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Thursday, April 05, 2012

Comments

To me, either you think the NL East is much improved and you call the win total high 80s/low 90s with the Phils either in 2nd or a close 1st, or you call the NL East to be far overhyped and the 3 teams not in Philly to be somewhat paper tigers, in which case you have to put the win total nearer to 100 or maybe more, which is what I have done.

I'll believe in the other NL East teams when I see it happen. Otherwise I can't see any of them finishing much above .500 and more likely closer to .400 for 2 of them, which means we'll be able to feast and fatten up on easier wins.

Didn't make a prediction in the last thread.

I have 91 wins for the Phillies. Braves finish within a couple of games, probably snagging the second wildcard. Nats stay in until September and then fade to finish in a tie for third with the Marlins at 81 wins, who have a terrible start to the year, but end up decent by the end.

That's pretty optimistic.

Today's lineup

1.Shane Victorino CF
2.Placido Polanco 3B
3.Jimmy Rollins SS
4.Hunter Pence RF
5.Ty Wigginton 1B
6.John Mayberry Jr. LF
7.Carlos Ruiz C
8.Freddy Galvis 2B
9.Roy Halladay RHP

I just couldn't come up with a great reason to bet against them in the National League, based on their pitching. I'm not totally sold on any other lineup, although I like Cincinnati a lot and think they'll be the ones the Phils will need to beat in the CS.

Phils did win 102 games last year even though once they clinched they ran off an 8 game losing streak. They might have to try harder for longer this season.

I like this lineup.

I do take some objection to the title of the post. There are some good reasons to bet against the Phillies--they project to have an awful offense, and it's not clear to me at all that they have a particularly strong defense anymore. Basically, they are relying on starting pitching and a closer, and that's it. As long as those great starters stay healthy, that may be enough. If not? Well, there's your good reason to bet against them.

Wiggington over Thome to open the season with an off day tomorrow? I figured they'd ride Thome early while he was still fresh and there were plenty of open days in the schedule.

I doubt Thome starts all season versus a lefty. Since there are only limited times he can play Manuel is going to save him for righties.

That lineup made me smile because I thought about was how the last 3-4 years the Phils were "too left-handed."

Real baseball starts today! That game last night hardly looked like a real baseball game. It was more like a pick-up game in the middle of Carnival.

Jack: not a strong defense? You see a big drop-off from Howard to Wiggington and Utley to Galvis? You think Polonco & Rollins will be demonstrably worse than last season? Obviously Mayberry is a massive upgrade over Ibanez.

EFF's point on winning 102 games should really be top of mind, shouldn't it? They faced much of the same adversity last season with Utley and Howard. They opened with Ben Francisco as their right fielder ...

Glad to see Mayberry in LF instead of Pierre. RFD (and Nix, too) should see the majority of the playing time there, with Pierre used mostly as a pinch-hitter; you don't want to sacrifice defense in left for the sake of having a banjo hitter (thanks, JW) in your lineup.

The Phils lose to the Dodgers, it is written.

JBird: While I think the world of Galvis and expect him to be a Gold Glove caliber defender at either MI position eventually, the fact is he's never played 2B before--so I think it's not unreasonable to expect some growing pains there. Though obviously we should expect some fantastic defense as well from him.

Howard to Wigginton/Thome is certaintly not an improvement. I may rip on Howard's defense as much as anyone on here, but they've managed to somehow replace him with two worse defenders.

A lot of it is the potential decline of Polly/Rollins. Rollins posted his lowest UZR of the last 5 seasons last year, and Polanco is 36. Polly posted some fantastic defensive numbers the last couple of seasons. If he can keep that up, I will happily eat my words. But I think it's not unfair to expect him to come back down somewhat.

Yes, Mayberry is a massive upgrade over Ibanez. Huge. Agreed.

Phils are fortunate to be in the NL again this year and not in the AL. Very good chance of Oct. baseball here again largely because of that simple fact.

If the Phils were in the AL, they wouldn't be favored in any division and probably would be picked 3rd in the AL West or AL East & 2nd in the AL Central.

I would argue that the Phillies need Victorino's bat in the middle of the order more they need Rollins'. And Wigginton hitting fifth is a joke. Other than that, peachy.

RSB: Disagree. Victorino needs to be on base for Pence. Frankly, I'd put Rollins leadoff and Shane 3rd, just to maximize the amount of chances Pence will have with Shane on base. That combination is our likeliest way to score a run.

