Part of

« Amaro: Young must earn his keep in right field | Main | Oh, brother: Braves acquire Justin Upton »

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Seidman, your thread seems to ass-u-me DYoung is going to make the team.

I'm not so sure of that.

Based on Ruben Amaro's comments yesterday that Young will "Ideally be playing right field every day for us but that’s not etched in stone," it's a pretty safe assumption he won't be cut.

Barring a disastrous spring training by Young or a ridiculous breakout from Darin Ruf, Young is going to see plenty of playing time in a corner.

Is there any data on why the OBP rate is dropping? Hypothesis: OBP has dropped as PEDs have been more heavily regulated. Why? Pitchers more willing to challenge hitters as power numbers drop and teams have been more willing to substitute defense among position players. Discuss.

No a fan of Amaro's preference for moderate-to-high average guys who put the ball in play but who don't work counts or take many BBs.

rolo - I bet a $1k he does. Why would Young have gotten a guaranteed deal and why would he have signed here unless he was pretty much guaranteed a spot on the Opening Day roster (as long as he is healthy)?

At the very least, we are now one of the rare organizations that's had both Delwyn and Delmon Young in their systems.

Maybe, after signing all these free swingers, it's time for RAJ to stop complaining about lack of plate discipline by the team. Manuel is a manager, not a miracle worker.

"It's not all doom and gloom on Broad and Pattison..."

Have you seen what the collective Eagles, Sixers and Flyers have offered up?

The Eagles are one huge question mark right now, the Sixers are staring down the barrel of another 6-7 seasons of mediocrity, and the Flyers....who cares? How can I watch a sport run by people who don't care about their audience, and where the regular season is about the most meaningless and uninteresting among all major sports?

Fat, exactly. Basically, Broad and Pattison is Ground Zero for doom and gloom right now.

The lack of OBP in that lineup is horrible. Management needs to get with the times.

The biggest problem with the Young signing is that it pretty much ends any chance that the Phils will actually upgrade the outfield this offseason. I'd mentioned before that David DeJesus would have been a nice fit - I wonder what he would have cost in trade.

I really hope the pitching is lights out this year because the hitting and defense is shaping up to be pretty mediocre and it's only going to reach that bar if Utley and Howard are healthy.

I don't think the issue is whether or not he'll be cut after spring training, but what the O/U on his number of starts is, and if that number will end up being rightly proportional to his production.

My guess is that there's a big gap in the answer to those questions between the positive/neutral and negative sides of this signing.

DOM is poised for a solid OBP this year, should help overall.

Josh Willingham was available when the Nationals signed Werth. The Phillies could have tried, but I didn't hear any rumors. They should have outbid every team in the league to the point where the Nats had to trade him to Philly. Singleton and Cosart could have got it done easily, and our farm would be in the exact same shape, only with a monster bat in the MLB lineup. High % of beerleaguer knew that was the time to strike, but Phils blew it.

Iceman - "My guess is that there's a big gap in the answer to those questions between the positive/neutral and negative sides of this signing."


The Dbacks are trying to trade Kubel or Upton by friday and according to Buster Olney:
Buster Olney ‏@Buster_ESPN
D-Backs talks with the Braves about JUpton have resumed; ATL said to be in hard on this. They're likely the frontrunner, if JUpton is dealt.

I don't like this at all!

If the Braves get Upton, that would be a sufficient reason to panic.


Navigating through Heyward-Upton-McCann-Freeman-Upton would be menacing, and Uggla hitting 20-30 HRs at the bottom of the order is just ridiculous.

The Braves are already a good team. Upgrading from Juan Francisco to Justin Upton (Prado moving to 3B) would make them really, really good.

This just further illustrates the difference between a real GM and a wannabe GM. Rube has spent his entire life around baseball, so I can't fault him for being some Stanford whiz-kid who doesn't understand the game. Granted, not every GM is going to be in the Hall of Fame, but at the same time, not every GM gets to learn from one either. Obviously, not every one of Pat's picks were winners, but you could certainly see what he was trying to accomplish with them. That, and when his low/risk high rewards paid off, they really did.

