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Monday, December 03, 2012


Hmm... Actually I'm pretty sure he will indeed "most be remembered" for that sensational moment four years ago. And that's as it should be.

First!! Just kidding... Brad... You will always drink for free in this town. Thank you!! 2008 was magical.

Great write-up from JW and from the Sports Illustrated reporter Phil Taylor. I'd forgotten about Lidge staying in the dugout, after being pulled, to root for Madson.

Thanks, Lidge, for '08 and for being a man of dignity and grace. I was proud to have you on our team.


You must share the same sources as DPatrone...

While lidge is a great pc of philles history. The nats are talking to rays about shields. Oh boy

GBrett: John Finger, who will be contributing to the site, wrote this piece.

Best of luck to Mr. Lidge. Thanks for the effort, which was always there even if the results varied.

Awesome post, JW. Thanks. Nice thing to wake up to.

Like most things on the Phillies, 2009 Brad Lidge was mostly the fault of Ryan Howard bodyslamming him during the WS celebration and injuring his knee in the process.

Seriously though, Lidge was amazing in 2008.

Bet Adam Dunn or Ryan Ludwick wouldn't have crushed Lidge like that.

happy trails, lidgey-poo. hope you make the wall in the near future. Also, I expect the phillies to do a pre-game ceremony for you at some point this season.

"Here's the 0-2 pitch. SWING AND A MISS! STRUCK HIM OUT! The Philadelphia Phillies are 2008 World Champions of Baseball"

Best Season Ever.

Lidge will make the doubt about that.

He deserves it.

Thanks, Brad. You are a class act. I'll never forget the 2008 season and you were a huge reason why. Lights out, always.

Question for those who might know...How would Brad officially retire as a Phillie? Who takes the first step in that process?

Thanks, Brad, for the unique lessons you provided in terms of class and grace. Thanks also for the breathtaking and exuberant world-series-clinching moment** that we'll all remember as if it was just yesterday. Best of luck to you and your family, wherever you end up.

(**When you think about it, there are very few singular moments in the world of sports...or any world for that matter...that stick with us over time. I can't think of too many that have been more meaningful or more poignant.)

***How would Brad officially retire as a Phillie? Who takes the first step in that process?***

He would have to sign a 1 day deal with them and then retire officially. This assumes he hasnt already filed his official retirement paperwork with the league office.

Correction: Thanks, John Finger, for the tribute to Lidge.

Thanks for correcting me, JW, to give credit where due.

NEPP, would the 1 day deal be initiated by the Phils or by Lidge himself?

I think either side could or would ask/start the process if they so wanted to.

Good luck to Brad in whatever he endeavors.

So, Arod had surgery on his previously good hip (he already had surgery on his other hip in the past) and will miss 3-6 months with a return in June.

I think we can safely cross him off of the "possible 3B in 2013" list.

NEPP, I was just going to post about ARoid.

Yes, we can cross him off the list (not that he was EVER on my list).

This is from the story linked on the right:

"Rodriguez hit .272 with 18 homers in 122 games this year while apparently playing through a damaged hip, posting career-lows in slugging percentage (.430) and OPS (.783) at age 36, and was repeatedly benched in the playoffs. He’s still owed $114 million for the next five seasons, including $28 million for 2013.

OK, fellow BL posters: Which be worse, Ryan Howard's contract or ARoid's?

In terms of length, pure numbers and age, ARod's contract is far worse. Prospectively, in terms of those elements, it's still worse.

Relative to their respective teams, though, I'd say that Ryan Howard's contract probably will have a more negative impact on the Phillies, given that the Yankees don't really have a budget constraint. Of course, the increasing penalties for blowing past the luxury tax threshold might change that, in which case, the ARod contract goes back to being worse.

A-Rod's is worse because he's a douche.

The only positive about ARod's contract situation is that it goes down to a relatively manageable $20 million blackhole for the final few years instead of nearly $30 million.

Its still about 10% of their overall budget but not nearly as bad as it could be if they had backloaded it.

