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Friday, July 06, 2012

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People keep bringing up "Well, they aren't as bad as the(Insert awful team of the post strike era here)squad" and while true, I can never remember a season where we were punched in the gut every other day, almost to the point where we expect it.

It's like 1979 except without the part where early in the year they were in 1st place.

Who knew that the opening day win would be the peak of the season?

Blame the player, huh.

I guess the smug millionaire who handed $50 million to that player to throw 80 innings per season bears no responsibility.

Yup...no responsibility whatsoever. Good job, rube. Historically, paying top dollar to closers ALWAYS works out for the team. It's certainly more valuable than a position player with pop in his bat. I hear Eric Gagne is without a contract. Make it happen, Rube!

There are players that do good things in a game and other ones that do good things in a game and sometimes the same player does good and bad things in the same game, but it's hard for me to focus on any one player when I think about the Phillies. I see them as a team with a lot of problems right now and that's the most charitable way I can say it. Even bad teams come up with a good game every now and then and sometimes they even come up with a gem. But, when they do, it's not a sign that they're actually a good team.

Might sound a bit esoteric, but it is my opinion that there's a bad group dynamic on this team right now. That's something that could change quite a bit with a different manager. Maybe a different manager would set a different tone and/or address some of their shortcomings, such as the failure to make the opposing pitcher throw strikes.

2012 is officially the year of the gut punch

Was Jonathan Papelbon the best free agent closer on the market this past offseason? Yes.

Ryan Madson, Joe Nathan, and some others of lesser pedigree were available, but Ruben Amaro decided to blow most of his allotted money on Papelbon. Not smart. Thought Stanford grads were supposed to be intelligent.

Personally, I advocated for Nathan, thinking he'd be cheaper and nearly as good. Turns out, he was cheaper and has been markedly better.

Papelbon '12: 32 G, 31.1 IP, 38 K, 2-3 W-L, 18 SV, 2 BS, 3.45/1.15.

Nathan '12: 34 G, 33.2 IP, 42 K, 0-2 W-L, 18 SV, 1 BS, 1.87/0.89.

Contracts: Papelbon- 4 yr/$50M, Nathan- 2 yr/$14.5M.

This team has problems going forward, no way to sugarcoat it. We have a manager who seems to do offense only, a bench of other teams cast-offs, an infield that is collectively 120+ years, and a bullpen that can rarely get through the end of a game with a lead. I want to say it will be better after the ASB, but I'm just not sure....Does this group even enjoy playing with each other???

I don't think I white kinight all of the players. I will defend Rollins and Howard because they take undue criticism far more than anyone on the team. But I really don't think things are as bad as they look.
A quick breakdown.
Ruiz-really good. Prob never this good again but one of the best in the league anyway.
Howard-should be good again in time. I don't believe his career is over.
Utley-no idea but as others have said when he plays he's still good.
Rollins-despite the universal disdain he's putting together a solid season and should going forward.
Polanco-gone. Don't know who is available in offseason.
LF-another patch together season of Mayberry/Nix/??? next year or will Dom Brown be a player. Those are the questions any team has with a young player like Brown.
CF-I could take or leave Victorino. If he stays cheap, fine. If he goes, ehh.
Pence-I can't stand the way he plays but he could be worth keeping because he does give some offense and he can't keep failing with men on, right?
Bench-surprisingly good compared to the rest of the NL when the bench players aren't starting.
Rotation-still a strength if they keep Cole. They'd have to find someone to fill the Blanton spot. I'd prefer it isn't Kendrick.
Bullpen-awful but most bullpens get reset in the offseason. Pap, Bastardo and Deikman are useful after that who knows what's out there and what young guys are going to be decent next year.
So I really refuse to jump on the franchise over bandwagon or to totally start over. Ruben has done a poor job of things. He really went for too many old players for too long but I'm not going to knock down the house because the guy did a sh8t job remodeling the kitchen.

If I may quote the good book,"Jack...Sell 'em for less!"

"Was Jonathan Papelbon the best free agent closer on the market this past offseason? Yes"

True.

What I am saying is that paying the money that it takes to sign "the best free agent closer on the market" is always a bad decision.

