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Monday, March 19, 2012

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Utley: Age 33
Galvis: Age 22

Ibanez: Age 39
Mayberry: Age 28

See, we're getting younger. That's a good thing, right?

'Smells like . . desperation.'

MG, not "desperation", but more like "Ain't nobody else".

Anyone for some 'Hong-Chih Kuo'?

Starting a guy who has never played the position before in organized baseball on Opening Day?

That's the definition of desperation.

Starting a guy who has never played the position before in organized baseball on Opening Day?

That's the definition of desperation.

Posted by: MG | Monday, March 19, 2012 at 04:41 PM

I kind of wish all words in the dictionary were defined as they would relate to baseball.

Infinitesimal: (adj.) The amount of Mini-mart's baseball ability.

Desperation (n.)
1. The condition of being desperate.
2. Recklessness arising from despair.

Close enough with Galvis as it meets definition '1'

I'd be able to muster at least an ounce of excitement RE: Galvis if he was replacing almost anyone but Utley.

Well the likely in house candidate to fulfill a temporary role would of been the Garcia dude. Unfortunately he has been injured this and last year.

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/03/19/breaking-the-mets-owners-have-settled-with-the-bankruptcy-trustee/

Looks like the Wilpons will be sticking around and continuing dragging down the Mets for the foreseeable future.

MG: Finally, some good news.

it's second base. if he's as good at short as everybody says, i think he'll be fine. if he manages a decent OBP this year, i'll be happy.

better hope dom manages to make a few plays in AAA and is ready to add some power to the lineup. until then, it'll be a rough april, with lots of 2-1 games.

I just realize I used to have the phone numbers of both Fernando Tatis and Fernando Vina (at least his agent) in my old blackberry. If you can teach me how to get the info off it (without a functioning screen), I will gladly pass them on to Rube.

Whoever said Wilpon was getting away with it when we talked about it last year, you were right. I'll admit, I was a total sucker to believe they were somehow innocent. Now they don't even have to pay out any more. The only way they could have lucked out more is if he managed to hand over the Bonilla debt too.

It's dark but not unexpected. I actually look forward watching young Galvis play. He's a smart player and for all the crying you hear about the need to get young, well here's our chance.

It looks like Exxon has been replaced by Galvis. I wouldn't bet money on Galvis being the Opening Day starting 2nd bagger. Rube is may be quiet but he's not dead.

Give me a call, beitches. I was melting faces when Pence was in short pants.

I'll say it again, only b/c I think it would have gotten a lot more play on any other day except today...Pence actually melted a face today.

I hope Miggy is okay, hate to see anyone go down like that.

JW: The test of what really matters will be settled between Brown and Galvis to the extent you are talking about what matters to a team making decisions, as opposed to what actually wins baseball games, which can't be answered unless both are given equal time.

The question of how the Phillies view the two players is far different than the question of who actually is the better player. Otherwise you are basically saying the Phillies (and front offices generally) are infallible.

Salisbury is reporting he thinks Vic is going to open the season in the #3 hole spot.

Likely that makes the 1-4:

JRoll
Polanco
Vic
Pence

Galvis will be 8. Chooch will be 7. Whoever is at 1B/LF will be 5/6.

Say that will be Mayberry at 1B and Nix in LF vs. RHP. Wigginton at 1B and Mayberry in RF vs. LHP.

Maybe mix in a little Thome at 1B with some spot starts and a little Podsednik/Pierre in LF vs. RHP.

Anyone want to run a lineup of:

JRoll
Polanco
Vic
Pence
Mayberry
Nix
Ruiz
Galvis

To get an expected run value per game? Clout?

