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Monday, March 26, 2012

Comments

Galvis looked good at the plate.

So there's that.

Lester has always given the Phillies fits.

In 3 regular season starts, the Phillies have hit

.141/.197/.155

against him in 21 innings.

His K/BB is 21/5.

His ERA against the Phils is 0.43,

with a .741 WHIP.

For confirmation please check the b-r.com player splits page.

The numbers above are not misprints.

Oops, typo:

Lester's WHIP against teh Phillies is .714, not .741.

Sorry.

Jack: "The marginal value of a run saved is actually a tiny bit greater than the marginal value of a run scored, but I don't think it's enough to be germane to this discussion."

There's also the psychological aspect of a good defense, which pitchers have long talked about. If they know they have a great defense behind them they pitch differently.

So he's our own personal 2000 Pedro Martinez.

Isn't that fun.

Edmundo: More important than what awh thinks, is what Rube (and most people in baseball) thinks: That defense is even more important when you have good pitching.

This is the final indictment of R00b as a piss poor GM. He needs to go before the season actually starts and he does any more damage.

I'm of the opinion that April is going to be especially brutal this season. I'm even going to go so far as to say the Bucs sweep the opening series at PNC. The Fish could easily take 3 themselves. Then after a much needed break against the poor Mets, it's out west. I hate to be skeptical on a blog that breathes positivity such as Beerleaguer but I'm bracing for a very rough start.

Re-posted:

"A misplay run in a low scoring game is more costly than giving up 7 runs instead of 8."
- Ioncore

Could also be said as:

The marginal value of preventing a run in a low scoring game is higher than preventing a run in a higher scoring game.

Isn't it also true then that the marginal value of scoring an additional run in a low scoring game is also much higher than in a higher scoring game?

I don't think the importance of Jack's point on the previous page (a run prevented is slightly more valuable than a run scored on an absolute basis) is near the same magnitude of importance as the general idea that in lower scoring games, runs on both sides matter a lot more.

Consequently, it may be easier and cheaper to improve the overall team with certainty by focusing on quantifiable offense, rather than trying to figure out multiplier or mental benefits.

Larry Greene Jr. and Roman Quinn left off of minor league camp assignment, to start year in extended spring training.

Tyler Greene makes Lakewood as starting SS.

clout, you are aware, no, that Edmundo thinks we're the same person?

Though not much should be taken away from a game in March, it is worth noting (and hence, was actually noted by TMac), that today's lineup is probably the exact same lineup you'll see for the home opening, with the exception of Pence in RF rather than Montanez (unless MG knows something we don't.... - kidding) and the pitcher.

I'm with Scotch Man, April could be relatively brutal. Thankfully, as the last 5 years have shown us, it's a long season and it wouldn't be the first time the Phils crapped the bed out of the gate.

STS, I agree. In a low scoring environment, an error is less likely to cost you because the next guy is still less likely to drive that error in. This is even more true if you have a lot of strikeout pitchers (fewer chances to make an error), which the Phillies certainly do.

If Mayberry doesn't hit, we will see Brown by the All Star Break.

lorecore, from the last thread, when I look at the numbers, I'm hard pressed to see the difference. The Phils staff last year had a great year, only surrendering 3.25 runs a game. The worst team, the Astros, gave up 4.9. The average runs scored per team was, 4.12.

clout, I won't deny that psychology could matter, but with a big caveat: These guys are professionals, most are pretty tough. Especially guys like Halladay, Lee and Hamels. If the theory is true, and it makes a major difference, I'd think we could see something in the numbers.
Baseball players/managers/GMs say lots of "stuff", too. :) Senior management at my place say lots of "stuff", too.

Willard: Did you actually see who the Phillies are playing in April?

I sure do. In fact, I actually have tickets to many of the games out here on the West Coast. I'll be there, I hope the Phils' offense shows the same courtesy...

"Consequently, it may be easier and cheaper to improve the overall team with certainty by focusing on quantifiable offense, rather than trying to figure out multiplier or mental benefits."


STS, in the first place, if you're going to make a comment like that I think you need to provide some data on "multiplier or mental benefits", so that we know what they are.