The sole exception to the rule is the combination Mariano Rivera and the New York Yankees because of the combination of a limitless budget and the best relief pitcher in the history of the game. So, if the Phillies ever have a limitless budget that enables them to add whomever they choose and pay top dollar for the best relief pitcher who ever played the game, then, and only then, would I advocate paying top dollar for a closer.

In any other situation, paying a closer more than $5 mil/season is a suckers move regardless of his performance. That money could be better spent elsewhere on players that have a more meaningful impact on a season.

Put aside the superstition and the nonsense about a closer's mentality/adrenalin rush and you just have a guy who's capable of pitching one inning and billing you x2 to x4 what the best starters in the game charge per inning.

Suckers move.

And Amaro is the biggest sucker who's ever been granted control of a major league ballclub.

That 9th inning was a disaster. No other way to say it. It's not on Charlie. It's not on Rube. It's on Papelbon. And you know what...who cares? Honestly. Closers aren't perfect. He blew a save. It happens. He missed on some close pitches (how Tejada held didn't pull the trigger on that 3-2 pitch [which was a ball] is incredible. Good pitch, better AB), and got beat on a good pitch to Wright. What are you going to do?

If the Phillies miss out on the second WC spot by one game, I'll look back at this game and be pissed at Papelbon. For now...

Who cares?

signing a top tier closer is a move that looks really good in october and down the stretch but looks really bad when you're a losing club. Rube got it wrong.

I don’t believe Carlos Ruiz escapes criticism because they were determined to crowd Valdespin.


i'm pretty sure dubee told him to crowd him because he visited the mound right before he hit. bad call

I totally get the frustration and, I know this site will be dominated by armchair GM discussions for the next 9 months but, posts magnifying every loss into the end of the season/franchise are exhausting to read. Will there be a point this season - which I hope (but don;t really believe) is 1979 redux - where the majority of posters can just discuss the results of the last game? Last night was a game with about two dozen moves/plays, etc. you could talk about. Hell, the 3d and 9th innings had two dozen pitches you could talk about. The big picture is what it is. I;m gonna watch 3 baseball games this weekend and look at the big picture once they stop playing for a week so the guys with big save totals can pitch in an exhibition game instead of some of the best pitchers in the league.

Might sound a bit esoteric, but it is my opinion that there's a bad group dynamic on this team right now. That's something that could change quite a bit with a different manager. Maybe a different manager would set a different tone and/or address some of their shortcomings, such as the failure to make the opposing pitcher throw strikes.

Posted by: limoguy | Friday, July 06, 2012 at 07:01 AM

he isn't going anywhere until at least next year. no chance. zero

Fire Manuel, waive Sanches, and hire Moyer as a player-manager.

Some=body had to say it.

Gelb thinks Charlie might use Cliff Lee out of the BP this weekend. Which would be a new way for us to lose. Or a new way to win.

KK, Blanton & Worley v. Hudson, Hanson, Jurrjens.

I believe KK has done well in his career v. the Braves, so hopefully he'll pitch well tonight. Howard hits Hudson well, so maybe we'll have a fun game.

slightly off topic, but I'd like to mention that Youklis is hitting quite well ever since he was traded away for a fungo bat and a bag o' balls. .308/.357/.487/.844

paraphrase from the last thread, but just wanted to confirm that my feelings still haven't changed from heat of the moment:

The loss last night freed me completely from disappointment going forward. My rational logical side already knew this season was over, but once gametime rolled around the 'fan' in me always took over and gave me hope that there was some magic left.

Thanks to Papelbon (with a little help from Juan Samuel, and Shane Victorino sac bunting in the 3rd inning) now my fan side has been equally neutered from all expectation.

I am free from 2012. Free at last. I can now focus my baseball interests even more heavily on prospects, the trade deadline, 2013 free agency - hell I even might enjoy the HR derby for the first time since I used to idolize Ken Griffey Jr and Frank Thomas.

Thanks Pap, you have freed me.

Nice article JW, however...

I'm still not letting Rube off the hook.

Last nights game is the absolute perfect example of why his pursuit and signing of Papelbon was not even remotely close to the right move for this club. The time has so many holes that at least some of Papelbon's money might have helped fix. Instead, when they do scratch enough together to win, the inherent nature of the closer's role and the fact that its never a good idea to spend that much money on a one inning pitcher come back to bite you. Unless you are talking about Mariano or Kimbrel, who are as automatic as it gets, that money should have been spent elsewhere.

