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Thursday, January 24, 2013


A #1 pick overall is a #1 pick overall...hell, they're both even OFs.

If you're the Braves GM, at what point do you pick up the phone and beg Chipper to come back for one last year in a part-time role.

Hell, offer him a player/coach spot.

I'm not sure that even Phlipper can spin that the Phils have gotten better this offseason, while our primary competitive threats have gotten worse.

Phils don't have quite the same amount of money to spend they had last year and I have been saying that all along.

There hasn't been a single article this Jan about ticket sales unlike the previous year 5 years boosting how strong season ticket sales were.

Privately-held companies that don't release information either do it for one of 2 reasons:

1. Doing very well and don't feel they need to release that information to competitors
2. Nothing of merit to make a noticeable PR release or the business is in trouble

Willard Preacher - He's frozen solid on top of the Ben Franklin bridge.


The only thing I can cling on to save my sanity:

In over 1500 PA, Justin Upton is a .250/.325/.406 hitter away from the launching pad, Chase Field.

And its easy to tell why:

HR/AB% in ARZ: 5.2%
HR/AB% away: 3.0%

That's one hell of an OF they have out there in ATL.

Best OF in the NL by a good margin I'd think.

The Nats have a pretty solid OF too with Harper/Span/Werth but it doesnt even compare (unless Harper pulls a Mike Trout in 2013).

So the Braves get Upton and we get...Delmon Young.

Delmon Young? This makes us better how? Depth?

And I'd like to be paid $600,000 to lose a few pounds and keep them off. Nice deal, that. I'd rather pay him for being productive, which is makes more sense, since it's the point of a diet. Prince Fielder isn't anyone's definition of trim, but he can play baseball.

I've gone from underwhelmed by the offseason to feeling like the FO is throwing in the towel and shooting for 3rd place. Yesterday's BL post made me feel decidedly unenthused about the return of Phillies baseball.

I have a feeling (which I didn't have up until now) that this is going to be a long, long season. I've taken each addition by WSH, ATL and PHI, and never felt too threatened. Now, taking a step back and seeing all that has unfolded, it's a little scary.

I've been trying to stay positive, but the Nats and Braves are flat-out better teams than the Phils. There's really no debate now. I know it's all on paper, but that's all we have right now. As currently, they Phils are a third place team -- and the gap just got a touch wider.

I'm so excited to see the prospects that Rube targets in the upcoming fire sale. I'm sure they will inspire tons of confidence and hope.

Y'know, because of, like, "production."

Fun fact of the day: Barry Bonds had 87 more Walks in 2004 than Delmon Young has had in his entire 7 year career.

Bonds had 6 seasons in his career where he's had at least as many or more walks than Young has had in his career.

At what point does a fan say that their team isn't doing enough to warrant spending time and money following it? Especially when their rivals obviously are.

NEPP, if Delmon Young even so much as WEIGHS as much as the number of walks Bonds had in 2004 during one of those weigh-in days, he'll be missing out on a contract bonus. still follow them, you just complain a bit more.

Which one of the Utpons was ALCS MVP last year? That's what I thought! still follow them, you just complain a bit more.

Posted by: NEPP | Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 12:10 PM

This is where Phlipper would chime in, claiming that we can't complain more, because all we do is complain. This is where he'd be wrong.

We sleep, we eat, we brush our teeth. There are things we can give up to allow ourselves to complain more.

To think it could have been the Phils to get both Uptons. And though I didn't hear the MM interview yesterday, by what posters have said, it didn't go over well.

Still think Amaro has done the right things? He's not. He does't even have a clue. You can turn out the lights, the party's over.

And we can all thank RAJ for that.

"At what point does a fan say that their team isn't doing enough to warrant spending time and money following it?"

OK. Let's not get ridiculous about this.

There is still a decent shot of this team contending.

I am a pragramist who borders on pessimistic views but this is a team completely devoid of talent or that won't be worth watching this year.

At what point does a fan say that their team isn't doing enough to warrant spending time and money following it? Especially when their rivals obviously are.

