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Thursday, July 12, 2012


repost from last thread:

@ice --
Are the relievers pitching MORE innings this year compared to last year??? A little bit.

last year the Starters averaged: 6.57 IP/S

This year the starters have averaged: 6.42IP/S

But look at the previous years... so while the starters aren't going as long as last year... they are still going further than recent history.

2010: 6.39
2009: 5.94
2008: 5.96
2007: 5.79
2006: 6.25

Its just that both the starters and bullpen are both severely under-performing... but i don't know if the starters are exposing the bullpen with less innings or that the starters are being left out to dry to make up for the pen's weaknesses.

Its just across the board the WHOLE staff is letting up more than a full run per inning than they were last year... no matter if its the innings:

1-3 1.06 -- difference in ERA
4-6 1.32
7-9 1.11

Well said, JW. That's why you're the guy who invented Beerleaguer.

One question, though, and this is open to all: Would Pat Gillick still be on top right now?

Alas many jumped down my throat when I posted this in February:

awh: confirmation bias ==wishful thinking.
I must be wrong because the following is simply not true:
2008 WS
2009 In WS but lost
2010 Won Division lost Penant
2011-In but lost Division
In that time we had the same core team but improved pitching.
Surely its my confirmation bias that makes me wish for some replacement parts.

Posted by: RK | Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 03:56 PM

oh, the agony

BTW my point in repeating my post from the past (one of many I wrote in the past 2 years on the need to move on and trade the guys) is to simply point out that if I saw it for sure Phillies management should have seen it.
The question remains did they or didn't they?
But either way its FO and by definition RAJ who has to take the blame. The only excuse would be if he alerted ownership and they simply decided to hoof it anyway--a possibility.

Its normal that there winners and losers.

Its normal that a playoff team last year is not a playoff team this year.

It's normal that there are first place teams.

It's normal that there are last place teams.

What's not normal?

When last year's first place team becomes this year's last place team.

When last year's team wins 100 wins and next year's team is on pace to close to 100.

When last year's team with the best record becomes this year's team with the worst record... (or close to it)

They'll have a significantly better second half than first half. Don't think they're even sniffing 100 losses.

I got a chuckle out of the banner ad off to the right with the "Exclusive Coverage of Halladay's Rehab Start on Comcast Network."

It feels like there have been more meaningful Phillies minor league games this season than they've had in the bigs. I'm starting to regret not getting the package. Though, if I had, I'd be curious to see when the tipping point of prioritizing the minor league games over the MLB games would occur.

I'm with JW, they'll actually be a very good 2nd half team (barring catastrophic meltdown).

The problem is that the hole they dug in the 1st half is too deep for a good 2nd half to even mean anything.

Should be a tale of two different teams, though.

If not, then 2013 is more of a lost cause than we'd ALL care to admit.

They should've won in 2009, but Hamels and Lidge double-handedly ruined that dream (Still love you, Cole, kinda hate you, Brad).

And they maybe should've won last year, except they didn't. I don't blame anyone in particular, they ran into a hot Cardinals team and didn't slam the door shut when they had the chance.

In fact, they've lost the last three years to the eventual World Series champions. Hard to get too mad at that, just sad that another trophy never came back to Philly.

No team can stay on top every year, but the team which chooses to define itself by winning championships has a far better chance than one which seeks to build an identity separate from on field performance. The past few seasons have been a missed, & mismanaged, opportunity.

JW is right. There's not much you can do to avoid the basic cycle of these things.

We just have to accept it and realize how awesome the last five years were--most teams never have five-year runs of success like the Phillies just did.

Now the challenge is to minimize the down part of the cycle. Of course, that will be impossible if the GM and Front Office don't realize that it *is* the down part of the cycle.

JW, on the bright side, the Phillies will not lose a game today. Tomorrow begins Hell, Part 2.

RK: Correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to be saying that the progressively worse performance by the Phillies in the post-season had nothing to do with the random nature of short-series outcomes, but was significant evidence of a team in decline. Am I correct about that?

Why are you making fun of me? Is this season a joke to you?

Posted by: Anguished Phillies Fan | Thursday, July 12, 2012 at 04:07 PM

Don't respond to me in ALL CAPS!! and I won't make fun of it.