I know clout was the one who referenced the "psychological[mental] aspect of a good defense" in the first place, but you're on the hook for "multiplier" benefits. Could you please explain just what those are.

Then, when you're finished, please demonstrate with data your point about it being easier and cheaper to improve by "focusing on quantifiable offense".

If you're going to post like that you ought to be able to defend it.

So...Amaro says until until March 16/17, team thought Utley was good for opening day. March 18, Utley told them otherwise.

St. Utley?

awh: he was responding to me. I posted that good pitching and good defense act as a multiplier of effectiveness when combined and less so when paired with poor pitching or defense.

No i dont have any formula for it, just speaking logically that lower scoring games can be affected more heavily by single (mis)plays than high scoring games since low scoring games have an inevitably higher chance of being close/tied.

Edmundo: "If the theory is true, and it makes a major difference, I'd think we could see something in the numbers."

This would be worth a study: How much does a team's pitching improve with good defense. I guess the way to do it would be to find a team that had the same 4 starters for a period of years during which their defense fluctuated.

I think we can all agree that pitching improves with good defense (surely you're not arguing against that) but the issue is how much of the improvement is due to the glovework and how much is due to a pitcher being able to set up batters differently than he would with a bad defense.

clout, and whether it has a greater impact on a great staff than others.

Which awh still hasn't replied to my original question, all the while accusing me of obfuscation. awh, you made an assertion, I inquired about why you made it. If you think it has been covered by lorecore and clout, fine.

"Amaro says until until March 16/17, team thought Utley was good for opening day. March 18, Utley told them otherwise."

I would place a large wager that Amaro is flat out lying in this instance.

Maybe he didn't know until the starting of spring training but the Phils all of a sudden Galvis started playing 2B everyday well before the 18th.

Of course you would. I, on the other hand, could envision Utley trying to tough it out with "it isn't that bad" turning to "oh sh*t". I do think RAJ should've thought about upgrading from Valdez/Mini/Galvis, anyway.

Beard - 2 weeks into camp and all of a sudden Galvis starts everyday at 2B out of the blue despite not having ever played there before?

No I don't buy what Amaro is selling here that of a sudden in ~24 hrs his thinking on Utley changed 100%.

clout, I think it's pretty clear that worse defense will lead to worse results, given the same pitching.

I think a better study would be to test things that the pitcher is doing that are independent of the pitching. For example, if a pitcher has a notably worse defense playing behind him then in years past, is he trying to strike out more batters than before? This could be seen from a higher K/9, but also from a higher walk-rate, a tendency to throw off-speed stuff in hitter's counts, etc.

It's obvious that worse defense would mean more ground balls would get through, more fly balls would drop, more errors would occur, and so on, but to test if the pitcher is actually doing anything differently, I think you'd have to look at defense-independent stuff, like pitch selection (especially in certain counts), walk-rate, batted ball profile, etc.

Should have read: "I think a better study would be to test things that the pitcher is doing that are independent of the defense."

"Maybe he didn't know until the starting of spring training but the Phils all of a sudden Galvis started playing 2B everyday well before the 18th."


MG, maybe Galivis' work at 2B didn't have anything to do with the Utley situation.

Maybe it has to do with the braintrust finally realizing that mini-mart is not an MLB calibre baseball player.

Rube will go with what he has for now. With the exception of possibly signing another Utility dude. When the trade deadline approaches and the Phils are sporting a .500 record then Rube will possibly make a move.

"I do think RAJ should've thought about upgrading from Valdez/Mini/Galvis, anyway."


BedBeard, he may have thought about it, but he didn't DO anything.

However, we don't know whether or not he tried. And even if he did try to bring in a better FA than Valdez/Mini/Galvis, there's no guarantee that player says yes.

Rube just announced that season is cancel due to the extreme pessimistic views of the famous BL site. Press conference tomm with howards boot, and chases stool. And with the resistance to not promote Dom brown. Rube will be stepping down, and team will be ran by the eagles front office.

Fatalotti: "For example, if a pitcher has a notably worse defense playing behind him then in years past, is he trying to strike out more batters than before? This could be seen from a higher K/9, but also from a higher walk-rate, a tendency to throw off-speed stuff in hitter's counts, etc."