Boston was already saying that this guy was in decline. Despite the streak his started with, I thought that Paps was downright shaky at times. And now, in the last month, he's been terrible.

Yes blame the player for screwing up just like you could blame a support beam for failing when it has to carry too much weight; however you cannot give a pass to the architect for creating a faulty infrastructure and assuming that beam wouldn't fail.

Contrary to Iceman's assertion(s), I'm firmly in the "blame RAJ" camp. He took a team at the top of the baseball world, and gambled on pitching. To get what he wanted, he had an open checkbook, and an open-door policy on the departure of many fine prospects. What's worse is the haul Houston got for Hunter Pence.

Regardless, what's done is done. Moving forward, the only chip he's got left to play with is Hamels. With the holes in this teams lineup, it's absolutely essential that he gets one blue chip prospect for a trade at the deadline. Mike Olt at Texas, or "the one that got away" -- Travis d'Arnaud -- come to mind.

Why would the Blue Jays possibly consider trading for Hamels? Stranger things have happened...

Just one more thing. If Howard and Halladay are being "rushed" back, it's my guess that the FO sees the slow dismantling of their personal ATM machine called CBP. I just bet RAJ has been given a mandate by ownership to "keep up attendance, or else!". I would not want to be RAJ right now.

5-4-1, that post makes little to no sense.

I liked on the end of the last thread reading MG's new "blow it all to hell" plan, which now includes, in addition to trading Halladay and Hamels, moving Chooch. I never thought MG would sink so low as to actually join the Moronocracy on the 'Blow up the team' bus, but with fiercely advocating to get rid of the team's three best players, turns out he's actually driving the bus.

-4-1, that post makes little to no sense.

I liked on the end of the last thread reading MG's new "blow it all to hell" plan, which now includes, in addition to trading Halladay and Hamels, moving Chooch. I never thought MG would sink so low as to actually join the Moronocracy on the 'Blow up the team' bus, but with fiercely advocating to get rid of the team's three best players, turns out he's actually driving the bus.

Posted by: Iceman | Friday, July 06, 2012 at 09:04 AM

Thank you for pointing out your reading comprehension deficiencies. It made perfect sense. Papelbon is to blame for losing the game. Ruben Amaro is to blame for acquiring Papelbon and giving the Phillies zero flexibility. Right now, the Phils would be better served having other pieces to make it to 9th innings with the lead, rather than scratch and claw with the garbage they have and then have the entire offseason budget blow the game.

If you can't understand that logic, than I can no longer help you.

One of the most disappointing losses in a season full of them so far. Had them where they needed them and couldn't close the deal.

Really, really good AB by Tejada to draw the walk. Chooch doesn't hold a (very tough) foul tip. Then Papelbon trips and can't make a (tough) play at first. Then Wright bloops one in on a decent pitch. Maybe Pence could have gotten to it, maybe not. Everything worked out for the Mets in the end and nothing worked for the Phillies. Like R-Bill said, it happens. That's baseball.

Have not seen the team give up yet, though. They seem to still be playing hard. I figure as long as they haven't given up on themselves, I'm going to hang in as well. Not quite ready to go into off season mode yet.

the whole "Boston knew Pap was done" is a joke. Papelbon has one of his best seasons as a pro last year - just because their stupid team choked down the stretch of historic proportion doesn't mean idiot Boston blowhards knew a damn thing.

Ruben made an bad signing, but Papelbon is not a bad pitcher. He's just not $12M closer for 4 consecutive guaranteed years, and honestly, only 1 man in MLB history ever has been.

While looking at the July 6 birthday team at baseballthinkfactory today, I saw two words that I never thought I'd see next to each other. Cy and Blanton. Yesirree, Cy Blanton even pitched for the Phils. http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/blantcy01.shtml

Done? No. Questions about velocity, shoulder strength? Absolutely. Not at all worth the amount of money he was paid.

I still dont understand how RAJ could have been surveying the offensive wreckage after the Cardinals series last October and came to the conclusion of "Hey, if we just had Papbon that would solve all our problems"

also, i'm not saying this because he blew a save or two - big f'n deal. There was a about a 99% chance he was going to blow a few, it means nothing when evaluating his contract.