Hamels to Pittsburgh? I'd rather see him go to a crappy town that's not far away with a bubble MLB team than go to TX (powerhouse), LA (hometown), or NYY (lavish digs with new clubhouses).

If it nets the Phillies at least one plus prospect and budget flexibility for next year, I'm for it.

Chris: Don't feed the troll

clout: That has been RK's working theory for about 3 years now.

i'm so tired of hearing this "gradual decline" argument because we made it progressively less far in the playoffs each of the last 4 years.

the playoffs are a crap-shoot. they do not reflect the performance of the respective teams. the phils have actually gotten progressively better each of the last 4 years.

king myno's attitude towards Brad Lidge is another good example of why Philadelphia fans get the reputation they do. Complete idiocy.

Good post. The underlying point here- that the team choked in 2010 and 2011, despite having the best team in the league both times- should be acknowledged more than it actually is. Instead, there's some sort of bizarre revisionist history that the FO built a fatally flawed team, blah blah blah, because some people live for vilifying management.

The fact is that this team was given a 3-5 year window by the current regime, the first three years of which they were the best NL team assembled entering the playoffs. 2009 they got beaten by a better team (though it was close). The next two years, they were beaten by inferior teams. It's a shame.

I still think next year they've got a real chance, but this year goes to show you that it just isn't possible to be dominant every year. The fact that we got to watch this team excel for so long is really a blessing.

I'll immediately retract my comment about them 'choking' in 2010. The SF pitching staff was on a historic run of dominance. Not much you can do about that, though their Game 6 performance left something to be desired.

Last year..., yeah they choked.

The Phillies had a legitimate shot at 4-prating if they'd caught a couple breaks in the post-season (like if hideous matsui and Cody Ross were never born) can't ask for much more than that out of a FO.

If the Postseason were as random as so many claim MLB might as well have a World Series which consists of coin flips rather than a World Series consisting of baseball games.

I think the problem with this season is that we still have the Hot Stove Rotation over there to the right. If we had gotten our required '70s rock, indie rock and hip hop album recommendations, the season could have gotten started properly.

How does Halladay look?

Cyclic: Tall. Right-handed. Still low velocity. Poor location. Basically, rusty.

GTown: If they did it that way, I would expect results very similar to the ones which actually happen. There is very little, if any, correlation between regular season record & post-season results. That was true even before the divisional and Wild Card formats. But the divisional and Wild Card formats have only increased the likelihood of crowning an undeserving World Series winner, since the deserving team now has to win 3 series in a row whereas, before 1969, it only had to win 1.

They still chocked in 2010.

20 years from now, ill blame the players in 2009-2012. Ownership spent the money and Ruben acquired grade A talent. The on-field performance is what ruined this team's place in history.

b_a_p: One might as well argue that the more deserving team now wins, as they'll have to take 3 series (&, possibly, 1 play-in game), to become champion, whereas it used to only take 1 series win. In any case I'm not esp. impressed by winning 102 games in an increasingly meaningless regular season. Playing well against good teams in a pressure situation is more of a feat than pummeling weak teams w/ regularity.

Also, I think Halladay needs another rehab start. He's not looking ready for prime time quite yet (although that's understandable after a long layoff).

GTown: The goal is to win it all no matter how flawed the system. Hence, I'd much rather see the Phillies win the World Series after an 89-win season than see them lose in the playoffs after a 107-win season. Objectively speaking, however, I'm hard-pressed to see how anyone could claim that the 89-win team is the better one.

On this season: The team got hit with a bunch of set-backs (Howard, Utley, Doc, plus other DL stints to Lee, Galvis, and others...) and now they are not in position to go to the post-season. This happens a lot in this game. Is that a reason to have a sell-off? No. Especially when you don't know what you have got. How well can Utley, Howard, and Doc play going forward? Sure, small sample from Utley is not impressive, but that could be just rust. We won't know until some time has passed, or specifically the second half of this season. Ease them back in full time, give them some time to get into the their rythims, then see what we've got. Only then will we truly know.

On building championship teams: Sometimes "Good Enough" and a little luck is all you need. That describes the 2008 team fairly well. And the Cards last year. So the question is, "Does this team have the potential to be 'Good Enough'?" I do not believe we will know until we find out what we have in Utley, Howard, and Doc.

