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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

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"over half the starting lineup held prospect status two months ago or were operating with minor league deals."

- Who says we don't have a productive farm system?

BOOOO!!!

Doc got lazy letting the opposing pitcher smack the first pitch for single to lead off the third. Then he gets some seeing eye single from their leadoff hitter and leaves a pitch up to Harper who ends up on 3rd.

Very odd to see Doc lose focus and just basically be careless like that. He gets that easy out and you're looking at a 1, maybe 2 run inning at best.

Maybe he's thinking "what's the freaking point of trying to make quality pitches, since these stiffs won't score any runs for me anyway!"

Judging by the lineup we sent out there, it was a Spring Training game. Doc was probably just working on a new pitch. Remember, its about reps at this point in the year, not results. As long as he's good by Opening Day, I'm content.

With Eric Kratz on the bench, you can never think you're out of it, Doc should know better.

Doesnt matter. This team is done. Plain and simple. You are 1 and 4 against these scrubs. 0 and 2 on twenty game count down till a trade is done. Vic and Blanton will be dealt. Can't trade anyone else. Unless they are blown away in a trade. A team with lots of prospects that could make a splash for Cole will be either Tampa or Texas. And I don't want to hear anymore of well chase and Ryan get back blah blah. Who knows if they even come back at all. This team is in serious trouble and better start taking long hard looks at everyone and start getting things in order. Going to be a long hot summer.

Maybe I missed it, but was it ever revealed what "personal matters" prompted Halladay to leave the team a few weeks back? A quick google search turned up mostly tongue-in-cheek (?) articles about his Chooch Plush. This wouldn't be the 1st time a player's production has been hurt when his mind is elsewhere.

Wow, didn't realize they have lost 7 straight series to the Nats. Geez.

At the risk of being added to the downer category, I'm not sure how anyone could look at that, coupled with the first round loss to Cards, and not see how the team as it has been built is in a state of decline. I still think that its a long season, and changes can happen, but the trend is obviously negative.

My problem with the pitching has nothing to do with Halladay, and everything to do with the fact that Amaro built the team with the assumption that Halladay and Lee would remain dominant. The law of averages and ages in baseball tells you that sooner or later that trend will end. Even with a healthy Howard and an "active" (I won't say healthy, since that would imply the old Utley who I don't believe is coming back) Utley, this team struggled to score and the basic premise described above was still the same.

Staff stopper, Hamels is on the hill tonight which leaves me feeling half decent about this game tonight. I'm really starting to believe he's gone after this year.

On Doc: He's near the end of his career and we will see more of this through his contract. He just turned 35. Odds are his career will be over sometime in the next 5 years. Do you really think he'll be the next Moyer?

As stated previously,shake the tree and see what falls out for Doc. Then use the money to resign Cole.He's the person this team needs to rebuild around,not some maybes received with his departure.

541: wait, the phils lost 5 series to the Nats last year, but still won the division? That must mean that losing two series against them this year means....? oh yea i know...hardly anything.

Shane: Yeah... i'm reallllllly holding out hope that future HOFer Roy Halladay will become the next Jamie Moyer. I'm just a wildly optimistic guy like that.

Stop. He doesn't have to be the "next Moyer".

Staff stopper, Hamels is on the hill tonight which leaves me feeling half decent about this game tonight. I'm really starting to believe he's gone after this year.


Posted by: Scotch Man | Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 10:27 AM

Scotch, I think the Hamels contract/free agent saga has more to do with philosophy than actual money. I already stated above that the Phils face some budget concerns, however with the right structuring they can probably make 2013 work (although the budget will be super tight to do anything else, aka 3B and corner outfield/center). Amaro has already stated, rather suprisingly and quite Amaro-ingly arrogant that Hamels doesn't deserve to get paid like a Cy Young winner. It seems to me that he is already aggravated by what he's seen from the Hamels camp. This may be a situation of diverging philosphy's rather than finance. Which would be very sad. True, there is always a very real possibility Hamels will get overpaid. (I would assume that most contracts are probably losers in the end, if was to go back). However, considering the lack of youth and upside, this would be pretty disturbing. The Phils could potentially see a staff of seriously declining Lee's and Halladay's coupled with young pitchers like May/Biddle/Colvin trying to find their way.