To add to the above, I know that doesnt change their overall cap hit due to how its calculated by AAV but it likely still matters to their bottom line. They have been acting like they actually have a budget for the last couple years so I expect their days of unlimited spending are over.

Fatti, you're not correct.

Because of the new luxury tax penalties, the Yankees are trying very hard to get under the luxtax by 2014. Just check the New York papers, it's all over them.

Basically, it looks like the new luxtax is so onerous that even the rich teams aren't going to violate it year after year.

That said, I should have been more explicit in my question: Which contract is going to provide more value for the respective team in terms of the player's performance.

One could argue (or speculate,really) that a Howard return to 35-40 HR and 125+ RBI will provide more value than ARoid going forward.

Addtionally, the remaining 4 years on Howard's contract ends after his age 36 season.

ARoid is going into his age 37 season and still has 5 more years.

5 years, $114 million to go...not counting those HR milestone bonuses.

That's pretty hard to imagine them even getting close to that much value out of him. He was a 2 Win player in that's a return of -$19 million in value.

Granted, Ryan Howard was a -1.2 Win player last year for a return of -$26 there's that.

Oogie nails it (or cuts right through to the heart of it, or sets it aflame): character matters, and Ryan would never agree to a self-kissing photo or centaur painting.

Exactly, recreating a Venetian estate complete with canals is one thing...centaur paintings cross the line.

NEPP, I suspect the holder of their stadium bonds ($1B+, and no that is not a typo) have something to say about their payroll.

Bond deals usually have convenants that pertain to use of revenues for debt coverage, so it may have something to do with that.

OTOH, it could simply be that Hal Steinbrenner looked at all their spending the last 12 seasons and sees little benefit to overspending when it comes to championships, the only one in that period being in 2009.

True, true. Say what you want about Howard's contract, but Howard the man is involved in the community, gives back, and is generally a good guy.

ARoid: Douchasaurus.

***($1B+, and no that is not a typo) have something to say about their payroll.

I think its $1.2 billion IIRC.

awh, I said that if the luxury tax penalties were so onerous as to constrain the Yankees budget, than the ARod contract is worse. So we agree.

Also, I don't see any reason to believe that Howard is, on average, a 35-40 HR/125 RBI guy over the next 4 years. My bet is he's closer to a 30 HR/100 RBI guy the next 4 years With is bad defense and laughably bad baaserunning, it's going to be hard for the Phils to really garner positive value out of his contract. And that's assuming he's healthy the entire time.

The Yankees have no shot at getting positive value out of the ARod contract going forward.

Really good post, and vintage Beerleaguer.

Finger, Kaplan, and Seidman have so far been meeting the excellent standards established by JW here for years. The future of Beerleaguer seems safe.

Almost impossible on this site to speak of Howard's contract without someone assuming you're referencing Howard the person.

Ryan Howard seems like a really awesome dude, and overall, a great ambassador for the sport. His contract, which is RAJ's fault, not his, is less than stellar.

Nothing against Howard. I hope the guy hits 50 HR a year for the life of his contract, though.

DH, Weitzel is still the best.

Hey, how about that. I just assumed JW wrote this post. Didn't realize it was penned by a different author.

awh: Agreed. No disrespect intended towards JW, who is one of my favorite sportswriters ever.

***I just assumed JW wrote this post. Didn't realize it was penned by a different author.***

As did I...solid compliment to say the least.

The general opinion amongst those that closely follow the Yankees is that Hal aint George. He doesn't spend like the old man. His father basically gave him a blue print on how to use their money to dominate and Hal is ignoring it. Apparently the Dodgers are ready to step into the void and become the new Yankees. I bet George is spinning like a top.

Howard of Arod easily, I think.

Maybe Hal wants to actually make a ton of money instead of just a smaller, but still large, amount of money?

When ARod opted out of his previous mega-deal, NYY should have bid him a fond adieu and moved on. It was a gift.