Posted by: limoguy | Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Never change, Beerleaguer... never change

Last time I checked you have to actually play the game. Relax Debbie downers.

Not completely. If they are healthy, they will be strong contenders. If not, they will have a fire sale again in late July and at that point it will be time to be kind of grim about the Phils near-term chances of contending.

I respect that, NEPP. I will still follow them also, but I have gone through spells when the extent of that was to go through the box score every morning and nothing more.

Delmon Young only knows BBs as something you shoot when you're out of pellets. I wonder if a player has ever been beaned more times than he walked. Delmon has a chance at that.

Ok, maybe I exaggerated a bit. But, a bit of levity can't hurt, especially when Season/Team/Life=Over.

It's a good thing the Marlins should be really bad this year.

MG, with AMaro's attitude about getting on base I am starting to question the Phils' chances of contending long-term.

Amaro is a product of the Phillies organization. If this organization is totally devoid of people who understand that the number one statistic that correlates with scoring is GETTING ON BASE - regardless of whether it's a walk or a hit - then one has to question whether they'll have the right focus in their evaluation of players going forward.

"To think it could have been the Phils to get both Uptons." - DPat

I don't even get upset at DPat's posts anymore. They're more like a treat now.

Losing Prado, Chipper, Bourn and Delgado and gaining the Upton bros (one of which is for 1 season)...

Frankly, I find the 2013 Braves to be less of a threat than last season.

How quickly do you think Boras is on the phone this morning trying to get RAJ to drop his shorts and pay for Bourn?

What is frightening, is that not only might he do so, but that he would still overpay for him despite their obviously not being even a medium-sized market for him.

Sign to a one year deal and either keep him for the duration of the season, let him walk and get the pick or if the season implodes, back up the brinks truck and unload anybody with value, including him, Rollins, Doc, Lee, Chooch, etc.

This is depressing, like circa mid 1980's to early 200's depressing, knowing you'll be fighting uphill once the season starts.

The good thing? I'll be back to feeling how I felt my entire life as a Phillies fan, as an underdog. 2008-2012 was weird to get used to.

rolo - If the team falters the next few years, they will do the same thing with Amaro that they did with Ed Wade. He will be replaced.

Losing Prado, Chipper, Bourn and Delgado and gaining the Upton bros (one of which is for 1 season)...

Posted by: Will Schweitzer | Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 12:27 PM

Will, they signed BJ for 5 years and Upton is under contract for another 3. Not sure what you are talking about here.

Obviously typed Upton when I meant Justin.

***Will, they signed BJ for 5 years and Upton is under contract for another 3. Not sure what you are talking about here.***

Was just about to say this...

I agree with WS that there's a plausible argument that the 2013 Braves haven't replaced the production they lost / will lose from Chipper, Prado, and Bourn in 2012.

Those are big losses that should be accounted for when considering 2012 and 2013. They may have done as well as they could in finding production, though, and in making themselves better far beyond 2013. You can't really say that about any Phils moves, outside of Revere. And Revere isn't an Upton.

They should expect increased production from Freeman and Heyward though...based on their age/MLB experience.

Well, BJ Upton and Michael Bourn are very comparable players. Both steal bases very well (Bourn is better), and both play defense very well (Bourn is better), but BJ has more power than Bourn to offset the fact that Bourn gets on base more. I don't think the Braves got much worse going from Bourn to BJ.

They definitely took a hit at 3rd going from Chipper to Francisco/Johnson, but they made up for that hit by upgrading their OF situation. While Prado isn't THAT far below Justin, Justin has the much higher ceiling, and that OF defense is now probably the best in baseball. I think from a positional standpoint, the Braves got better. Especially when you consider that their OF are all about to hit their prime years at the same time, that Freeman hasn't hit his prime yet, that McCann might still be in his, and that Uggla is still going to give them 25 HR even if he sucks again, there's good reason to be very afraid of the Braves this year.

My mistake; I thought Upton was entering a contract year.