Dom Brown for Mike Olt...who hangs up first. Brown could DH (and leadoff?) for Texas moving Young to 1B. He could also serve as leverage/insurance in regard to Hamilton's pending FA. Olt may not be ready to start the year, but he does a lot of things the Phillies could use. He can play first with Howard out, allowing Mayberry to play LF full time and knocking Nix/Wigginton to the bench. Or, with Mayberry at first he could play 3B with Polanco at 2B, though Charlie seems unwilling to move Polanco around. With Howard and Utley back, Olt could move to 3B with Polanco taking Wigginton's role. Going forward, perhaps with Olt or another young 3B, we could keep Polanco on the team to share 2B with Utley, with Galvis as the other utility infielder. Pipe dream?

Matt Stairs is guest-hosting on MLB on XM right now. Fun to hear him. But anyway, he thinks the Phils will be fine relying on pitching and defense, although he acknowledged the Utley news is "devastating" and Howard has a long road ahead.

Still waiting for Mayberry to start driving the ball this spring.

Given that he pretty much is going to be slated to be a full-time starter now in 1B/LF, the Phils desperately need him to get in a decent groove to hit the ground running this spring.

Baron von Hayes - I'll say it again, only b/c I think it would have gotten a lot more play on any other day except today...Pence actually melted a face today.

Pence it a fairly routine ground ball to third which took a bad hop and smashed Cabrera's glasses into his face. He didn't melt anything.

Galvis rated out as the second best SS in all of minor league baseball. Playing second base is a walk in the park defensively in comparison. The only concern is the stick. Once advanced scouts see him in action behind the plate, pretty sure he will be exposed to Martinezian levels. Of course, I hope I am wrong.

@Jason: Your glib all-bat, no-bat, all-glove, no-glove attributions of Brown and Galvis goes too far. Just like a preponderance of posters in your blog, you aim for the extremes by your black and white references. Sorry, but Brown is neither all-bat, nor no-glove, nor is Galvis the reverse. They are both young and progressing in their maturation as major league hopefuls.

Galvis, for one, showed more power and solid contact in general last summer in AA and AAA. Both his average and extra-base hitting rose significantly. He won't be a powder-puff easy out in the lineup. As for Brown, I truly believe he will benefit greatly from his 500-600 at-bats for the Pigs, as well as patrolling left field on a nightly basis.

So, I know it gets attention when a writer goes all out in the extremes when describing someone's skill level, but do you really have to play the annoying Romney/Santorum child's game of absolutes? I'll be happy to have a great gloveman who hits moderately well his first year in the majors. And, I think that's what we will see with Galvis.

Also, as a side note. The positional thing happens all the time, most commonly in CF. A guy will play nothing but CF in the minors and then play LF or RF when they get called up. This is very similar in that if you can play CF, you can play RF or LF. If you can play SS, you can play 2B. Most 2B are just noodle-armed SS's that have been converted.

Ive always been pessimistic about Mayberry. I like the guy and i wish him the best and hopefully he works out. Years of mediocre play in the minors and a bunch of K's when he was called up before. I still have to wonder was his second half a fluke. The Phils are counting on him to deliver and are putting a lot of faith in him. I have almost no doubt he is good on the defensive side but his bat always worried me. He could be this year Ben Fran albeit a better defensive version. I hope that isnt the case.

Baseball Musings, using Bill James projected OBP and SLG (except using ZIPS projections for Galvis, and last year's numbers for Halladay) gives 4.067 RPG for the following lineup:

Rollins, Polanco, Victorino, Pence, Mayberry, Wigginton, Ruiz, Galvis, Halladay

The optimal lineup is Ruiz, Pence, Rollins, Mayberry, Victorino, Wigginton, Galvis, Halladay, Polanco at 4.317 RPG.

Also worth noting that the projections are pretty low on Mayberry. If you plug in last year's .341/.513 OBP/SLG instead of the James-projected .313/439, the RPG improves from 4.067 to 4.215.

Also, the projected OBP/SLG for Galvis is .299/.359. That looks a little high, I think. I don't know how much skill these systems have for players with unique paths like Galvis'.

Of course, Matt Stairs then said pitchers will elect to pitch around Vic, for example, and go after our 7, 8, & 9 hitters.

