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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

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Amen.

BB: "People's comments would be much more interesting to read if they re-read them before posting, and edit out the douchbaggery."

I've decided to take a crack at this. I'm curious to see how it turns out.

The Phillies need to [douchebaggery omitted]. Otherwise [douchebaggery omitted], and the next thing you know [douchebaggery omitted]. Feel free to disagree [douchebaggery omitted].

In Manuel's defense, the bench was so crummy last year that sticking with starters was generally a good habit to get in. Despite the lack of new faces in the starting lineup, the exciting (but mostly unproven) possibilities inaugurated by the new bench faces might be a good excuse for Manuel to shake things up, although I somehow doubt it will happen knowing his dedication to orthodoxy.

Regardless of the kinds of numbers he puts up this year, I'm just looking forward to seeing Thome coming in and hitting in every 9th inning where the team is down regardless of matchup and splits and whatnot.

Agreed in full with this. I do think, however, that Manuel has accomplished and proven himself enough to cease being offhandedly referred to as 'Cholly', which strikes me as more disparaging than affectionate.

Absolutely correct, & not gonna happen.

Also, I really dig the BR links in the body of the blog posts. This cuts out the inevitable next step after I read BL posts, which is trying to remember how to spell the names of the guys I was just reading about when I look them up on BR.

I don't even think about it I'm so used to writing Cholly.

Nice summation which is sure to bring RK out of the woodwork. In fact, you've just provided precisely the kind of detail that many of us were asking him to provide, to back up his assertion that Cholly's managerial blunders were costly in the post-season. Now that you've refreshed my memory, they WERE costly. That said, I don't really see how RK's "solution" -- dumping all the old players and bringing in younger ones -- bears any logical relationship to the underlying problem.

BAP: Good try, but: "Feel free to disagree..."

Huh?!?

Well written, Charlie coached as bad as his players played in last year's NLDS.

They all blew it together, but luckily that was last year. The WFC2 trophy will be just as shiny in 2012.

You can't teach old dogs new tricks. Manuel's time has passed. He was useful when the team was green, but now he just gets in the way.

BB: The omitted part said, "but, if you do, you are a blithering idiot."

Why is it when Weitzel makes my case its Amen (BB) but when I write and make the same obvious commentary about CM's lack of "strategic" thinking I am pounced upon. In the future I will simply refer everyone to today's Weitzel's blog.
Although just to be fair we have all commented on CM's lack of street-smarts.

JW: CM's "unbending conviction"
The idea that CM can adjust his game now is not reasonable.

RK: There are 2 reasons that you took so much grief. The main reason is because there was a complete disconnect between your assertion that Cholly managed poorly in the NLDS, and your solution of trading away everyone on a 102-win team and completely rebuilding as if we were the Oakland A's. The second reason is that, while many of us vaguely remember that Cholly made some blunders in the NLDS, few of us remember specifics. If you're going to posit that Cholly's blunders were a reason that we lost a series, you had better provide specifics -- which we asked you to do, but you didn't do. jw just did it.

"The Phillies’ approach at the plate isn’t the only area in need of an overhaul."
---
Just curious, what do people mean when they say that the Phillies' approach at the plate needs an overhaul, and how specifically would that show up in the stats?

JW, the b-ref links are a good touch. If you plan on using that going forward, I would recommend visiting:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/linker/newsfeed.shtml

Following those instructions will bring Beerleaguer blog posts up on each player's newfeed and help spread thou o'holy word.

Great. Thanks, Weitzel. Now, I'm mad all over again. I don't care if he's old as dirt, I'm looking forward to seeing Thome hitting in that late inning spot instead of Gimpy Gload.

Who is Manuel going to play on this roster over Polanco?

MLBTR ranks Juan Pierre & Joel Pineiro as the 2nd and 3rd best minor league FA signings of the off-season. No love for Brian Sanches, although I actually liked that signing better than either Pierre or Pineiro (or, for that matter, Chad Qualls, who wasn't a minor league signing).

Agreed 100% with this post. It's easy to forget, but in our 3 losses in the series, John Mayberry didn't get a SINGLE AB.

This, despite him being our 3rd or 4th best offensive player over the 2nd half of the season.

That's simply indefensible.

Qualls is the '12 equivalent of Taschner or Baez. At least he was relatively cheap.

Charlie's been doing this stuff since he's been the manager of the Phils. Every time it was brought up, we were called "Charlie-bashers" or some other such term.

He is not a good in-game tactician. Never has been. Never will be. It was true in '05. It was true in '11. And, odds are, will be true in '12.

It's easy to forget, but in our 3 losses in the series, John Mayberry didn't get a SINGLE AB.