Rube has a bunch of advantages that Pat did not, most notably, payroll. Pat's Phillies were never in the Top 5, or even the Top 10, and I think same goes for his Mariners.

I don't know, maybe this post has no point and I'm just rambling on. Perhaps the Youngs work out. Perhaps Dom or Ruf develop. Perhaps Ben Revere is a cheaper, younger Bourn in his prime. Perhaps Doc returns to form. All I know is that when Pat was a betting man, it was a near 50/50, like Blackjack, nothing like the Roulette that Rube is playing.

So the Braves have the prospects to land Upton? It's almost like teams should hang onto top flight prospects for top flight controllable talent.

RedBurb: are you trying to say that Hunter Pence isn't top-flight talent that was worth emptying the system for?

Ice - Perhaps, but it was ok because the Phils won the WS in 2011.

I do have some questions as to why the D-Backs have been so willing and insistent to get rid of Upton.

But his reasonable price tag, and the gut feeling I have about the Upton brothers maxing their talent out if they're on the same roster together, cancels out those questions.

Ice, apparently JUpton has maxed out his love within the Dbacks organization. I'm not sure why.

When was the last time, if ever, that a team had a collective OBP of .300 or less? In any event I think the '13 Phutiles have a real shot at it!

By-the-by, free-swinger Hunter Pence had an abysmal second half of '12 & he still finished the season w/ a higher OBP than Jimmy Rollins. It's getting to the point where all I want out of this coming year is someone different batting leadoff.

Delmon Young straight up for Justin Upton, get it done Rube!

I assume that everyone who has a problem with Young's drunken outburst will also have a problem with every college graduate player since they can't graduate without writing essays that are anti-White in nature.

And the award for "dumbest post in history of Beerleaguer" goes to...

I don't even want to know where that one is going.

The beauty of being a math major was how few papers I had to write in college.

Not that I was a poor writer of papers; on the contrary, I always scored well on my research papers and essay assignments.

But not having to deal with the tedium of them was the bonus of being a math guy.

@sdphillie, the biggest misconception of Amaro is that he's one of these Ivy league- or finance-trained GMs who combine business sense and sports acumen (Daniels, Friedman, Morey, Luhnow, etc.). I distinctly remember David Montgomery saying that Amaro brought the best of both worlds (the so-called academic as well as baseball/locker room credibility). The difference is that those guys heavily incorporate advanced analytics and economics in the decision-making process, as opposed to relying on subjectivity and gut-feeling and being driven by biased anchors and anecdotes. Amaro is as 'old-school' as it gets in today's baseball. He's really never had a job outside of baseball, and honestly, that's to his detriment. Although some of you may disagree, I think what makes Friedman, Morey, Luhnow, etc. great is that they spent time working in management consulting, private equity, business dev. etc., where efficiency in all areas of business operations is valued.

@beantownphilliesfan: good thoughts.

The Braves have been on record as saying no to dealing Simmons for Upton, or anyone for that matter. If he's not in the deal, I wonder who the Dbacks are targetting?

They have to get a MLB peice back right? I just can't imagine them losing Upton for a few pitching prospects. Teheran is a good find, but the uncertainity of young arms is way too high to be worth it.

'Efficiency' in private equity almost how is the quickest way to a buck regardless of the consequences including legal ones at times although it is nowhere near as bad as hedge funds.

Amaro may have his shortcomings as a GM but I find it a spurious claim that working in finance/private equity/management consulting somehow impaired Amaro's ability to judge value as a GM.

I would agree that he hasn't had a great long-term strategic view and that overlooking some of the analytic frameworks/techniques might have hurt some of his managerial decisions.

Advanced analytics in baseball though have almost reached a point where they are too overrated. The art (just as in medicine) is being able to take the litany of clinical data, demographics, physical exam, and patient's story to arrive at a proper diagnosis.

If I had the time, I would love to go out to the SABR conference in Arizona in March. Not with working FT and trying to get a startup up and running.

Obvious troll (IJS) is obvious.

MG: I think Beansie's point was that Rube hasn't ever had a job outside of baseball, to his detriment. He says that others have benefitted from working in other fields.

Lorecore: I'd have a good chuckle if the Diamondbacks traded J-Up for yet another shortstop.

