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Tuesday, March 27, 2012



MG: "Ticket sales are way down and they have been pumping those 3-pay ticket packs especially for the Mets/Cubs series all spring long."

The Phillies sold over 3.1M tickets by February 16th, you are 100% making things up because you get e-mail spam about them trying to prematurely sell out games.

I do like our bullpen depth in terms of consistency, most of our depth are good back up plans and not a bunch of hi-upside/hi-risk guys that are either always hurt or go from lights out to lit up any other day.

Yes, the likes of Sanches and Herndon are weak, but you usually know your getting a mediorce performance msot of the time. Not the most terrible outcome.


lorecore, nice deterministic theory. I guess if Connie Mack, Bobby Cox, Fredi Gonzalez or Joe Camel were managing the Braves, 89 wins was all they were goign to pull out, huh?

Whether you believe that or not, I made no claim about the outcome of the Braves season. But it's pretty undeniable that Kimbrel, Venters and O'Flaherty were overused/misused last year. Venters and Kimbrel were #1 (85 games) and #2 (79 games) in games last year, and O'Flaherty was #5. The Cubs were the only other team to have 3 players in the top 12. Fredi Gonzalez is notorious for being a poor pitcher's manager, and he overworked his young arms last year. If Venters arm doesn't fall off soon, I'll be surprised.

Consider that stud relief pitchers like Rivera, Papelbon and Hoffman rarely ever appeared in more than 70 games. The most for Hoffman was 70, the most for Rivera was 74 (and only over 70 three times in his career) and thie most for Paps has been 67.

When you have elite level talent in the back of your bullpen, it behooves you to not gring them into the ground. Sometimes you have to let a starter take a bit more of a beating than you'd like to save your bullpen.

Fatal: I agree they were overused, i'm just pointing out that if you 'properly' limited those 3 pitchers under 70 appearances, their team performance would have suffered just as greatly.

In the longterm picture, i would have limited those guys to protect their future performance and agree Fredi mismanaged, but I dont think any type of inning dispertion between their talent level could have saved their season.

To this point Herndon's been better than Stutes and Valdes better than Savery (in ST, for whatever THAT's worth). Since the guy's who have been better have more time in MLB, I'd guess they have the upper hand.

My guess on Elarton is that he'll travel to my hometown, the city of ALPO and A-Treat, to remain "stretched out" as injury insurance and for double-header duty.

So we're down to: Papelbon, Bastardo, Qualls, KK/Blanton, Contreras (?), and 1 or 2 spots for Herndon, Stutes, Savery or Valdes.

A few thoughts (as MG might say):

First, I think you need 2 lefties -- especially when the one you already have is more setup man than LOOGY. Second, I haven't seen any reason for optimism that Contreras is going to be ready to start the season; the dude hasn't pitched a game yet without allowing a run. Third, Valdes sucks. He's a 34-year old AAA journeyman. Only last night, I was noting, on Beerleaguer, that our hotshot young relievers almost always seem to turn out to be far less than advertised. But this is one situation where I'd rather see what the young guy can offer, because we already know that the old guy offers almost nothing.

Were it my call, Contreras would start the season on the DL, pitch for a few weeks at AAA, and give us some time to sort things out. Then I'd keep Stutes and Savery for sure and maybe Herndon, if the roster math dictates that we have 7 relievers.

DPat - I hope you realize that's really a BS argument when the payroll is almost at the luxury tax. But keep on trying to say they are cheap.

Red~ Not saying they're cheap. They will have 3 pitchers making 20 million per. Read MG's response to my post.

If you've been following, the tax theis year is 17%. But for a repeat offender, it's 30%. They KNOW they'll be over next year. They WILL sign Hamels & Pence. Do you listen?

It's for that reason they won't go over. If someone shakes loose from another team who's decent that they can afford, they'll sign him. If not, they won't. What I was referring to in the post, again if you've been following, is what I've been saying all along. They needed go get another bat when Howard went down. They didn't. Now we know why. But maybe they could have been more creative with $$ to afford that bat. They will not defer salary. But again, I didn't say they were/are cheap. In fact, they're a cash cow right now.