The various holes on this team and the need to re-sign/acquire players in the immediate future are why the Paplebon signing was a mistake. I and over 50% of beerleauger said this word for word before the ink dried on the deal.

The only reason the deal made the slightest bit of sense is because the team was 'all-in' for 2012 and accepted that acquiring Papelbon services in 2012 would be worth any risk he may pose in the future. Now that lone positive aspect has been washed away and we are left with just the negative, even moreso than I originally predicted.

Papelbon, obviously

Pap was brought in because rube was going under the ASSumption that the three aces and Vance could get them to the 7th then stues and bastardo then pap. But that was thrown off with injuries. Now sure rube should have gone out and signed a steady right handed pitcher for stablity.
I blame rube on the hole in left. Lots of issues need addressed. Oh by the way Franco stil smoking ball as 19 yr old. Almost 20 doubles 7 homers and 50 RBI. Ave I know is down 235 but seems to found something.

As a Red Sox fan who wasn't unhappy to see Papelbon walk, I could gloat. But, I won't. See, that's because Boston also sought a Proven Closer to replace Papelbon. The Sox got fragile Andrew Bailey in a trade where Josh Reddick (19 HRs!) was the main piece. Just remember that there are plenty of ways for a front office to stick it to the fans. There's the $50 million free agent market, and there's the trade market, where you can trade away potential for pitcher who loves the DL.

By the way, Papelbon has often blown saves in crucial games (like the last game of the 2011 season). So, none of this should surprise Phillies fans.

I've been reading this site for years and never commented but now I feel I must so I can say "PapelBUM"

Maybe Moyer should sign with the Phils for middle relief mop up work. His 8.00+ Las Vegas ERA would fit right in with our crapola middle inning staff.

How come when I give up 4ER and two bombs in 7IP I get lambasted on BL, but Hamels gets a pass? It's not fair.

Oooh, do I smell donuts? Who brought donuts?

"the whole "Boston knew Pap was done" is a joke. Papelbon has one of his best seasons as a pro last year - just because their stupid team choked down the stretch of historic proportion doesn't mean idiot Boston blowhards knew a damn thing."

Another dude with reading comprehension problems. None of us were saing 'Pap was done'. What we were saying is that he was NOT worth the historically high closer contract he was demanding, which is why they let him walk. Oh, and by the way, that is NOT my opinion, it's his own words (about wanting to set the bar for closers...)

"Right now, the Phils would be better served having other pieces to make it to 9th innings with the lead, rather than scratch and claw with the garbage they have and then have the entire offseason budget blow the game."

Yeah, I get that, and agree with it. I just don't get why last night was a prime example of why Rube shouldn't have gotten Papelbon. Because he blew the game?

The loss has NOTHING TO DO WITH RUBE. I don't know why he's even in the discussion. It was Pap's failure.

Why the fu!k did samuel waive fontenot home in the 8th??? Why is no one mentioning that awful mistake?!

***The only reason the deal made the slightest bit of sense is because the team was 'all-in' for 2012***

That, and the fact that RubEgo prefers to make news with Big Names and Big Headlines. I agree with the poster who said yesterday that it was also his trump of Boras.

That is also why I believe the next move won’t be gathering some players with good potential yet unknown-to-the-masses. Somehow r00b will go for big news, and it is why I believe that if Hamels has any interest at all in coming back, he’ll be here. It is just consistent with how r00b works.

Comcast post game called this the worst loss of the season (right before asking the bandwagon to stop so he could get off it - not Chris Coste, the white haired guy).

I think the Phillies played very well for 8 innings against a 12-1 pitcher. It's not like they blew a 5 run lead, it was a close, seesaw game all night, and the closer blew a one run lead.

Honestly I didn't expect this collapse till at least 2013-14 but hopefully for Phans, instead of not being competitive again till 2017, maybe it's earlier than that now, but someone else needs to be brought in to rebuild the team for the future. As of now, RAJ has out-Omar Minaya'ed Omar Minaya (he has a ring so I'd say he's outdone him in more ways than one).