I agree that both Halladay and Lee are on the downside of their careers. The Phils have too much $ and years invested in them, and Howard, who is clearly on the decline. In addition, they will need to replace the following positions: 3B, CF, LF, maybe 2 starters (Hamels, Blanton). The future is very, very bleak. Had they won a WS in either '10 or '11 it wouldn't matter too much. Since they failed miserably, their current situation and immediate future is magnified. Oh yeah, almost forgot to mention that black hole that is their farm system.

541: wait, the phils lost 5 series to the Nats last year, but still won the division? That must mean that losing two series against them this year means....? oh yea i know...hardly anything.

Posted by: lorecore | Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 10:35 AM

Lore, wasn't insinuating a direct cause/effect relationship between records against certain teams. Was however implying that having a 7 series losing streak against a team that they had turned into a sparring partner for 5 years seemed to be a sign of the tides changing. I don't really know how that can be dismissed.

To be truthful, your comment doesn't actually make sense. That's like dismissing a huge losing streak at the end of a season because a team was great at the beginning. You're only as good as the team you are currently, whether or not there is a winning streak in the future. Its not like MLB gave them a pass for losing in the first round because they had won so many games earlier in the season. I seem to run into a lot of fans who still think this is 2008, 2009, 2010 even.

Just received an email from the Phillies, saying that seats are available for tonight's game. A sign of things to come...

On Cole: If I'm him, I wait and trust in my health and ability until FA and see what offers I get and try to sign with a team that pays me a boat-load AND has a strong, young offense. He's got The Ring, now he needs The Bling.
That said, I do not believe he signs with Philadelphia. With the team on the verge of rebuilding, seemingly, it will negate any kind of hometown discount and possibly his desire to stay.

541: not going at you, just using the facts you posted towards others who believe losing back to back series vs Nats is an adversity that can not be overcome

The major part is that you have to beat the teams in front of you in the division. Swept by mets and losing to nats all time isn't helping you make ground. Face is people. This team is falling fast. The philles would be foolish to keep Cole if they are 10 games out and are like 7 games out of second wild card. If we can get a deal like toronto got for marcum. A young stud corner outfielder or third basemen I am all in. Trade Vic move AAAbery to center and bring up brown. Now is time to see what you have after you are knocked out.

Guys stop being so negative.

Guys, the Phil's hitting trouble began when they had to hand over the binoculars from the bullpen...

Joe, give me a reason to be positive.

Joe, give me a reason to be positive.

Posted by: Bert Wedemeyer

I'm kidding. But there are plenty of people on here that are really getting worked up when the realists surface.

Stick a fork in me. I'm done!

Sounds pretty ugly when Jason puts it like that.

The "perfect storm" of everything that might possibly go wrong seems to continue.

I don't think it will continue to be this bad, but anyone who isn't concerned at this point, well, I'm not sure I get that either.

Also, MG started a dialogue a week or two ago about possibly letting Halladay go as opposed to letting Cole slip away. I think this is going to be an ongoing discussion here. I love Doc, and I know there are financial issues to be worked out; but, I'm not with the "Cole is gone" crowd.

Question: Should Boston & New York also pack it in this year and concede the division to Baltimore? They are in a similar situation as the Phillies. 5-6 games out of first & 3-ish out of the wildcard with 118-ish games to go. Maybe the O's can pickup Sabathia & Cano on the cheap. or maybe 1st place Cleveland can get Jacoby Elsbury & Cole Hamels.

I didn't expect the decline to be this fast. Amaro has some major decisions to make and they are coming quickly. I think the Phils need to take the Flyers approach, trade Cole and Vic, to get younger and deeper even if it means taking a step back until 2014. We need offense desperately and their are plenty of young 3B prospects, especially in the AL East. And if we do this, we need to make the manager change too. The quicker it is done, the faster we will be a team that can contend again.