Bizzarly, Mayberry has really struggled against LHP in spring training, and done kind of ok against RHP. In 45 AB against RHP, he's gone .313 OBP and .356 SLG for an OPS of .668. Not great, but if he can do that during the regular season he'll keep his job full time, one would think. Last year he had an OPS of .785, but that was pretty atypical of what we expected from him.

Against LHP he's gone 1-18 for .105 OBP .056 SLG and .161 OPS!!! Last year against lefties he had a .953 OPS. I suppose if he is able to duplicate his 2011 OPS against lefties and hit over .665 OPS against righties, he'll be just fine.

Check out the big brains on brad! Lil bro droppin knowledge on them! Proud proud proud

Not compelling? I'm on Team Savery.

Spring Training splits - save me from myself and don't tell me where you get them from.

I'm wondering how long my former "hero" -- John Mayberry Junior -- goes on before a career in insurance sales beckons. This spring was the opportunity of a lifetime for him, and I can't imagine him coming up any smaller.

He’s shown he can hit. Something’s in his head. When Utley and Howard were around in the last half of '11; it can be said that there was no pressure and JMJ raked. Now he's being asked to step up, and his holster appears empty. Too bad, really.

or it's just 67 PA after a long off-season, and there's no real conclusion to draw there.

So here's a question: According to ESPN, Juan Pierre has a $9 million contract.
If true, that seems like awfully expensive 'insurance'......... must be some prior contract, right?

I'm thinking there has to be more than coincidence involved in the quality of Mayberry's springs before and after he was guaranteed a roster spot going north. I know that usually ST performances mean nothing, but occasionally they do, and I'm a little concerned that he takes this into the regualar season.

Don't worry Sophist, JMJ's cut's least favorite player now, but once he has 2 good games in a row, he'll be the next Willie McCovey in cut's eyes.

DPat - Your argument should be that they didn't appropriate their resources correctly, not constantly harping on the luxury tax. The team doesn't want to go over it, what is so hard for you to understand about that point?

Dan Uggla had this line in Spring Training last year: .313/.404/.750 (1.154)

He had a .630 OPS at the end of April, .538 OPS at the end of May, and a .587 OPS at the end of June.

Spring Training stats don't mean much at all.

lorecore - Where did you get the 3.1M ticket sales?

Official capacity of CBP is 3.54M. Last year their attedance was 3.68M due and they played at 104% capacity.

They had officially sold out completely last year before the start of the season including individual game tickets.

As of yesterday, they hadn't even completely sold out Opening Day yet which was a little over a week away.

'Significantly' is a bad adjective. Down from where they were last year at this point. I would venture somewhere in the neighborhood of 5-10% overall.

I would agree that spring training stats don't mean that much. Mayberry just is out-of-synch at the plate & has been all spring. Just hitting a ton of grounders & not driving the ball at all.

Maybe he flips a switch in April. My bet is that he struggles out of the gate.

MG: No way they sold the entire season out in March. I bought multiple tickets in-season, non-standing room. Not the best availablity but def not sold out.

I don't think spring training stats count for much, but I would much rather see JMJ struggle against LHP than RHP in spring - I have little doubt about his ability to hit LHP at an acceptable MLB level, and 18 ABs is a pretty small sample size. As I said as long as he can hit RHP at an acceptable level he'll be a full time player for us, which would be awesome.

Herndon always looks good in ST. I'd still rather have Stutes because he can strike hitters out & his overall numbers were better than Herndon's last year. Herndon beat him in ERA (3.32 to 3.63), which is one of the less meaningful stats for relievers. Stutes killed Herndon everywhere else. WHIP: 1.24 to 1.37. BAA: .218 to .258. K/9: 8.4 to 6.2. K/BB: 2.07 to 1.63. Amazingly, he even beat him in HR/9 (1.00 to 1.4), even though Herndon's an extreme ground ball pitcher & Stutes an extreme fly ball pitcher.