I still don't see the 2013 Braves as much (if any) of an upgrade from 2012.

Sophist - You don't think the bullpen is improved with Mike Adams or do you think the jury is out because of the surgery he had?

DPat - good post!!

RedBurb, agree, but my point was directed as to whether or not the organization even focuses on the right things when they evaluate players.

We all know they like "toolsy" draft picks.

How many of those High School age, non-pitcher, toolsy draft picks have panned out for the Phillies the last several years?

I can name one: Jimmy Rollins.

(Of couse, you could argue that they've traded away a couple, Rolen being the biggest name to come to mind.)

How can it get any worse!?! Next you know the Mets will sign Johan Santana.

I, too, am looking for reasons to feel optimistic. While RAJ hasn't given me any, really (though I'm almost lukewarm on the Adams signing), we also can't use the "at least we get to beat up on the Mets/Fish" line of thinking, since the Nats and Braves have that same luxury.

As with all of the other smoke and mirrors in this off season, it simply comes down to Utley, Howard, Lee, Hamels and Doc (JRoll, too, to some extent). RAJ is employing the NBA model of building a team around a select small group of superstars and surrounding them with role players. It will be up to said superstars as to how this season plays out. Sadly, I don't hold out a lot of hope for Howard to revert to any superstar kind of production and I am only cautiously optimistic that Doc has one more great season in him (though likely not along the lines of CY contention). I'm hopeful, but with their age and recent track records (injuries not withstanding), I'm realistic.

And when you think that the season is setting up for 40% of our starts to come from KK and Lannan, I'm thinking of taking the "even bad baseball is better than no baseball at all" mindset, and just enjoying it as much as I can. Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised.

RedBurb - DPatrone's point is that crazy regarding the Upton brothers. If the Phils had offered a contract similar to what the Braves had BJ Upton, there is a chance he might have come here. Braves offered more years and dollars.

If you look at the package the DBacks took for J Upton, the Phils could have put together something similiar with a trade package built around Worley, May, and some other pieces.

It's was improbable but not impossible. If Amaro did that though, Amaro wouldn't have been able to make some of the other moves he did made including signing Adams and probably taking on M. Young's contract.

DPatrone: You b!tched and moaned that Amaro needed a right-handed bat and was doing nothing. You even were basically saying any move is better than no move. Then he makes a move and complains.

I would not go as far as Will and say the Braves aren't better than in 2012. However, it should be noted that they have really question marked their starting pitching this season with the deals they have made. They certainly strengthened the back end of their pen but I think you could argue their offense is a wash from last year at best. And I would argue the rotation is probably worse. And to me, Medlen is their number 1 and the jury is out on him.

To me the Braves are a better team on paper but that is more about question marks on the Phillies than the talent of the Braves.

The fact that Bourn is likely considering those "pillow contract" offers, leaves me some hope that the Braves move will be a slight blow to Rube's ego and maybe he'll at least test the waters.

As noted, he's clearly positioning the roster into a position where he can sell like mad (probably trade deadline time). A one year deal to Bourn would actually fit that line of thinking and give us a puncher's chance (on paper).

MG: There was a very good chance that package wasn't going to get Upton. And the Phillies would've had to spend way more than people were willing to spend to acquire BJ Upton. Let's not play revisionist history here.

There's no way Worley, May and 'some pieces' matches what the Braves gave up. Let's try to stay grounded in reality here and not float into 'DPat's World.'

Considering they used Worley and May to land just Ben Revere, I don't think that a package centered around those guys would've gotten an Upton deal done.

Ice beat me to it.

Imagine how apoplectic we'd be if the Braves actually had our revenue stream and spent the money. Their entire 2013 payroll, with Upton, is going to be right around what we're paying Lee, Howard, Halladay and Hamels.

Hey, at least the Phils got rid of Pence and Vic, right?

