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Thursday, April 26, 2012


Hugh: I've seen Victorino at least once or twice throw a ball into the stands, have it snatched by an adult, and then signal to the guy to give it to a kid.

clout: I think your Ludwick/Howard point is very disingenuous. The year Ludwick hit 37 HR with a .375 OBP was a total anomaly in the context of his career, but you would agree he was very valuable that year, right?

WAR does not say Ryan Ludwick is better than Ryan Howard, it says Ryan Ludwick's '08 season was better than Ryan Howard's '08 season.

This thread deserves this theme:

Since we're okay with using extremely small sample sizes to drum up discussion about "most valuable Phillie" on an off day, put me down for the Phils doc who magically healed Pence overnight a couple days ago, leading to the sudden offensive outburst.

In the Small Sample Size spirit, I'm willing to overlook all other inability to perform any other real feats of medical genius.

Drew Silverman gets my vote. It's the intangibles.

Bah. This is a lot like Whitey's story about being named MVP of the '62 Mets. I'm leaving my ballot blank in protest. Hell, even the Phanatic is having an off year. Do better, Phillies.

RP From Prev. Thread:

This is all a moot point. Of course they're not the worst people in the world. GTown_Dave holds that distinction, right?

I'm only the worst person on Beerleaguer. Pete Orr is the worst person in the world.

Good point, GTown, I forgot about him (probably because he's been buried on the bench for the better part of my lifespan).

Preacher: He ought to be buried in the ground. Watching Orr commit baseball is a singular brand of stomach churning evil.

DHP - Responded with a victorino anecdote on the last thread.

Orr is frustrating, for sure, but I don't think my disdain for him can come close to what I've held for the likes of Eric Bruntlett, Abraham Nunez, Juan Castro, Alex Gonzalez, et al.

Basically, my "least favorite Phillies player" this season is less of a least-favorite than I've held in the past. Maybe I'm getting soft in my old age.

And I don't think any of them can take away Lifetime Achievement Award Least Favorite from David Bell.

So, now we give out awards for player of the first 3 weeks of the season? Hamels has been very, very good. Halladay has been better.

I'm not down with this Pete Orr hate, even tongue-in-cheek. It's not like he's sucking up massive amounts of playtime like Mini-Mart did. He's a guy desperately trying to prove himself as a major leaguer and IMO that's a guy you root for, not against. If he starts getting playtime disproportionate to his talent, then you can get mad at Rube and Charlie.

Orr isn't a good player but fundamentally he is sound. Plus he has a high 'scrappiness' factor which should factor in well with Philly fans in particular who consume the it (as they should advertise 'the organ meat and fill pork scraps we don't even put in hot dogs!)

Levels of evil:

Muggers/rapists/thieves/muderers/people who cut me off on the highway
Pol Pot
All Mets, past, present and future
That guy who wouldn't give the ball to the kid

If we define "most valuable" to mean the player who has played a key role in the greatest number of close victories this year, then the Phillies' MVP to this point is . . . get ready for it . . . Chad Qualls. The Phillies are 6-1 in games which he pitched and 5 of his 7 appearances have come in situations where the deficit was no more than 2 runs. Papelbon, on the other hand, has appeared 8 times and only 3 of those appearances occurred when the deficit was 2 or fewer runs.

Let's leave the horrific situation regarding the ball/kid to the last thread.

Qualls defines high leverage, BAP.

"Orr isn't a good player but fundamentally he is sound."

Other than the fact that he can't hit, field, draw a walk, or lay down a bunt, he is s fundamentally sound player.

How come Qualls can't get any love?

Orr has barely played, and in one of the two games he started he hit a bases-clearing triple that ended up as the difference in the game.

Hatred of Pete Orr is a good example of 'blind' hatred, when people hate someone for no good reason, kind of giving you a window into their bitter soul. Sort of like BAP's hatred of Juan Pierre.

Galvis for team MVP?

More like League MVP!

Preacher: Andy Ashby. Travis Lee. Adam Eaton. Also, Desi Relaford. I really couldn't stand Desi Relaford. Michael Martinez takes the prize, though. I can't even begin to think of a guy less deserving -- from a talent standpoint -- of even being on an MLB team, let alone a 100+ win MLB team, let alone getting significant playing time for said 100+ win MLB team.

fumphis: Too late. I'm ALREADY STEAMED!!!!

the overpay for matt cain and his career 70-74 record is very troubling vis-a-vis hamels and the phillies. only hope is a hometown discount.

