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Monday, April 16, 2012


I'll take the walks and strikeouts over this small ball contact nonsense any day of the week. No more peirre!

JW's Sunday header showed that his MG-love is bleeding into his own inner-cynic.

Also, lets dismiss the rumor from last thread that Charlie called the double steal from the dugout. Someone started it because they were 'at the game' but has since been proven wrong in the postgame.

There's a significant difference between "small ball" & "weak hitting". The Phillies remain firmly seated in the latter category. Unless/until the FO finds some players who can work a count, take a walk & possess the physical strength to hit a baseball out of the infield more than once every 70 PAs or so, "small ball" remains an impossibility.

Don't recall a lot of productive outs so far.

lorecore: Agreed. Charlie is plenty dumb all on his own merit. There's no need to assign him Pierre's idiocy as well.

All they need now is a grueling couple of weeks on the west coast to keep the ball rolling.

From the last thread:

Mike G~ Yeah they only played 9 games but if you take away the 2 blowout wins, they're averaging 1.85 rpg. Of course, things should get better, but if we give up 4, you couls stick the game in the "L" column. Things didn't used to be that way. Werth & Raul (both gone), Utley & Howard (both hurt), Pence here all year. That's still a lot of "O" we lost.

gtown: I'll give some credence to people if they argue that Charlie's attitude of a player's manager and allowing a CS machine like Pierre to have his own 'green light' is a mistake - I don't agree with that reasoning, but i'll acknowledge that they have a point that this is an example of a 'con' of managing like that.

Reposting this link for anyone who'd like a laugh. It's called "Washroom Attendant". Very funny.
Also, this is hilarious (even if you only watch the first minute):

Yes, totally off-topic for a baseball thread, but laughter is a good thing.


So, we've got the following factors at play in tonight's game:

1. An inept Phillies offense, coming off a good game and, hence, due for 3 bad ones;

2. A pitcher-friendly park where even good hitting Phillies teams have struggled to score;

3. A Phillies offense which almost never fails to bring a slumping pitcher out of his slump;

4. One of the best pitchers in baseball, coming off 2 horrific starts, and due for reversion to career norms; and

5. A Phillies history of staggering ineptitude against said pitcher.

I wonder what odds Vegas is giving on a perfect game. Whatever they are, it would be well worth throwing down a $20 bill on the bet.

I actually find it very comical when Pierre comes to bat and the entire outfield moves in to just a few steps behind the infield dirt. I can almost hear them saying "easy out, fellas." The Juan Pierre shift.

Truth be told, Pierre could really square one up with all his might and it's still not much more than a humpback liner. THAT'S small ball. Sadly, Polly is right there with him.

The Phils outhit the Mets by a large margin this weekend ...

Technically true (31 to 25), but deceptive. The Mets tallied more Runs (12 to 10), Home Runs (5 to 1), XBH (8 to 6) & Total Bases (43 to 39) than the Phillies.

BAP, you'd think with such a lefty heavy lineup we might be able to look forward to a ball or two in the bay. Sadly, I'll be impressed if we can loft even a double over the right fielder's head in the next 3 games.

But hey, at least we have Petco to look forward to...

lorecore: That argument has some merit, but anyone who has ever played the game knows what a sin it is to make the 3rd Out at 3B. I'm never shy about getting on Charlie's case, but I think the ultimate responsibility remains w/ the base runner. Pierre not only baked the poodle, he then screwed it for good measure.

But if you take away the games the Mets scored above their per game average their number doesn't look so good.

A pitcher-friendly park where even good hitting Phillies teams have struggled to score ...

The Phillies' all-time record in San Francisco's current ballpark is 17-25 (.405), which makes it 2nd only to dreaded PNC in terms of "We're Gonna Lose This Series" potential.

The Small Ball comment is just a straw man, of course, it was quite frustrating to see in the Phils past men get on base all the time and due to strikeouts and whatnot failing to score a running on third with less than 2 outs. It's also laughable to think that you can't have good situational hitting and a good hitting team at the same time.

Put that aside, and we see that the brain trust didn't really want to have a weak hitting first baseman - they sensibly locked up the Phils main power threat long in advance of his free agency. Ask Milwalkee or St Louis fans how they feel about that. It was a really bad strike of luck Howard injured himself like that, not poor planning.

