if they put a good product on the field obviously hasn't gone to the Verizon Center since Ovechkin went to the Caps.

Checking MLB Trade Rumors and seeing the names Kendrick and Angels linked, I thought for a minute, "cool, we sent them KK for Trumbo?"

Then I see it's Howie Kendrick and the Halos have extended him, and I get mad that we haven't done the same thing for Hamels or Pence or Vic yet.

I still think there is a decent chance Prince will just take a 1 year deal with the Brewers. They wont go a long term deal with him at least i dont think. Prince and his agent are just waiting to see what develops.

Besides his being tall what evidence is there that Trumbo can play 3B?

This may not have anything to do with the Nats being able to afford Fielder, but if you were in the Nats FO, some things that make Fielder attractive are:

Fielder "owns" Halladay. Lifetime against Roy Halladay he has a .462 batting average. Last year against the Phillies in 7 games .423/.531/.538/ 1.070 slash line.

His slashline vs the Marlins: .304/.448/.870/1.318

"...I get mad that we haven't done the same thing for Hamels or Pence or Vic yet."

AT, why do you get mad? Rather, your anger reveals a lack of understanding.

What makes you think that the Phillies haven't already had conversations with the players' agents?

We all know Rube operates under the radar. As evidence I offer up Cliff Lee. Additionally, do you remember lots of wild reports and speculation about the Howard extension before it was announced? There weren't any until the very last instant because Howard's agent and Rube kept it quiet.

I suspect it will be the same way if any of the above players are extended: You'll hear about it once they make the announcement.

Besides, the only contracts that are actually fair contracts to both sides are the ones where both parties fell they had to give something up. It takes time to reach those kinds of agreements.

No1, what's the sample size vs. Halladay?

Please see this fansgraphs article on the reliability of sample sizes:

With the Phils being apparently content (at least for the time-being until Contreras throws), bullpen is really going to be the only area in camp that is interesting to follow the daily progress of players.

If Contreras starts the season on the DL for some reason, then things really start to become interesting.

MG, I disagree.

It will also be interesting to see what develops regarding who's going to play 1B and LF.

I will also be interested to see if Blanton's elbow can hold up to the rigors of starting, or whether he's relegated to the bullpen (or surgery), and KK earns the #5 spot.

Let me amplify:

"It will also be interesting to see what develops regarding who's going to play 1B and LF...

while Howard is out."``

a lot of teams are purchased on credit (McCourt with the Dodgers and Steve Schott with the A's being the most famous examples) and these guys need to make a lot of profit from the team... Lerner doesn't have to put any of his personal wealth into the Nats, but he can afford to put all the profits back into the team. So in reality he can afford to spend more...

Also, DC has very commercially successful NFL and NHL teams so I think the fanbase would support a winning team. It could be the beginning of a great rivalry between the phils and nats.

I'd actually love it if the Orioles were in the NL east too. Can you imagine a division with a Mets-Phils-O's-Nats rivalry? Ah well.. it'll never happen

Phils have interest in Kerry Wood.

Kerry Wood would be a nice bullpen addition.

I hope they sign Kerry Wood so MG can relax.

awh; Apologies if I was not clear. That was for 13 PA against Doc. Also apologies: that is a lifetime slash line for Fielder v. Doc, not for 2011.

Still I'd suggest that Fielder does present an attractive option for the Nats, given PF's .323/.386/.623/1.009 line in 145 PA against the pitchers on the current Phils roster (Oswalt and Madsen included, Papelbon not included).

Yeah, BedBeard, it appears that without Lidge MG's obsession this year will be with Contreras.

My guess is we'll see Bastardo replace Madson as the "Why is he in the game? Cholly is such a moron" guy.

Wood is good. Go get him.

Chuckling at the posters trying to make a political statement about how wealthy Northern Virginia is.