Both Beantown and sdsphillie are right on target.
And by the way Cholly is not going to get fired and I will tell you how I know.
They are just bringing in older and older players to make Cholly comfortable at his old age.
He might even be able to do a few laps with them around the field but they are unlikely to be victory laps.

Wow, a little more on the "incentive" side of Young's contract via Twitter:

Dan Gelston ‏@APgelston

Delmon Young's contract calls for him to get on a scale on six occasions to be chosen by the Phillies.

Dan Gelston ‏@APgelston

Delmon Young must be 230 pounds or less the first 3 times he's weighed. 235 pounds or less on the 2nd 3. Gets 100K each time he makes weight

Revere, Lannan and D. Young are all so old at 28 and under. Just too darn old. Never change RK.

MG, I guess we disagree to a certain extent.

First, my point is that working in those industries has provided a 'business-perspective' that has become an asset for the aforementioned GMs - not that Amaro needs to have experience in PE, consulting, etc to become a successful GM (in math terms - sufficient but not necessary). Thus, I wouldn't call my comment a 'spurious' claim.

Second, if you have disagreements about PE, I'm not going to change your mind here because I'm sure your opinion is well-informed. Having done due diligence projects for a number of PE firms in consulting, I know that business efficiency is highly valued because of, yes, the goal of increasing value to sell at a high return. Ethics aside, I think understanding and finding efficiency are huge skills in PE - in fact, those are two of the most important in sourcing deals and finding undervalued companies.

Third, I think we both agree that Amaro lacks in certain abilities as a GM, especially those in strategic planning, etc. Amaro certainly could have garnered those skills in baseball, but baseball hasn't exactly been the best place to learn how to operate a business and find efficiency.

Fourth, I agree; I don't think being analytical is purely about numbers, but instead about using numbers as a tool to get a greater understand of the problem.

Finally, if you're interested in attending data-driven conferences, I'd recommend the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference which is on a Friday and a Saturday, meaning you'd only miss a single day of work.

WP: wow that is blowing my mind if true.

OK Red you win they going to win 100 games Howard will hit 50 HRs and Utley will play a full season and his OBP will be up near .400 along with 100 plus RBIs!
There are two points that were made by sdsphillie and Beantown:
1. RAJ is all about gut feel not thought out (recall the unmentionable pitching trade re-trade) "oh I meant it to be that way"
2. Amaro is old school he has never had a job outside BB.

The Phils had a great team but miscalculations about Howard and even Utley (constant and repeated injuries) and refusing to believe that the team was aging and needed careful planning for rebuilding and instead squandering the farm trying to get another bat to make up for it in order to win just one more time with this aging stock is what got them to this situation.

Delmon has to make weight eh? Maybe Ryno can lend him his free subway for life card while he's here?

lorecore- after seeing the moves Towers has made, nothing would surprise me. Wren has made some slick moves in his tenure. I say it's 50/50 Towers gets fleeced in this deal.

And let's get something straight about Gillick's 'gambles:' most of them were, most decidedly, not '50/50.' He relied heavily on the bargain bin to fill some big roles on the team and had the Midas touch more often than not, to be sure. But most of them were not coin flip propositions. And one of the deals he made (Garcia for Floyd & Gio) is still haunting the franchise, and will for the next several years.

Great strawmen RK. Like I said, never change.

lorecore, he's almost doubling the original $750k simply by avoiding the Reading Terminal Market. Amazing.

Also, it does tell me (with the 6 planned weigh ins) that the Phillies are at least hedging on the fact that he'll be around for awhile. No guarantee, but they've clearly considered it.

BTW, does a player even get drug tested that many times a season? Remarkable.

ill be damned, the Delmon Young contract is true. Six random weigh-ins, with a $100k bonus each time he is under 230lbs the first 3 times and 235lbs the last 3.

I have never seen this before.

Did a lot of the new wave GM's have jobs outside baseball? I thought they all had the fancy degrees but then went right into intern spots with MLB clubs out of college.

That weight clause is fantastic. I'm glad they have it in there, but you know you've hit rock bottom when you're getting paid based on whether or not you can fend off obesity.

Young could be in trouble if MLB tests for fen-phen.