Exactly right and pitchers have talked about that for years. They are way more inclined to throw strikes and not nibble when they have a good defense behind them and way more inclined to try to strike everyone out when they have a bad defense.

Again, pitchers have said that for years and it's perfectly logical.

clout, are you trying to say that pitchers are human beings and things like defensive ability of their fielders actually affects them?

Baseball players are purely WAR Machines, not actual human beings, c'mon NEPP.

Again, pitchers have said that for years and it's perfectly logical.

Posted by: clout | Monday, March 26, 2012 at 05:50 PM

Yep, it certainly makes logical sense. It'd be nice to actually see some figures to back up our intuition.

I don't see why everybody is getting worried. I got worried at the end of last season and I was told everybody would just "turn it on" when it mattered most. There is no reason for these guys to do anything now.

AWH - Iorecore and others have covered the this but I wanted to respond because you took the time to. We all can agree (I think? !! ???) that it simply makes sense that there is a multiplicative benefit in run prevention from combining good pitching + good defense.

[[Then, when you're finished, please demonstrate with data your point about it being easier and cheaper to improve by "focusing on quantifiable offense".

If you're going to post like that you ought to be able to defend it.]]


I doubt we can quantify that 'multiplier effect' today.

We can quantify value of relative levels of offense with something like OPS+ and avg salaries.

Why not use the known way to improve the team, rather than the unknown (and highly speculative) one?

Unless you think 'defense + associated multiplier' is undervalued. However that would put you in the place of defending the conventional wisdom here. Am I mis-characterizing you?

STS: what are you saying, that offense is more definable/measureable and should be coveted moreso than defense?

Last year we Howard... Last year although Utley was out we didnt quite know how serious his condition was...This year we do...Last year we knew Polly was somewhat fragile...This year we know a strong breeze can put him on the DL..Last year we had hope that Raul would have a decent year...This year we hoping that Mayberry a unproven continues what he did for 1/3rd of the year...So yeah...

Wake me when it matters.

Lorecore: I think that is what he's saying and I would agree. Offense IS more quantifiable than defense.

Where we run into trouble is determining how MUCH offense is necessary to offset bad defense.

Let's say the choice is between Freddy Galvis and a mediocrity like Ryan Theriot. To follow STS line of thought, we'd spend what it takes in prospects and/or money to acquire Theriot because it is pretty certain that he'll provide more offense than Galvis.

But would that lead to more wins? I would argue not necessarily because, assuming Galvis gives great defense, the boost you get from that both in real terms and in strategic terms (pitchers can pitch differently knowing they have a great INF defense) helps the pitchers more than adding Theriot's modest increase in offense helps the offense.

How to quantify that is a whole other thing.

BTW, I should add here that not all defensive positions are created equally. In LF you'd be happy to sacrifice defense for offense. But 2B is the second most important defensive spot on the field IMHO (although some would argue catcher). That's where I'm happy to sacrifice offense (and also at SS, C and CF if necessary.)

If anything has been clear this spring, it is that JRoll is the unquestioned leader off this team (at least in regards to speaking with the media).

I don't think I have heard another Phils' player really make comment more than once to the press regarding the team & how they feel Utley/Howard injuries are going to impact them.

"However, we don't know whether or not he tried. And even if he did try to bring in a better FA than Valdez/Mini/Galvis, there's no guarantee that player says yes."

AWH~ You're exactly right we don't know if any player said yes. But I bet that if Rube woulda tried a little harder then player(s) woulda said yes. If he would have told Theriot he'd get 300 AB's hed been here. If he'd told Cuddyer he would have been a starter, maybe he'd have taken less to be here. We'll never know thought will we? Now look at the situation we're in. I said at the beginning of the off-season phans were't gonna be happy. Know what? Every day there's more of us who aren't.

Know know what happens when you do nothing? Nothing. It all boils down to players playing for what Amaro wants to pay, not necessarily what the market demands.

There will be some good news. Hamels will be re-signed. That won't fix the offense. But at least we'll be happier then.

STS, why do you think good pitching and good defense is multiplicative rather than additive? (Which I'm not convinced is 1+1=2 additive).