MG who on the Phillies do you think would be comparable to Prado that we would have been able to trade for Upton?
About Bourn it looks like the Mets are trying to get MLB to protect their first round pick (#11) since they should have had the 10th pick. But since Pitt did not sign their first round pick (#8) last year they get the 9th pick this year which pushes the Mets to #11. If they only have to surrender a 2nd round pick they will sign Bourn according to many NY sports reporters. So it looks like he isn't going after a pillow deal but looking at a heavily back loaded contract or allot of deferred money.

NEPP - And McCann was terrible last year. It's hard to account for age and attrition. But it's also easy to forget that the 94 win Braves had Chipper, Prado, and Bourn combine for almost 15 BWar last year. The Uptons combined for just under 5 BWar and Prado had 5.4 BWar.

I think the Braves sit in that 88-95 win area they sat in last year, and have made themselves much, much better in the years that follow 2013. They've had a solid off-season. But there's a plausible argument that they are worse on paper in 2013 than they were on paper in 2012.

I think you're all nuts if you believe automatically that the Braves are that much better on paper. Yes, that is arguably the best outfield in the National League, but the chances of imploding? They lost a lot of prospects in that deal, only showing they're hungry now and don't want that same tenacity down the road. I'm still optimistic about the Phillies this season because of the younger guys we have coming through. (Not overly excited about Michael Young. Kind of curious how Delmon Young fares.) Give it time and ignore the sabremetrics.

The D-Backs were obviously looking for a "long"-term solution at 3B, and that's why they targeted the 29 year old Prado, whom they most likely hope to sign to an extension.

The Phillies couldn't have offered anything even remotely appealing, especially considering that Prado can help the D-Backs this year.

Give it time and ignore the sabremetrics.

Posted by: Jerrold | Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 12:58 PM

And ignore the traditional stats, too.

Once you ignore empirical data and objective facts, it's easy to just "trust your gut".

If anything, the team did TOO MUCH 'big' stuff after the 2010 playoff collapse- namely, the Papelbon signing and the Pence trade.

There is a time and place to strike with a 'big' move' The Braves are quite judicious about when they make moves like the one they made today. They wait for the player and opportunity they want, realizing that the players/opportunities don't pop up every season, and they strike. Having fewer monetary resources forces you to get creative.

There was nothing creative about the Papelbon signing or the Pence trade. These were moves made by Amaro because he could. Now, I don't take as much issue with the Hamels signing, because A) he's in his prime, and B) there are only a few people on the planet that have the ability to throw a baseball as well as Cole Hamels. And I don't take as much issue with the Howard contract as most because it didn't preclude the team from making subsequent big moves and acquisitions.

The Pence move was made when the team was six games clear of second place in the East and just rolling through every series, winning two out of three with ridiculous consistency. Amaro made this move knowing what was left in the farm system and knowing the hand he had to play in the playoffs. He didn't need to make it. He did anyway, and happily got bent over while doing it. This also, by the way, kept Brown out of a regular job, and continues to hamper the franchise in making a decision about what he is to the team long-term. If it wasn't for the Pence trade, they'd know by now and proceed accordingly.

And going into last off-season, surely the front-office had some idea that they were going to start imposing a cap on spending in the near-future, and that re-signing Hamels was a priority. There were plenty of other "closers" that could've been signed for half (or less) of what they gave Papelbon. They ended up spending $12.5 AAV on him for the next 4 years because they could. Now they're coming up short on money for competent MLB outfielders (at least the ones they wanted) because of the embarrassment of riches that Amaro was intent on spending.

I think he did an excellent job of making moves to steadily improve this team from 2009 to June of 2011- despite heavy protests from many on BL that the offense wasn't good enough for the team to win consistently in 2010 and 2011- and that's when he began to lose perspective, feeling he needed to make moves on a team that was already well-constructed, no matter the cost.

The team would have been better served not pulling the trigger on either of those deals and waiting for the right opportunity. It's the difference between walking into a casino with your credit card, or walking in with a $100 bill. With the $100 bill, you're forced to make smart decisions with your money if you want to keep playing. Amaro was given a credit card and starting in 2011, he started hitting MAX BET on the video poker machines. Now he's broke.

Give it time and ignore the sabremetrics.