MG: Agreed. Rangers actually look better than last year, even without CJ Wilson. Angels are obviously better offensively. They could win 100 games. Yankees won 97 and improved their rotation. Tampa might have the best rotation of them all if all their young pitching is as advertised.

So...Wiggington hitting 5th? You've got to be fvcking kidding me.

Should have went with Pierre in LF and Mayberry at 1B. Wigginton blows monkey chunks.


~Wigginton will now have 2 HRs today~

I favor this lineup although, Wigginton is an eyesore in the 5 spot.

Looks like a beautiful day for baseball, if the temps ever rise out of the 30s.

Shane Victorino and Vance Worley along with Antonio Bastardo had unexpectedly amazing years. Yes, they could get a surprise year from anyone on the roster, but Pence played well over his head for the half season he was here, Doc, Lee and Cole were about as dominant as is possible for the top 3 of a rotation to be. You have to expect regression across the board there, as well as regression from the sizzling pace that JMJ was setting. Sure, you could get positive regression from Polanco and the bench, but that's not going to offset the negative regression from the spots above.

They have great pitching, and they still have a good defense, to go along with some offesnive weapons here and there. They should get Howard back in a couple months, and they have enough to win the division. But just because they won 102 games last year does nothing to abrogate the deficiencies they have coming into this year. They should win the division, but baseball is sometimes as much about depth as it is about top-heavy talent. If one of the big 3 goes down, or if they are not quite dominant enough to offset the lack of offensive production, this division race could quickly become a dogfight.

Should be fun either way!

NEPP: Can't expect Charlie to know that Pierre has reverse splits and is actually really good against lefties, right? He doesn't get paid to know that sort of thing.

I'd rather see Wigginton in the 7 hole and just move Mayberry and Ruiz up a spot each respectively. Wigginton will be Mr. Rally Killer in this lineup.

Wigginton is an eight-hole hitter. He's the kind of guy Charlie Manuel will vastly overrate. Knew this would be the case when they acquired him.

Well, Wigginton is an 8 hole hitter on a team that isn't starting Freddy Galvis (who I honestly wouldn't be surprised if he posts a higher OPS than Wigginton though).

I already despise Wigginton...good work UC!

the marlins should sell fish 'n' chips and just restock the tanks frequently with whatever is on the menu. :)

I'm glad Mayberry's in the lineup (though he should be batting higher). I'm glad Pierre isn't in the lineup, though my gladness has a caveat. The caveat is: I hope Pierre is out of the lineup because he's not as good as Mayberry and Wigginton, and not because of the lefty-righty thing. Because, if it's the lefty-righty thing, it means we'll be seeing plenty of Juan Pierre against RHP in games to come. In reality, when Juan Pierre does start, he should be starting against LHP.

If I sense a theme developing, it might be that while Charlie is one of the best managers at baseball in creating a good clubhouse and getting guys to play their best for him, he might not be the best guy at mixing and matching to maximize a team's strengths and hide their weaknesses.

And given what we're working with here, that might be a problem. We may need more of the latter than we have the last few years. A lot more.

Pierre has a .345 OBP over the last 3 years, but a 72.6% SB%. He has absolutely no power (.054 ISO over the last 3 years).

If he never sniffs the lineup (against lefties or righties), I'm quite ok with that.

Over his last 7 seasons, he's had 6 seasonw with a wRC+ under 89, and one season of 107 (3 years ago). He's a poor offensive player.

NEPP: It's subtle, but I'm gettign the sense that you aren't a big fan of Wiggington. He did have a .796 OPS against lefties last year. Which, incidentally is 162 points above Howard's ops against lefties last year.

That said, if you're going to start Wigginton, might as well do it against a middling lefty like Bedard. Actually seems like the lineup is the product of some advance scouting.

But then, so if Wigginton. Pick your poison, I suppose.

I don't see the offense being awful, just middle-of-the-pack, and I am cautiously optimistic about the defense: better at left, right and first (comparing full seasons), even everywhere else (except maybe a lost half-step at third and short). 93-69.

I'm hoping that an improved division will make them keep their foot on the gas headed into the playoffs.

Are the Grapefruit League monsters, the 24-7(!) Toronto Blue Jays for real?

Wigginton is an eight-hole hitter. He's the kind of guy Charlie Manuel will vastly overrate. Knew this would be the case when they acquired him.

Couldn't have said it any better.