On Utley: I fear his playing days are numbered. If he finds he can still hit I see the letters "D" and "H" in his future. Or he may have a Koufax moment where he decides that he would rather retire early and save his knees than keep playing and wind up in a wheel chair.

On Howard: I believe he will return to his 30HR 100RBI ways for at least a few more years, though is AVG will suffer.

On Doc: I fear he ages more than we would like and his loss of velocity (and rotation) is permanent and must transition from being a pitcher with overpowering stuff to one of finesse who must locate and get calls or else gets hit around. Like we all witnessed earlier this year.

Brace yourself for a good second half where the Phillies (much like the Eagles) will try desperately to try to dig themselves out of a hole that's way too deep only to miss the playoffs by a whisker and screw up the great draft pick they once had.

GTown, sounds like I shouldn't expect to see a Halladay start at Dodger stadium next week?

At least I'll have the free beach chair.

b_a_p: I suppose the only way in which to make a truly educated decision on that matter would be through some measure of "strength of schedule". Of course all such metrics are subject to criticism, & the MLB fiefdom hardly needs more eggheads. I usually wind up feeling the team which wins it all is by virtue of having done so the most worthy. 100+ wins & no parade? Meh.

Preacher: Quite the contrary. If most observers feel Halladay would be best served by making another rehab start before returning to the regular rotation, the Phillies are bound to ship him out your way next week.


...On Doc: I fear he ages more than we would like and his loss of velocity (and rotation) is permanent and must transition from being a pitcher with overpowering stuff to one of finesse who must locate and get calls or else gets hit around. Like we all witnessed earlier this year.

Posted by: Shane | Thursday, July 12, 2012 at 07:55 PM

That's odd, Shane -- I stated almost the same thing about 5 weeks ago -- regarding both Doc and Cliff Lee -- and clout promptly declared it a "moronic" post or some such thing.

Fact is, I don't believe either Halladay or Lee are effective unless the umps are "in their corner". I also believe that there was a time when Doc could glare down an ump and have his way.

Doc still glares. Have his way? No so much this year. However, we'll see when he comes back.

As a poster on a Phillies blog, at least this season has given me the opportunity for a commenter's grand slam, and the season is only half over:

- started the season bemoaning the offensive and an inability to score runs
- the defense has shown stretches of extreme ineptitude; who can forget this gem?:
- the bullpen has been predictably bad, and largely mismanaged by Manuel
- Thanks to Doc's injury and the Cliff Lee imposter that stole his uniform, the Starting Pitching has lacked

Frankly, Beerleaguer should be swarming with traffic.

Clout and BAP: Yes.
And BAP not 3 years 2 years to be exact.
Its not the only statistic but it is a pretty important summary that has 3 + years going for it.
I think its indisputable that Utley in particular and Rollins and Howard etc. are past their peak and have been so for sometime.

I think the notion that "This just happens" leaves too much to fortune and chance and absolves decision making as a major factor. Any objective retrospective view would highlight a few transactions that contributed to the declining performance, but not necessarily caused it. In business, quarterly earnings and year end assessments aren't created with the notation "I know we didn't sell nearly as much product but we sold a lot last year and those things happen". I am 50/50 on Ruben, but I would highlight:

1. The decision to re-sign Blanton when he could have been non-tendered...which led to...
2. The trade of Cliff Lee to the Mariners for a very subpar package of minor leaguers
3. The decision to sign Papelbon while accepting the risk of a Mayberry/Nix platoon. Knowing Howard is out, Polanco has a rapidly declining OPS, Rollins is a year older and Utley has a degenerative knee condition and was in himself a HUGE risk...makes the decision to double down on pitching dubious.

I am NOT assessing blame, simply highlighting decisions which contributed to poor performance.

Was risking Mayberry in left that big an issue though? I know obviously it hasn't worked out but Mayberry really was very good in the second half last season. He posted a slash line of .299/.354/.576/.931 and hit 10 home runs. Yes he had been in Triple A for a long time but he wouldn't have been the first guy to all of a sudden put it together at the major league level.

On top of that- it isn't as if Amaro went into the season solely resting on Mayberry. He brought in Nix and Pierre to help fill in any gaps and unfortunately Mayberry has not responded very well this year and the move looks glaringly bad because of it. However, I understand the move- if he was even giving you 80% of his numbers last year he is a nice guy in the lineup and costs significantly less money than many free agents that were out there.