The same good defense behind a bad staff would make more run-stopping plays than they would behind a good staff, simply because they would have more opportunities. And the run-stopping plays might keep more big innings from happening. That's my intuition.

Anybody versed in FIP? I never gave it more than a glance. Just the name Fielding Independent Pitching would imply that some of the work is already done. It's a predictive stat, as I understand so it might not be a good stat for looking at defensive impact.

MG, Casey Feeney would take issue with your calling JRoll the team leader:


http://www.csnphilly.com/blog/phillies-talk/post/Why-are-Utley-Phils-being-so-guarded?blockID=677208&feedID=693


Key passage:

"So why then have Utley and the Phillies been so quiet about the second baseman’s health status? Believe it or not, I have a theory.

There’s no way to prove the following statement, but I’m confident of its validity: Chase Utley is the most revered member of the Phillies organization.

Notice, the word is “revered” not “respected.” In my five years working as CSN’s Phillies field producer, David Montgomery, Pat Gillick, and Roy Halladay are a few notables that I would say garner every member of the organization’s respect.

But only Utley is revered. He’s the team leader. The player that many members of the front office would have wanted to be. In many ways, he is the embodiment of everything the Phillies believe to be good in baseball.

Only now, the embodiment is having body issues. Utley’s injured knees have rendered him mortal. "

"But I bet that if Rube woulda tried a little harder then player(s) woulda said yes. If he would have told Theriot he'd get 300 AB's hed been here. If he'd told Cuddyer he would have been a starter, maybe he'd have taken less to be here."

Dom, are you suggesting Amaro should LIE to players in order to sign them?

FIP is a descriptive stat, xFIP is a predictive stat.

awh - I guess I should qualify that as with the media. Utley has largely looked uncomfortable and awkward speaking with the media. Not comfortable doing it and clearly would do whatever he could to avoid it.

Since today is Harry Kalas' birthday, a few happy videos:

the '08 WS call:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBk3wTs-t2A

High Hopes:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzpJisfYNKA

Utley is likely an introvert...Jimmy is the extrovert on the roster.

Utley likely took over for Burrell as the clubhouse leader.

I suggest defense is most important when offense is much worse than pitching. I.e., the 2012 Philadelphia Phillies, when every run matters. Defense not as important to 2007 Phillies.

Also, Jimmy Rollins has been the leader of the team for a long time. The people that watch the team just like to assign that role to Chase Utley. I've never understood that.

edmundo: Bad pitching usually means higher BB% and HR%, as well as LD% which are more likely to beat a defense. You keep thinking that bad pitching is less K's, and more batted balls.

My 'multiplicative' quote from earlier was pointing toward the fact that good pitching lends itself to lower scoring games, which in turn lends itself to high leverage situations since lower scores are more likely be close than high scoring games.

@Hexy: Burrell was the clubhouse leader until he left...as noted by Rollins, Howard and Utley in interviews.

NEPP, did they happen to note whether or not he was Man or Machine, though? That's the real question.

I dare say "clubhouse leader" i.e., the guy who leads the partying is a shade different from being team leader...also, there's such a thing as being polite after a guy is gone.

Either way, I loved Burrell and love Rollins. Have never had a soft spot for Utley. Always struck me as one of the bad guys.

"The same good defense behind a bad staff would make more run-stopping plays than they would behind a good staff, simply because they would have more opportunities."


Edmundo, you bring up an interesting point that relates to BAbip.

A better defensive team - especially one with more range - would, in theory - lower ANY pitcher's BAbip.

This brings me back to your question earlier. of why "With this pitching staff defense matters".

There are several reasons.

One, with ANY pitching staff defense matters.
Two, this team is built around the strength of the pitching staff - and, therefore, run suppression - raising the importance of a good defense behind it. Does it make sense to emphasize a team strength and work to enhance it, or de-emphasize and ignore it? Hypothetically, if defense doesn't matter more to a team who's strength is run suppression, why not just sign a bunch of Mannys and Dunns and hope they can hit a few out of the park? Why not just re-sign Raul Ibanez to platoon with Mayberry as opposed to Nix? Why not put Howard out in LF?

FWIW, Utley said it during the 08 season...also Burrell was known to be one of the hardest if not the hardest worker on the team when it came to showing up early, taking extra BP, etc.