Orr/Schneider aren't good players but I don't hate them let alone 'despise them.' That's ridiculous.

Hell there are only a handful of Phils I have ever felt like that including a bunch of the commonly-mentioned ones including Eaton, Ashby (I was at the No. 1 salute game in his return to the crowd), etc.

I was always kind of indifferent to even a guy like Bell. Only guy I had an irrational dislike for was Jefferies which more a personal time because of his ho-hum attitude here especially in '97-'98 when he acted like it was an inconvenience at times that he had to play through some pain to get paid $6M/year on some pretty bad teams.

BAP - Orr is actually a pretty good bunter and a decent baserunner. Defense he isn't good.

Never was a good player and even less so now that he is a bit older. I would still rather have Luna and the RH bat off the bench than Orr.

Still have to mix him though at times & rest the regulars.

But GTown_Dave's a really funny poster. With a huge shot of Phillies' fandom to boot. Strike his name from the "evil" list!!

bullit: be careful relying on the Cain W/L record.

Fat: It has actually been previously pointed out on this blog that setup men might actually be more important than closers, simply because managers feel free to use them as they see fit, rather than being constrained by the artificial rules which apply to closers. And also because sometimes your team actually scores additional runs in the 8th inning, thereby making the closer unnecessary or, at the least, less important.

I still hate Frank Thomas, after 47 years.

So um...what was Cain's run support the years he ran up all those losses...anyone, anyone?

Since we're bringing the hate, I might as well go ahead and mention (cringe) Arthur Rhodes and Rod Barajas. By the end of '06, I wanted to punch Rhodes in the face every time they brought him in.

Desi Relaford would definitely be a perfect symbol for the futility of the late 90s Phils. Couldn't hit, field, wasn't a smart baserunner, and always seemed to come up small/make a timely mistake.

I know for an absolute fact that, in my lifetime, I will never hate another Phillies player more than I hated Eric Bruntlett. Because if I ever find myself hating another Phillies player to the degree that I hated Bruntlett, I will kill myself on the spot.

Iceman: Be fair. I haven't said that I hate or despise Pete Orr, only that I become physically ill watching him attempt to play baseball. And you have certainly been around long enough to know that the "Worst Person In The World" thing was tongue-in-cheek. That I feel Orr has no business being on a Major League club is a perfectly valid opinion, & one which casts no aspersions on his character. Much like MG, there are only a handful of Phillies players I've disliked on a personal level: the aforementioned Ashby, Eaton & Lee, & also Billy Wagner & Rod Barajas.

Since Freddy Galvis is on the list of valuable players thus far in '12, here's a feel-good piece on him by Jim Salisbury, for anyone who's interested.

Barge-ass. Forgot about Rod. Worst catcher ever. My memory surrounding the play is foggy, but I clearly recall Barajas giving away home on a close play at the plate. He has no Philadelphia soul.

Amazing how often you see the 'Moneyball' analogy now be applied to the buzzword of 'Big Data',y.0,no.,content.true,page.1,css.print/issue.aspx

This was an interesting nugget. I didn't realize it wasn't until '88 that pitch-by-pitch data became available in a reliable form.

"In retrospect, I am amazed at how little interest baseball and biology have shown for the future use of data. In baseball, the traditional play-by-play record of games was all that was reliably available until 1988, when the pitch-by-pitch record became the standard. The new record turned out to be important in many ways—for example, in managing a pitcher’s productivity, health and longevity. "

Crazy how little data though teams had to work with and now they are overwhelming gushers of video data and very granular data associated with Field f/x data.

Since there are a goodly number of posters who take these posts far too literally, I will clarify: my hatred of Eric Bruntlett was directed solely at his baseball abilities (or decided lack, thereof). I wish no ill will toward Eric Bruntlett, the human being, who I'm sure is a very fine fellow.

MVP might be defined as either absolute value or value above expectations. For the former—Hamels. For the latter—Galvis all the way, not only for his defensive acrobatics, but also for his composure in being thrown into an unfamiliar position in high leverage situations.