Posted by: Jerrold | Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 12:58 PM

That's Amaro's philosophy as well.

TTI~ Look, you're right. He did get his RH bat. And at as very good price. And I'm not saying that Young can't or won't help the team. And you're right about Medlen too. No doubt of that.

But I am saying that compared to the Nats and Braves moves this off-season, the Phils have gone backwards a little. It seems to me the purse strings were tighented this off-season. But sometimes you gotta go to the FO and say we should try and do some things. I get the impression that that did not happen. We could have done better than Lannan as the #5. We could have signed another BP arm. And we could have gotten a better player than Young via FA.

Now who's to say. The games still have to played. But when you look at the Nats, Braves, and Phils collectively as a group, it's clear to me that the Phils have had the least productive off-season of the 3 teams. Now I still believe another move is coming and that may even it out. But right now, goping up against whom they've got to, they're not a playoff team IMO.

going up against, not goping. Sorry.

"Give it time and ignore the sabremetrics." That's the Beer Leaguer version of sitting in Sheldon's seat.

Ice - I agree with most of your post. However, I do disagree that the Howard deal had to be made at that time. He was 2 years removed from FA and there wasn't a really good reason to sign him to an extension at that point in time. At the very least he should've waited until the offseason.

The Braves had to find more offense. Their starting pitching isn't as good as the Nats or the Phillies(provided their are no health issues). What this gives the Braves in addition to offense is a very fast outfield that will cover a lot of ground. Balls that hit the gap and typically wind up as extra bases may just be singles. The flip side is the Uptons strike out quite a bit. The Braves have pulled further away from the Philles but the Nats are still the best overall team in the division.

What Amaro needs to realize is the Phillies are not a playoff team. They are old and if he thinks guys like Utley, Howard, Rollins are going magically turn back the clock he is mistaken. Keep a close eye on the trade deadline as it approaches and be prepared to make trades that will bring back young talent. If he can get takers for the above mentioned guys plus Chooch, Doc(which will break my heart) than he needs to have the guts to do it and get this team headed towards the future. Let the young talent both from trades and from the farm play the second half of the season and evaluate for 2014. If Ruben can't take the blinders off then he needs to become part of the housecleaning.

It sucks to say this but Utley and Doc will proabalby have the most trade value at the deadline...assuming both are healthy and there are playoff teams that need a SP or 2B upgrade.

Chooch too...though I expect he gets extended. (same for Utley obviously)

"By losing Prado -- which was a bit surprising"

How is the least bit surprising? They've been trying to deal him for a while. He's a free agent after this season and ATL has shown no interest in signing him for what he wants, or they'd have done it already.

RedBurb- I agree with pretty much all of the argument against Howard's contract extension, including the fact that it was made way too early (without a discount). I just don't agree with the idea that the contract has been as much of a problem to the 'big picture' of the team that many claim that it is. And I'm willing to give him a chance to produce and bounce-back in year 2 before I grab a pitchfork.

I'm obviously not looking to rehash the argument and start another 24-hour debate on this. People made up their minds on this long ago. I can understand the disgust over it. I just think the Pence/Papelbon moves were a lot more gluttonous and have proven to be a lot more restricting to a team that now has a lot of holes that could be filled using resources that were used up in those moves.

I do enjoy posts like Mike Curran's above. There's no logic behind it other than they aren't a playoff team - so blow it up.

I mean this was a team that two years ago won 102 games. A team that contended last year with injuries, trades and underperformance. It just cracks me up that they haven't taken the field and already they aren't a playoff team.

Then we agree Ice.

RedBurb, I don't agree with Curran's post, but did the Phillies "contend" last year?

I mean, they finished 7 games out of a playoff spot. That's a pretty generous definition for "contention".

Utley is the most fascinating trade piece, if in fact they end up being sellers.

If the team is in position to sell, I would imagine it's because Doc is cooked- thus not commanding much of a return in a trade. Utley is a different story, especially for an AL team looking for a bat.