But Wigginton aside, I don't completely despise this batting order. It's probably not too far off from how I'd have lined 'em up. Phillies lose, 3-1.

To repost the relevant numbers:

Pierre's OBP vs LHP
2008-2011: .405 OBP (8th in the Majors)
2011: .430 OBP (7th in the Majors)

Good call sitting him against LHP.

If I sense a theme developing, it might be that while Charlie is one of the best managers at baseball in creating a good clubhouse and getting guys to play their best for him, he might not be the best guy at mixing and matching to maximize a team's strengths and hide their weaknesses.

Which is why he's an asset during the long regular season, & a distinct liability come Postseason play. See: Cox, Bobby.

Bill Hall has been released. Who still wants him?

I will admit to a Bill Hall fetish. . . though he seems washed up at this point

***Wiggington. He did have a .796 OPS against lefties last year***

How'd he do outside of Coors?...kinda relevant I think.

Re: Today's Lineup, weren't we just the other day citing studies showing that it's better to spread your weaker hitters around the lineup than cluster them all at the end? I like this lineup...

I'm looking forward to seeing some of these guys in actual action before I start hating them.

I assume Wigginton will go 4 for 4 with 4 grand slams...

...that said, I would rather have seen Pierre at 2, Mayberry at 5, Polanco at 6...

Good actually baseball talk this morning. This is why BL is one of the best in the biz.

Fatal: Pierre's numbers are painfully brought down by his RHP splits.

Over the last 4 years he has the second lowest wRC+ in all of baseball(Betancourt) against righties.

It doesnt make sense but the dude has just got on base at an outstanding rate vs LHP over his last 600 PA, its no fluke.

GTown Dave,
let's assume what you say is true and Cm is a huge asset during the regular season and liability during the playoffs. My opinion is the regular season is far more important than the playoffs, and I would much rather go with a manager who is great in regular season and terrible in the playoffs than vice versa.

I like to think Tony LaRussa might be the anit-Manual. Micro-managing, multiple pitching changes in an inning, and generally thought to be a good game manager, the very manager you want in a short series. And yet despite having teams overwhelming with talent year after year, he won only 2 WS, the last one after scraping into the postseason by the skin of his teeth.

You have Albert Pujols for all those years, the huge talent of Oakland in the early 90s, I think you can actually say he was a bit of an underacheiver.

The Phils will win the NL East and have the best record in the NL. 92-96 wins depending on how the injuries go.

Utley will play 120 games.
Polanco will play 130 games.
Rollins will play 140 games.
Howard will play 80 games.

Thome will out-homer Howard.

bbeard: i'm locked in to hate Wigginton, so if he plays good, I'll just hate him for making me look so dumb.

NEPP: I don't know where to find home-away combined with lefty-righty splits. Howard had a .634 ops against all lefties. Wiggington had a .677 away ops. Since Wiggington hits lefties better than righties by about 90 ops points and his combined ops by about 65 points and taking into account that the majority of pitchers are righties and therefore comprise a majority of his away at bats, I will surmise that Wiggington still had about a .720-.740 ish away-lefty split. That would give him a 90-110 point advantage over Howard last season. But that's just a semi-educated if someone knows how to get a more authoritative number than that, I'd certainly admit I was wrong.

* should read: "semi-educated guess"

Dan in Philly - didn't LaRussa have 1 title in Oakland with the Bash Brothers? The micro managing everyone fawns over also backfires on him. He isn't infallable like some fans think.

***Fatal: Pierre's numbers are painfully brought down by his RHP splits.***

Which is why, logically, as a LHB he will only ever see RHP under UC.

LaRussa has 3 rings, not 2.

Jack: "I do take some objection to the title of the post. There are some good reasons to bet against the Phillies"

In JW's defense, I think the title translates to - there isn't another team that makes you bet against the Phillies - not that the Phillies are unflawed themselves.

Normally I would be really tempted to take Bedard at +165 today but he struggled a bit in spring training & Halladay (given very small samples) owns every single hitter in his Pirates' lineup:

McLouth: 2-17, 4 Ks
Barajas: 1-15, 2 Ks (1 HR)
McCutchen: 1-8, 2 Ks
McGehee: 1-8, 1 Ks
Barmes: 0-6, 3 Ks
Walker: 1-6, 1 Ks (1 HR)

Jones is 4-10 (all singles) is the only guy who has hit him a bit.

Don't think Halladay throws a masterpiece today or works particularly deep into the game either (7 IP max). See a 6-7 IP, 2-3 ER game today.