And since they had Utley under a big contract before his injuries, it's hard to see how management planned for their once a generation talent at that position to go down. Indeed, management had wisely planned on securing their key offensive pieces, but when you rely on superstars for your offense (as all teams must) you accept that means if those superstars go down you're going to struggle.

The only real beef I have is keeping Brown in AAA, but considering how well Mayberry did last year it's a reasonable risk to see if he can reproduce it again this year. It seems not, and unless Mayberry turns it around I'm quite sure we'll see Brown up sooner rather than later.

Jason, all in all, I have to call you out for a pretty lazy post more reflecive of WIP level discourse than real thought and debate of the current state of the Phils.

The Mets also drew 11 BB to the Phillies 6 BB.

I'm sorry - I was under the impression that 9 games is a laughably small sample size for characterizing a team.

I guess I must be mistaken about that.

Clearly, a team with a stronger bench offensively and a stronger outfield offensively is a stone cold mortal lock to go from being above average last year offensively to one of the worst offenses in the league this year.

After all, they'll miss Howard, who is an "albatross" and who had a relatively down year last year, for a substantial portion of the year. And they'll miss Utley, who missed a substantial part of last year, for a substantial part of the year.

I mean it's not like they hit poorly with runners on base so far - a fact that BLers often tell me is a purely arbitrary artifact of sample size - and that might suggest that their low run output so far this year might be something of an anomaly.

Nope. 9 games of bad offense is all we need to comments with the vapors and fainting spells.

All is lost unless we bring up Dom Brown to revive the offense. JUST LIKE WE WERE TOLD EARLY IN THE SEASON THE LAST TWO YEARS RUNNING.

Dan in Philly -

You're definitely one of the more sensible BLers I've read, but I fail to see why you have so much confidence in Brown. He hasn't performed so far at the big league level. Seems to me that only a sustained success at the upper-level minors would warrant the confidence that you have.

Dan - Amaro has said repeatedly as the GM that he values contact hitters and putting the ball in play. I wouldn't say this directly translates into 'small ball' but he hasn't exactly acquired FA hitters the past few years who take BBs or work counts.

Lorecore - I thought Cholly had called for a double steal. Turns out in the postgame comments he didn't but didn't hold Pierre either.

As for interesting in the team, I voted a clear 'no.' I do think the TV ratings are going to be done a bit in the early part of this season but that is only because they were so high last year.

Only way interest really fades this year is if they are out of the last week or two in Sept. Given there are 2 wildcards, even the most dreadful teams won't be eliminated until later in Sept.

Even with Howard out, the Phillies actually have the potential to field a lineup with decent homerun power. But it's not going to happen if they keep starting Juan Pierre in LF and Placido Polanco at 3rd.

For all their flaws, both Wigginton & Nix can hit for extra base power. Granted, that's about all they can do. But they can do it and, as we saw yesterday, one timely extra base hit can easily make up for 3 lousy ABs (and you'll get plenty of those with both these guys). For sure, Nix needs to find his way into the lineup against RHP. And I'd start giving Wigginton more starts at 3rd. I understand his defense is bad, but Polanco is really killing this lineup right now -- especially since Cholly insists on batting him in the single least appropriate spot in the batting order.

Philipper - If they score closer to 4 runs a game, they will be fine. Right no they are nowhere close to that though and are going on a road trip where they will play 7 games in strong pitcher's parks.

Phils are hitting .235 with RISP which is actually good for 7th in the NL right now. For some bizarre reason, NL teams are only hitting .230 with RISP (.244 AVG) overall) vs. .260 (.250 AVG overall) in the AL. That will even out a bit over time.

Phils' offense isn't quite this bad but the question is really how much better it is. I don't think there is a whole lot of upside right now.

As much as it pains me to say it, I think Wigginton can be a key piece to dispelling the "small ball" moniker. All lineups should have a good bit of diversification of offensive abilities. This lineup needs a few HR's/XBH's once the "small ball" guys reach base and it will change the dynamic. If Thome was hitting (and playing a bit more regularly) I think it would be an entirely different dynamic. Having baserunners is great, but station-to-station is a recipe for under-performing on the runs side of things.