Iceman - If Contreras is even pitching. As for Cholly, yeah I will call him a moron several times when he inevitably uses his best setup arm with other options available up 5 or 6 runs in the 8th inning to get 3 outs. You and Philiper will of course rush to defend such moves as you do with almost every Cholly's pitching decision regardless of the rationale behind it.

I would love to see Wood here and it seems to be playing out exactly like I thought it would - the Phils are looking for another setup arm & aren't sold on Contreras coming back healthy.

What I wonder though is how long Amaro waits though regarding Contreras. Does he wait until he gets back on the mound this week/early next week before really trying to go after Wood?

Rockies said they only have interest in Lidge at "minimal risk" due to injury concern.

Call me crazy but I predict Lidge ends up back here in 2 weeks on a deal with an $~1M base with incentive potential.

MG, he just started throwing. How sould the Phillies possibly be "sold on Contreras coming back healthy."?

I wouldn't be and neither would you.

How long will Amaro wait? That surely depends on how Big Truck looks and feels.

Regardless, Rube is being prudent keeping his ear to the ground about the availability of other relievers.

awh - The Phils were really concerned about when Contreras was actually going to throw off a mound & if he experienced any initial set backs. Contreras was originally slated to start throwing again in the 1st week in January.

Contreras was just cleared last Friday by Ciccotti to begin throwing again but no formal timetable yet for his return has been set including when he will return to the mound & begin throwing a simulated game.

I imagine that this delay & uncertainty is what is prompting Amaro's interest/concern in Wood. Sounds like Contreras isn't going to start throwing now off a mound until later this month which sets back his original timetable by 3-4 weeks.

Not a huge deal at this point but it certainly adds a large degree of uncertainty with Contreras including his readiness for when pitchers/catchers report in early Feb & how he responds a couple of times after throwing off a mound.

I'm beginning to wonder if Fielder will end up going the Adrian Beltre route, signing a 1-year deal and going back on the market for a long-term deal the following winter. Beltre did that and got his big payday. Next winter the Dodgers should be in a much better financial position, and if they are, they're a perfect fit for Fielder.

If it comes down to that scenario, I'd have to figure the Rangers would be the front-runners for Fielder's services this year.

So long as Contreras is available for Sept / Oct, I think he should spend the entire season getting fully healthy. In the meantime, the Phillies can play roulette in the front of their bullpen with their home-grown arms until they find a winner like Stutes or Worley.

re: last thread:
The underlying skills driving OBP would be pitch identification and strike zone judgment, correct? If so, how would you rank the position players on those two skill sets?

Howard and Victorino mentioned repeatedly last year that opposing pitchers have gotten a lot better at keeping Phillies hitters off-balance - according to them, hitter's counts where you should expect a fastball don't exist anymore. I wonder if that was a league-wide trend relative to past seasons and if hitters will catch-up and adapt this season. If that's the case, we should see an uptick in walks and higher OBP overall unless pitchers have gotten that much better at locating off-speed pitches for strikes.

Beltre did that because he was average/below-average in Seattle; there was a good chance his numbers would go up significantly the following year in Boston (with a much stronger lineup around him).

Fielder had a monster year last year. Unless he thinks he can improve significantly on those numbers, why would he risk long-term financial stability?

TNA, that's the question - how big does Fielder think his risk of collapse in 2012 is, and how big is the reward if he hits the market again next year?

If there's really an offer from Seattle for 7/$140M, I think he has to take that over the Beltre plan. If he's looking at a best offer of 5/$100M, for example, that's a much closer call.

I doubt he'll have much interest in a 3- or 4-year deal, as he'll be on the wrong side of his peak when he hits the market again. He'll likely either go short or long, but nothing in the middle.

There's also the factor of the Dodgers and Mets being in complete disarray after this season. I doubt the Mets will go in on Fielder unless Ike Davis doesn't come back effectively in 2012, but the Dodgers and Fielder would be an absolutely perfect fit. That puts one more suitor in the market next year, which might make all the difference for Prince's getting the money/length he wants.

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