The fact that he also cut a huge swath through the co-eds of S. Philly is just gravy.

"Leader" or not, we all know that JRoll is the one who controls the clubhouse music. Those are no small shoes to fill (except that he's only like 5'8", so literally he probably does have some relatively small shoes to fill).

NEPP, your point about the co-eds brings up a good argument. They may have been misquoted when they said that "Burrell is the clubhouse Jeter."

MG, on that we agree. Jimmy defnitely takes "the lead" when it comes to being out in front of the media.

That is a distinct possibility, Preacher.

Practically speaking Rollins and Burrell came up a long time before Utley and Howard.

Baseball seems to be a very hierarchal society, but even then, guys like Rollins (and Burrell) take a lot of heat off of anti-social hermits like Utley and that counts for a lot. Even Howard takes a lot of media heat off of Utley. I understand how a guy like Utley gets romanticized by popular opinion, but nothing about him seems leaderish.

Anyone else own the 2008 WS Blu-Ray? Remember the scene where Burrell is in the clubhouse taking BP before his pivotal double off the wall in Game 5?

Who was there yelling at him? Jimmy Rollins

Clubhouse Leader then with Pat and now by himself.

Granted Lester is a really good starter but man I bet Amaro has an scotch/whiskey tonight after watching that lineup flail away in utter futility all day.

Sure he takes no comfort in the fact that Wigginton's bat has indeed looked slow on fastballs this spring (same knock on him last year) and that Mayberry is out of synch & not hitting anything hard this spring either.

By the way, I tried to post a few days ago, but was rejected (probably for being too wordy).

The point I wanted to make was about closers. I was fairly negative about the Paplebon signing at first because I believe that relief pitchers, whether you call them "closers" or not aren't close to as valuable as starting pitchers. Even Mariano Rivera doesn't pitch more than 80 innings a year, so every fifth starter is more important to spend money on.

But, thinking more and realizing that complete games are rare, the opportunity to get a "sure thing" relief pitcher is a valuable one. Rivera has a 206 ERA+ for his career (and is by far career leader in qualifying pitchers), but Paplebon has a 197 ERA+. That's no joke. A lot better than Lidge in 2008 (142 at the time) and better than pretty much everyone. I've come around and decided it's worth the risk.

The Phillies got blanked by a guy who is arguably a top 10 pitcher in baseball right now. Not a huge deal.

Mo Rivera is inhuman. Every time I look at his stats, I get more amazed. Best reliever in the history of the game.

TTI, that's one reason I posted their track record against Lester at the top of the thread.

Who were the other pitchers that blanked them this spring, and does it matter?

Hexy, the only thing that one can be critical about with the Papelbon deal is that it was a modest overpay.

As you point out, he's basically been the second best RP in MLB since he got called up.

You're right. That's no joke.

"The Phillies got blanked by a guy who is arguably a top 10 pitcher in baseball right now. Not a huge deal."

Agreed and Lester was really sharp with his command.

It is going to be fascinating though to watch this offense though face what is likely to be best caliber starting pitching the NL East though since they started their run in '07.

When they get that monster TV deal (or own network) in 2015, none of these contracts will matter anyway.

Here's where i give the disclaimer that I was just as happy at the Vet with free hot dog tickets and 75-87 as with a stadium packed with girls in pink hats. Que sera...thankfully they invented HD just in time.

I am absolutely amazed by everything that Rivera has done in his career, but can we stop using Rivera as the example when arguing for the efficacy and importance of the closer position.

Rivera is an OUTLIER, big time. He's the best relief pitcher the game's likely ever seen, and probably among a very small group of elite relief pitchers who've been consistently great for over a decade (and longer).

While Papelbon may be the best closer in the game right now, he has a LONG ways to go before he's even mentioned in the same breath as Rivera, and that's because Rivera has done it for 16 years now. Papelbon is entering his 8th season, and he's already had one season (2010, 112 ERA+) that's garbage compared to Rivera.

Again, whether or not closers are valuable and worth double-digits millions of dollars is open to debate, but just because Rivera has been worth every penny the Yankees have given him (and he has) doesn't mean that all other elite closers are.

All that said, Rivera is a monster.