I said this the other week too- the problem is not that Mayberry is taking fastballs down the middle for first strikes. The problem is that he seems lost after that. You can't just go up there swinging first pitch fastball all the time cause that doesn't work out either. The issue is he needs to understand what a pitcher is going to try and do after they get ahead 0-1. He has to know he is going to get breaking stuff off the plate and try to punch it the other way or just lay off it. He is trying to pull everything right now either on purpose or because he isn't recognizing the gameplan. Hopefully that changes so he can at least go back to being a solid 4th/5th outfielder and good first right handed option off the bench late in a game

PatrickJ: Excellent post.

bruceg: "i'm so tired of hearing this "gradual decline" argument because we made it progressively less far in the playoffs each of the last 4 years.

the playoffs are a crap-shoot. they do not reflect the performance of the respective teams. the phils have actually gotten progressively better each of the last 4 years."

Best post of the thread.

The playoffs are a crapshoot yes. For that matter, every game is a crapshoot. Trend analysis tells the story. One of the "fun" aspects of baseball is the fact that there are 162 games which is a lot of data to sift from.

The data I offered may be simplistic to your taste but speaks volumes to the reality. Every year leading to the WS the Phils beat the prior year's achievement.
On the other hand, each year after the WS the Phils were short the prior year's achievement. In fact i would argue this is the best statistic because it encapsulates all the others.

The team RAJ assembled should have been able to tread water at .500, at least, until Utley and Howard returned.

Doc's injury was a big factor, but don't underestimate the effect of losing role players like Contreras, Stutes, Herndon, and Nix. Stutes and Herndon (along with Qualls) were supposed to help bridge the gap until Contreras settled back into form. They were hurt from the get-go and the bullpen struggled. Then once Contreras hit his stride in the last two weeks of May, the bullpen started looking a whole lot better. Contreras' elbow fell apart on June 1, and so did the bullpen.

Nix posted a .979 OPS in limited duty before his injury and gave Cholly a viable lefty option at 1B. Nix went down, Wigginton started playing more frequently against RHP, and his production tanked (.284/.352/.395 before Nix's injury, .227/.300/.400 since).

RAJ faced a difficult problem in finding good fill-ins for Utley and Howard - if a guy's a good player, he wants to be an everyday player, not a placeholder until the incumbent returns. He also wants to be paid like an everyday player. You don't sign an everyday guy like Michael Cuddyer (the player many fans wanted) for that role. He's posted a 99 OPS+ for Colorado - be glad we didn't end up with him for 3 years and $31.5M.

Likewise, the guys willing to take a fill-in role weren't appreciably better options than Galvis, so RAJ rolled the dice with Freddy. That was starting to look like a good move before the back fracture and the suspension - once again, RAJ couldn't have known that was coming. His replacements, Fontenot and Orr, hit just fine but somehow forgot how to play defense this season.

Look, this year sucks. I'm certain it's embarrassing and painful for the guys on the team and in the front office. But lost seasons like this happen - ask the 1979 Phils. May our follow-up to this lost season be as good as theirs.

Back in the earlier part of the 5 year stretch of non-suckiness we were told repeatedly that we just lucked out in 2008 because we got to face the Rays instead of the Red Sox.

Good to know now that the 'progressively worse' meme crowd has belatedly given us credit for winning in 2008 now.

When progressively better regular season teams perform progressively worse when it counts the most, fans experience an ever-greater & more acute sense of disappointment. r00b's spending spree is largely pointless if all one need do is assemble a team "competitive" enough to "have a chance" at making the "crap-shoot".

RK: So you would say a team's performance in 7 games tells you more than a team's performance in 162 games?

Actually even winning a crapshoot game or series takes a special team. I would think the ingredients are less long ball and more "run manufacturing" alas that takes swift management--not CM's strong suit to be kind.

Clout I would not say that.

The difference between 162 games and 7 games is that over 162 games guys like Howard will make a big difference--the law of averages is that he will get many HRs and many RBIs.

In 7 games flexible and fine tuned management will make the difference.

Yeah, I have the same feeling on Halladay that I do on Howard. He should not be pitching this soon.