@mainerob and then I am done trolling, although I am not really a troll. Jason made a very valid point. Outside of catcher, SS is the hardest position to play in the field. For someone as "athletic" as Brown, LF is the easiest. Galvis was a terd for years who only had a glove. You attempting to polish said terd is even more of a reach than him making a valid point. So I pose this question to you mainerob. Show me a player who had zero bat in the minors for four years and then turned into Hanley Ramirez?

@Jason BHHS for life.

James' predictions have merit, but are widely regarded as the most rosy available year over year.

Galvis will be lucky to end up at .245 on the year.

Im sorry but the constant Dom Brown hate is both ignorant and vomit inducing. May never make it? Really? This is getting ridiculous...

If the Phils dip to 4.1 runs, this offense still would finish around ~665 runs or good enough for #7 in the NL last year which is exactly where they finished.

Phils only scored 713 runs last year (4.4 runs/game). As long as they keep their average run total over 4, they will be okay.

It does come down to the pitching and to a lesser degree defense.

On the positive-side, the defense with Galvis at 2B and if Mayberry is in LF, this lineup has a chance to play much better defense in the early going.

Mayberry is a huge upgrade over Ibanez in LF. Really don't think Galvis is going to be much of a downgrade over Utley either. Pence isn't a good defender but he is an upgrade over Brown/Francisco.

Hitless Wonders version 2012.

MG: I imagine the actual number of RPG we could expect is higher than that anyway because Halladay is the worst hitter on the pitching staff, and a decent portion of the 9-hole at bats will go to a pretty good bench.

The .145/.149 projection is well below what the Phillies will average from the 9-hole.

Even bigger than Utley is Halladay. Halladay admitted today his velocity is down. If he is topping out tomorrow at 88-89 again and gets hit again tomorrow, Dubee and Amaro are lying about him being healthy too.

Halladay is the lynchpin to the staff and I would argue the entire team given the IP, ability to give them CG, and the Phils' record in his starts the past 2 years.

If Halladay isn't Halladay, then it truly is time to panic about the 2012 season.

Mayberry should play at first with occasional days in left to make room for Thome. And Podsednik should play most games in left. And Wigginton should be on the bench with only occasional spot starts at third for Polanco to keep him healthy. And if Galvis can't hit, as everyone here predicts, then Wiggy may get some time at second.

But Wiggy should always be a last resort. His bat is in decline and his glove started out that way.

DH Phils - Good point. It isn't hard to see this team really struggling though to score runs against good pitching given that they will have a real lack of power & likely won't be running a bunch.

Not having Lopes though really hurts this team. Even their dink and dunk offense, it would be great if Mayberry and Galvis would lean on Lopes to steal extra bags.

If Halladay isn't healthy, that's certainly a blow. But that leaves the Phillies with TWO ACES. How many times in their history have they had even that many?

Lee, Hamels, Worley, Blanton, Kendrick. That's still an above average rotation. But that then calls the question of why Rube has let the offense lay fallow.

aksmith - There is a huge dropoff between Halladay and Blanton/KK.

And when we had a mediocre rotation, we had terrific hitting. That's not the case anymore.

MG - Of course it's a huge dropoff. But two aces and three average starters is more than a whole lot of teams have. And then there's always Oswalt out there in the mists of time to rescue them at some point.

GBrettfan - You are correct. The hitting was better when the rotation was worse. But the rotation is still going to be very good even if Doc is hurt. The offense is going to have to figure a way to step up.

Anyone else notice that Galvis hits high pitches pretty well? I can see a lot of pitches at the knees in the foreseeable future.

I am ready. I am breaking my new glove in with shaving cream. Kevin Jordan is giving me a ride to the aero puerto.

GBrettfan: All my life I've listened to older Phillies fans -- OK, mostly my Dad -- bitch & moan about how the team "never had any starting pitching". Personally, having now seen a few seasons worth of Phillies teams w/ great starting pitching, I'd rather they had an average rotation & a killer offense.

aksmith - Halladay is at least 4-5 wins better than Blanton/KK or the course of a full season. With this offense, I would argue it would probably be 6-7.