Still, I am not going to pull the trigger and bet against the Phils today even the money line is really attractive.

lore, even with that being the case, Pierre nearly cancels out this on-base abilities by getting caught stealing below the break even point. Maybe his numbers against LHP are completely legit, and maybe it's sustainable going forward (color me a bit skeptical on both points...), but with no power and an affinity for getting caught stealing, I'm not too thrilled with him in the lineup.

More on Wiggy's home-road splits. He played the same number of games at home as he did on the road, but despite ops-ing .111 more points at home than on the road he only had 1 more total base at home and actually hit 1 more homerun on the road. He also only had 3 fewer rbi's on the road and 1 fewer double. He also hit 2 triples on the road to none at Coors. The big difference in the ratios between Coors Wiggy and and non-Coors Wiggy in 2011 appears to be the 6 more walks he took at home and the 7 more hits (6 of them singles) he got at home. Surely you can't argue the walks were a result of park factors. Just goes to show you what a big difference a hit or 2 more per month can make on year-end numbers, just as Crash Davis taught us so many years ago.

I did list it the other night but the reason in part why Pierre's OBP has really been high since '09 vs LHP is that his % BB is over 9% (9.5% I think I posted) vs a career mark of 4.4% from 2000-08.

I have no idea why Pierre's % BB increased so dramatically since '09 vs LHP and is much higher than his career previous mark.

LaRussa only winning one title in Oakland with one of the all-time most talented teams is a disgrace.

*** but with no power and an affinity for getting caught stealing***

His CS% is actually significantly lower against LHP too...he's up at around a 78% success rate vs LHPs. For whatever reason, he is a much better player in all aspects of his offensive game with a lefty on the mound.

that was a poorly articulated post. I apologize to the group.

"I will admit to a Bill Hall fetish. . . though he seems washed up at this point

Posted by: Jbird "

This kind of language is just daring Rube to pull the trigger on a deal.

Fatal: incorrect, i think it was NEPP who noted that his SB% off LHP was 82% during that span, which is even more confusing since its basically a lock that lefties hold runners on better.

It looks like Charlie not only has to send out the same lineup as some posters but he also has to do it for the same reasons. If he sends out a lineup you like, it still isn't any good because you can assume he used the wrong logic to get to that lineup. Is this algebra class? Does Charlie have to show how he arrived at his answer?

of wiggington's 6 extra home walks, 2 were intentional and 1 was a hit batsman

Dan: Bud Selig has made it his mission to dilute the importance of the regular season more w/ each passing year, so given a relatively talented team one might place an orangutan at the helm & still have a solid shot of reaching the Postseason. But if I'm playing Devil's advocate, I think a similar claim of underachieving could then be made RE: Manuel. To wit, having players like Halladay, Lee & Hamels on your roster can certainly be considered the pitching equivalent of Albert Pujols. Look at it this way: in his final 8 seasons in St. Louis, LaRussa went to the Postseason 5 times, winning 3 NL pennants & 2 World Series titles. This being the start of Charlie's 8th season as Phillies manager, he'll need to win it all just to match LaRussa.

I won't lie, I never liked the lawyer, & I think he rendered the game practically unwatchable at times. But he took a somewhat unimpressive seeming 90 win team & made the Phillies look stupid w/ it, much as Bruce Bochy did w/ SF the previous year. Basically I think there has to be a middle ground between micro-managing, & essentially not managing at all -- which is to say doing things exactly as you did them during the regular season, & not even attempting to adapt to what is undoubtedly a higher level of competition, magnified by the pressure of a short series.

Andy: do you think Hall's deal will have the 2nd year guaranteed or will Amaro be conservative and structure it so the team can buy it out?

Please stop with the LaRussa bashing. It is just ridiculous.

He got the WS 3 years in a row (1988-90) and lost against a Dodgers' team who had a starter with on one of the greatest post WW2 runs ever.

People remember Gibson's HR and rightly so but Hershiser just annihilated what was a powerful A's lineup. Hershiser pitched 2 CG (Game 2 and 5 the clincher) and gave up 2 ER total. Hershiser won the '88 WS MVP and rightly so. Carried what was a mediocre team that year on his back in the postseason.

In '90, the A's just ran into a Reds buzzsaw that had one of the better bullpens of the last 30-35 years & a starter who had a great postseason (Rijo).

"If [Pierre] never sniffs the lineup (against lefties or righties), I'm quite ok with that."