A great comparison that one of my mentors told me was that being a GM of a professional sports team is like being a CEO of a public company. You'll have investors clamoring for maximizing quarterly earnings; all of your moves will be analyzed to death; and at the end of the day, a lot of luck drives whether your company succeeds. And, thus, a good, strategic CEO will provide the most to his/her shareholders by thinking about long-term growth and sustainability. I think, in many situations, Amaro made decisions that weren't the best for the club (both in real and opportunity cost) - be they trading top prospects for low marginal return (e.g. Hunter Pence and not having prospects to trade for other chips), signing Howard prematurely, or letting sunk cost drive signing decisions. There's pressure to listen to the fans (and most of them would probably trade Vernon Wells for Dom Brown), but I'd want the GM to stay away from such irrational decision-making and have a big-picture plan for the team.

If J-Up goes to the Braves,that lineup will be very tough and we'll still be the 3rd best team in the division. We had plenty of chances this off-season to get proven bats.

One has to wonder why we players like D.Young, and the Braves can get BJ and possibly J-Up. The Phils have the money. I know their payroll is high but sometimes you just gotta go for it. Rube values pitching as he should, but you can't just sit back and watch teams in your division get a lot better, while your team doesn't.

I know the Phils have spent a whole lotta money in recent years, but it seems like they're reverting to old habits. I doubt RAJ will have any fun watching the playoffs while his team is sitting home again.

Beantown Phils Fan - It wasn't the lack of experience/job outside of baseball but outside of the Phils' organization was Amaro's biggest shortcoming when he got hired. Played and then spent a decade in the FO of the very same organization. Single biggest thing when he got hired that I didn't like about it.

At best, Amaro was the 'golden boy' successor who didn't have any prior experience as a GM or outside the organization. At worst, Amaro was a toady hire who would toe the line that David Montgomery set.

As for PE, I guess we have to agree to disagree. In some cases I do think they enforce discipline and put in new mgt that really helps a mid-sized company. I just think that is the exception to the rule though from what I have seen.

Generally they maximize to cash flow and margins, starve the company for cap expenditures, and look to either strip it or flip it. It just rubs me the wrong way in a big way when the PE guys almost always make out regardless of what happens to the company they acquire, with almost no risk to their own money, and then get preferential income tax treatment. Its a rotten fish from head to tail.

@jibird, I believe Andrew Friedman worked in investment banking and PE; Jon Daniels worked in BD; Jeff Luhnow worked for McKinsey; Daryl Morey worked for the Parthenon Group. I think some of the legal people (e.g. Rick Hahn) either joined immediately after law school or worked for a firm that handled legal matters for teams.

The team has improved in the off-season. Has it improved enough to overtake the Nats and Braves or make a good playoff run? Don't think so. And that's the rub.

I think Mo Vaughn had a fat clause too in his contract with the Red Sox too.

DPat - good stuff!

Cancel season. BL considers season dead.

IJS = whitey or Raul's grandpa? You decide.

"I know their payroll is high but sometimes you just gotta go for it."

This is a joke, right DPat? They've 'just gone for it' in 2009, 2010 and 2011. If there is something that you can't possibly accuse the FO of failing to accomplish, it's 'going for it.'

One of the hidden values of having guys who'll take a walk is that they tend to raise the number of pitches thrown by the other team. That increases the chance of the pitcher tiring, a lesser reliever coming in etc.

A lineup of a bunch of guys with OBs around .300 has just the opposite effect.

Murray: Raul's Grandpa has made similar posts.

Piling on Amaro has gotten a little ridiculous today though after the Young signing about what an 'idiot' he is.

I would love to see what alternative strategies others would have recommended if they wouldn't have made the M. Young trade, Adams signing, or Revere trade.

I am not a fan of the Adams signing but I can't believe that there is still a big contingent on other Phils sites that want to 'go with the young relievers' strategy. After last year, you would think they would have a slightly different take on that or the current organizational depth the Phils have at the reliever spot.

Delmon Young or Michael Young at the 6 hole or if Ruf wins as the starter, Young or Young at the 7?

Wow, just saw the end of teh last thread.

lorecore, you agree with MG then? They should have brought in a platoon partner for Vic in 2007?