If freaking Matt Capps could net Wilson Ramos in a trade, surely a half-season of Utley (and the prospect of extending him as a DH for your team for a few years) would be very appealing for most buyers. The guy can still rake, and his offensive numbers would probably improve from avoiding the wear and tear on his knees defensively.

NEPP, I think that's the point that we all missed going into this off season. The current roster, as constructed outside of Hamels, sets up for a radical "rebuild" after this season. Basically, though we floated desired targets such as Hamilton, Swisher, etc. out there, there was never any intent to go after someone at or past their peak production who would command more than a one year deal (which is why we end up with the likes of Young). Revere is 24 and cost controlled. No harm there (particularly to payroll).

To think that RAJ was going to pony up years and $'s to someone just to stay competitive is a misunderstanding of his desired outcome here. Staying competitive is secondary to setting the team up to reload/rebuild in the coming years.

The irony is that we poke fun of posters talking about how certain moves hurt the Phillies in 2014, 2015, etc., yet RAJ is absolutely operating to free up payroll for that exact time period. If he can win with these guy while doing so, great. If not, we'll see Hamels, Revere, Ruf (who they appear to be placing a big bet on) and a whole ton of new faces in the coming years.

In that vein, I am absolutely fascinated to see what, if anything, RAJ does with the Howard contract. I think he's scrambling like hell behind the scenes to set himself up to be free of it sooner than later.

Silver lining: If we're absolutely terrible in 2013-2015, we'll get some nice high picks, and then be ready to compete once the TV money kicks in.

Downside: We'll have to suffer through several years of crappy baseball.

Fata - The team was in the hunt for that second wild card spot during the latter half of the season. Maybe it was a fool's dream, but they had a shot as late as September. Maybe contention wasn't the best term but they did absolutely have a shot at that second WC spot even with their dreadful first half (especially June).

And you all thought I was crazy saying that Ruben Amaro should've been fired a few years ago. LOL. It's over. How many days until Eagles training camp???

Mike C.~ They may not be in it at the deadline. If that's the case, they'll be another fire sale.

I still say they could have brought better players. I'd sure like to know why they didn't.

@Wineman, I've been saying the same thing abotu my Temple Owls this season as I've already written them off.. "How many days until Spring Training?"

Now with today's news, it feels like a kick in the nuts and I don't want to say already "How many days until Eagles camp," especially when they will likely be no better than what the Phillies will offer.


Not to split hairs here, but after the games on September 12th, the Phils were 3 games back of a playoff spot with 19 games to go- and seven games coming up against Houston and the Mets. The two teams they were chasing were about to beat up on each other in a 4-game series (which they split).

They were most definitely 'contending.' It took quite the hot streak to do it, against all odds, but it did happen for a short window of time. The pathetic, nauseating series against Houston slammed that window shut.


You sound as if RAJ may be relative. Do you wear the same blinders as he does? Lets see my outfield is Revere and a contingent of underachievers and has beens. The starting staff is Hamels Lee and Doc with questions, Kendrick (really?) and Lannan. Rollins, Utley Howard will not spiral upward. Their is precedent over the last 3 years for those three. Underperformance you mentioned which I assume you mean the core of Utley, Howard and Rollins. Do you think they will magically recapture 2008?
WHat RAJ is hoping for is 1993. That is fine with me. He missed the boat on revamping this team. He did not learn anything from 2010, 2011. Remember his comment about plate discipline after the loss to SF? Remember after the loss to STL his conversations about timely hitting and changing the offensive approach. Was that off the cuff nonsense? What has he done to fix those issues? Was that idle chit chat for the fans?

Look at the Nats. You know who they are. They are the Phillies of 2007 with better pitching. If they stay relatively healthy and remember they had there share of injuries themselves last year they should win this division easily.

All I am saying Red is RAJ has made some mistakes over the last 3 years and if the Phillies are out of contention by July lets hope he doesn't compound the problems by not trading away parts of a team that need fixing.

I'd like to clarify my whining today has strictly been in reaction to Amaro's comments and apparrent approach of evaluating offensive players.