I'd be quite ok if he weren't on the team. And now that he is on the team, I'd be quite ok if he never starts. But since he's obviously going to make SOME starts, they all ought to be against lefties, whom he hits well, as opposed to righties, against whom he hits like Pete Orr. Of course, that is not to say I want him in today's starting lineup. It's simply to say: I hope the reason he isn't in today's lineup is not because Cholly is saving him for a RH starter. Because, if our manager can't Google a guy and read 4 straight seasons of righty-lefty splits, I'd say that's a pretty egregious failure.

Gtown: I would love to see a team managed by an orangutan. How can we make this happen?

*** think it was NEPP who noted that his SB% off LHP was 82% during that span,***

It was and I still find it puzzling...maybe he's really good at reading LHPs moves to 1B?

And it is 82%, not 78% as I mentioned earlier...that's what I get for trying to remember something without double checking.

I actually agree with MG. But add that if LaRussa wasn't out managed in 88 and 90 then Charlie wasn't out managed in 10 and 11. That's all. I really don't think either manager was out managed. It's how baseball works.

Wow I never realized that Juan Uribe hitting a homerun off Ryan Madson qualified as Bruce Bochy making Charlie Manuel look stupid.

Jbird: If I ever hit lotto I will buy a minor league ball club & hire an orangutan to manage it. If monkeys can write Shakespeare there's no reason orangutans cannot win the Sally League.

Yeah, the LaRussa bashing is pretty silly.

MG: "I did list it the other night but the reason in part why Pierre's OBP has really been high since '09 vs LHP is that his % BB is over 9% (9.5% I think I posted) vs a career mark of 4.4% from 2000-08."

Not entirely, his average is .321 vs LHP in that span while only .271 vs RHP - so his OBP increase contributions are almost exactly due to his better hitting and walking.

LaRussa was simply one of the best managers (if not possibly) the best manger ever.

He WS titles in both leagues, won at least a division title in every single place he managed, and he won consistently over the course of 30+ years despite dramatic changes to the game.

Also go look at his expected team win totals vs actual using Pythagorean W-L. Yeah he had some down seasons as any manager would but he had a hell of a lot more up seasons and some seasons that were dramatically better (at least +5 wins).

Disliked LaRussa for multiple reasons too because he never shut up, always tried to play mind games with the umps especially the home ump, and his micromanaging did kill the pace of games at times.

I just don't get how people say he was overrated and the people who say he wasn't a good manager.

I would have taken LaRussa in a heartbeat over Cholly and still would. I would have preferred Leyland although Leyland and Cholly struck me as much of the same type of manager.

I really like Ike Reese, and obviously he's a former linebacker with no baseball background. But MAN, is it painful to listen to him talk about baseball.

As an aside, I am SO anxious and unfocused in anticipation of Opening Day that I have resorted to listening to WIP at work. Let's go 1:35!!!

***Wow I never realized that Juan Uribe hitting a homerun off Ryan Madson qualified as Bruce Bochy making Charlie Manuel look stupid***

Bochy also told Cody Ross to have the greatest playoff series of his life and he hypnotized Phillies pitchers into repeatedly throwing fastballs in his wheelhouse.

He's that amazing a manager.

Cholly has had some miscues especially in that '09 WS vs. Yanks but I won't fault him for what happened last year in the NLDS. There were some moves you could second-guess but nothing glaring.

It simply was guys not hitting, not getting much luck (Ibanez shot in Game 5 late that I thought was going to at least be a double), and the vaunted starting pitching failing big time. Really Lee and Oswalt who cost that series for the Phils but that almost never get really brought up.

MG: He does walk more against LHP. But the walks account for only a small part of his OBP spike against LHP. Most of the spike is due to a massive increase in BA (over the last 4 years, that is).

It's an odd phenomenon, but I can kind of understand it. Pierre's the ultimate slap hitter -- and has become even more of one as he has gotten older. For most LH hitters, it's very difficult to hit a pitch that's tailing away from them. For Pierre, it kind of plays right into his style because it's easier to slap a pitch that's tailing away than one that's tailing in any other direction. Plus, he has an incredibly low strikeout rate, which means that, unlike other LH hitters, he rarely swings and misses at those tailing-away pitches and he knows to lay off the ones which are going to end up outside the strike zone. Hence, the uptick in walk totals.