Very similar playoff numbers between Ryan and the Roid:

Ryno: .259/.357/.845 OPS 8 HR in 170 AB

Roid: .263/.369/.833 OPS 13 HR in 274 AB

Really thought Rodrigueaz would suck more since he has the rep of choking in the playoffs.

jbird, I said so at the time.

The Yankees should have run a country mile from ARod at that point.

And to top it all off, they gave him a BIGGER contract.

It was really, really stupid.

From MLBTradeRumors:

The Phillies and Giants continue vying for the services of Angel Pagan, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal notes that Cody Ross is an alternative for both teams, though obviously the two players don't bring exactly the same skills to the table.

Can we please avoid Cody fvcking Ross?

I don't know if anyone has brough this up yet, but after the Nationals traded for Spahn, Michael Morse suddenly seems to be very available. He's not a good fielder by any means, but he'd be a 25-30 homerun right-handed bat to stick in the middle of the lineup who also makes good contact and doesn't strike out too much. Not to mention he can play some first base, which would allow the Phils to rotate some guys in.

I remember reading that the we were interested in him before his breakout 2011 campaign. It's unlikely the Nats would think about trading him to us considering it be an inter-divisional trade, but wouldn't it be nice if we could land a guy like Morse to play a corner spot for the next two years at a relatively cheap price (about 5 million)? I'd much rather have him than Hamilton.

Hard to see the Phils staying very long in a bidding war for Pagan based on what they reportedly offered Upton.

Weapon: Morse is only available if the Nats re-up LaRoche. Morse only has one yr left on his current deal. No guarantee you'd have him beyond 2013. Plus, who ya tradin' for him? The Nationals are looking for marquee SP..

but after the Nationals traded for Spahn,

And after the Nats trade for a few more dead 91-year olds, the Phillies will be younger and healthier!

It's hard to believe that Warren Spahn is dead 9 years already. Lordy, time flies.

>> "Exactly, recreating a Venetian estate complete with canals is one thing...centaur paintings cross the line."

I actually thought about the canals before posting and, for me at least, there is difference. They are essentially just a bad case of conspicuous consumption, whereas the rumors about ARod occupy the space where intense vanity borders on the unhinged.

Then again, if Pat the Bat or his pal Wilson had a centaur painting at home, we'd chalk them up to a strange but delightful sense of humor.

There's no way the Nats are giving us Morse.

When we were looking at Morse, Rizzo the Rat's offer was Morse straight up for Brown, back when he was a prized asset.

Maybe we should phone him up and see if he'll still do that deal...

Anyone else hear the Dodgers are talking about a $220M payroll? Yanks may be finished as big spenders, but they have a replacement.

Nats traded Langerhans for Morse. Unbelievable. Looks like they'll sign Laroche and flip Morse for pitching.

That $220 million is probably closer to $250 million once you factor in the luxury tax.

Without being sure if they went over in 2012 (I'm pretty sure they did but I cant access Google Docs at work), they're looking at a 30% penalty this year if they go over the $178 milllion. So if they go to $220 million, that's 30% of $42 million which is $12.5 million. So its not as bad as I thought...but still, pretty rough. That penalty would increase to 40% for the 3rd year and 50% for the 4th year over.

Shane's looking for a 3 yr deal at 10 mill a yr.. If Pagan is 4/48, Rube will have a tough decision, unless he's had enough of Vic. I like Pagan because he hits well from either side of the plate, and is probably a better fielder. Vic has the edge in power (before this yr).

Reports are that Vic has one 4 year offer. Bet it would take at least 4/40 to get Vic. They must really be through with Vic, but I guess you have to trust them on that. Still hoping to pick up Youk and a power corner OF bat. Money saved on Vic vs Pagan would help there.

If we were to get both Pagan and Youk with AAVs in the $10-11 million range, we'd have a team salary of around $165 million going into 2013. We'd be up against the luxury tax once medical, bonuses and 40 man pay were put into it.