The perception is that Stutes was terrible in the 2nd half last year, but the month-to-month splits say he was actually only terrible in August. He was ok in July & actually pretty good in September. He does have a history of erratic command, and I do have my doubts about how he'll do this year. But I have just as many doubts about Herndon. The doubts cancel each other out & I'd go with the guy who was better last year & has better stuff.

2011 ticket sales in the Allentown Morning Call (Feb. 17, 2011)

"Tickets sold to date: More than 3.3 million by Thursday, including 15 sellouts."

So in 2012 at the same date they say they sold more than 3.1M tickets.

That's a difference of roughly ~200k less on the same date and roughly about a ~9% decrease.

MG - It's a 6% decrease, not 9% but your point still holds.

"I would agree that spring training stats don't mean that much. Mayberry just is out-of-synch at the plate & has been all spring. Just hitting a ton of grounders & not driving the ball at all."

He has had a rough spring, but there's been plenty of "driving the ball". He's hit it hard to people, had the wind knock down a few that may have carried out otherwise. The old guard on this board tends to phone in their comments. This is one example of having not actually watched the games.

Given that they probably make at least $50 per person (including ticket, merchandise, concession revenues), that 200k is at least $10M in overall revenues. Probably a bit more.

Now if the Phils do well again this year they have no problem selling those tickets but I would much prefer to have as many tickets sold in March before the season starts.

Phils do a policy of where they will release certain tickets including at least 500 standing room only tickets for every game regardless of it is officially sold out.

"I would much prefer to have as many tickets sold in March before the season starts"

Are you speaking as a hypothetical front office member or as a fan?

Yes I want them to sell out and all, but my personal agenda would love if i had a chance to buy tickets to any game i wanted without purchasing months in advance.

Todd - Mayberry doesn't have a HR this spring and he has a GB/FB ratio of 1.25.

Wind isn't knocking down that many FBs. Maybe he is hitting the ball right at people a bit but even with a bit more luck his numbers would move up from anemic:

.206/.254/.270 with 4 XBHs (all doubles) in 63 ABs this spring

He also has 4 BBs/8 Ks. What has changed with Mayberry is that he isn't flailing away and striking out at a high clip this spring.

MG - Last year's number may be an outlier too. The Phils had just signed Lee which led to a few more tickets being sold at the time. What were the ticket sales in 2010? That would be more of a fair comparison I think.

lorecore - Mgt. Even as a partial ticket holder, I would prefer to be able to go to a game during the week if I wanted & get 'okay' seats that aren't standing room only or the terrible seats in the RF upper deck.

redburb - Lee did have a huge impact. It was ~2.8M in '10 at the same date in Feb.

Phils' Marketing Dept seems to release those figures every year for the past few years on the exact same date (Feb 17-18)

Sanches is going to be great this year. I am going to get his jersey at the mall when I buy Kelly Clarkson's debut album.

Red~ It's not that I don't understand. Point taken. Once they signed Pap, it was really hard to appropriate any other funds properly,yes?

I don't disagree that spending $13 mil on a closer is not a good way to allocate resources, but until ownership says they want to go over the luxury tax it is pointless to complain about it.

RedBurb, it is never pointless to complain about anything.

Ugh, I hate when people complain about complaining.

Papelbon is in a no win situation. He could post an ERA+ over 200 and have 200+ saves in the next give years and he'd still get bashed on BL.

Of course, our other option is going to miss the entire season due to TJ surgery but he would have "saved" us $2 million this there's that.

We should all be happy that Rube stumbled into a bit of good luck by passing on Madson in favor of Papelbon.

