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Monday, September 17, 2012


Go, Pirates.

I don't have that much hope for them, however.

Anyone care to enlighten me on why "playoff odds" is a useful statistic?

re: howard bashing

I have a pretty good feeling that Howard only came back this season, or at least as early as he did, because of how pathetic this team finished the first half of the season.

Phils tried squeezing a miracle out of him, and now his long list of haters have fuel to burn him for putting his body on the line to try and help their peice of garbage baseball team not finish in last place while far from being recovered.

Yes, Howard played poorly and likely didn't improve this team's chance to win much at all. Theres no defending his actual performance, but he was far from the reason why this team is eliminated from their division race with double digit games to still play.

Anyone who doesn't recognize the caveat of Howard's year is just bitter about how bad the Phillies sucked ass this year, and are likely tired of blasting the 80% of the roster who are responsible.

Until and unless they reel off another 6 or 7-game winning streak and pull within a game or two of the WC leader, here is where I'm at with this team:

Watch the Phillies game if it's on and I'm around? Yes.

Check the Cardinals, Dodgers, Pirates, and Brewers box scores and hope that they lose? Yes.

Become livid if the Phillies get shut out or blow an 11-run lead? No.

Plan my evenings and weekends around the Phillies game? Hell no.

Very well put, bap. That's where I am as well.

BAP, I share a similar plan.

Though, I may make it appointment viewing if/when the Phils are eliminated and they finally pull the trigger on starting Ruf and/or the "Utley at 3B" experiment. Outside of that, it's welcome background noise.

Oh, and with the HUGE caveat that it will be RADIO FEED AUDIO ONLY (either straight radio or radio overlay)!!!!

I can't tolerate another 26 seconds of TBag in 2012. I just can't do it.

BTW, in this advanced day and age in which we live, wouldn't you think that there's got to be some middle ground between the overly cautious approach the Nats have taken with Strasburg and the "throw caution to the wind" approach the Phillies have taken with Howard and Utley?

Just two completely polarized viewpoints on playing time, medical impact, etc. Both have come under scrutiny and I think most agree that there's significant gray area. I'm just blown away with how vastly different the medical direction is between these two teams.

On a related note, if I'm NovaCare, I'm seriously reconsidering my advertising association as the "Preferred Physical Therapy Provider of the Philadelphia Phillies" after this season. Can't be good for business...

From the lat thread:

"Anyone who doesn't recognize the caveat of Howard's year is just bitter about how bad the Phillies sucked ass this year, and are likely tired of blasting the 80% of the roster who are responsible."

Lore~ Who put the roster together? Not many people are calling that guy on the carpet. Yes, Howard has played poorly, (to be expected, given his injury) but it's just short of a miracle he's playing this year at all. He's gonna wind up with 50+ RBI. Currently he has 46, which is more than Wiggy's 43, and he's played in 50+ more games. Goes back to my point earlier that you just can't patch it together, whicj RAJ tried to do.

Amaro misread the entire state of the team iin the off-season. I hope he doesn't repeat that mistake. The accountability starts with him. And even though the players are the ones who actually have to perform, due to the nature of things, many were asked to more than they were capable of. As a result, the pitchers tried to be too fine, tried to carry the load, etc. We all know what happened

lorecore: I completely understand, and acknowledge, the caveat of Howard's year. But the caveat to that caveat is that he was already on a steep year-to-year decline even before this season.

When Howard signed his contract, we thought we were signing a guy who hits 45 homeruns, with a .900 OPS and 140 RBIs per year. As he suffered through an injury-riddled 2010 season, the yardsticks moved to: if he's healthy, he'll hit 40 homeruns. Then the yardsticks moved again to: if he's healthy, he'll hit 30 homeruns with 120 RBIs and an .850 OPS. Now they've moved again to: if he's healthy, he'll hit 30 homeruns, drive in 100 runs, and post an .800 OPS. I'd love to see him do even that next year, as it would be a big help to our offense if he did. But I don't think we paid him $125M to be an .800 OPS 1st baseman.

Things to watch for rest of year:

Dom Brown - Can he hit for some power? He's shown a good eye/ability work counts & walks but has struggled to hit fastballs especially on the inner part of the plate.

Needs to show some power because a .250/.335/.390 line who plays below average defense and isn't an asset on the basepaths isn't going to cut it next year as a full-time starter in a corner OF position.

De Fratus/Aumont/Lindlbom - Obvious given the Phils' bullpen struggles. All 3 have had real issues with command this year.

KK - Strong close? Was his most recent start in Houston where he really struggled going to be more typical of his late few starts.

Cloyd - Been mediocre so far. He has another 3 starts to make leave a better impression on the Phils' FO.

Beyond that there is really isn't much to watch from a player development standpoint. I would mention Ruf but he simply isn't going to play until the Phils are mathematically eliminated.

The "steep year to year decline" is a myth. If anything, some of Howard's declines have matched what the league has done.

OPS+ by year: 133, 167, 144, 125, 141, 127, 126, 92.

The only "steep declines" are from his unbelievable 2006 and then from last year to this year's injury plagued season.

FWIW: As recently as 2010, Howard had an .826 OPS vs LHP. If Howard accepts that hitting lefties is a lost cause, he'll be settling for an OPS vs. lefties between .530 and .650. I'm hopeful he'll get back to at least his career OPS of .736 and get his OPS vs. RHP back over 1.000.

I'm surprised no one, as of yet, has made the requisite joke about the Cardinals playing the mighty Astros twice to end the season, and how that should bode well for our playoff chances...

MG: Brown has slugged better the second half of this call up than the first half.

Bullpen auditions will continue through the year and into spring training. I bet all three you mentioned are in the bullpen in 2013.

Cloyd goes back to AAA and is an emergency starter in 2013 at best.

New Thread, Bitches!

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