If they dont care about the tax this year due to the increase in 2014, they could still add another corner OF bat to that mix...and maybe a lesser bullpen arm.

Sophist: After hearing those Vic reports, what makes you think he is going to cost less than Pagan?

NEPP - That's why it's more likely that they go cheap at either 3B or with the OF bat once they sign a CF. Another reason why you see Soriano reported as a good fit here (assuming Cubs pay his salary).

Vic is getting a 4 year offer that Sophist is probably correct in being around ~40 million. If Pagan is 4/44-46, it is an absolute no-brainer.

Hamilton, by himself, would likely take us to the luxury tax cap....which makes it bloody unlikely we sign him given that we'd still need to get a CF and reanimate a corpse to play 3B.

lorecore - Sounds like most of the Vic offers are 3-year deals. I'd guess they range from 3/27 to 3/33 or so. I bet the 4-year deal is no more than 10 AAV (why would it be higher - that's the point of the extra year). Pagan is definitely a 4-year commitment and the lower of the two between the Giants and Phils is probably 4/40 or so at a minimum. Pagan has more 4-year offers, so he's going to get a better deal. Bet the Phils could land Vic at 3-years and the same AAV.

All speculation of course.

If the salary/years are the same, I'd lean towards Pagan over Victorino.

iceman: Who do you think is the better player for the next 4 seasons? I am far from convinced that either player is that much better/worse than the other. Pretty equal to me.

Why does this offseason kind of feel like the mid-2000s when the Phils had several clear holes they need to fill, can only fill some of them, and have to roll the dice a bunch of aging veterans via FA at moderate dollars?

If we're splitting hairs over 1 year or a couple million, I think Ruben should completely throw out the contract part of the equation and just sign whoever he thinks is the better player.

I think I lean towards Victorino over Pagan, but I really can't argue with people who say Pagan.

Pagan isn't completely neutered against RHP like there's that. Vic has the edge defensively though. Pagan doesnt crush either LHP or RHP...he's a far more balanced hitter but Vic really does crush LHP so there's value in that.

Vic is a year older.

Both are pretty similar when it comes to overall skillset though.

It could be splitting hairs, but it also could be the difference between 4/40 and 4/45, which could be the difference between Uehera or no Uehera or whatever. Who knows.

lorecore - if the Phils are throwing the full contract considerations out the window, I sign whoever is likely to be better over the next 2 years.

A-Rod's contract is the worst in the majors. Howard is probably second-worst.

The fact that we're now defending Howard's contract by pointing to his house interior decorating and saying they are superior to A-Rod's interior decorating probably says just about everything you need to know.

I like Stephen Drew or Hiroyuji Nakajima for shortstops that might be able to convert to third. I think the Japanese player is a straight up free agent now that the Yankees didn't sign him last year. Apparently he has the offensive skills to translate to the MLB. I like Stephen Drew better than Keppinger also.

When Pujols enters his Age 37 season in 2017, he'll still have 5 years, $140 million remaining on his contract.

I wonder what type of hitter he will be by then...

I think it's fairly obvious that, if we get one of them, the other will will be the better player for the next 3-4 years.

" and have to roll the dice a bunch of aging veterans via FA at moderate dollars"

That's more the nature of the FA market this year. Not a great one besides Greinke and the Phils just extended Hamels.

Hamels is the better bet over Greinke anyways so we pretty much "won" that one mid-season.

"and reanimate a corpse to play 3B."

Oh great, here comes another Pedro Feliz debate.

Just trade for Bourjos and sign Hamilton and Youk and let's do this.

That would put us at around $180 million before anything else for payroll but fck it, lets do it.

Make it happen, Rube.

"and reanimate a corpse to play 3B."

Or sadly Scott Rolen at this point too.

Sophist: You like Bourjos? Interesting. Personally, I'm very skeptical of his ability to be a decent hitter.