This, despite him being our 3rd or 4th best offensive player over the 2nd half of the season.

That's simply indefensible.

Jack is correct, here. Happens all the time, but it was magnified in the playoffs.

Realizing that you posted this about an hour ago, I'm still going to say this; you're gonna get over-reactions to your lead from two sizable minority groups on this board:

1) People who will defend Choly to the brink of Tartarus.

2) People who are looking to pile on based on their utter disdain for the man.

I do think that Chollie is a much better "season" manager than "short series" manager.

Ibanez got too many at bats down the stretch too. He was done. Hope the Yankees enjoy that sub-.300 obp out of the dh spot. I'm eager to see what Mayberry will do with his opportunity to win the starting job. As a Phillies fan I'm trepidatious, but I hope he takes it and runs. Team could really use at least 1 more big bat in the lineup to compensate for Polonco (who will probably start fast and then decline due to nagging injuries just like he has last 2 years)

Andy, you forgot one:

3) Rational people who like Charlie as a "player's manager" (which is absolutely valuable), but realize he needs help with in-game decision-making.

BAP: Please, all year long everyone here is complaining about CMs management and rightfully so. I can’t imagine people forgot I didn’t think we had to bring up the details and actually one person reminded us that Mayberry was 0 for 4 in the playoffs and therefore I didn’t know what I was talking about. My attitude was 0 for 4 he should have had a dozen at bats and we might have done a little better.
Yes the team won 102 games but would you have preferred 102 wins and a boot in the first round to a WS with ten fewer wins? Of course not. So they won 102b last year I wouldn’t be betting on them to repeat. I think their odds are to continue the trend lines started post WS 2008 which means that this year they don’t go to the playoffs.
Do I want to be right? of course not. Would I prefer you all cal me a dunce after a WS in 2012 sure but realistically it’s not happening with this team anymore and its annoying to me that we are not trading our players—who are good—for a better team.

I'd rather the team win 83 games and a WS than 102 games and lose in the NLDS...I'm weird like that.

Andy: part of his problem, in my opinion, is that he manages a short series like it's the regular season. In the regular season you stick with your starting 8 through think and thin so they can work through slumps. You also you stick with starters even if they have some trouble in the 1st couple innings because you don't want to burn out your bullpen. I think Manuel is good at that steady hand type of management. In a short-series you want to play the hot hand and you don't have time for players to work through slumps. If a rookie's hot, you play him. If your bullpen is shutting everyone down, you get the starter out of the game when he's struggling or if you need a key hit out of the 9-hole in the middle of the game. I don't think he's as good at that. Maybe someone can point to something different that I missed though.

Actuaslly teh problem is that he manages every game the same way.

"I think their odds are to continue the trend lines started post WS 2008 which means that this year they don’t go to the playoffs. "

Wait, what? I mean, maybe you're right...no one will know until either the Phillies are mathematically in or out. But, the season trend has been:

'07: 89 wins
'08: 92 wins
'09: 93 wins
'10: 97 wins
'11: 102 wins

Now, I tend to trust the season trends for making the playoffs than I do taking playoff trends to predict a season...

I feel that all the injuries might force Charlie to mix and match and actually manage the game more than he has in previous years.

RK: At least 3 of us asked you for specifics, so you can't very well say that you didn't think you needed to bring them up.

Besides, your line of argument is as logically inconsistent as any argument ever made on Beerleaguer. You've conceded multiple times that the post-season is a crapshoot -- with the caveat that Cholly's managing was a key reason that we lost last year's NLDS. Yet, time and time again, you keep citing the diminishing post-season returns as evidence that we should undertake a massive rebuilding project. But if the post-season is a crapshoot, and/or our failure in the NLDS was due to the manager's tactical blunders, how could one possibly conclude that a team which won 102 games last year needs to have a massive overhaul of its personnel? Your conclusion doesn't remotely follow from your premises -- and THAT is the reason that you have taken such grief.

Can you guys remind me who was managing when Ben Francisco pinch hit off of Jamie Garcia and went yard to win Game 3?

And was it Charlie who blew the 4 run lead in game 2? Oh, yeah, that's right, it was Cliff Lee.

Hindsight is a beautiful thing guys - Manuel sticks with "his guys", believes in doing so and is very consistent. It is part of the reason the Phils are so successful, also part of the reason we get frustrated when the team doesn't perform.

We can debate it over and over, but it is not going to change. Period.

"This, despite him being our 3rd or 4th best offensive player over the 2nd half of the season."


Jack, Mayberry had an OPS od .965 in the second half. Hunter Pence had an OPS of .954 with the Phillies, but he had a higher BA and OBP, which I'm told are slightly more important than SLG.