All of the points about how it's better to watch the games on TV, rather than go to the ballpark, are ones that aren't specific to just the Phils. It's just easier and cheaper. Throw in the out of market option, and even fewer find a need to make it to town to see a game or series (I put myself in that bucket). It's a challenge to draw butts to seats these days (a big part of the reason that new ballparks are built to smaller capacities). Throw in a team that's been so exciting for a few years, grabbing the attention of many fans who used to not watch any baseball (I'm sure my mom isn't the only one who now tunes into games but probably can't name a player), and that's a very difficult buzz to maintain over a prolonged period of time, especially in today's short attention span society. The tides have definitely turned baseball, as a whole, into a TV-heavy entity, which is why the big broadcast deals are so prominent. Here's hoping the Phils stay competitive and can really cash in, then use that $ to reinvest in the team.

In all fairness to the Phils, though, they really are trying to pull people away from the TV and to the park. Otherwise, how the hell do you explain the fact that TMac is still the TV play-by-play guy?

Regarding JW's header, put me in the Savery as 2nd lefty camp, and all for putting Orr on the roster (and not just until Mini Mart is healthy - I don't see what Mini offers that Orr doesn't).

Resop is "poser" spelled backwards.

So that I can't be accused of being influenced by a SSS, I want to go on record before Pete Orr goes 0 for 4 with 2 errors today: this guy is awful. He is nearly as bad as Mini-Mart. He might hit ever-so-slightly better than Mini-Mart, but he still can't hit at all. And his fielding is actually worse than Mini-Mart's, even at his natural position of 2nd base. He cannot play SS, and brings nothing of value to the Phillies other than being fast and a good base-runner. Those qualities, alone, may make him better than Mini-Mart, but they do not justify a place on the 25-man roster.

And that's basically all you can ask from from Polly this season.

I agree that he'd be a good 2-hole hitter, but would be more effective in that role with Vic at lead off.

"Those qualities, alone, may make him better than Mini-Mart"

Which is the singular basis for my desire to have him on the 25 man over Mini. Agreed that he sucks, but he's the lesser of the two evils, and we don't currently have a "third evil" to consider.

This Thome kid can really square up a baseball.

WP: Well, we do have Hector Luna, who is a much better hitter than either of these bozos. He is the guy they should be experimenting with at SS or, at the very least, 2nd base. As I've said before, we absolutely do not need another guy on the roster who can play SS. We've already got 2. We may, however, need someone who can play 2nd.

Question of the day (which has been asked before and will be asked again): Are we now the New York Yankees of the NL? Whatever the answer, is it a good or a bad thing?

"Two outs and a runner on third for Pete Orr." - TMac

Or, as it's also known, your cue to go ahead and get up to take a leak and grab another beer.

Just some knowledge for future reference for the rest of this season.

***This Thome kid can really square up a baseball.***

From his page he can play 3B he's "versatile".

Fata - But it's the same argument he's been spouting since last season ended. My opinion is to at least try and talk about something else.

Pete Orr threw a baseball to me during batting practice in Florida. He's an ok guy.

BAP, yeah, I'll give you Luna. Not sure why he's not being given more of a shot (loyalty to Orr/Mini?).

For the life of me, as much as we don't have a viable regular 3B, as long as there is this flux without Utley, I'd much prefer a short term contingency plan (for emergencies only) that puts Wiggy at 3B and just moves Polly to 2B over any plan that relies on Orr/Martinez.

**Pete Orr threw a baseball to me during batting practice in Florida. He's an ok guy.**

Was it a plus throw? Did he hit your glove? How'd he look on the throw?

Come on man, we need more info here.

RedBurb, my post was tongue-in-cheek.

What the odds that we see a starting infield of Hector Luna (3B), Freddy Galvis (SS), Pete Orr (2B) and Ty Wiggington (1B) at some point before June?

This would require Polly and Jimmy to be injured at the same time, but let's not act like that's not a long shot.

What are the odds that Pete Orr was on anyone's early Phils' Opening Day roster the past 2 years in spring training?

NEPP - He actually didn't make it over the fence and had to grab it a second time and throw it over. I didn't want to embarrass the guy but oh well.