Detroit has a worse record than the Phillies, they should obviously move Cabrera & Verlander while they still have time!

"I think the Phils need to take the Flyers approach"

Posted by: Kwasi23 | Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 11:31 AM

As far as I know there aren't any overrated Russian third baseman on next years free agent market.

Some good posts and not-so-good posts this morning.

As JBird points out, if you're willing to declare that the Phillies are done, you better be willing to declare that the Red Sox, Yankees, and Tigers are done. I bet at least 2 of those 4 teams make the playoffs.

People don't learn from experience, apparently. Haven't the last 2 years taught people that the playoffs are wide-open? Whether you think playoff series are more of a coin flip, or whether they're decided by which team is "hotter" at the time, you should agree: any team that makes the playoffs can win the World Series, with no exceptions.

To clarify my posts from yesterday about the farm system not producing anything: I don't think that necessarily means that the Phillies are destined for immediate mediocrity. As Ryan points out from the last thread, a huge payroll goes a long way. My point is that it leaves a much thinner margin for error if, say, your two most important hitters miss half the season.

The other point that I wanted to drive home is that I see lots of complaints about too-big, sentimentally-driven contracts to Rollins, Polanco, Victorino, and Pence. I don't see it that way. I think if you let all of those guys walk and take their money into the free-agent market, you would get about the same production. Free agents are expensive.

"Detroit has a worse record than the Phillies, they should obviously move Cabrera & Verlander while they still have time!"

Your example fails as parody. Verlander & Cabrera are both just 29, and under contract through 2014/2015. The guys whom the Phillies would trade -- if they do end up being sellers (which I still don't think they will) -- are older guys or guys in the last year of their contract.

The way Doc has crumbled this year is disturbing. We are either going to find out about his hidden injury at some point, or the Phillies are going to have to neglect to pick up his next option. That's 20 million per season saved to sign Hamels with. Because without Hamels, there is no team here at this point.

And I don't think Lee is done by any means. He goes through stretches when he stinks. That's just how he is. He's streaky. Then he'll go on a streak where he's simply unhittable.

But back to Doc. We saw this coming when his velocity was down during the Spring. He has not looked right all season. If it's not a secret injury he's pitching through, he's going to have to revive some serious Maddux mojo to get back on top. And so far, he's shown little sign of having that kind of mojo. When Maddux got older, the movement on his pitches actually increased. Doc's have simply gotten flat.

Doc's option money may be just what's needed to sign Hamels for 6 years at 22-23 per.

The tigers only have one team to pass. They will be fine. Yankees have the firepower to turn it around. The philles have nothing that's the difference. There is no defending the lack of offense and the way the team plays. All the teams have legit third and forth batters. We got a hackers that couldn't hit the ball I'd they threw it up and tried to hot it with a tennis racket.

On Buy or Sell: We still have 50 games, or so, to decide if we are Buyers or Sellers at the deadline about a two months away. A lot can happen in that time, both good and bad. Like Cole, we too should wait and see what happens before we jump on the buy/sell bandwagon.

I keep wondering whether the Phillies wouldn't be better letting everyone but Hamels walks this season. At some point you have to look at what you have, and start to rebuild. As much as Victorino has meant to the Phillies, I would trade him in a heartbeat for a young outfielder. And I think Blanton next year will be replaced by someone at much less than 12 million per.

They have two months to see where they stand, what Howard/Utley will be in '12, and what they do at the deadline.

What is going to make it incredibly difficult for Amaro to act is that I do think they will be right in the thick of the WC race (largely because of the 2nd WC & the teams they will be chasing are just as mediocre as the Phils) and not completely out of the NL East race.

The reason the Phils have been losing this month though before this recent cold RISP snap (they will happen every season) is that the pitching hasn't been very good including the starting pitching.

4.23 ERA (11th) and below average in almost every category this month. Can't survive with getting even average pitching.

The philles have nothing that's the difference.