And you guys are clearly missing the boat. If BAP does make it to a game this series, there's no way he's not wearing a Kratz shirsey.

Though, I do love the idea of a t-shirt that says "This Game Feels Like a Loss."

Phlip, I don't pretend to be an expert on minor leaguers and projections, but I follow those who do, and they're all pretty bullish on Brown. Last year at age 24 he had an OPS of 724 in Philly - it wasn't his hitting which sent him down to the minors. I note an OPS of 724 would be far better than his replacements so far.

Zips has his projected to have an OPS of 795 this year. I'm assuming they know something more than I do about his abilities. ZIPS also projects Mayberry to have an OPS of 727, about what Brown did last year and far below his projections this year. Pierre's OPS projection is only 660, which is just unacceptable.

"Pierre not only baked the poodle, he then screwed it for good measure."

That'll leave a mark, or more specifically, a burn.

"I'm sorry - I was under the impression that 9 games is a laughably small sample size for characterizing a team.

I guess I must be mistaken about that."

My own personal criticism is based not only on the first nine games, but careers full of very diminished abilities to hit for power and XBH. Basically, sample size or not, these first 9 games only reinforce what several years of compiled statistics led me to expect for game 1 was even played. You don't score a lot of runs when Orr/Galvis, Pierre, Polanco and the pitcher's spot comprise 44% of your lineup.

MG - since GMs have an incentive to lie all the time, I never really pay much attention to what they say. Well, maybe saying they have an incentive to lie is putting it too strongly. They have an incentive to put things in a certain light - they are the ultimate company men who have to represent the team well or they will actively harm it. This leads them to regard absolute truth with a certain soft handling, if you follow me.

Anyway, one of the first things Amaro did was to sign Howard (the most anti-small ball player in the bigs) to a big fat contract years before he had to. A GM who is truly concerned with small ball players doesn't do that.

Regardless of what he says, Amaro, like most GMs, isn't an idealist but a pragmatist - he's going to get whatever players are best going to help his team and justify the results to reporters later. As it is, he has recently found himself having to get contact type players because that's who was more available at the right prices and at the right times. Hunter Pence happened to be available when the team needed a good RF-er.

If Brown had played better defense or even hit just a bit better they wouldn't have traded for him, and Brown is much more of a work the count guy than Pence. If that had happened Amaro would have been singing a different tune. Or maybe if the Astros had been in the race last season and Pence hadn't been available but someone like Carlos Pena was - high OBP skills and low power numbers - and Amaro would have talked about that.

All in all, never believe a politician or a GM. Judge them by their actions and consider their options when you do, that's how I look at it.

MG -

The Philles are 7th in MLB in AVG, but 16th in MLB in AVG with RISP.

That, of course along with a lack of power, explains why they have scored so few runs while hitting pretty good for average.

Sabermatricians tell me that such a divergence must be a product of sample size. My guess is that both numbers will converge towards the middle - which in the end would mean a higher average runs per game than their current pace.

I also think that they'll likely hit more HRs going forward - again, I think the lack of power is, to some extent, a product of sample size.

This is not an offensive Juggernaut, obviously, but I think that projecting them to finish near the bottom of the league in runs scored, given how they did last year and the pluses and minuses this year as compared to last year, is a bit premature.

Using stats from the first 9 games of this year does not seem to me like a very strong supporting argument.

And remember - many BLers absolutely panicked about the offense, early in the season, two years running.

This is not a great offense, but the hand-wringing has to be viewed in context.

Willard -

"You don't score a lot of runs when Orr/Galvis, Pierre, Polanco and the pitcher's spot comprise 44% of your lineup."

Who was hitting in their stead, last year, on a team that finished with a fairly decent runs per game average?

I like the idea of a productive out. You're not going to get on every time, but you should not go away quietly. Make the pitcher throw good pitches and lots of them. The more pitches he throws, the better chance you'll walk or he will make a mistake.

You can run all the numbers and get all the metrics but none were really necessary. All you had to do is watch the games and you could notice the lackluster hitting and the dead wood in the lineup.

The refusal to take a risk on Brown has also been shown by the data to be bogus. Small sample size in Lehigh--he has yet to commit an error. But as Dan in Philly and others, includime me, have posted earlier his gaffes will be topped by his production.