Halladay's the best player on this roster right now (including Utley) and it isn't close.

Let's she how doc does tomm before we start heading for the Ben Franklin. Maybe he realized this offense won't score a lot and he needs all his bullets for his starts. Not meaningless horses$it ST games. Hopefully he will crank it up a little and show lil Ken he is still the man.

MG - You type that like I disagreed with you. It would definitely be a blow, but no matter how great Doc is, Lee, Hamels, Worley, Blanton, KK is not chicken feed. A team can win with that rotation depending on the offensive output.

How much of a hit did the Cards take when Wainwright went down? Yet they cobbled together a pretty good rotation with their other guys. All I'm saying is that it can be done.

I was just given word yesterday that I would be deployed for the entirety of the baseball season. I'm less worried about that than I am about the Phil's chances this year. I'm actually kind of resigned to the fact that, whatever happens, at least I won't have to watch it happening, which may make things a bit easier to deal with once I hear about it afterwards...

If this is how people will react to things in March then my goodness this will be a long season on Beerleaguer.

Utley being out of course sucks. I don't think there would be any dissent on that. For me though, I would rather have Utley sit now and get as healthy as he can and then be all ours from maybe June on. It means he is healthy into September and the post-season. The offense will just need to hold the fort down until Howard and Utley return in a few months.

The projected runs line-up averages out to just over 4 runs a game which with our rotation will still mean we win a lot of games.

On Galvis- he played short stop in the minors which is possibly the hardest position on the diamond. Now he is moving to second base which is considerably easier to play. Yes his bat will be bad at times, but he will make up for it defensively. Him and ROllins up the middle will be a fantastic double play combination.

Much like the 2010 season I think it will come down to how the other teams play. In 2010 the other teams had a chance to bury the Phillies and they couldn't do it which left the Phillies within striking distance. The Phillies- even an aging team with question marks on the diamond- are still a heavyweight boxer with a puncher's chance. Let them land a punch or two and the race will be ours again.

"If you can play SS, you can play 2B."

There are undoubtedly some exceptions out there, but I think this statement is, by and large, true. But that doesn't mean that, because a guy plays a great SS, he can make the switch to 2nd and immediately play it well. There is certainly an adjustment period and how long that adjustment lasts will vary considerably from player to player. In Galvis's case, we'd better hope it happens fast. So far, it seems like his defense at 2nd base has been fine.

I'm sticking with my statement that the lineup that matters is the one that takes the field in October. The pitching will get them through the season. They will win the East.

Good luck to you, Ishmael. Do check in once in awhile if you're able.

Ishmael, i echo GTown's statement above. Always nice to hear from you.

As far as Utley is concerned, if it were simply a question of missing him for a month or two, I wouldn't be all that worried.

The fear, though, is that Utley and the Phillies have known about this issue since last Spring Training, he obviously wore down considerably with extending playing time last year, had the entire offseason to recuperate, and still may miss the beginning of the season.

If, with all that ability to plan and prepare for the upcoming season, he is still unable to start, and show progress, there is a real fear that, not only will this injury never go away, but it may quickly turn into something where Utley may need to consider the possibility that he may never make it back on the field.

I'm such a huge Utley fanboy, that I may be exaggerating the issue here, but there are ample instances of great players who had careers derailed by injury when they turned 32-33, and, especially with Utley's style of play, it's not far-fetched to infer that maybe the end is drawing nigh for a great career.

TTI -- You once called me a "…drooling moron…". There, I've wiped my chin. Now, my friend, based on what you wrote:

The Phillies- even an aging team with question marks on the diamond- are still a heavyweight boxer with a puncher's chance.

Wow. And people wonder why some here are called "apologists" for RAJ/FO.

With the fading Chase Utley, and Howard in a boot -- ostensibly to ward off re-infection of a surgical repair of a devastating injury; and Doc struggling with his velocity, who exactly do you envision throwing that haymaker?

cut: Rollins, Victorino, Chooch, Pence, Lee, Hamels, Worley, Papelbon, Mayberry.