Howard and Utley are nothing? Even Utley and Howard at 75% are better offensive pieces that Hector Luna/Laynce Nix/Ty Wigginton/Freddy Galvis/Mike Fontenot.

Disappointment is one thing- craziness is another

Halladay hasn't crumbled. He just hasn't been as good as he was in '10-'11. Issue is that the team around him is vastly inferior so far to those two teams.

Phils though are starting to approach the season with a 'grasping the straws' mentality though and pinning their hopes on Howard/Utley.

Normally that would be bad but expecting a lot out of Howard (even what he gave them last year) this year is unrealistic given his injury & time frame for recovery. Utley's an enigma.

Already going to miss a ton more time than he did last year and still on schedule for him to begin playing again at Clearwater.

Dangerous place to be when you have to start to hope that things really break your way to have a good chance to succeed.

Also, the 2007 team was at .500 as late as July 16 and won the division. The 2009 team was 48-46 on July 21st. Last year's world champions were 67-63 on August 24. The previous year's world champions were 40-39 on July 2.

All of the hysterical claims that "this season is over" and "the window has closed" and "if you can't see that you're just not upset about us realists telling it like is" show a major lack of perspective/memory.

Thing I don't understand is why people are seemingly so adamant on keeping Halladay and assuming he will be a key piece moving ahead forward beyond next year.

Starting pitchers in their late 30s age usually turn from a fine wine into vinegar instead of aging like a port.

The tigers only have one team to pass. They will be fine. Yankees have the firepower to turn it around. The philles have nothing that's the difference. There is no defending the lack of offense and the way the team plays. All the teams have legit third and forth batters. We got a hackers that couldn't hit the ball I'd they threw it up and tried to hot it with a tennis racket.

Posted by: The Hook | Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 11:47 AM

And yet, record-wise, the Phillies are within a game-and-a-half of all of those teams. Is it possible that your opinion could be biased by the fact that you watch every Phillies game, emotionally invested, while you don't often watch the other teams?

A gimpy singles hitting Ryan Howard and bad knees Utley aren't going to save the season.

Hook: Tigers are in 3rd place in their division and are behind 4 teams for the 2nd WC. Detroit's as many or more games out of a playoff spot as the Phillies are.

BAP: When people are advocating a fire-sale for a team that's 2.5 games out of a playoff spot who still has a shot at adding a #3 & #4 hitter to the lineup, there is no level of parody that fails. My position is there's no use getting all worked up as long as the team stays close and there's still hope on Utley & Howard. If worst-case scenario hits, then you look at selling.

Crashburn Alley says Roy is fine. (For those posters who aren't the ones that sound like they've been fans only in the Hunter Pence era).

DH Phils - '07 was a historical anomaly with a collapse that was unprecedented by the Mets. I agree that the season isn't over but unlike past year's when this team went on a torrid tear they aren't likely to get any real help at the trading deadline.

Yeah they will get Howard back at some point probably in late June/early July. My bet is he is a sub .800 OPS hitter this year though which isn't going to give them a real lift offensively. Who knows with Utley at this point.

The reason that it is ridiculous to give up on the season isn't because of the Phils notably improving. It is because of the addition of the 2nd WC, an overall weak NL, and a bunch of mediocre teams they are chasing for the WC spots especially the 2nd one.

NEPP: well, let's hope that's not what we get back.

Utley was awesome for two months last year when he came back, then pretty weak, then had a good playoff series

We'll see about Howard, but the dropoff may be less than some think, since he was basically playing on one leg for most of last season

But I think the bigger thing is moving Pence and Victorino back into complementary roles. Getting Nix back to platoon in LF with Mayberry would help a lot, too

Suddenly you have excellent pitching and defense top to bottom and league-average hitting at least.

"I don't see it that way. I think if you let all of those guys walk and take their money into the free-agent market, you would get about the same production."

I don't necessarily disagree. In any given FA market, there are usually only 1 or 2 attractive options at any particular position -- if that many. And those attractive options are invariably expensive.