Bring him up or settle for no hit and fair fielding in this normally power position.

"Who was hitting in their stead, last year, on a team that finished with a fairly decent runs per game average?"

remember, we're talking hitting for XBH here:
2012 Orr/Galvis - 2011 Utley (advantage 2011)
2012 Pierre - 2011 Ibanez (advantage 2011)
2012 Polanco - 2011 Polanco (advantage 2011)
2012 pitcher's spot - 2011 pitcher's spot (draw)

Using stats from the first 9 games of this year does not seem to me like a very strong supporting argument.

And remember - many BLers absolutely panicked about the offense, early in the season, two years running.

Posted by: Phlipper (back to thinking the Phils will finish ahead of the Mets)

Especially when the 9 games are used in the context "Well if you look at the first 9 games and took out the two where they actually scored ..."

Per Murphy tweet:

"The Phillies have managed just 1 extra base hit in their last 3 starts against Tim Lincecum."

Galvis has a 6 game on-base streak where he's posted a .929 OPS...why dont we leave him off that list.

Fair enough, re Galvis. He's actually producing, offensively in the last week, much better than a 75% Utley could perform.

San Francisco finished 29th in MLB in runs scored last year.

This year after 9 games they are 11th, tied with Arizona and Milwaukee, and ahead of the Mets, Cincinnati, the Angels, both Chicago teams, Baltimore, etc. - all teams one would expect to finish well ahead of them offensively before the year is out.

It's 9 games, folks.

Derrick Mitchell off to a pretty brutal start in Lehigh(.404 OPS), which is likely a make or break season for him. Two solid years in Reading's CF had him creeping up towards 'prospect' status, but he needs to build on it at AAA or he'll be gone/filler after six years of milb and can't even oust a scrub like Rich Thompson in CF, but instead moving to the corners every other game.

Willard - as you know, Utley only played part of the season last year - you should be making a comparison to Utley, Valdez and assorted others who played 2nd as well.

Polly seemed injured much of last year, I'd say it's premature to say that he will generate fewer XBH this year.

Pierre won't start every game in LF - you need to compare Ibanez to the entirety of the group that will be in left this year.

And you need to add considerable pop advantage on the bench this year.

Trade for Youkilis. Problems solved.

NEPP, if you take away the ABs where Freddy made an out, he's got an OBP of 1.000!!!

They discuss ISO and wOBA on WIP?

When's the NFL Mock Draft going to be posted?!?

Seein' as the Phillies don't have a clean-up hitter, or a legitimate 3-hole hitter, or a real lead-off hitter, it's not surprising that they can't score. Can we just get this out of the way now: they won't score all season. Next topic.

Not to brew sh*t here but what would happen in respective cities if Youkilis was out indefinitely with degenerative knee issues (even if Sid Mark claimed to know more...BTW, Sid Mark, Patrone's inside baseball source?) and Utley was prodded by Chollie about holding back physically or mentally?
Personally, I wouldn't trade for Youk at this point because I can't stand watching him at bat. He reminds me of Ed Norton trying to play piano.

***if you take away the ABs where Freddy made an out, he's got an OBP of 1.000!!!***

He's currently on a hitting streak/on base streak...and hasnt been an issue offensively the last week plus...kinda weird to criticize him given the issues with Polly (.412 OPS in the 2 hole) and Mayberry (.536 OPS in LF/1B). Both were expected to be far more important offensively than Galvis and both have been brutal.

re: sports talk insults

Can we at least make fun of someone for sounding like "The Fanatic" or "97.5" instead of "WIP"? WIP is dying/dead, lets at least be current.

NEPP: For the time being, BLers need to update their Galvis Talking Points.

"San Francisco finished 29th in MLB in runs scored last year. This year after 9 games they are 11th."

They won't be 29th this year. In fact, they'll likely be in the top half of NL teams, if not the top third. For one thing, they have Buster Posey back -- who merely posted an .862 OPS as a rookie. For two, they traded for Melky Cabrera, another .800 OPS hitter from last year. They also traded for Angel Pagan, who can't possibly be any worse than Andres Torres was last year. And, considering the ridiculousness of his minor league numbers, I still can't believe that Brandon Belt is going to be a bust.