Yes, the Phillies are going to be missing two huge pieces at the beginning of this season. However, again- just stay close in the race and when those guns get back we may have enough to push over the hump again.

And I think one could easily infer that I am concerned about the team for this year some. Sorry though that you can't recognize that without the normal "Apocalyptic posting" others employ.

"All my life I've listened to older Phillies fans -- OK, mostly my Dad -- bitch & moan about how the team "never had any starting pitching". Personally, having now seen a few seasons worth of Phillies teams w/ great starting pitching, I'd rather they had an average rotation & a killer offense"

This is a hilarious statement. We are, contrary to what you may read here, in the golden age of Philadelphia baseball, and we still are, despite the cowards here that want to wave the white flag in March. The last three consecutive seasons has arguably been the best three-season run in the team's history and it was delivered almost solely on the back of a fantastic pitching staff. Last year's team was arguably the best team in the franchise's history.

And you want to go back to when the team trotted out Jon Lieber and Robert Person and Eric Milton and Amaury Telemaco and Bruce Chen because you don't like how the playoffs turned out the last few years?

This stupid notion has been helped along by the simple-minded idea that they won it all in '08 with a mediocre rotation and killer offense, and since they haven't the last three years, that team was obviously better solely because of the offense- despite the fact that the team has gotten better every year since '08.

If you are dumb enough to actually believe that what we have witnessed the last 3+ years is anything less than an absolute embarrassment of riches, there is no point engaging you in a discussion.

You are a dope. Crazy offense plus decent pitching wins.

And ak is 100% correct. They could certainly manage to make the playoffs without Halladay. I put the odds right around Galvis winning ROY this year.

Boom!

The fact is, the Phillies won in the playoffs in 2008 because of how good their starting rotation and bullpen performed. Cole Hamels was a stud in the 2008 playoffs, Brett Myers pitched very well in his starts, (what's often missed in his NLDS game 2 start where he had the incredible walk against CC was how well he pitched that game: 7 IP, 2 H, 2 ER), Moyer had an amazing game in game 3 of the WS, and Blanton posted an ERA of 3.18 that postseason.

And, of course, Madson, Lidge and, yes, even Romero, were all very good out of the bullpen, forming a staff that was hard to score against in general.

Let's not forget that the nats and marlins are dealing with injury issues too. Morse and his lat, and laroach is hurting. Marlins saying lomo and stantons knees are still hurting. So yes this will be a little bumpy, and we just have to wait and see what the knee doc says. If Howard and chase miss 40 games. This team will do ok.

TTI -- All in good fun. Ironically, I worry more about Doc's loss of velocity than the (probably inevitable) loss of Utley. How old was Curt Schilling when he had shoulder work done (Wiki says June '07 was the first issue; he had surgery done in '08)?

Fata- that is very true. The way they pitched in the playoffs was very impressive.

Would you go to war with that team over any of the teams, '09-'12, including what we're bringing into opening day this year?

Also, the Braves, Marlins and Nats aren't that good. The Braves have all the problems they had last year plus Chipper might be done for good. I see a Mike Schmidt style retirement in his near future. The Marlins are highly combustible, inexperienced and still have holes. They'll score runs but other than that they are the same old Marlins (young, flashy and inconsistent). The Nats are improved but I really think people started hyping them assuming they were going to sign Prince Fielder and when that didn't happen, nobody stopped hyping them. So sure it's a tougher division for us but it's a tougher division for them too.

Fata's right about our '08 postseason. Our SP stepped up.

Now we need our hitters to help us hold steady. I think increased competition in the division can be good for the team.

I'm nervous, but I'm not giving up hope.

I do wonder whether this injury will push Chase to early retirement - early as in, before his contract is up. Maybe he'll call it quits after this season - depending on whether he gets out there much at all this year and how his knees feel.

Dubee says Bastardo has forearm stiffness, but it is not serious.