But the analysis doesn't end with the question: if not Rollins/Polanco/Vic, then who? You also have to factor in the long-term opportunity cost of paying millions of dollars to a player who is almost certain to decline over the life of the contract (and, in Rollins & Polanco's case, who weren't very good to begin with). The opportunity cost manifests itself in multiple ways. It taxes your overall budget, limiting the team's ability to address weaknesses & find complementary pieces. It prevents you from participating in the FA and trade market for that position, even if a better player comes along a year or two down the road. And it limits your ability to fill positions with your own prospects, who would be far more cost-effective &, in some cases, just as good if not better on the field.

Case in point No. 1: Jonathan Singleton. All signs say that he is one of the few Phillies prospects who is actually the real deal. The Phillies traded him away because he was blocked by the overpaid, declining, and now-injured Ryan Howard.

Case in point No. 2: Freddy Galvis. Simple question: who would you rather have at SS for the next 3 years? Rollins, at 4 years, $11M per year or Galvis at peanuts?

Galvis and Wigginton spot starting and fortifying the bench, possibly with Thome replacing Pierre

It is just as ridiculous to say that Halladay has 'crumbled' as to say he is pitching like he is pitching like he has in the last 5 years or so.

His velocity is consistently down 2 MPH or so on all of his pitches, his command/control have been notably worse, and his ratio of GB/FB has dropped.

Halladay is also throwing considerably more offspeed stuff this season too.

To argue that he is the same pitcher to date this year as he has been in recent past years is a bogus claim that flies in the face of the data so far this year.

MG: The Mets losing an 8-game September lead was historic. The Mets losing a 5-game July lead was not.

Even an .800 OPS from Howard helps a ton, especially if it's as RISP-heavy as it usually is. I agree, Utley is up-in-the-air.

Our current lineup is essentially utter blackholes of production at LF, SS, 2B, 1B.

Chooch, Shane and Pence are the only guys even on pace for 10+ HRs. You cant score runs when you run out 5-6 singles hitters at best every night.

Mind you, I'm being generous by not listing Polly as a blackhole right now because he has righted the ship a bit in May...He still has zero power and thus we're playing station to station ball.

"Chooch, Shane and Pence are the only guys even on pace for 10+ HRs. You cant score runs when you run out 5-6 singles hitters at best every night."

You could if they were generally above average guys who BBed at fairly high rates with some good speed. None of that is truth though for the other 5-6 singles hitters the Phils are putting out there right now.

I'd just like to remind the contingent of wait till Howard/Utley come back folks, that its not like we are talking about the routine version of Howard. We are talking about post Achilles rupture Howard, and Utley, who is taking longer than even last year to return.

There is a very real possibility that neither of these players supplies this team with its most critical need, mainly converting opportunities into runs.

I am trying to balance the realist with the opportunist. You never really know what you have or what will fall into your lap until the season plays out. However, as the 2 over 30 starting pitchers get older, and continue to swallow up budget dollars, it will get tougher for this team to compete without some kind of functional change.

To clarify what I said about about Howard, I read recently that he said the same ankle/calf/heel he's rehabbing now felt like it was "on fire" last season. Which is why they gave him the cortisone shot.

Achilles rehab specifically is a wild card, of course, but I think there's a good chance there will be less drop off than some think.

"When people are advocating a fire-sale for a team that's 2.5 games out of a playoff spot who still has a shot at adding a #3 & #4 hitter to the lineup, there is no level of parody that fails."

Losing, no doubt, seems to bring all the silliest posters to the forefront. But, at least among the more intelligent of the commentariat (i.e., the regulars), the discussion about selling is in a context that is, for now, entirely hypothetical: IF we are 7 or 8 games out of the last WC spot in July. For whatever reason, some posters are unable to even acknowledge this very plausible scenario, even though RAJ himself has acknowledged it.

five-4-one: it's less "wait till they come back" and more "wait till you know what you got". Both could miss the whole season, but the team doesn't know yet. Both best case and worst case scenarios seem equally likely at the moment. So, you wait for more clarity.