They still have some holes in their lineup but they're hugely improved from last year.

NEPP, Galvis currently has a non-hitting streak of 2 ABs, which is certainly why he was benched yesterday. He's done. He's a has-been-never-was-one-hit-wonder!

I maintain my methodology of parsing his performance is more legitimate than yours since I have more maths to back me up :)~

Reading BAP's glass-extremely-full' observations of the Giants lineup, you'd think he was a positive person.

BAP on a giants blog:

9 games dont mean anything, they were 29th in scoring last season so since they're 11th already means nothing.

Posey was good his rookie year, but it was just one season and now he's coming off an injury so its hard to count on him for anything. Their prize acquisition Melky had a career year for the last place Royals and will only regress to his norms and they made a stupid 'change of scenery' trade for a washed up Angel Pagan. Even their stud prospect has turned into a bum just by being in the Giants clubhouse, he has bust written all over him.

Yes they looked to be improved from last year but its only 9 games and have way too many holes in their lineup going forward.

Pierre is still the man...Pod what ever his name lovers well...Youll know what will happen he get released sign with another team and they kill us the way Pierre use to

They discuss ISO and wOBA on WIP?

I've lost count of the number of times I've been listening to Cataldi & heard initially civilized arguments regarding BABip degenerate into unintelligible shouting matches. It's a damn shame, really.

I would take Youkilis on this team in a heartbeat. The guy's a walk machine, he's got good pop in his bat, and he'd be adequate enough at 3B. Wouldn't solve all our problems, but it would certainly decrease some.

Yeah it's only 9 games, but for most of them offensively theylook like the Bad News Bears.

And yes Pods should have been here instead of Pierre. But in reality how much of a differce would there be? Same with Brown. We really don't know what kind of production he would generate at the big-league level because really, has he been given much of a chance?. He MAY be one of those guys that does well in the Minors but that's it. But if he's not gonna be used here, he may as well be traded.

The bottom line is #3 and #4 hitters aren't there. And I don't care what spin the GM puts on anything. It's his job to fix what is broken, and he only fixed the bench.

So it clearly falls on him. I've said it before, you give up 2, but only score 1 you lose every time.

Small-ball is what you play wwhen have to tie a game or get the lead. And even though I'm for it, we're finding out this team isn't built for that.

A legit 3B with power and on base skills like Youk would make this team better at 2 or maybe even 4 positions. No one move can solve all problems, but if I had to pick one with the most problems solved this would be hard to beat.

I was joking, though, given how unlikely this is.

DPat, it's really, really hard to replace your two best hitters, both of whom are on the DL. I'm not giving Rube a pass, but you must take into account the hand he has - There's no GM in the world who would have let Utley walk when he signed his contract. You can argue whether Howard deserved as big a payday as he got but it was actually smart to sign him up before he hit the free agent market if you wanted power in the lineup.

Laying all the blame for not fixing what is actually almost an insolvable problem is not a good argument. I disagree with him about Brown, but his decisions are at least understandable and defensible. He certaily wasn't going to sign Fielder over the offseason, nor was there any way he was going to replace Utley's bat. Sometimes you just have to dance what who ya brung to the ball.

I am not really familiar with the fans in Philly but if a friend of mine, I can't say who he is but let's say a friend who plays baseball but walks like he has a stick up his ass, we're to go there to play ball, would you take it easy on him or yell mean things?

Pierre (LF), Polanco (3B), Rollins (SS), Pence (RF), Victorino (CF), Nix (1B), Ruiz (C), Galvis (2B), Halladay (P).

Good. Just in case the Phils need to run themselves out of an incredibly rare scoring opportunity, Pierre will have it covered.

Ah yes, it appears we've entered the "Pierre's my guy" portion of this season, at least so long as there's a RHP on the mound.

At least Charlie isn't dissuaded by reverse splits, a complete and total lack of power, and boneheaded base running. Manuel is nothing, if not stubborn.

And if those reverse splits ever do sink into Charlie's head, Mayberry might as well book himself a vacation.