But if he's gonna throw, might as well be against MLB hitters. What? You want another KK "I kept them in the game" special?

The most interesting thing to watch in the second half will be Halladay. If he doesn't bounce back to his normal self, most will assume he has officially declined. Either way, the lighter workload will be a good thing for 2013.

JW good post, filled with a mixture of common sense and resignation.

One of those grief stages or other is kicking in, I think. Most of the mis-directed anger has passed and we're trying to get our bearings- find some measure of how bad is it going to get, and what kind of recovery can we hope for.

However, if the Phillies play another of those games tomorrow night where it looks like they collectively mailed it in- Perspective be damned !

The Phillies absolutely got progressively better from the 2007 season on, up through last season.

The playoffs largely are a crapshoot, although I will say one thing about that. I have no idea if the data supports me here, but I believe that a decline in power hurt the team in the playoffs the last couple of seasons. In close playoff games against good pitching, the single most important offensive weapon is power--the ability to change the score with one good swing. You probably aren't going to string together a sequence of singles and doubles against a guy like Chris Carpenter. However, if you can score with one swing, it's a huge advantage.

So while I'm fully on board with the "Phils were the best team, they just got beat randomly in the playoffs" school of thought, I do think that particular weakness of recent Phils' teams was exposed.

"The past few seasons have been a missed, & mismanaged, opportunity."

That's an excellent point. Winning 102 games is obviously a missed and mismanaged opportunity. As, of course, is having the best record in baseball two years running.

CN- That's one rumor I would like to be right.

It seems a lot of posts here are debating if a loss in the playoffs is a better indicator of the team than a 162 game season. Count me squarely in the camp of "When you have a payroll over $80 million higher than any other NL Team, the goal is to win the world series." Regular Seasons are Part One of Three, the second and third being the NL Pennant and the World Series. Losing in the second phase ONLY diminishes the 102 win season, losing in the third is not a crime in my book. Playoff conditions are MUCH different than a regular season series as you face a teams best pitchers only, and if the schedule allows, games are managed much differently.

Cole Hamels knows -- and, most importantly, his freakin' agent knows! -- that Cole's worth C.C. Sabathia money.

Good luck, RAJ -- selling the FO on that 8th year vesting option's gonna' be a bee atch...

... games are managed much differently.

Unless the manager in question is Charles Fuqua Manuel, Jr., in which case he'll be making the exact same f*cking moves in the exact same f*cking order as he did in every game of the regular season. Yeah, try & counter that, opposing manager!

Count me squarely in the camp of "When you have a payroll over $80 million higher than any other NL Team, the goal is to win the world series."

Sure, that's the goal, but I don't know how realistic it is to expect it. I would argue that even a team with a payroll of $300M and a true-talent record of, say, 125-37, would only have a ~50% chance of winning the WS (50% is a guess: the point is that the chance would be well below 100%).

If payroll was the true key to WS success the Yankees would win every year.
Bad enough that they win as frequently as they do.

Rather than a crapshoot, i think the playoffs are like a raffle. The bigger the payroll , the more tickets you can buy.
But the little guys with only a few tickets still have some chance.

World Series Winners & Team Payroll Ranking (since MLB first held a three round Postseason in 1995):

'11 10th St. Louis / '10 9th San Francisco / '09 1st NYY / '08 12th Philadelphia / '07 2nd Boston / '06 11th St. Louis / '05 13th CWS / '04 2nd Boston / '03 25th Florida / '02 15th Anaheim / '01 8th Arizona / '00 1st NYY / '99 1st NYY / '98 2nd NYY / '97 7th Florida / '96 1st NYY / '95 3rd Atlanta

Top 2: 7 (of 17) (41%)

Top 5: 8 (of 17) (47%)

Top 10: 12 (of 17) (71%)

Top 15: 16 (of 17) (94%)

16th+: 1 (of 17) (6%)

Well, here we go. The FO is panicking and ready to offer Hamels a deal that will keep him away from FA.

I'd honestly not be surprised by anything. 7/180 would not surprise me. At the least, it's a lock they're going 7 years.

Bubba, I like the raffle analogy.

Make your predictions everyone:

I still hold that Hamels signs a 6/140 contract with an option to make it 7/160-170.