BAP: You'll notice that I have not included the Howard contract in any of my blanket statements about the market-value price tags on Rollins, Polanco, Victorino, and Pence. His contract is certainly well-above his market-value.

I think I see what you're saying about opportunity cost, but I don't agree. Those guys are all providing value. If we didn't have them, the team would certainly be much worse than it is.

Re: your Galvis question, having seen what I've seen this year, I would take Galvis plus whatever else you can get for that 3 years/33 million (relief pitching jumps to mind). A priori, though, I would've taken Rollins. My change-of-mind is more a function of Galvis being more impressive than I would have thought than me thinking Rollins is a .580 OPS guy going forward.

Achilles rehab specifically is a wild card, of course, but I think there's a good chance there will be less drop off than some think.

Posted by: Ryan | Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Is that just a gut reaction, or born out of some evidence? That is called wishful thinking. Just pointing out that if we are going to call out people for thinking irrationally negative, then its ok to point out irrational positivity.

JRoll is going to end up having the worst year of his career statistically this year now. Too many PAs in to really overcome that.

Question is where does he end up. Still think he ends up at around .255-.260 with an OPS around .680 or so.

His days as an impact hitter are long gone. Ditto the reasoning he should be a leadoff hitter or in the top 3. He's a 6-7 hole hitter now.

How Howard felt last year compared to how he will feel this year can't be proven empirically, but I think it's reasonable to suggest that if he was in a lot of pain last year it *might* not be a huge dropoff.

Are the people arguing otherwise providing evidence?

The suggestion that, upon returning, Howard "might" be only somewhat worse than he was last year is irrationally positive?

Only on Beerleaguer.

MG--If you're ready to cut bait with Halladay, what will be the market for him at 20 million per for this year and next, plus a buyout? How many contending teams will be able to afford that, even with the phils kicking in millions, and what would we reasonably be able to expect back in return? Not saying I wouldn't put it on the table as an option, but I actually think waiting for him to improve is a better bet. If we've totally capitulated and the goal is to dump salary and accumulate prospects, then I guess you have to consider it. I'm not there yet. He's been un-Halladay-like this year, for sure, but the Nats' hitters had a plan and they executed last night, attacking his curves early in the count. Give them some credit, too.

To be fair, I think most of the people mentioning trading Halladay are doing so under 2 conditions: 1) the Phillies are out of contention for '12, and 2) the return for Halladay is enormous.

I think the return would be huge, but I thought that the first time Halladay was traded, and all 3 times Lee was traded, so who knows.

I think the argument is based on the standard doctoral advice of a full calender year before a person has the total strength and use of that area. There is also quite a large rust factor here.

I can see the value of your argument that if Howard was favoring that area and lost power last year, than it may be a wash this year. I will say that its probably quite different psychologically though. That is, to deal with pain is much different than to constantly worry about reinjury. Last year, he could benefit from cortizone for temporary relief, this year he does not have that option as this is a far different, more complicated hurdle.

The 102 win team last year wasn't as good as everybody thought and this team won't end up being as bad as we all think now.

I don't imagine that all the sputtering and injured stars will return to former glory. But I do think they will be in the mix for a playoff spot.

Get in and I'll take my chances with this bunch in the post season.

Howard could come back in late June...but then its another month or so of reps until he's got his timing back. By then, it might simply be too big of a hole.

That's the problem. Say he comes back and he's an .800 OPS hitter overall. That first month when he's a .700ish OPS guy is what will sink us. This team probably cant tread water another 2 months and hope to contend.

***2) the return for Halladay is enormous. ****

Given that they'd be trading 2, possibly 3 playoff runs of Doc Halladay at a very reasonable contract cost, the return would have to be 3-4 blue chip prospects (and maybe even a throw-in low upside guy) of which 2 are very near MLB ready or MLB ready being blocked.

The list of teams that can meet such a price is basically Tampa and Texas. Nobody else has a good enough farm system and playoff aspirations to want a $20 million starter.