The main difference between having Pierre or Pods on the roster is that Cholly wouldn't be tempted to start Pods EVERY OTHER FREAKIN' NIGHT the way he does Juan "Blankety-Blank MLB Plate Appearances in 2011" Pierre. Pierre is just not good enough defensively or offensively to rate as many starts as he's getting based on those bleedin' plate appearances.

If Pierre plays poorly enough to play himself out of a position, he will no longer play. It's too early to take these decisions as indicative of how this team will look down the road. Geoff Jenkins was making far more money than Pierre, and when a better option presented itself, Jenkins was done as a starter.

And if we want to complain about any lineup problems, we should continue to talk up Ruiz' placement in the bottom half of the order. Phils have 4 guys with ~.300/.360 numbers and Ruiz currently has the highest OPS on the team. You want to string some hits together swap Ruiz and Polanco in the order.

Actually Phils have 5 guys with those BA/OBP numbers if you include Pierre and his lusty .350/.350/.350 line.

Polanco. Can we count on a couple of hot streaks from him during the season? At least with Raul, we could, but my impression of Polly is that he is/was a consistent hitter. What I've seen of him so far has me despairing of ever seeing anything much at all of him at the plate.

I take this with a grain a salt, but it's been a while since I saw the Power Rankings reflect:

#6 Nationals
#10 Mets
#12 Phillies

NEPP, w/regard to your 3:15 post, you should know better.

It's pretty ridiculous that you are on Polly and Mayberry given sample sizes which we've discussed here. They've had 32 and 28 PA respectively.

Once upon a time, from May 1st to May 14th, a player hit .229/.362/.292 over the course of 60 PA.

The year was 1929. The player was Rogers Hornsby.

He hit .380/.459/.679 for the season.

Even HOF players - and Polly and RFD are not - have bad stretches. Smart baseball fans understand that.

Hasn't the lineup done best with Pierre leading off?

3r0ck, let me know what the power rankings (which are absolutely meaningless, btw) are at the end of the season.

Can we get Polly out of the damn 2 hole please?

Yeah, Polanco is not going to be under .200 all year.

Just watched Daily News Live with Rich Hoffman appearing to discuss the Phillies with Michael Barkann. I have to say, he sounds pretty negative, too, about the offense. I don't think it's just BL.

In order from most to least likely:

1. The United States sends a manned mission to Pluto;

2. Mathematicians discover that, once you get out to the 8 Googolplex, and 87 centillionth place, pi actually does start repeating;

3. The Christmas Islands become the world's leading military superpower;

4. Scientists discover a way to fly a jet airplane from New York to London on fart gas;

5. Cholly swaps Ruiz and Polanco in the order.

awh, to be fair, NEPP claimed that Polly and Mayberry have been "brutal" thus far, which is a descriptive statement, and not a predictive statement. Sample size issues relate with trying to make predictions, not giving descriptions.

A 9 game stretch of a .412 or a .536 OPS is poor, whether it's from a HoF player, or a schlub, even if it has poor to no predictive power.

I've long been a Polanco fan, but at this point I feel there's a far better chance of Mayberry going on a hot streak or three than Placido.

And yes, Charlie needs to get Polanco the hell out of the 2 spot, & out of the top half of the order, period. Naturally he'll never do so, but swapping Placido & Chooch would be a fine idea.

"The bottom line is #3 and #4 hitters aren't there. And I don't care what spin the GM puts on anything. It's his job to fix what is broken, and he only fixed the bench."

DomP, are you suggesting that Amaro should have replaced Howard and Utley?

Well, I guess he could have by signing Fielder or Pujols for 1B, and perhaps signed Barmes or Kelly Johnson, but what would that do to their ability to compete in the future?

Oh, I know. You don't care.

Even a Polly hot streak means nothing more than stringing along singles for a short/medium period of time. The upside is minimal even if he does get "hot." I don't think I've seen him hit a ball to the wall in a couple of years, and if he does, he's lost more than a step or two. I don't see where even a hot Polly brings much more than a hot Juan Pierre (minus a few stolen base attempts).

Preacher: While I take your basic point, I'm still enough of a Polanco fan to balk at any comparison between him & Juan Pierre. Let us not forget that Placido is both an excellent fielder, & not a complete friggin' moron.