The game will be sadder if/when he retires.

Now after my little salvo, I'd be remiss to not point out that Papelbon's 2006 season (59 G, 517 ERA+ (!!!!!!)) dwarfs any season that Rivera has ever had.

Papelbon gave up a measly 7 ER in 68.1 IP.

Though, if you look at their respective stats through Age 30, Papelbon is the superior pitcher statistically.

I'd still take Mo over him every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

Why Mo is insane:

Age 30 and up: 219 ERA+
Age 35 and up: 237 ERA+

How is that possible?

But, you can't have Mariano Rivera for the next four years, so it seems like a chance worth taking. Shoot, Trevor Hoffman had a 154 ERA+ during years as a closer. Dennis Eckersley? 140. Paplebon has been way better than I thought. Of course I don't watch AL baseball, so I can't say I've ever seen him pitch other than a couple of times against the Phillies.

NEPP, and that's exactly my point. You may find some relief pitchers who've outperformed Mo through age 30, age 31, etc, but you're never going to find a guy who's been that good for that long. Has there even been a more consistent player in baseball history, let alone pitcher (relief or otherwise)?

The guy's been a machine. If he does it again this year, I'll start to question his humanity. And that's why I don't think he's a fair comp when judging a huge deal given to ANY relief pitcher.

His cutter is probably the best single pitch I've ever seen.

How he manages to throw it with that movement, location and velocity (he was hitting 94 last year and sitting 92) is beyond me. Freak of nature.

I am sure there are others on here better at math, but here's my attempt to justify:

If you assume simplistically that good pitching is a function of limiting baserunners per inning, then BPI = 3/x, where x is the %chance a pitcher has of getting the batter to record an out (i.e. 70% "bad pitcher = X1, 80% "good pitcher" =X2).

X1 "Baez" has BRI of 4.29

X2 "Halladay" has BRI of 3.75

If we can use BRI as a easonable proxy for offense, it then appears that when ADDING an effect of good fielding (5%) into X (X1a = 70% + 5%, or X2a = 8+.05), the worse a pitcher is, the more they benefit from fielding improvement, relatively and absolutely.

Makes sense now that I'm thinking about it.

On the other hand, if you consider the defense bonus multiplicative, i.e. .7 x 1.05 , and .8 x 1.05, the relative value of defense as measured by the %improvement in BRI is the exact same for each team (again, makes sense logically to me now).

However the absolute gain is still experienced best by the team that was worse to begin with.


What I thought a few hours ago, that it is better to add marginal offense than marginal defense seems more likely true now.

But why I thought that, was incorrect because that the multiplicative effect is best if you're the worst team in the league at defense, not already the best.


Thoughts?

I agree that Mo is a terrible comp...its like comparing any soft throwing lefty to Jamie Moyer.

Most guys breakdown as they age...a very few select seem to beat the odds (N. Ryan, Moyer, Rivera, etc).

"How is that possible?"


He got better by improving his command?

Most crazy thing I ever saw Rivera do live was break 2 of Nixon's bats on consecutive cutters in a single AB. Just splintered them.

Always amazed when a LH bat can turn on the cutter on his hands and pull it into LF.

***
He got better by improving his command***

Most guys lose a step, lose some movement on their fastball, lose some velocity, etc. He just improves. Its insane.

The flipside of the Rivera cult is that he's just a failed starter that realized (better than anyone else) how to master his limited (relatively speaking) abilities and that in 70 innings a year, he has to be three times as good as a starter to be worth the same money. Again, can't say I've seen him much but I see the numbers and they are awesome.

Here's where i give the disclaimer that I was just as happy at the Vet with free hot dog tickets and 75-87 as with a stadium packed with girls in pink hats. Que sera...thankfully they invented HD just in time.

_________________________________________

I love going to the ballpark but I agree on this totally. The Vet with its less than half filled stadium had character. CBP packed with some douchey fans makes me more excited to sit at home and watch the game.

Speaking of Moyer, from age 30 onward, he started 517 games, faced 14,0274 batters, and posted an ERA+ of 108.

Nothing eye popping, but that's EIGHTEEN years of above average pitching, that came after his turned 30. That's damn impressive in its own right.