The first two years will be ~20 million and then bump up to 25 million a year in 2015.

TTI- I think your range is about correct. I'll bet it's either 7 years straight out or an easily attainable option for a 7th.

Since they're reportedly comfortable giving him the money, the only thing that could change in this offer would be the years. They're going to make him an offer they feel he can't refuse. It will test whether or not he's full of sh*t about testing FA no matter what.

I'm still adding to my prediction that Pence gets moved. I've read two suggestions (one last night by Murphy) in the past few days that this would be the corresponding move to make, and I think Rube admits his mistake and gets a few prospects by dealing Pence and not Hamels. Brown is penciled in next year for one of the OF spots.

7 years/$185mm with an 8th year vesting option. The Phillies have absolutely no shot. King Cole's donning the LA Dodger cap -- offered to him by Clayton Kershaw at the AS Game -- spoke volumes.

If I had to overpay to keep a player on this roster, Cole Hamels would be #1, and in another universe of #2.

Having said that - how could the Phillies be waiting until the trade deadline to make their best offer?! That is complete ineptitude. If they really wanted this guy, they should have made it happen a long time ago. The longer they waited just made it easier for Cole to hold out for more.


anguished: What brought you on board in 06? I'm guessing the genius of the Abreu trade, right?

APF is a caricature like Fan Since '09 on the Fightins. funnier than some of the other trolls.

I imagine the Phils are stressed about Hamels. 7-8 year contracts are such gambles. I just can't imagine they're betting $185M over that time frame, but, it will probably come close. The flip side of that gamble is on Hamels, who might be induced to consider a short deal - say 4 years - at a higher annual value. Assuming he's healthy through 2016, he could be in line another contract that aggregates something like $225-250M in that time frame. I assume he takes the bird in hand but, that's pretty heady stuff for a 28 year old.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, Brad Lidge had a 7.21 ERA in 2009 and only pitched about 60 innings combined in 2010-2011. We're not allowed to be upset at him for contributing practically nothing after 2008?

I know it's his job to pitch, not decide what inning and how long (or if he should be on the DL), so Charlie should get the bulk of the blame for acting like Lidge was still a top closer in 2009. And obviously Rube/Gillick/the front office should be blamed for handing out such an ill-advised extension. But the fact remains that he was god awful for a calendar and played a very large role in costing them a second title.

I love him for 2008 but this team won that year largely because of a shutdown bullpen, and Lidge never gave them anything close that kind of performance ever again.

I am not equating a massive payroll advantage with a 100% chance of winning the WS. I never offered that position. The stats verify that being in the top five in payroll nearly guarantees that a team will make the playoffs only. I added that advancing in the playoffs is more than luck and a lottery as those notions excuse an inability to manufacture runs when the power has been offset by improved pitching every game. Further, UCs disinterest in playing that style is also a factor. My opinion is that the FO made 2 key decisions which contributed to the decline (non tendering Blanton and trading Lee / signing Papelbon vs upgrading offense). Coupled with UCs insistence on playing AL ball with a power deficient lineup, and you have a recipe for underperformance.

Profar #1 in Keith Law's mid season ranking, while Olt at #48. I think Olt is #11 in BA's - so lets hope the Phils/Rangers focus on Law's rankings when they talk trade.

"Lidge never gave them anything close that kind of performance ever again."

Who gives a flying crap? Matt Stairs hit one HR and he is revered in this town like he's Benjamin Franklin or something.

Plus, you discard the fact that Hamels was as responsible (if not more so) for losing in 2009 as Lidge. One AB to A-Rod burned up all of Lidge's goodwill. It's a sick joke.

Brad Lidge was the single most important factor in winning the division and running through the playoffs in 2008, and he's treated like garbage by fans who have absolutely no perspective whatsoever.

You're letting Amaro off pretty easily here. The fact that baseball teams go through natural cycles does not excuse his many poor decisions, which were recognized as poor decisions in real time, and have turned out precisely as feared.

And by the way, that was the only game of any importance Lidge ever cost the Phils (and it was a tie game, btw- not like he blew a lead. Madson blew many of important tie games).

He was garbage in 2009 but was absolutely integral down the stretch in 2010, both in terms of charging back to win the division and in the playoffs. 2011 he didn't contribute much, but the juggernaut didn't need him, and he certainly wasn't the reason they lost in the playoffs.