What I meant to say about Pierre is that his OBP would still be impressive due to the increased BA but if it had been near his career mark of 4.4% instead of close to 10% that his OBP would have been around ~.370 instead of .411. Still noteworthy but a notable dip too.

Funny I actually check to see if LaRussa had a win with Oakland since I didn't quite remember and obviously my Wikipedia skills need sharpening.

Anyway, I really don't mean to bash LaRussa, but I do think my point that his style tended to lead to fewer wins in the regular season than a Manual holds. I guess it's what do you want in a manager, someone who can hold a team together for a whole season (Bobby Cox or Charlie Manual), or who can squeeze everything out of them for a short series (Billy Martin might be a better example of this).

If you want to bash LaRussa for something, bash him for looking the other way while 3/4 of his players were major juicers in both Oakland and STL (in the early years)...but then every manager and GM in baseball is guilty of that.

Reason it is hard to play Pierre in LF is because his power numbers are so putrid (~.330 SLG, ~.040 ISO)

That are well-below the MLB average and would possibly be the worst in MLB if the Phils played him a lot in LF.

If he played exceptional defense, that might help to negate it a bit. He doesn't. Ditto if the Phils had above average power at multiple positions.

To start the year, the Phils don't have above average power in any position except maybe CF and SS. Even there, it is not much beyond average.

I will admit I only bash LaRussa because I personally don't like the guy. Can't argue the fact that he was a great manager, I just don't like him.

It should be like football. They should make the hitting coach pick the batting order. have the pitching coach handle the rotation and pull guys. The manager should be part Orangutan and part therapist. They should sit around and talk up players and go out to argue with umps when necessary. Thank goodness it's not 3 timeouts in baseball, Charlie would be worse than Big Andy.

LaRussa is an excellent manager but if you look at his record since they expanded the playoffs, it isn't much better than Charlie's. His teams have been knocked out prior to the WS quite a few times. His playoff record in the old system is better but it was a different game back then. LaRussa and Chuck are both good and neither has worked out the magic formula for playoff success yet.

Vic leading off- great.

Mayberry starting and in LF- great.

Wiggington starting and hitting fifth- indefensible.

NEPP, I am with you 100% on the steroid issue. If steroids are keeping McGuire out of Cooperstown they should keep LaRussa out too. Personally, I don't care if roiders get into the hall but for the mainstream sports media to be outraged at the players but not LaRussa is insane.

"Anyway, I really don't mean to bash LaRussa, but I do think my point that his style tended to lead to fewer wins in the regular season than a Manual holds"

Not according to expected W-L. Cholly's teams including his year in Cleveland all end up with 2-3 games of their expected W-L.

2000: -2
2001: +3
2002: -1 (39-47 under Cholly)
2005: -1
2006: -1
2007: +2
2008: -1
2009: +1
2010: +2
2011: -1

Funny but looks alot to me like a guy who pretty much manages to the level of talent he has around him.

I would argue that Cholly's best year here as manager easily was '07 given the early season difficulties they had, Gillick's terrible offseason additions that year (people conveniently forget that), and the pitching refuse & injuries Cholly had to deal with all year.

You know, for about 30 seconds I figured I'd give UC a break and I assumed that maybe Wigginton simply owns Bedard for his career...then I went and checked:

vs. Bedard: 28 PA, 27 AB, 7 H, 1 2B, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 9 SO, .259 AVG/.286 OBP/.582 OPS.

Yeah.

gobaystars - Same goes for those who criticize the players but don't criticize the owners and Selig. Selig should share some responsibility since he looked the other way and shared in the profits.

NEPP is pulling hard for the BL reverse jinx today.

Christmas morning is finally here.

gobaystars! though you have a point, the fact is LaRussa didn't break the rules of baseball or the law (unless he was dealing and I don't know about it), and McGuire did, and did in a way to delibrately improve his chances of outperforming his competitors.

NEPP: We all know Charlie doesn't recognize the legitimacy of statistics (or as he calls 'em, "them Devil numbers"). Bottom line is he saw Ty hit a double once, decided the guy "looked like a hitter" & thinks it's fun to say "Wiggy" a lot. Boom, place in the starting lineup assured.

MG, I have great problems with any system which shows the total expected wins a team should have given their RS and RA and comparing it to the actual numbers of wins. Such a system supposes the manager has absolutely zero effect on the runs scored and runs against, which I think is totaly hogwash and certainly has never been demonstrated as true. Therefore using such a system to "prove" that a manager is only average is begging the question.

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