If Doc is out too, they might as well just roll it up and mail the season in.

***Dubee says Bastardo has forearm stiffness, but it is not serious.***

Have they set a date for his TJ surgery yet?

More productive offensive middle infield duo: Rollins/Galvis or Pastornicky/Uggla?

Cole for Cano and a top Yankees prospect. Some guy said so....

It also needs to be remembered that there are 2 wild card teams this season. So the goal needs to be about 85 wins. We'll see how many wins we need to pick up from there should the time come.

I still think with our rotation we will win a bunch of games even with a middling offense.

gobaystars - "the Braves, Marlins and Nats aren't that good."

Honestly this is what I feel is the Phils' best chance in the East. I don't see another team right now besides the Fish that can more than 90 wins. That depends largely on if Josh Johnson holds up and is as dominant as he was early last season.


TTI - "It also needs to be remembered that there are 2 wild card teams this season. So the goal needs to be about 85 wins."

For once I agree with you 100% but I don't think 85 wins is a lock. 88 and their in.

***Cole for Cano and a top Yankees prospect. Some guy said so..***

I'd do that deal in a heartbeat if I were Rube.

NEPP "Have they set a date for his TJ surgery yet?"

No but miraculously when Dubee was asked about Bastardo yesterday after his outing Dubee said he was 'fine.'

My bet is that Dubee and Amaro are fibbing about Halladay too and that we find out tomorrow.

Losing Doc would kill the team...both on the field and mentally. There are Aces and then there is Doc.

Dammit now Doc.

Isn't time, we give the Mets a call, get Wright and move Polly to 2nd. Trade Wiggington and Blanton to free up salary. Mayberry at 1st, wright, polly and Rollins will be one of the best defensive infields around. What's he due $15 million these year? Then if Utley can play, he can play some 1st base.

The other guy I think is ready for a bounce back year is Figgins, how much of his salary will the Mariners eat?

Under normal circumstances I would believe that Doc is fine because as far as I'm concerned, he is immortal until proven otherwise.

But Amaro had to go and say there's nothing wrong, and given his lie-to-word ratio, I'm leaning towards Doc visiting Dr. Andrews sometime soon.

Iceman: Honestly? Talent-wise, I would take the 2009-2011 teams over the 2008 team.

Right now, given the huge question marks we have due to age and injury, I think I would take the 2008 team over what we have going into the 2012 season. I just think a healthy and in-their-prime Chase, Howard, Werth, Rollins and Victorino more than make up for the difference of having Doc and Cliff in the rotation. And Madson-Lidge is probably preferable to Bastardo-Papelbon.

I think it's close, and obviously I'm only projecting here, but I think you were looking at a better team in 2008 than is taking the field on Opening Day this year. That was not true of the last three seasons.

I found it a wee bit troubling that Doc said his velocity is down due to age and career innings. Makes it sound like he's acknowledging wear and tear - makes him seem mortal.

* * *
From phillies.com:


Injuries making it hard for Phils to find lineup
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies seem more unsettled than in any other Spring Training in recent memory.

Ryan Howard isn't at first base. Chase Utley isn't at second base. Third baseman Placido Polanco has had trouble getting on the field.

If John Mayberry Jr. plays first base, who plays left field?

If Mayberry plays left, who plays first?

Who hits third? Fourth? Fifth?

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel offered little insight into how his lineup might look Opening Day. Utley left the team Monday to have a specialist treat the chronic condition in both his knees, which has sidelined him since last month. Manuel was asked following Monday's 4-3 victory over Detroit at Bright House Field if there is a chance he might play Polanco, who has been sidelined since Saturday with a sprained left ring finger, at second while Utley is out.

"I don't know," he said. "I'm having trouble keeping him at third base. I'm trying to get him healthy right now."

Manuel also was asked if he might consider playing Utley at first base if he returns and Howard is out.