I imagine you like that he's young and cheap and plays great defense? I'm interested to hear the case for him. I think I get that you could take a hit on offense if you signed Hamilton and Youk too--would you be willing to get Bourjos if it didn't come with signing either or both of them?

lorecore: three reasons I go Pagan:

1) He has been the better player 3 of the last 4 seasons

2) He hasn't sustained any type of drop-off in any aspect of his game, unlike Vic, who continues to get worse v. RHP, and has actually gotten better defensively in the last two years

3) He is not a glorified platoon player like Vic and can hold his own vs LHP

The only real thing Vic had going for him was his the chances of getting him on a deal about half (or so) of what Pagan is getting. That no longer looks possible, so I'm not sure why he'd be the better bet. I don't think it would be foolish like signing Ross and another corner OF and being done with it, but I think Pagan is the clear choice if the money is close.

Sophist has a point that the small difference between the two players could be the difference between getting Uehara, but that seems pretty unlikely, as Amaro consistently says they aren't working on a hard budget.

You know what else sucks? Burnt arse popcorn in an office. How freaking hard is it to not burn popcorn?

Yes, Bourjos is pre-arb, 25, has great AAA numbers in plenty of PA, and had a great season in 2011. At worst he's a cheap, plus defender in center (even with his bad production in 2012, fWAR had him as a 2 win player), and someone who could pick up the slack for whoever the future LF/RF are. I don't have problems with defense-first guys "up the middle".

At best he's all those things and builds on his 2011 season (116 OPS+). He actually has potential. I'm not really a huge believer in any of our prospects, so I'm not too worried about price.

But really in this context there's the avoided cost of doing the low-imagination sign Pagan move, which I am not really a fan of. I don't love the idea of patching together our 33-36 year old roster with 4-year deals to Pagan types. And, yeah, like you said it frees up payroll to add an impact bat this year or next year or whenever. But I think there is a case for bringing him in anyway.

***I'm not really a huge believer in any of our prospect***

I'd be shocked if any of our current "top" prospects become anything more than bench/role players.

NEPP: burnt or not burnt, one shouldn't pop popcorn at the office. If you do burn it, it stinks up the place, if you don't burn it, everyone else has to sit there and smell your delicious, buttery popcorn. So, unless you brought enough for everyone, no popping popcorn at the office.

Yeah, NEPP.

Two worst inventions...

1. Microwave popcorn bags

2. Juice boxes - EVERY TIME, a few drops of bright red stains end up on the car seat.

There is a person in my office that likes the taste of burnt microwave popcorn so she always burns a bag at around 2:30 to 3:30 every day. She has been spoken too on several occasions yet continues to do it.

Very, very annoying.

Every SINGLE day.

And there goes Pagan..... I think Hamilton is extremely possible now that RAJ missed out on his top 2 targets

Microwave popcorn is a fantastic invention; it just needs to be prohibited from the office for the reasons that jbird explained.

Pagan back to the Giants....yeah, I think Hamilton, the white whale of the 2012 off-season, is incoming.

NEPP: Just start eating stinky cheese outside her office. It's the Chicago way!

Sure the contract is going to suck but how mad can you be at Amaro if he signs Hamilton. Our lineup would be elite once again!

***Our lineup would be elite once again!***

I dont think Hamilton alone makes our lineup "elite" again. I think it brings us up to "above average". We'd still have complete and utter blackholes at CF and 3B to deal with.

***Just start eating stinky cheese outside her office. It's the Chicago way!***

They bring a bag of burnt popcorn, you bring a block of Limburger. They drink your soda, you toss their lunch in the trash, THAT's the Chicago Way!

Well I am assuming that Rube will not only sign Hamilton, I don't think anyone sees him as a centerfielder anyway. I think if he traded for Fowler and left third for Frandsen and Galvis, our lineup and defense will round out nicely.

Glad the Phils didn't get Pagan.

Rube is an evil genius. He's going around, making offers to FAs that other teams are more likely to sign, driving their prices up. Then, after all the other teams have overpaid for their guys, he swoops in and signs Hamilton after the market has dwindled.

/sarcasm (or is it???)

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