Galvis is also fun to watch, so he brings value to the fans. Baseball is all about hope…whether the hope of a single on a hot summer afternoon, the hope of a WFC, or the hope of seeing a new player develop. So instead of wishing for older players to hang on just a little longer, or journeymen to rise above their norms, we have the fresh hope of an unknown upside.

Gnome was a huge part of our winning a WS.

Cant hate the gnome.

I hope Eric Bruntlett, Michael Martinez, Desi Relaford and Rod Barajas all go out cruising one night and get into an accident, either a head on crash, fly off a cliff or get trapped under a gas truck, which, by the way, is the worst of all accidents.

LVP through the first 3 weeks hands down is Mayberry.

Quietly has already been benched by Cholly and is basically back into a platoon role at 1B/LF because his start has been so bad.

can_of_corn, Galvis is absolutey fun to watch, but I wouldn't say he's exceed expectations at all.

I expected him to be a fantastic defender and lousy at the plate.

His glovework in the field confirms my first expectation. His 52 OPS+ confirms my second.

BAP: "I wish no ill will toward Eric Bruntlett, the human being, who I'm sure is a very fine fellow."

Fatalotti: "I hope Eric Bruntlett, Michael Martinez, Desi Relaford and Rod Barajas all go out cruising one night and get into an accident, either a head on crash, fly off a cliff or get trapped under a gas truck, which, by the way, is the worst of all accidents."

To each his own, and all of that...

Fatalotti: The gas truck thing should be reserved exclusively for people who steal souvenir baseballs from wailing toddlers. Our world has never known such pure evil as their kind.

"Since there are a goodly number of posters who take these posts far too literally"

This coming from a guy who had a conniption over the capitalization of the word 'Chosen.'

I know G-Town and the like are kidding when they say stuff, and we're all (for the most part) nice people here. But the rhetoric can get a little intense and over the top sometimes. The word 'hate' is pretty loaded.

And oddly enough, G-Town's list of people he disliked on a personal level is pretty much the exact same as mine, though I would add Brett Myers to the list.

Most hated list: Ed "The Flasher" Bouchee.

Disclaimer: A former boss in a DA's Office influenced my choice. She has no tolerance for sex crimes committed against children. She was blissfully unaware of Bouchee until I tossed his name into a working lunch conversation ~10 years ago as a example of athletes gone bad.

But the rhetoric can get a little intense and over the top sometimes.

Such as when expressing frustration w/ the undue adulation heaped upon Juan Pierre for his dubious contributions to the team's offense are characterized as "... giving you a window into their bitter soul"?

Fortunately for us GTown, we don't just have a "windown into [your] bitter soul". The gates have been lifted, the drawbridge lowered, and the guards told to stand down. You allow us free and unlimited access.

Iceman - That's a good add. I really disliked Myers especially after the Boston incident and often found him to be an idiot on the mound who hurt his team at times by trying to 'challenge' hitters in spots & a jerk off it.

Got the real strong impression that he wasn't well liked by his teammates or even his coaching staff for that matter including Cholly. Dubee didn't seem particularly fond of him and was one of the few guys he has criticized openly as the pitching coach here.

My favorite Myers story had to be in '09 though when the Phils initially said he hurt himself & his eye playing his 4-year old. Turned out he was piss drunk, fell out of his trunk, and injured his face in the fall.

Classic meathead who struck me as an a borderline or functioning alcoholic who were a just an immature jerk.

"This coming from a guy who had a conniption over the capitalization of the word 'Chosen.'"

I made a pact with myself to not even respond to your drivel this season, but this is just too much. A gratuitous mention of the guy's religion, coupled with a reference to his being the media's "Chosen" guy, and you don't perceive that as a reference to the "Jewish-controlled media?" And I suppose his far-less-subtle anti-semitic follow-up posts didn't convince you either?

I've become much more Anti-Semantic since reading Beerleaguer.

MG: That was a truly classic Myers moment.

I think the fact that no one picked up on the comment until you flipped out about it, BAP, was the most glaring thing about it. There have been much worse things that have flown under your radar without comment.

But hey, it's all bad. Anti-Sematism: bad. Hatred: bad. Small-sample sizes: bad. We all take different degrees of offense.