MG, you bring up a good point about relievers. If you look at the Atlanta 'pen the last 3 years, while they've somehow garnered a reputation for having a Young bullpen, if you actually look at the ages of the guys who got the most innings, there's a healthy mix of youth and veteran presence.

Okay, the rest of the Young contract details. Doesn't sound so much like PERFORMANCE bonuses, as much as longevity (and lightweigtedness) based.

Rob Maaddi ‏@RobMaaddi

Delmon Young's incentives besides fat clause: 250K for being on active roster 1 day 7 & 100K each for 40, 80, 120 and 160 days. ...

Rob Maaddi ‏@RobMaaddi

More on Young besides fat clause: He gets 150K each for 250, 300, 350 & 400 plate appearances; 200K for 450 & 500; 250K each for 550 & 600.

Rob Maaddi ‏@RobMaaddi

To sum up Delmon Young's contract. He'll make 3.5 mill if he stays under 230 lbs, is on active roster 160 days & makes 600 plate appearances

So, basically, the Phillies Front Office thinks that Young's weight is the reason for concern, not performance.

A clear misunderstanding when someone expressed concern with Young's "plate discipline."


Maybe Young's problems with plate discipline stem from that misunderstanding. Perhaps when they talk about leadoff hitters' ability to 'set the table' he has an entirely different thing in mind.

Here's a question:

Given this report on mlbtr:

"•Vernon Wells could spend much of the coming season on the Angels’ bench, Danny Knobler of reports. Wells is unlikely to be traded, yet he doesn’t project as a regular. Though the Angels explored deals involving Wells, owner Arte Moreno was never willing to absorb a substantial part of the $42MM remaining on Wells’ contract to complete a trade. Naturally other teams weren’t interested in paying Wells $21MM per season through 2014."

who would you rather have, Vernon Wells and a substantial financial commitment, or DYoung and a low-risk contract?


rolo: I would obviously rather have neither.

Yeah, I think I'd actually rather have kept Schierholz than either of them...

What a joke this has become. I can not wait until the rumblings of Rube's job being on the line start to creep out.

Can we play with 24 people on the roster instead?

Is Young not young enough to perhaps be retrained? I remember this been a constant theme in posts from the pasts. The Phillies hitters at the time where to entrenched (too old) in their ways to change their approach.

r00b has devolved from issuing traditional terrible MLB contracts to bizarre, credulity defying terrible contracts. What a sh*t show.

Can we play with 24 people on the roster instead?

I wouldn't worry. Rarely does a season pass where the Phillies essentially fail to play w/ a full roster due to their peculiar refusal to send injured players to the DL.

Rolo did ask a valid question. Of course one could just say neither. It was rumored that the Phils had interest in Wells. So if it came down to it VW at god knows how many millions for 2 years, or DY for 1 year @750K. You have take the least of the two evils here.

"I wouldn't worry. Rarely does a season pass where the Phillies essentially fail to play w/ a full roster due to their peculiar refusal to send injured players to the DL."

Actually, GTown, there is a ring of truth to that.

Those weight clauses are hilarious...if a bit sad.

Listened to Missanelli interview Amaro on my way home this evening. MM brought up Young's lack of on-base ability and wondered if that was something Amaro had concern about. An honest GM would speak to Youngs skill set elsewhere and perhaps his promise while acknowledging his limitations. There's more than one reason Young came at this price and OBP is a big part of that. Amaro smugly replied, "I don't care about walks. I care about production -- driving in runs."

It made me head hurt to hear it -- the same way it hurts when I hear poor grammar or accidentally turn on Rush Limbaugh. Amaro went on to dismiss SABR types and others who think they know how to build a successful ball team. People can go on about his Stanford MBA. I wasted my money at a different elite professional school with a analytical heavy business school so maybe I'm off on this, but how do you spend 3 years in that environment, work in a business undergo a data revolution, and display such an ignorance of the relationships between not making outs and "productivity." Why does he not want to use all available information?

This is not someone I want at the helm when it's time to rebuild.