"A priori, though, I would've taken Rollins. My change-of-mind is more a function of Galvis being more impressive than I would have thought than me thinking Rollins is a .580 OPS guy going forward."

I completely agree with this, but it nonetheless illustrates the very opportunity cost I was talking about. When you lock up a known mediocrity to an expensive 4-year deal, you're giving up the future option of filling the position with the younger, cheaper guy who might come out of nowhere to be much better than expected. On the one hand, you surely can't just assume that is going to happen. On the other hand, it happens and it isn't all that infrequent. It happened with guys like Howard, Vic, Werth, Chooch, Worley, Kendrick, Stutes, and Bastardo.

The point is: even if you can't answer the question, "If not 34-year old So-and-So, then whom?," it does not follow that you must lock up 34-year old So-and-So for the next 3 to 4 years. Sometimes, the better option is to save your resources & take your chances that something better might fall into your lap in the next 3 or 4 years. It often does.

The suggestion that, upon returning, Howard "might" be only somewhat worse than he was last year is irrationally positive?

Only on Beerleaguer.

Posted by: DH Phils | Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 12:26 PM

His comment was clarified after the fact. Originally he had stated that he thinks there will be less of a drop off than some others think. These same, "some others" are basing their opinions off of doctor's professional opinions about achilles injuries as well as the struggles that other athletes have faced from similar catastrophic injuries.

So yes, as far as I'm concerned, going against professional opinion and prior experience, to me, is inherently irrational by definition. Anyone has a right to an opinion of any sort however. I'm just pointing out that this is no different than me saying that I think Howard *might* be worse than expected. Which would get me labeled as a Debbie-Downer (which makes be think we need a term for the optimists; Ursula-Uppers maybe? Nah, Sally-Sunshines, thats it). Personally I classify myself as Mary-Maybe.

PhillyRhetoric - That's a good point but Halladay gets you more in return than Hamels would I bet even if you had a bigger market for Hamels.

Teams haven't tended to trade a hell of a lot for 2-month player rentals the past several years at the trading deadline.

I highly doubt Hamels let alone Halladay get moved. Its not Amaro's managerial style. Even if the Phils are sellers at the deadline, the only two guys who likely get moved are Blanton and Vic. Maybe they move some other pieces but they won't anything of value in return for them. Just fringe prospects.

Even Blanton at the deadline isn't going to get a valuable prospect. He's a guy who gets you maybe a B prospect and a lesser prospect.

Vic is the only guy the Phils have right now who likely gets moved and possibly would get something of real value in return that helps the Phils next year.

I watch plenty of baseball. That is why watching this team is so horrible. I said for months to not sign jfraud and I got roped when we could have signed cuddy or willingham. All this hold out hope is silly. Sure they are only a few games BUT they CAN'T beat the teams in front. How are you going to make up any ground. And the cards last year got help from braves choke job and all the guys actually listened to mark mc and actually applied his hitting to theirs. Until they prove me wrong this team is going nowhere. No heart no leaders nothing. So to tell me I don't watch other games is hilarious. You compare them with others you laugh.

Let's say Doc is just in a slump. What other team is going to take the chance on a guy whose velocity and movement seem to be "slumping." Is 20 mil a reasonable price tag for a guy like that?

If you trade Doc, it's likely for salary relief and whatever you can get. He won't bring much in return at this point. If you're looking to get a haul from another GM, you're better off keeping him yourself. You will not get anything near equal value.

Can't hang their hat on anybody if they dobn't score runs.

Sadly look what the Astros got for Bourn last year - Schafer (MLB bench filler) and 3 minor pitching prospects.

Why I doubt the Phils are sellers at the deadline.

The have to move Hamels to get a real stud prospect in return. They do that and the season is over.

Im not very optimistic for the rest of the year. There appear to be just too many problems that need to be fixed with a very limited toolbox. I am not advocating throwing in the towel. It's a bit early for that. But, soon I think Rube may need to start thinking long term. That is where I think the danger lies. Nobody wants to miss out on the post season, but a one year absence wouldn't be a catastrophe. It's the next few years that I am worried about. Going forward Rube will have to be shrewd. His track record indicates that he is very shrewd....when he has an unlimited bank account and a lot of hyped farmhands in his back pocket. This time he's going to have to be very creative, if indeed, he decides it is time to make some big moves.