Hang in there, Pete Orr...

Iceman: I picked up on it because he attempted to be subtle and others were asleep at the wheel. But, as his subsequent posts proved, my interpretation was 100% correct. But, heck, it could have been worse. He could have relied on a small sample size.

That is awesome.

That gif is mesmerizing.

I hate Desi Relaford.

Team MVP: Juan Pierre.

i know cain is better now. but, still, it is excessively inflationary. i noticed he and doc both had bad 2007's.

Who has been the most valuable Phillie this year is like asking who has been the best ship's officer on the Titanic.

I thought the athlete who flashed kids was Bo Belinski (sp)?

I can't believe the capitilized Chosen thing is passed over by so many. I got chewed out for suggesting the MLB recaliberate the blood test to take into consideration the testosterone in "manly" Israeli blood (after all Braun's dad is a Sabra, native born Israeli) by clout.
Can Will S come back and correct us?

How is this for bad moves? A friend of the family told me his dad (with an in-law) went to one of the 1980 WFC games and got a ball flipped to him. He gave the ball to a young kid nearby. It happened again after another few innings. Gave the ball to another kid. Then, Dad remembers to get a ball for his own son and lo and behold, nobody is throwing any more balls. To this day, my friend thinks his dad is a big idiot who didn't get him a ball.

"But, as his subsequent posts proved, my interpretation was 100% correct."

Yeah, I was much more disgusted by his attempt to actually put forward an argument. I had hoped it was just his off-color attempt at being humorous.

I still hate Frank Thomas, after 47 years.

I had his bat -- my best friend's brother was batboy for the Reds the one year Thomas played in Cincy. It disappeared after a move -- I think the movers made off with it. It was one heavy bat.

No hate love for So Taguchi? Defensive replacement who could no longer play defense?

Write-In vote for Pierre

MVP Power Rankings:

1) Halladay
2) Hamels
3) Mini-Mart (without his injury, we wouldn't have Galvis)

Honorable mention: Qualls

RG: I don't claim to be the arbiter of these things, but I thought "manly Israeli blood" was kinda funny. "Chosen by the media," on the other hand, simply propagates a particularly pernicious stereotype which bigots use to justify their dislike of Jews.

Anyway, I'm more than aware that every time a subject like this comes up, it kills the thread. So I'm done. I just think people who say these things in a public forum need to be called for their comments (even more so, since this one seemed to have escaped everyone's notice). And it's funny that Iceman, who thinks I should be "held accountable" for saying "So-and-so is washed up," does not think posters should be held accountable for far worse comments.

I like Freddy Galvis. I think he's a fun young player to watch because of his glove. I think he's still a prospect for the future because he's only 22. I've supported getting young players like him into the lineup, if only for aesthetic purposes.

But the amount of love he is getting for a 52 OPS+ is downright shocking. You even see people on here saying his bat has been a pleasant surprise. I've ripped on Polanco as much as anyone, and after yesterday, Polanco has better offensive numbers and is probably just as valuable defensively for this team (considering how steep the dropoff is to Wiggy).

I think it's amazing. If I told you before the season that the Phils were going to replace Utley for a couple months with a guy who could field really well but hit at a 52 OPS+ clip, most people would say "no thanks." Instead, people love this guy. Again, I get it--he's young and fun to watch. But I think people pretending he's been even adequate offensively are simply deluding themselves.

If Galvis was an aging Veteran making $6 million this year, Jack might have a point.

I am curious to see if the Phils' offense which finally shows some life this past week in AZ can continue it against a moribund Cubs' pitching staff which is missing Dempster.

The only really solid starter they face is Garza (of course the game I have tickets to vs. KK).

Otherwise, pedestrian Maholm tomorrow night, converted starter into a reliever Wells on Sat., Garza Sunday, and Jeff Samardzija who was forced into the rotation on Monday.

They also have a crummy bullpen that is missing Wood & has a bunch of crummy arms in it with especially right now with Wells/Samardzija in the rotation.

Cubs' offense also stinks. Absolutely no reason the Phils shouldn't win at least 3 games this upcoming series against a bad team with favorable pitching matchups.

I still believe Galvis is lying about his age.