The upside of a hot Polanco shouldn't be underrated, although he's never been more than a doubles hitter. If he could have a period where he replicates his start to 2011 (that wasn't that long ago), that would be something. .320/.365 through the first two months of 2011. That's about 60 games. The question is whether, just a year later, he's incapable of that.

Lake Nostradamus predicts that Tim Lincecum's will be lower at the end of the game than the lofty 12.91 level that it is at now. I really stuck my neck out on that one! Doc's ERA is 0.60. I will refrain from making any predictions about that stat. It's been a long weekend. I'm tired. I'll probably be sleeping during this late game.

Lake Fred, the BL West Coast contingent will represent in your stead tonight! I'm excited to finally get a game in prime time.

Take a game off, the vitriolic commentary will still be here in the morning.

Iceman - 3:33 post. Perfect.

Sorry. That would be the 3:50 post.

The 3:50 post by lorecore? I thought that was genius, too.

I'd like to keep Cole Hamels, but I know there's merit to the possibility of not doing so:

Although I would think that if we're willing to part with him, we might like to trade him this summer for a bat, if a good deal can be made. But if it can't be, how would others feel about a rotation of Doc, Lee, Worley, KK & ? next season?

Todd Zolecki today had this interesting info:
* * * * *
I wanted to post this earlier, but found something interesting on ACTA Sports’ Stat of the Week. Players who beat their career slugging percentage by more than 200 points in Spring Training have better than a 60 percent chance at beating their career slugging percentage during the regular season.

Carlos Ruiz beat his regular-season slugging percentage by 402 points this spring.

So far so good. He has a .500 slugging percentage through nine games. His career slugging percentage is .395.

GBrettfan: That's a pretty clear challenge to the "Spring Training is meaningless!" contingent. I expect an angry backlash.

Oh, good point, GTown. Let's see what happens.

GBrett: I remember discussing that spring training trend early last year too. The player in question, whose spring training slugging numbers foretold a breakout 2011 season: Ben Francisco.

Just watched Daily News Live with Rich Hoffman appearing to discuss the Phillies with Michael Barkann. I have to say, he sounds pretty negative, too, about the offense.

Well there you have it.

I hate the idea of our Cole Hamels leaving, Hello Kitty backpack and all. I do understand it will be tough to sign him and I don't know any other 70 mil + rotations. But that article is among the most stupid I have read. Ethier and Ole Broken Finger Wright do not an "all-star lineup" make.
If they want to trade Hamels away or let him walk they better pick up a couple decent bats to fill in the even bigger gaping holes there will be here next year. Vic won't be dirt cheap and neither will Facemelter in a few years. As they say in the Good Book, it looks like RFD and Brown ain't gonna be sh8t.

BAP: Well, BenFran DID have that HR in the NLDS...

A 'hot' Polanco? A 'hot' Wigginton? A really solid stretch by one of these guys especially this month or next month would go a really long way to help this offense.

GBrett: As a codicil to my 8:16 post, I will say that Ruiz is obviously a way better hitter than Francisco. Also, I've always been a little puzzled that he doesn't hit more homeruns, considering that he hit 16, and slugged .505, in his last full year in the minors. Players don't usually have breakout seasons at age 33, but it wouldn't completely astound me if he put up an average and OBP like last year, but with 13 or 14 homeruns.

I'm OK w/ the general idea of trading Hamels, or letting him go, in order to bolster a truly awful lineup. Not really sure I trust r00b to make intelligent decisions, though. In fact, I'm quite sure I don't.

AWH~ No not saying that. What I'm saying is that not getting abat in the off-season will come back to haunt them. I hate to say I told you so but....

So now we have to trade for a bat. Whom to trade? Blanton doesn't bring much in return.
He may not even bring salary relief. We're @ what, $184 million? Since that's over the cap, why not spend to get what you need anyway?

Hamels, like the writer suggests, frees up the cash you need in the off-season, but dosen't bring a return in trade as he's a FA. Same with Vic.

So we are what we are. And I care more than you think. And maybe you should give me a little credit for being right about this (for once). And no, I never talked about Pujols or Fielder. Or any of the other guys you mentioned. Cuddyer would have been nice. But you don't see thingsa the way I do so that's that.

I said they wouldn't get 10 wins in April. You and the rest will see then won't you.

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EST. 2005

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