MG: I'm almost positive that he was on our opening day roster last year, as I distinctly remember being disgusted about it.

Mini-Mart out wOBA'd Pete Orr last year (.247 to .243), and he's so versatile.

Why did the LCB have to break his foot?

LCD, that is...

Pete Orr must have read BAP's comment about his defense. That, or the Orr/Thome connection is just magical.

Orr barely gets to a ball in the hole that Rollins would have had easily, then throws a wounded duck to first base to barely get the runner - McCarthy excitedly calls it another "remarkable" play by Orr.

Has anyone else been having problems with MLBTV during Spring Training. I cannot get the games to load on my computer and not sure if it my internet (I travel and this has happened on multiple WiFi networks) or my computer. I haven't had any problems on my iPad but getting frustrated that I can't watch at work :)

Given that 41-year old Thome is still the best option this team has for the 5-hole right now vs RHP, how tempted is Cholly going to be to play him at 1B more than 1/week in the early going?

DH Phils - Yup. That's the worst thing about TMac. I don't expect him to criticize the Phils or management. No announcer does that or one that has a job for long.

Just tone down the ridiculous hyperbole or don't make comments the other day about Blanton being really pleased about his outing after getting shelled.

"He cannot play SS" -- BAP on Peter Orr.

***Orr barely gets to a ball in the hole that Rollins would have had easily, then throws a wounded duck to first base to barely get the runner - McCarthy excitedly calls it another "remarkable" play by Orr.***

It was remarkable...for Orr.

Reality,what a bummer. After seeing the Phils 9 times this spring on tv or in person I finally must listen to Tmac and Wheels.
There's only 1 reason they have a job.Bet Wheels could be our utility guy. With all his knowledge he would know where the ball is going before it's hit. Also know what pitch to look for and the location of it when batting.

MG, our only saving grace is that Thome and Charlie are BFF's. If Thome isn't feeling up to the task, Charlie won't push him. It's up to Thome, however, to be forthcoming about how he's feeling...

WTF is this stupid Meebo toolbar crap on Beerleaguer. My garbage computer can't even load it under a half minute.

I hate you.

AL, I haven't had any real issues with, but I'm hardwired via ethernet at work. I've tried wireless once or twice on the weekends via my PS3 and iPad at home and can't recall any real issues, either. Perhaps some sort of firewall settings on your machine? The fact that it's working on your iPad makes me suspect you should start there.

howard eskin said on cataldi's postgame a few weeks ago that the phillies count all tickets placed in the secondary market as "sold" so that they can continue the "sold out" mythology.

"how tempted is Cholly going to be to play him at 1B more than 1/week in the early going?"

I say, ride that horse for all you can get out of it during the first 2 or 3 months of the season. Hopefully, Howard comes back by the AS break, in which case Thome will have the entire 2nd half to rest up.

I sure hope that Charlie thinks Thome can handle 1B at least once a week, hopefully more. Even at 41, there's a legit argument that he is our best hitter. Seriously.

"howard eskin said on cataldi's postgame a few weeks ago that the phillies count all tickets placed in the secondary market as "sold" so that they can continue the "sold out" mythology."

Every team does this. I went to a Sox game last year in Sept on a weekend and there were a number of no-shows.

lorecore: I have a brand new computer -- literally only 3 days old -- and I'm having the exact same problem. But I hadn't realized until now that it was because of this stupid toolbar.

***howard eskin said on cataldi's postgame a few weeks ago that the phillies count all tickets placed in the secondary market as "sold" so that they can continue the "sold out" mythology.***

Which makes sense given that they were sold to someone who then put them on the secondary market.

I saw that toolbar this morning, too. The result isn't what I expect the "powers that be" want. I was in no way inclined to click on it or have any sort of impulse generated cyber experience, and actually I thought about what a GD nuisance it was and probably cursed under my breath about it. Drexel Lebow awareness it is not. Plus, it fouls up my simple "page down" key alignment when viewing comments until I minimize it.

Simple feedback for JW or whoever - bad idea.