Jack, I don't know how much stock you put into WAR, but Fangraphs has Galvis clocked at 0.4. There's at least some evidence that his fielding is outweighing his offense enough that he's providing measurable positive value to the team. When you combine that with the fact that he was thrust into a role under very demanding and unexpected circumstances--due to, arguably, the team's mismanagement of the Utley situation--and the fact that his offense seems likely to improve on the strength of his .224 BABIP and his slow first few games, it's really not hard to understand why people would be excited about him.

**I still believe Galvis is lying about his age.**

Yeah, because looking at him, he doesnt look a day over 17.

"If Galvis was an aging Veteran making $6 million this year, Jack might have a point."

Jack's point is not that Galvis should be showered with boos & relegated to the bench. His point -- with which I agree whole-heartedly -- is that, because he's young & has made a bunch of highlight reel plays, many normally clear-thinking fans have allowed themselves to become completely deluded about his overall value to the team. I get it: he's fun to watch and, if he can learn to hit even a little, he could be a pretty darn good player. But, last I checked, the Phillies were 8-9, and sitting near the bottom of the major leagues in runs scored. Freddy Galvis is far from the only reason, but let's not kid ourselves: he's no small part of the problem. He's putting up Mini-Mart numbers right now.

Jack, if you told me before the season that the Phils would replace MiniMart with a guy who could field really well and get a 1.000 OPS in home games, I would not be shocked when that player became a fan favorite.

***He's putting up Mini-Mart numbers right now.***

Mini Mart is a terrible defender who can't do the little things (like bunt). Galvis is the exact opposite.

Its the same reason you despise Pierre despite his .339 AVG.

fumphis, I'm a big fan of WAR, but this early in the season, it's pretty much useless. Baseball-reference hasn't even posted 2012 WAR numbers yet.

Yeah boy, Freddy banging CBP HR's in hitting season.

You know, it's one thing when people cluck about players like KK when they succeed, but this clucking over Juan Pierre is ridiculous.

Last I checked, he still has a 3.3% walk rate, and a .034 ISO. He's still been picked off first base, thrown out attempting to steal third to make the finl out of the inning, is stealing bases at a 60% clip, and is a liability in left field with his arm, and with his glove.

And you know what's sad? That walk rate and ISO aren't that far off his career norms. His BAbip of .351 WILL come down, and when it does, he'll be just another mediocre, over the hill veteran taking up a spot in this lineup.

No one in their right mind was delusional enough to not expect that Pierre could have a little streak in him where he'd hit his little dink and dunk singles, but that still doesn't change the fact that he's a terrible fit for a team starved for on-base ability and power.

Comparing Galvis to Mini-Mart is a travesty, for defensive purposes alone.

Fat, sure. I definitely don't claim that we can extract meaningful information from WAR numbers on the order of "this player actually contributed 0.4 wins above replacement." But the point is that we're dealing with small samples in any case (65 PAs, 99 chances) and that according to one formula, Galvis's offense in that sample has in fact been good enough to provide value to the team when combined with his defense. When you combine that with the other factors I mentioned, I just don't think the esteem for Galvis is as unwarranted as Jack makes out.

Hence why the phrase said "Mini-Mart numbers". The comparison was strictly about offense.

What a meltdown by Heath Bell.. ai ai ai. His third blown save, I think.

b_a_p: Perhaps I missed it, but when has anyone become deluded about Galvis' value to the team? Would you agree that Freddy has performed better overall than either Martinez or Orr were likely to if given the same opportunity? Galvis has been a pleasant surprise in a season in which very little has been pleasant. That's it,& honestly, I think that's all people are happy about.

(I also reject the comparison of Galvis to Martinez because Martinez is a crap defender who can't bunt, & the comparison of Galvis to Pierre because Pierre not only has the arm of a sickly newborn, but repeatedly makes idiot decisions while on the base paths which result in Outs.)

fumphis, I don't entirely disagree with you, but I think we need a lot more data and games before we can make that conclusion. Rigth now, he's a lousy offensive player with a fantastic glove. He's a black-hole in the lineup, but a vacuum at 2B. Either way, he's sucking up everything around him.