Sincerely, a non-native (been here 7 years though)

PS this city should get better commentators who aren't bandwagoners. For example, if I had a dollar for every time FOX29 Bus Stop Buddy didn't wear a particular team shirt because they lost the night before (and the weather woman says this flat out), well I'd have a lot more money.

Too bad they didn't sign Madson to that awful contract that was proposed, he would've nailed down that save last night!

Wait what? Schwimmer would be our closer if that happened?

"Right now, the Phils would be better served having other pieces to make it to 9th innings with the lead, rather than scratch and claw with the garbage they have and then have the entire offseason budget blow the game."

Yeah, I get that, and agree with it. I just don't get why last night was a prime example of why Rube shouldn't have gotten Papelbon. Because he blew the game?

The loss has NOTHING TO DO WITH RUBE. I don't know why he's even in the discussion. It was Pap's failure.

Posted by: Iceman | Friday, July 06, 2012 at 09:52 AM

Ice, ok. I think we all agree that Ruben Amaro was not on the pitcher's mound throwing the pitches that lost the game. I totally get that. I'm not blaming Roob for that one game. That would be foolish. I'm blaming Roob for the whole damn season. This 1 game happens to exist within said season. Unfortunately we've all been forced to watch this collection of has beens and never will be's kicked the ball all over the field partly because Roob wanted Papelbon the same way Elmer Fudd wants to shoot Bugs Bunny. And then when we finally get to that point, Mr. 50M goes and blows it. I'm pissed at Roob because I have to watch the centerpiece of his offseason strategy bury us for good.

Thats why I'm mad at Roob. At this point, I think we ought to have Roob out on the field, because we certainly aren't getting anything else out of his salary.

I'm not going to rip Papelbon for the blown save. It happens. We had some awful luck last night as well. If Fontenot's double in the eighth doesn't hop over the fence, he's on third with one out and Utley coming to the plate, and Papelbon likely goes into the ninth with a two-run lead. Papelbon also locked Tejada on a 2-2 splitter at the knees that was called a ball, setting up the mayhem that followed.

That doesn't excuse the horrid decisions of the Phils' coaching staff, though:

Samuel's decision to wave Fontenot home on Utley's single was inexcusable. Fontenot hadn't even reached third when Hairston fielded the ball. Pierre, an excellent contact hitter even against lefties, would have been up with 1st and 3rd, one out. The run's pretty much inevitable at that point.

Of course, maybe Samuel knew the idiocy that was about to follow. Manuel's decision to pinch-hit JMJ for Pierre would have been horrible even if the lefty, Byrdak, had stayed in the game. Of course, Byrdak didn't, and JMJ was left to hit against a righty, Pedro Beato. I'd sooner see Cliff Lee up against a righty at this point. I'll say this much - Cholly is consistent (remember 6/24 against the Rays, when he used Mini-Mart instead of Pierre against a hard-throwing righty). The problem is he's consistently wrong.

I thought the 2-2 splitter was low. Was it looked at again? Can anyone validate?

thehook: you may be right about Franco, maybe the Phils are telling him to swing for more power at the age of 19 and worry less about avg/obp - not a terrible idea to have a player focus on developing a specific skill.

notclifflee: If you were kind enough to not cut my post in half, you'd read my second paragraph that basically said exactly what you "countered" my post with.

5-4-1 - if I'm not mistaken, PITCHfx had it just above the knees, right down the middle.

"Why the fu!k did samuel waive fontenot home in the 8th??? Why is no one mentioning that awful mistake?!"

Because everyone recognizes that, if Samuel had given the stop sign, Fontenot would have been stranded on 3rd anyhow.

Victorino sac bunting in the 3rd inning (with the lead even!) and getting buried 0-2 on foul bunts before striking out was even more glaring than Samuel trying to send F-kod home with 3-3 Rollins on deck.

-4-1 - if I'm not mistaken, PITCHfx had it just above the knees, right down the middle.

Posted by: ColonelTom | Friday, July 06, 2012 at 10:24 AM

Thanks for clarification. I will admit that when it was called a ball, I thought it was very borderline. On breaking pitches that are in the strike zone then drop out, that call is not always given. I did however, think that in general, the ump was being pretty stingy in the 9th.

"I'm blaming Roob for the whole damn season."