Sophist i have a feeling (not because of the Young move) that Rube wont be here past this year. If this teams fails to reach playoffs they will be a major reconstruction taking place and it starts with Amaro. Im not implying either way that i approve or dont approve of Roob.

Sophist, great post!

If Rube honestly meant that, he's probably the dumbest GM in baseball...and/or he'd make a great 1970s GM.

Sophist - Amaro doesn't have an MBA (only his BA).

He really was foolish enough to have that kind of outburst though on a public forum?

Speaking of weight, has anyone gotten a glimpse of Sir Smug lately? Looks like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man after a week in the Caribbean. r00b might benefit from reworking his own contract; maybe slide some extra coin his way in exchange for losing a few pounds.

A: Three up - Three down. Q: What will be the new slogan for the 2013 Phillies.

I'll put Amaro's statement up there with "All he does is catch TD's".

Losing Sophist, who is one of the more level-headed and reasoned posters this site has ever seen, does not bode well for RAJ. And, true to form, Sophist offers measured and explained rational that is very difficult to argue with.

I know that the "fire Cholly" and "get rid of Rube" choruses are a bit 'stereotypical WIP Philly' reactions, but it's getting harder and harder to find the method to what is definitely starting to appear more and more as 'madness.'

I guess Amaro burst at the seems today. I really have to listen to that MM interview to see what he said.

I thought Amaro really had changed his public tact last year starting in June after the Howard incident in May. Phils came off looking badly after the report in the Philly Inquirer came out about Howard's cortisone and how Amaro reacted to it in such a standoffish way.

After that (along with a ton of losing in June & early July), he did nearly a 180 the rest of the season especially on those pre-game call-ins. Actually answered question in a respectful and thoughtful manner with no quips or retorts. Even admitted he made some mistakes at times which floored me (e.g., not calling up Cloyd to start that game where he let the bullpen by committee instead start instead with disastrous results).

Public relations never did seem to be a strength of Amaro's and I wonder if he just snapped today a bit on MM's show.

The Delmon Young signing was a total buzz kill for me. I was even going to switch from Directv to Comcast, partly to be able to see every Phils game, but have now decided not to do it.

Rube just cost Comcast a new subscriber.

I've certainly never been accused of being a SABR geek, but to make a statement that outlandish is actually pretty damn out of touch with reality, and quite condescending, even for Rube.

Rube's end goal is to have a team with a sub .300 OBP and plays terrible defense.

He's well on his way and he should be proud of his accomplishments. Its not all that easy to drive a WS winner into the ground and then nuke the site from orbit.

You gotta want it.

MG -- here's the link.

This is from an iPad so maybe the link won't work. He also seemed to go out of his way to criticize Dom Brown.

Amaro is signed through '15. He isn't going anywhere barring an absolute disaster this season (say where they push 100 losses).

This never has been a franchise under current ownership that fires a GM quickly either. Lee Thomas hung around forever and rode the '93 season until he got fired in '97. Even Wade had a couple of chances to get into the playoffs and wasn't fired until after the '05 season.

Both times it was really a huge dip in attendance that lead to both GMs getting fired. Attendance dropped in the '05 season by nearly 600k from '04. Thomas got canned after over a 300k drop in attendance and the Phils finished dead last in '97 in the NL in attendance.

Amaro has some good qualities, and you don't need to be the perfect GM to win a championship. It's just the sheer ignorance of the statement coupled with a lack of interest is gaining whatever insight he might gain from other resources. He seems to just view analytics as affronts to his ego, associated with people who've made fun of him so just worthy of contempt. A very ignorant attitude.

What's Amaro's endgame here? Does he DDT Cole Hamels, tear off his suit to reveal a NWO t-shirt and then bolt to the Nationals?

I mean, what's his angle at this point?

MG - I attribute it to the hands off approach of ownership and the very old school, loyalty-first attitude of upper management (Giles and Montgomery). They're not really operating as businessmen with a winning bottom line.

That is a very, very accurate assessment of the Phillies ownership, Sophist.

There is zero chance that Amaro is fired this year. They could lose 120 games in 2013 and all that would happen is UC getting canned a few months early.

The comments to this entry are closed.

EST. 2005

Top Stories


Rotoworld News

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Facebook

Contact Weitzel