NEPP, with the mlb/stubhub agreement, the teams themselves are actually utilizing stubhub for residual ticket inventory, as well.

Thome had a 130 wRC+ last year, and walked in 14.2% of his plate appearances (324 PAs). The guy can still get it done.

I would probably say that Vic is our best hitter right now, with Pence behind him.

After that, I'd put Thome, Howard, Utley, Ruiz, Rollins,and then the rest in some unspecified order. Still not sure where JMJ fits on that spectrum.

if stubhub tickets remain unsold (resold) are they technically "no shows"?

I have nothing more than a casual viewer's insight into the matter, however I am 100% certain and comfortable in assuming that the Spring Training Ball Girls are not the same Ball Girls we see at CBP during the regular season. This is one area where the Phillies absolutely regress once the games become meaningful.

howard eskin said on cataldi's postgame a few weeks ago that the phillies count all tickets placed in the secondary market as "sold" so that they can continue the "sold out" mythology.

Posted by: bullit | Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 02:13 PM

I'm confused: if the Phillies sell the tickets, who cares where they end up? A sold ticket is a sold ticket.

Fat - Its a shitty practice that dries up ticket prices for fans and reduces access. That's all.

Um, Thome being thrown out at 1B on a hard hit ball to RF isn't the best thing for those of us hoping he can play like a man 5 years younger than he is.

@WP: more hot chicks in florida than philly? Whodathunk...

who was the best philly to ever wear pence's #3? and the best mlb player ever to wear it?

mm, I'm simply stating that I think the Front Office needs to cut bait on the homegrown talent in this department, and defer to their Florida ties to make an upgrade during the regular season. Cheap Front Office.

MG, I agree. I hate StubHub, but I was wondering why bullit thinks the Phillies should count those tickets as sold for the purposing of counting "sellouts". They sold them, after all.

WTF is this stupid Meebo toolbar crap on Beerleaguer. My garbage computer can't even load it under a half minute.

I hate you.

Posted by: lorecore | Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 02:12 PM"

lorecore, you must remember that while our esteemed JW is the editor of BL, he sold it.

It's a much more commercial site now.

fata: i agree, sold is sold. whether they are resold by a second party is irrelevant. i just wondered why eskin acted like he had a major scoop on the situation.

I can imagine cut's drive to work. He makes 2 lights in a row and thinks "Wow, I am making excellent time. This is going to be a great day." Then he hits a light and thinks, "DRAT! I might as well turn around and go home. This traffic is horrible." Repeat.

For those of you who want to make sure we're going to have some guys on the team this season who can actually hit, take heart: Polly is hitting .440 in ST - and .750 with RISP!

I'm confused y eskin was brought up on this site?

Pete Orr is all about proving the Beerleaguer doubters wrong.

Cliff Lee is a better hitter than Orr.

**who was the best philly to ever wear pence's #3? and the best mlb player ever to wear it?**

Lou Gehrig comes to mind for MLB. Or was he 4 and Ruth 3? Either way, there's your MLB winner.

Fat - I don't hate Stubhub. Secondary market for ticket is fine. Just hate the practice of sports team artificially reducing supply by selling the tickets directly to StubHub.

Some State AG have gone after teams for doing this but I haven't seen anything really come of it.

People are always going to scalp tickets though. Mass. still has a law on the books that it is illegal to sell a ticket for more than face value technically between 2 private parties. No one pays any attention it though including the cops outside of Fenway.

If anything, Boston cops used to beg to get the Fenway detail because it was overtime & a lot of those cops took cash kickbacks from scalpers to let them be before games in Kenmore Square and close to Fenway.

shakes, very funny!!

I guess I hadn't thought about it before, but it's absolutely plausible (and entirely likely) that when Thome starts, we're going to see Charlie's patented defensive caddy substitution maneuver late in games.

I cannot wait for the game threads when these occur in a close ball game.

how much of an upgrade is thome over gload? lol

bullit, this much:



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