I'm not ready quite yet to say his glove absolutely makes up for his offensive shortcomings. Since there is no one behind him ready to play who offers anything, iether offensively or defensively, he should absolutely stay on the team. But, the jury is still out.

Bell with a complete 47-pitch meltdown. His 3rd blown save and lose already including a craptacular 4-run meltdown vs. Astros 2 weeks ago.

Drops Fish to 7-11.

Thou Shalt Not Praise Juan Pierre Ever.

Thou Shalt Forget The Phrase "Nixington" Was Used Prior To the Start of the Season.

Didn't Danny Tartabull foul a ball of his foot in spring training and never Play or the phillies again?
That was a pretty bad pickup.

BB, nothing wrong with praising Pierre. I am very happy that he's played well, and I hope he continues to produce for this team, so long as Manuel keeps playing him. It's that people can't help but castigate those who were complaining about him pre-season and throughout the season by calling them "haters" and the such.

There's a reason we were complaining. Pierre stinks, and he's an especially poor fit for this team. Even lousy players can have really good offensive stretches (see Mini-Mart from July 4 to July 24 last year, when he posted the following line:
.296/.350/.463 (.813))

I love the BL tradition that if someone does not absolutely casitgate a player and explain just how utterly worthless he is, Jack or BAP come in to admonish him.

I'm confused as to where this glowing praise is of Galvis as an offensive savior. I thought this discussion was had the other day and we all agreed: dreadful offensively, but he has saved a bunch of runs already on defense. And he is fun to watch.

God forbid we get enjoyment out of watching a young player make some sparkling, run-saving plays on defense, without also making sure we qualify how pitiful he is on offense.

NEPP: Yeah, Galvis is a superior defender. I mean, completely off the charts. That alone makes him of vastly more value than guys like Mini-Mart or Orr or Fontenot. And, yeah, he can handle the bat pretty well when it comes to things like making contact & bunting -- which also gives me some hope that maybe he'll learn to hit some day. I like watching him play.

But the idea that he has been a "pleasant surprise" -- as G-Town Dave, and others, have put it -- is just not true. He has been exactly as advertised: brilliant with the glove; terrible with the bat. In fact, he has been even worse with the bat than I anticipated: he has been Mini-Mart bad. Much as I like watching him play, I do not think this offensively challenged team can tolerate a 55 OPS+ out of its starting 2nd baseman for a full season. He's either going to have to improve or the Phillies are eventually going to have to find someone better.

He's either going to have to improve or the Phillies are eventually going to have to find someone better.

Posted by: bay_area_phan | Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 04:22 PM

I've heard this Utley guy is pretty good.

"when has anyone become deluded about Galvis' value to the team?" - GTown

"I'm confused as to where this glowing praise is of Galvis" - Iceman

Galvis is pictured in the header as candidate for team MVP. It definitely is fair when Jack et. al. push back against the notion that Galvis is team MVP.

I have no problem lauding Galvis... save for the opening weekend, which no one wants to give him a free pass on... he's got a .649 OPS since then. Good for about 79 or 80 OPS+

Even if you do discount it... it's better than what Ryan Theriot and Wilson Valdez are currently doing. Better than Rollins. And until the other day Better than Polanco...

He's fine for me right now. He has struggled the last few games, which we have to keep an eye on...

But I would gather by the end of the season (or chase comes back) he'll be closer to the .640 than the .550... And he'll definitely have better than Martinez numbers.

I look forward to seeing him back at the Bank... Where he has a lusty 1.000 OPS :)

Well, well. Looks like the haters be hatin' once again today at BLer.

Same old, same old.

Anyone who has watched this team so far this season, who doesn't think that Galvis has ABSOLUTELY been a valuable contributor to the team, is just blinded by hatred.

His OPS does not measure his value to the team. He has positively saved games with his glove, and he has come up with timely hits.

You people need to put down the stats URLs and watch the games.

But the idea that he has been a "pleasant surprise" -- as G-Town Dave, and others, have put it -- is just not true. He has been exactly as advertised: brilliant with the glove; terrible with the bat.

I expected him to be terrible w/ the bat & overrated in the field. So yeah, that's a pleasant surprise.

Mick O: Has anyone expressed support for that suggestion, though?

Mick O: Clarification - "That suggestion" being "Freddy Galvis is the team MVP so far".

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