$750k to Delmon isn't reason to jump ship, the Braves having Upton/Upton/Heyward for another 3 years isn't Ruben's fault - but it his fault for being blind to research that suggests his way of evaluating performance is outdated.

Ice, I agree that they were close. But it's tough for me to call a team a "contender" when they finished 7 games out, were upwards of 14 games out at one point, and couldn't take advantage of a 7 game swing against the bottom dwellers of the league to remain competitive.

I agree that they got close at one point, but a contender to me is right there at the end, and gets eliminated in the last few days (or makes the playoffs).

Probably semantics, but what else is BL good for, you know? :)

Mike Curran - the 2007 Phillies scored 892 runs. The 2013 Nationals will not.

The pathetic, nauseating series against Houston slammed that window shut.

Posted by: Iceman | Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 01:55 PM

Are you talking about last year? Or '05? '06?

"Kendrick (really?)"

Kendrick continues to be the litmus test with fans to tell if they actually know what they're talking about.

Last two years for Kendrick: 3.61 ERA, 109 ERA+

Last two years for Kendrick starting: 228.2 IP, 3.62 ERA, 1.21 WHIP

Yes, "really."

I'm a bit perplexed about the doom and gloom here. We know that the Phillies are not as bad as last year's record. They have a weak early schedule that will make or break the season. If they get off to a fast start, the winning will build confidence and the season will be fun. If Cholly comes out of April with a losing record, it will be 2012 all over again.

I refuse to believe that the Braves and the gNats are head and shoulders better than the Phils. Let them play the games!

Mike Curran - We have differing views on what contending is it seems. I believe there is enough talent on this team to contend this year. Do you disagree?

Listen, just because someone doesn't agree that the team needs to be blown up at this very instant doesn't mean they love every move the FO has made. It does not make them an FO apologist.

But you can't honestly sit there and tell me that they need to trade everyone who has value on this team for prospects and then see what happens over the next few years. Basically you are saying to take the Marlins approach. I speak for myself, but I would rather have a team that averages over 80 wins a season than constantly selling off talent to keep payroll low.

Fata- oh yeah, it's definitely semantics. I think a lot of this is based on how I (and I think a lot of us) 'felt' at the time (hopeful), and in that respect, it's an extremely non-literal interpretation of 'contending.'

I also distinctly remember posting something after their victory in the Reds series that they had one last chance to make a run, and it was in those next 13 games against COL, MIA, HOU and NYM. After they swept COL and MIA, I had already printed out the comment and checked how much it would cost to be framed.

"I'm a bit perplexed about the doom and gloom here."

Lake Fred - I think it has less to do with the Phils chances of making the 2013 playoffs, which haven't changed all that much in the last 24 hours, and more to do with what a poor job FO has done relative to our competitors (or anyone) to make this a better team. The interview from yesterday only decreases the lack of confidence in FO.

When the Revere and Young moves were made, part of the defense was that they were taking their time and that you couldn't comment fully on those moves until you saw what they did with the off-season. Well, now we know.

Look~ Amaro misses one big thing. The staters deserve an offense that can consistantly produce. No body on this team isn't getting any younger.

And Ice, If you read High Cheese today, you'll see Murphy eludes to Beltran etc. Last year.

Amaro is still try to fix the problem that was created when Werth bolted, and that he magnified, by try to fix holes and injuries with spit and bubble gum.

Yeah, last Sept, they gave us reason for hope. Are they better than last year? Maybe? But leap-frogging the Braves now to win the WC isn't gonna happen.

You have to rememeber, they're not the same offensive team they were in '08 & '09. With age and injuries they won't be able to withstand another year like 2012. They could be closer to that than not. They could also go the other way & win 90. But Amaro should have done more, (even more pitching) and he hasn't. So now he'll be held accountable.

***Last two years for Kendrick starting: 228.2 IP, 3.62 ERA, 1.21 WHIP***

Intellectually, I know all that but I dont think I'll ever be comfortable watching the man pitch.