"That comes up, but I don't know," he said. "I don't want to say never. I mean, right now, I think about that sometimes, but me, I don't know yet. I don't think that might be the best thing to do. First baseman, they're always active. They're taking all of the throws. He's hit ground balls, too. He's more into the picture than you think he is, if you stop and think about it. There's a big workload there, too."

I don't really want to even entertain the notion that Doc might be hurt.

I do think it's hilarious, though, how many people over the last couple seasons insisted that the Phillies being the oldest team in the league was irrelevant and that there were no increased injury or performance concerns with older players. Anyone still want to make that claim? Didn't think so.

GBrettfan: For some reason, I find that analysis of the 1B position by Charlie to be really funny. I'm just imagining him saying it in his accent.

lekh: Olt makes no sense because he's at least two years away from The Show. Phils need help this year and Dom Brown is way more likely to give them that help.

On the other hand, if you want to throw in the towel this season and build for the future, Olt for Brown makes some sense.

Clout: If we wanted to throw in the towel this season and build for the future, wouldn't we stick Brown in the starting lineup everyday?

NEPP: Bastardo has hit a plateau in his recovery.

According to Ryan Lawrence, Dubee said Bastardo's forearm stiffness is due to dehydration?!

So I guess he was dehydrated the past week then when his velocity was down.

One of the dumber things I have heard Dubee say in a while.

Fine, Bastardo's hurt. No reason to go out of your way to make up something that is nonsense. Just strange.

Jack, it's definitely Charlie-speak. I wonder whether the beat reporters become adept at writing his words with practice.

It sounds to me like Charlie's feeling up in the air about the team and how to manage the more fragile members. I posted it because it doesn't sound like Charlie wants to use Polly at 2B.

Jack - Age related decline? Hard to believe you would throw in an "I told you so." It just isn't done in these here parts. Or so I've been told.

Don't worry. We've got Wiggy and Nixy and Schneidy and Mini. And players who have nicknames are always good.

You find it hard to believe people would deny age related problems now. I find it hard to believe that "worrying about the 25th man" on this team isn't a real worry. Especially now that the 25th man on this team is closer to being the 20th man on this team.

"Clout: If we wanted to throw in the towel this season and build for the future, wouldn't we stick Brown in the starting lineup everyday?"

Jack - this would be the third year running that you had advocated sticking Brown in the starting lineup everyday. Why bother pretending that your reasoning is based on anything specific to this year. Clearly, your three year mancrush is the explanation.

I do think it's hilarious, though, how many people over the last couple seasons insisted that the Phillies being the oldest team in the league was irrelevant and that there were no increased injury or performance concerns with older players. Anyone still want to make that claim? Didn't think so

---------------------------------------

I think it is hilarious that you still are distorting the actuality of those discussions.

Just as the 1977 team was clearly superior to the 1980 team, the 2011 team was superior to the 2008 team.

Being the superior team has no impact whatsoever on winning a World Series. Being the hot and lucky team does.

Given baseball's idiotic decision to expand the playoffs, I predict that a below .500 team will win the World Series within the next 5 years.

MG has the funniest pet peeves. If you were to quantify his/her posts over the last few seasons, I think the most common themes would be "Charlie is mishandling the bullpen," "The team is being dishonest about injuries--I can tell from the guy's velocity that he's hurt, I swear," and "Fans leave games too early these days."

Charlie's quote needs to be incorporated into the wikipedia entry on the first base position.

Anyone ready to kiss my ring finger about our aging Phillies. No snotty replies please, just kidding.

But let me see if we had traded Utley just about when I first advocated the trade?

Phlipper: Um, you should probably just step back a second and take a deep breath.

Clout said that if we were throwing in the towel on this season, he might advocate trading Brown for another prospect. My statement was that if we were throwing in the towl on the season, it seems to make just as much sense to let the guy who was himself considered a top prospect get his development in in the bigs.

They were both based on hypotheticals in which we were throwing in the towel on the season. Considering the Phillies have about a 1% chance of doing that, why don't you just acknowledge that other people were having a conversation and you didn't understand what was going on? I'll give you a free pass this one time.

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