Well, I don't agree with this either, but there's no convincing anyone here that this is a backwards point of view. I'd have better luck trying to start a reasonable discussion about Obama on FoxNews.com. So, go ahead and believe that.

Victorino sac bunting in the 3rd inning (with the lead even!) and getting buried 0-2 on foul bunts before striking out was even more glaring than Samuel trying to send F-kod home with 3-3 Rollins on deck.

Posted by: lorecore | Friday, July 06, 2012 at 10:27 AM

Boy that Victorino, can he get anymore valuable?

The loss has NOTHING TO DO WITH RUBE
No he's not the one giving out overly priced long term contracts, Of course it's his fault.Wasn't even smart enough to do it on the right day.
Poor Rube.

Try and identify the pitcher. One is jon papelbon, the other is chad qualls (recently fired for poor performance):
Reliever A: 9 IP, 13 H, 14 K, 4 BB, HBP, 7ER, 1 HR

Reliever B: 10.2 IP, 15 H, 6 K, 2 BB, 7R, 6ER, 1 HR

Baseball America's newest top 50 prospect ranking just out.

Number of Phillies prospects in the top 50? Zero.

Number of former Phils in the top 50 - 3. (D'Arnaud, Gose, Singleton)

Total number of franchises without a top 50 prospect, 5 (Nats, Phils, Giants, White Sox, A's - Although, some of these other teams, especially the Nats are loaded with young major league talent and some are competitive right now).

Championships are won by having the most prospects ranked in the top 50.

Championships are won by having the most prospects ranked in the top 50.

Posted by: Bedrosian's Beard | Friday, July 06, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Thats true. They are also not won when your organization is devoid of young cheap talent that allows you to build a complete roster, filled in with market value veterens where necessary.

I love when people use this stock answer when prospect lists are brought up.

For those who think this was among the worst losses of the year, cheer up. It wasn't. It's metaphysically impossible for a team which is 14 games out of 1st place, and 8.5 out of the WC, to suffer its worst loss of the year. All the losses which occurred when we were actually still in the race were much worse. Picking a worst one is like picking the best painting in the Vatican. It's just too much information overload for me to even contemplate. Off the top of my head, I would say the worst losses were:

(1) the game where we fell behind Clayton Kershaw 3-0, battled back to tie it, only for Papelbon to lose it in the 9th;

(2) Cliff Lee blowing a 3-run lead to the Orioles, & Savery giving up the game-winner in the 10th.

(3) the Cliff Lee 10-inning shutout game with the Giants;

(4) KK battling Stephen Strasburg to a 1-1 draw, only to have Savery, Qualls & Schwimer come in & blow the game;

(5) The "bullpen game" where Valdes & Savery put us in an 8-2 hole, and we battled back to within 1 run & looked like we were gonna finally have a dramatic come-from-behind-win, only to have Chad Qualls allow 3 more runs in a momentum-killing 8th inning.

Starters' ERAs:

Cole Hamels: 3.20
Vance Worley: 3.46
Cliff Lee: 3.98
Halladay: 3.98
Blanton: 4.85
KK: 5.35


Relievers' ERAs:

Papelbon 3.45
Valdes: 3.48
Schwimer: 3.72
Bastardo: 3.86
Deikman: 3.94
(Qualls: 4.60)

...It goes up from there, all the way to Sanches at 8.53 & Rosenberg at 23.14.

Not great.

I'd add the Home Opener to the list, bap. They dropped a massive growler that afternoon after coughing up the previous two in Pittsburgh. At that point, the writing was clearly on the wall for this season.

That's why you posted it, right? I'd like to have d'Arnaud (injured), but I'd rather have Halladay.

It doesn't matter who you point the finger at now, at this point all hope for making the playoffs is effectively gone.

The question is, do you trust RAJ to push the right buttons and put the right pieces in place for 2013?

I have the bullpen game as #1.

Just won two straight against a hot Pirates team, Saint Utley returns and goes back to back with Carlos Ruiz in the first inning.

The bullpen blew that lead immediately and the Phils lost their next six games, which eliminated almost all chances of playoff hopes.

I'm surprised the Braves game doesn't make the list. 6-0 lead with Halladay on the mound. Halladay blows it. Team fights back and the bullpen blows (I think) 2 more leads (at least one of them was 3 runs). We watch in agony as Schwimmer soils himself on the mound to blow the lead in the 8th inning. Score a run off Kimbrel in the 9th (not a small feat) to tie it up. Papelbon sits and watches Brian Sanches give up a walk-off to Chipper to lose it.