My summation on closers: I think if I had a 25 man roster with a budget of $170 million, and was planning on 6 bullpen pieces, i would budget $7 million on the bullpen and everything else on starting pitching and field players.

BUT, if I had the chance to get a guy I felt almost certain to be automatic in a relief role, I'd have to reconsider. It seems Rivera and possibly Paplebon are it in that department right now. I wouldn't be spending it on Heath Bell, or as much as I like homegrown guys, Ryan Madson.

I would be Madson has a lower ERA than Papelbon this year...I bet he doesnt give up a single run in 2012.

I've forgotten too much math to remember what happens when one divides by zero.

I've forgotten too much math to remember what happens when one divides by zero.

Posted by: Hexy'sBaldSpot | Monday, March 26, 2012 at 08:43 PM

World explodes.

As much as I love a full crowd cheering and celebrating winning seasons, I hate the packed ballpark, people milling around the concourse like its the f8cking Boardwalk, etc. I miss paying $4, sitting with a few hundred people in the outfield watching Glanville, getting tickets at 12:50 or 7:00 and being able to leave without a wait and hit the steak joints or bar before 11. I rarely agree with Mr. Injection but it is much better to
sit around in the A/C at home and save $100+ a game.

The Vet was a toilet and that was even back in the 80s. Just an awful place to watch a baseball game especially in the summer when that place became a Burmese sweat box. Only thing entertaining about it was the way the turf affected the ball & some players used it for their advantage.

Some things are worth being nostalgic about. Baseball games at the Vet aren't one of them.

"My summation on closers: I think if I had a 25 man roster with a budget of $170 million, and was planning on 6 bullpen pieces, i would budget $7 million on the bullpen and everything else on starting pitching and field players."

My summation of how your team's season would probably go: a really good offense, good starting pitching, and a bullpen so bad as to bring the entire team down.

Under/Over on number of times the Phils get shutout this season - 15.

Then there was Connie Mack stadium and the thrill you got when you found out that your car was still where you parked it when you went to go home.
(Provided you did pay the required 25 cents to watch your car , Mister)

bap: You think it is impossible to field a good bullpen on $7 million? You're just flat out wrong.

The Braves led the league last year in bullpen ERA and their top relievers were Kimbrel ($496K), Venters ($429K), O'Flaherty ($895K), Linebrink ($5.5M, some of which was being paid by the White Sox), Sherrill ($1.2M), and Martinez ($419K).

So for somewhere between $7-8.5 million (depending on how much of Linebrink's salary the White Sox picked up), the Braves got the best bullpen in baseball.

But yes, by all means spend away. The Danys Baezs and Brad Lidges of the world love GMs who think lavishing money on relievers is the path to success.

"Under/Over on number of times the Phils get shutout this season - 15."

Last time that 'over' happened was '89 when the Phils were shut out 16 times. Phils scored 3.86 runs (629 runs) that year finishing at 67-95.

Phils were shutout 7 times last year when they scored 714 runs total. They were actually shutout more times in '10 (11 times) which was their highest total in over a decade.

15 times is a bit on the high-side but not outlandish. Phils are going to be shutout in double-digits this year especially with the improved starting pitching in the NL East.

Given that the run total last year in the NL was 4.13 R/G (lowest since '92 when it was 3.88 R/G), NL offenses are back to where they were before the Roid Era of '94-'05.

NL runs totals per game have declined every year consecutively since '06. Steroid testing was also formally implemented in the spring of '06.

Cards were the leading offense last year in the NL with 762 runs. Without Pujols, it is hard to see any time scoring even more than 750 runs unless the Reds break that mark.

Oh when the Phils bludgeoned their way to the NL East title in '07, they scored 892 runs. Really good chance they score 200 less runs than that this year. Talk about a sea change over 5 years.

People always harp too that the '08 team club their way to a title. They did especially by hitting so my HRs in the postseason but people seem to forget that team finished 4th just .03 of a point behind 2nd place Brewers.

That team had very good pitching too because it had a bullpen that was pretty much 'Lights Out' all year. Every thing that could go right with that bullpen could including getting really productive years out of Durbin and Condrey. Only Flush Gordon was a disappointment.

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EST. 2005

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