Plain and simple, this is why the media rags on Philly all the time. A small section of goon fans who insist on being the loudest without the slightest bit of perspective.

icemna: so Hamels is 'as responsible' in 2009, but Lidge is single most important in 2008?

I dont disagree with your overall message, but you got to admit thats a pretty weighted argument.

That's the first and only time you will hear someone say that BL is letting Amaro off easily here.

Rumors galore about the Phillies making a huge offer to re-sign Hamels.

Hmmm anyone else extremely skeptical why this report is being leaked?

Sounds like the Phils spread this rumor, so when they can't come to an agreement - the Phils throw up their hands as trying their hardest...but forced to trade "Hollywood".

I imagine the Phils are stressed about Hamels. 7-8 year contracts are such gambles. I just can't imagine they're betting $185M over that time frame, but, it will probably come close. The flip side of that gamble is on Hamels, who might be induced to consider a short deal - say 4 years - at a higher annual value. Assuming he's healthy through 2016, he could be in line another contract that aggregates something like $225-250M in that time frame. I assume he takes the bird in hand but, that's pretty heady stuff for a 28 year old.

Posted by: Hugh Mulcahy | Friday, July 13, 2012 at 09:28 AM

Hamels could take a shorter deal, but considering the Phils have already supposedly offered him a 4-year deal in the range of 25 mil per (which I believe would set a new record for AAV for a pitcher) and he's turned it down, I doubt he's looking for anything less than 6 years guaranteed.

Since most writers are claiming the FO is agonizing over whether to go over the 5-year limit on contracts for pitchers, I would guess the Phils have worked up to 5 years guaranteed with a 6th year option (very similar to Lee's deal) but the Hamels camp is probably standing pat on 6 guaranteed (and maybe a 7th option).

One thing I do know is IF the Phils get him signed, it's a pretty clear indication that they're willing to pass the Luxury Tax threshold for 2013 (and probably 2013 alone) to keep things going. If Hamels is on the books at 24 AAV or so, there's virtually no way to stay under the cap.

I don't think there's much more RAJ could have done about the lineup in the offseason. No 1st or 2nd tier 1B's or 2B's were going to sign here if not for $ reasons then for playing time reasons. in November, no one knew how much time Howard & Utley would miss. And, if you are a 3rd tier guy looking for a 1 year deal, you want a starting job so you can hopefully get a bigger deal next year. Team was saying Utley & Howard were coming back soon, why would I want to ride the bench for the last 2/3rds of the season. So really, RAJ was left with bench guys, and he picked up some of the better pedigreed bench players in Wiggington, Nix & Pierre. Leftfield was always going to be dicey. Mayberry had earned a shot and worst case scenario, would still be dangerous in a platoon. only things he should have worked on was a better backup middle infielder (was supposed to be Galvis b4 Utley got hurt) and perhaps looking at Polly as a sunk cost and spending big on Aramis Ramirez.

Nix was performing quite well before getting injured, and Pierre has been one of the best surprises of the Phils' season. Wigginton is a strict platoon player (and was acquired as such), and was performing pretty well in that role before Nix got hurt.

There was no indication from Utley or the Phils that they thought he wouldn't be prepared for the start of the season, so it's hard to fault RAJ for that one...from what I've gathered it sounds like Utley basically sandbagged the organization.

John Sickles did a mid-season review of his top 20 prospects for the Phillies. At this point, a lot rides on the last 2 drafts, because the cupboard above short-season ball is pretty bare-- Biddle and not much else.

Here's my nightmare scenario:

Phillies decide to "break the bank" (at least by their standards) & re-sign Hamels in a 6 year deal w/ an easily obtainable 7th year.

They pick up Polanco's option.

They trade Pence in anticipation of Dom Brown (who, in my opinion, will remain injury prone & never be even nearly as productive offensively as Pence).

They re-sign Vic & Pierre.

They let Fontenot walk for '13, anticipating that Galvis, Wiggingto & Martinez will be enough INF depth.

They chalk up the bullpen disaster to "bad luck", & figure all will be well once Herndon, Stutes, etc. are healthy.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to throw up.

Yo, new thread

Teams can stay winners (THEM DAMN YANKEES)

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EST. 2005

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