NEPP: I doubt Tampa's all that interested in a $20m pitcher. Not their M.O. and they already have Price-Shields-Hellickson-Moore (I'm assuming Moore improves by the end of the year). So that leaves Texas. It's too bad Detroit's already out of it because they could actually use the pitching and they could offer a package centered around Castellanos & Turner.

Of course, Beltran netted a blue chipper in Zach Wheeler...Vic isn't Beltran but it all depends on what a contender needs/wants at the deadline to put them over the top in their minds.

Ryan, not to pick on you since I don't have any type of beef with you, but I'd like to point out one other thing you said earlier that I totally disagree with.

Earlier you said that Utley had 2 awesome months last year? I just don't see where I would clarify any of his performance last year as awesome. Would i take Utley from last year right now? In a heartbeat. But Utley last year just wasn't the "awesome" Utley of the past. Just nitpicking there I guess.

Bap you are the voice of reason. Thanks for actually pointing out real scenarios on here. This isn't 08 or 09 etc...2012

How is Detroit out of it? They play in the AL Central which is probably the crappiest division in baseball.

Indians are the only team above .500 and too bad they have to count pennies and nickels to make a move at the deadline.

Detroit will definitely be a buyer I bet at the deadline.

MG: did you not read the thread? If the Phillies are out of it, then so are Boston, NY, & Detroit.

"Bap you are the voice of reason."

Words never before written on Beerleaguer.

Trading Doc back to Toronto would be an interesting idea...albeit, that would be asking Rube to negotiate with AA, something akin to pistol-whipping a blind kid.

Yeah bap's last post is spot-on.

The only way the Tigers wont be active at the deadline is if they are running away with that division, which could still happen. Have to believe they will heat up eventually.

I think most of us are probably ready to hang the "FOR SALE" sign or at least thinking in that direction. I'm interested to see where this goes. Amaro isn't exactly known for being a great seller when it comes to moving big players.

JBird - Boston plays in the AL East. Huge difference. Also have much more serious injury problems than the Tigers too.

MG: if you're not going to read the thread, then I don't know what I can do for you in terms of an executive summary.

I think most of us are probably ready to hang the "FOR SALE" sign or at least thinking in that direction. I'm interested to see where this goes. Amaro isn't exactly known for being a great seller when it comes to moving big players.

Posted by: Scotch Man

No way! All those Lee guys are really helping the big club.

MG: the point of grouping Detroit, Boston, and NY together was not to make any sort of comment on their unique circumstances and attributes but to highlight them as similarly "out of it" and the ludicrousness of demanding a fire-sale now for the Phillies who have similar record and spending.

Reminds me of an expansion team lineup: Aging vets, Triple A guys, and prospects who may or may not pan out.

One reason I read the comments is because some are freaking hilarious and some actually make me think. The knee-jerk, all is lost crowd is of the same intelligence level as philly.com posters.

As bad as the Phillies have played, they are only 2 games under .500 and, with 4 MONTHS LEFT TO PLAY, are well within striking distance of a 6th straight division title and a wild card. They are so close and their competition is so average, they literally could play as bad as they have been playing and still make it to the playoffs.

Vegas still considers the Phils the odds on favorite to win the National League. What does that tell you?

I am in no way advocating throwing the season away, but I think you have to look at this team compared to those other very good teams. Raul Ibanez had periods of scorching hotness where he carried the offense, that is not happening this year. Pence has no protection in the lineup. Chooch is playing out of his mind and its unfair to ask the catcher to carry both the offense and defense. It is just age taking its course.

is it me or is Doc's change not as effective as it's been in years past. Much more reliance on his curve as his out pitch.

Not seeing a lot of movement on his sinker as well. He's been a two pitch pitcher - cutter/curve which is making him predicatable.

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