That was probably the worst, with the Lee 10-inning shutout a close second.

lore: I'd forgotten that the bullpen game was also the game when Utley returned & immediately hit a homerun. Now that I remember that detail, plus the fact that we'd won 2 in a row, I would have to agree with you that it goes to the top. It wasn't just a loss. It was a giant buzz kill. And, come to think of it, the next game -- in which KK gave up 5 in the 1st & we battled back only to come up 1 run short -- was a worthy sequel. Before that game, I remember thinking, "Last night sucked but if we can take 3 of 4 against a playoff contending team, we might be back in business." Alas . . .

Iceman: I thought of that game but, for some reason, I "misremembered" and thought that we had ended up winning. You're right, though. That one belongs on the list.

Like I said, there are just so many worthy candidates to choose from. The ones which I would rank at the top, though, are the ones which came right as a fan might have started to believe that things were turning around. That's why the bullpen game belongs at the top, IMO.

I still dont understand how RAJ could have been surveying the offensive wreckage after the Cardinals series last October and came to the conclusion of "Hey, if we just had Paplebon that would solve all our problems"

This is the question which should define r00b's tenure as GM. Utterly clueless.

Rangers the fav to land Cole when we trade him.

Again, the reason this season has gone down the tubes has been the pitching and injuries...RAJ knew about the injury issues and quite possibly should have done more to account for it, but I don't think anyone anticipated the starting rotation vastly underperforming, or Doc getting hurt, pitching poorly for a month, and missing 6-7 weeks of the season.

Rube was correct that he needed to target BP help, but obviously the way he decided to attack the problem has proven to be wrong.

If the SPs were performing like they had last year, this team would still be in the hunt.

Yo, new thread

And mike olt is the name starting to float around. Angels too are looking into it with all the problems they are having. Now up to ten teams starting to look into Cole. Philles could be setting themselves up to add a few pcs to help kick start retooling process.

"notclifflee: If you were kind enough to not cut my post in half, you'd read my second paragraph that basically said exactly what you "countered" my post with. "

Locore, I wasn't trying to be dishonest by selective editing, sorry if you thought that. I must confess I don't get your point then. Our team DID blow a lead in a historic fashion last September, but I don't see what that has to do with recognizing that Paps was not worth what he was demanding to not walk. Sorry, I don't think you were clear at all :(

"KK, Blanton & Worley v. Hudson, Hanson, Jurrjens"

Yet, the Phils are -105 to win the series? Puzzling.

For sure, there are a number of great candidates for toughest loss. It's sort of like trying to evaluate the worst meals you've ever been served - it's in the eye of the beholder.

For some reason last night's stung a bit more than a couple of the others. A week ago Chase came back and homered in his first game. Doc and Ryan are due back any day. Cliff just got a win, looked like Cliff Lee in the process, and got a little run support. Doc drenched Lee with Gatorade and players were actually smiling in the dugout. There were a couple of good quotes by Doc and Papelbon about not giving up on the season. All star breal coming, time to maybe turn the corner. I thought in spite of how bad things had been going, things were looking up.

Then last night was yet another variation of how to find another way to lose a pretty big game. Ugh.

Like I said, though, as long as the players haven't given up and are still fighting, I'm pulling for them all.


If the Phils deal Hamels, the Rangers and Angels will be in on him, as will Toronto and Detroit.

I'm not 100% sure Hamels will be the starting pitcher they trade, though. If three things happen - (1) Toronto stays in the race, (2) Halladay comes back healthy soon, and (3) Hamels gives RAJ a number he can stomach, I could see Hamels getting the extension and Doc heading back to Toronto for a substantial haul of prospects.

$hit happens, but I detest the awful JO attitude by Papelbon. I was hoping that Lee had decked Victorino last month after two fly balls he screwed up in a single inning, but to no avail. There seems to be a complete lack of urgency coursing through the veins of these current players that was found readily over the past several years. Its like that these guys don't give a flying phuck. Because of that it ought to be goodbye Charlie; he's lost the team.

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EST. 2005

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