DPat- your obsession with Amaro is getting to be really disturbing.

I read Murphy's article. I also remember that you specifically wanted Cuddyer and Theriot last year. Are you saying you wanted both Cuddyer AND Beltran, in addition to Theriot? I don't remember you saying that at all.

You can't go back and re-write history. Of course there were guys that had great years that we can all look back at and say they should have signed. There is nothing easier than relying on hindsight.

"Lake Fred - I think it has less to do with the Phils chances of making the 2013 playoffs, which haven't changed all that much in the last 24 hours, and more to do with what a poor job FO has done relative to our competitors (or anyone) to make this a better team. The interview from yesterday only decreases the lack of confidence in FO.

When the Revere and Young moves were made, part of the defense was that they were taking their time and that you couldn't comment fully on those moves until you saw what they did with the off-season. Well, now we know."

We sure do. And yet, those of us who for the most part disagree with what's been done (or not) still get blasted here for pointing out that RAJ's done a piss-poor job. Especially when you compare what he inherited to what he has now. From WS champion to a non play-off team.

For anyone who works in the real world, to show that kind of performance over that period of time, (or even less), we'd lose our jobs. And he acts like he doesn't have to answer to anyone.

Oh man. Whoever compared DPat to a dog with a frisbee was absolutely correct. Is this Groundhog Day?

You can't argue that 2009-2011 were worse teams than 2008. And yet posters constantly refer to those years like dark times for Phillies baseball.

I'd really like to find out when people really started to sour on Amaro. If I were a betting man, it was when he acquired Halladay and sent Lee to Seattle.

2009-2011 weren't dark times...they were the equivalent of taking out a 2nd mortgage on your home to go on a 3 year vacation around the world....only to come back and have a pile of unpaid bills and no money left to pay them.

Iceman, yep, Mike Curran exposes himself and his lack of knowledge about the players on the team (much less the ones on other teams who he probably knows less about) when he makes comments like the one aout Kendrick.

Also, I posted earlier that both Lannan and KK have pretty good track records agianst the Braves, but when I was looking at Lannan's splits something else jumped out.

It has been posted by others here that Lannan's ERA against everyone but the Phils is 3.80. When I was looking at his splits I noticed something else interesting:

Lannan's lifetime W/L (for what it's worth) record is 42 - 52. Against the Phillies it's 3 - 13.

Complain about him all you want, but he'll be just fine as a #5.

BTW, for those of you who have forgotten, in 2006 Jeff Seidman (related to Corey?) wrote an article at the Hardball times titled "How Good is Your #4 Starter".

While the numbers probably have to be adjusted downward because of the decline in offense since then (NL ERA went from 4.49 to 3.95 from 2006 to 2012), these are the average ERAs for NL starters at their respective rotation positions:

#1 - 3.51
#2 - 4.04
#3 - 4.57
#4 - 5.11
#5 - 6.26

Point: Even if one adjusts the ERAs for rotation positions down by a little more that .5 runs per 9 IP, if Lannan and KK both put up ERAs around 4.00, then they'll be pitching closer to what a #3 does, not a #5.

I'll take that if they can both give up 180 IP.

I knew the Howard contract would come up. It may not hamper the Phils as much as some claim, but i believe it is hampering them to a extent. Been fair to Howard I want to see if he bounces back this year. Also some of you make it seem like Rube (which probably knew ATL would get Justin) sat there and said I will counter that move with Delmon Young. The two moves are totally independent of each other.

Phans~ someone is having way too much time on their hands. The post from 2:49 this afternoon was assuredly not from me. Teasing me on the boards is one thing, but to say I have no contacts in the FO after defending it for so long is another. Please stop!

awh: been awhile since I've seen that stupid chart. Kyle Kendrick has a 3.60 ERA in 2012-12. Looks like a #1 starter on that chart.

***Kyle Kendrick has a 3.60 ERA in 2012-12. Looks like a #1 starter on that chart.***

Guess we shouldn't have made fun of him for following Doc around for two years straight, eh?

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