So, if we ignore OPS and accept that Pence was better overall, who else was better than Mayberry in the 2nd half?

I think everyone is correctly pointing out that Charlie managed the playoffs as if he were managing games in the middle of July.

But aside from Mayberry, his bench was Schneider, Valdez, MiniMart, and Gload. It's probably difficult to mix and match when those are your choices.

I like Charlie Manuel as the manager. He is steady and there's a lot to be said for that when you've had Bowa as a manager and you've seen what a raving maniac doesn't accomplish. But he has shown a tendency toward hubris, when given better options by his bench coach (that's why Jimy Williams left)and he's shown a degree of inflexibility when a more nimble manager would have been useful. But there's no perfect manager. We've seen him badly outmanage Tony LaRussa over the years. Sadly, this did not continue in the NLDS.

But the man, contrary to popular opinion, is not stupid. Hopefully, he has learned something about managing playoff baseball and we'll be very happy after this season.

Oops. JMarr is correct. I completely forgot about Ben Francisco being on the bench. And it's important to point out that he had much better pinch at bats than he ever had starting at bats. Not cherry picking the homer, he had much tougher at bats and seemed like a very different player when he wasn't already in the game.

I wonder if he won't make a pretty good DH in Toronto now.

BAP - Very well-reasoned thought process on why RK takes so much grief.

Good post by JW.

And agree with BAP's optimism on Sanches signing. You'd think Sanches might have obviated the temptation to reach for Qualls, especially if budget is so tight that $1 million ticketed for Qualls needed to be husbanded for a true setup man if Bastardo/Contreras cannot fit the bill.

"I wonder if he won't make a pretty good DH in Toronto now."

Probably not. Sounds like last offseason's wishful thinking.

awh: You are challenging Jack on a casual, off-hand remark that had nothing to do with his real point.

The "main idea" of Jack's post was: Mayberry was one of our best hitters in the 2nd half; it's inexcusable that he didn't play in any of our 3 NLDS losses. If Mayberry was our 2nd best hitter, as opposed to 3rd or 4th best, that makes Jack's point even stronger, right?

Billingsly nails it: "He is not a good in-game tactician. Never has been. Never will be. It was true in '05. It was true in '11. And, odds are, will be true in '12."

What is also true, of course, is we have no way of knowing if the outcome would've been different had Charlie PH Mayberry (Slash line of .226/.314/.323 as a pinch-hitter in 31 ABs last season.)

JBird - I thought of adding something along those lines, but edited it out.

Billingsley - That's kinda what I meant. I've grown to appreciate Chollie's ability to let the adult human beings he manages work their way through tough spells, taking their talents and craft seriously. But I also recognize that this ability needs, actually, to be curtailed when the team needs to win specifically.

awh: Yeah, I was just being generous to all the people who would've slammed me for suggesting Mayberry was better at that point than Utley and Howard.

By the numbers, Mayberry was 2nd best to Pence. In terms of pure offensive talent overall, I think he was in there somewhere in the group of Howard, Utley, Victorino, and ahead of guys like Rollins, Francisco, Ibanez, Gload, Polanco et al., all of whom appeared in those games ahead of Mayberry.

If the guy you send up there gets a hit, your a genius; if he does not, your a dope. Hindsight is always 20-20.

I agree with the article. Manuel dying devotion to what has worked in the past is his downfall. However tunes can quickly change either way. Sub out Howard for say Maybery, Mayberry strikes outs and this thread sings a different tune.

"It's easy to forget, but in our 3 losses in the series, John Mayberry didn't get a SINGLE AB.

This, despite him being our 3rd or 4th best offensive player over the 2nd half of the season.

That's simply indefensible."

To buttress this point even further, it should be pointed out that we lost one of those games by 2 runs, and two of those games by a measly 1 run, all the while Mayberry collected dust on the bench.

There's obviously no way to know if Mayberry would have done any damage in any of those games, but thankfully we don't need hindsight to judge the decisions. They were judged as terrible decisions at the time they were made, and JW is just reiterating those judgments.

The odds that those lack of ABs for Mayberry actually lost us the series are unknown, but I think it's pretty inarguable that we wouldn't have been better off with Mayberry at the plate rather than Ibanez facing a lefty or Gload/Polanco facing, well, pretty much anyone, especially in late game, high-leverage situations.

Charlie has LOTS of strengths, but in game strategy is not one of them. He follows the book to a T more often than not, even though the book is wrong in many cases. With the playoffs already being pretty crapshootastic, it isn't the worst thing in the world that his main weakness gets exposed in the postseason (I mean, we DID win the WS in 2008), but still, he didn't manage last year's NLDS very well.

Still, if Cliff Lee holds that 4 run lead in game 2...

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